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Show Your STRONG in 2015, 7 Tips To Get Your Resolution Going

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I love this photo from Strong Fitness Magazine.

2015 is just around the corner and you know what that means. We all begin to think about those New Year’s resolutions. Well this post is going to focus on the oh so very popular resolution of “I will get into shape this year” or “I will lose weight this year” or I will commit to get healthier this year” etc. etc… So, I am not going to beat around the bush with a lot of nonsense clutter on this post so I am going to get right down to my top tips to get your resolution in gear before the new year rolls in.

1. You have to really want it. What I mean is, if you want to change something about yourself you have to change what you are doing. You have to commit. You have to be serious about this, it is your life and your health you are dealing with.

2. Set a specific goal. I don’t mean just saying “I need to lose weight”, you have to set a realistic goal, set a beginning date to start and an ending date so you have a sense of a deadline.

3. Make your plan of how you will reach this goal. Be specific and write it down. If you have no idea what the heck to do, then educate yourself. Research, see what others are dong. There is an enormous amount of information out there but you have to be proactive. If you need help, enlist a friend or hire a trainer.

4. Tracking workouts and logging your daily food intake will keep you accountable and motivated. People who log see more progress than people who guess.

5. Consistency is key. Consistency is key. Consistency is key. Hello, Rome was not built in a day.

6. Patience and commitment is must.

7. Understand there is no quick “fix” or “pill” that will do it for you. You have to earn it and it will involve some sweat, sacrifice, sore muscles, a change in lifestyle, maybe some tears, hopefully no blood (haha)  and hopefully there will be some fun.

Stay focused on these tips and you will succeed and the reward will be priceless. Get on it now! Be your Best Self in 2015!

Happy 2015!

Effort And Success

“Success always demands a greater effort.” – Winston Churchill

I said in my last post that my next post was going to be about high intensity interval training (hiit) and steady state cardio but I changed my mind today. I will get to it but today I want to share and update everyone about my friend Karen ( I wrote about her weight loss journey a few posts back) and her progress. If you did not see the link to her blog a few posts back, I will share again here. Karen is on a great journey. In January she began an intense program to lose weight and change her lifestyle. She has been coming to my classes regularly plus putting extra time in the gym. The program she is on is like a college course. It requires discipline, accountability, tests, reading, learning, and prioritizing to complete. Karen is on a great journey to become her best self. It is not just about exercising and dieting. It takes a great effort.

Anyway, one requirement for this course is that she has to weigh in at different points and she has to be weighed by someone else and have it documented. I am that person for her 🙂  Today was her final weigh in for this portion of her course.I am smiling right now because it is so awesome and inspiring to see someone really go after what is important to them. To give it 110%. This is Karen. I am still smiling because she was the last person I was talking to when I left the gym last night and she was the first person I saw at the gym this morning. We laughed as I was weighing her because I told her she was here as much as I am now and that she should work here. I love her dedication and her determination. We talked a little after I weighed her about where she is in her  journey and how she gets through some of  the temptations. She has found ways that work for her to keep going and to keep moving forward. She will not stop.

After she left, I checked facebook to see what was going on in facebook world and I saw a link to her latest blog post  titled “Last Official Weigh In”.  Karen is on an amazing  journey and all along the way she is inspiring others including me to be my best self. She is a strong and beautiful person and I admire her strength, dedication, and effort she puts in every single day. Yes, there may be setbacks, struggles and obstacles here or there but  the effort and courage to continue is what counts and Karen has this. She will be successful. Check out her latest post.

http://www.mypointsintime.blogspot.com/2014/06/last-official-weigh-in.html

Keep moving forward 🙂

Goal Setting For Weight Loss

This photo makes me smile 🙂

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Not just because of the bright beautiful colors or the sign that says 50 pounds off, but of the beautiful person whose feet are inside those shoes. This woman is an inspiration, a student in my class and a friend. She is on a great journey to improved health, fitness, weight loss, and overall wellness. In my opinion, she totally gets it. She knows it takes hard work, dedication, and commitment. She is setting goals and she is doing the work it takes to get there. She is not making excuses, taking short cuts, finding quick fixes. She is eating healthy, making good choices, staying accountable, sweating her a** off (literally) and all while keeping a positive attitude and a beautiful smile! I truly admire her strength. It is people like this that “get it” and work for what they want that inspire me. Keep in mind it is hard, I know she struggles but she keeps it real and she writes about it. The shoes represent a goal accomplished. She bought these bright shoes a while ago because she loved the new brights everyone was wearing and said she will wear them when she was 50 pounds down from when her journey began, which was about 12 weeks ago. She walked in the gym yesterday with them on and with a glow and fire in her eyes. It made my day!! If you are looking for motivation, inspiration or someone like my friend who you can relate to, please check out her blog at http://www.mypointsintime.blogspot.com She is a great writer and human being. This is her latest post on goals.

http://mypointsintime.blogspot.com/2014/04/on-goals.html

5 Minutes To More Energy

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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This is such a pretty bunch of clover. It gives off a sense of energy that Spring is near. Today is all about energy! The #FitIn5 Challenge is a 5 minute Sun Salutation to create energy in the body and mind. First I stand in mountain pose, inhaling arms up then exhale to forward fold. I then inhale and lengthen my spine to half  lift and exhale to forward fold and then I step back to plank. I take a breath and then lower to chaturanga/low push up position on the exhale, and then inhale into upward dog. I then exhale to downward facing dog. I take another breath and step forward as I exhale into forward fold. I inhale as I come back up to mountain pose and begin again. Five minutes to more energy! Let’s Go!

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Remember a bad attitude breeds negative results! Stay positive!!

How are you spending your St. Patrick’s Day?

Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.

Healthy Crock Pot Chicken Fajitas

I found this awesome chicken fajita recipe over at StacyMakesCents . If you cannot cook, you must invest in a crock pot/slow cooker. Everyone will think you can cook and you may even surprise yourself. I changed one or two things in mine and it turned out great and healthy.

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Slice green, red, yellow peppers and 1 medium onion. Lightly grease crock pot/slow cooker with olive oil. Place the peppers and onions in the cooker and place 3-4 skinless chicken breasts on top. Pour about 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock over the top. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with Mrs. Dash fiesta lime seasonings. Cover completely with the spice mixture. Then drizzle the juice of one fresh lime on top. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

I did not shred the chicken, I cut into chunky pieces but you could do what you like.  I warmed a few whole wheat tortillas, added a little cheese, fresh tomato, lettuce and avocado. There you go, an easy healthy meal and the leftovers are great too.

Well, it is that time of year when we are all thinking about new ways to stay healthy. I am going to experiment with more crock pot recipes over the next few weeks so I will share what I come up with.

I am excited about the new year. I have set some new goals for myself that I will be sharing later. Also, another Fit In 5 workout will be posted this week. I think we all need a good sweaty New Year’s Day workout.  Are you in?

FIT IN 5 #2/Beginner/Intermediate 5 minute Workout

Grab your dumbbells! Let’s sweat it out with some strength building muscle work. Time for FIT IN 5 #2. FIT IN 5’s are my 5 minute workouts that help me stay strong and healthy when I am short on time. I can always squeeze in at least 5 minutes. This workout is all about strength. I think strength training is very important in a well-rounded fitness routine because of the many benefits. According to the CDC, “strength training is very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of some diseases and chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, back pain and depression”. The CDC states that “strengthening exercises are safe for men and women of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health”. Of course I always recommend consulting with your own physician before beginning any new exercise program.

Some of the benefits include:

1. Improves balance

2. Strengthens bones

3. Healthy state of mind

4. Proper weight management

5. Improved glucose control

6. Sleep improvements

7. Healthy heart tissue

That is enough to pump me up and get me motivated about staying strong and healthy. This workout requires 5-10 lb dumbbells depending on your fitness level. It is not in real-time like I wanted to do (a little trouble uploading) so I shortened it. All that is needed is a timer set to 1 minute intervals, dumbbells and pump it up music 🙂

5 exercise/1 minute each

1. Squat Press

2. Renegade Rows (modifications shown)

3. Kickbacks

4. Side to Side Squats/Bicep Curl

5. Bicycle Abs (modifications shown)

I will do this at least once, but if I have a little more time, I repeat it 2-3 times for a longer more intense, but still quick workout.

Below is a photo of the renegade rows which is a favorite of mine, plus the link to the video.

How do you fit your fitness in when short on time?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAX1he4C-xk

*Always consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.

*Source – cdc.gov

FIT IN 5 Minutes/#1

Hi all! I have been wanting to start this series of posts called “FIT IN 5” for a while now.  I have a few people in mind that I know will love this so I thought I would share with everyone. I know this is a very busy season for many people and I understand that people are busy with work, kids, family, chores, etc… but I still believe we all have to make time to focus on our own health and fitness. This is where FIT IN 5 can help. I am going to share my 5 minute workouts with you every week. I believe that it is our own responsibility to find ways to improve our own health and fitness so I am sharing ways that help me stay strong and fit. Small things everyday are what keep me energized and motivated. I try my best to do something physical every day.  Keep in mind, this is a journey and a process, not instant fitness. FIT IN 5 are workouts that can be done at home, the gym, vacation etc.. with minimal equipment in 5 minutes. Commitment, consistency, determination and a positive attitude are the ingredients to be successful for the FIT IN 5 workouts.

I will be doing these workouts in real-time so it will be easy to follow. I will show modifications and variations. There will be 5 exercises and each exercise will be done for 1 minute. The workout will consist mainly of bodyweight exercises but at times small dumbbells (5-10 lbs), a sturdy table or chair may be used.

This is a great way to focus on fitness as the New Year approaches. These workouts keep me energized, make me stronger which keep me motivated and confident. My goal here is to share my passion and hopefully to help and  inspire someone to get moving and feel better 🙂  Below is the very first FIT IN 5.

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5 Exercises/1 Minute Each Exercises

Mountain Climber

Squat Twist

Push Ups

Air Squat/Jump

Spider Plank

Click the link below to see the workout in real-time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WFDNxjgLOo

*Always consult your own physician before beginning any new fitness program.

Easy And Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

This weekend was awesome and relaxing. Friday night I cooked fish tacos and Saturday night I cooked sea bass for the first time. It turned out great. Tonight was the slow cooker chicken parmesan. No frying is involved so that eliminates a bunch of fat that this dish is known for. Keep in mind it will not be crunchy, but it still has the yummy comforting flavor with fewer calories.

In a bowl beat 2 eggs with a fork. In a separate bowl combine 1/4 cup parmesan cheese with 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Spread a little olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker/crock pot. Take 4 skinless chicken breasts, dip each in egg and then into crumb/cheese mix and lay on the bottom of the crock pot. Pour 1 jar of your favorite sauce on top and cook on low for 5-6 hours. I served the chicken with whole wheat pasta. This easy, healthier version will be a hit with the family!

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Well, I have a lot going on. The 10,000 Steps For Health Challenge is still going strong. I was interviewed by our local paper about the challenge. I am hoping to get the word out to inspire people to make small changes that can improve their health. I am wearing my pedometer every day and I am averaging about 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day. I have also been doing the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak Challenge. I have completed 11 days in a row. Some days I do just a mile, but my streak is going strong. This challenge has really kept me motivated and I can already feel improvements in my runs.

I am still involved in the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Competition. I have been a part of the What’s Beautiful Community for over a year now and I love it. It is such a strong support of women from all over the world. We compete with each other but we all support each other too. These women are so inspiring and motivating! If you have not checked it out, go take a look at http://www.whatsbeautiful.ua.com and see what you are missing. I will be doing a separate post about the What’s Beautiful Community soon. I am also involved in an Instagram challenge from Under Armour. I have won 2 swag bags of their awesome gear. This is a fun challenge where you post a pic of yourself doing the challenge that is given for that day. They pick two winners every week to win a swag bag and trust me, they are very generous 🙂 To join just follow @Shauna_Harrison @UnderArmourWomen and tag them and use the hashtag #sweataday. Below is a photo of myself in a side plank challenge this week. Keep in mind, she always gives modifications for the challenges. The sweataday challenge is for men and women so check it out!

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I finished the weekend decorating for Christmas. Time seems like it is flying by and the New Year will be here before you know it. I have got to start thinking of my resolutions. Organizing will be one. What is your New Year Resolution going to be?

Let’s Move The World, 10,000 Steps For Health

English: Pedometer omron HJ-112 user review

English: Pedometer omron HJ-112 user review (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you heard of the term “sitting disease” or “couch potato”? Well, these are terms that are used to describe the sedentary lifestyle. I live in a part of the country that ranks as one of the top 6 states that has one of the highest rates of physical inactivity. On top of topping the list with a high number of people with sedentary lifestyles, we also rank high for diagnosed diabetes and obesity. Sitting disease is killing people. Technologies such as the internet, email, cell phones, video games, delivery services, etc.. have contributed to this prolonged sitting. Humans are meant to move. Prolonged periods of inactivity will raise the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. I want to change this. I want to take the fight against sitting disease and  I want to encourage and inspire people in my town, my state, other states, and other countries to get off the couch and get moving to better their health and wellness. This is where the 10,000 Steps For Health Challenge comes in. I have read about these types of challenges and it caught my attention to start one.

You may have heard that the Surgeon General’s recommendation is about 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate intensity physical activity, such as brisk walking. If you were asked how many steps you take in a day would you know? Approximately 2,000 steps equals a mile. If you follow the Surgeon General’s recommendation and say you do 2 miles of walking which is approximately 30 minutes depending on your pace you will already have 4000 steps. The challenge is to get the extra 6000 steps throughout the day by doing more movement each day. Below is just a guideline I found to give a rough idea of steps per day and activity level. If you are inactive to begin with, you would gradually work up to 10,000 by setting your goal about 500 – 1000 steps above your baseline every week or two.

Steps Per Day                 Activity Level

<5000                                         sedentary

5000-7499                               low active

7500-9999                               moderate active

10,000-12,500                       active

>12,500                                     highly active

Why take the steps challenge? First of all, walking and moving is free. No gym or special equipment (besides a pedometer) is needed. The step challenge is done all throughout the day. Let’s get back to the good old days when there was no internet, cell phones, email, video games etc…Let’s pretend it is 1975 and get up and move. This is how I will start. I am challenging myself, people at my work, family, friends and anyone who wants to make a difference with themselves or anyone who may want to inspire and encourage others to make a positive change for their health. I will officially begin the challenge Monday November 25, 2013. I will log my daily steps everyday up to January 1, 2014. I will post my progress on this blog, instagram, twitter, and facebook in hopes to get the movement out and inspire someone else.

1. Get the pedometer. Follow the instructions on how to measure my stride and how to wear my pedometer.

2. I will wear the pedometer this Thursday and Friday to count my steps for a normal day for me. I will take the average number of steps to use as my baseline. I will then set my daily goal.

3. I will wear my pedometer all day every day for the challenge. I will log my steps at the end of the day into my calendar.

4. I will set up the challenge at work so we can post our weekly steps, keep each other motivated, and engage in some healthy competition.

I have always preached that people who track their workouts, activity, progress in some form on a daily basis have more success at reaching their goals. Tracking your progress keeps you motivated and more accountable.  The pedometer is a simple and highly effective tool to keep on your “toes” 😀 This is a great way to improve your health, fitness, and possibly lose a few pounds if that is your goal.

Ways To Get More Steps In A Day

1. Walk the dog

2. Park far from the entrance to your grocery, gym, work etc..

3. Walk around while you talk on the phone

4. Do more household chores per day (winner!)

5. Yard work like raking, sweeping, etc..

6. Walking meetings at work

7. Email less, cell phone less, text less. Walk down the hall and tell your co-worker the message. Remember, 1975!

8. Move during commercials while watching your favorite show

9. Use the stairs all the time

10. Workout at home or gym

11. Jog or march in place

12. Walk every aisle at the grocery store before you begin to shop

13. Short walk after meals (great timing since Turkey Day and holidays are approaching) Winning!

14. Grab friends for a walk to catch up then go have tea time 🙂

Keep in mind if you are not active, build up to 10,000 steps per day. Start at your baseline and add 500 to 1000 steps per week until you reach your goal. If you are already highly active, set a new goal and go for it. I am so excited about this challenge. I really think being proactive about our own health is our own responsibility. Take action with me!

Let’s Move The World!

Consult your own physician before beginning any new exercise or workout program.

Pilates For Runners, The Standing Leg Lift/Leg Circles

November is a month full of running and racing, so for all of you runners who have been following my Pilates for runners series, this is one of my favorites. The Standing Leg Lift/Leg Circle. This exercise works the leg, the important stabilizers, the core and increases hip mobility.

I stand in Pilates stance engaging my hamstrings, abdominals, and inner thighs. I keep my arms up and parallel to the floor with my shoulders back and down. I then lift my left leg out to the side keeping my knee facing forward without locking it out. I am inhaling and exhaling as I lift and lower my leg about 8-10 times. I then hold my leg up and balance as I work into leg circles, first clockwise about 8-10 times, then counter-clockwise about 8-10 times. I release back to center in Pilates stance and then repeat on the other side.

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The six principles of Pilates can definitely apply to running. They are concentration, centering, control, breathing, precision and flow. Runners need all of these to run efficiently and with less risk for injury. So, I have always said that cross training is very beneficial for many sports. I know Pilates is an excellent choice for runners to incorporate into their training to strengthen their “powerhouse” and to reduce the risk of injury so they can run faster and with more control.

Piper loves being on camera any chance she gets. Sorry for the butt angle though. Have you tried the standing leg lift before?

Always check with your own doctor before beginning any new exercise or exercise program.

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