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Fitness 101

Fitness 101:

 

Exercising is a great way to relieve stress, improve your health, and gain self-confidence. There are many reasons why people might not want to exercise like: “I don’t have time”, “I am too out of shape”, “I don’t know what to do when I am at the gym”, or even “I don’t want to workout alone”. All these problems can be solved with a little effort and motivation. Working out does not have to take place anywhere specific either. You can workout in your neighborhood, your living room, a local gym or park. The hardest part is getting started, once you have a routine it is easier to keep it up and make time for yourself and your health. Here are a couple ways to get yourself started:

 

A little goes a long way. There is no need to start off your exercise journey spending hours in the gym every single day. Add a 15-20 minute walk or run into your routine a couple times a week then go from there. Starting small will better ensure that you don’t get burnt out and you stick to your exercise goals.

Stop making excuses. If you don’t like running or lifting weights, find something that you do enjoy. There are many options like yoga, dancing, or hiking. If you don’t believe you have the time, make the time. This is your life and your health, so make it a priority for yourself to set aside even 5 minutes of exercise.

Be kind to yourself. If it has been awhile since you’ve had any physical activity there is no better time to start than right now! Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t look like a body builder after a week of hitting the gym. Your exercise journey is about YOU and YOUR health. Focus on making yourself better and reward yourself for sticking to your exercise goals.

 

When you do decide to get back in the gym, get a good warm up and cool down with walking and some light stretching. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your workout. It is time to put your health at the top of the list! Happy exercising 😊

 

KM

Fitness & Mental Health for Mom

As moms we have many different hats that we wear. We play the role of chefs, nurses, cleaners, counselors and SO much more. Whether we stay at home or work outside of the home, we are all working moms. It’s a job that we have 24/7 and by far the most amazing job there is. Being a mother combined with everything else that we do can be stressful. As a mother of three small children, that also works, I can say this from experience… It can be challenging at times to consistently make time for myself and be mindful of how I can effectively manage stress in a positive and beneficial way.

Something I strive to do is focus on both mental and physical health. Exercising is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. When we exercise endorphins are released. Endorphins are hormones that the body releases in response to stress such as physical pain or intense exercise. After these chemicals are released, they cause feelings of well being and euphoria. Finishing a workout gives a sense of accomplishment and boosts energy.

When paired with eating a balanced diet, there aren’t many activities that make you feel that good. The recommended amount of exercise each week is either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. Exercise can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Here are some tips to make this a regular practice for yourself.

 

  1. Do something you enjoy: This looks different for everyone. If you find it challenging to figure out how to incorporate it into your schedule, think outside the box.
  2. Workout ideas for your moms:
    1. Take your kids out on a walk or jog around the neighborhood while pushing the stroller.
    2. For those of you that have kids that are a little older, make it a fun family challenge and workout together at home. Physical activity doesn’t require you to go to the gym or a fitness class, you can do workouts at home too.
    3. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, try to exercise early before the kids wake up or during nap times.
    4. If you don’t work from home, take advantage of lunch breaks or any time that you have before or after work.
    5. Your workouts can be spread out in multiple mini sessions throughout the day instead of one longer session. It’s perfectly fine and still counts if you do two 15 minute sessions a day or three 10 minute ones. It all adds up and will make a difference.

 

SAMPLE AT HOME WORKOUT: INTERVAL TRAINING:  A workout I like to do at home, when I can’t make it to the studio to train, is interval based training. This is accomplished by establishing a set amount of time to perform the exercise(s) followed by a set period of time to rest and repeating the sequence. I like to choose at least 1-2 upper and lower body exercises, 1-2 core exercises and at least one cardio intensive exercise and end it with some stretching. This method helps keeps my intensity higher and lets me accomplish more in less time.  For example, do 4 rounds of squats, push-ups, lunges, bicep curls, jumping jacks, and a plank hold. The work : rest ratio for this would be 30 seconds on : 60 seconds off. 

 

Whether it be Zumba, Yoga, weight training or a great walk with the kids, just keep moving. In order for us to continue all that we do and have peace of mind, we HAVE to take care of ourselves and make it a priority. Your kids will be so motivated and inspired by this.  So the next time you feel anxious and stressed, remember that you are only one workout away from a good mood!

UC

Winter Blues

 

It’s easy to be a little more relaxed with your diet and exercise habits during the winter. Even I have noticed lately that I have been lazier because it’s dark when I get home from work or I just don’t want to get all bundled up to venture out into the cold. It seems to be easier to maintain the healthy lifestyle during the summer months with all the fun recipes for fruits and vegetables that are in season, and the outside activities that keep us moving all day long. To keep you on track and ready for Spring, here are some tips on how to stay motivated through this Winter season.

  • Accept that it is COLD and gear up! Go pick up a couple pieces of extra warm clothing (hats, socks, gloves, coats) to make it easier to head outside for a trip to the gym or grocery store.
  • Wear bright colors. (If you’re into that) Wearing a bright coat or hat could help you feel happier and more upbeat. I tend to wear a lot of black and grey during the winter but mixing in a bright green or purple would be great for creating a fun and colorful mood for the day.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. The people around you influence your mood and behavior, especially during the dark winter months.
  • Cook something new. Try out a new recipe with a food you have never tried before, trying new things can be fun and rewarding. The whole point is to make a wholesome meal for yourself and rekindle the flame for making yummy home cooked meals. Some “winter mood” foods include: sweet potatoes, eggplant, and squash.

Here is a Winter Squash Soup recipe!

Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 45 minutes / Servings: 4 / Calories: 346 kcal

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
2.5 pounds winter squash peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon honey
5 cups chicken stock
Salt and Pepper to taste
Parsley (Fresh) chopped to serve (optional)

 

Directions:

-Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and celery, and gently cook until really soft – about 15 mins.

-Add the squash and cook, stirring for 5 mins.

-Add the honey and chicken stock, bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender.

-Remove from heat and using a hand blender, blitz until smooth (adding a bit more stock or water if the soup is too thick).

-Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reheat before serving, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

 

Recipe Notes

For the winter squash – you can buy whole squash and prepare them yourself or buy bags of ready to use.

 

Sourced used for tips and recipe:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/ways-fight-off-winter-blues/

https://www.errenskitchen.com/winter-squash-soup/

 

 

KM