Full body circuit workout and a breakfast recipe

Full body circuit workout and a breakfast recipe

As I have mentioned before, I am a part time fitness instructor. I decided to change up my class a bit and do some full body circuits. So far the class loves it. So I thought I would share a sample class with you. I try to mix things up a bit. I’m one of those crazy people who, in my down time, scour the internet for new ideas for exercises. In the shower I’ll think “oh, why not add a twist jump cartwheel to a lunge. Ok, maybe not that crazy, but you get the picture.

So the way my class is set up is I have four stations with four focused exercises (one cardio). The students do each exercise for 45 seconds before moving on to the next. They complete all four stations, take a water break and then do it once more. You can always add or subtract time based on time and fitness level. 45 seconds work for my class. There are always modifications, especially on the cardio portion. Jumps could be more steps or pulses. For newbies or those who might be recovering from an injury, I have them march in place with big swinging arms.   If it is stated to do same side, just do the other side the second time through. If you are doing this in class, I suggest telling everyone to start with the right or left side (assign a side). Students always forget which side the did the first time around.

Detailed workout description: 

 
Legs:

  1. Side lunge into Curtsy (weights optional) same leg
  2. Glute bridge ball roll out (feet on ball, hips up, roll feet in and out) to make this more difficult, keeps arms raised, to make easier, place them by your sides.
  3. Low squat pulse
  4. CARDIO: Squat > lunge jumps (squat, jump, left leg lunge, jump, squat, jump, right leg lunge)

Upper

  1. Fly into overhead back extension
  2. Shoulder press into bicep curl
  3. Bent over row, heavy weight, same side
  4. CARDIO: Burepee’s (with or without push-up)

Abs

  1. Star twist: lay on back arms and legs out like a star, lift leg straight and bring hand to opposite foot
  2. hip drops (forearm plank and drop hips side to side)
  3. scissor kicks
  4. CARDIO: Plank Jacks

Combo

  1. Split squat (foot on step or bench) with a bicep curl into single leg dead lift (same leg)
  2. Plank with lateral raise (weighted same side or both, personal preference) modification is knee plank
  3. Seal Walk (feet on towel and walk with your arms while dragging feet behind)
  4. CARDIO: High Knees

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. You can always Google a move to get great examples. 

Ok, now the recipe. Eggs are a great way to start the day, however I’m not always a big fan. So I threw together a recipe that can be made 2 ways, depending on my time and patience level. I make the pancake form if I have more time. The pancake is a bit more delicate since it is made without flour. It needs to be cooked on a lower temperature for longer time, and can fall apart when flipped. To speed things up, I’ll just make it in scramble form. I added measurements for those of you who need exact, but this is really a personal preference thing. I add a handful of nuts and coconut, a drizzle of extract, and so on. Make it however you like! 

 Flour Free Pancake/Scramble

 Mashed Banana

1 egg

1/8-1/4 cup nuts (I like pecans or walnuts)

1/8 cup shredded coconut (optional)

1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract (I like almond)

honey if desired

preheat skillet (Med low for pancakes, Med for scramble). once warm add coconut oil or butter to melt. While pan is heating mix all ingredients. Pour into pan. If making the pancake, tenderly flip once the bottom is browned. If making the scramble, just mix a bit after it sets up a bit, turning and mixing to crisp it up a bit. Enjoy!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Easy ways to fit in fitness

Easy ways to fit in fitness

You’re busy, I get it. I totally feel you. After work (even if you are a stay at home parent), school, kids, friends, errands, what have you, the last thing you have time or energy for is to workout. Not just that, but if you are like most parents, there is a large amount of guilt that goes with taking time away from your kids to workout. So here’s a little list I threw together to maybe spark some ideas and help you out!

  • take the stairs not the elevator or escalator.
  • do squats, lunges, toe raises, standing crunches, while you cook and or do dishes.
  • fit in fitness during kids bath time. Put the kids in the tub and do what you can right there in the bathroom or hallway. You can even work in some cardio (jump squats, jump lunges, just Google HIIT for ideas).
  • Just like above, fit it in at work. Take a few minutes several times a day to bust out some moves.
  • Walk for your lunch.
  • scale the stairs- have a stairwell at work? Throw on some earbuds and walk, run, lunge, side step up and down those bad boys.
  • Take the kids to the playground and get creative with the equipment. You can do tons of TRX type stuff with the swings. Pull-ups on a bar. Run around the playset.
  • Get up early and workout. My kids are up before the sun, so I was never a fan of this, but maybe this plan works better for you.
  • create a plan that you can do at home after the kids go to sleep.
  • Park WAY out in the parking lot when you go shopping.
  • Make it a family affair. Involve the kids. Make an obstacle course in your backyard. Go for a walk or bike ride.
  • Throw the kids in the stroller and walk with a friend, or alone, whatever.
  • Make it a playdate. Grab some friends and get creative in the backyard. I have a friend that comes over in the summer. We give the kids a bunch of outside stuff to do and we make stations to rotate. We use the wagon (with sides removed) for step ups, sprint the yard, push-ups, get creative with it.
  • Get over the guilt. Taking a little time for you a few times a week is important. We need to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. Plus it’s a great example for our loved ones!

You can do this, Just remember taking the time to get fit and active will also give you more energy to do the things you want to do. Give yourself permission to focus on you a bit.

What do you do to get moving and fit fitness in?

Thanks for reading!

Marathoning and a lower body strength combo

Marathoning and a lower body strength combo

Marathon training is in full swing. I am creeping closer to my 3rd marathon on April 26th. I have high hopes. This is my first training cycle that I am really aiming for some high goals. My hope is to qualify for Boston this year. This training season so far has been tough though. Being a northerner has made running outside pretty tough. So if I can’t qualify at this race, I’ll try again in the fall when training is a bit “easier”.

     This training has consisted of the traditional long runs (once a week), speed work, and some tempo runs. I am making sure I still get in my strength training, which is crazy important to help prevent injury. This season I am including three 20 mile long runs. One down, and 2 to go (the second of which is this weekend). I’ve been really lucky to have some pretty awesome running buddies to train with. Makes these long runs so much better, especially since many (including the the first 20 miler) have been done inside my local Y.

During my off season, I usually do more weighted leg exercises. However, since I want to keep my legs strong, I have been doing mostly body weight lower body exercises. When I work out this way, I try and include some HIIT (high intensity interval training).  I’ll share with you one of my favorite lower body combo’s that hurts so good! If you aren’t sure what something is, just Google it or comment and I’ll help you out! I also made avideo for runners if you wold like more ideas. If you watch, please ignore my kids sneaking in the background, just keeping it real.

The following, unless specified, is done for 30-60 seconds. Do this combo 3 times Can use free weights to kick it up!

Squat Combo: 15 reps, holding the 15th and pulsing 10

Narrow Squat

Squat (feet just past hip width)

Sumo Squat (feet wide)

Squat Jump (HIIT)

Side lunge into Curtsy Lunge- right leg

Side lunge into Curtsy Lunge- left leg

Lunge Jump (HIIT)

Reverse Lunge then bring knee up- right leg

Reverse lunge knee up- left leg

Rolling toe to heel (start on tip toes roll to heels bringing toes up)

Wall Taps (HIIT)

Try it out and let me know what you think! It is a tough one so start where you are and progressively add time!

Pistal Squat

The loss of my first baby

The loss of my first baby

October is dedicated to those who have miscarried. This is a topic that I had never considered writing about before. Miscarriage is a very personal and heartbreaking experience. There seems to be a value of how much a person is allowed to or expected to hurt based on the amount of time the baby was carried. It’s a private hurt that is hard for others that haven’t experienced it to understand. I’ll share my story of loss in hopes that it reaches another and maybe helps just a bit.

Twenty years ago I was a young expectant mother, 19 when I got pregnant. I was married to the father and we were excited for our first ultrasound. The ultrasound took a long time. We didn’t know it was taking more time than usual because we had nothing to base it on. We were shown our beautiful baby’s hands and her profile. I felt such an utter sense of joy. We were then asked to wait in the waiting room to speak with the doctor. Again, we had no idea that this was not a usual occurrence. We waited for a very long time. Finally we were called back and the doctor had earth shattering news. Our baby girl had a condition called hydrops. She had fluid filling around her organs and had a sac of fluid around her head. The prognosis was not good but he wanted us to get an amniocentesis done to determine the cause. At that moment I heard ringing in my ears and he sounded a bit like the teacher in Snoopy. Then it clicked and I began clinging on to every word he said. I needed to know, needed to understand what was wrong with my baby and what I could do to save her. Was it my fault? Did I so something to her? I wouldn’t even eat chocolate for fear of the caffeine.

Some time later (it was so long ago I am not sure on the time) we went for our test. I was terrified. I hate needles and having a very large needle stuck into my belly was the last thing I wanted to do. I honestly don’t remember much of that, just that we discovered she had Turner’s Syndrome. She only had one chromosome and the type she had meant she only had a .1% chance of making it to birth. My ex husband cried, I remember that. I went numb. I asked questions. What could I do? How did this happen? No, I would not get a DNC, I needed to try to save her. That night I went to see my parents, to tell them. I remember my mom walking out of the kitchen. I had not cried, not for a second. I had to be strong. Then I screamed. I let out the worst sound that had ever escaped my lips. That’s all I could do, scream and sob and be held by my mother. Mom, if you are reading this, I know you are crying with me right now. I love you and that moment will always be a memory of how amazing you are. I don’t know how long that went on, but I pulled it together and got every book I could find on Turner’s Syndrome. At that time there was no internet. We relied on books. I gathered as much information as I could about what was doing this to my baby.

We continued to have prenatal visits and I began to hope. I made my daughters bassinet up at the end of our bed as a sort of hope. The months went by and I became annoyed that the doctors were not telling me what we were going to do if she made it. I was almost 6 months at this point, I was feeling her move. I finally got frustrated and got an appointment at a high risk office. At our first visit the doctor listened for her heartbeat. It wasn’t there. My stomach lurched. He took me to the next room and got me prepped for an ultrasound. His words will be with me forever, To say he had no bedside manner would be an understatement. “Yeah, she’s dead”. I was a 19 year old child who’s world had just been shattered and that’s it? “Yeah she’s dead”!!! Then I was told they would have to induce labor because I wasn’t going into it naturally. Having a dead fetus inside was very hazardous for me. He asked if I wanted to go home and come back tomorrow to start the process. I just wanted her out. I don’t know how else to put it. I needed to do this and do it now.

They wheeled me into a private room and started the process of inducing my labor. I was able to have morphine for the pain, but I had no idea about what to expect. I hadn’t researched labor or knew anything about the stages of labor. I was in and out of it. I remember people, family, coming in and out of the room for my ex husband and I. They played cards, talked in the hall, hugged me, cried. I just sort of laid there, in pain and numb to it all. Finally I remember calling to the nurse that I had to go to the bathroom. She assured me that I didn’t, it was time to push. I am not sure how long I pushed, I don’t think it was long. I was still numb. I was out of it, and my husband told the nurse no, I didn’t need to see the baby. She put her in a sort or connected room in case I changed my mind. I slept. I never did see her, a drugged decision I regret to this day. The wonderful nurses took a picture for me and included it in a care package. I think we left the next day. You forget stuff like that, little details. A nurse hugged me, she said she was so sorry and had a tears in her eyes. They took me down the back so I wouldn’t have to go past the nursery. I am thankful for that.

The following weeks I was numb, sad, angry. I watched a lot of old movies. My ex husband dealt with it by working all the time. I was alone a lot. I remember my mom came over once and started making me dinner. she and my dad had plans with friends. I could hear her in the next room telling my dad over the phone that no she couldn’t come and “yeah, not good”. My dad showed up and they told me to get dressed and they took me out to dinner.

I hated seeing people for the first time after that. They meant well, all had “good advice” to ease my pain. I was young, I could have more. This was Gods way of telling me something. She was in heaven now. She’s an angel. I felt like I was spending my energy making others feel comfortable around me. Well guess what, fuck you,, I wanted my baby. That baby! I actually appreciated the men. They don’t know what to say, so they say nothing. I am thankful for that. Women seemed to have to say something. I know they meant well, but I was just so angry.

I needed to get pregnant as soon as I could after that, and we did. I have since had 4 amazing children with no problems. I have been anxious for every pregnancy though and was adamant that I have my last before I was 35 when risk factors went up.I would like to say that my pain, carrying her until 6 months made it more of a loss for me than someone who carried to 6 weeks. There is no way to measure the sense of loss we have. While time does heal, I can talk about it without crying (except for this post, this was tearful). Losing her left an impression that formed part of who I am. I don’t think my ex husband and I ever recovered from that, relationship wise. While I was finally feeling the loss and grieving, he had already mourned while I was pregnant. To deal with it, he worked and was gone a lot, leaving me alone. I felt abandoned and alone in my grief.

So that is my story, my 20 year old story. I don’t need “I’m sorry’s” at this point. I only hope that this touches someone. To let you know that you are not alone in this pain.