The Twelve Days of Fitness (Fitting in Fitness in December)

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Fitting in Fitness in December. It’s kinda like bowling- upside down and backwards…but worth it in the end. You may not get all the pins down BUT you’re likely to hit a few just for the trying.

Well, here comes Santa Clause, Here comes Santa Clause, right down Santa Clause Lane… ’tis the season to be jolly and all but hold on to your chestnuts- I’m no Scrooge, and I do want you to have a wonderful holiday season, however for those of you who may be dreaming of a White Christmas, I want to remind you that during this season of merry and bright, we want to fight the good fight! The good fight of faith AND fitness. I want to propose a little challenge for you during December. It’s simple, not too hard and still leaves you plenty of time to rock around the Christmas Tree!

I propose to you the 12 Days of Fitness as a way to be sure and take some time for health and fitness (while making merry).

Here’s why?

1. The holidays can take us way off track with our eating and exercise habits so a plan in place is a reasonable solution.

2. Planning to fit in fitness will help counteract the extra calories you might per chance happen upon: those Christmas Cookies!

3. Gaining a head start on your New Years Resolution- it will be MUCH easier to fit fitness in in January if you have a head start now.

4. Incremental steps in lifestyle change usually are easier to adopt and maintain.

5. Fitting in fitness is possible in every season- keep it simple, adaptable, and realistic.

So is all you need to do is find ways to fit activity that moves you into your day, at least 12 times in December. It has to work for you. Treadmill, dog walk, jump rope, hop scotch…yoga, spin class, a jog around the neighborhood. Bowling, boot camp, ice skating, hiking, Pilates. In the gym, in your living room or basement. In your office, bedroom or backyard. Your body is made to move. This month it may be harder to squeeze in, but you can do it. Turn on the music and move…whatever works!
Aim for 12 times. 
Twelve opportunities for loving your body with movement. Nourishing your health with bending, flexing and stretching. Strengthening your body and sending your mind and heart the positive message that YOU matter, and your body deserves a bit of attention. 
Think of it as you would caring for that car you own. Check out the  maintenance manual for your car and you will be amazed at the detailed schedule. Your car requires specific maintenance and care and if you do not do what is required it always costs, down the road. Let’s not neglect our bodies, nor do we want to prioritize the caring of them to excess. But a balanced, healthy, consistent “maintenance plan”, seems reasonable, as much for bodies as cars!

So how will you fit fitness in this month?

If you want to read some really great posts on fitness, or get some ideas for fitting in fitness check out this link: 31 Days of Fitting in Fitness!

Linking with Timewarp Wife

Take Ten for Better Health Today!

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Do you have ten minutes today for better health?

Just. Ten. Minutes.
Is all it takes for you to feel healthier TODAY
is ten minutes.
Are you worth ten minutes? 

In ten minutes you could complete a mini circuit of five exercises twice.
In ten minutes you could stretch your hips, thighs, lower back, shoulders,neck, lower legs and chest. Basically your whole body!
In ten minutes you could take a brisk walk outside in your neighborhood.
In ten minutes you could go through Joseph Pilates’ first 10 exercises for the mat.
In ten minutes you could practice Deep Breathing exercises that will help you relieve stress and
feel refreshed and relaxed.You can even do this seated at your desk.
In ten minutes you could do a few rounds of Sun Salutations or of  “stretches” sequenced in a flow that is fun and feels good to you!
In ten minutes you could could do this great At Home Equipment Free Workout (my favorite kind) from ACE. OK, you might have to break this into a few ten minute segments, but you could work up to this wonderful routine!

It will take you just TEN minutes 
to make a difference in your health today.
Are you ready?
Well, what are you waiting for?

Let’s take Ten!




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A Few of My Favorite Fitness Things (No Leg Warmers Please)

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Well today, I am sharing my favorite and most loved Fitness gadgets. I will say you need none of them. I actually own all of these- but I was not compensated in any way to share these with you. These are honest to goodness, most used and highly favored by yours truly. Exercise equipment unused is not an option. Who needs clutter in their home or who wants to waste money? No-one! The only thing you need to exercise is your body, really, and my MOST USED APPARATUS is actually my mat-ironic, right? We actually have four in the house. I own other exercise stuff BUT I wanted to share with you my honest to goodness most favorite, most used, Best Loved and also Most Shared. These are my favorite time tested, consistently valued exercise things. 
If I had to recommend one fitness gadget that is worth MORE than it’s weight in gold, and will potentially improve your fitness level, measurably (not miserably!), I would choose the Polar Heart Monitor. I like the basic models because I am simple like that. But if you are one of those freaks  one who enjoys a more detailed read on the intensity of your workout, these great gadgets do just about everything! Although I am not a rep for them I recommend their product exclusively, because it is the best- In my (not so humble) opinion. 
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I like Big Balls and I cannot lie…
I’ve been told more than once I have a LOT of Balls. I have to agree. I love all size Fitness Balls. 
Big ones, Medium sized, small, Medicine Balls, and mini ones as well. It’s truly the way that I roll. Sometimes. They are versatile and fun. I also love the Bosu (or 1/2 Ball).
Dumbbells. They are not dumb, nor are they for dumb people. However if you drop one on your head, it will hurt AND may cause stupidity- if repeated often. I still love them. Occasionally I use them. I also do like the Bodybar which is basically a cushioned, weighted bar. All Dumbbells, Bars and Weights when used properly, are fantastic tools of the trade. Ask Arnold. 
My favorite Fitness Book ever is The Pilates Body by Brooke Siler. I have read way too many books on weight training, yoga, fitness, etc. This book is worn out, completely. There are many decent fitness books out there, but this book is worn to shreds falling apart useful. By far the best investment I have made. I have used it with teaching and structuring classes and I use it to death at home. 
I have an older model GymBoss Timer. I like it, but confess I have not been using it lately- however for interval training it is great.You can set up your work to rest ratios and the number of sets to perform. It can work as your own tiny trainer. 
A basic exercise mat is what I use most. I have a couple in various thicknesses.
They come in handy and can double as a “prayer mat”. 😉
This Ultimate Body Press Doorway Pull-up Bar can be used for a variety of exercise and also has straps.My hubby currently uses it more than me, but that may change soon. Maybe. It is also great on the floor for neutral wrists during push-ups, dips, versatile and does not damage doorway! Reasonably priced.

Exercise Tubing is lightweight, portable, affordable and painfully effective FUN! 
Great- especially for upper body exercises, but I also utilize them for the lower body. 
I have a few fave exercises for hip and butt that are a BLAST. Literally.

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The one other standard for me (and my bad feet) is good sneakers. New Balance  and Saucony have worked best for me. I am a wide, flat footed chick. There you have it. I have worn them all in my time, Nike, Adidas, Reebok. I try to grab sneakers when they are on sale.  I usually buy the Women’s Running model. Currently I am doing the Couch to 5K in Saucony Women’s Running Shoes. I have a pair of New Balance back ups. As for you, just take the time to pick a decent and comfortable shoe that works for what you do. Bad shoes can kill a good workout routine, or workout. 

Have you ever bought a Fitness Gadget you didn’t use?
Do you have a gadget you are curious to try? 
What are your favorite, most used fitness gadgets? 




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5 Ways to to Fail at Fitness

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I know you are thinking to yourself, what a post title. I don’t want to fail, I want to succeed at fitting fitness into my life. Well, then listen up. I have been around travelling the “fitness circuit” for over thirty years. You could say I have been on the exercise treadmill, a very long time. I have worked with athletes, moms, business owners, bodybuilders, seniors, children, pregnant women, peri and post menopausal women, men in tights, men in offices, men in too small bikinis and moms in the same. I have learned a thing or two about fitting fitness into daily routines. But let me tell you how I have seen people mess up their own attempts.

1. Not following a specific plan of action. Here is the deal, you scout around the magazines and find every single exercise that seems good for what you want to do. You watch the fitness channel. You collect all of the best info on the net. Yet, you do nothing. Have you heard the saying, “A little knowledge is dangerous.” ?  Well too much information unused is not only ineffective, it’s overwhelming. I could have put a hundred different exercises into this 31 day challenge. You know why I didn’t? Because if you can’t stick to the plan that is simply laid out before you now, all of those other exercises, ideas and good intentions won’t help you. We can all be fitness experts in our minds. But it’s more important we take our little mustard seed knowledge and apply it to our real lives, right?

2. Information Overload – The Endless Search for the Magic Bullet – When I trained clients in the gym, we as trainers would talk about how clients would continue to seek alternate information as well as seek information from other trainers. We never broke client confidentiality but just would acknowledge this as a detriment to the success of the client. The clients that were successful were the ones who steadily stuck to the PLAN laid out by their trainer (with adjustments on the journey) as opposed to those who kept seeking. It’s not wrong to have questions, and be educated. But, without a proper foundation physically, more complex exercises and combinations of movements will lead to injury or frustration. Without a good understanding of the psychological obstacles as well as the basic principles for program design and success, we see failure.

4. Quitting to Soon/Excuses are not Forever – Rome wasn’t built in a day. You are not a fitness failure. EVER. Not as long as you have breath in your lungs. You start, stop, stall, quit. The difference between success and failure is your ability to just try again. But, keep in mind, it has to be a realistic goal to fit fitness into your own daily life. That means if you are sedentary you don’t start with a Marathon. Let’s keep it real, peeps. I think there is way too much information that is saying, you have to train like a Rock Star for it to count. That is a discouraging LIE. Don’t buy it.

5. The Comparison Trap– You compare yourself to yourself when you were 20 years younger; you compare yourself to J-Lo; You compare yourself to your friend who lost 40 pounds and is on the road to better health without you; you compare yourself to the Exercise Instructor at the gym; You compare yourself to anyone you think is where you wish you could be. STOP. The comparison trap is a trap that keeps YOU stuck, mentally and physically. Set yourself free. Don’t play that game. Walk away from the magazines, TV, Pinterest, Instagram or whatever it is that causes you to stumble.

 Proper Perspective – Listen up, the best way to succeed at fitting fitness in is not to complicate the matter! Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill. Or don’t start at the top because where can you go but down? Friends, the best way to NOT fail at Fitness is to stick to a simple plan to start and build from there. Stop seeking MORE and act on what you know and CAN do now. Stop making excuses and Get Started. Stop comparing yourself to others and start seeing the YOU who needs to be accepted today; seek support and thank God for the level of health you do have right now.

I also want to let you know that I will be implementing more following our current challenge. This month my time is limited but I am planning to take my Fitness Challenge Graduates to new levels of Health and Wellness. Will you stick with it? Will you start if you have not started yet? Will you jump in today to the Fitness Challenge and prepare to: record your journey, share your success or setbacks, even today?



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The Good Sport – When I Tackle My Hubby for Fitness

This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Genesis 2:24 

I’ve known my hubby a long time. We met hundreds of years ago, before the internet. We were friends for a long time before we became a couple, and got married. We knew about the different fads and phases each of us had gone through, such as his knife selling phase and my gym phase…oh wait, the gym phase never really did end. That being said today I am taking a look with love  humor, at the many torturous ways my hubby has put up with my experimental or learning “phases” with fitness.

I think my hubby is very strong. Although he is thin (sickening, right? He can eat anything, it’s absurd), he has super strong hands, I actually like to refer to them as “skull crushing”, but fortunately, as far as I know, he has not crushed any skulls yet. Yikes. Anyhoo…and he is strong enough to deal with me- that takes a different level of strength, I believe!

My hubby has never been too much of a gym person, and I like that about him. We were friends before I was a Personal Trainer (although I was his boss when I first met him. Snort.) and he has been there throughout all of the journey. Shortly after I began working at one of the local gyms, I decided my then friend (actually all my then friends) needed to convert to weight training for better health. I was fairly young in my Coaching and also very zealous in my own training, which basically is to say, I was one of those horrible Gym Rat People. I had yet to balance my approach with regard to seperating my fitness goals from the goals of others! I did learn, believe me…but venture with me here, back to the days when I terrified the meek. I really thought everyone was a bodybuilder to be and I just needed to clue them in to the way. Hmmm…God has a sense of humor though, for sure.

My brave hubby, came to the gym and I showed him some exercises. Needless to say, he has never come back to the gym. I know, I know…terrible, but give me a break, I was all of twenty-esh and oh so in the know. Not. He has since forgiven me for that, but he does not like me to train with him, generally, because I am “too picky”.

The next big session we had came many years later. Obviously I could not get him to step foot in the gym again, but he still came to my house. So back in 2000, the staff at the gym I worked at had undergone a Mat Pilates training program. We all had to train, practice, prepare class, demonstrate and explain over the course of the training. I called my then friend, Hon, (Not his real name at that time) and asked if he could stop by so I could “practice” Pilates on him. OK, so I can’t remember if I mentioned that before he came. I might have said, I have something yummy, come on over. It’s all unclear. Either way, since he had no idea what Pilates was at the time, I was safe. He proabably heard: “Come on over I have some delicious Pilates for you, you are gonna love it.” He loves good desserts and food. And Pilates might sound like something edible- ten years ago.

I started with the ‘hundred’. I encouraged him to keep going while I “tweaked” him. I tend to be a bit. Pro-Active and Detailed in my instruction. My hubby describes it more like Bossy and Pushy. Tomato- Tomahto- who’s to say.

There was no permanent damage.

Shortly after that endeavor, I had an idea for a Cardio Ball class. The staff had been trained with the Exer-Balls and I thought a 1 hour class with a cardio portion would be fun. So who do I call?

“How about salads at my place tonight?”

Unsuspecting reply, “Sure.”

Later that evening in my living room, “Those are some big balls you got there.”

“Oh those, yes, here let me show you my new idea and you can practice to see if it seems good.”

I share this all in good humor, my hubby is honestly the best. We have journeyed through many adventures together. And we are currently continuing on the journey as man and wife. God does, have a sense of humor after all…and isn’t ironic that the bossy chick has to submit to the patient student. Indeed. My hub is a good sport and we have a long history together which includes love, laughter and my personal faves: faith, trust and Pixie dust.

More recently, I shared a Yoga Type-Stretch Class on the beach and guess who was there participating?

My hubby is a good sport and I am thankful for our history and our friendship.
Also for his patience.
🙂



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