What Happens When You Workout with Your Kids

I’ve heard it so many times after baby is the born: I can’t work out because of the kids. There’s no time/ they need my attention/ etc…


But what about working out WITH your kids?


I have noticed such a huge impact in their daily lives when I show them that I put the effort in to better myself.


They see that, yes, this is mommy, she does such and such for me, but she also has her own things going on.


They develop a habit of being active from an early age.


And if I include them in a work out, we get to spend time bonding and laughing, and learning things anywhere from how to count to: “These are called quads. They help move your leg like this.”


They learn that work outs don’t have to be a mysterious thing that no one should see you do. (Let’s be honest: how many people feel embarrassed to go to the gym and have people see them working out?)


They begin to understand their bodies and what they need to do to nourish them and stay healthy.


They find a way to handle their emotions and burn off energy.


They become your greatest supporters and trainers. They will ask for the daily workout, push for one more rep, and keep your heart pumping as you chase them around.


And if you ever take a moment to look in their eyes in the middle of all this, no matter what it is, whether it’s a hard core work out or something easier that ends up getting split up throughout the day, you will see their hearts filled with inspiration and admiration for the work that you do. And that’s motivation enough to show up to work out the next day.


Let your kids motivate you to be a better you. Let them see you make the effort to be active and enjoy the process. Kids are more likely to do as you do than do as you say. Plant the seed early on in their lives.


Show up every day in some way and have fun… Your body will thank you and so will your kids!

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How to Improve Flexibility Quickly

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I know I’m guilty of not doing this at times. And when I am, my flexibility takes a hit.
So simple, yet so vital.
 
Drink more water.

Without water, our muscles and supporting connective tissue get dried out. And to protect themselves from injury, range of motion becomes limited.

Imagine a rubber band. Pliable when moist, but let it dry out a little bit and that sucker snaps.

Your body is the same way. Believe me, I know. I’ve hurt myself like this before.

So if you’re looking to improve your flexibility, water is key.

Test it out for yourself. Check to see where you are in terms of flexibility. Then, spend a day or two drinking enough water to replenish your body (depending on how active you are, this can vary. Let’s say a baseline 64 oz for inactive folks.) Now, once well-hydrated, check to see where your flexibility stands. Did you notice a difference?

If you need to drink coffee or some other caffeinated beverage to get through your day, be sure to include an extra glass or two of water to counteract the dehydrating effects of each beverage.

Having a well-hydrated body while stretching or practicing yoga helps flush out the trapped toxins that are being released. And with that improving not only your flexibility, but your immune system, as well.

All the more reason to make the effort to drink more water every day.

Tips for drinking more water:

1. Drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning. Increases metabolism and replenishes lost fluids from sleep.
2. If you have trouble remembering to drink water, set alarms on your phone until the habit is established
3. Add some lemon (or other fruits!) in your water if you can’t handle the taste of plain water. Avoid artificial sweeteners.

 Let me know if this one tip helped!
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5 tips to maximize your workout

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Have you ever found yourself exercising and thinking of what you have to do today or of all the bills, the kids, your job, etc? If so, you may be depriving yourself of the maximal impact your workout can have on not only your body but your mind, as well.

Being present in your workout allows you to become fully aware of your body and drives each movement with purpose. Not only that, it also stimulates your brain cells as you envision the muscle being worked contract and relax with each rep. Focusing inward and on every movement can help decrease stress by turning your workout into a meditation in and of itself.

Reaping the benefits of the mind-body connection happen even BEFORE you step foot in the gym. Visualizing that you are going all out during your work out— imagining yourself performing each set at your best performance— will allow you to go harder, stronger and longer once you get into the gym.

It has also been shown that positive statements and thoughts regarding your abilities and your workout will improve your overall performance. What you think, you become! If you go into your workout with a negative attitude about yourself and your abilities, your body will follow suit.

So instead of just going through your next workout in an automated fashion, bring more awareness to what you are doing and to the ‘here and now’.

Cultivate a mind-body connection to get the most out of every workout by doing the following:

1. Shift your attention

Shift your attention inward and take notice of how your body is doing, how you are feeling. Not only will you get a better workout and understand how your body is moving, you will also reduce the risk of injuries as you keep your mind from becoming distracted by all that is life outside your workout.

2. Mix things up

If you’re having trouble focusing inward, perhaps it’s because you have grown accustomed to the exercise you are doing. Mix things up and start your workout with something new to establish the mind-body connection for the rest of your workout.

3. Have a plan

Knowing what you’re going to do before you get started allows you to remain grounded in the moment instead of having to come up with the next thing to do.

4. Visualize

Spend some time visualizing doing your best on your next set between rests. Imagine your run being smooth and paced. Feel yourself giving it your all during spin class.

5. Speak positively to yourself

Your inner dialogue can make or break you. How you decide to speak to yourself can help you stay motivated and push you towards your goals. Stay positive and begin your workout with an empowering statement.

 

 

Try these tips out during your next workout and let me know how it goes!

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The Dark Side to Clean Eating

What exactly is clean eating?

Does it mean simply cutting out junk food? Or does it also mean cutting out gluten? Perhaps it means going Paleo, or maybe going vegan? What about going on a raw food diet?

I’m pretty sure that if you were to ask several different people what clean eating means, you will get several different answers, including some of the ones I have already mentioned and anywhere in between. There is no single standard to the term as everyone will have their own interpretations of what it means to them.

But as we dig a little further on this term, you will start to see that things are being placed into two categories: clean and not clean. And though that is fine for some people, it can become a psychological disaster for others.

An obsession can begin with clean eating, creating an unhealthy relationship between some people and the food they eat. It no longer becomes something enjoyable. It becomes something they are thinking about all the time, eliminating things out of fear and having enormous guilt when they eat something that is deemed unclean on their list.

Their attempts at clean eating have now turned into anxiety at meal times, leaving some people refusing to eat if it’s not up to their clean standards. Some people may even push away family and friends as the obsession grows.

I’m not saying that clean eating is wrong. Everyone should strive to improve their health through good, nutritious food in the manner that serves them best. But if clean eating has turned into something that creates such a panic-driven lifestyle, it’s time to stop and reconsider what is really happening and to reestablish a healthier relationship food.

Food is fuel. Food provides the nutrients you need to do the things you love.

Meal time shouldn’t be about filled with anxiety. If clean eating is creating a mess of your internal state, perhaps there is something more going on to be addressed that you are using food to mask and control.

Spend some time alone, in meditation and journaling, to begin uncovering what is really going on. Talk to someone you trust about what’s going on.

Because clean eating shouldn’t be a way to control your life. That will only create more issues as you push away or bottle up what’s really going on. Our relationship with food and with ourselves is what will carry us either positively or negatively throughout our lives. Think about it: they are the greatest lifelong relationships in our lives. They are the relationship we need to nurture in a healthy manner if we want to feel like we are thriving rather than merely surviving.

So in the words of Tara Stiles, “Eat like you love yourself.” Whatever clean eating means to you, do it because you love yourself and want to be the best version of yourself that you can be. And if you find yourself starting to head down a path that just doesn’t feel right, I hope that you can find the strength to stop and reevaluate the issue at hand.

xo
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11 Morning Rituals That Will Transform Your Life

Morning rituals are much more important than you may have come to believe.

 

I have come to learn that what I do first thing in the morning will set the tone for the rest of my day, which in turn sets the tone for the rest of my life. Think about it. If I keep doing the same thing over and over again, isn’t that an indicator of the quality of my life?

 

If you think about your mornings, you’ll probably realize that you already have a set ritual, whether you like it or not. Maybe it goes something like: wake up, check emails, check social media, brush your teeth, drink coffee, get lunch ready for the kids, then rush out the door in a hurry.

 

If you’re in a bit of a slump and want to make some powerful changes to your life, committing yourself to positive rituals every morning will do just that and more. You will not only nurture your body and consciously create the life you want, but you will be cultivating the most important relationship in your life—the one with yourself.

 

Here are 11 morning rituals that will transform your life for the better:

 

1. Wake up earlier

It might sound counterintuitive to some people as you may lose some sleep and think you will be less productive, but it will pay off in the long run. Being able to spend time with yourself before the rest of the world demands your time is absolutely essential for a happier life, one in which you feel like you are thriving. Start by waking up just a little bit earlier each day until you have enough time to do some of the following rituals (or an other of your own) without feeling hurried. Nurturing the relationship with yourself will translate to everything else in your life. Don’t skimp on this. Think of it as an investment in yourself.

 

2. Gratitude

Spending some time in a state of gratitude is a very basic, yet powerful way to start your day in a positive way. It can be so easy to fall into a trap of negativity and not being or having “enough.” By practicing gratitude, you focus on all the good things in your life, not matter how small. Spend at least a few minutes thinking, writing or verbalizing all that you are grateful for that morning, the day before, the week, the month. You’ll be surprised how much this practice can lift your mood and possibly even notice things you hadn’t before.

 

3. Meditate

Much can be said about clearing your mind of mental chatter. Just a few minutes of meditation in the morning can do wonders for the rest of your day as you gain clarity and learn to manage stress. There are so many ways to meditate, so keep experimenting until you find a style that works best for you. You don’t have to do anything like completely zen out (but if you do, make sure to set a meditation timer). Simply sitting or laying comfortably in silence while you focus on your breath for a few minutes can be enough to recharge you.

 

4. Drink 2 cups of warm water 

We are already dehydrated upon waking. Our bodies lose about 2 cups of water every night, so replenishing its water supply first thing in the morning is very important. Not only does it hydrate the body, water also energizes the body and elevates mood, boosts immune system, aids in detoxification and in digestion, as well as slows down the signs of aging. Squeeze some lemon to your water for added benefits.

 

5. Revisit your written goal/s

Have your goal written somewhere that you can remember to see it every morning. Take a moment to visualize this goal already happening in your life. For a more powerful effect, write a very compelling, emotional and positive reason “WHY” you want to accomplish this goal and use this reason to drive you towards your goal everyday.

 

6. Focus on how you want to feel

Ask yourself, “How do I want to feel today?” And whatever the answer is, what actions can you take today to feel that way? Because at the end of the day, everything falls back to your emotional state.

 

7. Write the 3 most important tasks to get done today

To do lists can be endless. Prioritize and pick the top three things that absolutely need to get done today. The confidence and motivation you will get from getting 3 major tasks done will carry over to the next day and eventually drive you to strive for even greater tasks. You’ll also notice that you’ll still get all the little things done throughout the day or you’ll realize that they really weren’t as important as you once thought.

 

8. Get motivated

Listen to a TED talk or an uplifting podcast. Spend some time reading a book that will improve your life (or listen to the audio version). Feeding your mind with something positive every single day will improve your overall well-being and how you relate to the world.

 

9. Get active

Do something to get your body moving, whether it’s yoga, a HIIT workout, jumping on a Reformer, a morning jog, or sex. Whatever your preferred workout, just move. It energize your body, elevate your mood, and boost your metabolism. If you are really short on time, at least do some light stretching to get your body ready for the day.

 

10. Eat (a healthy) breakfast

Starting your day by nourishing your body is vital. It’ll kick start your metabolism and give your body and brain the fuel it needs for a productive morning. If you’re short on time, opt to prepare your breakfast the night before by precutting your green smoothie ingredients and setting them in the fridge the night before so all you’ll have to do is pull it out and blend. Overnight oats is another grab-and-go option, as is having a protein shake among so many other healthy options. Whatever you do, don’t skip out on fueling your body!

 

11. Smile at yourself

Look in the mirror with your shoulders back and smile at yourself with a great big smile. Changing your physiology, then smiling and seeing a smile will initiate a positive response in your brain. You have acknowledged you. And with everything that happens everyday, with all the directions we can get pulled by people and things, it can be pretty easy to forget to take that moment to acknowledge and reconnect with the deeper part of yourself.

 

 

 

 

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