Friday, September 28, 2012

Get Real

Hey guys,
We're casted!!! I've got my team for my next fitness DVD.  Originally the plan was to hire out some fitness gurus/ models to preform the workout.  But I was thinking about all the other home fitness DVDs and how it wasn't "real."
The industry norm is: hire fitness models, who already look great, make them follow your exercises, go on a crash diet so they "lose" weight.
If you take a close look most of the time when you see these photos and see these amazing results down at the bottom of your TV screen in tiny letters is says "results not typical." 
Not typical?! Seriously.  Yes I tell you.  I'm not knocking fitness videos, I love them.  I grew up on them.  It's how I trained and stayed in shape until I got into it professionally.  Now I do my own stuff, unless I'm really lazy then I pop in a DVD and let some one else boss me around.  Which is really refreshing.  So they are good and wonderful but I didn't like how they were "staged." 
So I got to thinking.  Dangerous I know, my husband starts praying every time I do.  But, I thought how about training some every day people?  Teach them the routine until they feel comfortable with it.  Film it, and let you guys follow their journey as well.
So I got together some wonderful people who want to be in better shape.
Ready to meet them?
Here is Nicole.  She is older than 30 (she'd kill me if I told you her exact age) she previously hasn't exercised on a regular basis.  She has 3 girls, 6 months ago she had twins.  Nicole would love to get rid of her Mommy Belly.

Say Hi to Rachel.  Rachel is 30, and has two girls.  She goes on hour long walks every day and does the occasional Wii Yoga.  Rachel wants to tone up and slim down.

This week was our first week training.  We only did two 30 minute sessions.  The exact routine that will be on the DVD.  How's that for REAL?  I have no control over their diets.  I only can encourage healthy eating and habits.  So these results should be typical.

So that's my team for our next workout series.  (Yes it's a series, I can't tell you more than that until were filmed)  We will show you real people, in real busy lives, in real time.  What do you think?  Do you like my plan, let me know.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Happy Whole Grains

This weekend I did something kinda crazy.  I bought a guitar. (Happy Birthday to me)   I've wanted one for a while now and on Saturday I went out for my morning jog when right there at the end of the side walk, just waiting for me was my guitar. A girl down the street was selling it at a garage sale because she never learned to play like she had planed. 
I've owned it for 3 days and already my fingers have blisters from playing, so I'm not typing very well today.  I need to build up some calluses.
Also this weekend my kids and I made "paint sandwiches," that's what they call them.   This technique is the perfect way to introduce whole grains to your kids if you have not already done so.  We all know whole grains are good for you, there's no question in that.  The question lies in how to get the family to eat them.
I have for you, the secret:
Get 100% whole wheat bread (not multi-grain), choose one that is soft as opposed to one that looks like it's been made with bricks and sawdust.
Then take small bowls and pour 1/2 TB of milk in each of them.  Also add 3 drops of food coloring to each bowl.  If you have young children hand them a clean paint brush and let them paint their healthy bread with the milk mixture.  Don't let it get sopping wet, but it will be damp and UN-eatable at this point. 

Then you plop it into the toaster where the magic begins.  The toaster firms up the bread and brings out the color.  Now it is ready to eat or be made into a sandwich.  Your child will be so excited about his art work he won't notice the new bread.  He'll gobble it up, go as big as the Green Giant and the world will be at peace! 
We can only hope right? But really kids love doing this, and it is a great disguise for the wheat bread until they get used to it.
If you have school age children (or a husband) you can do this yourself.  You can surprise them in their lunch box with a happy face or an embarrassing message that they don't want their friends to see, so they'll hurry and eat it as fast as they can.

If you have teenagers then I would start out with a blend.  One that says "made with whole wheat," or a 50-50 white to wheat ratio.  Although teens will be less impressed with a smile face.  You might want to try the Mona Lisa ;)

Go for whole grains!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Watch your adjectives!

This week I'm in preschool. I am teaching 3-5 year olds about how to take care of their bodies.  On Tuesday we talked about eating right.  I had each child bring a vegetable and show-n-tell about it.  We then made Vegetable Soup with all the veggies they brought.

It was really chicken noodle soup with peas, potato, onions, and carrots diced up really small and ABC noodles.  Every child ate some!  One boy ate 3 bowls, and the more picky ones only ate 3/4 of his, but still they all ate it. (and really he doesn't count because this kid won't even eat Fruit Loops)

We also all week talked about exercise.  We did an obstacle course and running races.  Afterwards we talked about all the amazing things our bodies can do.  Like climb, talk, run, skip, and compared it to animals who can't do those things.  Such as a fish, who can't climb a tree.  Or a bird, who can sing, but can't ask for food or for a hug.  This lead into taking care of our bodies, because they really and truly are unique and special.  We talked about how much screen time to have, how much junk food is OK, how late to stay up, brushing your teeth and taking baths.
Kids love to learn and they really are able to apply what they learn if we give them the opportunity.  I've taught these kids but it's now up to them and their parents if they implement any changes.  So I really encourage you to do this with your own families AND to make changes or keep encouraging healthy habits.

One of my favorite ones is eating a good breakfast.  Monday-Friday my kids are required to eat a healthy breakfast.  But on the weekends they get to have "Dad cereals."   That's when we pull out the Captin' Crunch, and the Cookie Crips.  That way it's kept as a treat and not a daily standard.  Also their pallet gets used to eating healthy foods.  They never have to make "life style changes," like us adults because they've grown up that way.  If a child never sees or eats Fruit Loops how does he know he is missing out?  He doesn't until he goes to a sleepover.  And by the time he's old enough for one if we've raised them up well the norm will already be established.  So so important to start from the beginning!

This will also help stamp out: ADD, ADHD, Celiacs, and Type 2 Diabetes.  ALL of these diseases are either inflicted by diet or highly influenced by it.

Another thing I like to do with kids is to throw out skinny and fat.  For a few reasons, one is that the goal is to be healthy not "skinny, or size 00.  If we label our goal as skinny, when do we get their?  Would a woman ever feel skinny?  I think sometimes in our minds we would think ya, if I'm size such-n-such I would say i'm skinny.  But really odds are not in our favor, for women that is.  Most women never feel skinny or "enough."  So just toss that out of your vocabulary.

If not permanently at least in-front of the next generation.  To also help reduce self image issues and unrealistic ideals.  Replace it with healthy.  We shall throw out FAT for basically the same reasons.  I've been at church when a child has called a woman fat.  This was not a one time issue.  We had 3 instances of this happening.  From different children to different people.  Imagine yourself as these Women or imagine your child saying these things.  There are better adjectives out there.  Again let's change this.  We can keep big, large, and wide.  But fat?!  Oh, and never let your kids hear you say your fat!!!  You can call yourself unhealthy, but that's the extent of that.

So I challenge you to teach your kids well so they never have to change the habits that you gave them.  Because really it is what we give and allow which then is consistent and thus becomes a habit.  For the past 6 months I give my toddler veggies and he rarely eats them.  But our rules are that no snacks or other meals are given until you've finished your last meal.  This has worked for us.  And today my boy ate his carrots first, even before the holy chicken nugget!  He has learned that he has to eat them and that he likes them.  (I do give them dip, because they need the fat and calories.) He's not even 3 and now we have a willing vegetable eater.  So it can happen it just takes time and patience, and is so worth it!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A few of my favorite things...

I love this time of year!  The cool crisp air, the holidays.  My favorite drink comes out in the fall.  Apple Cider, love love love this stuff.  The real stuff, that is.  We do want to stay away from the sugary powdered drink mix. -No good.  What we want to go for is the fresh jug.  Apple Cider is 100% squished apples, no filters, minimally processed and unpasteurized.  Good for you and the taste buds.
Another favorite of mine that I want to share with you, is my favorite abdominal exercise. 

This is so effective for toning the stomach.  It does more than abs of course, which is great.  But give this a try and see how many you can do.

Squeeze your abs in as you lift your buttox into the air, control back to starting position. Repeat

 I did this at a park, but it can also be done on a stability ball, or just using a pillow on a non-carpeted surface.
When doing this exercise in a swing it's more challenging with the swing at the ankles and easier positioned higher on the shins.

Give my favorite things a try and have a happy and healthy day!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Got Sweat?

How high can we get our Sweat-O-Meter today?
Let's push it.  Give this a try:
This is all to be done with SPEED!  Do as many as you can in for one minute then move on to the next exercise.

1. Squats with hands behind your head.
2. Burpees
3. Mt. Climbers
4. High Knee Skips

5. Ladder Sprints- divide your space into four.  Run a fourth of the way and back, then 1/2 of the way and back, 3/4 and back, full length and back.  That is one ladder.  Do two.

*All this equals one set, do 3-5 sets depending on your fitness level, or do as many as you can for 30 minutes.
Let me know what your sweat number was.

Monday, September 10, 2012

How hard are you working?

Let's bring the heat!  Time to step it up again.  We need to motivate ourselves and push a bit harder.  So what are you going to do this week to show me the fire?
Exercise more? Start Exercising?
One of the more important variables in exercise is quality, how hard you are working and pushing yourself.
How do you measure your quality? One way is sweat. This week I want you to pay attention to how much you sweat.  If were not sweating, then what have we?  Sweat is a good sign that your challenging yourself, making changes, improvements.  So I give you...

The Sweat-O-Meter:
1. Slightly Shimmering
2. A Light Glisten
3. Water Beadlets
4. Drip Drop April Showers
5. Water Fall

So now do a workout you've done before and rate your sweat.  That is your baseline, what you want to beat your next workout.  Either put more thought and effort into it or pick a more challenging routine.  Need ideas?  Did you try the "No Equipment- Lower Body Routine?"  I Did this in my backyard, and also at a park right next to my son while he played on the playground. It can kick booty!  More ideas coming soon.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Injury 101

Happy belated labor day!  Hope you enjoyed your day off.  Mine was filled with another ER adventure for more stitches with my same son.  With that and also talking with a friend about her long term injuries I thought that would be a good topic for everyone.  Injuries will come to us or our children at some point in time.  So lets go over some self-care methods.
When an injury occurs you first need to asses the situation.  If medical attention is needed.  If your unsure it's always better to get checked out.  But here are some indicators you need a doctor:
  • Can't bear any weight on your injured leg
  • Can't walk more than four steps without significant pain
  • Have numbness in any part of the injured area
  • See redness or red streaks spreading out from the injury
  • Have injured the same muscles in the past
  • Aren't sure about how severe your injury is
If you think the injury does not needed immediate assistance the first rule is baby it.  An injury will never get better if you don't give it TIME and SPACE.  Baby it for a few days then just take it easy on it.  Then build up to regular use, then mild exercise and so forth.  You can cause more damage than the initial injury if you jump into activity and exercise too soon.
Remember your not bed ridden, in many cases you can still exercise and continue your day-to-day activities, but just avoid the injury.  If though it is a leg injury such as a hamstring muscle then it becomes harder to do the day-to-day or exercise.

Also common with hamstring injuries is full or partial muscle tear.  But good news, according to the Mayo Clinic it is rare that surgery is needed to repair the torn hamstring muscle.  A more complicated tear like rotator cuff is a different story, this often results in surgery.

Ice is another self-care method.  Ice helps reduce the swelling, but be careful here.  If you use an ice pack put a light towel on your skin first then layer the ice.  We don't want frost bite or acute skin injuries to add to the list.  Also swelling helps tell you to baby the injury, that something is wrong.  So if you take that away don't go bounding to activity.  Take it easy.  Another way to ice an injury is to freeze water in a small 6 oz (ish) paper Dixie cup.  Rip off the top edge and ice in circular motions over the injury and surrounding areas.  This is how Physical Therapist do it. Once the ice goes down, peel off more cup and keep going.  Don't focus on one area too much keep moving around.  And when the ice is about gone your done.
Here is the one I use. Can be bought here, or at health food and supplement stores.  But others should work as well. 

If its a reoccurring or long term injury try supplementing with Glutamine.  Remember all those essential amino acids we talked about?  Glutamine is one of those and used by the body mainly for recovery.  So when you have chronic illness, surgery or long term injury try supplementing to aid and speed recovery.

Lastly don't forget to rehabilitate (after it's better).  You want to keep your full rang of motion, which is gone after recovery, and rebuild strength. You don't necessarily have to go to a physical therapist to do so its something that can be done on your own as long as your consistent with it.  We will hit more of rehab next month.

If you've babied it, iced, Advil, given it time, rehabilitated and still have problems then go see a doctor.   It may be worse than you've thought, but hopefully you can just take it easy and bounce back soon.

p.s. For stitches, they are needed typically if the wound skin does not go back together.  For example if there is a big deep gaping hole.  If you are far away from help (hiking etc.) then use a butterfly bandage. (always have a first-aid kit) They are made to help bring the skin closer together as stitches would.  But always seek medical attention as needed and as available.