A healthy lifestyle blog by ACE Certified Group Exercise Trainer.

Let's bet on losing weight

So one of my favorite fitness bloggers, Cassey Ho from Blogilates, is hosting a diet bet for the month of  September or "Sweatember". Join us and win money for losing weight! http://diet.bt/1752exZ

Click the link for more info! It's gonna be fun! 

The Importance of Strength Training

As women, sometimes we think it's all about Cardio. We make sure to get in a walk, jog, bike, Zumba, or dance class, but we don't always make time for lifting weights or working with resistance bands.

I think there are several reasons that a lot of women don't get in enough strength training:

  1. Gyms are intimidating. I think it can be scary to go to a gym, and try to figure out the equipment. Most of us are embarrassed to ask someone or don't want to pay an extra fee for a personal trainer to show us. We are worried that gyms are for hard bodied fitness addicts. 
  2. We think we need to focus on cardio to lose weight. Yes, cardio is extremely important in your fitness routine, but it's not the ONLY important type of training. Numerous studies show that cross-training (doing a variation of exercise activities) promotes better results in weight loss. 
  3. We are pressed for time, so we end up doing mostly cardio and very little weights. This can be especially true for moms or those with busy work schedules. If you know that you only have 45 minutes a day to get in a workout, you might opt for the cardio to burn calories.
  4. We don't have the right equipment. Weights can be expensive, especially if you are going for the adjustable dumbbells or similar at-home-gym equipment.

Why we as women, REALLY need strength training:
  1. Muscle burns fat. Again, let me repeat that. Muscle burns fat. It's a proven fact. Studies performed by Wayne Westcott, PhD, from the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts, found that the average woman who strength trains two to three times a week for two months will gain nearly two pounds of muscle and will lose 3.5 pounds of fat. That's what I call WINNING!
  2. You will burn more calories if you have more muscle on you! Muscle increases your resting metabolism. So for every pound of muscle you gain, you will burn 30-50 more calories each day.
  3. Strong bones. Coupled with calcium supplements, weight lifting is your best defense against osteoporosis.
  4. A pound of muscle looks better than a pound of fat. 

Ways to incorporate strength training:
  1. Low on cash or afraid to join a gym? Do some YouTube Videos at home. (Of course at your own risk!). I recommend FitnessBlender.com for beginners. 
  2. Don't have weights? Use a resistance band! You can find these at Walmart or Amazon. There are lots of videos with ideas for exercises. You can also use your own body weight (think pushups/planks).
  3. Do some type of strength training at least 3x per week. You don't want to work the same set of muscles back to back. For example, if Monday you work legs, Tuesday you can do Arms, or skip a day and work a different muscle group on Wednesday.
  4. Join a group fitness class that focuses on strength (like my Tabata Bootcamp!). Also classes focusing on "body sculpting" or "toning" typically include weight or resistance exercises.

If you are interested in learning more about incorporating muscle building workouts into your routine, contact me and we can talk about some ideas that might work for you!

My Weekly Menu - Aug 26

Here's what's on my menu for the week!

*From Self Magazine Drop 10, 7 Day Detox


Monday- Oven Roasted Lemon Garlic Chicken with Salad

Tuesday- Baked Teriyaki Glazed Salmon with sautéed squash and mushrooms (From Rachel Beller's book)

Wednesday- Spanish Pork Tenderloin with Apple Salsa, Sauteed spinach and quinoa

Thursday- Whole wheat penne in low sodium marinara, grilled chicken, sprinkle of cheese and steamed spinach

Friday- leftovers or eat out

Saturday- Lean hamburgers wrapped in lettuce or on wheat bun with roasted Parmesan broccoli


Mon/Tues- Tuna Waldorf Salad in a Pita from Self Magazine's Drop 10 Detox

Wednesday- Lunch Playdate with Friends

Thurs/Fri- Easy Quinoa Salad

Sat/Sun- Deli turkey slices with salad or leftovers

Cucumbers, pita & lemon garlic yogurt from Self Magazine
Celery & Peanut Butter
Nonfat Greek yogurt with stevia and cinnamon
Cantaloupe and nuts

Weekly Workout Schedule Aug 25

Here's your Weekly Workout Schedule for August 25 - 31!

Sunday (Steady State Cardio)- 
8 mile Run (or 1 hour of walking/jogging/running/etc)
Monday (HIIT) -

30 Min Walk or Jog in the evening

Tuesday (Lower Body)-
AM: 30 Min Walk/Jog - Aim for 2-3 miles
PM: 45 Min Lower Body Tabata Bootcamp Class OR 32 Minute Ultimate Butt/Thigh Workout Video

Wednesday (HIIT Cardio/Abs) -
AM: Itty Bitty Cardio Routine from TIU

Thursday (Upper body)-
AM: 45 Min Walk/Jog (Aim for 3-5 miles)
PM: 45 Min Upper Body Tabata Bootcamp Class 

Friday (Total Body Toning) -

Saturday (Your Choice) -
Whatever you want! Hike, yard work, house cleaning, Zumba, Yoga, etc!

What to do when something hurts

We've all been there at one point or another - maybe you were jogging and your knee started aching or maybe you were lifting weights and felt a pull in your shoulder. Facing a workout injury can be challenging and discouraging, but remember to avoid ignoring your aches and pains.
Preventing Injury:
  1. Warm up! Don't skip this step. Make sure to get those muscles going.
  2. Add variety. Don't do the same muscle exercises, day in and day out. Mixing it up can help prevent overworking.
  3. Don't overdo it. You might be trying to keep up with the person next to you in aerobics class, but make sure to only do what feels right for YOU.
  4. Invest in good shoes. Get fitted for athletic shoes as specialty running/fitness stores. They can help evaluate your arch, width, etc. Having proper shoes can prevent so many ankle/knee injuries.
  5. Don't ignore pain. If something is bothering you, rest it and resist the urge to keep going with an exercise.
What to do if something hurts:
Injuries can happen, no matter how careful you are. If you develop a workout injury, follow the RICE method to keep your injury from getting worse:
R: rest the injury
I: ice the injury to lessen swelling, bleeding, and inflammation
C: apply a compression bandage to minimize swelling
E: elevate the injury to reduce swelling
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen can be taken to ease pain and inflammation from the injury.
Most workout injuries will heal on their own in four weeks or less. If the injury has not improved within a week, or if it gets worse, seek medical care. And always use common sense. If you're concerned about the injury, it's best to seek medical advice.
Until you are fully healed, avoid doing the activity that triggered the injury. And avoid any activity that puts strain on the injured area.
You can still be active as long as you don't stress the injury. Staying active may help you heal quicker than if you take to the couch. Try a new workout while your injury heals. For example, if you sprain your ankle, exercise your arms instead. If you hurt your shoulder, work out your legs by walking.
After you have fully recovered from your injury -- pain-free for more than a week -- start back slowly. Don't try to work out with the same fervor you did before your injury. You will need to rebuild your muscle strength and endurance. It may take three weeks of regular exercise to regain your pre-injury fitness level. If you push too hard and too fast, you may injure yourself again. Source