What To Do When You’re Too Tired To Workout?

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We’ve all heard of the idea that dog owners tend to look like their dogs. Well, I’ve definitely been looking more and more like my Sammy when it comes to going to the gym;)  BTW, he’s making 14 years this Spring💛.

Honestly, I’ve been freaking out a little bit because I’ve never experienced a lack of motivation to go to the gym for a whole week!  Usually taking a day off does the trick for me, but not this time.

I did have a realization today while I was at the gym.  Last week I completed an intense 14-week muscle building program and really should have taken a full week off.  My husband has been trying to persuade me to take a break, but I was too stubborn and maybe even afraid to listen to him.  Well, I guess he was right, as much as I hate to admit it;)

In spite of the lack of mojo I was able to get in four really good workouts.  Here’s how I was able to push through the tiredness and lack motivation:FullSizeRender (25)

  1. I changed up the scenery.  The weather was nice so I got my dumbells and worked biceps, triceps and shoulders on the back porch.  It felt so good to get fresh air and the alone time was nice.  On another day I trained in a different gym.  Trying out new equipment along with changing up my routine made it interesting.
  2. I got a new piece of equipment.  I’ve been working a lot more hours so I decided I needed to get something for the house when I just don’t feel like going to the gym.  I purchased one of those pull-up bars you can attach to your door frame.  I had the best ab and back workout ever in my hallway!  (If you’re interested I can share that workout).
  3. Instead of a structured workout plan, I asked myself ‘what do I feel like doing today?’ This brought some levity and allowed me to listen to my body.  It was nice to get out of my head and drop more into my body.  So much of our day is spent in our minds.  When we check in with our bodies it actually helps us become more present.  💡The next time you walk into the gym ask yourself, ‘what do I feel like working today? Do I want to make it a short workout or do I have the energy to get after it?’
  4. I took some rest days.  I think there is truth in love and in fitness with the idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Give yourself a mental and physical rest day to recharge and appreciate all your hard work.

I’m interested to hear your ideas and tips for when you are feeling unmotivated or too tired to workout.  Feel free to write a comment:)

 

 

ABC Ab Exercise

Want a fun way to eliminate a stubborn lower-belly pooch?  ABC abs will do the trick but be prepared, this might sound like child’s play but it will challenge you!  What makes this exercise fun is to go through the alphabet with a group of friends and think of a healthy food for each letter:-) It serves as a positive distraction from the fire in the abs.

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I’m always on the look out for creative ways to challenge my fitness class and they had a blast with it!  Class ended with lots of chatter and laughs which is music to a coach’s ears.

Here’s how you do ABC Abs:

  1. Lie on your back, extend your legs and pretend that your toes are like pencils and write the A, B, Cs with your feet.  You could even do it old school style and write in cursive;)  The bigger you make your letters the harder you will work.
  2. Place your hands under your lower back to provide support.  If you feel too much tension in your back, or if your hamstrings are tight, go ahead and bend your knees a little bit.
  3. Imagine you have a belt strapped to your waist that anchors you to the floor.  You don’t want your lower back to come off the floor unless you are doing a hip lift to dot the letter ‘I.”
  4. As you write out your letters name a healthy food, for example, ‘A’ avocado.  If you are doing it with a group, take turns.  The longer it takes the person to think of a food, the more time spent holding a contraction!  Yowza!

ABC abs with the kiddos!

I’m thinking I could have a blast doing this with these lil’ angels!  LOL!  This would be a fun way to share fitness and teach them about healthy foods.

img_1824You could have them make letters standing up with their arms in a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ pose;)  Let me know how you share the fun with your little ones!

 

The Technique To Burn Fat and Build Muscle Fast!

If you’ve hit a plateau with weight loss or are just bored as heck with your workouts and need something to light things up, you should give cardio accelerations a try!

What is cardio acceleration?

Cardio acceleration is when you combine high-intensity cardio with strength training.  Instead of taking a typical rest break between your lifts, you do some type of cardio, all out, for one minute.   I prefer to jump rope, however, you could do any type exercise for your cardio acceleration.  Here are some examples: running in place next to the bench, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, skaters, dumbbell cleans, step-ups, etc.

fullsizerender-1Jumping rope is hands down my favorite tool for keeping my body conditioned and agile.  Read more about the benefits for jumping rope along with training tips here: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/jump-in-lean-out-with-jump-rope-training/

What is the benefit?

I got turned on to this training technique when I did Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Shred program.  His program did get me shredded.  Another benefit is that there is no hem hawing around waiting for the next set, which is perfect for my adult ADD;) LOL.

My hubby always teases me because if I’m not doing cardio intervals between sets, I’m stretching;)  This was him poking fun of me yesterday when I was stretching between my bench presses.  LOL

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One thing I REALLY love about this technique is that it fills in for my 20-30 minutes of cardio on the step mill or treadmill!

  • Check this out, 20-30 minutes of these high-intensity intervals burns more fat than spending that amount of time on a treadmill. Trust me, your metabolic rate will be up the entire workout and that means you are burning a lot of calories during and after your workout!

I now cycle through this program twice a year, and lately, I’ve been throwing in cardio accelerations with my leg day once a week.

After doing a set of squats, I do 100-200 revolutions jumping rope.  (BTW, I’ve been performing squats recently with a box to make sure I’m nailing my form and getting good and low).

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If you’re worried that the cardio could take away from the strength of your lifts, here is research that Stoppani shares from his Shortcut To Shred Training Overview:

A University of California, Santa Cruz, study found that when subjects did cardio between weightlifting sets, they were able to recover better because of increased blood flow. Cardio acceleration elevates your heart rate, which means more blood pumps to your working muscles throughout your workout.

Ready to HIIT it now?  Let’s go!!

Jump In! Lean Out With Jump Rope Training

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Get lean in 2017 with jump rope training!  Jumping rope is hands down one of the best tools to help you torch fat and lean out faster than ever.  It is estimated that jumping rope for 10 minutes (at 120 turns per minute) is equivalent to jogging for 30 minutes.

If you are someone that dreads cardio then this option is one to jump at!  Block out any concerns about looking silly or what people will think.  Attempting this activity, even if you stumble and trip trying, is worth it.  I’m sure people in the gym might think I’m a maniac when I break out my jump rope in between sets, but I’m there to get my best workout.  What people think of me is none of my business.

Ease yourself into it by practicing jumping with an invisible jump rope.  It might seem ridiculous but this will help you get the rhythm.

sad-elephant-jumping-ropeJumping rope is not only a calorie-burner but it’s also incredibly efficient, convenient and a great workout.

  • You can effectively burn calories and work your entire body in half the time by jumping rope.  I love how it works, not only my legs but my core, arms and shoulders!
  • It’s also a great workout tool for when you are traveling.  I always have my jump rope packed for any type of trip.  All you need is some space to get to whipping.
  • If done properly it’s a lower-impact activity than jogging.  Rope jumping strengthens muscles that support the tendons and ligaments of the knees, feet, and ankles.

Jump Rope Checklist For Correct Form:

  1. Keep torso relaxed, head lifted, and gaze ahead for balance.
  2. Maintain your weight on the balls of your feet.
  3. Jump only high enough to clear the rope.
  4. Land lightly on the balls of your feet.
  5. Keep your elbows near your sides.
  6. Make small circles with wrists while turning the rope.
  7. Do not sacrifice good form for speed.

Jump Rope Checklist For Getting Started:

  1. Wear cross trainers.
  2. Jump on a wood floor, rubber surface or a mat made for exercise.
  3. Adjust the height of your jump rope by placing one foot on the center of the rope and pull the handles up the sides of your body.  It should be at armpit level.

Beginner plan:

-Set a number goal.  For example, 20 total jumps.  When you reach your goal rest and repeat for 5-10 minutes.

Intermediate plan:

-Set a time goal.  For example, jump for 30 seconds and rest for 1 minute.  Repeat this for 10-15 minutes.

Advanced plan:

-Set a goal to jump 3-5 minutes without stopping.  Take a short break and repeat these endurance blocks 4-5 times.

For more training ideas be sure to check back for my next blog where I will be sharing my jump rope circuit training routine.  This is my personal preferred way of jump roping that will get you shredded.

 

 

4 Exercises to Target Your Lower Abs

You can keep your abs toned through the holidays with this in-home routine.  If you hate going out in the cold, then this routine will be perfect for you.

Tightening up those pesky lower abs is challenging.  Most of the exercises that target that region involve using the hip flexors, so if they are weak then you may not feel the movement.

Engaging the transverse abdominal muscles that will tighten up your core. To hit this area I’ve put together some unconventional exercises that all build upon a plank.

You will need:

  • 2 hand towels
  • mat
  • smooth surface
  • a rock solid focus

*Make sure you can master a standard plank hold before you progress to these exercises.

Plank Row

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Get into plank position with your towels under your feet.  (The naval is pulled toward the spine and your body is streamlined.) Push yourself back as far as you can while you are pressing into the towels.  Then pull your body back to the starting position.  It’s a small movement.  Keep your body tight and straight the entire time.  Perform 8-12 reps or go for 30 seconds.

Bear

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Get into a push up position with arms extended and hands under your shoulders.  Press down into your towels and pull your feet toward you.  Then, push back to the starting position.  This can also be done by bending your knees and pulling them toward your chest.  Perform 8-12 reps or go for 30+seconds.

Mountain Climber

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Holding the extended plank position, pull your right knee in toward your chest then press back while pulling your left leg in toward your chest.  Perform 16-20 reps (right & left leg is a full rep) or go for 30+ seconds.

Army Crawl

*video on Facebook page, click icon @ http://www.totalbodyandmind.net*

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Get into plank position and tighten up your abs and butt.  Crawl forward on your forearms until you hit the edge of your mat, then crawl back.  4-8 reps (one forward and back is a full rep).

Tips To De-clutter Your Home

d40976d70bc1349d65879f5ec45cac2bThis week I decided to use some vacation time to declutter my home.  It was an overwhelming project because our home is filled with stuff that accumulated over a lifetime, but so worthwhile. I didn’t read any books or videos about how the pros suggest doing it, I simply started.

Here are some tips that worked for me:

Tip #1  Start small

Decluttering and organizing one small space will help you overcome inertia.  This could be a kitchen drawer, your car, purse, or book shelf.  For me, I started with my makeup drawer because I was so annoyed with rummaging through it trying to find something.

img_3883-1Tip #2  Recycle items for storage

I know the first inclination you will have is to go to the Dollar Store or Target to pick up cute containers, DON’T DO IT!  You will be amazed what you already have in your own home that you can recycle and use for organizing.  I found some empty cigar and wooden boxes in our attic and used those to separate my hair ties and makeup in my bathroom drawers.

Cups, jars, and pencil containers make for great storage.

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Once you declutter areas of your home you will have all kinds of baskets, boxes and plastic containers freed up to use for items you want to keep.img_3886

Tip #3 Rediscover Treasures

I found this adorable coat rack in the attic and love using it to display some of my most worn hats:)

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I also uncovered plenty of empty notebooks, games and art supplies that were unseen and stuffed away in boxes or closets that I’ve organized for the grandkids to enjoy.

After cleaning out my bathroom drawers and cabinets I was on fire and eager to get started on my closet.  I hung my purses up so I could visually see them and will likely use them more often.  I also found some money as I was hanging up my bags!  LOL

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With a clean and organized closet, I don’t dread putting my clothes away.

Tip #4 Keep an empty bag or box for items to be donated

In the back corner, I have a bag for clothes I plan to donate.  Once it gets full I will drop it off at the Goodwill.  You could do this in every room of your home.

Tip #5 Purging your kitchen and home can help you lose weight!

I truly believe that being overweight is not just a physical issue, it’s a lifestyle issue and that’s why I’m passionate about my work as a health and lifestyle fitness coach.

Clutter in our minds, calendars, kitchens, etc. leads to stress and weight gain.  What I discovered is that my energy was unblocked as I started cleaning out unused and expired items.   It’s like the subconscious weight of distractions was removed.  Now I feel more mindful, clear minded, and motivated.

After cleaning out and organizing my kitchen I have more joy in preparing meals and even going to the grocery store.

Tip #6 Don’t buy boxes instead ask your area bookstore or grocery store for their empty boxes

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I was lucky enough to get some from Barnes and Nobles and they worked out wonderfully with sorting  items to keep, donate and throw away.

Tip #7 Less is more

Some of the surprising gifts of decluttering:

Less stress and More PEACE

Less negativity and more JOY

Less griping and more GRATITUDE

Less mess and more TIME

Less apathy and more ENERGY

Tip #8 Bless your home

As you are decluttering envision what you want your home to be like.  What energies do you want your home to exude?  What experiences do you want to have in your home?  How do you want to feel in your home?

And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.  Proverbs 24:4

 

Bodyweight HIIT Cardio Intervals

Want to get in a quality cardio session without spending 45 minutes to and hour on a treadmill?  You can optimize your time and get better results with this 20-minute high-intensity interval workout.   This fat burning cardio session will tone your entire body and leave you feeling energized!  You can do this in your office, home or in the gym.

What you need:

  1. a couple of hand towels
  2. a mat
  3. a stopwatch or tabata timer
  4. your willingness to give your best effort.  You can do this workout in your office, home, outside or in the gym.

The Plan:

  • Get a stopwatch or download an interval/tabata timer on your phone.  There are many free apps available that are good.
  • You will exercise for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 8 times.
  • Perform circuit 1 rest 1 minute, move into circuit 2 and then repeat the whole sequence again.  At the end of the workout, you will have done each circuit 2 times.

This will make better sense once you get into the workout. Be warned, it starts off feeling easy but the short rest breaks will challenge you!

Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up to make sure your muscles are loose and you are mentally focused.

Let’s get started! (photos of the exercises below the workout)

Circuit 1
1) Low Jacks:  20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
2) Plank Jacks: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
3) Squat Jumps: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
4) Push-up to knee tucks: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds

-repeat circuit 1 again until you’ve completed 8 cycles which will take you exactly 4 minutes.

After the 4 minute circuit, rest 1 minute then move on to the next circuit.

Circuit 2 (follow the 20 on/10 off sequence)
1) Burpees
2) Army Crawls
3) Side to side jump squats
4) Squat thrusts

-repeat circuit 2 again until you’ve completed 8 cycles which will take you exactly 4 minutes.

After the 4 minute circuit, rest 1 minute then repeat the entire workout again.

Circuit 1:

low jacks– stay low the entire time.

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Plank jacks– in a push-up position, jump your legs out wide and together.

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Squat Jumps– no photo for this one, just squat and jump as high as you can.

Push-up to knee tuck– put a wash cloth under each foot.  Using your abs, pull your knees into your chest and the push them back.

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Circuit 2

Burpees– no photos for this one either.  You will squat, jump your feet back to push up position, jump your feet back in and immediately do a squat jump.

Army crawls– on your forearms and toes, keep your hips steady as possible as your crawl forward to the end of your mat and then crawl backward.

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Side to side jump squats– roll your mat up or pick a spot to tap down with your hands.  Squat to one side, bring your feet together in the center and jump out to the other side.  You want this to be fast and fluid.

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Squat thrusts– squat down, jump your feet back, back in and stand.

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