Author Archives: Lauren Martin

About Lauren Martin

Lauren Martin is a NESTA certified personal trainer, Bodypump and spinning instructor. She holds a bachelor's degree in graphic design and a master's in art education and is the author of the blog Me and the Mountains. Lauren resides in Broomfield, Colorado with her husband and two Golden Retrievers.

Get the Biggest Bang for your Workout Minutes, Even if You Only Have a Few

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people strive to stick to each year is to exercise more. It’s also the one that most people tend to give up on before January is even over, often saying, “I just don’t have enough time.” The truth is, you have time for anything that you make a priority. Our lives are super busy with work, school, kids, etc., but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find at least a few minutes each day to focus on improving your fitness level. After all, any of exercise is better than nothing.

forearm plank

Here’s a list of the best bang for your buck in the amount of time that you have to exercise:

Got 4 minutes?

Try a Tabata workout. The idea behind the Tabata method is to work at your maximum level for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This pattern is repeated continuously eight times for a total of four minutes of training. If you’re doing more than one Tababta drill, take one minute to rest between exercises. I would recommend doing a total of no more than six sets total, since you’ll be working at such a high level of intensity. If you only have time for one Tabata, consider doing an exercise like burpees, which is more demanding and works muscles throughout the entire body.


8 Sinless Game Day Recipes for the Denver Broncos Fan

The words healthy eating and football food aren’t exactly synonymous. When you think of your typical game day fare, foods like buffalo wings, pizza, and nachos come to mind. In Colorado, we’re all about keeping a healthy lifestyle. The Centennial state has been named the thinnest state in the U.S. for several years in a row—but that doesn’t mean that we don’t like to indulge every now and then! It’s definitely possible to create some healthy alternatives using some of the ingredients that Colorado is known for, including green chiles, lean game meats, and even beer!

Since the Denver Broncos have made it to the big game this year, Coloradoans have something even more special to celebrate! Here are eight great recipes that include everything that Colorado does best.

These winners are sure to please the palate of the biggest Denver fans:


Bison Sliders
Bison has quickly gained popularity as one of the best burger making proteins. It’s a healthier alternative to beef and has the same delicious flavor. Blair from the Cookin’ Skinny blog shows you how to make the most delicious sliders that will please every beef lover at your table.

Denver Scrambled Eggs
Start off the morning of the big day with this take on the famous Denver omelet. Also known as the western omelet, this dish is believed to have been named by cooks working on the transcontinental railroad (but no one really knows!). This lighter version of the classic breakfast is simple to make, big in flavor, and can easily be enjoyed any time of day. (more…)

A Quick, Full-Body Workout is as Simple as a Roll of the Dice

The key to keeping up with an exercise routine for so many of us is having variety in our workouts. Doing the same workout routine every single day can get pretty boring and cause us to throw in the towel all together. I love to mix up my workouts. Changing things up constantly ensures that I work a variety of muscle groups and that I keep those muscles confused. Doing the same workout day in and day out will cause your body to adapt and you’ll eventually stop seeing progress. I also find that I actually look forward to my workouts when they vary from day to day.

I’m also a big fan of go anywhere/do anywhere types of exercises. These are the types of workouts that you can do in your living room just as easily as you would in the gym. They’re also great for traveling, as you can perform the exercises right in your hotel room! You can get a killer workout without using any equipment at all—just relying on your body’s own weight.

To satisfy both of these criteria I just created a new mobile workout actually does require some equipment—but it’s small enough to fit in your pocket. All your need are one or two dice!


(Don’t have dice to roll? No problem—here’s a virtual dice roller that you can use!)


Jillian vs. Bob vs. Dolvett: How the 3 Biggest Loser Trainers’ Books Compare

On the show, the three trainers on The Biggest Loser join forces to help contestants lose weight. However, off camera Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Dolvett Quince have very different approaches for helping the at-home loser achieve better health. The trainers showcase these different weight loss formulas in book form: Bob and Jillian have each written multiple best-selling books  and Dolvett just released his first, “The 3-1-2-1 Diet: Eat and Cheat Your Way to Weight Loss—Up to 10 pounds in 21 Days”.


With three different perspectives from three different, talented celebrity trainers how is a person to choose which book is right for them? Here’s a breakdown of the main ideas from each trainer’s most recent read. Chances are one approach will sound like the best one for you!


The Hottest Fitness Trends of 2013—and a Preview of 2014

Exercise trends typically come and go but some fitness fads have real staying power. Here are some of the most popular fitness trends from 2013 and a look at what trends we expect to see more of in 2014:


The Best of 2013
CrossFit: There’s little doubt that CrossFit dominated the fitness scene in 2013. The number of CrossFit gyms continued to grow exponentially and the numbers of participants registering for that CrossFit Games more than doubled. I predict that CrossFit’s popularity will continue to rise in 2014, despite its (many) critics.


Four Ways to Gain More Flexibility in 2014 (Including One That May Surprise You)

Flexibility is often overlooked,  but it’s one of the most important areas to focus on while increasing your level of physical fitness. After all, it’s been among the benchmarks for measuring fitness on the Presidential Physical Fitness Test for years! Having good flexibility is beneficial to the mind and body alike and can help prevent injuries, improve posture and range of motion in our joints, and increase overall physical fitness, just to name a few.

stretching woman1

When you think of flexibility, stretching is probably the first thing that comes to mind. And, unfortunately, stretching seems to be thing that that so many of us focus the least amount of attention on in our workouts. Warming-up and cooling-down properly before and after exercise are very important and aid in better flexibility, but it can also be focused on during a workout.


Prancercise Meets Parkour in Dance Walking, a Cardio Workout That’s Actually Fun

I recently met a new friend who told me about a fun, unique cardio “class” that she attends every week called Dance Walk. This is exactly what it sounds like: a combination of dancing and walking (think Parkour meets Prancercise). Brooke Null, owner of Hooped, leads this Dance Walk group in Boulder, Colorado every Wednesday morning and she first learned about this new fitness phenomenon after seeing this video created by television reporter (and Dance Walker) Ben Aaron.

Null explained, and Aaron demonstrated, that to participate you just need to make a playlist of songs (that are fun to dance to), headphones and the inhibition to just let go. I’ll admit, I was a little nervous before my first Dance Walk experience. Would I be comfortable dancing around town in front of a bunch of strangers?

Within thirty seconds of Dance Walking, I forgot about all of those nerves and just allowed myself to let the music move me. I, along with a group of seven other men and women, danced our way around the streets of downtown Boulder for a full hour. Some people stopped and stared at us or laughed, others paid us no attention at all. Some took out their phones to take pictures or video, and almost every single person smiled. Some people even joined in for a few seconds and then went back to what they were doing. (more…)

Bosu Powerstax Will Elevate Your Workout with its Clever and Innovative Design

The BOSU Balance Trainer is an incredibly effective piece of equipment to use in your workouts. The BOSU (which stands for “Both Sides Utilized”) can be used to target almost every major muscle group of the body for strength training, to get a cardio intensive workout, and as a tool for a killer core workout. Exercises performed using a BOSU focus on balance and can be performed on a stable (round side up) or unstable (flat side up) surface.

BOSU has recently launched a new product called Powerstax that will (literally) take your workout to the next level.

bosu powerstax

What is the Powerstax System?

BOSU Powerstax were created to be used in conjunction with a BOSU Balance Trainer. Powerstax are risers that can be stacked below the BOSU Trainer to add elevation and intensify your workout. The risers are four inches tall and can be purchased separately or as a set of three. The BOSU trainer itself is 10 inches tall, so adding all three risers will elevate your BOSU trainer to be 22 inches in height.

The Powerstax will securely hold the BOSU trainer with the flat side facing up or down, allowing for more diversity in your training. Placing the round side up results in higher total elevation of the combined unit. When the flat side is facing up, it creates a slightly more stable surface (as compared to round side up) and is great for advanced dynamic movement.

One other innovation with the Powerstax is its ability to be used for strength training. Each riser weighs 5 pounds and can be filled with up to 12 quarts of water (which will result in a total weight of 30 pounds). Each quart of water adds an additional four pounds to the five pound riser, making it easy to adjust to your needs. (more…)

When Did We Let Digital Fat-Shaming be OK?

Imagine a person just standing there minding his or her own business, and that person happens to be fat. If you place a clever caption underneath of the photo pointing out just how fat that person is and suddenly, somehow it becomes funny, right? Wrong. I’m sure you’ve these photos floating around on the interwebs. This is what is referred to as fat-shaming.

fat shaming

Personally, I have never found any photos exploiting overweight individuals as a “joke” to be funny at all. Being overweight in itself is not funny. And I have to wonder why this type of discrimination and bullying is still so acceptable in our culture. Even in Hollywood, consider how much negative attention a celebrity gets when they gain weight. Their image is shown on the cover of a magazine with a caption stating something about how fat they’ve gotten, and we’ve allowed that to be acceptable!

I gained a great deal of weight in my early teenage years and in high school, I was somewhere over 200 pounds. My saving grace was that I was funny and well-liked, so I didn’t become the target of much bullying (and most people would never have made fun of me to my face). I thank my lucky stars that things like Facebook and Twitter (heck, even cell phones or texting!) didn’t exist back then, because it’s so much easier to bully someone when you’re sitting behind a computer. (more…)

Try This Dynamic Stretching Warm Up Before Your Workout

In my five years as a group fitness instructor I’ve noticed something over and over again: most people don’t know how to warm-up properly. Let’s face it – we’re short on time. We want to get in the gym, get our workout over with, and go home. Rather than properly warming up, many of us tend to jump right into our workout full force.

The ultimate purpose of “warming up” is to reduce the risk of injury while exercising, as it will prepare the body for exercise by increasing blood flow and warming up various muscle groups. A great way to warm up is by taking a few minutes to perform various dynamic stretching exercises.

When you think of “stretching,” you probably think of holding a stretch in place for a specific number of seconds; this would be static stretching, and should only be done after a workout because it actually relaxes the muscles. Performing static stretching exercises prior to exercise can actually cause injury to the muscles because it prevents them from preparing for a workout!

Dynamic stretching means performing a constant, controlled motion through a full range of motion. This stimulates blood flow and warms up the desired muscle group. I like to warm up for 5-10 minutes before a workout and target various major muscle groups throughout the body. Here is a good example of an effective dynamic stretching warm-up:

Arm Circles

armcircles1 armcircles2

Fully extend one arm up with fingers pointed towards the sky and the other arm down (with fingers pointed to the ground). Circle the arms forward, as if you were doing a freestyle swimming motion. Make the movement big and keep the movement of your hips to a minimum. Keep this forward motion for about 30 seconds and then move in the opposite direction (as if you were doing the backstroke) for another 30 seconds.

Warms up: shoulders, back and abdominal muscles (more…)