One of the most common questions I get from women is how to get back into shape after having a baby.
While I don’t have kids myself, I know that nothing can change your body, and life, as quickly as having a child. Your body doesn’t want to respond to the same activities in the same way and your previous three nights a week at the gym seem like an impossible dream. Oh wait, dreams are the luxury of those actually getting sleep.
This can make working back into a fitness routine seem like an insurmountable task. But it can be done! It just requires a little creativity, planning and perhaps the occasional babysitter. And your efforts will pay off in more energy, stress relief and a renewed self-confidence. Try these strategies to help you get back on track. (more…)
Our world is a busy one. I run my own business, so I get it. Yet, have you ever asked yourself how much time you waste on Facebook, reality TV or complaining you don’t have time to exercise? In the time you spent complaining you could have done something!
To start many of my clients off, I give them exercise homework that takes 5 minutes or less. A Cornell University study found that just 5 minutes of exercise per day can result in fitness gains and improve our self image. It can go a long way toward forming the habit of being active and chances are once you get going you’ll want to do more than those 5 minutes. (more…)
We all have that one person in our life who refuses to take no for an answer. Perhaps it’s the office baker who simply can’t understand why you turn down her famous chocolate peanut butter pie. Or maybe it’s Great Aunt Helen who ends every visit with a care package of cinnamon rolls, somehow still warm yet you never saw her turn on the oven.
We all have a food pusher in our lives. They love us but don’t understand us. For them, food is the ultimate expression of love. For us it’s fuel, nothing more and nothing less.
This conflict is never as pronounced as it is during this festive time of year. Not only is food love, it’s tradition. It’s a gift. And it’s not easy to say no to a gift.
But to stay true to who we are and to keep our hard-earned fitness we have to learn to say no. You need to have a holiday defense strategy that includes ways to say no politely but firmly. Here are my top 5 ways to say no to food:
No, thank you. Simple and quick. No need for a detailed reason on why you refuse cake, just move on to the next topic of conversation. (more…)
When I first started as a personal trainer I didn’t have a studio. I worked in my clients’ homes. I had many clients with rather impressive selections of exercise equipment. However, they needed me to hold them accountable to actually use the equipment.
Others had nothing. I brought with me any tools we might need. I quickly learned how to design programs using body weight, bands and other simple pieces of equipment. One of my favorites was the medicine ball.
Amedicine ball can be used in many exercises like a dumbbell, but also provides a new level of versatility because of their shape and their ability to be thrown or bounced. You can use them for strength or cardio. Check out my favorite medicine ball exercises to see what I mean. (more…)
Recently I had a client do bicycle crunches. Her teammate looked at me and said, “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen you ask anyone to do crunches.”
She’s right; crunches are not a big part of my ab repertoire. Much like running isn’t always appropriate, I think crunches are something you have to work up to. Many clients come to me with challenges that make crunches a poor place to start for developing core strength. For some, the act of getting on the ground for core exercises, like planks and cobras, can be off limits initially. I often need off-the-ground core strengthening and stabilizing exercises to help my clients achieve their fitness goals.
Here are my top 5 core exercises that don’t require a mat or getting off your feet.
Wood chops: I like these best with a cable machine but they are just as effective with resistance bands, a medicine ball or a dumbbell. Start high and chop by pulling diagonally across the body. The hips should not flex but instead stay straight and the body tall. (more…)
Pamela Hernandez owns Thrive Personal Fitness in Springfield, MO where she focuses on weight training for weight loss. She writes a blog for her web site, www.thrivepersonalfitness.com, sharing vegetarian recipes from her kitchen, exercise strategies, lifestyle tips and stories from her own journey. You can also follow Pamela on Twitter @ThriveFit or pick up more tips on Facebook, www.facebook.com/thrivepersonalfitness.
I am currently one of the sponsors of a local weight loss contest. The second round of weigh ins occurred in March and, as they started to roll in, I noticed a distinct change in the tone from that of the prior weigh in.
Instead of jubilance over pounds lost, there was a lot of distress and worry about the number on the scale. Some were feeling that they had gone off track. Others bemoaned the number on the scale because it hadn’t budged or they had dropped “just” a pound or two.
My response? The scale doesn’t define you or your success on a fitness journey.
That seems to be the hardest thing for people (especially women) to learn when starting to get healthy and fit. It doesn’t seem to matter how good you may feel, how many push ups you can do or how far you can run; if the scale doesn’t move, or if it doesn’t move enough, then it doesn’t mean anything.
I secretly hate the scale. I use it with my own clients because it’s a quick and easy measurement. But it’s not the only measurement we take and we don’t take it often. There are other (dare I say better?) measures of success when it comes to fitness and fat loss.
Imagine getting a second chance at life, how would you use the rare opportunity? It’s something that doesn’t come along for too many people, but it did for Hilary Williams. Hilary’s the author of Sign of Life, a new memoir in which she shares the harrowing tale of her near-death experience after a near-fatal car crash with her sister on the way to their maternal grandfather’s funeral. Hilary rose from the rubble of that wreck to undergo 23 surgeries to repair her broken body. Told she’d be in a wheelchair or on a cane the rest of her life, Hilary refused to let that be her fate. Today, she’s working on building her music career (Download Hilary’s singleSign of Life from iTunes).
The story will give you goosebumps, and you’ll laugh and cry along with this endearing young woman as she regains her life. While her story is a rare one few people will identify with, it is a human story of strength, resilience and perseverance that all of us should identify with.
In our new series “Fit in Five,” Hilary answers five questions.
Was it a therapeutic experience to share your story?
“It was good for me to get it out on paper and then move on.”
What motivated you to keep with it and persevere?
“I didn’t want to be stuck in a wheel chair the rest of my life. I wanted to sing and get back on the stage. I just kept that in mind.”
Favorite healthy food?
Protein shakes – chocolate powder, kale, and fruit. “You can’t taste it when you mix with the fruit.” And almond butter.
Favorite guilty pleasure?
“Pizza. Jet’s Pizza in Nashville, really deep dish and really fattening.” She likes cheese and pepperoni or vegetable.
Win a copy of Sign of Life! Leave a comment telling us how you’ve persevered through your toughest struggle. We’ll choose one winner March 31, 2011.
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