8 to Great slim down challenge: Week 4

running buddy

Spring is finally here! I hope you are starting to see results from the weekly diet and workout challenges I’ve been posting. If you are genuinely following along and doing the workout at least 3 times a week you will see results.

Here’s this weeks challenge:

1) Find a workout buddy. Studies show that people who have friends they workout with are much more likely to get themselves to the gym or go for that jog then those who don’t. I even found a couple of applications that helps you find someone in your area with similar workout interests to partner with.

1) SportPartner.com

2) ExerciseFriends.com

If you use one of these sites or have used them please let me know if you had any success and if you have advice or tips on how to get the most out of using these sites.

2) Bag you snacks. Get a box of zip lock bags and portion out your snacks for the day / week. I suggested planning your meals ahead of time, this is a great way to plan your snacks and make sure you aren’t over doing it and a good way to make sure you’re not buying to many packaged good that are full of preservatives and other junk that isn’t good for you. If you are having trouble thinking of healthy snacks here are 100 ideas I found…

100 Healthy Snack Ideas

3) Workout. Here’s this weeks challenge. Again, this is an HIIT workout in Tabata format (2o seconds on, 10 seconds rest for for reps each exercise)

Round 1

1)Squat with medicine ball (if you don’t have a medicine ball substitute with some dumbbells or a few books). For this exercise you are going to squat down as far as you can, holding the medicine ball with both hand in between your legs, arms straight. Come up and swing your arms up over head ball in hands.

sumo-squat-with-medicine-ball

2) Plank with leg raise. Get into standard plank position and raise one leg off the ground then switch. If this is too difficult, knees on the floor and raise.

plank with side taps

Rest for one minute.

Round 2

1) Box jumps. Modification: Step ups.

box-jump

2) Planks with side taps. Again, in standard plank position, tap one foot out then switch. Modification: Bring it to your knees.

plank with taps

And relax…

Repeat this series at least once more, maximum 3 reps.

Let me know how you like this weeks workout and if you would like me to include anything for next weeks workout. I’m open to suggestions so please send them in!

Stay motivated, summers almost here!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

8 to Great Slim Down Challenge: Week 3

How was this week for everyone? Have you been tracking your calories, working out, eating a healthy breakfast, meditating and finding ways to fit exercise in your day besides your scheduled workout?

Do you notice that these activities are all healthy habits that you are building upon each week? What healthy habits should we create this week?

1) Think of the world as a gym. For example, I must have run up and down my stairs 15 times this morning getting my children and myself ready for our day. Some might find this incredibly frustrating but if you think of all of the exercise you’re getting it makes it quite fulfilling! Try making this thought process a habit, whenever you are “forced” to do  more physical activity to accomplish anything in your day, don’t get angry or annoyed be happy that you are getting more of a workout, burning more calories and doing something really good for your heart.

It’s proven that those who have stairs in their house live longer. And you don’t have to have a house, there are stairs everywhere! Find some and start climbing! If you live in an apartment building take the stairs instead of the elevator. I used to live in a 5 story walk up in Boston’s South End. No elevator. I would walk 2 miles to work and still go to the gym. I didn’t complain about it, I loved it because I was in great shape!

2) Sign up for a local race for charity. Isn’t it great that you can be fit and philanthropic at the same time? Find a local race that you can commit to training for and will help motivate you in your goal to get healthy. If you’re not a runner there is walking, cycling and swimming races you can train for.

3) Workout! I’ve been giving you HIIT workouts to perform, but I simply ask that you get at least 30 minutes of real deal, concentrated exercise a week. Walking, running, yoga, pilates, cycling, swimming, Barre, hiking, whatever! I don’t care, just get of your behind and commit.

Here’s this weeks HIIT. (Tabata Format, download an application on your smartphone to keep time) I will also be posting a great abdominal exercise for you to perform at least twice this week.

 Squat hop. (20 seconds on 10 second break 4 intervals) Modifications: Add weights to intensify or simply squat without the hop for less intensity.

Bicycles. (20 seconds on 10 seconds off 4 intervals)

Take a 1 minute break.

Front and back lunges. (20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 4 intervals)

Step ups. (20 Seconds) Modification: Add weights for more intensity.

Repeat this workout up to 3 times. Once or twice will still give you a great workout so don’t be discouraged if you can only get through it once! It’s tough, that’s why it burns so many calories. You are building muscle with these workouts too which heightens your metabolism and keeps it going all day long, even when you are sleeping!! That’s why building muscle is so KEY to losing weight and keeping it off.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions on how to live a healthier / happier lifestyle.

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

Week 2 of the 8 to Great Slim Down Challenge!

How did week 1 go for you ladies? As a review, I asked you to count calories, find opportunities to squeeze exercise into your day and performing a tabata circuit that I provided to you 3 times a day for at least 2 days this week (admittedly this was a tough one to accomplish as getting through it once was difficult for me).

Last weeks challenge was about self-awareness. Counting calories shows you how much you are actually consuming per day and hopefully will help you find places that you can cut back. Finding new ways to squeeze exercise in your day is a great way to get into the habit of thinking of opportunities for you to get fit. And the tabata challenge was to show you that you can get an intense workout in a short period of time, and once you get started it’s easier to keep going. You just have to start!

Week 2:

1) Eat breakfast. Many people skip breakfast, including myself when I’m in a rush! Before I had children I skipped breakfast regularly. Now I realize how important it is to keeping me energized, less anxious and content throughout my day. The weight loss benefits of eating breakfast are that it kick starts your metabolism and will diminish overall hunger throughout the day.

Of course I want you to choose a healthy breakfast. An example, whole wheat toast, organic preserves, eggs whites, fruit, yogurt and granola.

2) Meditate for at least 2 minutes per day. This will provide you more clarity, awareness, good sense and the ability to take pause when necessary (like when you’re reaching for that cupcake). If you are thinking to yourself that you cannot find the time or place to meditate that is absolutely not true. That’s why I posted a picture of a woman in a board room meditating, obviouly I don’t expect you to so this but the point is that you can find the time and place to clear your head for two minutes. No excuses!

If you need pointers check out my post on how to meditate here.

3) Workout. This weeks routine is going to be another Tabata circuit. In fact all of them are and it should get easier for you each week as your strength builds and you see the pounds come off. I want you to perform this circuit at least 3 times this week, that’s the only way you will begin to see results.

This weeks routine has a focus on your thighs, booty and arms. However, all of my routines will be full body workouts.

To review, I want you to perform each move in this circuit for 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for a set of 4. A total of 2 full minutes for each move.  The entire circuit will take 10 minutes. After 10 minutes rest for 2 minutes then repeat the circuit if you can. Try to repeat it up 3 times. Remember that this is a great calorie burning session so push yourself!

1) Skaters. Modifications: Jump side to side for more intensity, if you would like less intensity step it.

2) Push ups. Modifications: For less intensity out your knees on the ground, for more intensity knees off the ground and try and lift one leg up for 10 seconds and then switch for 10.

After these 2 moves rest for one full minute and move on…

3) Jumping lunges. Modifications: Remove the jump and simply step and lunge.

jump lunge

4) Side to side planks.  Modification: Bring the plank to your knees and simply hold it for 20 seconds on one side, switch sides for the next 20 second interval.

side-plank-turn-400x400
That it! Good luck everybody! And let me know if you have any questions about diet or exercise at Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.
 
Xx,
Hilary Ann Lambert

Ready, set, go! 8 to Great Slim Down Challenge: Week 1

Are you ready to look and feel better than you thought you ever could?

Before we begin I want to stress that this is not a get fit quick and easy plan. This is an 8 week challenge that will motivate and push you to live an overall healthier lifestyle. The added benefit of living healthier: you will look and feel the best you ever have!  Over the next 8 weeks I will simply be giving you the tools to make better decisions about what you eat and how to create an exercise regimen that works for you so you will stick with.

I’m in this too guys! I need some motivation as well so this is going to be really helpful for me.  My eating habits have gotten much better over the years but I can still use a lot of help. I’ll be working with a professional nutritionist from Whole Foods Market, Lisa Caldwell, who also provides nutrition counsel to individuals through her own business, Kitchen Confidant.

Check back here every Saturday morning where I will post a new workout, healthy eating tips and more influential material to get you motivated to achieve your goals, whether it’s losing weight, toning up or just overall living healthier.

Ready, set, go….

1) First up, exercise. I will provide a workout that I would like you to perform at least 3 times a week. The workout will change weekly to keep it interesting, but if you find that there is one workout in particular you enjoy doing and want to stick with go right ahead! The point is to find something you like to do so you KEEP doing it.

Start counting steps and find ways of getting more exercise into your day:

It’s recommended that one perform 10,000 steps per day, get a pedometer and you can keep track and make sure you are reaching this goal. Once you have gotten to 10,000 it’ll be easy to challenge yourself and do a few more for added benefits.

What other ways can you squeaze more exercise into your day? Every time you move you are exercising, so try and move more! Instead of trying to get right in front of the grocery store, park at the back of the lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you’re going up 30 floors, take the stairs up 5 flights then get the lift. Tell us how you’ve found more exercise in your day on Insta and twitter @ugobabyfitness or on our Facebook page, facebook/ugobabyfitness.

The Workout for Week 1. 

I really like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s the best way to burn the most calories, get multiple muscle groups working and have an efficient and effective workout. I prefer the Tabata Protocol form of HIIT. It’s scientifically proven to burn the most calories in the least amount of time and has the best aerobic and anaerobic benefits. It’s easy to follow (not an easy workout just easy to understand and perform). The intervals are done in a 20 /10 format. Perform one exercise at your highest intensity for 20 seconds, take a 10 second break. Repeat 8 times = 4 minutes. Take a 1 minute break. Repeat this scenario as many times as you want. Do at least 10 sets for a ten minute workout.

Here’s what I’m doing this week. This is a 10 minute workout that I want you to perform 3 times through for a total of 30 minutes. You can do it all at once or throughout the day, so when you get up, right before lunch and then before dinner. My suggestion is to plan on doing it for the  10 minutes. This will make it easy for you to motivate knowing it’s only 10 minutes. My presumption is that once you’ve performed 10 minutes of this workout you will keep going. It’s hardest to start and easy to keep going once you’ve started, right? If you do only manage to squeeze this workout in once it’s still one of the best workouts you’re gonna get in the least amount of time.

Workout for Week 1:

High Knees. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place, repeat 4 times. You can either walk or run this move in place, whatever works for you. Just make sure  you are pushing yourself during your intervals. 

                                                                                                                – —-

Burpees. 20 Seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place. Repeat 4 times. Modifications: With this exercise there are jumps involved, if you want less impact simply step it. To amp up your burpee add a push when you are in plank position.

1 minute break walking in place. (Drink water.)

Jumping Jacks. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place, repeat 4 times.  Modification: step out instead of jumping if you want less impact. To make it harder you can add a squat when in position B below. 

                                                                                                                 –

Mountain Climbers. 20 Seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place. Repeat 4 times. Modifications: Normally you are jumping from position A to B, if you want less impact step it. 

 

1 minute break walking in place.

Repeat these intervals as many times as you would like for a maximum of 30 minutes.

When you have completed the workout send me a pic on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, all are @ugobabyfitness. I will post on all three when I’ve completed my workout for the day. This is a good way to keep myself in check too!!

2) Now onto the diet challenge for this week. 

A) Keep a journal of the calories you eat per day. This will show you how much you are actually consuming and hopefully motivate you to eat a little less if necessary.

B) Start checking ingredients on what you are eating. This seemed daunting to me for a long time, but it’s really very simple. I’ve learned that if I have to be a chemist to understand what makes up my food I shouldn’t be eating it.   Foods with less ingredients and all natural ones will keep you fuller longer and of course are more healthy for you.

C) Plan out your meals and snacks for the week and eat less more often. Research shows that people who are most successful at dieting and keeping weight off plan their meals for the week ahead.

That’s it for week 1! Check in with us at the end of this week and let us know how you did. Send photos or videos to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook:  hashtag 8toGreat, to get us inspired and really feel like we’re all in this together! I’ll be doing the same.

Good luck!! Remember this is just for one week, you can do it. Then we’ll  move onto more challenges next Saturday.

Please send any questions, thoughts or suggestions on how to make this the most effective fitness challenge out there!!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

Basics of weight loss…

 

I’m really excited to get started on our “8 to Great” slim down challenge starting this Saturday! To gear up for 2 months of intensely focused health & wellness, I wanted to go over a few basic facts about weight loss.

1) Start by counting calories. This is not something you need to do forever, but it’s a good way to gauge how much you’re actually consuming. When you realize your calorie intake per day you will be encourage to cut back on some things.

How many calories a day should you be consuming to lose weight? Here are some numbers that will be helpful for you to achieve your goal:  1,200 / day = 15 pounds, 1,500 /day = 10 pounds, 1,800 / day = 5 pounds

2) Recognize your “triggers”. For example, I always want sweets at night-time after I’ve put the kids to bed. Many a night I have devoured a large ice cream sundae as a way of “rewarding” myself for getting through the day. I know this is a tough time for me so I need to figure ways of combatting it. Sometimes I actually just go to sleep in order to avoid tempation! And that’s perfectly fine, I get good rest and wake up feeling great that I didn’t eat a ton of calories in sugar the night before.

Here are some ideas on how to control binges: 

Workout instead. Go to the gym, take a walk, perform some yoga poses to get your mind off of food.

Meditation. This practice is so good for you for so many reasons, check out my post on the benefits here. One being that it’s a way of clearing your head of distractions, like food.

Substitute. Find foods that are healthy and low in fat, calories and sugar to substitute the unhealthy craving. Since I have such a sweet tooth I’ve been buying a lot of dried fruit to keep in my house when I’m itching for something sweet. Dried cranberries, mango and pineapple are delicious and satisfying.

2) Invest in a food scale. I know it sounds daunting, but weighing things like fruits, vegetables and meat are a good idea to know exactly how much you are consuming.

3) Get a pedometer. Start implementing some moderate exercise into your day. A good way to know you’re getting the right amount of exercise is by having a pedometer on you to keep track of your steps. It’s suggested that you take 10,000 steps per day to maintain good cardiovascular health and burn a fair amount of calories.

4) Plan ahead. Many people want to lose weight for a special event and attempt to crash diet and rely on very unhealthy ways of losing weight in order to do so. Here’s an idea, plan ahead! Look at your calendar and see what you have coming up so you can be prepared for those times when you want to look especially fit. Crash diets play a number on your health and have a very negative affect on your metabolism.

5) Prepare yourself to make permanent changes. It’s been said over and over again that if you want to lose weight and keep it off you need to make lifestyle changes.

The next 8 weeks I’m going to show you ways to live a healthier, thinner and happier life. These are all suggestions that if taken seriously and implemented into your daily activities as “habits” will make you look and feel your best everyday.

Do you have anything to add to this list? Do you have any questions for me or my nutrition consultant before we begin our 8 week slim down? 

 

HIIT… High Intensity Interval Training…

 

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is something I do a lot of and will be a big part of my slim down plan starting on March 1 (make sure to follow my blog to get the updates on 8 week slim down plan). This is because of both it effectiveness and efficiency. It’s a great way to get a good workout in a short period of time and burns more calories than a long, drawn out low intensity workout.

Most of you have probably heard of High Intensity Interval Training, but do you know exactly what it is and the benefits of this form of exercise?

HIIT is a form of interval training that consists of a brief warm up followed by several intervals of high intensity (usually above your normal aerobic max) exercise followed by moderate to low recovery exercise. An example of this is the Tabata regimen which I have spoken about several times on this site. This is a very simple exercise that burns a lot of calories. The break down with tabata is 20-10, so you perform 20 seconds high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of recovery and you repeat this 4 to 10 times in row. Take a few minute break, then repeat. You can perform this workout on a bike, elliptical or treadmill. It’s a great, easy way to get the benefits of HIIT.

Here are some of the benefits of HIIT:

  • HIIT trains and conditions both your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems. You train your anaerobic system with brief, all-out efforts, like when you have to push to make it up a hill, sprint the last few hundred yards of a distance race.
  • HIIT increases the amount of calories you burn during your exercise session and afterward because it increases the length of time it takes your body to recover from each exercise session.
  • HIIT causes metabolic adaptations that enable you to use more fat as fuel under a variety of conditions. This will improve your athletic endurance as well as your fat-burning potential.
  • HIIT appears to limit muscle loss that can occur with weight loss, in comparison to traditional steady-state cardio exercise of longer duration.
  • To get the benefits HIIT, you need to push yourself past the upper end of your aerobic zone and allow your body to replenish your anaerobic energy system during the recovery intervals.

Source: Sparkpeople.com

8 week slim down initiative…

I’m calling this fitness “plan” (or more like suggestions) “8 to Great!”. I want this to be a collaborative effort so please email me any thought or suggestions on how we can make this initiative really work for everyone.

I will officially start 8 to Great in 2 weeks, March 1, mark it on your calendars! That will give us 2 months to get really fit before the weather starts to get nice and we want to put on those short skirts and bathing suits.

Here’s how to get started, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1) Follow my blog to get the weekly workouts, grocery lists and healthy recipes. I will also be creating challenges and contests where you will be entered to win prizes to help keep you motivated.

2) Like U Go Baby on Facebook for motivation and fit tips to keep you inspired. And feel free to post any fitness related comments, questions or pictures of your progress!

FacebookIcon

3) Join the U Go Baby Fitness Meetup.com group by clicking the icon below.  I want to foster and grow more U Go Baby Fitness meetup communities in your area to help you achieve your goals! Meetup.com is a place where you can meet people with the same goals as you, you can create meeting times to either workout or just talk about your fitness goals. It’s a great way to create a support system in your neck of the woods.

Please  email me any thoughts, suggestions, workouts or recipes to help make this an effective fitness initiative. Thanks everyone and I look forward to working out with you!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert