3 tips to start your weekend off right.

happyfriday

Happy Friday everyone! In many people’s minds the weekend is time to party. And that’s ok, you should relax and let loose a little. But if you want to achieve your physical, mental and life goals, you can’t take too long of a break. I know it’s hard to hear but if you are a person that craves a great body, mind, spirit… the work doesn’t stop for very long. I’m in pretty good shape but every day something taps me on the shoulder and says “when are you going to workout?”. I of course take days off, but always have a plan in the back of my mind to get back at it.

Here are my 3 tips for staying on track with your health and wellness goals (or getting on track depending on your circumstances) this weekend.

  1. Plan your workouts. It doesn’t have to be a trip to the gym. If it’s family time you crave plan a hike, a bike ride or to play a little football with the kiddos. But start thinking about it now and make a plan to get some good exercise in this weekend.
  2. Plan your diet. The weekends are a really tough time to stay on track nutritionally. It’s ok to indulge a little but have a general plan for what you will eat, when and how much. Think lots of vegetables, maybe some fish… if you want some tips email me.
  3. Do not drink too much!!! This is where many people fail. I know it’s been a long hard week of work and taking care of family but don’t take it out at the bar room. A drink or two is fine, but you will inevitably fall of the health, wellness and success wagon if you drink too much. Most of us know the consequences of this: extreme fatigue, sickness and eating anything in site to feel better. Anxiety is also a big side effect of boozing. Besides, do you want to be hung over playing with your children on Saturday and Sunday?

What are your tips for a great weekend?

xo,

Hil

Sleek and toned.

IMG_0527I talk about this all the time, you need to mix up your workout if you want to amp up your results. Classes are a great way to do this, but if you’re like me you’re not that big of a fan. Admittedly this comes from the virgo / control freak side of my personality. Plus, having been exercising and interested in all forms of the practice starting at a young age, I have developed a fairly good arsenal of workouts I do on a regular basis.

If you don’t have this, classes and trainers are surely beneficial. But you can also go on-line and view lots of different cardio and strength training routines that will help you as well. For example, I love spin but I don’t care for an hour-long class. I don’t want to spend all my time on a bike. I want to get my cardio in along with strength training almost every time I go to the gym. This is the only way you will get that sleek, toned physique you are looking for, by combining cardio and strength.

Back to my original story, so I love spin, don’t want to spend an hour doing it so I do a routine that I found on YouTube that I love. It’s a 25 minute interval training class and perfect for what I’m looking for. It gets me sweating and my heart rate up, I really feel like I worked hard at the end. Then I can squeeze in 10-20 minutes of toning. That’s all it takes!! Don’t get discouraged when I tell you to combine both, now you will be in the gym for almost an hour (if not more) but it flies by when you are combining different workouts and always mixing things up. Having a diverse routine is not only better for your attention span and keeping you interested, but makes a tremendous difference in how many physical “gains” you make as a result of your workouts.

I’ll post the spin class I did on my Facebook page later today.

What’s your favorite form of interval training?

xo,

Hil

Start your week off right!

I was looking at articles on this subject to get inspired and came across one that was intended to be amusing but is actually quite sad. It made me realize how far I’ve come since my drinking days. On PuckerMob.com, a site I had never heard of, the article “Case of the Mondays, 8 Ways to Kick Start Your Week“, the author simply discusses immature and disgusting ways to nurse your hangover from a weekend long binge.

This used to be me. Rolling into the office trying to just get through the day, hating my job, myself and everyone around me. That’s no way to live. I live without a drink now and am so much happier. I know to some it seems like a fate worse than death to give up drinking, but really it could not only save your life but help you create the best life you’ve ever had.

As a sober, responsible and inspired human, Monday is a great day for me to reboot. It’s a new week which gives me the feeling that I have a clean slate. Here are a few things that help me start my week off right…

  1. Wake up with time to spare. I used to be a consummate late sleeper, snoozing until the last possible moment, then rushing around to get myself ready in the morning and rushing out the door. I still have a tough time waking up, it’s a little easier now that I have natural alarm clocks, my 3 sons, waking me up every morning before 7. I try to get up a little before they do to have sometime for myself in the morning whether to workout, have a cup of coffee or stretch and meditate, it really helps to have that time to myself before the kids wake up and it’s all about them.
  2. A healthy breakfast. I used to never eat breakfast. Now I can’t go without it. I’m not that hungry in the mornings but if I skip it I’m become ravenous later in the day and eat things I shouldn’t. Also, eating a healthy breakfast is so important to kick-start your metabolism for the day.
  3. Think about what I want to accomplish for the day / week and make a list. Once I’ve cleared my head a bit and my older 2 get off to school I like to think about the week ahead and what I would like to accomplish. What appointments do I have, when am I going to squeeze in working out and updating my blog, what fun activities am I going to do with Tommy, dinners for the week, who do I need to call or message etc… having this list in front of me is a good way to organize.

That’s all I’ve got for today. What suggestions do you have for starting your week off strong?

xo, Hil

3 tips on how to get rid of stubborn belly fat.

Having gone through 3 pregnancies and gaining a significant amount of weight with each, I’m no stranger to the woes of an increased waist line that takes some time and focus to get rid of. I’m in pretty good shape at this point but still have the excess skin that comes with gaining massive weight and then losing it. I’d need surgery to get rid of it all together. I sometimes look in the mirror and find myself pulling my stomach fat up to remind myself what me belly used to look like, but I also realize that it’s a reminder that I gave birth to three beautiful children that mean the world to me.

Alright.. enough cheesy stuff, here are my tips for reducing belly fat as much as possible.

  1. Run. Cardio is the best way to reduce excess fat and jogging is one of the most effective ways of doing this.  Running about 12 miles a week, which breaks down to only about 2 miles a day, has been proven to really amp up your metabolism and reduce body fat. If you’re not comfortable running any other exercise that gets your heart rate up is also effective, you just need to do more of it. I love walking and it’s such a great low impact workout, but you need to make time to do more of it if you really want to cut weight.
  2. Amp up the protein. I’m not a fan of diets that cut out carbs completely, they are essential for so many key bodily and mental functions, but I do think cutting back on carbs while mixing in more healthy protein in your diet is a good thing. Protein, carbs and fat are all essential components of your diet but you need to have the right ratio. According to Prevention Magazine, a break down of 30% protein, 30% carbs and 30% fat, has been proven to significantly reduce body fat. Examples of healthy protein are white meat chicken and turkey, Salmon, lentils, almonds, organic whey protein…
  3. Strength training. Combining cardio and strength training is the best way to get that sleek, toned physique you crave. Strength training is not just great for target toning but also building muscle, boosting your metabolism and burning fat throughout the day. Here are some of my favorite abdominal exercises to really help tone that waistline: Bicycle crunches, planks, high knees ( I like this partially because your don’t have to lie down, but make sure your core is tight to get the full benefit), leg raises, side crunches and windmills (also a standing exercise).

If you have any questions please email me: hilary@ugobabyfitness.com 

xo,

Hilary

My secret to stay in shape.

Fit body

Staying in optimal shape requires a strict workout regimen. Follow mine at least twice a week and let me know if you start getting the results you’re looking for.

As promised I’m going to share with you the secret to how I manage to stay in shape. Now, everyone is different so how I am able to get and stay in shape may not work for you. You need to be willing to try lots of different diet and exercise techniques to figure out what works for you.

For me it’s simple, and I’ve been preaching this for a long time. Mix up your exercise regiment. First off, you need to combine cardio and weight training exercises to get a svelte, toned look. Second, the muscle you build through target toning will boost your metabolism and keep your body burning calories throughout the day. And finally, it’s the best way to get and stay interested in exercise because you and your muscles won’t get bored.

Here’s the routine I follow about 3 times a week. I exercise almost everyday, whether running, walking or hiking with my kids, I’m always active. This is the routine I do when I can get to the gym and have a little more time and freedom.

Warm up. I always warm up on the elliptical machine for 10-20 minutes.

Strength training (10 minutes). This is always different. I mix in free weight training and body weight training where I target tone my arms, legs, abs, glutes and back.

Examples: Squats, Lunges, calf extensions, walking lunges, step ups…

4 minute Tabata. This is a high intensity interval workout in a 20-10 format that I’ve written about many times on the blog. Perform any exercise of your choosing at high intensity for 20 seconds an take a 10 seconds break for 4 minutes, then rest for a minute.

Example of a tabata HIIT

20 secs running in place, 10 secs break (2X)

20 secs jumping jacks, 10 secs rest (2X)

20 seconds jumping lounges, 10 secs break (2X)

20 secs burpees, 10 secs break (2X)

10 minute strength training. Again, target toning.

Examples: (with 3-10lb free weights) Bicep curls, tricep extensions, military press.

4 minute tabata.

10 minute strength training.

Examples: sit ups, crunches, side crunches, planks, bicycle crunches…

Finally, I run 1 to 2 miles.

This might seem like a lot but once you get going you’ll enjoy it and the time will fly I swear! If you have questions about specific exercise you can do to target tone  or exactly how to perform tabata please email me at hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.

What’s your secret to staying in shape?

xo,

Hilary

Mid-Summer Shape Up

Group of women working out in fitness studio

It’s hard to stay motivated so let’s challenge ourselves to stay on track!

It’s already the middle of the summer and I have to admit it’s getting hard to stay motivated to be active and healthy. Between work, trying to keep the kids fed, active and entertained; I’m exhausted at all times. I love spending most of my time with my children and my job as a stylist is pretty great, but it’s both hard and exhausting to squeeze in workout time and stay healthy. And with all the treats that are constantly in my midst I’ve been indulging a little too much in the sweeter  things.

I need some motivation and a challenge to keep me going. I’m going to think of a fitness and diet challenge every week in August to inspire me to stay on track. I want you to do the same, I’ll check in with ya’ll on Instagram and Facebook every morning to let you know that I’m on track and you should do the same. This weeks challenge: no ice cream and complete an 8 minute Tabata every day.

If you’re not familiar with Tabata it’s a form of high intensity interval training that is performed in a 20/10 format for 4 minutes and then resting for 1 minute. You can perform almost any move in this format but if you need some suggestions Greatist has a list of 9 over to help get you started.

xo,

Hil

5 cheap and easy anti-aging tips.

calories-in-watermelon

Lycopene, contained in watermelon, has surprising anti-aging benefits.

 

I posted a pic of myself using a “detoxifying” face mask the other day and got a few responses asking a) how it worked and b) what I use on my skin. To answer the first, I didn’t really notice a difference after using the mask. Maybe I will after a few uses but nothing immediate. I’ve gotten better more immediate results with other products I’ve used, one being Manuka Honey. The mask I’ve been using is actually sold pretty inexpensively at Walmart.

Here are some other easy and affordable ways to prevent and decrease the signs of aging:

  1. Lycopene. Wearing an SPF is the #1 way to prevent aging, but did you know you can actually improve your body’s natural defense against harmful UV rays through diet? Lycopene is the skins natural sunblock and is contained in tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers and any other fruit and vegetables with a red/ orange tint. Another good source is found in green tea which also contains caffeine proven to reduce your risk of skin cancer. Eating these nutrient rich foods can increase your skins natural defense from the sun by 33%.
  2. Hydrate. Drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day is recommended for both dietary purposes and preventing the look of fine lines. You should also be incorporating a good  topical moisturizer, I like to mix it up in this department and am currently using a product by Clarins. What do you recommend?
  3. Sleep. This is probably my favorite. Especially as we get older, it’s important to get your 8 hours of sleep. It cuts down on craving junk food (another habit that increases the look of wrinkles and lines) and as you sleep your skin has a chance to repair itself boosting cellular growth and production.
  4. Cleanse. Always remove your make-up! I’m not the best at this, especially after a long day with the kids. But I’m inspired to cleanse my face every night after reading that leaving cosmetics on your face increases the size of your pores. I suggest using cleansing towelletes, I like the ones from Burt’s Bees and a gel, I’m using one by Bliss that doubles as an exfoliator.
  5. Exercise. Another favorite of mine, get moving! This increases cellular regeneration and the release of compounds that prevent cell death.

Do you have any suggestions you can share with us?

xo,

Hilary