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

 

 

Best sources of protein.

egg-white

With a protein to fat ratio of 60:1, egg whites are unquestionably one of the purest forms of protein in the world. –Bodybuilding.com

I’m really amping up my workouts lately. My goal is to not only tone but build muscle. In order to build muscle it’s crucial to consume the right amount of protein and the right kind. Protein is known as the building blocks for bodily function and maintainance. It is necessary for the development and repair of hair, skin, eyes, muscles and organs.

Protein as Energy

Protein is used as energy when your body has used all of the carbohydrates and fats that you’ve consumed. I’ve read that using protein in this way is actually not good because your body needs protein for more important purposes, like rebuilding muscle tissue. However if you consume protein in excess your body will store it as fat and too much of it is harmful to your organs. So a healthy balance is vital.

3 Great Sources of Protein

  1. Egg whites. Everywhere I go I read that eggs are the perfect protein for a fit physique. They contain all of the essential amino acids needed to rebuild muscle and are one of the most efficient proteins in that they are readily used by your body for protein synthesis. Egg yolks have great nutritional value as well, but are high in cholesterol so keep the use of them down as much as possible.
  2. Chicken and Turkey breast. These low fat options are packed with protein. I suggest cooking enough at the beggening of the week to easily use on salads, in brown rice or for a healthy sandwich made with whole wheat bread. They are a great, easy way to add protein to so many dishes.
  3. Beans and Legumes. These are high in protein AND fiber. Fiber is a wonderful source of carbohydrates that helps keep you fuller longer and assists in regulating blood sugar. Kidney beans are a popular options for fitness enthusiasts as they contain 14 g or protein and fiber per serving.

What’s your favorite protein source?

Thanks for reading!

xo,

Hilary

Unpack the mental baggage.

Woman-meditating-on-the-beach-at-sunrise

One of the most important things we can do to take care of ourselves, and in turn others, is to mentally “unpack”. Humans get jammed up with the everyday tasks, to do lists, problems and whatever else is taking up space in our heads. In order to function with clarity and walk with more confidence and grace we need to unwind and clear our heads.

Meditation is a wonderful way of doing this. I heard someone recently compare it to when you delete items from your phone or computer and it starts running a lot faster. A brilliant analogy. But, there are many other ways to accomplish this that you may find more effective. I am not that good at mediation. I try to do it for a 10 minutes (even 2 minutes makes a difference) each night but sometimes that doesn’t happen or I just can’t seem to relax enough to get into the zone.

Here are some other ways you can “mentally unpack” that might be helpful:

  1. Yoga. Focusing on different poses and breath work help to get your mind focused.
  2. Read a good novel. This is fairly simple, but getting your mind hooked on an intriguing story can make you forget about life’s problems.
  3. Acupuncture. Many people I’ve spoken to who have trouble with meditation find acupuncture to be a great alternative.
  4. Cooking. Find a recipe that you’ve never tried before and throw yourself into the process of making it.
  5. Exercise. My tried and true method, when all else fails getting in a good workout always makes me feel better about the world.

5 Tips for getting started running.

The Boston Marathon was today and perhaps some of you are inspired to train for a marathon or simply start running. It might seem a bit daunting to some of you who have never run before. I started running as a kid, my dad was an avid runner and I would often run with him in Prospect and Central Parks in New York. It was really easy to run with such beautiful spots to choose from, plus there were so many runners, bikers and roller bladers around it was easy to get inspired. I forget how hard it might be for those who haven’t run before and might have some hesitation getting started. Here are some tips.

 

  1. Find a good running path. Do some research and ask around about good areas to run. It’ll be easier to start and stick with it if you have a scenic location with optimal running paths.
  2. Spring time is the best time. Now is the best time of year to get started, it’s warming up but not too warm yet. And once your get into the rhythm it’ll be much easier to stick with when the weather isn’t so great.
  3. Plot your course. There are great on line apps that will tell you how far you’ve gone and even give you reviews of paths other runners have already chartered for you. An example is MapMyRun. I find that when I know how far I’m running it helps keep me going.
  4. Get some good running shoes. This is very important. Old sneakers, sneakers that are too small or not appropriate for running can damage your feet and joints. You can get some good advice at running stores like Marathon Sports.
  5. Take it one mile at a time. A lot of people I’ve talked to about running get discouraged quickly. If you have never been a runner you need to take it easy and be kind to yourself through the process. Start by running one mile, or even a half a mile, then work up from there. As you gain strength, run longer, this requires you pushing yourself but you will be surprised at how easy it starts to become after even just a few weeks.

Do you have any tips or need any advice about running? Post your questions comments below and I’ll be happy to answer them.

Thanks!

xo,

Hilary

3 Tips for staying fit this weekend

women-walking-burn-calories-400x400

Think of the weekend as an opportunity to amp up your fitness game.

People often use the weekend as an excuse to cheat on their diet and not exercise. That’s fine as long as you are not trying to bring your physical, mental and emotional state to a higher level. However, if you are (and if you’re reading this you probably are) I have some suggestions for you.

  1. Change your mind about the weekend. What do I mean by this? Think of the weekend as an opportunity to practice health and wellness instead of a chance to binge, sleep and watch Netflix. It’s ok to indulge a little, but if you change your general mindset and get in the habit of thinking of the weekend as having more time to focus on participating in healthy activities like hikes, running, getting to a yoga class or spending a little time making a shopping list for the week containing more whole foods and less processed ones; it will help you stay on track and not gain or regain those unwanted pounds.
  2. Do something good for someone else. This is a great way to show gratitude and to get your mind off of those unhealthy foods you may be craving. Make a plan to volunteer a little of your time or give back in some other way; this will fill your soul with love and gratefulness rather than filling your belly with fried food and sugar.
  3. Plan ahead. You know weekends are hard so make a plan to keep on track. Schedule a workout class and make sure you have healthy food options in your house to curb cravings.

What healthy activity are you doing this weekend?

Xo,

Hilary