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

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