3 Tips for staying fit this weekend

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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

What are your fitness goals?

We’re already a few weeks into spring so summer is getting near. I’m a strong advocate for being healthy and fit year round but also realize that’s not so easy for many people, myself included! With summer in our midst, the pressure is on to lose those extra pounds and stop eating the hardy and fattening foods we tend to crave in the colder months. So let’s get started!

Find your fitbliss

I would love to hear from you and help you achieve your “fit bliss”. Please let me know a few things so I can better serve you.  First, what are your current fitness goals? Second, what steps are you taking to achieve those goals? And finally, what would you like to see from this web site to help you achieve those goals? Writing it down and telling other people is a good start to holding yourself accountable for these goals and giving you more motivation to pursue and achieve your perfect fit.

I’ll tell you what my goals are, cut way down on processed sugar, get to the gym at least 4 times a week and most of all, better help YOU achieve your fitness goals. There’s not much more satisfying then when I hear from people who are inspired, motivated and most of all, SEEING RESULTS from the material I’m posting and advice I’m providing.

First step, when I get my workout in I will post it on Instagram with hashtag “fitbliss” and ask you to do the same so we can hold each other accountable.

 

FAQs about Full Body vs. Split Workouts

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I posted this weeks leg and arm workout late last night and you can view it here. It’s school vacation week so it’s been an especially busy week. I apologize for getting it up later than usual. In this video I work the legs and arms at the same time. All you’ll need is a set of 3-10 lb dumbbells.

There are lots of benefits to this type of workout, first of all it’s a time saver which is huge for a mother on the go! Second, you really amp up the cardio and muscle toning exercise you get by simply adding weight. When you add weight and get those arms and legs moving at the same time the results are exponential!

FAQs:

Is it advisable to work 2 muscles groups on the same day?

Many of you may have heard that working one muscle group at a time is best (a.k.a. split workouts). Well, this is true and not true. Full body workouts are fine for what most of us do, using lighter weights and less intensity. If you’re a body builder and lifting as much weight as possible each time you workout, than you need to focus on one group at a time and take more time to rest between muscle groups.

As far as full body workouts go and compound movements (working more than one muscle group during exercise) this is what Vitals has to say about it: Compound movements demand a lot of energy and burn more calories.

Do you recommend full body workouts or those that target individual muscle group?

I recommend whatever works for you and gets you motivated. Having said that, it depends on your goals. For weight loss, general toning and if you’re just starting out, I recommend compound movements and / or full body routines with a 24 to 28 hour rest in between. This maximizes weight loss and will help get you on the road to being stronger, having more energy and in better heath. Once you’re at a point that you are happy with physically you can move on to targeting muscle groups to really create big muscle mass (if that’s what you’re into). If you have to lose a lot of weight, lifting isn’t going to help you that much. You will be building muscle under fat, you need to get that cardio in and lose those pounds first.

Thanks for reading! Please let me know what your workout goals are in the comments below so I can tailor my posts to your needs.

XO,

Hil

Benefits of Anti-Inflammatories

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I’ve been talking quite a bit about foods that cause inflammation, today I want to talk about ones that help relieve it. Inflammation is caused when our bodies recognize something in our bodies as foreign and try to attack is. This is a good thing but not if it persists for days on end creates unnecessary chronic pain. It has also been linked to diseases such as arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even depression.

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The #1 food that causes inflammation is sugar. Other foods to avoid include red meat, fried foods, vegetable oil, refined flour, artificial sweeteners and the list goes on…

Here are a list of some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods and how to eat them.

  1. Green leafy vegetables such as Kale, Spinach and Collard Greens. I love  these types of veggies sautéed with olive oil (another ) lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  2. Salmon. I generally like to bake my salmon, you can throw in a lot of vegetables to amp up the nutrients levels and help making dinner a lot easier by cooking your protein and veggies all at once. easier clean up as well.
  3. Spice it up. There are a LOTS of spices that you can add to many dishes to add flavor and give you the anti-inflammatory benefits. Here are a few: Turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, and black pepper.

What’s your favorite?

XO,

Hil

Today’s HIIT.

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I love high intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of exercise can take on many forms. I like the tabata format, this effort ratio torches calories and you only need to do it for 10 minutes to see results.

Here’s how it works: pick an exercise that you can perform at high intensity  for 20 seconds and then walk it out for 10 seconds. Do this for 4 minutes then rest for one minute. Then another 4 minutes and rest. I usually mix in some strength training in between, but for today just focus on doing the HIIT as many times as you can comfortably.

Fo these exercises in the 20/10 format.

1) High Knees.

2) Skaters.

3) Jumping lunge.

4) Burpees.

Comment below and let me know how you did and how many sets you were able to do. Don’t over do it! I don’t want you to hurt yourself and he too sore tomorrow. Do what feels comfortable while still challenging yourself!

xo,

Hilary

Post baby abs and how feelings of insecurity can be useful.

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I posted a picture of myself recently that got some very nice attention and compliments from family, friends and followers. I was also asked by a few people what I do to keep my abs in such good shape. I just had my third son, so I’m not without the imperfections of pregnancy. I do have stretch marks and skin that just won’t seem to go back into place. However, I don’t mind them, they are a sign of giving birth and a reminder of my three beautiful children.. blah blah blah…

Enough of the sentimental mooshy stuff, as much as I really do feel that way and think that embracing our imperfections is a must, this is something that’s very difficult to do.  I appreciate, love and accept who I am most of the time. However, there are times I look in the mirror and wish I didn’t have the lines on my stomach or the varicose veins that appear as I age. These feelings of insecurity are ok, even necessary, as long as you’re not consumed by them but instead use them as motivation to engage in a healthier lifestyle.

As far as ab workouts are concerned, and really all workouts, I like to mix it up. But, the staple of my workout, that I do almost every time I go to the gym is the Pilates 5. Pilates in general is an amazing core workout, in my mind the best. I started doing it after my first son was born and a trainer told me that pilates was the best core workout to strengthen your abs and really pull everything back into place after giving birth.

Here is a link to a short video where I demonstrate these 5 exercises. It includes my favorite workout song of the moment, so if you don’t care for the exercises you can simply listen to Rihanna belt out “This is What You Came For.”

Some notes on how to perform this workout:

First off, make sure you engage (tighten) your abs to protect your back while you perform each exercise. Also, your lower back should touch the mat, if it doesn’t modify your position so it does otherwise you risk injury.

The first move is the “100”; the intention is to hold the position shown while breathing in for 5 and out for 5 while pumping your arms 100x. Do this with your legs in table top position or for more of a challenge, straighten them. Whatever is most comfortable. I perform each move about 5 times each, I suggest doing 10- 20 reps. As an added bonus there are planks at the end, hold these positions for 30 seconds, or longer if you can!

Thanks for reading!

Xo,

Hil

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. 

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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. 

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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