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

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

Combining fashion and fitness.

Athleisure cover

I’ve been struggling with trying to combine my fashion and fitness expertise into one “brand”. I love both so very much and when I’m in the midst of either am so happy. I love the joy of putting together a killer outfit and the feeling a great workout and eating healthy bring to me. I struggle with how I can share these with the world in a streamlined, sensible way.

Nowadays the two go had in hand. Fashion and fitness are so intertwined for a few reasons. First, the emergence of Athleisure has made it not only fashionable but practical to dress in fitness apparel. That is if you’re doing it right of course! If you follow me on Instagram  (@ugobabyfitness) you’ll know I work as a stylist at Saks Fifth Avenue in Boston, so I get to see all the latest styles come in. From Public School, Opening Ceremony, to even higher end designer brands like Fendi and Vehements, athletic is the latest aesthetic.

If you struggle with how you can sport this style here are some ideas I pulled from some Street Style sites.

athleisureafro

Midriff baring tops are back big time. If you are comfortable enough rock the hell out of those sports bras wherever you go. 

athleisurebold

This i certainly a more bold look, red heels are a must in anyone’s wardrobe. They go with everything!

 

athleisuregigihadid

I love how Gigi pairs her gym outfit with an elegant coat.

athleisureglam

athleisuremoto

This is your most basic athleisure look, I love it though. Simple and so on trend. The motorcycle jacket is everything right now.

athleisurestripped pants

I love how these heels pair with the striped pants. 

athliesuresneakers

You can wear sneakers with anything. 

Some of these styles are a bit more bold than others, but they can help inspire you to get more fashionable, funky and even glamorous with your workout clothes. What’s your favorite athleisure look?

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