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

Mediterranean Diet

chicken and dill

Easy to prepare Chicken and Dill recipe is sure to be a hit with the family.

Everything I’ve read over the years about a healthy diet always leads back to one place, the Mediterranean style of eating. And, quite frankly, it’s not that hard to take part in this healthy way of life. Basically it includes everything I preach about eating on a regular basis to slim down and stay healthy and fit.

“Mediterranean-type diets highlight whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from fish, nuts, and healthy oils.” – Harvard Medical School

Another fun fact I learned from HealthBeat, Harvard’s on-line medical journal, is that it has been proven to decrease risk of heart disease as well as dementia and Alzheimer’sdisease.

Here’s a recipe I served up tonight from EatingWell.com. Quick, easy, low cal and perfect if you’re trying to follow a Mediterranean style of eating. Chicken breast is a great form of lean protein and lemon is chock full of anti-oxidants. I served this with broccoli but any side of greens is a great addition to round out your meal with nutrient dense foods that will make you stay fuller longer.

Lemon and Dill Chicken

  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 1½ teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and tent with foil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons oil to the pan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth, flour, 1 tablespoon dill and lemon juice in a measuring cup and add to pan. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan; reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Season sauce with salt and pepper and spoon over the chicken. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill.

Top 5 healthy food options at the convenient store.

krave

We’ve all been there, you rush out of the house and forget to pack a healthy snack. You end up out longer then expected and in dire need of some nutrients to recharge your battery. You wander into the 7 Eleven, or whatever other convenient store you happen to stumble upon and are confronted with more unhealthy food options then you knew existed! Believe it or not there are some options at these stores that will keep you on a healthy track. Here are my top 5 suggestions:

  1. Nuts. If they have unsalted walnuts or almonds these are great option. Make sure to look at the ingredients that they aren’t cooked in oil and have any sugar added to make this healthy snack into an oily sugar bomb.
  2. Yogurt. Preferably a greek yogurt like Chobani or Fage, which have less sugar then other brands.
  3. Granola. Always a good on the go option packed with all sorts of filling ingredients. Note: Do not purchase the any trail mix that contains candy! For example a number of brands contain M & Ms which provide great taste but empty calories.
  4. Sandwich. Look for one of the pre-made sandwiches on whole wheat bread (no high fructose corn syrup!) with Turkey or Chicken (these are less processed than other deli meats), topped with veggies and little added other than that.
  5. Beef jerky. Surprisingly this can be a healthy snack option. It’s got protein to give you energy and is surprisingly lean.

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.