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.



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.

That it! Good luck everybody! And let me know if you have any questions about diet or exercise at Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.
Hilary Ann Lambert

Kicking the winter blues…

I’m back! It’s been a while but I’m ready to start motivating my readers again. I have to admit that as much as I love fitness and living an overall healthy lifestyle, it’s not always easy to stick to it. Especially during the harsh winter months. Do any of you out there suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? I definitely do and despite my urge to be lazy and eat junk food during this tough time of year I know the only way out of my crummy mood is by working out and eating healthy.
Do yourself a favor this weekend and get in a workout. You should be doing 30 minutes of cardio almost everyday. If you don’t have a gym membership get one and use it! Or, many local malls have walking hours in the mornings before the stores open. Another option is signing up for a workout class like kick boxing, pilates, spinning and exercise DVDs are always a great way to get fit at home. My neighbors got the Insanity box set and have been setting their alarms extra early to get a workout in before the kids wake up and they have to leave for work. Very motivated!
And no one is worse than I am when it comes to sugar cravings. I’m truly addicted, but as much as I want to drown my winter sorrows in a bag of M&Ms I need to remind myself that it’ll only make me feel more tired and irritable. Here are some healthy meal recipes that will, according to Health.com, that boost your energy and happiness.
Hilary Ann Lambert

Interview with fitness trainer Cheryl Chandler of Fitness Unlimited…

Fitness Unlimited

I had the great opportunity of asking an experienced fitness trainer, with a great track record of helping clients achieve their fitness goals, a few questions about how she stays fit and helps others to do the same…

Cheryl Chandler, Personal Trainer at Fitness Unlimited in East Milton Square

1) First off, tell us a little about yourself and how you got your start as a fitness trainer?

I am a personal trainer and work at Fitness Unlimited, an all women’s gym in Milton, MA.

I’ve been involved with the health and fitness industry for over 20 years. I’ve always really enjoyed working out and like to help people incorporate working out into their daily routine. Help them get to a point where they realize how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle of working out and eating healthy. I ask my clients to work hard so it’s up to me to do the same. It helps motivate them when we do it together.

2) What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job is seeing my clients succeed, reach their goals and feel better.  Start to believe in themselves. 

3) Do you have suggestions for simple ways to live a healthier lifestyle, whether it be through diet or exercise?

Living a healthy lifestyle is a commitment to both exercise and diet. Diet is very important. I encourage my clients to eat well, make good food choices, count calories if their goal is to lose weight, stay away from fried food and eat at least 3 meals a day. Don’t starve yourself and don’t skip meals especially breakfast. It’s so important to fuel your body. You can’t get through a workout without fuel! Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

4) For those who can’t afford a gym membership, what’s a good tip to get a workout in without all the fancy equipment?

Joining a gym is so important in ones journey to maintain a healthy lifestyle but if that’s not possible there are many ways to get in shape. For example body weight exercises are very effective and can be done anywhere…squats, push-ups, crunches and planks. Add cardio to your workout with jumping jacks, jump squats and burpees. These exercises really get your heart rate up and aid you in maximizing fat and calorie burn. There are so many exercises that can be done without equipment. Go for a walk, park farther away from your destination, house and yard work!

5) Was there a notable experience as a trainer that made you realize that what you do is really special and life changing for those you work with?

The best part of the job is being a part of someone’s success.  Coaching a client and sticking with them.  I helped a client reach her goal of losing 100lbs! What an accomplishment. She worked and continues to work hard. I enjoyed helping her get there and am honored that we are still working together to keep the weight off.   Having a client say thank you for pushing me, or I finished the road race, my knee feels better, I walked up the stairs today instead of taking the elevator I feel stronger and healthier! 

6) What’s your go to exercise to stay in tip top shape?

Burpees are my go to exercise. They are a total body exercise and they are really hard. No one likes to do them but they are effective.

7) What’s THE fitness trend for 2013?

Small group personal training is a big trend for 2013. Share an hour or ½ hour of training with up to 10 people.  Work together, motivate and encourage each other.  It’s affordable and it’s fun.  I offer several small group training classes at Fitness Unlimited. 

To learn more about Fitness Unlimited and their personal training packages check out the web site by clicking here.

Thanks so much Cheryl for taking the time to answer these questions! I’m motivated to go do some burpees now! If you’re not sure what burpees are, here’s a short demonstration…

Top Ten Ways to get Fit in 2013

1) Cut out Dairy

Dairy foods are good sources of calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D, but they can provide considerable amounts of fat. Once popularized as food that could help you lose weight, unrestricted dairy intake was soon shown to increase weight, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reports. The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) says dairy can be included in a healthful diet, but it should be low in fat. Consumption of cheese, ice cream, and higher-fat dairy foods should be limited. Such foods provide discretionary calories and can be removed from the diet without any adverse effects. 
C/O Livestrong.com

2) Switch to Whole grains

Switching to 100% whole-wheat or whole-grain bread is easy, especially now that so many 100% whole-wheat products are available in supermarkets — from hot dog buns to breakfast cereals to pasta.

Whole grains are naturally low-fat and cholesterol free; contain 10% to 15% protein; and offer loads of fiber, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and more. Whole grains can help to protect you against cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity, and some cancers. And you may see a difference quickly, some experts say.

C/O WebMD.com

3) Walk whenever possible! To the store, work, to pick up your kids. If it’s cold, bundle up and go!! I promise you’ll feel great if you do.

4) Get inspired by music… my current gym fav is this one, Calvin Harris and Florence Welch’s Sweet Nothing

5) Sign up for a class… Barre, Yoga, Zumba, Pilates, Kickboxing.. whatever it is sign up! Don’t join a gym if you’ve never gone before. If you sign up for a class they’ll teach you the moves and you will be in it with the rest of the group, you’ll meet people and have fun with it! Besides, you’ll be more aped to go if you pay for a class that meets at a specific time once or twice a week then if you get a monthly pass to a gym.

6) Get a subscription to a health magazine.

7) Put up pictures of your ideal body. Picturing someone who’s especially fit helps me to run a little faster and /or eat a little less.

Zoe Saldana

8) Weight Train.

9) Get a workout buddy.

10) Count Calories or join Weight Watchers and work the point system, it really works!