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

This weeks High Intensity Interval Workout.

I’ve been posting a HIIT (high intensity interval training) every Monday on my YouTube channel. This week I’m posting the HIIT here because I won’t be able to get to filming.

I also wanted to take a moment to talk a little about how to get fit and stay fit. Many people I encounter ask me what I do to stay in shape especially after having 3 kids.  Here’s my answer: If you want to know what I do to get and stay in shape, follow my blog and do my weekly workouts. If you’re not willing to do the work, like the HIIT and strength training exercises I post every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you’re not going to get in better shape. So get up, get pumped and do it!

With that, here’s your HIIT for the week. Perform this at least twice but preferably 3 or 4 times this week. Message me with any questions about this workout (including if you need modifications) or anything else at ugobabyfitness@gmail.com.

img_6256

 

Kids and Physical Fitness.

girl-hoola-hooping

Hula Hooping is a fun way for your family to get some cardio (and work that mid-section).

The the topic of the Super Bowl and football has me thinking about kids and physical fitness. Many children, mine included, are talking about football and getting excited for the game this weekend. I wanted to talk a little about how you can use this topic, and other ideas, to motivate your children to workout and be physically fit. Most kids don’t need a strict workout regimen as they probably get enough exercise by running and playing with their friends. But it is a good idea to start talking about why exercise is important and if your children love football that’s a good way to inspire them to want to be physically active and fit throughout their life.

Tips for inspiring your children to be active:

  1. On the topic of football, if your children enjoy watching sports and maybe have a favorite player, tell them how important it is for athletes to take care of their bodies with diet and exercise. For  example, I spoke about Tom Brady’s diet on the blog yesterday, this is a very strict diet that I don’t think any child should partake in, but it’s an example of how disciplined athletes need to be to stay in top physical condition.
  2. Workout in front of your children. My husband and I are constantly exercising in front of our children so they know how important working out is to us. Explain to them why you workout and the benefits you get from it.
  3. Show them some of the exercises you do to stay in shape and stay strong. Some basic exercises like crunches, push-ups (starting on their knees for better posture), squats and lunges are a good way to familiarize them with strength training. You can also give a basic anatomy lesson by telling them what muscle groups they are working.
  4. Talk about aerobic exercise. They probably get enough of this running around with their friends and playing sports. But explaining to them how these activities are beneficial is a good idea.

Do you have any suggestions to add to the list?

xo,

Hil

Exercising while pregnant.

The last thing I’ve wanted to do since the first few months into this pregnancy is workout. I have been so tired, uncomfortable and overall not feeling well this entire pregnancy. I’m not expecting sympathy by telling you this, I simply want to give you my experience in case you may be feeling the same way. It’s hard to feel this way when you are used to being pretty active and fit.

I’m nearing the end, about a month to go. I’ve gotten a little of my energy and motivation back and trying to take advantage of that and get some exercise in. I know whatever I can do will help me feel better right not, make it easier to get back into shape post partum and give me a little more strength in the delivery room.

When it comes to working out during pregnancy, simply try your best and do what you can. Don’t feel bad if you need some time off from the gym. The baby is taking a lot of energy out of you at this time so if you’re body is telling you to take it easy, pay attention to it and don’t force it.

Here are some safe exercises you can do while your pregnant. I suggest walking or doing the elliptical machine for cardio. Low impact comfortable workouts are effective and feel the best on your joints. Plus they cause less cramping than high impact cardio.

Abdominals and core.

1)Planks are a great way to tone your entire body. Plus they are a great exercise in preparation for labor. They are the best at strengthening your abdominal floor and you may notice force you into a kegel.

Regular plank:

image

Legs and butt.

1) Squats.

image

2) Lunges.

image

Arms. One thing you can really work while your pregnancy are your arms. We often talk about toning our abs and legs but our arms are just as, if not more, important. Having sleek, toned arms makes you look and feel fit. Plus they are one of the most exposed parts of our bodies! I don’t know about you but I’m not wearing any midriff baring shirts these days.

Here are two of the best exercises you can do for your arms.

1) Bicep curls.

image

2)Triceps extensions.

image

What exercised can you add to this list?

Thanks for reading.

xoxo,

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

Exercise requires healthy joints.

My 8 week slim down plan starts next week and of course a big part of slimming down requires a fair amount of exercise. Many workouts that promise intense results require a lot of high impact moves which take their toll on your joints. My workouts will have some high impact exercises but I will be sure to include modifications for those of you who prefer or don’t feel comfortable performing these moves.

A good way to prepare yourself to live a more active lifestyle is by taking care of your joints:

Keeping your joints healthy will allow you to run, walk, jump, play sports, and do the other things you like to do. Physical activity, a balanced diet, avoiding injuries, and getting plenty of sleep will help you stay healthy and keep your joints healthy too.

Here’s how:

1) Use it or lose it! Staying active promotes joint health, if you don’t use your joints they try to get away with doing as little as possible. So stay active and make sure your stretch before and after working out so your joints get the extension they need.

2) Weight Training. Weight training not only builds muscle that protect your joints but also increases bone strength and thickness. Thicker bones protect your bones from problems down the road.

3) Don’t over do it! Exercise helps protect your joints but is also detrimental to them if you are not doing them correctly or if you are overdoing it. Pay attention to your body and do what feels comfortable for your. Exercise should not hurt. It’s good to challenge yourself aerobically and strength wise but your joints should not hurt you in the process.

Here are some foods that can help:

1) Salmon. Omega 3 fatty acids are a great anti-inflammatory which is important for joint health. Salmon particularly wild salmon, is a great source of this.

2) Almonds. Rich in vitamin E, these nuts protect the outer membranes of the joints.

3) Papaya. This fruit contains the most vitamin C of any. Vitamin C is an anti-oxidant that penetrates into cells and protects DNA from free radical damage.

Want to know more food that help? Check out the list here: 8 Foods for Healthy Joints

Make sure to follow along on the U Go Baby fitness Plan starting March 1. It’s only 8 weeks and will get you into great shape for summer if you take it seriously. 

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert