Fitness

2016 goals update: Six-month check in!

2016 goals updateYou know you’re probably not on track with the goals you set out for yourself in January when you can’t even remember what they are.

Since we’re half way to 2017, I thought I’d review the goals I set out for myself earlier this year to see how much progress I’ve made, and whether or not I should revisit and revise my goals for the year. A lot actually changed in January after I set out these goals (moved in with Matt, started a new job, secured some consistent freelance, got a new puppy), so I’m not too upset by my progress so far… which is essentially nada.

Let’s have a look at those goals, shall we?

(more…)

Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016: Week 4 update (and what happened when I went off the nutrition plan this past weekend)

Week 4 RecapHappy almost Friday, friends! Sorry for the lack of blog posts and engagement lately — I’ve been trying to pack in more freelance articles (two more for AskMen.com!) during the week to keep my weekends free and clear for fun activities… like camping!

I doubled-down on my Tone It Up Bikini Series workouts this past week and took some measurements at the three week mark to see how I was doing. I definitely felt better and less bloated, but it was great to see a wee half-inch drop all around (except for the booty!) and the 4 lbs I gained livin’ it up at Disneyland and Vegas in February absent from the scale. To celebrate, I #ateallthethings when I went camping this past weekend and paid the price.  (more…)

3 ways you can help convince a family member or friend to get healthy

3 ways you can help convince a family member or friend to get healthyIf you’ve been a reader of my blog for awhile, you may know my story about how and why I got into running, and later health and fitness and personal training. Although I know I’ve inspired a few friends and readers to start their own health and fitness journeys (which is amazing and awesome and is the  number one reason why I continue to share my experiences on social media), the one person I’ve always been trying to inspire is seemingly un-inspirable.

My dad.

The one who’s health issues scared me into exercise in the first place and made me swear off fast food forever. He’s stubborn, set in his ways, and can’t stand to be told “no”.

Perhaps you also have a stubborn loved one, close friend, spouse, brother, sister or parent who has bad and harmful habits you wish they would stop, because you can see how detrimental it is to their health. That despite heart attacks, angina, various heart surgeries and diabetes that has all but claimed their mobility, they just can’t change their ways. Because to you, you think that they’d rather eat burgers and fries and sweets and alcohol than be around for your wedding day. You think that because they don’t care about themselves, they don’t care about you. (more…)

Are you self-creating stress?

My happy place. I always make time to get out in nature with the dogs.

My happy place. I always make time to get out in nature with the dogs.

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about balance, and my constant struggle to find it. Especially right now, with the month of May being full of birthdays, camping, trips and other activities. My weekends are pretty much booked full for the next two months. Part of me is excited by all these fun things and experiences I get to be a part of, but the other part is wondering how I’m going to find the time to take care of general chores, tackle yard work, write blog posts, write my regular freelance articles, help my online fitness clients, work at my 9-5 job, and make time for family and self care.

According to the American Psychological Association, busyness is the reason why the majority of American’s have high stress levels that interferes with their health, and as author Scott Dannemiller points out in this Huffington Post piece, the majority of the stress we experience is brought on ourselves:

Dr. Michael Marmot, a British epidemiologist, has studied stress and its effects, and found the root causes to be two types of busyness. Though he doesn’t give them official names, he describes the most damaging as busyness without control, which primarily affects the poor. Their economic reality simply does not allow for downtime. They have to work two to three jobs to keep the family afloat. When you add kids to the mix, it becomes overwhelming, and the stress results in legitimate health problems.

The second type of busyness also results in health problems, but it is a sickness we bring on ourselves. Like voluntarily licking the door handle of a preschool bathroom or having a sweaty picnic in the Ball Pit at Chuck E. Cheese’s.

It’s busyness we control.

Self-created stress.

I definitely think I self-create the majority of my stress. (more…)

Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016 – Week 2 Recap

bikini RecapWell, week two of of Tone It Up Bikini Series didn’t go as smoothly as week one, but that’s the beauty of causally following a plan with flexible guidelines — you get to make it work for you!

Workouts
I hit all my workouts as planned and then some, which I was happy about. I also did the 5 Daily Moves and 15-20 minutes of incline walking on the treadmill or a 20-minute dog walk every day. All workouts are from Tone It Up Beach Babe 4.

Monday – HIIT Me Up (a 20-minute HIIT workout with dumbbells), Toned Arms (12-minute dumbbell and band arm workout)
Tuesday – Kettle Flow (a 20-minute flow yoga routine that incorporates a kettle bell)
Wednesday – Rock Your Body (a 20-minutes Pilates and Barre workout) and a 30-minute run
Thursday – Upper Body Total Toner (a 23-minute upper body workout with dumbbells and bands), Cardio Abs (standing ab moves with cardio bursts)
Friday – Booty Workout (a 20-minute mini bands and dumbbell glute workout), K+K Slay (a 11-minute cardio/HIIT workout)
Saturday – Cardio Flow (a 12-minute flow yoga routine), Toned Arms
Sunday – 8K run (which was AWESOME, by the way… no pain and ran at my normal pre-marathon pace) Toned Abs (a 20-minute yoga core workout)

I seriously look forward to these workouts every morning. They’re challenging, but also fun. (more…)

Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016: Week 1 Review

Meal prep Sunday for the Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016!

Meal prep Sunday for the Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016!

Despite not lifting heavy weights during my usual early morning sweat seshes, my muscles sure feel like they got a good workout this past week. Everything from by abs to my glutes to my shoulder to my biceps feel worked. So that’s a good sign!

I did the full 7-day routine, which included 2 to 3 short workouts per day (that I went over in detail in my last post if you want to know more) plus a few 5K runs and 40-minute dog walks. I also followed the meal plan more or less. Well, I made most of the meals on the plan, but added about 25 per cent more calories from other suggested snacks or things I like, because the calorie count was far too low for me to function on. I tried everything suggested for meals on the first three days of week one, then stuck to my favourites for the rest of the week (I’m obsessed with the protein pancake!). (more…)

Fitness Friday: “Toning” workouts and a running injury returns

fitnessfridayHappy Friday, friends!

As I explained a few posts ago, I finished my 8-week muscle and strength building program (which did help put on some baby muscles!) and started the Tone It Up Bikini Series this week.

I was skeptical about the Bikini Series workouts, because they looked like fluffy women’s fitness magazine workouts with lots of body weight exercises and strength training (or “toning” moves, as they call them) with tiny pink dumbbells. Now, that’s not going to do a whole lot to build muscle or make you stronger. But it’s a good place to start of you’re a beginner and not ready to get into true strength training. While online videos and DVDs are fine for body weight and light dumbbell exercises, I think proper strength training requires the assistance of a personal trainer or coach to ensure you’re performing the exercises correctly, so a) you don’t injury yourself, and b) you actually benefit from the moves. That said, there’s certainly a place for lighter, Pilates-type exercises. They do a good job of working your core and your ancillary muscles (triceps and biceps, etc.), and are particularly great if you’re rehabing an injury and can’t do heavy lifting or more intense exercise.

Anyway, here’s what my week of workouts looked like: (more…)

Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016 – My first impressions of the program

Meal prep Sunday for the Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016!

Meal prep Sunday for the Tone It Up Bikini Series 2016!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed my posts have quadrupled since last week and are littered with hashtags about #tius and #bikinis. #sorrynotsorry.

As I explained in this post, I’ve joined a few thousand other women to take on the Tone It Up 2016 Bikini Series Challenge for the next eight weeks. And aside from keeping up with the group and feeling like a part of the community, all the posts and hashtags = chances at awesome prizes, including a trip to Turks and Caicos. Hence why I’m #sorrynotsorry.

I’ll do a full recap at the end of each week to let you know how it went and my thoughts on the workouts and meals (since they change a bit each week), but I thought I’d share some initial thoughts I’ve had since reviewing the program, doing Sunday meal prep and how changing up my morning routine went on day one. (more…)

A boredom-busting treadmill workout

Treadmill WorkoutEven though I run outside year-round on Vancouver Island, there are some days (like today… and pretty much all of January and February) when it’s too cold and miserable outside to run. Well, it’s not really—but I’m much more likely to actually get my workout in than skip it if I can be comfortable during said workout.

Enter the treadmill (aka dreadmill). Sure, it’s not as fun or challenging as running on a single-track trail over roots and rocks—but the treadmill can be an effective way to get in a great aerobic workout when any outside run just isn’t possible.

To beat treadmill-running boredom and to help increase your aerobic capacity and leg strength, try doing a fartlek run (a run consisting of various inclines and speeds from easy to moderate to hard) for your treadmill workout. If you need something more structured than just running fast and slow and adjusting the incline on the fly for your treadmill run, try this 40-minute fartlek treadmill workout: (more…)

Workout Wednesday: 4-day beginner upper/lower split strength training program

upper lower splitAs promised, here’s my current muscle-building workout routine I’ll be doing for the next 8 to 10 weeks! This is a beginner 4-day upper/lower split strength training program focused on building strength and hypertrophy you can do at the gym or at home with some modifications. Each workout contains a combination of push-pull exercises, beginning with major muscle groups and ending with accessory exercises. Because I only have about 40 minutes to workout in the morning, I’ve programmed these workouts as supersets, where you can perform each exercises back-to-back in sets with very little rest time in between. If you have more time or are a true beginner/plan on lifting heavier, I suggest taking longer breaks in between exercises. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: