August Abs – Day 6 #MTFFplank challenge

DAY 6 #MTFFplank is the side plank dip. Start in a side plank on right arm on the floor shoulder over wrists and hips stacked. Keep your core tight and raise hips high then lower right hip and dip to the mat then back up. It’s important to keep core tight and hips stacked to prevent swaying forward or back.
Challenge:
Beginner: 10 side plank dips each side 3x
Intermediate: 15 each side 3x
Advanced: 20 each side 3x
Pro: 25 each side 4x
We are still in week 1 and just getting started – challenge a friend and get your #augustabs with me! Be sure to #MTFFplank so I can follow you!

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Start today! Email maketimforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!

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August Abs – MTFFplank Challenge

Here are days 3, 4 and 5 of the #MTFFplank challenge.

DAY 3 #MTFFplank is the plank shoulder taps. Start in high plank with shoulders over wrists, hips square and in a straight line with your spine. Keep feet a little wider than shoulder width and a neutral neck don’t look down or up. For the shoulder taps alternate tapping right hand to left shoulder and left hand to right shoulder.  SQUEEZE your belly button to the spine and spread weight evenly through the plane hand and feet. Try not to rock side to side.
Challenge:  50 shoulder taps, easy count; counting each tap. Rest for 20 seconds and repeat 4x.

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DAY 4 #MTFFplank is the side plank. Start on with right arm on the floor shoulder over wrists and hips stacked. Keep you core tight and hips high.
Challenge: Hold right side for 30 seconds switch to left side for 30 seconds. Then increase holds by 10 seconds, so 40 seconds each side, 50 seconds, then 60 until you can’t hold it any more!
We are still in week 1 and just getting started – challenge a friend and get your #augustabs with me!

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DAY 5 of the #MTFFplank challenge is the reverse plank. This plank engages your shoulder, triceps, glutes, hamstrings and core.
Start by sitting on the mat place hands under shoulders finger tips to toes and press hips up. Your body should be in straight line with yourweight even distributed. Be sure to keep your hips up by squeezing glutes, hamstrings and core. 
Challenge: Hold for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then hold for 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then 40 up and 10 rest, 50 and 5 and end with 60 seconds straight. 

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Be sure to tag #MTFFplank so in follow  your journey to get #augustabs!

Start today! Email maketimforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!

Remember to stretch after your workout!

You finish your workout and are ready to walk out the door. Just before you leave you see a few people stretching and you think “I probably should, but i just wait to get home.” Well well well let me tell you that just because you can’t SEE the results of stretching – it is just as important to help reach your goals, whether it’s losing weight or wanting to compete.

Stretching can lead to better posture, fewer aches and pains, greater confidence, and EVEN a cheerier outlook on life (yep! sure can!). Sitting can be hard on your glutes and your back. Stretching helps keep from these muscles from atrophying over time. If stretching hurts – it’s cause you really need it. Breathe through the stretch and imagine your muscle tissues releasing. Practice makes perfect. The more you stretch the easier it is and better you will feel over all.

Here is my cool down stretching routine. Find whatever works for you! I promise with consistent stretching you will feel like a new you!

Walk on treadmill til my heart rate is down (wear a heart rate monitor so you are always aware of your heart rate). Then legs a little wider than shoulder width apart, stretch down feeling it your hamstrings, go to the right side then the left and finish back at center – holding each for about 10-15 counts.

Hip flexors right leg back in a lunge position and press hips forward and squeeze right glute, then straighten left leg and lean forward to feel the stress in your hamstring. I do this 5 times alternating hip flexor and hamstring holding about 8 counts for each stretch. Then do this same thing with the left leg back squeezing that glute and pressing hips forward then straighten right leg out for hamstring stretch on that side, again holding for 8 counts each.

Next I sit on the mat and stretch my glutes by bringing my right ankle to the top of my left knee and you’ll feel that pull in your glutes. The closer the leg is to your body the deeper the stretch. Then do a spinal twist turning to the right – repeat this on the left side.

Then I lay on my back and do some spinal twists with bent knees.

Stretch out my neck from side to side then reach high then I’m done!

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Reference here

Day 2 #MTFFplank challenge – Low Plank

Day 2 of #MTFFplank challenge is the low plank. Just like the high plank keep your weight spread out evenly.  Keep forearms parallel, body in a straight line and neck neutral. The low plank is more challenging because it recruits more of your core muscles to do the work.
Can you do a low plank for 60 seconds?  Challenge friend and get #augustabs together!

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Start today! Email maketimforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!

August Abs MTFF plank challenge

Hey hey – are you up for a challenge?
Each day in August I’ll post a plank variation with directions on what to do. Get your summer abs and tighten up your core with me!  #MTFFplank so I can follow along with you!

Welllll since today is August 1, let’s get started!

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DAY 1 #MTFFplank is the high plank.

Form is key to make planks effective. Shoulders over wrists, hips square and in a straight line with your spine. SQUEEZE your belly button to the spine and spread weight evenly through hands and feet. Keep a neutral neck don’t look down or up.

Now how long can you hold it?
× Beginner – If you are new to planks start off with 10 seconds on and off for a minute repeat 3x

× Intermediate try holding 30-45 seconds rest 30-15 secs and repeat 3x

× Advanced try holding for 60 seconds, rest 10 seconds and increase 70 seconds on, 20 seconds rest and 80 seconds on, 30 seconds off and 90 seconds on, yes 4x – you’re advanced right?

× Pro do a max hold – hold til you can’t hold any more!

We are just getting started – challenge a friend and get your #augustabs with me! Be sure to #MTFFplank so I can follow you!

Start today! Email maketimforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!

Learn the Art of Balance

There is so much up and down that goes on in a day. This is just a little reminder to take things at face value. Slips ups happen. Take pride in your victories no matter how big or little.

Sometimes if I get overwhelmed or frustrated I read this quote and remind myself not to take life so seriously!

“Balance is key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Go shopping at the mall and then sit down and meditate in your bedroom. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.”  -Rachel Brathen

Hope that helps and you have a great day!

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Eating at Work!

When I first moved to Texas my job was during the evening so I was forced to eat dinner at work. Making a lunch is one thing but dinner – I know I had to be smart about what I bring because I’m at work making money not trying to spend it! Plus whatever restaurant I could run to during a break from work would not be healthy!

I try to get a protein, a carb (forget that carbs are bad! Not all are bad!) and a vegetable when I pack my dinners.  I usually stick with fish and chicken for proteins. Throw in some brown rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta for my starchy carb. My veggie of choice lately has been Kale. It’s very easy to make and I really like the crunch and flavor of baking it.  Otherwise I go with frozen broccoli, spinach or sweet potatoes.

Eating well is just a matter of planning. It’s hard to throw things together quickly if you don’t have things in the house or you are tight on time.

There are countless ways to prepare chicken, tilapia, and catfish. Find some recipes that you like and make them ahead of time, portion it out in tupperware containers and you’ll learn what works for you!

Good luck prepping!

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Don’t beat yourself up!

I used to get the worst guilt if I missed a workout or ate too much at dinner or even ate a cookie. But it’s important to remember – You are human and you don’t need to be 100% perfect all the time.

It’s simple, try to eat unprocessed foods and if you want a cookie have one maybe two, just not the whole box.

If you put yourself on a zero tolerance diet, you are setting yourself up to fail. Remember the first bite is always the best. Enjoy it then move on.  Don’t beat yourself up if you accidentally splurge!  Just don’t let it ruin the rest of the day.

One bad meal is just that one bad meal! If you crack your phone screen you don’t take a hammer and shatter the rest of it! It’s about moderation. Each meal, snack, dessert are independent of each other so don’t let one bad meal trigger a chain reaction! Plus, the longer you eat unprocessed foods and load up on vegetables the less you’ll crave sweets and other unhealthy foods!

Good luck, happy eating and here’s a quote I like to read if I get off track.

“Balance is key. In everything you do. Dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Go shopping at the mall and then sit down and meditate in your bedroom. Live high and low. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud and let that complement your abilities to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Aim for balance. Make your own rules and don’t let anybody tell you how to live according to theirs.”
Rachel Brathen
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Pumping Iron?

Did you know?

Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States, and women are among those at greatest risk. Iron is critical for producing hemoglobin, a protein that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body. So without it, everything suffers

Here are few symptoms that may be related to an iron deficiency.

  1.  Exhaustion
    This is tough to tell since many women are busy and just dismiss the tired feeling as normal when in fact it’s the most common symptom of iron deficiency
  2. Quick to lose breath
    Normal activities like walking up the stairs or you typical exercise routine causes you to lose your breath easily, easier than usual, chances are your iron is to blame.
  3. Headaches
    Iron helps produce oxygen so when you are low in iron your body will portions out your iron supply and prioritize getting oxygen to your brain although you will likely experience headaches because it still isn’t enough
  4. Increased anxiety
    Can’t relax? It may be in part to low iron since the lack of oxygen revving up your body’s sympathetic nervous system.
  5. Crave ice chips
    Ever have the urge to chew on ice chips? Those who are iron deficient! If you notice yourself going to the freezer, that’s red flag for lacking iron!

I struggled myself with iron deficiency. My doctor prescribed iron supplements for me when I was in high school and I learned to eat more dark leafy green vegetables and red meat (loaded with iron).

Before you give blood they do a finger prick to test your hemoglobin levels which is produced by the iron in blood. Any time I tired to give blood I would try to increase my iron-enriched foods but didn’t work. I’d have enough iron (hemoglobin) but not enough to give. This was a little battle within myself over the next 10 years.

I pride myself on being healthy, why couldn’t I get my iron up?

I started ID Nutrition four months ago and I’ve noticed a few things improve but little did I know biggest changes are happening on the inside.

About a month after starting ID Nutrition, which based on my personalized assessment included an iron supplement, there was blood drive at my work. I signed up just hoping I’d been eating well enough. Not even thinking of my ID Nutrition supplements.

Sure enough, I was able to give at blood drive at work. My iron (hemoglobin) was just over what it needed to be to donate! WOOOO!

Now, about 3 months later and four months since I started ID Nutrition, another blood drive popped up near my house.

I went in to donate, all the while hoping in the back of my mind that my iron (hemoglobin) was high enough.  The technician told me that hemoglobin levels needs to be 12.5 in order to give blood, mine was  was 13.7.  The technician with the Red Cross was even impressed! I knew this had to be a direct correlation of my use of ID Nutrition and my iron supplements. My hemoglobin level has never been higher and I’m so happy that I can give blood without worry of getting there just to be turned away.

It’s sometimes hard to track positive results form vitamins but this is something tangible and something that I’m so proud of! Not only is ID Life helping me fill in my nutritional gaps but in turn I can help save someone’s life.

Go take your free assessment today and see how quickly you reap the benefits of these pharmaceutical grade vitamins!

Visit jarmstrong427.idlife.com for your free ID Nutrition assessment.

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Reference here

Fun Fitness Friday – Pyramid Run

I was very active in high school and college playing sports so running has been apart of my life for basically. I actually love love love running, but let’s be honest running on a treadmill can get kinda boring!

So I came up with this pyramid run to change it up a little bit. With this run you are constantly changing paces and the longest period of running at the same pace is 5 minutes! 5 minutes anyone can do 5 minutes! These little time goals during my run help me to keep me going!

The pyramid run alternates between running at a “race pace” (RP) and “recovery” (R).

If you don’t know your race pace I suggest setting at a mile time goal.  For example, if you want to run a 10 minute mile as your RP go 6 mph and on the R you can adjust to mph slower so 4-5 mph.
The best part is that you can always adjust as you go.

What I love about this type of run is that it fits with any type of runner from the novice to the marathon runner because you adjust the speed to whatever works for you!

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The key to remembering how many minutes that the RP minutes increase 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and the R is 2 minutes except on the 1 minute RP.

Having little 1-5 minute goals really pushes me to keep going since I know can recover!

Hope you guys enjoy this run as much as I do! And I promise it’s not as easy as it looks! ;););)

Start today! Email maketimeforfit@gmail.com for a free consultation for a personalized workout program!