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!

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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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!

What is flax seed and how do I eat it?

Flax seed comes from flax which is one of the oldest fiber crops in the entire world. It has taken the health industry by storm and it lives up to its reputation.  Flax seed is loaded with the “good stuff.” It is a great source of omega 3 fat (healthy fat), antioxidants and fiber. It can also protect from colon, breast, and prostate cancers as it has been said to prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Flax seeds can also lower cholesterol, prevent hot flashes, improve blood sugar and helps with constipation due to the high fiber content.

How? Where do you add flax seed to your diet?

Add flax seed to:
Salads, yogurt, muffins, oatmeal, protein shakes, bread chicken, french toast, apple sauce, ice cream, cottage cheese or substitute an egg! There are tons of possibles and more details click here!

Load up on flax seed where you can you will see and feel it many benefits!

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Reference here and here

Simple and delicious salad

One of my “go-to” salad is this spinach avocado tomato salad. It’s easy and delicious.

Recipe:
Spinach leaves
Half an avocado, diced
Half a tomato,  diced
Dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Viola simple, easy and nutritious! And the best part – there’s no wrong way to make a salad. Add in more of what you like and take out what you don’t.

What are your favorite salads?!

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Hitting the gym?  Email maketimeforfit@gmail.com for a FREE consultation for a personalized workout program!

Stay on track even when dining out

Headed out for dinner? Here are some tips that can help you stay on track with you fitness lifestyle goals!

One tip I use when dining out is to order half my meal. Just ask the server to box up half for you before you get it.
You’ll be surprised how much food half is, and you trick your brain because when you clean your plate you won’t feel terrible afterwards!

Another tip I use is to always get the side of vegetables! Fries have zero nutritional value, just don’t get them -you’ll be OK I promise!

You know you can order those veggies dry? They won’t be raw but they won’t use a half a stick of butter when sauteing them.

This is half of my dinner from the other night

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I got a chicken caprese sandwich with a side of zucchini and squash. That doesn’t look like half a meal does it? Portion sizes are outrageously large in restaurants and often times our eyes are way bigger than our stomach! Go to the restaurant with the mindset to order half and you’ll get to enjoy your meal without the guilt! PLUS you get leftovers!

Need a workout program? Start today! Email maketimeforfit@gmail.com for a free consultation to get your personalized workout program!

Self Love is the Best Love

Here’s a little hump day break that I hope will encourage you to take a few minutes and reflect how great you are. We are so critical of everything and the most critical about ourselves! Constantly comparing, critiquing our minds and bodies to “fit in.” Before the days of social media you could just enjoy yourself and not be constant bombarded by pictures and posts about this and that. Sometimes I need to remind myself, that if you can’t love yourself, it’s impossible to love anyone else and fully live your life. You aren’t conceited or cocky because you love yourself, you are treated yourself the way you deserve to be treated; with love and respect.

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Here is are 30 Ways to Practice Self-Love from lifehack.org

So do yourself a favor, take a deep breath, give yourself a little hug and start practicing the following:

  1. Start each day by telling yourself something really positive. How well you handled a situation, how lovely you look today. Anything that will make you smile.
  2. Fill your body with food and drink that nourishes it and makes it thrive.
  3. Move that gorgeous body of yours every single day and learn to love the skin you’re in. You can’t hate your way into loving yourself.
  4. Don’t believe everything you think. There is an inner critic inside of us trying to keep us small and safe. The downside is this also stops us from living a full life.
  5. Surround yourself with people who love and encourage you. Let them remind you just how amazing you are.
  6. Stop the comparisons. There is no one on this planet like you, so you cannot fairly compare yourself to someone else. The only person you should compare yourself to is you.
  7. End all toxic relationships. Seriously. Anyone who makes you feel anything less than amazing doesn’t deserve to be a part of your life.
  8. Celebrate your wins no matter how big or small. Pat yourself on the back and be proud of what you have achieved.
  9. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. It’s incredible the feeling we get when we realize we have achieved something we didn’t know or think we could do before.
  10. Embrace and love the things that make you different. This is what makes you special.
  11. Realize that beauty cannot be defined. It is what you see it as. Don’t let any of those Photoshopped magazines make you feel like your body isn’t perfect. Even those models don’t look like that in real life.
  12. Take time out to calm your mind every day. Breathe in and out, clear your mind of your thoughts and just be.
  13. Follow your passion. You know that thing that gets you so excited but scares you at the same time. The thing you really want to do but have convinced yourself it won’t work. You should go do that!
  14. Be patient but persistent. Self-love is ever evolving. It’s something that needs to be practiced daily but can take a lifetime to master. So be kind and support yourself through the hard times.
  15. Be mindful of what you think, feel and want. Live your life in ways that truly reflect this.
  16. Treat others with love and respect. It makes us feel better about ourselves when we treat others the way we hope to be treated. That doesn’t mean everybody will always repay the favor, but that’s their problem not yours.
  17. Find something to be grateful for every day. It’s inevitable that you are going to have your down days. This is fine and very human of you. It’s especially important on these days to find at least one thing you are grateful for as it helps to shift your mind and energy around what’s going on.
  18. Reach out to family, friends, healers, whomever you need to help you through the tough times. You are not expected to go through them alone.
  19. Learn to say no. Saying no sometimes doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a smart person.
  20. Forgive yourself. You know that thing you did one time (or maybe a few times) that made you feel bad, embarrassed, ashamed? It’s time to let that go. You can’t change the things you have done in the past but you can control your future. Look at it as a learning experience and believe in your ability to change.
  21. Write it down. Head swimming with so many thoughts it’s giving you a headache? Write them all down on a piece of paper, no matter how crazy, mean, sad, or terrifying they are. Keep it in a journal, tear it up, burn it, whatever you need to do to let it go.
  22. Turn off and inwards. Grab a cup of your favorite tea, coffee, wine, whatever your choice of drink, and sit down for a few minutes on your own. No TV or distractions, just you. Think about the wonderful things that are happening in your life right now, what your big dreams are and how you can make them happen.
  23. Give up the need for approval from others. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” – Dita Von Teese
  24. Be realistic. There is no person on this earth that is happy every single moment of every single day. You know why? Because we are all human. We make mistakes, we feel emotions (good and bad) and this is OK. Allow yourself to be human.
  25. Get creative and express yourself in whatever way you like. Painting, writing, sculpting, building, music, whatever takes your fancy, and make sure you leave your inner critic at the door. There are no right ways to be creative.
  26. Let go of past trauma and wounds. This can be a really tough one and it may be one of those times you need to turn to others for support. The truth is though, when we let go of things that have happened to us it’s almost like a weight is lifted off our shoulders. We don’t have to carry that around with us anymore. We deserve better.
  27. Find your happy place. Where’s the one place you feel totally at ease, calm, happy, positive, high on life? Go to that place when you are going through hard times, or imagine yourself being there. Think about how it feels, what it smells like, what it looks like.
  28. The next time you are feeling happy and on top of the world make a list of your best qualities and accomplishments. It may sound a little corny, but it can be a wonderful reminder when you are having a day that’s less than amazing.
  29. Get in touch with your inner dialogue. If it’s anything less than loving, encouraging and supportive, it’s time to make a change. You deserve to be spoken to in the same way you would speak to your best friend, sister, brother, daughter, or son.
  30. Have fun! Get out there and do the things that light your fire. Enjoy them, enjoy being you and enjoy your incredible life.

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If you want to start, continue or revamp your fitness journey email maketimeforfit@gmail.com for your personalized workout program!