Archive for May, 2013


Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

When you are exercising, no matter what activity you choose, think about varying it to keep your body from stagnating. How? The acronym “FITT” sums up what to do to continually grow stronger and healthier. The “F” stands for Frequency. How often are you exercising? You want to move as much as possible and all movement counts! Additionally, if you can, you want to work out so hard you are sweating and out of breath at least three times a week. I realize this sounds crazy, but I’m talking “ideal”.  If you do it as a family, you’ll have exercise and family time all together!

For example, the mom in this picture regularly went running with her son in a stroller, did strength training with me, and went on a reality tv show less than a year after child birth. Oh, and she works full-time as a biologist too. Mix “FITT” exercise with family time and anything can happen!Rows Plus

The “I” stands for Intensity. This couples with what I said above about sweating and being out of breath. How intensely are you exercising? On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest, you want to be sure you work around level 6,7,8 and even 9 sometimes -depending on what your goal for the workout is.  Short bouts of REALLY intense exercise can be incredibly effective!  Think jumping rope or super squat jumps (doing a squat, then jumping in the air landing back in a squat). It can be just for a few minutes, but interspersed throughout your day and week, you’ll have some real cardiovascular and metabolic improvement. Sometimes short super intense bursts are great, sometimes a long sustained walk/jog is great. Know that they all have wonderful attributes and you can weave them into your fitness plans to keep your body changing. Click on cardiovascular activities on the blog for more ideas of what to do.

“T” stands for Type. What type of exercise have you chosen? Walking, swimming, biking and dancing are great!  But what if you don’t have time/resources for anything other than the chair or bathtub exercises?  Then just vary the type of things you do, such as lunges, squats, push-ups, step-ups, step-downs, sideways jumps, etc.

The last “T” stands for Time. How much time do you have to spend on your activity? Five minutes? Go hard! Five hours? Enjoy the movement! Vary the speed you do squats or jumps or whatever the move is. Fast squats are great for a cardio challenge. Slow squats are great for muscle work. Keep changing the timing (or tempo) of your exercise.

Vary any of the Frequency, Intensity, Type and Time and you’ll have the recipe to keep your workouts interesting, your body challenged, and your mind happy!


Which Baby is Different?

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Great family fitness on Memorial Day! Which baby is different?

Which One is Different?

“We got the whole world, in our hands…”

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Whole World

Kick-butt Chair Exercises

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Everyone thinks chair exercises are for old people who don’t have enough balance to stand while exercising. Well think again. Everyone who has taken my chair class tells me they couldn’t walk for three days after because they were so sore. Try some of these moves at home with your family or at the office, and leave your excuse of not getting to the gym behind. Chair Warm-ups

Face your chair, and warm-up by marching in place, tapping the seat of the chair with your feet.  Continue to march, but tap the handles or arms of the chair.  Keep going, but tap your left foot on the right handle so you are forced to twist and rotate.

Stand sideways to the chair and kick your leg above the back.Chair Side Kicks Then lunge to the side and touch your ankle. Repeat as many times as possible. Then turn and try the other side.

Back the chair against a wall or desk, put your hand on the arm rests and do deep, low push-ups. Stay in that position, but hold yourself in a Chair Push-upsplank. If you can, try a one-footed plank. Or tap your right knee to the left elbow, across and underneath your body. Or do the same side and really swing your hips.

Stand up as if you were going to sit down, but don’t. Take one foot off the floor or place it on top of the other, and do one legged squats. Go all the way down to sitting, and all the way up to standing all while on one foot. Really. Do more. It feels good. Now switch legs. The physician who edits my blog said “I always think that it is hilarious when you say that it feels good.  I’m not sure if you’re trying to convince us or if you think that it does feel good, in a sadistic way.”  What do you think? ;0)

If you want more leg work, put one leg up on the chair and do one-legged lunges. Be sure to have good posture all the while. Now switch legs.  Jump around the chair in three jumps or less. I can barely do this but it’s interesting to experiment with.

If your chair is super sturdy, try tricep dips (toes off the floor, fingers pointing down, arms bend then straighten). In this position, while keeping your arms straight, raise and lower your hips. You will suddenly feel your hamstrings.  Extend a leg out to the side for a harder variation.

Run in place, tapping the top of the chair like a soccer ball drill. Lunge next to the chair and swing your leg over the top, both directions. Switch sides.

Similar to the bathtub post, do side planks, where your hips are raised and lowered to the ground.Sit Down

Sit on the chair. Try all these exercise I’ve described here and feel your abs get stronger and stronger. Really, these can all can be done at the office. Sitting all day is a thing of the past!

Finish by lying on the floor and putting your feet up which I detailed here. Put Your Feet UpBe psyched! You kicked your own butt and are getting stronger, all for free right there at home or the office!

Standing Arm Wrestle

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Stand facing your teen, partner or friend, and place your right hands together palm to palm. (See photo)Arm Wrestle Palm to Palm Stand with right ankles touching and in a lunge position. Now push palms together in opposite directions, with the strength coming from your hips, particularly the obliques. Push hard at the same time, until one of you falls over from losing strength or laughing. Now try it again on the left side. If he/she is much bigger than you, have them stand up taller or on one foot while you lunge lower.

Start again, in the same position as above, but rather than push palm to palm, hold his or her hand as in the photo.Arm Wrestle pulls You can try doing a low lunge arm wrestle and “pull” him or her toward you. Don’t “jerk” your partner over, stand low and steady in a lunge, and both of you pull at the same time in opposite directions. Use your whole body as a muscle and counter weight, not just your arm. Keep your elbows bent the whole time.  Feel constant resistance as if playing tug of war, until one person can’t hold it anymore or again, you lose strength from laughing.Arm Wrestle

Stand facing each other in a low deep squat. One person has palms up; the other, has palms down on top, as shown in the picture.Partner Body Strengthener At the same time, one person curls up, the other pushes down. Continue steady even resistance as you both resist the other’s strength. If you are curling up, use your whole body, especially your legs to lift your arms. If you are pushing down (hands on top), aim to mostly use your core.

If your child is much smaller than you, have them partner with a sibling or friend their size while you wrestle both, or you wrestle your husband/wife.

These moves take five minutes or so depending on how into it you get and how many times you repeat them. They are effective full body strengtheners all while being very entertaining.  Experiment with other hand and body positions for a fun partner workout. What are your favorites?