Friday, September 30, 2011

Working Out with a Partner

Does having a workout partner help?  


Working with a partner is a great way to keep you motivated.  Having a partner and knowing you are meeting them on a specific day at a certain time is like having an appointment to go to the doctor.  What better way to hold you accountable?  Bailing out on your friend isn't nice.  Even if you don't have a workout partner going to a class is another way to keep you motivated.  


I have a friend that I meet each week Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings.  Our weekly workouts consist of strength training and cardio.  What I have found working with a partner is when I don't feel like getting up I know that my friend counts on me to be there to help motivate her.  Once I get to the gym and we begin working out we have fun, push each other and sometimes get a little competitive.  Exercising doesn't have to be boring and you don't have to hate it.  Going to a gym, jumping on a treadmill and watching T.V. is not my idea of an exciting workout and most importantly it's not going to keep me motivated and coming back for more.  


Variety is the Spice of Life


I always tell me kickboxing class I have exercise ADD.  I never do the same workout twice and I keep my class guessing every week what we will do next.  I have regulars in my class, of course they drag in one of their friends kicking and screaming but once the class is over their friend is hooked.  Exercising should be fun!  You shouldn't dread getting up and going to work out.   Having a partner helps avoid getting into a rut and quitting.   Two heads are better than one.  Why?  When you have a partner set a challenge to see who can find the best workouts.  Check out Muscle Fitness & hers magazine, Oxygen magazine, Women's Health and Fitness Rx.  All of these magazines post a monthly workout programs.  Stick to the workout for one month and see which one of your workouts kicked your bootie the most. 


What's the main reasons working with a partner is beneficial?


  • More motivating
  • Workouts are more fun
  • You will always have a spotter
  • You will work out harder
  • Inspiration    

No Gym No Problem


If you don't workout at a gym that's okay too; switch between houses, pop in a DVD or Exercise on Demand, and let the kids have a play date while you exercise. We all know that when moms try to do anything for themselves that's when our kids need us the most.  Well if you both have children all the more reason to schedule a play date.  Make a schedule, Monday you go to your friends and Wednesday she comes to you.  This not only helps you but the kids will enjoy the routine too.  I see so many moms at Chick-Fila with their kids; the children are playing on the playground while the moms are eating French fries, breaded chicken and drinking their large sweet teas.  This is discouraging to me because they could be doing something so much more beneficial for themselves as well as their children yet still have that social interaction with each other.  Next time your friend invites you to lunch instead go to a Zumba class.  There are some Zumba classes offered for mom and children.  Hit the park!  I have an entire park workout, no equipment necessary instead you use the playground equipment.  Don't worry about what the other moms think, just remember that you are getting healthy and setting good examples for your kids.  Who knows you may just inspire some of the other playground moms too.  









Wednesday, September 21, 2011

First Steps to Physical Fitness

If you are like many others I bet you decided one day you were going to jump into an exercise program cold turkey. You find an exercise class; buy the latest fitness video or worse you decide to go workout with your very fit friend. The next morning your body is screaming from the pain you just inflicted upon yourself and mentally you think, "I can't do this". Then you give up all together and decide this just isn't for you. Here is how to avoid this huge obstacle that stops so many people from becoming healthy and physically fit.


To Do List:

There are a few things you must do before trying to become physically fit.

  1. Identify your goals for the program you want to begin.
  2. Ask yourself, what might get in my way?
  3. Create an exercise plan.
  4. What are your goals? Why?
    1. I want to feel better about my body
    2. Manage Stress
    3. Improve health and reduce risk of a chronic disease
  5. Set a realistic schedule

Determine what excuses you have used in the past and acknowledge them by writing them down and make a plan to overcome these excuses.

Top Excuses for not Exercising:

  1. Time
  2. Environment (safe place, no gym available)
  3. Overweight
  4. Embarrassed to workout with anyone because they are more "fit"
  5. Lack of knowledge and skills
  6. Lack of support
  7. No equipment
  8. Money

All of these excuses can be handled if you sit down and rationally think about them. If you are concerned with time, take an inventory of your day for two or three days. Are you wasting time on Facebook, watching talk shows, or sleeping in. Are you a person that gets up at the very last minute and rushes around like mad women trying to get the kids ready and yourself? Embarrassment is a huge obstacle for many; I know this because I've been there. My self-esteem was shot once I realized I gained fifty pounds in a year. I couldn't walk into a room without feeling like everyone was staring at me. Nobody likes to feel ashamed, but you know what I learned? When you go to a group fitness class the majority of the participants have the same feelings you do. Instead of them looking at you, they are worrying you are looking at them and judging them. The lack of knowledge is ok too. Everyone at the gym wasn't born with all the skills and knowledge about exercise. They like you had to start and learn the basics. The best way to learn is by reading. I didn't have the first clue about strength training until I picked up a copy of The Eat Clean Diet Workout book. This book explained reps and sets. Tosca spoke about machines and how to put together workout plans. I also purchased Oxygen magazine and Muscle Fitness & hers magazine. I don't go to the gym without one of these two magazines. If money is an issue I can help you with that too. When I first began I didn't want to go to the gym because one I was embarrassed and two I didn't want to spend the money. Instead I purchased Jillian Micahels 30 Day Shred that was the best eight dollars I ever spent. I lost 30 pounds doing that video six days a week. Even better news for those of you who have OnDemand, you can rent workout videos for FREE! Workout in your living room free of charge and the most equipment you will need is one set of 3-5 pound weights.

Incorporate Fitness into Your Life

Find appropriate activities for your level. If you are a couch potato don't jump off the couch and do an advanced exercise class or an entire exercise DVD. This is a sure way to make you regret your thoughts of becoming healthy. Jog if you like to run and if you have a place to run but if you hate running don't do it. Save yourself the frustration! Your selection should always be based on your current fitness level. As you progress and become fit then you make things a little harder. If you never exercise and you're overweight then start by wearing a pedometer and track your steps. Try to set a goal to reach 10,000 steps a day.

Make exercise a part of your day just like sleeping, brushing your teeth, and showering.

If you aren't sure what exercise you would like try then check out a variety of things. Yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, running, swimming, toning, strength, and once you find a match then set up an action plan to add it into your week.

I would love to hear your stories about how you became physically fit and what motivates you.




Thursday, September 8, 2011

Slow Cooked Turkey Lasagna

This is a crock pot meal our family tried this evening. Needless to say it was delicious it made 8 servings and the entire crock pot was devoured by our family of eight. Happy Eating!


  • 6 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 12 oz. 99% fat free ground turkey
  • ¼ cup red cooking wine
  • ½ cup fat free cottage cheese (low sodium)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 6 oz. low-fat part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste (no sodium)
  • 29 oz. can tomato sauce (no sodium)
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp. dried parsley (divided)
  • Mrs. Dash to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  1. Heat large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook ground turkey, onion, and garlic until turkey is browned
  2. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, Mrs. Dash, and 1 tbsp. of parsley to meat mixture
  3. Simmer for a few minutes on low. Remove from heat. Stir in cooking wine and set aside
  4. In another bowl, combine all cheeses with remaining parsley and nutmeg
  5. Spoon one layer of turkey mixture across bottom of crock pot Spray with olive oil spray first
  6. Add one layer of dry lasagna noodles (you might need to break)
  7. Add a layer of cheese followed by a layer of cooked turkey
  8. Repeat steps 5-7
  9. Top lasagna with a pinch of parsley, cheese optional and 1-2 tbsp. of cooking wine
  10. Cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Nutrition per serving: Serves 8

266 calories, 23 g protein, 26 g. carbs, 7 g fat, 3 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar

From Muscle Fitness & hers magazine

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Outside Exercise

Fall is fast approaching and that mean cooler weather, rain, and eventually snow before we know it. This doesn't mean you need to stop exercising outdoors actually being outdoors during this time of year is a great idea. Mother Nature can be a great motivator for you during your journey. Walking/Running during these fall months is very enjoyable because you get to experience the beauty of the changing of the seasons. Those of you who know me know that I love the outdoors especially when it comes to running. I love a winter run in the snow early in the morning just me and God. It is a time that you can listen to the quiet and calm of the morning before you begin your daily hustle and bustle with children, work, dog, and the hectic life.

There are plenty of warm outfits at your local sporting goods store to keep you from getting too cold. Don't let the air stop you from enjoying life outside of your house. Also in our area on Facebook there are "Garage Sale" pages for each of the surrounding counties and I'm sure you can find expensive Under Armour workout apparel along with Nike. I see them all the time and if you don't see them just ask. I ask all the time if someone has something and 9 out of 10 times I get a response. I just purchased a Pack n' Play in less than 10 minutes on Facebook yesterday for $ 15.00! It is fully loaded. Also if you want to start your own little home gym this is another way to build a gym at an inexpensive cost.

Winter is inevitable but don't pack yourself or your children in the house just yet. Get out enjoy this great weather and be active with your family. Take the family out on the trails, help your kids with their science projects (finding leaves), and most importantly set an example for them. Also check your local area for 5K runs. Mallow Run Winery located in Bargersivlle, IN will be hosting their annual 5K and 5 Mile walk on October 1, 2011. It's a family event so check out the details at Mallow Run.