4th Annual Bikini Bootcamp Challenge

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It’s that AMAZING time of year again! Target has all of their adorable bathing suits lined up and calling our names! But… if you’re like I was… last thing you want to do is get your body in a bikini right now. So…. I’m going to help you switch the mindset around!.. I’ve been working for the last 2 months on a fun new meal plan and workout routine that I think you’re really going to LOVE!

Starting April 2nd, we will kick off our 4th Annual Bikini Bootcamp Challenge to get you ready for those spring and summer vacations and get your feeling like the ROCKSTAR we know you are!

In this bootcamp, you will receive…

  • A full 30-60-90 day workout regimen depending on your goals
  • A meal plan to pair with your workouts
  • Grocery shopping list and meal prep assistance
  • My 1 on 1 coaching
  • Group accountability and support
  • Results that you are excited to share out by the pool or the beach this summer!

Fill out the form below for more information and we’ll set up a time to chat about your goals and get you rockin’ and rollin’!!!

So excited to help you ROCK that bathing suit this year!

XOXO ~FitByWhit

 

Holiday Party Survival Strategies – How to Stick to Your Plan!

We’ve all been there… trying to stay healthy throughout the holidays can be super tough! Maybe you made it through Thanksgiving by cooking delicious healthy holiday recipes and now the most happiest time of the year is upon us full of opportunities to be merry, stuff our tummies, and throw back a few glasses of eggnog. Plus, you have work parties, friends’ parties, and maybe your own to host. How do you truly enjoy all of the social engagements and stay true to your health goals? Overall, moderation is key. But in case you need some help, here are a few common scenarios and a game plan to help you stay the course!

Holiday Party Diet Survival Strategies

Scenario: You’re afraid of drinking too much eggnog (or “other”) at the office party….

Stay the course. To outsmart calories (eggnog packs more than 200 a cup) and hangovers at future fetes, order a mixed drink, such as vodka and club soda; it is low in calories (about 100), easy to dilute (just add soda), and less likely to cause a humongous hangover. The darker the booze, the worse you’ll feel the next day. That’s because dark liquor contains more congeners, chemicals produced during the fermentation process that are to blame for many hangover symptoms. Also avoid screwdrivers, vodka and cranberry juice, and other drinks made with fruit… The sugar in these cocktails will leave you craving more of the sweet stuff, making pecan pie, peppermint bark, Christmas cookies, you name it, irresistible.

Scenario: You’re afraid of going overboard at tonight’s holiday dinner.

Stay the course. When you’re dining at a friend’s or a relative’s, bring a healthy dish that you can dig into guilt-free. Then choose sweet potatoes over mashed with gravy, and broccoli over green bean casserole. Skip the rolls even if they’re whole wheat; chances are you already have plenty of carbs. Help yourself to a double serving of salad to fill up without filling out, and just say no when Aunt Edna insists that you have another spoonful of her stuffing (’tis the season for food pushers!). A little humor will take the edge off, so say, “Your stuffing is so good, but if I eat another bite I’ll be more stuffed than that bird!” When you play hostess, fix lighter fare (make your green bean casserole with fresh beans and sautéed onions rather than cream of mushroom soup and fried onions). And since Christmas leftovers are even more delectable and easier to overindulge in, send guests home with doggie bags.

scenario: You haven’t been to the gym in more than two weeks.

Stay the course. Take baby steps, every day. Even a 20-minute walk will keep you in the exercise habit and chances are you’ll be inspired to keep going. No time to hit the gym? Shape up in your living room with an exercise ball, 5-pound weights, and a resistance band. Or sneak fitness into your holiday to-dos…Combing the mall for two hours blasts about 350 calories; boost the burn by doing biceps curls with shopping bags while waiting to pay for gift number 207. If you’re really moving, an hour spent climbing up and down a ladder hoisting lights is comparable to an easy workout.

Get out there and enjoy your Holiday parties while staying true to your goals! You can do it!

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Six-Pack

No matter what your age, body type, or fitness level, I’m pretty sure one of your main workout goals is to improve your abs. And why not? A flat midsection, with or without a visible six-pack, is the ultimate symbol of being fit and lean. (And yes, it looks great at the beach.) But it’s not just a matter of vanity—a strong core helps stabilize your entire body. That’s why every workout program should include a variety of ab-tightening exercises.

Still, whatever you’re doing to get fit, there’s always room for improvement where the core is concerned. Here are five tips to help you to get those great abs faster than ever:

5 Ways to Speed Up Your Six Pack

1. Work your entire core.

Our “core” (the trunk muscles of your abdomen, lower back, and pelvis) is a whole system that supports your body as you stand up straight, perform everyday activities, and work out. And it’s important to strengthen all these muscles, not just the rectus abdominis (the main “six-pack” muscles targeted by crunches). At the very least, you should strengthen the spinal erectors of the lower back to balance out your abs, which will help your posture and reduce the risk of back pain. Think of total-core training as increasing your functional fitness—meaning you won’t just look better, but you’ll also be able to do things better.

2. Take it slow.

When you’re doing crunches or other ab-focused exercises, it’s easy to speed up and lose proper form, especially when you start to get tired. Either you let momentum carry you through much of the movement or you pull yourself up with your back and shoulders. But you’ll get the most benefit (and the least chance of injury) from your workout if you concentrate on measured, controlled movements. And keep the abdominals contracted the entire time. After all, they’re the ones that should be doing the work. (Doing some Pilates-style movements in which you lift your upper body to a count of 8 and then lower to a count of 8 are a good way to train yourself to slow it down.) When you can’t do any more reps with the proper form, it’s time to stop.

3. Don’t overdo it.

If you really want great abs, you may be tempted to grind out crunch after crunch to the exclusion of other exercises, or to do more ab-centered workouts than your fitness program recommends. But directly working your abs too often can do more harm than good. Like any muscle, the abdominals need to recover between workouts. If you find you aren’t improving the number of reps you can do or the amount of weight you can handle, that’s a sign that you’re overtraining, and you need to cut back.

4. Don’t neglect the rest of your body.

The more you work your entire body, the better it is for your abs. In fact, just about any full-body or compound movement, from push-ups to squats to deadlifts, takes a lot of ab effort. What’s more, working your full body will burn many more calories and raise your metabolism, which is important, because you also need to…

5. Lose the fat to make your abs flat.

No matter how much you strengthen your abdominal muscles, the only way to get a flat midsection is to lose body fat. That’s going to require a diet that’s high in protein and fiber, low in simple carbs, and full of bulky, nutrient-dense foods that keep you full with fewer calories—and of course, plenty of water. If you’re on a meal plan associated with a particular workout, make sure you’re really following it and not fudging here and there. (Keeping a food diary can help.) When you combine an effective full-body workout with a proper diet, getting the flat abs you’ve always wanted is just a matter of time.

Save Yourself from Shin Splints

If I asked you to pound your entire body weight onto your hands, repeatedly, for an hour a day, six days a week, you’d probably tell me to get lost. Yet, if you’re reading this, you probably do the exact same thing to your feet everyday when you work out, jog, or shoot hoops—and if you’re not careful about it, your feet will let you know they aren’t too happy about it, via your shins. Doctors and physical therapists call this message Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome. Everyday people, like myself, call it shin splints. Shin splints refer to pain in your tibia, or shinbone, and they are caused by overloading the bone and the connective tissue that attaches your muscles to the bone. There are a few reasons this happens.

How to prevent shin splints

The most likely cause is stressed muscles that become swollen and irritated from overuse. If this is the case, it’s a simple fix and we’ll discuss some solutions below.

A second cause might be that you have flat feet, meaning your arches collapse, again stressing muscles. It’s fairly obvious if you have flat feet (because, um, your feet are flat), and if this is the case, orthotics or arch supports can help. If you have access to custom orthotics from an orthopedist . . . great. If not, there are plenty of over-the-counter insoles and arch supports that might help (I highly suggest these by Dr. Scholl’s; they have been a lifesaver!). Just because one doesn’t work, don’t give up. It might take buying a few different kinds to find something comfortable for you.

A third and more serious cause of shin splints is stress fractures—small, hairline cracks in your lower leg bones. If this is the case, the pain tends to be sharper and more localized, with tenderness a few inches below the knee. If you suspect a stress fracture, talk to your doctor.

Regardless of the cause, the first step in shin splint management is a few days’ rest and some ice. While you’re resting, if your shins keep hurting, go see a doctor. If you start exercising again and the pain increases, go see a doctor. If your shin starts swelling, go see a doctor. But if none of these things happen, then home remedies will most likely solve the problem. So I’ve come up with a little something called the Four S’s of Saving Your Shins from Splints…

1. Surface.

Each time your foot hits the ground, your musculoskeletal system absorbs a shockwave. The softer the surface, the smaller the shockwave. If you run, look for a good track that gives little resistance or consider running on grass or off-road. Whatever you do, stay off the pavement. If you work out at home, exercise on carpeted flooring or get yourself a small rug to stand on. Better still, a floor or plyometrics mat works perfectly.

2. Shoes.

A good pair of sneakers can also absorb that shockwave. Jogging shoes tend to be ideal for this. If you’re active, count on replacing footwear at least a couple of times a year. Your shoes may not look worn out after six months, but the internal support structure and shock absorbency have probably broken down.

3. Stretch.

Before you work out, warm up the muscles that support your shins. A great stretch for this is to push against a wall with your hands. As you do this, straighten one leg, bending your other leg at the knee, keeping both feet flat on the ground. You should feel a stretch in the calf of your straight leg. Repeat, switching legs. There’s also the tibialis anterior muscle stretch. Squat really low in front of a bar or something else you can grip. Lean back and pull yourself forward while keeping your feet flat. You’ll feel the stretch under your shin.

4. Strength.

Strong shins can take more punishment. One super shin strengthener is toe raises, which train your tibialis anterior muscle. To do these, stand with your back against a wall and feet in front of you, about a foot from the wall, shoulder-width apart. Keeping your heels on the floor, raise your toes and lower them. Repeat 40 times.

Another strengthening exercise is calf raises. Stand on a stair or a stool so that your heels hang off the edge. Slowly rise up on your toes and the balls of your feet, and then slowly lower down again. Do three sets of ten. Once this gets easy, do it while holding weights. You can also do these with your toes pointed in and your toes pointed out.

The four S’s are not only the ideal way to manage most shin splints, they’re the ideal way to prevent them, too. So don’t wait for the shockwave to overtake you before you start doing them. Remember, your shins have been good to you for years, it’s about time you gave back.

Disclaimer: FitByWhit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. please note this is at NO additional cost to you, the buyer. Not all my links are affiliate links because I only link to products that I use and fully recommend!

8 Tips to Get Your Kids Active — Plus $50,000 Giveaway to the School Program of Your Choice

Helping kiddos get active is crucial for good health and development. Regular exercise helps children to avoid illnesses like heart disease, stroke and certain cancers, improves mood, reduces stress and can even help children to do well at school.

8 Tips to Get Your Kids Active

1. Get Interested

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Show an interest in any activities your child likes and encourage them to try out new physical activities. If your kid loves ballet, it’s time to suck up any personal reservations you might have and get behind your child!

2. Don’t Drive so Much

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We can all be more active as part of our daily lives. Walk rather than drive and encourage your kids to cycle and walk where possible.

If you pick your kids up at the bus stop, why not get have them get off a stop early and walk the rest of the way home together? Being active throughout daily life by walking and cycling is a great way for your children to achieve their daily 60 minutes of activity.

3. Help Kids to be Sporty

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Playing sport is a great way for children to be active. If your kids don’t like traditional sports,  there are lots of alternatives: mountain biking, skateboarding, BMX, mountain climbing & surfing are all excellent and are becoming more widely available.

Schools can help children to be more active by offering alternative sports and activities such as hip-hop dance, tae-kwon-do, step aerobics, zumba etc.

It’s important that children should have access to activities that interest them. If you find that your child is not interested in taking part in PE at school, find out what else if offered and encourage the school to provide alternative physical activities… you can even try out our at-home exercise program so that you can bring fitness into the home for the kiddos! We have partner workouts, dance and hip hop workouts, self defence workouts, body and free weight workouts, and more!

4. Shall We Dance?

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Not all kids are into sports, but there are lots of other ways to be active. Hobbies such as dance are excellent ways to get kids moving. Dance is an excellent way to develop fitness, agility, balance and coordination. Hip hop dance, street dance, salsa, tap, ballet & Irish dancing are great ways to keep your kids active. There are also at-home workout options like Cize, Turbo Jam, YouV2, and Country Heat!

5. Take Control of the TV

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A recent study found that kids in the US spend on average 5 hours per day in front of a screen: watching TV, surfing the web and playing computer games. This amount of screen time makes it really hard for kids to have an active healthy life.

Take control of the TV, and ration their screen-time! This goes for phones and iPads too! Need help?… “Bargain” with them – have them finish one of the at-home workouts in the living room and for every minute of exercise, they can earn 15 seconds of TV or game time! So a 40 minute workout converts to an earned 10 minutes of screen time throughout the week!

6. Get Active Yourself!

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You are your child’s most important role model – so if you are a couch potato, don’t expect your kids to be active! Get yourself active – the habit will rub off on your kids. — Our “Double Time” workout is designed for parents and kids to do together with just a simple ball that comes with the workouts and nutrition package!

7. Be Active Together

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Why not bond with the kids by doing some physical activity together? It’s important that you set a good example – you are your child’s most important role model – and the activity will improve your own health as well!

  • Go for walks or play active games together
  • Play a game of ball together
  • Try the “Double Time” workout together and feel free to give me your feedback on all of it! You’ll be the first to go through it!
  • Join an exercise class together
  • Play physical games with family and friends (tag, frisbee, catch, hide and seek)
  • Plan a nightly jog or walk — you jog and the kiddo can ride the bike if they can’t keep up!
  • Go golfing as a family
  • Play a game of one-on-one basketball or soccer with family

8. Play Every Day and Tie in the Nutrition!

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When your child has been active, don’t undo all the good work by giving them junk food afterwards! Test out the Daily Sunshine smoothie that comes with your donations into the School Charity! They are all soy free, dairy free, gluten free, and packed with all natural superfoods and amazingness!

Show the kids how getting out and about each day can be fun and how the body starts to crave the movement and the activity, especially as we tie in great clean kid-approved recipes to the mix! Be the example in every sense of the word and your kids will follow suit.

Interested in getting active with your kiddos & Helping Your School Win $50,000?!?

I am spending this month diving into helping kids be more active with their parents and kicking off a challenge group focused on just that! I am giving parents & kids partner exercises to do together that are fun and easy. Plus, pairing it with a healthy meal plan full of kid-approved recipes!!! Not to mention, the plan includes a healthy kids smoothie for those of you who have kids who won’t go near a fruit or veggie with a 10 foot pole!

Best part?!?! For every parent and kiddo team (or kid sibling team) who jumps in with us in November, I’ll be donating $20 to the school charity of your choice! And for every parent/kiddo duo that I help this month, the community as a whole becomes more eligible for the HUGE giveaway where Beachbody is going to donate $50,000 to the school program or charity of our choice!!!

So I need your help…. Please jump into the group with us and together we can better help our kids get healthy and fit in a fun way and earn some big money for the school as well! It’s a WIN-WIN!

Fill in the form below to get more information on how you can donate to this amazing cause just by purchasing the kiddo/parent workouts and kid-friendly meal plan and recipes! (All proceeds go to the school program of your choice!)

 

4 Fun Pumpkin Exercises

A Halloween workout? Well, it doesn’t take a mad scientist (or a person dressed as one) to realize that a pumpkin can be used as a weight. The pumpkins grown for carving typically range from two pounds to 25 pounds… though the biggest pumpkin ever weighed in at a monstrous 2,323 pounds!!!

But enough pumpkin trivia. We are here to sweat.

Halloween Pumpkin Workout Exercise Routine

Two types of pumpkins are needed for this routine… For the push-up, use a flatter, heavier pumpkin so you don’t lose your balance and take a nosedive into the squash. You’re going to have to be a little careful which actually makes you work a bit harder for balance and stability. For the other exercises, choose a second, lighter pumpkin.

Here are weighted pumpkin exercises to ensure that you’re a fit gypsy, a limber ghost, or just a downward-dogging little devil in the pumpkin patch this year. Aim for 15–20 reps per move.

 

Halloween Workout - Staggered Hand Push Up Exercise

Pumpkin Staggered-Hand Offset Push-Up

Target Muscles: Chest

Assume a push-up position (feet together, body straight from head to heels, arms straight, hands in line with and slightly wider than your shoulders) with a pumpkin three inches in front of your right hand. Place your right hand on the middle of the pumpkin, squeezing your glutes and bracing your core to keep your body rigid (and your hips from sagging). This is the starting position. Keeping your elbows tucked, lower your chest until it almost touches the floor. Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position. Switch sides for each set.

 

Halloween Workout - Overhead Press Exercise

Pumpkin Pick Up and Press

Target Muscles: Glutes, quads, shoulders

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and turned out 15-degrees with the smaller pumpkin between them. Keeping your back flat, straight, and core braced, lower your body and grab the pumpkin with both hands. This is the starting position. Straighten your legs as you lift the pumpkin to chest level. Now press it overhead until your arms are straight. Pause, and then reverse the movement, lowering the pumpkin to the floor. That’s one rep.

 

Halloween Workout - Weighted Lunge Exercise

Pumpkin Loaded Lunge

Target Muscles: Quads, glutes, shoulders, core

Stand tall holding the smaller pumpkin straight overhead with both hands. Keeping your back flat, straight, and core braced, take a large step forward with your right leg, lowering your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor (don’t let your left knee touch the ground). Pause, and then push back up to the starting position. Do equal reps with both legs.

 

Halloween Workout - Seated Twist Exercise

Seated Pumpkin Twist

Target Muscles: Core

Sit on the floor with your knees bent, holding the smaller pumpkin in front of your chest with both hands. Lean back slightly. Keeping your back straight and core braced, rotate your torso as far to the right as you can, and then as far to the left as you can. That’s one rep. Not challenging enough? Hold the pumpkin farther away from your chest.

 

Halloween Pumpkin Workout Exercise Routine

10 Excuses to Not Work Out — And How to Overcome Them

I’m too tired. I’m too overweight. I don’t have time. It’s easy to come up with a zillion reasons NOT to exercise. Here are tips to overcome the top 10 excuses to working out.

Overcome Workout Excuses

Excuse #1: I can’t afford a gym.

The cost of gym memberships can vary widely — from $10 a month to more than $200. According to Statista.com, nearly 55 million Americans were members of a fitness center as of 2015. But here’s the problem — 67 percent of people with gym memberships NEVER use them, so if you fall into that category the only weight you’ll lose is from your wallet.

Solution: Instead of putting your fitness dollars down the drain with an unused gym membership, look for more affordable solutions like creating a simple home gym and joining Beachbody On Demand, which provides unlimited, streaming access to hundreds of workouts for just $99 per year. The result: More muscle for less money.

 

Excuse #2: I’m way too tired to exercise.

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Our 24/7 lifestyle often leaves us feeling busier and busier, and as a result, downright exhausted. “When I ask people to give me one word for how they feel most often, whether it’s a high school athlete or a group of leaders, they consistently use the word ‘tired’,” says Jarrod Spencer, Psy.D., sports psychologist at Mind of the Athlete in Bethlehem, PA. “And it’s not just a physical fatigue. It’s a low emotional energy leaving us feeling negative and drained.” All this leaves us wanting to skip workouts to preserve what little energy we have left.

Solution: When you feel too tired to work out, Spencer says the solution is… to actually work out. “Working out is almost paradoxical. It can make your muscles physically tired, but you’ll actually feel more energized from it.” Once you start sweating, Spencer explains, your body will start releasing neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and natural endorphins that will make you feel better. You may need to find a mantra that helps to train your brain to overcome your tired body’s reluctance. Set a reminder on your phone that triggers positive notifications like “I’ll have more energy after I exercise” or “You’ll never regret a sweat session” to pop up before your scheduled workout. Planning to exercise with a friend will also motivate you to keep your commitment to exercise even when you’re pooped.

 

Excuse #3: I need more motivation than health to hit the gym.

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If losing weight or your general health isn’t a good enough reason to work out and you need extra incentives, do some soul-searching to find what will work to motivate you to get moving.

Solution: Give yourself a reward for meeting your fitness goals — a reward that you really want. If you love massages, book a massage at the end of every month you complete your target number of work outs. You can log your workouts using a habit-tracking app like HabitBull to keep you on track. How about money as a motivating factor? Apps like Pact allow you to wager money on meeting your workout schedule. You receive cash when you hit your goals, but cough up money when you don’t. A more altruistic soul? Track your sweat sessions with the Charity Miles app that donates money to your choice of charity for every workout you log.

 

Excuse #4: I don’t have time.

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Between kids and a commute, a job and other responsibilities of life, it can feel hard to fit a workout in your daily schedule. There is only so much time in the day and with so much on our plates, working out can often get pushed to the back burner.

Solution: Instead of trying to find time to work out, think about how you can make time. The trick is to find a block of time in your daily schedule that’s consistently free of commitments. For some, that might be before or after work. For others, that might be during their lunch hour.

The time commitment can be minimal. If you can carve out just a half hour a day for exercise, you’ll have all the time you need to get in the best shape of your life.

“Many of us have ‘fear of missing out’ and so we have difficulty saying ‘no’ to things,” explains Spencer. “The key is learning how to say ‘no’ to some things and ‘yes’ to taking care of ourselves.”

And if you are trying to figure out how to eat healthy when you are crunched for time, check out this article for 8 simple strategies!

 

Excuse #5: I don’t like working out alone.

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Unless you have a crazy big supply of internal motivation, working out with a friend can make your workout time fly by and prompt you to push yourself a little harder. Since there is no accountability when we work out solo, it’s easier to flake or not give the workout your best effort.

Solution: Ask a friend to meet you for a weekend run or see if some colleagues want to join you for a HIIT session, a bootcamp, or a dance class after work. Exercising with a partner or a group increases motivation and consistency.

Don’t have any friends (or at least any into fitness)? Find some by looking for upcoming fitness-focused get-togethers on Meetup.comZogsports.com, or your work bulletin board. You can also check out the Bvddy app which works like Tinder for your workouts helping you find fellow squash players, jog buddies, or tennis partners to grow your sports – and social – life.

 

Excuse #6: I’m too old/fat/uncoordinated/embarrassed to exercise.

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Sure, it may be easy for that size 0, twentysomething to just looooove going to the gym, but me? — you think — not so much. Whether you feel too old, too overweight, or ridiculous in workout wear to break a sweat, there is a simple solution. Start small, but start with something.

Solution: Go for a walk, says Spencer, ideally with a friend and in a park or somewhere else in nature. “Walking is the best way and the first step to get a person moving forward. Often times, people won’t even realize how far they have gone!” And how many calories they’ve burned. Video workouts are another great option since they can be done in the privacy of your own home and often include examples of how to scale up or down the workout to match your ability and fitness level. Try a program like Beachbody’s PiYo that uses low-impact but effective moves to burn fat and sculpt your muscles. Or YOUv2, which is a lively dance workout program created for beginners that is so much fun that you may forget you’re working out.

 

Excuse #7: I get bored easily.

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Cringe at the thought of hitting the treadmill or same exercise class again? The key to beating boredom is to find a workout program that both caters to your fitness level and that you actually look forward to. It’s also important to switch things up every few weeks or months so that you don’t fall into a “routine.”

Solution: If your gym doesn’t offer an assortment of classes to choose from, consider signing up for Beachbody On Demand, which includes a variety of workout programs from a handful of the nation’s top trainers that encompass a range of exercise styles and intensities. There’s something for every personality, exercise preference, and fitness level.

 

Excuse #8: I don’t like to sweat.

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Exercise doesn’t have to mean grunting and groaning and dripping in sweat. There are a variety of effective workouts that burn calories and build muscle while not leaving you dripping in sweat.

Solution: Try a slower-paced workout that emphasizes stretching and controlled movements. One great option is a yoga class that focuses less on getting your heart pumping and more on experiencing a full-body stretch, increasing your balance and flexibility, as well as strengthening muscle by holding yoga poses.

 

Excuse #9: I’m a full-time parent.

Let’s be honest – kids are cute, but they take time so parents and caregivers need to get creative in order to find ways to exercise with kids around.

Solution: When kids are young, pop them in a jogging stroller for a few laps around the neighborhood. As they get older, find ways to exercise that mesh well with your kids’ activities. Run trails at the baseball fields while your son goes to practice or do intervals on the school stairs while you wait for dance class to let out. Parents can also model healthy living by finding workouts that kids and parents can do together! Beachbody On Demand now has a “kids and family” category. Whether it’s a family bike ride, friendly game of hoops, or a dance-based workout like YOUv2, exercising as a family will help you spend time together, fit in your workout, and help you demonstrate healthy habits.

This article on getting yourself back on track during the school year has even more advice!

 

Excuse #10: I don’t like to work out around the opposite sex.

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If the opposite sex makes you self-conscience to break a sweat, find ways to overcome your fear.

Solution: See if your gym offers gender-specific classes or workout areas. Of course, working out in the privacy of your own home also solves this problem. So choose your favorite workout program on Beachbody On Demand, and with the curtains closed, bust out your calorie-burn session.

5 Economical Ways to Get Your Workout Space in Shape

You’ve turned your living room, garage, bedroom, or office into your personal gym. But how can you help yourself think of it in that new way? With just a bit of arranging, you can create an organized, functional space that’ll encourage you and motivate you to keep moving.

Cheap Home Gym Options

Here are five simple ideas to make your workout area a place you’ll love to go to get sweaty and fit.

1. Make your space you-friendly.

Take a moment to think about the equipment you need during a workout. Do you use weights? Resistance bands? Yoga blocks? What about your towel? Standing in your space, get a sense of where it’s most convenient for you to grab them before, during, or after a workout. Then try to create storage as close to those spots as possible. Makes sense, right?

You don’t need to get fancy. Stack your weights neatly, or pick up a weight rack at a discount store or yard sale. Or there’s nothing wrong with a good old milk crate. You can hang bands from a clothing hook, or repurpose a coat rack. Even pegboard, that home workshop classic, can do the job. If your workout space spends the rest of the day as a living room or bedroom, check out storage boxes that will slide neatly under your bed or sofa.

The point is to keep your area tidy and your tools ready at hand. That way you won’t have to hunt for your equipment, or get distracted by stray objects. Organization creates calm, and an orderly workout space will make it easier for you to focus and get going. Having the right storage also makes it easier to straighten up afterward, and frees the area for its other uses.

2. Decorate with positive images.

What’s your workout goal? Are you trying to lose weight, get more muscle definition, or regulate your cholesterol or blood sugar? Maybe you’re getting in shape for an event, like a wedding, a marathon, or a fabulous beach vacation. Or perhaps you’re making healthy changes in your overall lifestyle, and you’re looking forward to hiking, cross-country skiing, or learning to surf.

Help envision your transformation by putting up pictures in your workout space that express your target. Clip or print photos showing flattering clothes you’re going to wear, exciting activities you plan to do, exotic places you intend to travel. This is called creative visualization. If you don’t think it helps, just ask a Russian Olympics coach. Before the 1980 Olympics, Soviet coaches did tests with their athletes to compare the effects of mental and physical training. They found that the greatest performance improvements occurred in the group whose training regimen consisted of the highest ratio of mental training to physical training among the participants: 75 percent to 25 percent. Like karate masters and Indian yogis, “The Soviets had discovered that mental images can act as a prelude to muscular impulses.”

So the photos on your wall are more than pretty pictures. They’re practical motivation. On a day when you’re not fired up to work out, or if you feel yourself losing steam midway through, just look up. You’ll see a clear image of the reason you’re working so hard. It’ll help you dig down and find renewed energy to keep going.

3. Do some soundproofing.

Want your family or roommates to support your workout routine wholeheartedly? Allow them to see the changes in your body without subjecting them to every single thump and grunt that’s helping it happen. Making your workout area quieter will also keep down your outside distractions, which will help you focus. Don’t worry—those other tasks will still be waiting for you after your workout. If you work out in a detached building, like a garage, lucky you! Much of your soundproofing is already done. If you pump iron inside a house or apartment, however, there are several fairly easy ways to muffle unwanted noise:

  • Lay down carpet. Most carpet stores sell remnants or carpet squares you can install yourself. Even if you want an uncarpeted floor for your workout area, adding floor covering to other parts of the room will help minimize the volume of your workout noise.
  • Hang fabric or drapes. Lining the windows and walls will help muffle higher-frequency sounds. For more urgent noise-reduction needs, look for special soundproof curtains.
  • If there’s a gap above or below your door, attach weatherstripping, readily available at the hardware store, to close it. Installing weatherstripping just takes a little DIY skill.
  • If you own your abode and there’s a hollow-core door on your workout room (and if you don’t mind shelling out a little more dough), you might want to consider changing it out for a solid wood or composite door.

4. Make sure the area is well ventilated.

When you commit to your workouts, you’re bound to work up a good, healthy sweat. That’s the whole point, in fact, and it’s great—as long as you don’t let weeks’ worth of stink build up in a small space. That musty smell gives many of us traumatic flashbacks of the high school locker room. (Or is that just me?) Anyway, when in doubt, air it out. After you finish your session, crank open the window. If your area doesn’t have a window, throw open the doors and switch on a portable fan. Flush out the humidity and get some fresh air in there, so everything can dry out. You’re trying to build muscles, not a mold farm.

Speaking of which, be sure to wash your towels and workout wear regularly too. Wash your exercise mat as well—but not with a detergent or harsh cleanser. For a great, mild mat cleaner, add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to 2 cups of warm water, along with a teaspoon of baking soda. Wet a cloth and wipe down your mat, then blot any excess moisture with a paper towel. Hang the mat on a line and allow it to dry thoroughly before rolling it up again.

5. Energize the room with color.

Ever notice how color affects your mood? It’s been posited that yellow promotes cheerfulness. Blue and green encourage relaxation, while red and orange stimulate energy. Color also influences our perception of space: walls painted in lighter, pale colors seem to recede, making a room seem bigger, while darker, saturated wall colors make a room feel smaller.

Researchers Ravi Mehta and Rui Zhu discovered that different-colored environments improve peoples’ performance at different types of tasks. Specifically, they found that subjects in a bright red room did better on a detail-oriented task, while those in a blue room excelled at a creative task. They theorized that red, traditionally associated with danger, may put people at a higher level of alertness. Blue, on the other hand, with its connotations of sea, sky, and relaxing wide-open spaces, opens up the mind and allows ideas to flow—doubling the creative output of the people in the blue room.

Choose colors to prime yourself for your best workouts. Do you need to feel stimulated? Soothed? Uplifted? Add red, green, or yellow to your space accordingly. If painting is an option, even one wall of color can brighten your mood. Many paint stores sell returned gallons at discounted prices, and someone else’s “mistake” might be your favorite shade. You can also incorporate color through the steps discussed previously, including drapery, workout equipment, storage units, or the pictures you hang on your wall.

As you head for the home improvement store, here’s the overall point to remember: you want to make your workout space a place where you feel empowered and uplifted, ready to face your physical and mental challenges. By engaging your mind and all your senses in positive ways, you’ll create a space you’ll feel excited to come back to day after day.

10 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

Many women believe that the only way to lose weight is through cardio (aerobic exercise), so they jog or take aerobics classes five times a week. Eventually, though, they notice that while their bodies are a little smaller, there are still a lot of flabby and jiggly bits. Sound familiar? Aerobic exercise is important for good health, but it’s only half of the equation.

Why Women Should Lift Weights

For optimal fitness, longevity, and a lean body, weight training is ESSENTIAL. If you avoid pumping iron because you’re afraid of getting “bulky,” then you’re missing out on one of the best fat-burning methods around.

When you’re weight training, you shouldn’t rely exclusively on the scale to gauge your progress. You can use a body fat tester or a tape measure to track how many inches you’re losing. The size of your body will shrink as you shed fat and build muscle, but your weight may not change as dramatically as you expect. Besides, what’s more important, the number on the scale or how you look in your skinny jeans?

If you’re still not convinced that you need to lift weights, here are 10 reasons why you should reconsider.

1. Burn more fat.

Researchers at Tufts University found that when overweight women lifted heavy weights twice a week, they lost an average of 14.6 pounds of fat and gained 1.4 pounds of muscle. The control group, women who dieted but didn’t lift weights, lost only 9.2 pounds of fat and gained no muscle. When you do an intense weight-training program, your metabolism stays elevated and you continue to burn fat for several hours afterward. During regular cardio exercise, you stop burning fat shortly after the workout.

2. Change your body shape.

You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s not necessarily true. Weight training can slim you down & create new curves. (Just look at the amazing body transformations of the women who’ve completed some of my challenges.) Dropping only 3 percent of your body fat could translate into a total loss of 3 inches off your hips and thighs. And no, you WON’T bulk up—women don’t have enough muscle-building hormones to gain a lot of mass like men do. If you keep your diet clean and create a calorie deficit, you’ll burn fat.

3. Boost your metabolism.

The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism will be. As women age, they lose muscle at increasing rates, especially after the age of 40. When you diet without doing resistance training, up to 25 percent of the weight loss may be muscle loss. Weight training while dieting can help you preserve and even rebuild muscle fibers. The more lean mass you have, the higher your metabolism will be and the more calories you’ll burn all day long.

4. Get stronger and more confident.

Lifting weights increases functional fitness, which makes everyday tasks such as carrying children, lifting grocery bags, and picking up heavy suitcases much easier. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular weight training can make you 50 percent stronger in 6 months. Being strong is also EMPOWERING. Not only does it improve your physical activities, it builds emotional strength by boosting self-esteem and confidence.

5. Build strong bones.

It’s been well documented that women need to do weight-bearing exercise to build and maintain bone mass, and to prevent osteoporosis. Just as muscles get stronger and bigger with use, so do bones when they’re made to bear weight. Stronger bones and increased muscle mass also lead to better flexibility and balance, which is especially important for women as they age.

6. Fight depression.

You’ve probably heard that cardio and low-impact exercises such as yoga help alleviate depression, and weight lifting has the same effect. The endorphins that are released during aerobic activities are also present during resistance training. Many women find that regular strength training, in conjunction with psychological treatment, helps lessen their depression symptoms substantially.

7. Improve sports fitness.

You don’t have to be an athlete to get the sports benefit of weight training. Improved muscle mass and strength will help you in all physical activities, whether it’s bicycling with the family, swimming, golfing, or skiing…whatever sport you enjoy.

8. Reduce injuries and arthritis.

Weight lifting improves joint stability and builds stronger ligaments and tendons. Training safely and with proper form can help decrease the likelihood of injuries in your daily life. It can also improve physical function in people with arthritis. A study conducted at the University of Wales, found that mildly disabled participants who lifted weights for 12 weeks increased the frequency and intensity at which they could work, with less pain and increased range of movement.

9. Get heart healthy.

More than 480,000 women die from cardiovascular disease each year, making it the number-one killer of women over the age of 25. Most people don’t realize that pumping iron can also keep your heart pumping. Lifting weights increases your “good” (HDL) cholesterol and decreases your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol. It also lowers your blood pressure. The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that people who do 30 minutes of weight lifting each week have a 23 percent reduced risk of developing heart disease compared to those who don’t lift weights.

10. Defend against diabetes.

In addition to keeping your ticker strong, weight training can improve glucose utilization (the way your body processes sugar) by as much as 23 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 weeks of strength training can improve glucose metabolism in a way that is comparable to taking diabetes medication. The more lean mass you have, the more efficient your body is at removing glucose from the blood, which can reduce complications from diabetes or even help prevent type 2 diabetes in the first place.

How to Get the Kids Back to School & Get Yourself Back on Track at the Same Time

I can only imagine the stresses that come with taking the kiddos back to school, but, at the same time, you can use this time to get back on track yourself and tackle some of your own goals. With the schedule and structure of the kids’ school hours, you can now make a little time for yourself and when the kids get home from school, take the time to workout with them, meal prep with them, and get lots of things done while they are tackling their homework!

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Here’s how to make the most of this new season:

1. Go to Bed Early and Wake Up Early!

This is my new favorite routine! Set an 8-9 o’clock bedtime for yourself and the kids!! This will allow you to get in a good eight hours of sleep before waking up at 5:00am the next morning! By setting my alarm each morning for 5, I’m up before the rest of the world wakes up (no distractions); plus it’s the BEST time to get in a great workout at home, a healthy breakfast or Shakeology smoothie, some personal development time, and maybe a little side-business time like many busy moms and dads do these days (i.e. many coaches in my tribe).

Not a morning person? Trust me… I never used to be until I learned (and fell in love with) how much MORE I was able to accomplish in a day and how much more CONTROL I had over my day rather than letting the day run me. Ease into it though. Start with just waking up a half hour or an hour before you typically would and gradually work up to the 5am wake up call. And remember, the first 5 minutes of waking are the hardest… once you conquer those… you’re up, awake, and ready to go!

For more tips on how to become a morning person…. I HIGHLY recommend the personal development book “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. It was a game changer in my life.

This will also be the topic of my blog in September so stay tuned 🙂

2) Homework Time = Your Workout Time

Set a timer for the kids to do their homework after school because that’s another great time when you could bust out your workout! When I was a kid, it was all my parents could do to get me to actually sit down and complete my homework. One thing that worked well was setting a timer and telling me I had to work for those next 45 minutes on my school work before I could go out and play. This was the perfect time for my mom to get the things done she needed to do as well, one of which being an at-home workout she could bust out in the living room! We have so many options for streaming workouts from home these days on the TV and computer and tablets, that this makes it a great time for you moms and dads to get in a great burn while the kids are exercising their minds!

For help on picking which workout to start with based on your ability level, or help getting Beachbody on Demand set up in your home (it’s like Netflix for workouts)…. Just shoot me a message, and I’ll give you my code to try it for a couple weeks for FREE! (bonus tip: we now have a variety of programs that actually involve the kids… AND a brand new one coming out in the fall called “Double Time” where parents and kids can partner up and do the fun moves together… so this is a great way to get the kids moving after workout time too!)

3) Park & Walk a Few Blocks to School

Every morning that I drive to the country club to train my clients, I always laugh at all the cars JUST SITTING in the LOOOOONNNNNGGGGG lines… All of which are parents trying to pull into the school parking lot to drop their kids off in the morning! Same thing happens at 2:00pm when the kids are getting out of school. What a great time to park the car along the sidewalk (a few blocks away from the school), get everyone out of the car, and WALK up to the school to drop the kids off?!

This accomplishes multiple things… 1) the kids will arrive to school SOONER because most people can walk faster than those snail-paced cars sitting in line. 2) You’ll get in an extra couple thousands steps for the day. 3) You don’t have to get frustrated sitting in morning traffic. Instead you’ll be exercising which will boost your endorphins and make you happier and less stressed!

Same applies when you go to pick the kids up from school… Park a few blocks away and use the walk time back to the car to listen to how your kids’ day was! My dad and I used to have a “fast-walk” race back to the car. Only rules were you couldn’t run… you had to walk. We would do this in pretty much any parking lot too! First one to touch the car WON!! (I think he always let me win! LOL)

4) Pack Both Your Lunch & the Kiddos Lunches at the Same Time

My mom used to pack my lunch every night so that it was ready the next day. At the same time, she would pack her own so she was ready for work the next day as well! This accomplished so many things… 1) She was able to save money by not going out to eat with her co-workers 2) She was able to save the calories of restaurant or fast food and eat her own healthy meals instead 3) She was able to decide what food we were eating each day rather than leaving it to the somewhat-unhealthy-school-lunch system to decide what we were eating each day (I would have always gone for the pizza and soda if I could have!) 4) She wasn’t rushed in the morning to get us out the door — her lunch was already packed and so were ours!!!

5) CrockPots!

We ate so many amazing crock pot meals as kids, and I know it’s because both of my parents worked full time!!! I remember so often my mom would start the crockpot at night, and, when we would wake up in the morning, dinner was already ready for that night! Another great method was starting the crockpot before we left for work/school in the morning, and then the whole concoction was hot and ready when we got home in the afternoon/evening. For my healthy crockpot menu and recipes, just shoot me a message, and I’ll send it your way! I have a full week’s worth of ideas, and I make enough so that I can take the leftovers to work the next day for lunch! It’s the BEST and such a money and time saver as well!

6) Healthy Snack Time

My FAVORITE time as a kid was coming home after school and having snack time!!! Conveniently, this is right around the time that we as adults should be choosing a healthy snack as well to help with preventing the afternoon crash and keeping us satisfied until dinner time so that we aren’t STARVING going into our last meal of the day (the time most people tend to overeat).

My favorite healthy snacks for adults and kids consist of veggies and hummus (try this homemade recipe!), a handful of raw almonds or walnuts, plain greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, kale chips, Daily Sunshine and Shakeology (kiddos are loving the new Daily Sunshine* and it was specifically designed for picky kids and even pickier parents), cottage cheese and fruit, or my new fave… RX bars (kids and adult versions – use this link for $5 off your first order!). Try to avoid the sugary drinks that we used to have as kiddos like Capri Sun, Sunny D, and sodas and instead reach for water as much as possible! (homemade fruit infused water is a great yummy option for kids!)

*Daily Sunshine is certified organic as it is made with organic fruits and vegetables, and organic pea protein. It’s also Non-GMO, soy free, dairy free, and gluten free. For a free sample of either Daily Sunshine or Shakeology, or to get my coach pricing on a month’s supply, just shoot me a message, and I’ll get you the “family/friends pricing” 🙂

This is an exciting time of year. A time for new beginnings for the kids and a time of getting back on track for us adults! I am hosting a back to school challenge where I will take you through all the steps of how to make this transition even smoother and I will give you daily tips and tricks and recipes to get you feeling awesome as we head into the Fall season! Jump into our Back 2 School Challenge or request more info HERE.

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links – meaning I earn a small fee when you purchase using my link — please note this is at NO additional cost to you, the buyer. Not all my links are affiliate links because I only link to products that I use and fully recommend! For example, FitByWhit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.