Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Workout Tips

Love these tips by ACE! The workouts are even better below since alot of them are what we do in classes anyway!! Yay!

Holiday Fun and Fitness

Staying fit doesn't mean foregoing holiday fun. There are plenty of ways to stay active while spreading good cheer:

1.Invite out-of-town guests to join you for a walk.

2.Wear a pedometer while out shopping with friends.

3.Host a snowshoeing or ice-skating party.

4.Stand up and walk around while socializing at parties.

5.Organize a neighborhood caroling event.

6.Dance at every opportunity.

7.Sign up for a jingle bell fun run/walk.

8.Try a new winter sport — like cross-country skiing.

9.Build a snowman with your kids.

10.Have a snowball fight.

by Beth Shepard, M.S., ACE-CPT, ACSM-RCEP, Wellcoaches Certified Wellness Coach

Fitness in a Flash: 4 Time-Saving Holiday Workouts
When you’re already busy, carving out time for exercise while honoring holiday traditions can get tricky — but it’s definitely worthwhile. Staying active will help you cope with stress, avoid weight gain, and feel your best. These workouts pack a hefty fitness punch, helping you make the most of every exercise session — even if you only have 20 minutes.

Create a Circuit

No time to get both your cardio and strength workouts in? Combine them in a circuit-training workout. Simply alternate brief bouts (about 30 seconds to 3 minutes) of aerobic activity with 1-2 sets of strength exercise, moving quickly from one station to the next. Complete one or more circuits, depending on how much time and how many stations you have.

Speed Up, Slow Down, Repeat

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates cardiovascular speed intervals (anywhere from ~8 seconds to 5 minutes) with recovery periods (equal to or longer than the speed intervals) for a workout that improves fitness in a fraction of the time. Speed intervals are typically performed at a rate of 80-95% of maximal capacity; unlike sprint interval training (SIT), they’re not all-out efforts, but they’re close. Recovery intervals are performed at a low-to-moderate intensity, allowing you to catch your breath and prepare for the next speed segment.
HIIT has been shown to offer significantly greater improvements in cardiovascular fitness in less than a third of the time compared to traditional continuous training at a moderate intensity. In addition, multiple studies link HIIT with greater reductions in both subcutaneous (just under the skin) and abdominal fat. HIIT can be done on a stationary bike, elliptical, or treadmill — or outside while running or bicycling, for example.

Grab a Kettlebell

They’ve been around for ages, but they’re making a big comeback — kettlebells offer yet another way to combine cardio and resistance training in a short, high-intensity workout that gets the job done. An ACE-sponsored study found fit subjects undergoing 20-minute kettlebell workouts burned 13.6 calories/minute on average, not including the energy cost of anaerobic work — estimated at an additional 6.6 calories per minute. That adds up to over 400 calories in 20 minutes — roughly equivalent to running at a pace of 6 minutes per mile — in addition to building strength and aerobic fitness.
A kettlebell resembles a cannonball with a handle; examples of typical moves include a deadlift, single-arm swing, snatch, and Turkish get-up. A set of kettlebell exercises is typically followed by a rest period before moving on to the next set. As with any resistance exercise, kettlebell training requires careful attention to form and technique. Starting with lighter weights is recommended — 8-15 pounds for women and 15-25 pounds for men is a general guideline.

Try Nordic Walking

Head out for a brisk walk with a pole in each hand, and you could burn 20-40% more calories compared to a regular walk, according to one study. Nordic walking involves the arms and shoulders, so it uses more muscle mass — and that boosts energy output as well as oxygen consumption, building cardiovascular and muscular fitness without increasing perceived exertion. In a nutshell, you’ll get a total-body, calorie-torching workout without feeling like you’re working harder.

To Your Health

Staying active helps keep your energy levels and mood elevated — so you’ll have plenty of good cheer to share with loved ones. Making your fitness and well-being a top priority during the holiday season — and all year ‘round — will give you even more to celebrate.

Safety First
Because these workouts are higher-intensity, they can be higher-risk — so check with your health care provider before diving in. As with all vigorous workouts, include a gradual warm up and cool down.


1.Figard-Fabre H, Fabre N, Leonardi A, Schena F, Physiological and perceptual responses to Nordic walking in obese middle-aged women in comparison with the normal walk. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2010 Apr;108(6):1141-51. Epub2009 Dec 20

2.Figard-Fabre H, Fabre N, Leonardi A, Schena F, Efficacy of Nordic walking in obesity management, Int J Sports Med, 2011 Jun;32(6):407-14. Epub 2011 Apr 6 NW obesity mgmt

3.Church T, Field testing of physiological responses associated with Nordic Walking. Res Q Exerc Sport 2002 Sep;73(3):296-300.

4.Boutcher S, High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss. J Obes. 2011; 2011: 868305. Published online 2010 November 24. doi: 10.1155/2011/868305 PMCID: PMC2991639

5.Nybo L, et al., High-Intensity Training versus Traditional Exercise Interventions for Promoting Health Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 42(10):1951-1958, October 2010.doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181d99203

6.Schnettler C, Porcari J, Foster C, Anders M, Kettlebells: Twice the Results in Half the Time?ACE FitnessMatters, Jan/Feb 2010, pp.6-11

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Traditions to Start with Your Kids

Not all my posts are about exercise and nutrtion. A lot of times I find great articles about kids and other things that I just like to share. Now that my oldest is old enough to understand Christmas and its meaining I've been trying to teach her about giving and teach her that Christmas is not just about Santa and getting presents! Although I'll admit I play the Santa card a lot!
I love traditions and wanted to start some of our own holiday traditions. Last year I had a brilliant idea that we would start a tradition of having the grandparents over for dinner and carriage ride through Tillis park, but that turned out to be pretty pricy and the kids didn't learn much from it. I really enjoyed putting the tree up this year with the kids and reading them all the ornaments and telling them where they came from! I found some other great traditions for kids in the Parent and Child magazine and a few I love!
1. A Card a Day- Keep holiday cards you recieve in the mail unopened until dinner. Let your kids open them and read them aloud at the table. Share stories about the cards writers, including how you met them, places you've been together, etc. Kids always love opening mail!
2. Pay it forward- Give a craft kit (a beading set, oragami, etc) as an early gift to your children. They can use it to make presents for family and friends. This ritual will remind them that the holidays are in large part about giving.
3. Kids giving to Kids- Each year have your children gather all the toys they don't use anymore and donate them to kids in need. Have your children each buy something new from their own money for a child in need. Remind them that not everyone has the things that they have. I love that this year Taylor's teacher had the kids bring in toys and clothes and donated them to a family nearby who had just lost their home in a fire. I was so surprised how much Taylor was willing to give up for another little girl her age!

If you have other great traditions I would love to hear them! Email me or comment on my facebook page!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sugar Addiction!

"Like heroin, cocaine and caffeine, sugar is an addictive, destructive drug, yet we consume it daily in everything from cigarettes to bread. - William Duffy, author of Sugar Blues.

A great article on sugar addiction! Our topic of the week!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pinky Promise: No more Yelling!

I really upset Taylor last night when I broke our pinky promise (that I don't remember making) of "no yelling at eachother." She said, "mom, what about our pinky promise?", in a sad tone. I said, "what pinky promise?" And she said we made a promise to not yell at eachother. Although I didn't remember making it I did like the idea of it because I knew I shouldn't have been yelling anyway! I really try my best not to, but after repeating myself time and time again I usually resort to it. I'm sure you can understand.
I try my best to get "mom time" to refresh and get away in hopes that it will help and I really think it does for the most part. A run, a yoga class, or even running errands without kids is enough to make me feel completely refreshed!
I ran across this article today about positive parenting and liked it enough to share. I think being positive is just as important as being healthy and it for sure helps you become a healthier and better person all around! My home is filled with simple reminders and sayings about love and life (my husband can't stand it), but I love reading them and reminding myself to be a better person!

8 Great Ways to Get Your Kids to Cooperate

Acknowledge strong feelings. A child who feels understood sees you as on his side rather than on his back and is more likely to cooperate. Say, "I noticed how angry you get when you're having fun and have to leave your friend's house. Let's practice a happy goodbye for tomorrow. How would that look and sound?"

Talk less. Say what needs to be done in a single word if you can. "Coat." "Breakfast." "Teeth." Children hate long explanations, which often turn into a screaming tirade of reasons it must be done. You're also modeling self-control.

Tell your child what he can do, rather than what he cannot do. For example, "We pet the cat" works better than, "Don't pull the cat's tail like you did last week." This serves as a reminder of an acceptable action rather than of what your child did wrong.

Give limited choices. Say to your child, "You can get in your car seat all by yourself or Mommy will help you do it. Do you need my help? It's your choice." Most toddlers will say, "Self, self . . . I do it." The more you do this, the more you'll get "self" cooperation.
Lighten up. Make inanimate objects do the talking for you. If you want your child to put on his shoes, for instance, make the shoes say, "Please put your feet in my tummy." Toddlers will usually happily comply, at least once.

Rewind! This announcement means that your child will "take back" her words and actions and start anew with good behavior. Silly babble and walking backwards indicate the bad behavior has been "erased." In order for this to be effective, it must be introduced, demonstrated, and talked about repeatedly, outside the heat of the moment.

Take a break. To calm a frustrated child, stop and breathe together. Say, "Looks like you need a break; let's breathe together." Sitting across from each other, holding hands, inhale slowly and deeply three times. Say, "I'm feeling relaxed now."
Take a silly break. A sense of humor is very positive and often works well to stop misbehavior. When things are out of control, consider declaring, "We need to get silly!" Dance, sing the "silly song," tell a joke, talk in a silly voice or a foreign language. The children will join right in - or at least stop misbehaving long enough to watch the show!
you can read the full article here: