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February 5, 2013
(anyone else singing the song in their head now?) Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope your day’s going well so far. Mine is, despite Tuesdays being early and long days – 6:30 am to 6 pm! Phew. Today isn’t stuffed full, hence the great workout and breakfast break I just had, but Thursday is jam-packed with 9 sessions! Whew again, just spelled differently.
Here’s what I did today for my Tuesday workout:
- Pull Up Program: 5 sets of 8-7-6-5-5 reps. I had to break up the 8, 7 and 6 (sore from yesterday!) but nailed the full 5 reps pretty easily. Progress!
- Cardio & Core: lots of jump rope and some ab burning going on. More specifically:
When I don’t feel like “doing cardio,” I pick up a jump rope and get to jumping! It’s a great substitute for cardio as it gets your heart rate up but also works your core (keep it tight as you jump!) and shoulders (amazing how they can burn with the slight movement!). Do you jump rope? If you do, keep it up! If you don’t, remember that you WILL get better with practice. If you catch your feet, just start again, light in the toes, standing tall, shoulders back and just flicking the wrists.
Just a short workout post today to give you a little something different to switch your routine up! I also wanted to bring you back with a few vlogs that will be coming your way. The first is a video review of another piece of Zensah running gear and the second is a new love from a local company – I can’t wait to share! So check back tomorrow for the first of two vlogs for the week.
In the meantime, grab a jump rope (or just do high knees! Mimic the movement – it truly works!) and get moving today. Have a great Tuesday; live well & be well,
It’s that time of year! Parties, family gatherings, fun moments with friends and along with that generally comes tastier snacks and treats that we don’t always indulge in and busy, packed days. It can be hard to find ways to get your workouts in and stay on track with your eating, and although you can find tips all over the place about keeping up your healthy lifestyle over the holidays, I want to offer a few thoughts from my corner of the blogosphere before this season is upon us even more than it already is!
Staying Lean Over the Holidays
My first tip?
Keep your goals in mind. This is important because it’s very easy to let a weekend of poor eating, late nights, less sleep and missed workouts take priority over what you’ve been working towards for so long. Why throw it all away? So keep those goals in the forefront, not background, of your mind and keep moving forward. That being said…
Cut yourself some slack. Practice a bit of self compassion when it comes to this time of year – it does, after all, only come around once and we don’t always have the options of fun foods, enjoying ourselves and communing over food with friends and family! It is a time to enjoy. But on the days you know you’re going to indulge, think about:
Really choose what you LOVE. In other words, I won’t go for chips and dip at a party because you can get that anywhere. Instead, I’ll likely slowly sip and enjoy a glass of red wine or two over the course of the night and choose the foods that are unique to this time of year and homemade. Store-bought cookies? I can pass on those in favor of some other fun treat!
Fro-yo with my mom definitely counts as a treat I want to participate in!
Be mindful in the days leading up to your parties. Drink lots of water and focus on clean eating – don’t indulge early or allow extra foods you wouldn’t normally snack on into your days “just because it’s the holidays.” Instead, stay focused and clean so you can eat a little more liberally if you want when it comes to the parties with people you love!
Get flexible with your workout schedule. During this busy time, you might not be able to get your same morning workout in or be able to hit the gym after work. Your favorite class might be cancelled during lunch or perhaps you’ve stayed up really late for a few nights and just can’t make it to the gym. That’s okay – be willing to be flexible with what you normally do and adapt! Get outside for a run with your family or participate in a Santa Shuffle, run a New Year’s Eve race to start 2013 or get your family into a little group bootcamp session one morning (just my family? Oh, okay).
Mom, Dad, Aunt, Cousin & his wife + family friends pictured above in October!
There’s a lot you can do from your living room and still stay fit! If you don’t have much time, remember the benefit of shorter, high intensity interval workouts and sprints (think: 1 minute sprint, 2 minute recovery for 6-10 sprints) or try a 15 minute workout from home can do the job in the pinch – like this one!
Here’s how it all goes down: In this ladder workout, you’ll perform the first exercise in the first set (being the squat jumps) for 10 sec, then rest for 10 sec and hit the second exercise for 10 sec with a 10 sec rest (that would be the burpees with a push up). Then you’ll do the same thing (squat jumps) for 20 sec with a 20 sec rest followed by exercise two (burpees with a push up) for 20 sec and a 20 sec rest. Continue up to 30 sec each and then go back down the “ladder” with 20 and 10 sec work/rest intervals. When your first ladder’s done, rest for a short amount of time or as needed and hit up ladder number two (rows and mountain climbers). Continue to the third ladder and you’re done!
To modify, you can always tone the intensity down:
- turn the squat jumps into regular squats
- take the push up out of the burpee or walk it instead of jump the movement
- take some angle off your inverted rows (think: TRX rows which can changed to suit your ability) or use weights in a bent-over row to hit the back
- walk the mountain climbers
- turn the jump lunges in reverse lunges without the jump, and
- use a lighter weight, medicine ball or just your arms for the KB swings.
OR…bump up the intensity for each move by:
- adding weights to the squat jumps
- putting your feet up on a bench or box so your body is truly inverted when you row
- place your hands up in the air for the jump lunges, and
- use a heavier weight for your KB swings.
Short, sweet and effective! Speaking of which, I made myself do intervals today (I encourage you to do the same if you’re short on time and want a killer workout!) rather than go easy and long. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is great for your body and so much more effective than long, slow cardio (unless you’re training for longer distances and following a training plan) when it comes to burning fat and boosting that metabolism. You can google “HIIT” for great ideas, follow a simple “1 min sprint, 2 min jog for 6-10 spring repetitions” type of format or try a great workout from Naomi like I did today!
Do you take full breaks during the holiday season from workouts? Got anything extra to add to my list of tips above? I’d love to hear any unique suggestions as mine are tips that fall into the “tried and true” (aka often discussed!) category.
Live well & be well friends – especially during this neat season which can be tough for some and fun for others; let’s continue to treat our bodies and one another well!
December 3, 2012
Hey guys! Welcome to the new bonnielangfitness.com site! If you’re just tuning in, I changed my blog theme over the weekend and while there are still a few kinks to work out, I’m enjoying the new look and getting used to the site. Change is hard; but what do you guys think? I’d love some feedback as I continue to work on the site.
On another note, how’s your Monday going so far? Mine’s going well; I think a relaxed weekend really helps with that! Mikey and I went to this work Christmas party Saturday night after a day of errands, working on a website for my mom (more to come on that when it’s finished!) and her training business and some clean up around the house. The party was great; I really like my husband’s co-workers and at the man’s house who hosted there was tons of good food – including lots of Indian dishes (think: vegetable paneer and shrimp curry!) and even two fiddlers who were super fun and added a lot of festive cheer to the event.
Bonus? We got a free Christmas tree! Long story short, one of the couples at the party cut down an extra tree and wanted to find a home for it, so we said yes and now have a Christmas tree! We need to get this guy in water stat – he’s just hanging out against the wall right now. Super thankful for the free tree!
We had a second Christmas party over the weekend that our friends’ hosted that had a dual purpose: to reconnect as one big group from church for our annual party but also to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan’s Purse (have you heard of it? I know Jenna linked to it as an option for a great gift to give to others in her recent gift guide!). We divided up all the different items to buy for girls and boys in three different age categories and after eating and chatting we used the big floor space to get busy sorting!
We had a great night reconnecting with people we love and ended up packing 15 shoeboxes with extra goods leftover for kids we already love through the act of giving!
On the food front, you guys know how I recently started getting serious about “kicking it into high gear” with the onset of December. Great time to start, right? Parties, extra goodies, busier days…but I am tracking my calories on My Fitness Pal (got the app on my phone and use it online too – it’s free!) and am loving it! I ate only foods I wanted at the first party, had no dessert or wine because I really asked myself how much I wanted/needed it, and although I indulged in more treats on Sunday night, I stayed away from the wine (minus two sips of Mikey’s) and was conscious about all my eating. Change is slow, but tracking my foods and actually seeing their calories and how much protein and fats etc I’m getting is working! I love it and will definitely stick with it through the month and maybe beyond. I needed this focus and so far, so good.
I did this quick workout Sunday before heading to the party as it was a cold weekend and after resting on Saturday; it’s a great, short circuit of moves so I thought I’d share with you guys here!
A few specifics on this workout: every round, decrease the squat jumps by 2 reps each time (20, 28, 26, etc) so you finish at 2 squat jumps with the rest of the workout the same. It’s a tough, short workout if you keep moving! You could always substitute regular squats for the squat jumps, TRX or body rows for the bent over rows and could always slow down your mountain climbers or pace to adjust those too. Give it a shot and get after it!
I’m off to squeeze in an interval workout in between clients – looking forward to moving and getting my sweat on! Have a great rest of your day and I’ll touch base with you guys later! But first let me leave you with a most prized photo of our small group – we’re a special bunch.
ahhh…the over-the-shoulder look…so amazing.
Live well & be well!
Can you guys even believe it’s November? Wow…time really flies (when you’re having fun? When you’re getting old? When you’re busy?)! I’m currently sitting in the gym’s cafe, sipping at my black Americano with some cinnamon and thinking about how quickly time is going. Before you know it, Christmas will be here, including all the festivities that come along with it, and then it will be New Year’s (and subsequent New Year’s resolution) time. Because I don’t want the time to creep up on me and thanks to several posts from blogger friends that have made me think, I thought I’d write a bit about goals today and – GASP! – set some myself.
You see, I’m really not a goal setter. I’ve spoken about this in the past and how ironic it is that, as a personal trainer, we talk about goals and I occasionally have people set them (probably less than other trainers as that’s just not how I’m geared). I know all about HOW to set goals (make them S.M.A.R.T! – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and set with a time frame) but have never been driven by them. I’m much more about my top two rules or bottom line:
Eat Real Food (and less of it).
…more my style.
Those are the only real mottos fitness-wise I live by. I try to get some kind of movement in daily, alternating tough workout days (like today’s! Whew!) with easier days, sometimes lifting heavy and often running a long run on the weekend because I love the long, slow movement and being outside. But besides that, I typically don’t set goals in the gym but rather try to maintain.
I’m much the same when it comes to how I eat – stay away from processed foods, stop before I’m full and make most of what I eat REAL. However, I don’t really deny myself either. If you’re over and you bring wine, I’ll have a glass (but only one, and usually small!); if I want something sweet, I’ll usually have it; I simply try not to go overboard.
Often I wonder what I would look like, how healthy my insides would be, how much stronger and leaner I would be if I actually followed a workout or nutrition program.
I’ve kind of implemented that with intermittent fasting and still do one 24 hour fast a week (Mondays!) and eat the “Lean Gains” style the rest of the week: fasting in the morning with an a.m. workout followed by my first meal around noon (usually a green shake with all real foods in it!), second meal around 3 pm (usually salad with a protein) and a meal around 7 or 8 pm. But I still include random bites here and there that aren’t helping my waistline – you guys know I’ve blogged recently about gaining 5 lbs which, while not a lot, is more on a 5’2″ frame and will.not.go.away. I’m weighing myself less but whether I fast or not, workout or not, everything stays the same.
…maybe it’s time to tighten up?
I love the Turkey Day Challenge that Janetha is doing with her gym, GPP Fitness (click the link to read the stipulations – love the way this challenge is set up!) and can get behind MizFit’s commitment to eat no processed foods for 30 days. With their support (hi, guys!) and my personal desire to clean up my act a bit, here’s my challenge!
The refined sugar? Well, tis the season! So I’ll simply have to be prepared with more protein-packed snacks and watch my intake. The processed foods won’t be too bad, but it means watching myself as I occasionally take a leftover (free) muffin from work (healthier made, but still a muffin’s like cake in my mind!), the rare birthday party (which I’m pretty good at celebrating the person and not the food), and bites of ice cream at home out of the freezer (one bite never stays at one bite anyway!).
The water won’t be a huge challenge, but I’ll have to keep up with my drinking throughout the day and not leave it to the end.
And why the HITT? Well, as I said above, I’ve been bouncing around with my workouts and I know I’m not getting the most out of them, so I’ve decided for these 30 days to stick with H(high )I(intensity) I(interval) T(training) and get 5 of those in a week, plus the KB swings and burpees, which honestly don’t take long, I can do at home and are a great metabolism booster.
Here’s what gets me most: I can commit to health and fitness stuff no problem, but connecting with God for 15 short minutes a day? So hard for me! If I claim that my relationship with Jesus is the most important of my life, I sure better live in such a way that backs it up. I can write and eat and breathe health and fitness but the real source of my life, joy and hope comes through Jesus Christ. So why is it so difficult for me to put aside some time – either with earlier wake ups or instead of reading blogs – to spend with him? This should be a longer time and is of greater importance that what 15 minutes gives, but I need to (for my soul!) get back into a consistent time of prayer, reading my Bible and walking with Jesus daily.
So…anyone else want in?! I’ve seen others’ challenges and made this one my own, and it’s more about setting a goal and sticking to it since that’s what I’m trying to work on in my life!
How am I to inspire others if I’m not challenging myself but teetering on the edge of mediocrity? I don’t want to simply bump along in life whether it concerns my fitness, nutrition, social or spiritual realms of life. Complacency is a scary thing! I want to inspire others and push myself to be better – not to get skinner or lose those 5 lbs or never miss a day reading my Bible but instead be working towards SOMEthing in each area of my life.
I hope you’ll join me in your own way, but as someone who doesn’t always set or follow goals, I won’t hold it against you if you don’t. Make it count, whatever you do today, and keep in mind that the holiday season is upon us! Be prepared for it in whatever way works for you so that you’ll be able to come through the other side happy, healthy and whole. (Hint: future posts along those lines + 2 product reviews yet to come!).
Live well & be well (and wish me luck!),