8 fun workouts you can do WITH your kids

In my job as a health and fitness coach and personal trainer, I have worked with many women who have children ranging from infants to teens. The most common thing I hear is that it’s super hard to find time to exercise when you have to take care of your children. As a mom of 2 beautiful girls, I can TOTALLY relate!

Through my own process of trial and error, I’ve found some things that are really great for getting your kiddos involved with your workouts instead of trying to get your workouts done without the kids. I went from trying to get a workout done with a crying baby stuck in her bouncy chair a few feet from me (not very enjoyable for either of us to say the least) to fully involving my girls in my workouts whenever they want to join me.

Try these ideas with your kiddos so they’ll be your REASON instead of your EXCUSE:

FOR INFANTS

  1. Put your baby in a sling and find a low impact workout that involves no floorwork. For example, there are some fun country style and hip-hop style home workouts that work great for this in our virtual gym system.
  2. Check your local area for stroller strides type programs or meetups where you can exercise with other moms and push your infants in their strollers.

34818875_2052073928389674_4577471763486605312_oFOR CHILDREN AGED 3 – 12

3. Low impact partner workouts are really great for moms and kids to do together. Our virtual gym system has an entire program created just for this! It incorporates a ball to toss back and forth and lots of fun moves that keep the kids interested for the full 30 minutes. Both my girls love doing this program with me!

4. Dance workouts with easy to follow choreography are GREAT to do with kids. You’ll both work up a sweat and most likely get some great laughs together too as you work on shakin’ your groove things together! If you’re not ready to go to show your moves to the world in a public gym setting, contact me for info on our virtual gym to get access to lots of fun dance workouts you can do at home.

5. Go out in your backyard or to the park! There are so many fun ways to get exercise with your kiddos outside. For instance, kids LOVE to race! You can set up a space to race each other and keep track of who wins. If your kiddo is little, give them a headstart you meany! haha Another idea is to play tag. Its a GREAT workout and I’ve never met a kid who will turn down a good game of tag. Lastly, there’s always riding bikes, roller skating, and even just going for a nature hike or walk together too! Skip hide and seek though because too much time is spent staying in one place for the hiders.

FOR KIDS 13+

Teenagers are probably not interrupting your workout time as much as younger children but you may find that your time is limited due to running them around to their extracurriculars and friends’ houses, etc etc. Here are a few ideas for still getting your workout in, even though it may not be WITH your kids at this age!

6. Exercise in the morning before all the activity starts! (This is actually always my number one tip to create a consistent exercise routine no matter who you are.) Check out my tips on making those morning workouts easier!

7. Invite your teen to go to the gym, out for a jog/walk, or to do a home workout with you. Let them know it will help you with your motivation and accountability. You may find he/she will be honored to help and will even enjoy the chance to spend some time together. Plus, if your teen is not involved in any athletic activities already, establishing an exercise routine with you can really improve his/her health right along with yours.

8. While waiting for your child at the ball field, dance theater, swim practice or wherever they are after school, find a place you can get a walk or jog in. If you can do a drop off, head to the gym or back home for a workout while you wait to pick them up.  Invite some of the other “soccer moms” to join you to make it more fun and spread the health wealth!

22792274_1944205665843168_6455046436073072633_oIn the end, involving your kids with your health and fitness journey will be much more enjoyable than trying to fight with them to leave you alone. Don’t forget what a good role model you’ll be too! Kids are ALWAYS watching and learning from what we do. Show them the importance of healthy habits and teach them by letting them join you! You’ll also find that exercising together presents new opportunities for bonding and spending time together in a really fun way that’s good for the whole family.

If you’re doing any of these things or have come up with other ideas, I’d love to hear how you’re getting your kids involved! Tell me in the comments below!


Should Women Lift Weights?

No doubt you’ve heard that lifting weights can make your muscles get too big and create a masculine appearance. Perhaps you’re even worried about that and try to avoid weights altogether. Well, I’m here to tell you that is a myth and weight training is GREAT for women!

Men get the larger muscles mostly due to the higher levels of testosterone in their bodies. Women can definitely get ripped and toned but regular weight training won’t turn you into a man, I promise!

27982561_1998029703794097_3742184840251879388_oIn fact, weight training is super important for women for many reasons, both aesthetic and overall health-wise.

Many of us want to prevent or get rid of those saggy upper arms, right? Weight training your triceps and biceps will help with that! Weight training is also helpful in getting those defined legs and a tight tush we all would love to have! Beyond that though, weight training improves day-to-day functional ability and also helps prevent osteoporosis, a weak bone condition that is more common in women than men as we age. Often we think of weight training as simply making our muscles stronger but it actually causes bones to grow stronger too. Cardio training alone won’t have the same effect.

I don’t know about you but when I’m a grandmother, I want to be able to run and play with my grandkids without fear of falling and breaking a bone. There are more factors in conditions such as osteoporosis such as genes and overall health of course, but starting a strength training routine can definitely help prevent or even improve it!


How to healthify your coffee

29694369_2022298258033908_7513636351925813248_o“I want to get healthier but I don’t want to give up my coffee with cream and sugar.” Does that sound like you? It definitely was me a few years ago and I work with many clients who tell me the exact same thing. Good News: You don’t have to give up coffee to be healthier! Not as good news: Adding lots of cream and sugar is definitely going to slow down your progress.

Don’t worry though! Here are two easy steps to gradually healthify (yes I made up that word haha) a cup of coffee:

  1. Over the course of a few weeks, begin to cut down the amount of sugar – even if it’s fake sugar – little by little. First, cut it down by 1/4 and drink your coffee at that level for a few days. Then, cut the sugar by 1/4-1/2 again and so-on. Don’t stop until you have cut ALL the sugar out altogether. If you hit an amount that really makes you unable to drink the coffee, add a little honey. Then gradually decrease that.
  2. Once you have gotten the sugar out, begin to focus on the cream. Even skim milk is pretty high in sugar (lactose sugar) and calories. My biggest advice is to gradually switch from milk or a flavored creamer to an alternative milk product like unsweetened almond or coconut milk. These products are very low in calories and sugar and have more health benefits. Plus, you still get a creaminess in your coffee! Began by making your coffee with a mixture of half the amount of your regular creamer and replace the other half with the alternative creamer. Drink it that way for a few days to a week. Then, cut it to 1/4 your regular creamer and 3/4 the unsweetened almond or coconut milk. Continue until you’ve made the full switch.

There is an adjustment period but I can tell you that I no longer can stomach drinking really sweet coffee drinks like I used to enjoy. This method has helped many of my clients too! Give it a try and comment below to let me know how it worked for you


4 Recipes With No Gluten or Sugar

Did you know sugar is as addicting as heroin? It activates the same pleasure areas of your brain. No wonder I can’t stop eating it… I could use a serious intervention, y’all! I also recently have been having issues with my hypothyroidism and research has shown that being gluten free can help with that.

So, I’ve compiled a few recipes that help in both of these areas – processed sugar and gluten free! That doesn’t necessarily make them low calorie but most are definitely better for you than their sugar-ful counterpart.

Banana Coconut Baked Oatmeal:

I don’t know if you’ve ever had baked oatmeal before but it’s delish! However, it usually has a cup of sugar in it. This recipe has none and is also gluten free! Get the Recipe

oatmeal

 

Mmmm Brownies: brownie

Enough said, right? An actual gooey, fudgy delightful brownie that is gluten and sugar free! Get the recipe

 

Maple_Bacon_Chocolate_Chip_Cookies_0001

Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Yep, you read that right! There’s bacon in these babies! You know you want to make them! haha And yes, they’re both gluten and processed sugar free!  Get the Recipe

 

 

Chocolate Energy Balls:

I make these ALL THE TIME!! They’re soooo good and really good for you. You can add extras to them also to change them up a little. Even my kiddos love them and it makes a great little snack for them too.

Ingredientsshakeoballs

  • 1/2 cup organic old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-natural creamy almond butter (or Sunbutter)
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Shakeology
  • 3 Tbsp. raw honey

Instructions

  1. Combine Shakeology, and oats in a medium bowl; mix well.

  2. Add almond butter and honey; mix well with a rubber spatula or clean hands.

  3. Roll in balls about the size of a ping pong ball.

    You can add extras like nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, etc to spice them up even more!


How to make meal prep more FUN!

Don’t dread meal prep! It doesn’t have to be all “sweatin’ in the kitchen” for 5 hours of awful! I went from being like “UGH! Do I have to?” when it was meal prep day to  “alright, let’s do this thing!

What’s different? Weeeeell I came up with some things to make it more FUN!

  1. First, plan smart – think meals that will make enough for multiple days, non-cook snacks that are quick to prep, and things that have ingredients in common. This will keep your prep time to a minimum.
  2. Next, make sure you have your meal plan and recipes easily accessible. I hang my weekly meal plan right on the cabinet where I can see it not only when meal prepping but every day when packing my lunches too!
  3. Have a lot of cute, matching Tupperware on hand so you’ll know it will look really pretty when you’re done! (this could be more for those type A personalities but I do look forward to that finished product with each day laid out in a nice matching row like I always see in pics from people who are way more talented than me on social media LOL)
  4. Crack open a bottle of wine and pour a glass! It’s 21 Day Fix approved, I swear!
  5. Turn on some tunes! I like to turn on Pandora on my TV. My station is a crazy fun mix of 90’s alternative and Brittany Spears stuff LOL
  6. Ask your significant other and/or kids to join in and cook together! (now, I admit this one could backfire, in which case, I say plan your prep time when they’ll be out of the house!)
  7. Just relax! Don’t think about anything else you have to do. Enjoy this process and remember that when you’re done, you’ll be set up for success the rest of the week!