Get Real: How to Find Time To Exercise

I know what it is to be busy – this is my first post since June. With the New Year already 8 days in, you’re probably still going strong on your New Year’s resolution to get fit or lose weight. The initial rush of finally succeeding at a goal you’ve been wanting to achieve for so long keeps you at the gym day after day, chugging away like a donkey plodding through the desert drooling over a dangling carrot. It’s so close yet so far and all you have to do is work out. You’ve made resolutions before, but this time it’s different. You just know it is. You can do it. You can set your mind to it. You can work out 5 times a week for an hour at a time. All you have to do is keep it up and you’ll finally be able to say that you stuck with your New Year’s resolution and succeeded!

Until you realize you can’t (um, won’t). That upbeat attitude won’t last. And here’s why…

The number one excuse I hear from people about why they don’t exercise regularly is, “I don’t have time and can’t fit it in”.

That’s a load of garbage. You’ve got to lose your excuses. The only reason you’re not seeing the results you want is because you don’t take responsibility for your actions. I know it’s harsh and it may be hard to swallow that the only thing holding you back is you, but you have time, you just don’t have your priorities straight. I get it, you probably work 10 hour days minimum, which leaves little time to get chores done, and leaves you exhausted and feeling entitled to that manicure, happy hour, shopping, a movie, lazing on the couch, and dinner out with friends.

That’s the problem.

Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely think you are entitled to those things and have earned it with all your hard work, but if you want to succeed you have to delay that immediate gratification of rewarding yourself until after you work out. And, I absolutely think that a healthy dose of loafing around is necessary and allowed, but you have to earn it.

I’m busy too. Actually, can I clarify that? I am BUSY with a capital B-U-S-Y! I have an almost 1 year old baby who requires lots of attention and often leaves me exhausted by the time I get to my workout, a sick family member, a business to run, clients to train, a house to keep clean, laundry to do, meals to cook, a running group to train for a race, a husband to spend time with, dogs that need to be walked, friends and family that need to be seen, an endless to-do list… Basically, life.

Yes, we are all busier than busy and barely have a moment to ourselves, but still, if you want what you want then you have to do what needs to be done to get it. And that doesn’t mean just working out. You need to learn some time management.

Here’s what I do and recommend you do too:

Take a look at your schedule for the upcoming week and pencil in the days and times you’re going to work out ahead of time. You have to think about working out like brushing your teeth and taking a shower. You wouldn’t skip those, so don’t skip a workout unless you’re sick or injured. And that excuse of not having any time? Throw that out the window. You don’t have to work out in a gym to consider it successful. There are so many fitness DVD’s on the market that you can get through Netflix, HULU, and cable OnDemand channels (channel 1023 in Brooklyn) that you don’t even have to put on clothes to do it (although I highly recommend at least a sports bra!). When my baby was 3 weeks old and I was given the go ahead to resume working out I did it in spurts between her cries (working out 10 minutes here and there 3 times a day is just as effective for your bottom [line] as it is doing it for 30 minutes total), in my living room, in my pajamas if I didn’t even have time to change. I let the vaccuming go undone, I let laundry pile up, and decided what I could let go of for a bit and just let it go. I couldn’t let actual work and some other important “must be done” things go, so I decided that my house doesn’t have to look immaculate all the time, that I don’t have to cook dinner every night, and that I can wake up an hour earlier if it’s the only way I can fit a workout in that day. The only reason this works though is because I’ve decided that working out is a part of life for me and MUST be done. It keeps me sane, makes me a better mother, improves my clients’ sessions, and makes me feel good. When I feel good everything else is good.

So, lose your excuses and keep to your word this year.

To make it even easier and save you time, here are links to the essentials:

- Resistance Bands >

- 20 Pound Dumbbell Set >

- 32 Pound Dumbbell Set >

- Chris Freytag’s work out DVD (I love this one!) >

- Cardio Kickboxing DVD (For all levels. You can do just one 15 minute workout or select multiple workouts for a longer session.) >

- YogaWorks For Everybody: Slim Down DVD >

Stretch It Out – Ooooh That Feels Good!

I’m always nagging my clients to stretch daily. I see so many people complain of aches and pains that would go away with just 5-10 minutes of stretching every day.

Most people treat stretching as something that they do if they have time, but what they don’t realize is that it’s actually one of the most important components to building healthy, strong, lean muscles. The thing about not stretching is that you when you notice an ache or a pain, in let say your back, if you don’t stretch then that pain suddenly starts to run down your legs or into your shoulders. Ever have that happen to you and you assume that there’s something wrong with you or that you’re “getting old”?

All it takes is a few short minutes a day – less time than it takes to take a shower – and can really alter the way you live. One of the things I love most about stretching is that it makes me feel about an inch taller, which is an important thing for a vertically challenged girl like myself!

Here are 8 common stretching mistakes that people make and how to avoid them…

THE Secret To Changing Your Body

Recently, someone asked me why if he runs 6 miles a day is he not losing weight. His eating is balanced and he isn’t lazy the rest of the day, but it seems that after an initial 20 pound weight loss he can’t seem to take any more off. His body doesn’t seem to be changing either, so why is he plateauing?

The answer is pretty simple.

You know how when you listen to a repetitive sound you almost stop hearing it? At first you notice the beat of a song and you feel the rhythm. You feel excited and maybe start bobbing your head. But if it’s a long song, like one of those never-ending 13-minute-the-artist-loves-himself-so-much-he-needs-you-to-hear-more-of-his-amazingness songs then after a few minutes it just fades into the background and you forget it’s there. As soon as it’s over though, the sound of the silence is deafening. And then eventually you get used to the silence too, and only when the refrigerator starts rumbling do you notice that it was ever quiet.

So, your body is the same way. If you run 6 miles every day, day in a day out, eventually your body stops noticing it and it’s no longer working. It gets used to the activity and stops reacting to it. It becomes so routine that your body adapts and doesn’t recognize it as “work”. As soon as you change your routine up though, your body doesn’t know what hit it and it’s forced to adapt to the new activity, which forces it to work a little harder. You need variety not just for the sake of boredom, but to shock your system into working again.

So, the simple secret is to vary up your routine every 4-6 weeks or so.

Here are some easy things you can do to change things up:
- Rather than running 6 miles straight, run for 3 miles in intervals. Jog 1/4 of a mile and then run 1/4 of a mile. Keep alternating that way until you’ve completed 3 miles.
- If you’re strength training try to lift heavier weights with lower repetitions or lighter weights with higher repetitions.
- Switch up the running to biking or swimming. The change in activity will majorly shock your system.

If you have any questions about this, let me know

Half-Marathon #3 – Double Victory!

I am happy to say that I did not pee in my pants yesterday. And that proves that if you put your mind to it you can do anything.

By mile 3 I had to pee like crazy, and with 10.1 (can t forget the .1!) miles to go my goal wasn t to cross the finish line, it was to not pee my pants. And if you ve ever been with me when I realize I need to pee you d know what a feat of sheer will power that is! And woo-hoo, I did it!!

Seriously, I have a bladder like my little Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Ozzie. If you get him too excited, or you startle him, or you say his name he will simply pee right there, where he (and unfortunately, sometimes your foot) is standing. For example, take the time I came home with my friend Michelle and realized at my front door that I had to pee, but couldn t take the anticipation of getting to the bathroom and found myself leaking onto the floor in the hallway. For real, I had the key in the door, but couldn t get myself together! It was just me, Michelle, and a puddle on the floor that was oddly enough, hilarious. I could have stopped at any one of the porta-potties along the way yesterday, but that would mean that I wouldn t have shaved 35 MINUTES off of my previous race time!

Yup! After 2 hours and 10 minutes I crossed that finish line like a champ! It was a pretty emotional run for me, because I d been raising money for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation in honor of my father-in-law who s battling this incurable cancer. There isn t much I can say or do to make things better or right, so I did what I could. And I have so many people to thank for helping me not just reach my goal, but to overflow it by 258%! My goal was to raise $1,000, but with everyone’s help I managed to bring the total to $2,588!

Crossing that finish line wasn t my victory alone, it was a victory dedicated to my father-in-law who is proof of what it is to battle something so much stronger than you with dignity, pride, and courage. There isn t a time that I see him that he isn t positive, smiling, and asking how you are, as if you re the important one in the room. Training for a half-marathon isn t as much of a battle of physical proportions as much as it is mental. You have to be determined and driven to keep up the training when you don t want to, you have to be strong enough not to give into your excuses, and you have to quiet those voices down when they tell you to quit. My father-in-law is battling this cancer like an athlete and is all the inspiration that I need to keep on going.

The thing I ve learned most this time around is run because you can. Until you can’t you have no idea how lucky you are.
It s as simple as that.

I have 3 clients that are working their way towards 5 and 10k races and I’m going to be running a workshop for anyone who thinks they re not runners, but want to prove to themselves what they re made of. If you re interested and want to sign up for this workshop in Prospect Park, send me a line! I promise, you will never be the same after you cross that finish line!

Before I go, I know I told him before, but I have to say it here Roman, you are the one who makes my running possible. Without you I would have no one to share it with and no one to support me when I need to complain about it. You always listen about my runs as if I never spoke about it before, and you always act as if my achievements are yours. And they are, because without you I would be someone else. You rub my legs when they are sore and you effortlessly follow me to my races and get from the start line, to the mid-line, to the finish line, just so that I will have someone supporting me along the way. I love you more than you know and can t believe how lucky a girl can be.

And Mommy, I know it wasn t easy coming out yesterday morning in the freezing cold when you had so much to do, but you know, that for many reasons, my crossing that finish line will never get old, because that victory is as much yours as it is mine.

The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation is still accepting donations, so please take a second and visit my page here. Nothing is ever too small and is more appreciated more than you know.

Super Mega Burn President’s Day Workout

It's cold out there today. Warm up with a workout!

Wow, it’s been a while since I last posted. I went to Israel for 3 weeks to be with my sister who was giving birth. I spent 3 amazing weeks with her, my brother-in-law, and my (now) 4 nephews and 1 niece. I know that to many of you that seems like a heck of a lot of family, but for my sister it just seems right, and it really does make her awesome family that just more awesome (and it give me one more kid to miss like crazy). Then, after coming home last week, I got sick. I haven’t been sick in over a year, so I’ve pretty much forgotten what it feels like. It hit me. It hit me hard. And I haven’t been in the mood to do anything but walk around like a zombie, work, and read. Today though, I must be getting better, because I want to just write and write, but I won’t take up your entire day off with a longer than long post.

Instead, I’m going to give you an awesome workout that I’ve been doing with some of my clients. The entire thing should take 45 minutes, so you’ll be done before you can say “I-need-a-drink-of-water-get-me-the-hell-out-of-here-now”.

Instructions: After each exercise you’re going to do 30 seconds of high intensity cardio (running, elliptical, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, jump rope, etc. Whatever you choose to get your heart rate bouncing). This high intensity workout will purge your stress like none other and will help you boost your metabolism for the rest of the day (which I’m sure will help with all that weekend partying and snowy hibernation).

This workout isn’t for the beginner, so be aware of your posture and make sure that you’re challenging yourself, but not pushing past the point of manageability. For a more intense result, do 30 minutes of cardio after the workout.

Finally, here it is… Super Mega Burn President’s Day Workout

Super Mega Burn President's Day Workout

It's cold out there today. Warm up with a workout!

Wow, it’s been a while since I last posted. I went to Israel for 3 weeks to be with my sister who was giving birth. I spent 3 amazing weeks with her, my brother-in-law, and my (now) 4 nephews and 1 niece. I know that to many of you that seems like a heck of a lot of family, but for my sister it just seems right, and it really does make her awesome family that just more awesome (and it give me one more kid to miss like crazy). Then, after coming home last week, I got sick. I haven’t been sick in over a year, so I’ve pretty much forgotten what it feels like. It hit me. It hit me hard. And I haven’t been in the mood to do anything but walk around like a zombie, work, and read. Today though, I must be getting better, because I want to just write and write, but I won’t take up your entire day off with a longer than long post.

Instead, I’m going to give you an awesome workout that I’ve been doing with some of my clients. The entire thing should take 45 minutes, so you’ll be done before you can say “I-need-a-drink-of-water-get-me-the-hell-out-of-here-now”.

Instructions: After each exercise you’re going to do 30 seconds of high intensity cardio (running, elliptical, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, jump rope, etc. Whatever you choose to get your heart rate bouncing). This high intensity workout will purge your stress like none other and will help you boost your metabolism for the rest of the day (which I’m sure will help with all that weekend partying and snowy hibernation).

This workout isn’t for the beginner, so be aware of your posture and make sure that you’re challenging yourself, but not pushing past the point of manageability. For a more intense result, do 30 minutes of cardio after the workout.

Finally, here it is… Super Mega Burn President’s Day Workout

Do It Because You Can

Natures gym

If you’ve ever said “I hate running” you most likely hate it because you’ve gone about it the wrong way. Because, if you ask anyone who’s actually completed a race they’ll tell you that there’s nothing like that rush you get when you cross the finish line. Most people when they start running start too hard and fast too soon. Honestly, you’ll feel like dying and that’s just going to make you hate it. I’ve talked about training for my first half marathon, and my second, and now my third, and the impact it’s had on my life. Years of therapy didn’t do for me what running has. I’ve learned to see the bigger picture and stop obsessing about weight loss. I’ve learned how to eat and enjoy food, and not starve myself, because with running your body actually needs food just like a car needs gas. I’ve learned that I can push myself harder than I ever thought possible. And I’ve also learned to actually love my body and the powerhouse that it is. My legs have never been stronger and I’ve never been happier. And when you’re happy, things have a way of falling into place.

Like most people at the start of a new year, you’ve probably made some resolutions to lose weight this year and finally use that gym membership that you pay for year after year. And like most people who make resolutions, you’ll probably start out strong in the gym, going 4-5 times a week, killing it on the elliptical, but come March you’ll be down to 1 day a week if you’re still even going at all (and that’s the best case scenario!). Most likely though, you’ll be back to resolving to do better next year. And so, nothing changes.

There’s nothing like a new routine to keep you motivated. The trick though is not just to do something new, but do it with a goal in mind. Most people don’t like doing anything without a reason, so to help you not hate running take a look at this schedule that will take you from a couch to 5k in just 9 weeks. That’s less than a season of The Office. All I ask is that you stick with it for 9 weeks and then decide whether you truly hate running or not. I promise, there is nothing scary about it and you’ll see how amazing you feel.

** Before I go, I want to give a shout out to my amazing clients this week for really stepping it up and pushing past your comfort zones. I don’t know what it is, but I see something within you guys that’s changed in your determination and I just wanted you to know that I notice it. Especially, Melissa, Jen, and Ariel – you’ve taken major steps.

Congratulations Melissa for running, literally, towards your fears. It takes a really strong person to know what you’re afraid of, and still greet it with open arms.
Jen, you’ve been talking about this 5k for a long time now, and I’m ecstatic that you finally put all the excuses aside.
And Ariel, woo-hoo on finally stretching!! Keep it up and we’ll have those pesky little glutes working in no time!

Focus on The Negative

The next time you’re working out try focusing on the “eccentric” or lengthening phase of the lift, which has been shown to help increase metabolism. I’ll explain more below…

When lifting weights there are two things that are happening: There’s a shortening of the muscle as you lift the weight and a lengthening as you lower the weight back down. Want to feel it in action? Place your left hand on your right bicep and do a bicep curl. Feel the muscle scrunching up as you flex your elbow and then feel it get longer as you lower your arm back down.

What you want to do is focus on that lengthening by lifting the weight within a 1 second count and then lowering it back down in a 3-5 second count. You will feel the muscle fatigue a bit quicker this way, because you’re really working against gravity, but it will definitely change things up a bit in your routine and help boost metabolism by up to 9% after the workout!

Just as a heads up, you will feel pretty sore the next day and maybe up to 48 hours after, but repeating a workout like this about a week later will keep the soreness at a minimum in the future.

Try it out this week and let me know how it feels.

Week 12 – 12 Weeks To A Stronger, Sexier, More Confident You

Ok guys, this is it – your last week of the beginners program! I want you to really notice how far you’ve come and how hard you’ve worked. The only way to make a change is to simply do it. No one else can do it but you. If you take anything away from this experience I want you to realize that you are so much stronger and capable of so much more than you realize. Your ability to power through these workouts is really just a metaphor for life. Know that anything you want is yours if you decide to put in the effort to make it happen. The strength that you’ve built from these workouts is of course physical, but actually, it’s 98% mental. Feel empowered by your ability to power through this and take that strength with you wherever you go. There is nothing that you can’t do. Congratulations!

This weeks playlist is put together with the idea that music is what moves you. When you let yourself go and allow yourself to just be part of the music a beautiful thing happens – you let go of your thoughts, your inhibitions, and all the filters that are telling you not to do or say something. Really connect your body with your mind and just let the music guide you.

The Workout:
Week 12

The Playlist:
- Warm-up
Harmonize (Spirit Catcher)
Rio Nero (Drum Nation)
Absolutely Africa (Saxomatto)
Esperanca (Danny Tenaglia)

- The Workout
Twelve (Aria)
Genesis (Cozzy D & Kid Dub Present D Dub)
School of Thought (Kevin Swain)
Winter (Aril Brikha)
Vertigo (The Oval Five Project)
Smoke (Trafik)
Circus (Trafik)

- Cardio
Tribal (Tanke)
Tribal (Aggregat)
Tribal (RMB) (*I was trying to find as many “Tribal” named songs as possible… I guess it ends here.)
Move Your Body (DJ Wope)
We Believe (Junior)
Love Nature (Hystera)
Gimme A Smile (Lost Tribe)
Robots (Kevin Swain)
Female (Santos)

- Cool Down
So Long (Sissy)

Well, there you have it, your 12 week beginner program. Just because this is the end of this program though doesn’t mean it’s the end of your working out. If you want to keep up your results you’ve gotta keep up your activity. If there’s anything else you’d like to see featured here, just drop me a line and let me know.

Week 11 – 12 Weeks To A Stronger, Sexier, More Confident You

I shouldn’t be saying this at week 11 of this program, but I really wish I would have named it something different. “12 Weeks To A Stronger, blah, blah, blah” is so generic. And I’m so not a generic. And neither is this program. If you’ve been following it for the entire 10 weeks up until now I’m sure that you’ll find that you feel stronger, sexier, and more confident, but that you also got past some major hurdles in keeping up with it. How did I let this happen? Oh well, there’s only 1 more week left.

Yup, 1 more week until you’re no longer a beginner at fitness! Can you believe how far you’ve come? Did you ever think you’d be able to stick with it? Pretty awesome! Ok, enough exclamation points (I hate them), on with the program…

The Workout:
Week 11

The Playlist:
- Warm-up
Teenage Dream (Katy Perry)
Somebody’s Watching Me (Rockwell)
Bust A Move (Young MC)
Party Up (DMX)

- Workout
Love Is A Battlefield (Pat Benatar)
The Seed (2.0) (The Roots)
He Got Game (Public Enemy)
‘ Till I Collapse (Eminem)
Sober (Pink)
Hung Up (Madonna)
Sorry (Madonna)
Wind It Up (Gwen Stefani)
Epic Last Song (Does it Offend You, Yeah?)

- Cardio
Day ‘n’ Nite (Chani)
American Idiot (Spike)
Satisfaction (C-Baby)
I’m Gonna Get Tribal (RP)
Vegas
Eclipse (Beltek)
You Will Find Me
En Route (Tariq)

- Cool Down
Precious (Depeche Mode)

Ok, there you have it – your workout and your playlist. If anyone knows how to create a playlist for purchase on iTunes (so that you don’t have to click on each song individually) please let me know. It would save you and me a ton of trouble. Thanks!