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 >

I’m In Love…

…with Fitocracy.com, a fitness social network that helps you reach your goals by turning them into a game. Get rewarded for your workouts by earning points, unlocking challenges, and gaining rewards. Share it with your friends and become part of the community to get tips and motivation from real people trying to achieve the same goals you are.

I love this site, (there’s also an app for your iPhone, by the way), because it puts the fun back into working out. They have optional “quests” you can take upon yourself, such as a 6 mile hike to earn even more points and rewards, which means you may even try something new that you never would have otherwise. And reaching new levels can help keep you motivated by seeing your progress.
So, get tracking!

Products I'm Obsessed With – Fit Deck

What makes working out fun, less confusing, easy to follow, and super transportable? You guessed it, Fit Deck.

Fit Deck is a super portable deck of cards designed to take the confusion out of working out. Each deck of cards comes with easy to read and follow instructions for different exercises. And each deck comes with its own unique theme, such as bodyweight, stability ball, Yoga, resistance bands, plyometrics, dumbbells, prenatal, senior fitness, and even travel. Oh, and I forgot my favorite – Playground! I love the travel and bodyweight ones, because then there’s never an excuse to not exercise, and I don’t have to lug tons of equipment with me.

I own about ten different decks (they have over 25) and seriously don’t travel anywhere without it. If you’ve got your Fit Deck and your body then you’re ready to go and don’t have to have the excuse that you couldn’t find a gym or don’t have fitness equipment.

Each deck comes with its own set of exercises with options for beginner, intermediate, or advanced worker-outters, plus ideas for games that you can play with the cards. That’s right, you heard me, games! Who says working is boring and tedious?

Right now they’re offering 50% off their mobile app. You can check that and all the other decks out here.

Products I’m Obsessed With – Fit Deck

What makes working out fun, less confusing, easy to follow, and super transportable? You guessed it, Fit Deck.

Fit Deck is a super portable deck of cards designed to take the confusion out of working out. Each deck of cards comes with easy to read and follow instructions for different exercises. And each deck comes with its own unique theme, such as bodyweight, stability ball, Yoga, resistance bands, plyometrics, dumbbells, prenatal, senior fitness, and even travel. Oh, and I forgot my favorite – Playground! I love the travel and bodyweight ones, because then there’s never an excuse to not exercise, and I don’t have to lug tons of equipment with me.

I own about ten different decks (they have over 25) and seriously don’t travel anywhere without it. If you’ve got your Fit Deck and your body then you’re ready to go and don’t have to have the excuse that you couldn’t find a gym or don’t have fitness equipment.

Each deck comes with its own set of exercises with options for beginner, intermediate, or advanced worker-outters, plus ideas for games that you can play with the cards. That’s right, you heard me, games! Who says working is boring and tedious?

Right now they’re offering 50% off their mobile app. You can check that and all the other decks out here.

Products I'm Obsessed With: Yurbuds

I just bought these headphones last week and am in love! They are the genius of an Ironman competitor as an answer to headphones that need endless adjustments. Try running 13 miles while constantly trying to get your earbuds to stay in your ears and you’ll know why this is the best invention since the iPod. The ergonomically designed no-slip earbuds are perfect for a sweaty training session, no matter how tiny your ears are (mine are pretty darn tiny). The sound is rich and full and will keep you on your toes throughout your entire workout. Plus, they come in a sweet red color! I’ll never run another race without them.

You can order them here.
While you’re there, make sure to check out the “Gallery of Heroes” for some amazing inspirational stories.

Products I’m Obsessed With: Yurbuds

I just bought these headphones last week and am in love! They are the genius of an Ironman competitor as an answer to headphones that need endless adjustments. Try running 13 miles while constantly trying to get your earbuds to stay in your ears and you’ll know why this is the best invention since the iPod. The ergonomically designed no-slip earbuds are perfect for a sweaty training session, no matter how tiny your ears are (mine are pretty darn tiny). The sound is rich and full and will keep you on your toes throughout your entire workout. Plus, they come in a sweet red color! I’ll never run another race without them.

You can order them here.
While you’re there, make sure to check out the “Gallery of Heroes” for some amazing inspirational stories.

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

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!