Thursday, August 25, 2011

Get your workout on AT HOME!!

I am really excited about this post.
A dear friend of mine, Janette willingly agreed to do a guest post with ideas for all of us to work out at home!

I know awesome, because lets be honest it's not always possible to go to the gym or even get out and run with kids, jobs, whatever may keep us busy....reality t.v. :) She has some great ideas that you can do in the comfort of your home and trust me they are a real workout.

Let me first give you a little info about Janette. She is seriously motivational, really I mean it. Talk to her for 10 min and she may have you convinced to run a marathon. Speaking of marathon, last year I told her I was going to sign up for The Utah Valley Marathon that summer but that I was nervous and feeling like I was crazy. Before I could blink she said "I'll run it with you!" And she did, we trained together and both ran the race. It made my first marathon experience so amazing to have a friend there by my side through the whole thing, especially those brutal training runs. Seriously if thats not a friend, I dont know what is.

Janette has played in a professional Woman's football league, done body building and played every sport you can imagine. She is one fit mama!! She is also a great mom to 2 darling little boys and the youth leader for the Young Women in our church (

Enough from me....

"Hello all you fabulous 8 week challengers! Let me just say how proud I am of you for getting this far. Having been a participant in a previous challenge, I know that it isn’t easy. So keep it up! Can you see the light at the end of the tunnel? You’re almost there and I want to try and help you sprint to the finish! And I do mean


Now…a few disclaimers and a little background. I am not by any means certified or specially trained when it comes to fitness. But I DO love some good ol’ heart-pumping exercise on a regular basis. I’ve been a dedicated exerciser for most of my life—with the exception of a couple of years. (Yes, I’m talking about you early college years!) I played team sports year-round from a young age and throughout high school. College came along and I just didn’t have the motivation to get out there on my own. Without teammates to be accountable to, I found it hard to make myself get up and go. I mean….running longer than a sprint distance without a ball to chase after? No thanks! At least that was how I felt until I realized that that kind of attitude landed me 20 extra pounds and an overabundance of stress that I just about couldn’t handle. (Nursing school was taking its toll.) So what’s a broke, stressed-out and unfit college student to do? Well, a gym membership was out of the financial question, but tennis shoes and asphalt? Well…that’s about as cheap as it gets! That first run was the beginning of my post-high school fitness journey. And no, it wasn’t love at first step. Or second or third for that matter. But I kept it up because I knew as much as I hated it while I was doing it, I loved how I felt when it was done. That little extra time I spent caring for myself chopped through my stress, layer by layer. I was kinder, more patient, and I slept and ate better. (My need for these benefits has only multiplied since becoming a mother of two young, rambunctious boys. Can I get an “amen”?) Weight loss was just an added bonus. Since then, I’ve dabbled in just about every kind of exercise you can imagine. You see, I get sick of the same old thing, and to keep it interesting, fresh and me going back for more, variety is key.

By now, I’m sure you too have discovered many of the benefits that exercise can bring. So, now that you’re nearing the end of this 8 week journey, you should probably ask yourself a few questions. And those questions deserve very honest answers.

· Does exercise still feel like a chore?
· Do I realistically see myself exercising when this challenge is over?
· Do I have a plan to stay active after the challenge?

These are just a few examples of questions you could ask yourself. If you haven’t been bitten by the exercise bug yet, don’t despair! Just keep at it and keep trying new things until you find something you enjoy. Something that doesn’t feel so much like a chore. Nobody is asking you to keep doing something you hate every day for the rest of your life. I promise there will be something out there that you enjoy—karate, weightlifting, running, cycling, yoga. There’s so much to choose from! You may already know what kind of exercise you enjoy (kudos to you), but you find that 6 days a week just takes the zest out of it for you. The key is finding something that works for you. More isn’t necessarily better. So just keep experimenting—with different exercises, lengths of time and how many days a week—until you find something that fits. You—and everyone around you—will be so glad you did! You really do have more to give when you take a little time to give to yourself in positive ways.

Okay…so enough of the pep talk! You want some at-home exercise ideas. Again…I’m no pro here, but I do keep a few cards up my sleeve for those days when my time is running short and/or I can’t make it out of the house that day. I’ve got a handful of go-to routines to do on those days and I want to share some of them with you. These routines are made for the “mom” in mind. Meaning you get maximum benefit in a short amount of time. They’re also great because they don’t require any major equipment (aka clutter) lying around your house. For the most part, you’re just carrying the weight you’ve been blessed with. J Lastly, they’re great because they all incorporate cardio and resistance training in one—getting you the most bang for your buck!

Bottom Blaster (Meaning we’re targeting the lower half!)
You will do 5 rounds of the following for time:

30 walking lunges (15 each leg) Make sure to keep your chest up, knees behind toes, weight in your heels, a wide step, and touch knee to the floor.

50 air squats Feet a little wider than shoulder-with apart and toes pointed out at about 30 degrees. Again, make sure weight is in your heels, your chest stays upright, and your knees are behind your toes. Keep your eyes on horizon and squat deep enough so that your hip crease is at or below your knees.

200 meter run Simply map out 100 m from your front door and then turn around and run back or run circles in your back yard. You will run this at whatever pace you can muster—but preferably faster than your typical jog. Running after squats and lunges is no joke, so pace yourself appropriately.

When you get back from your run, start on your next round and continue until you have completed five rounds. Keep track of how long the entire workout takes you. The goal is to get faster and faster each time to you do this routine. Don’t worry if you have to stop and shake your legs out between reps, to catch your breath a bit, or to take a drink. This will get easier the more times you do it.

Total Body Card Workout
This routine should take about 20-25 minutes. It’s meant to be quick and intense—but you can scale intensity as needed. You will need a standard deck of 52 cards. (Rook or Face Cards—doesn’t matter). You will want to choose an exercise for each body area—lower, upper and abs. Choose an additional exercise for the body area of your choice. I personally like an additional lower body exercise, simply because those get my heart rate up a little more and it’s where I need the most work!

Each color (or suit) will represent an exercise that you have chosen.
For example:

Red (or Hearts) = push-ups
Yellow (or Diamonds) = v-ups (Bring your straight arms and straight legs together in a “V” as you crunch your abs)
Green (or Spades) = stationary lunges
Black (or Clubs) = jump squats

Shuffle your deck of cards well. Each card represents the number of reps and which exercise you will do. For instance, using the examples above, if you pick a Green 7, you will do seven lunges on each leg. Say your next card is a Yellow 10, you will then do 10 v-ups. Next card is a Red 5, do 5 push-ups. Continue flipping through the cards until you’ve gone through the whole deck. 1’s (or Aces) signify a 1 minute active recovery (walking/marching in place or stepping side to side). Occasionally, your 1’s will fall too closely together and you won’t be ready for a rest just yet. Simply stick that card back in the deck at random and keep moving on. If you are using face cards, Jacks=11, Queens=12, and Kings=14. As a side note, if your kids are a little older, they make great card flippers and love to call out the next color and number. It’s a good opportunity for them to learn and for you to provide a positive role model of caring for our miraculous bodies! Additionally, this is a great workout option while on vacation.

10 rounds of the following for time:

10 push-ups (Chest must touch ground. If you have to, do them on your knees. Full range of motion push-ups on your knees is better than partial range of motion push-ups on your toes. Keep a flat back and tight abs. Shoulders and hips (and knees, if on your knees) in line at all times.)

10 air squats

10 sit-ups (Sit-ups can actually be hard on your lower back. I highly recommend an ab mat. If you don’t have an ab mat or can’t get one, improvise with another mat or a towel roll to add support to your lumbar spine. These are full sit-ups. Arms can be wherever—in front, to the side, behind your head, or even holding on to the back of your legs if you need a little extra assistance getting up. You must come up to a 90 degree angle and shoulders must touch the ground between each rep. Hips stay on floor.)

100 Burpees
For time
Just like it says…see how long it takes you to do 100 burpees. Burpees are a great full body, cardio workout. Burpees are basically a six count push-up with a jump at the end. Watch this video for a demonstration. (You may want to mute your computer, as it contains obnoxious metal music). Notice how the female modifies her push-ups by doing them on her knees. You can also modify by stepping one leg back at a time and bringing them forward one at a time.

I hope these routines come in handy, and if nothing else, add a little variety to your exercise regimen. If you have any questions or would like some additional references or ideas, I would be happy to try and help in any way I can. I love to talk shop when it comes to exercise!

Lastly, I want you to remember that you can do hard things and you’ll be so glad you did! "


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