exercise

The Top 3 Fitness Moves To Get You Going in 2018

It’s the beginning of the year and like every start of the year, everyone’s thinking about their health goals and focusing on how to incorporate more exercise into their daily lives.  As an Integrative Health and Life coach this is something I work with my clients on daily, but rather on focusing on major changes in one’s routine, we figure out how we can incorporate small changes that can help them get back on track to cultivating a healthier relationship with exercise and movement. This approach has helped them create sustainable lifestyle changes that they can be easily adapted to their busy lives.

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A lot of my clients have tried it all when it comes to fitness programs, workout classes, and fitness challenges. And just like my clients I’ve tried it all as well, if not more. Throughout my own personal experiences with exercise, I’ve realized that the best way to get back in shape and stay on track of one’s health goals is to find an exercise that you truly enjoy and love. Like most of my coaching clients, I spend a lot of time in front of a desk. Sitting or even standing at your desk all day can be tough on posture so strengthening the core, back, and upper body is key.  Here are some of my go-to moves that can be done anywhere. All you need is a resistance band and a mini loop resistance band and you’re ready to go!

Are you suffering from exercise addiction?

In most cases, exercise is a healthy activity. But just like anything, too much of something can be a bad thing and can lead to extreme or dangerous conditions if one isn't too careful. One can get addicted to exercise. This one hits home for me because I feel that there was a time in my fitness journey where I experienced a brief period of exercise addiction. For me it was around the time I was trying to maintain an "off-season" bikini competitor body. At the time I didn't realize I was on the road to burn out, but by the end of 2015 my body did and minor injuries began to be an area I needed to be better about managing. 

Here are 7 signs that might tell you to cut back just a little bit: 

1. Exercise leaves you exhausted rather than energized. The right amount of physical activity gets your blood and endorphins going. It gives you that rush you need to get through your day. However if you feel the opposite after finishing a workout, it might be a size that you'e overdone it or you need to revisit your exercise routine and scale back a little.

2. You get sick too easily or it takes a long time to recover from a common cold. When you strength train you are essentially tearing muscle fibers and your body is an incredible bio-machine that repairs it on its own. This is how your muscle grows. The anabolic process of muscle growth requires a lot from your internal system. Over-exercising can lead to a break down in the immunity system. 

3. You're irritable or extremely moody. When hangry goes beyond the time frame when you're needing food and the little things seem to set you off regularly. I've been there and man does it suck! I remember being there during the times I competed and had a terrible coach who had me on a very demanding exercise routine that didn't have enough planned out for rest and proper fuel. Sadly, I had plenty of fights with my husband over the smallest things during this time.

4. You can't seem to ever get enough sleep or you're always tired. I know we joke around in this society that we're always tired, mostly because work/life balance in America is such a struggle to find. But if you're getting adequate amounts of sleep, between 7-8 hours a night for an adult, and you're still waking up struggling, you may want to check to see if you're overdoing your burpees and jump squats. 

5. You have "hungover legs" for days at a time. Heavy legs is a sign of fatigue. If you feel as if your legs are just dead weight and you can't move with ease, it might be a sign that your muscles haven't had enough time to fully recover. 

6. You are sore for more than 2-3 days at a time. Oh the DOMS. Delayed onset muscle soreness isn't a terrible thing. But when you've done all the things you need to do to help the muscles recovery such as foam rolling, manual release therapy, and an epsom salt bath and you're still feeling that way, it can be a sign. 

7. Your workouts become a chore or cause you to have the "blues". PTSD with over-exercise can be a thing, I believe it. I've seen the blues in many different forms with from different people with different experiences. Some people experience the blues after planning a wedding or large event, after completing a 12 week workout program or competition prep, or even on a rest day. Over training has been linked to decreased energy and mood. So make sure that you're scheduling a rest day and honor it, something I'm working on this year.

I'm beyond guilty of getting to the breaking point of exercise addiction and after trying to figure out why, I couldn't pinpoint a particular reason except that I have a strong passion for improving myself. But because of that, I've put my body into a bit of a shock and have caused minor injuries along the way. Although these injuries haven't required any surgery or major periods of rest between exercising, it has resulted in hungover legs, feeling unmotivated to move, and not getting enough sleep. Pre-workout can definitely help push me through another day of training, but its just a band-aid solution.

Since starting nutrition school, I've been learning a lot about holistic healing and thousands of nutrition theories. A few things that continue to stick out to me are ancient healing such as Chinese medicine and repairing the body with natural remedies like bone broth, beef gelatin, and collagen.

For almost a year I've used a different form of muscle/tissue repair supplement called glutamine. Which was working out amazing in the beginning over time I think my body was just over it, so it was time to move on. I recently discovered Vital Proteins and have been intrigued on it since its been gracing my feed left and right from all the fitness accounts I follow. I decided to bite the bullet a month ago and give it a try. Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin and other connective tissue such as your muscles, tendons, and even your digestive system. It also stops producing in our bodies after 25 years old. FUN TIMES! I've been dealing with shoulder and hip joint issues and after a month of using Collagen Peptides by Vital Proteins for a month I've found that along with the mobility exercises I've been having to do from my coach, its been really helping heal my body naturally. I use the Vanilla and Coconut Water Whey, Collagen Peptides, and still on a hunt to find the best way to use Beef Gelatin aside from swapping it out for the cornstarch in my stir fry or throwing it into the Bolognese sauce for the family's dinner.  

I've been pouring my Collagen Peptides into anything I can blend, sip, or shake. The unflavored Collagen Peptides is truly unflavored and can be easily masked in anything you drink. So one of my favorite forms is to actually put it into my coffee in the morning or afternoon. 

As you go into 2017 strong with your heart and intentions set on getting fit and exercising like superman, make sure to be mindful of balance. We all lose sight of it and that's perfectly ok, just keep these 7 things in mind to make sure you're not over doing it. Drop me a comment and let me know if any of these resonate with you.

This post was sponsored by Vital Proteins and I was compensated to write this post, but all the opinions are 100% my own.  

 

Ball So Hard Medicine Ball Workout || Cotton On Body

Summer is just about to end and it’s a common theme for us to get settled into the hibernation mode and settle back into fall days all warm and cozy. This was such a normal mindset for me in the past, but now that I'm so hooked on how exercise makes me feel, I'm determined to keep my body moving through the colder months.

With fall just around the corner, it also means that the holidays, dinner parties, and celebrations are coming too. Which means that most of our energy and money will be focused on family and friends rather than ourselves. Before you get too caught up in buying for everyone else, take a minute to treat yourself! My new go-to is Cotton On! They make extremely cute activewear (Cotton On BODY) that’s super comfy and affordable as well, which is perfect for my mama budget. Some personal Cotton On BODY favorites include the monochrome pieces, race fever tanks, and super soft tights! Check out more of Cotton On’s Activewear selection here.

If you’re a huge fan of plyometric workouts and athletic training over distance running or machine based cardio workouts, like I am. Then you’ll enjoy this “Ball So Hard” full body workout that’ll get your body fired up and ready to go! All you’ll need is any weighted medicine ball.

Ball So Hard Medicine Ball Workout 

Start with a 3-5 minute warm up. I like to warm up my body by doing interval training with a jump rope or jumping jacks by going for one minute and then resting for 30 seconds. This will get your heart rate going and both are great exercises to warm up the entire body.

Wall Ball Toss || 4 sets of 20 reps

Wall Ball toss is perfect for engaging your entire body. As you drop into the squat and explode up you’ll be firing off the lower half of your body, while the toss turns on your lats, shoulders, and your entire upper body. Catching the ball on the way down requires for your to activate all the stability muscles and core to come down in one swift move.

Drop low into that squat

Drop low into that squat

Power through the legs and toss the ball engaging the  lats  as you toss.

Power through the legs and toss the ball engaging the lats as you toss.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, facing a wall and holding the medicine ball at your chest. Pull your shoulders back and keep your chest up high. Drop into a full squat, going as low as possible while keeping the medicine ball at your chest.
  2. Immediately upon reaching your full squat, drive through the heels and stand up explosively. As you do so, throw the ball up into the wall. It should hit the wall at a height of about 10 feet. Catch the ball on the rebound, squat again, and repeat.

Wall Squat with a Twist || 4 sets of 20 each side

  1. Hold the medicine ball in front of you arms fully extended, but without locking out the elbows. You want to make sure you have slight bend in the your elbows to prevent any injuries
  2. Plant your feet 2 feet in front of your body and drop down into a squat position. Keeping your back in contact with the wall, lower your body until your upper thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Lift your arms straight out in front of your chest.
  3. Twist to the right and go back to the center and twist to the left.

What I love about wall squats is that it’s a humbling exercise. You want to make sure that you’re engaging your glutes, which is one of the larger muscles on the body, in order to stay in this position. TIP: Lift up your toes and drive your heels to the ground. This will activate your glutes and keep the burn away from your quads.

 

Alternating Push Ups on Medicine Ball || 4 sets of 12 reps

Alternating Push ups on medicine ball

Alternating Push ups on medicine ball

  1. Start in standard pushup position with one hand on the floor and the other hand on top of the medicine ball. Your body should be in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
  2. Slowly lower your torso towards the floor. Pause and press back up to the starting position. Roll the medicine ball beneath the other hand before repeating the movement.

Alternating Front Lunges with Medicine Ball 4 sets of 20 reps

  1. Start in a standing position then step forward in a lunge position.
  2. Make sure that your knees don’t go past your front toes and drop your back knee to the ground.
  3. Make sure to keep your core engaged as you alternate your legs.

Mountain Climbers 4 sets 20 reps each leg

Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers

  1. Start in a press up position so your hands are directly under your chest at shoulder width apart with straight arms on top of the medicine ball. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles
  2. Lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can.
  3. Return to the starting position and alternate with your other leg.

Toe Touches with Medicine Ball 4 sets of 20 reps

Toe Touches

Toe Touches

  1. Lay flat on your back pressed to the ground or a mat. Tuck your pelvis in to make sure that your abs are engaged.
  2. Hold the medicine ball above your chest. Raise your shoulders off the ground, crunch, and touch your toes with the medicine ball.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds and lower down to starting position. Repeat
capris:  Miss Mesh Capri   shoes:  Nike Free Connect  
tank:  R  un Fever Tank   sports bra:  Fly Girl Crop

tank: Run Fever Tank 
sports bra: Fly Girl Crop

Thank you Cotton On for sending me this awesome monochrome gear to work out in. 

Tank: Race Fever Tank // other option

Capri: Miss Mesh Capri // other option

Sports bra: Fly Girl Crop // other option

Shoes: Nike Free Connect // other option

Photography by my incredible husband: Encarnacion Photography