Too Busy to Work Out? Not Anymore…

Nowadays we are all so busy… am I right?? I don’t even know what I do all day and yet somehow it flies by. Inevitably I am left with a big pile of laundry to fold and dishes to clean, among a hundred other things still remaining on my to-do list by the time the day is over. How can we be so busy and still feel like we never get anything done?

Anywho, now that Miss A is crawling (oh yes, it’s true!) I am left with even less time. I can’t just put her in her rock n play with some toys and expect her to entertain herself anymore. We are entering a whole new stage where she is like a tiny little person, not just a baby doll. I love it but it makes for even crazier days! And when she starts walking – look out world! This curious, independent munchkin is going to get into everything!

All that to say, working out is getting more and more challenging. I joined a gym but the past few times I took Ainsley to the childcare room she got sick. We have so many travel plans coming up that baby girl must stay healthy. And then there’s running (a term I use loosely)… some days sure, it’s an option. But other days, like last week when we hit 97 degree temps, you couldn’t pay me to go outside for more than 10 minutes, let alone run. So sometimes it’s helpful to have another option. Because not working out is not one.

So I discovered this awesome website called Fitness Blender. Do you guys know about this yet? If it’s old news, I apologize, but this is brand new to me and I love it! This website has tons – I mean TONS – of free – yes FREE – full length workouts led by two personal trainers (they are married and adorable by the way). The workouts are smart, effective, they come in all different lengths and difficulty levels. You can search for a workout based on the body part you want to focus on, the amount of time you have, how difficult you want the workout to be, whether you want to use specific equipment and other various factors. Here is what I love about these videos:

  • If I only have 10 minutes to exercise, I can still get a challenging routine in.
  • If I don’t feel like pulling out my dumbbells, I can still do an effective body weight video.
  • I love the variety. You can go weeks without doing the same video twice.
  • There is a calorie counter on each video which provides a range of how many calories you are burning.
  • On the upper left corner of the screen there is a demonstration of the next exercise you will be doing so you are always prepared. The trainers also describe each exercise in detail along with proper technique for safety.
  • The trainers are really motivating. They are not over-the-top like those 80’s aerobics instructors. They are down to earth and really try to challenge you to get the best results possible.
  • Oh and did I mention it is FREE??

I could go on… I love these videos!

Okay, I will stop now. But you should really check them out. Seriously. They are awesome. And I am in no way associated with this site or these trainers. This is simply my own two cents, promise!

Hardcore like Sydney Bristow

Right after I graduated from college I started getting serious about my health. I ran consistently all throughout my undergrad years but I ate whatever I wanted. Exercise can take you far, but without a healthy diet, we’ll eventually stall out.

A year after I graduated I was living in the LA area with three other girls in a two bedroom apartment. (It was like being the dorms all over again, having to share a room). Thankfully I had a great roommate with similar goals; more or less we wanted to be Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner’s character in Alias).

Every morning we faithfully set our alarms for 5:00am and dragged ourselves to the gym. We did cardio, weights, group x classes and ran outside. We were hard core and we kept this up nearly every day for a year.

After a few months we started noticing that my arms were getting pretty toned. My friend’s weren’t shaping up at the same pace as mine so we tried to figure out the difference. It didn’t take long to realize it was the nutritional supplements I was taking.

I had just incorporated an amino acid supplement called Catalyst into my regime and it was creating awesome results! The biggest things I noticed were that my body was begin to change more quickly and that I had more muscular endurance during my workouts. I didn’t feel all that different (which was a good thing in my book after some of the horror stories I had heard  about the effects of supplements). But I did notice rapid results in the way I looked.

Here are a few bullet points about Catalyst:

  • Helps you retain lean muscle mass
  • Helps muscle recovery after exercise
  • Consists of a combination of amino acids which work together to produce great results

You want to kick butt like Sydney Bristow? Try Catalyst!

There’s a good kind of fat??

One of the things that has always freaked me out about nutritional supplements is that they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. According to the FDA website,

Under DSHEA [the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act], a firm is responsible for determining that the dietary supplements it manufactures or distributes are safe and that any representations or claims made about them are substantiated by adequate evidence to show that they are not false or misleading.This means that dietary supplements do not need approval from FDA before they are marketed.

Therefore, it’s hard to know which products are legit. As I have mentioned before (Back in Action) I fell into a business selling nutritional supplements after  experiencing such great results from my own product use. Prior to taking anything though, I spent time researching the doctors and scientists who make the products to be sure that what I was putting in my body would not be harmful in any way. I obviously liked what I found out!

Today’s product feature is OmegaPlex. OmegaPlex is an Omega 3 fatty acid supplement. If you are not familiar with the benefits of Omega 3’s you must educate yourself! They are essential for optimal health. Here are a few benefits:

  • They promote healthy skin, hair and nails
  • They have been shown to decrease symptoms of depression
  • They can significantly reduce joint pain
  • They are important for visual and neurological development of infants
  • They have been shown to improve lung function which has been especially helpful for asthma sufferers

Look into it! These essential fatty acids have more health benefits than I have room to list!

Going back to the original topic though, how to we know which products are going to live up to their promises…

Dr. Oz featured an article on his website entitled a Smart Guide to Buying Supplements. The article written by Dr. Tod Cooperman, President of ConsumerLab.com, describes the results of lab testing done on popular nutritional supplements out on the market. Among the products tested was Advocare’s OmegaPlex. Cooperman writes,

Of the products tested, Life Extension’s Super Omega and AdvoCare Omegaplex Omega-3s are among those that passed ConsumerLab.com’s tests. 
That’s great news! I am very grateful to have a product line I can trust. For more info on OmegaPlex and a ton of other great products check out Advocare.
Have a Happy and Healthy Weekend!

Add a Spark to Your Step

One of the biggest issues so many of us suffer from is lack of energy – plain and simple. We go, go, go and never stop to breathe, sleep or just be. This isn’t going to be a post about slowing down though. I have done those before because I do think our best case scenario is to hit the pause button when life gets crazy to reflect, rest and like I said, be.

However, there are seasons where taking a break is simply not an option. My husband is in the throes of law school finals and life is all about multi-tasking so that no time is wasted in his preparation process for exams. His life won’t always be this hectic of course, but for the next few weeks he’ll continue to push toward that finish line on May 4th. What about busy parents? Or all parents I should say. I have friends who just gave birth to twins and the next few months of their lives will be spent figuring out feeding schedules, doctor’s appointments, playing and adjusting to this new way of living – with kids.

Many of us gulp down soda, coffee or Red Bull during seasons like this. A former coworker many years ago used to drink up to three Super Big Gulps of coke per day! Each Super Big Gulp was 44 ounces! To give you an idea of how much sugar that is, think about a 12 oz. can of coke. There are approximately 10 cubes of sugar in one can. Multiply that by three – we’re up to 30 cubes and that’s just for 36 ounces. Add a few more and you’re drinking more than 35 cubes of sugar in just that one drink! Not to mention the fact that when she didn’t drink her coke for whatever reason, she would get migraines from the withdrawal. This is an extreme example, sure. But we all take extreme measures to get by.

Aside from the sugar and unhealthy levels of caffeine, when we use methods like that to get a “high” is that we ultimately crash, creating a need for another “fix”. This happens with coffee and other energy drinks as well. So what’s the solution?

I mentioned last week I’m going to be introducing some of my favorite nutrition products into the blog. I can’t not. You ever see a movie and you love it so much you can’t help but tell your friends to run – not walk – to the nearest theater? That’s how I feel about some of these products. They’ve made a huge impact on my life.

Spark has been a lifesaver. It’s the most popular item in the whole Advocare product line. Here are the highlights:

  • It contains 21 vitamins and minerals as well as just the right amount of caffeine to produce a focused energy without a crash
  • Only 45 calories per serving
  • It works fast and is awesome 20-30 minutes before a work out or when you’re having an afternoon slump

Check out the Advocare site for more info and have a great weekend!

Back in Action

A few years ago I was pretty involved in a side business selling nutritional products. It was totally random and not something I intentionally pursued; it just kind of fell into my lap.

I had attended my former running coach’s baby shower after not seeing her for a few years while I was off at college and she was traveling the world on the U.S. Bobsled Team.  She was an insanely talented athlete but with the baby coming was stepping away from professional sports and starting a business selling nutrition products. I had always known her to be incredibly health conscious and being an athlete, it seemed like a natural fit for her.

I was working out regularly myself and training for some half marathons that were coming up later in the year. The idea of trying products that would improve my performance (and still be safe!) sounded appealing. I had always been weary of the products at local vitamin stores because they often have weird side effects and I never knew which were safe. Trusting my old coach, who had always been somewhat of a mentor, I decided to try a few of the products she was taking. Before long, I was involved in the business and had a hard time keeping quiet about these products that I loved!

I was making a great supplemental income every month and was in the best shape of my life. I have always been impressed with this company but there are a few things that really drew me in:

The doctors and scientists who create the products.

The endorsers.

My results.

Unfortunately, as with running and a bunch of other healthy habits, I dropped it all when I started graduate school. Between dating and marrying my husband, getting my master’s degree and working in the field of counseling I had no time for much else. I still regret losing so much balance in my life because the past few years I have had to work extra hard re-building my endurance, muscular strength and healthy eating habits.

As I recall the benefits these supplements and the business had on my life, I’d like to get some of that back. Seeing that this is a re-engaging season for me, it seems like the timing is just right.

So, all that to say, I will be featuring some of my favorite products on the blog from time-to-time and feel free to contact me if you ever have questions.

For general info about the products and company check out Advocare.

Food/Exercise Journal on Steroids

Did you know…

149.3 million Americans over the age of 20 are overweight.75 million of those are classified as obese.

Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight adults, which increases to 80% of 1 or both parents are obese or overweight.

-American Heart Association

Those statistics are mind-blowing. What is happening in America?? I can’t help but wonder if much of it has to do with our last conversation. Our lives have become so sedentary as we devote the majority of our free time to watching TV and surfing the internet instead of participating in physical activity. I have become enmeshed with this cycle as well and recently have been feeling compelled to re-think things.

It’s also been hard the past few years with the economy being in a downward spiral. We are more apt to hit up a fast food drive-thru than buy healthy meals which sometimes cost more money. (Key word being sometimes, not always)! Saving a few extra dollars is not worth the cost to your health.

Anyway, all that to say, I have discovered a new app this week and it has already been so helpful! It’s comprehensive and actually provides feedback so you know how you’re doing and where you can improve in terms of daily eating and exercise. It’s like a food/exercise journal on steroids.

Here’s the thing: If you are not aware of what you’re putting in your body, how can you make changes? If you don’t realize how much sodium is in the processed foods you eat or how beneficial adding in even a small amount of walking or exercise can be to your day, how will you ever find the motivation to change?

The app is called MyNetDiary. It’s free for iPhones but I couldn’t find a free version for my Android and ended up downloading the Pro which is $3.99. It has been featured in a number of magazines and newspapers and is based on the knowledge of registered dietitians and scientific research studies. There are so many diet plans out there with different perspectives and products and suggestions. Honestly, I am not even looking for a diet. I just want to get back in shape and be healthy.

This is starting to sound like an infomercial so I am going to get off my soapbox. If you feel so compelled, check it out for yourself!

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