15 minute energy booster workout

Winter forcing you to stay indoors?  You’re not alone – one look outside at that never ending snow and the last you’re thinking is bundling up the wee one for a walk or let alone going to the gym! Aswinter a mom of 3 winter born little ones, I know that the days can get long and frustrating. Here’s a great 15 minute workout for you to do during nap time, play time or any time throughout your day to fend off the cabin fever and give you energy to manage your little ones as you stay warm and avoid those wind chills.

3 mins – warm-up

  • Start walking of the spot or step touches – 1 minute
  • 30 seconds of Jumping jacks  a great way to get yourself moving and body warmed up. Got a toddler at home – get them to jump along with you. Got a fussy little one – take out your carrier. Modify the jumping jack to either step touches or step toe taps. Make sure to bend your needs during the modification to get your heart rate going.
  • 30 seconds of high knees jogging – Give yourself a target. Place your hands at hip level and touch your knees to your hands.  Modify for your little one by taking out the jump and just continue with the high knees. Even incorporate you baby by softly tapping their bum with your knees – softly! – trust me – the giggles will instantly start.
  • 30 seconds of step touch with large shoulder roll. Modify with your little one by lifting them up and down to open your arms.
  • 30 seconds of boxers shuffle shaking out your legs and arms and rolling your head from side to side. (you know like when their introducing the boxer “and in this corner ….)

The Workout

squats

Squats – great exercise for your legs and bum – and one you can easily incorporate with baby. Feet are shoulder width apart and facing forward. With a tall torso, bend down, sinking your bum as if you’re going to sit down. Ensure that your knees do not pass your toes and are in line with your ankles. You can have your wee one in your arms (either facing you and your arms extended,  facing you and snuggling them close, or having them facing out, seated in your arms like a swing (depending on size/age).
Squat for 20 seconds – rest for 10 and repeat 4 times. Total time – 2 mins (4 sets of 20 seconds with 4 sets of 10 second rest) – Breathing – exhale down into the squat, inhale back to standing.

Standing ab crunches – Start with both hand extended over your head, with your belly button tucked into your spine. Lift one knee towards your chest and pull your arms down and if you’re pulling on a rope – alternate back and forth between legs. Keep your torso tall and hip level. Key is to crunch your midsection, not your back. Crunch for 20 seconds – rest for 10 and repeat 4 times. Total time – 2 mins (4 sets of 20 seconds with 4 sets of 10 second rest) – exhale as your crunch, inhale as your lengthen out

Heel pushes – move down towards the floor on your hands and knees. Lift your right leg up into 90 degrees, with your foot flat and facing the ceiling. Your hip and your knee should be level – this is starting position. Pulse/push your foot towards the ceiling, making sure not to drop your knee past hip level. Continue for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest – 4 times. Incorporate your little one by placing them between your arms for some fun faces and giggles. Repeat on your left side for another set of 4 20 seconds with 10 second rests.

Leg drops

Alternating leg drops – lay on your back with your hand tucked underneath your bum. Tuck your belly button right to your spine. Lift your legs straight in the air (modify with a slight bend if need be), lower your right leg to the point where your back begins to arch. As soon as you feel the arch, return your leg back up to starting. Alternate between your two legs, ensuring you bring your legs back together each time. This exercise attacks the lower (transverse abdominals) belly. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to lower your legs further and further.  Continue for 20 seconds 4 times with a 10 second rest between each set.

Cool down/Stretching:

  • Core stretch: Lie flat on the ground with hands over your head, legs straight. Take a few deep breaths in and out. Then move your legs to feet flat on the ground, dropping your knees to one side, hands out in tea position and looking the opposite way of your knees. Take a few deep breaths in and out and then switch to the other side.
  • glute stretchLying glute stretch: Still lying on the ground, feet flat on the ground, knees bent – bring your left foot to your right knee. Place your hands behind your right thigh and slowly lift your right knee (with the left foot still place on the knee) towards your chest. Hold for 20 seconds and then repeat on other side
  • Quad stretch: Standing (can use the wall for help), grab your right foot behind you and bring it to your bum. Ensure your hips are pushed out to feel the stretch through the top of your thigh. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat.

15 minutes – and your energized and feeling good about yourself.

Being a new mom through the Winter

Mom and Baby fitness Classes 4If you’re a new mom, I certainly don’t have to tell you how amazing and rewarding the experience is! I probably also don’t have to tell how exhausting and isolating it can be. Especially during the colder months. I have three winter born kids and so I totally get that your stroller walks become few and far between, your visitors start to drop off and the days seem longer and longer.

It becomes really easy to hyphenate with your little one when the months become colder, but trust me, you’ll start to get cabin fever! Don’t wait till the warmer months to get out there are try new things with your new arrival. There are so many great mom and baby programs for new moms to take advantage of these days than compared to even 5 years ago! Baby story times at your local library, coffee meet ups through online mom groups and my favourite, mom and baby fitness classes.

Getting out and staying active, no mater what the activity, is a great way to beat those winter blues, but mom and baby fitness classes tend to have the edge (in my books).

So why Mom and Baby Fitness? Well to start with, you’re out of the house and meeting new moms in the neighbourhood which is always fantastic. It’s great to share, laugh, and vent with other moms going through exactly the same experiences.

Mom and baby fitness Classes 2However, what gives the fitness classes the edge is the benefits you get from a workout. Exercise is a great stress relief – especially for sleep deprived new mommies! Exercise also gives you more energy and lets face it – we need all the energy we can get! And the opportunity to do this with your new little one is a win win. You don’t have to worry about finding a sitter or waiting till your husband is home, or whether they will wake up before your 20 min treadmill program is completed. Whether your little one sleeps through class, plays with the other babies or even helps you with your workout – you get a full 50 mins of exercise … just for you!

If you live in Missisauga and want to beat those winter blues and get out and get active, check out Fitness by the Lake’s Mom and Baby Fitness Classes – affordable fitness for moms. If you don’t live in Misissauga, google Mom and Baby fitness for your city. Feel good, feel energized and feel alive.

Mississauga Mom & Baby Fitness Classes, click here

Take advantage of our January promotionfree classes when you register in January 2014!

 

3 Keys to Success when Starting a New Fitness Routine

It’s that time of year again … holiday parties are well underway – chocolate, ginger bread cookies, and alcohol are all tempting us left and right. I can’t think of a better time to start exercising and counteract the effects of this holiday season. Here are some great tips on how to start a fitness routine properly to make your efforts worth it!   

cross fit

  • Whether you’re looking to join a class or buy some home dvds, ensure you match your fitness level.  If you can’t remember the last time you exercised, a cross fit workout is not right for you. If you can’t perform the exercises properly, you won’t see results and get discourage very quickly.

 

  • Find an activity that you’re interested in. Boredom is one of the highest reasons many people 

eliptical

quit their fitness routine.  If the elliptical has never been your thing, chances are it won’t be even if it’s sitting in your basement. Exercising is 80% mental discipline. Make sure you know you’ll do it before you spend the money.

  • Give yourself accountability. Whether you bet your friends you’ll fit into that black dress for New Years Eve or you pay for group classes, accountability is a great motivator.

Have fun with what ever you choose. And don’t be afraid to start slow and build – results and patience go together :-). Happy holidays!

Boot Camp classes & Outdoor Fitness

To check out Fitness by the Lake’s Mississauga boot camp classes, click here.

The warm weather is finally arriving and more and more people are starting to take their workouts outdoors. There are so many benefits to an outdoor workout that you just won’t find indoors! The benefits of an outdoor workout:

  • Changing scenery keeps your mind engaged
  • Fresh air is good for your emotional well-being
  • Many of the structures we pass everyday make for the best fitness machines – and there free!

My favourites:

treesTrees! They can be used as markers to run back and forth between. You can wrap a band around them for strengthening exercises, or ever work on your triceps by standing in a side plank position about half a body length away from the tree, supporting yourself with your forearm. Then dropping your hip nice and low and bringing it back to neutral, isolating that triceps muscle. As an added bonus, it’s a great oblique workout as well!

 

benchesBenches are another great multi-use machine. You can use them to strengthen your legs with step ups or even jump ups. You can work your lower abdominal muscles by lying on the bench with your back an bum supported and legs hanging off the bench. Bringing your legs up towards the sky, you can either alternate each leg bring it down to align with your hips, or bring both legs down together. Benches are also great for inclined push-ups and triceps dips.

hillsHills. Sprinting up a hill is a great cardio exercise. Much more engaging than putting the incline up on the treadmill. Depending on the weather, hot, damp or chilly, the terrain of hills can change, making no one workout ever exactly the same – helping your burn more calories!

 

 

 

 

beach boot camp - 2Beach workouts! Of course, nothing can really beat working out on the beach! The scenery alone is worth the sweat. However, a beach workout is one of the most effective calorie burning workouts around. The soft and uneven terrain of the sand is similar to a BOSU ball – your balanced is challenged through each movement – engaging more muscles – make your body work just that extra bit harder. The sand is also a lot easier on your joints, helping you complete some of the more challenging moves, squats jumps, burpees etc., that might cause join pain on a harder surface. All in all – outdoor workouts are fun, creative and effective!

 

Many of the boot camp classes offered in Mississauga incorporate all of the above for a great outdoor workout! Working out with a group adds accountability to your workouts and of course, it’s great to met new people with the same interest. Most boot camps in Mississauga can tailor each exercised performed so that beginners and experts can work side by side as well as feel they both had a terrific challenging workout.

Whether you’re going for a walk, run , bike ride or doing a workout – enjoy yourself and have fun!

To check out Fitness by the Lake’s Mississauga boot camp classes, click here.

Are you a good fit for a boot camp class?

Click here to check out our Mississauga Boot Camp on the Beach

What comes to mind when you think of a boot camp class? Most think of a hard core, high intensity, killer, military style workout – tailored to the high level fitness enthusiasts.  The everyday person, who is looking for a good calorie burning workout, may just run in the other direction.

Ok, yes, some boot camps are like that. But more and more boot camp style work outs are moving towards a well-rounded, for all fitness types, workout. One where each exercise performed can be modified to a simplified version for beginners and also intensified for more advanced fitness goers. A quick search on Google for “Mississauga Boot Camps” and you’ll find a variety of them, Booty Camp Fitness, Fit Chicks, Mississauga Adventure Boot Camp and of course, Fitness by the Lake. Port Credit has a wonderful fitness presence.

Beach boot camp

I know in my Mississauga Boot Camps, we have beginners working out with experts, and all feel like they’ve had a personalized workout just for them. And none have the pressure to keep up to the person next to them! And I am sure that’s not just my boot camp class, but many other Mississauga Boot Camps as well.

When people ask me whether or not a boot camp is for them, my answer every time, before even knowing their fitness level, is always the same “a boot camp class is what you put into it. If you put in the work, you’ll see the results.”

Most boot camps are designed to include internal training, performing an exercise for a pre-determined amount of time, a short rest, and repeat. This is my favorite type of training as it allows people to preform to their ability, rather than watching someone struggle through 10 push-ups, while the rest of the class has already finished. You’ll see the confidence level rise as each class goes on. Heck, as each exercise goes on!

Boot camps are all about confidence!

So is a boot camp class right for you? You have the motivation and you have the desire, YES, a boot camp is perfect for you!

Try your own interval workout:
To work your quads, glutes and hamstrings – squats are one of the simplest and most effective moves
2 minutes squats: 20 seconds of squats – followed by a 10 second rest  – repeat this 3 more times.

 

Getting your arms ready for tank-tops and summer

I found myself telling my client the other day that my arms were my favourite body part, a statement I would have never said just a few short years ago. Not that my arms were horrible – just I never really paid attention to them.

One of the most frequent comments I get from my female clients is that they don’t want to bulk up their arms – you know “Madonna arms” as they say. And in turn, many of them ask me to concentrate on cardio, abs and toning their legs. Arms are always left off the list – the forgotten body part. However, when it comes to summer, your arms are the first body part you bare.  Think about that sleeveless cami you wear under your suit jacket or the tank top you wear on the weekend. Fit, toned and strong arms will not only make you appear sleeker and slimmer, but yes ladies, even a bit younger J

And get this, to get fit, toned and strong arms, you don’t have to hit the gym and pump the iron. It’s as easy as owning some 5lb weights. Not excited about weights, what about a nice stable chair! Moms, you can even incorporate your new little one with your arm exercises.

Here are just some of my favourite exercises to help tone and shape those arms:

With weights:
Bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, and lateral shoulder raises  – Do 3 reps – first one of 20, rest for 10 seconds, then 15 reps, rest for 10 seconds, then 10 reps and rest. Do these 3-4 times a week. Want to add some intensity? Ensuring your form is still intact; try speeding your reps up, i.e. 20 reps in 20 seconds, 15 reps in 15 seconds and 10 reps in 10 seconds. Want to add even more intensity, try opening your hands up on the weights rather than a closed clenched fist.

Without weights:
Push-ups – You can either do full plank push-ups on the ground, or my favourite, using a stable chair against the wall, my couch or if you’re outdoors, a park bench. Also, don’t feel pressured to do a full plank push-up – a Pilate’s push-up (or a girl push-up on knees) is just as effective.

Triceps dips – Ensure you have a stable elevated surface such as a chair against a wall, or couch, or park bench.

I like alternating between to two – 20 push-ups, switch to 20 triceps dips, 15 push ups, 15 triceps dips and finally 10 push-ups and 10 triceps dips. 3 times a week will give your arms a good workout!

To increase the intensity, the lower the elevated surface, the more intense the movement, also increase your speed. To decrease, use higher elevated surfaces, switch to Pilates push-ups, or decrease the number of reps, i.e. starts with 15, then 10, then 5, for example.

For new moms:
For little ones less than three months old, or who cannot yet hold their head up, I suggest laying them comfortably on a mat underneath you and then doing a Pilates push-up, bringing yourself far enough down to kiss their forehead, or tummy, depending on their position. Not comfortable with them right under you, try beside you. When your little one is a bit older and can hold their head up, try laying in a supine position (on your back) and doing some modified chest presses, starting with baby on your chest, holding them firmly by the waist with both hands, and pushing them up. Repeat 10 times and then give baby a wee rest.  You can do this one or two times a day and daily if baby really likes it!

How to learn to love exercise

Many people know that exercise is good for their health, but why is it that they try to avoid it or make every excuse to get out of it? Exercise reduces stress, helps people live longer, and reduces the chances of disease, but that still doesn’t get people off the couch.

What are people avoiding?

  • Pain?
  • Embarrassment?
  • Time?
  • Boredom?

People avoid exercise because they don’t find pleasure in it. Is it possible to find pleasure in something you have hated for so many years? Yes. However, this doesn’t happen overnight.

Here are five ways to help you learn to love exercise:

Make It Fun

Exercise doesn’t have to happen in a gym or have to involve anyone yelling instructions. You can dance, walk, swim, kayak, or golf. All these activities work various muscles in your body and burn calories.

Learn Something New

If you’ve always wanted to learn a new sport, take dance lessons, or learn to swim; then do it. Not only will you be exercising, but you’ll learn that exercise isn’t that painful.

Avoid Frustrations of Being the Newbie

Hire a personal trainer for one or two sessions to teach you how to do exercises correctly. Or, find a workout DVD that provides instruction. You will learn lifelong skills and increase your confidence.

Ask for Referrals

Ask friends or family if they can recommend a class, trainer or instructor. You’ll probably be surprised at how many people you know have done the research.

Measure Your Progress

Results don’t happen overnight. But, they do happen when you stick with a routine. Use one pair of pants and one shirt that you try on every two weeks. Notice how the pants and shirt fit on you and use that as motivation to keep working out.

Remember, you see yourself every day, so accept other’s compliments, even if you don’t see it.

Use these tips to find enjoyment in exercise and keep at it.

www.active.com

5 Running Tips for Beginner

 

Start with low mileage. If all you can run is a half mile, quarter mile or even a few hundred feet, that’s OK. Add a little more distance at a time and in no time you’ll be up to a 5K or more. If you decide to increase your mileage all at once, you will risk injury or just simply burnout. You may want to try a Couch-to-5K or Couch to 10K program to help you gradually increase your distance.

Get yourself fitted for a good pair of running sneakers. Find your local running store and have their experts help you get a pair of sneakers that are right for you. It is best if they put you on a treadmill to observe your running form. Even though good sneakers are fairly expensive, they will save you from injuries and expensive doctor’s bills in the long run.

Don’t run too often. When many new runners start, they think they have to run everyday. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Most experts recommend running three to four days a week. If you run everyday, you do not give your body time to recover and get stronger as your body actually strengthens your muscles on your non-running days. Running everyday does not allow your body the recovery time it needs to get stronger.

Drink lots of water. Running, especially in hot weather, can dehydrate you. To avoid dehydration, be sure to drink plenty of water before your run, during your run, and after you finish. Also, do not overlook the benefits of drinking water regularly throughout the week, even on your non-running days. Being even slightly dehydrated can drastically impact your run and make it far more difficult.

Don’t compare yourself to other runners. Many new runners get demoralized by watching other runners that seem faster or better than they are. If you’re a new runner, remember that getting good at anything takes time and practice. There are people that are faster than you, but remember there are also people that are slower or don’t run at all. Set your own goals and don’t worry about others. On the other hand, if aiming to be as fast or as strong as another runner really motivates you, then go for it. Just make sure that the comparison motivates rather than de-motivates you. Running is such a great sport because you can truly compete with yourself.

For more running tips and articles on being active, check www.active.com.