Walk Yourself Strong

When your body feels tired and overwhelmed, do not skip your workout … just shift your intensity. Try a walking workout with a strength set for a full body workout while controlling your intensity levels.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.


Get to Walking …

This weekend’s workout is about getting a full body workout while walking. For this workout you can use items you can use body weight or you can use anything might find on the trail (like rocks and heavy branches), in the park (jungle gyms are great), or carry some rubber tubing with you. I have included some youtube videos using the rubber tubing. If you are inside – like in the mall – you can use your body to wrap the tubing behind for the low row and bend at the hip and step on it for the reverse flys if you cannot find solid structures or doors to hook it to. For the pushups you can you use any height, just make sure the structure or item you pick to work off is stable.

Begin by walking at a fast pace. After 2 min add the 1st strength interval in. Complete 10 repetitions of each exercise and then continue walking for 2min. Add the intervals in between walking sets until you finish the strength items. You can finish the walk or do a 2nd round.

Kbands Training

Strength Sets

  • Walking Lunges (alternate)
  • Push Ups (if not able to do them on the floor, do them on a wall)
  • Squats (knees over your ankles and behind your toes to keep your knees safe)
  • Reverse Flys
  • Backward Lunges (alternate)
  • Chest Flys
  • Signal Leg Squats (10 each side)
  • Low Row

Using Rubber Tubing …

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

The Spiritual Side of Cleaning House

Ever thought about finding the spiritual all around you? I’m sure you’ve heard that before … but what about when you clean house?

I bet you often do not think of cleaning house as a spiritual event. Sometimes I don’t either. More and more I do and here’s why.

Three years ago we decided we wanted to downsize. We were tired of vacuuming spaces no one walked on because the hallway was bigger than it needed to be, the bedroom was larger than we really used, and we preferred to hangout together in the upstairs living room, so the downstairs one often sat empty. We were tired of worrying about a yard bigger than we could keep and gardens that brought joy but could be condensed. So we decided to take on the challenge of creating a space that fit our family of 5 (3 growing teenagers and 2 labs) and allowed us to downsize into a space we used. As a result we found the joy that comes with cultivating the space you are in.

Every corner, nook, and cranny were considered so we could fit into the space comfortably. We got rid of extra bedsheets, towels, and clothing so what we have – we use. We created storage systems to maximize space to store all of our gear and got rid of what we no longer use. We are an active family in the growing stage of life. Every 6 months someone outgrows a pair of boots, a bike, a set of skis. We can now see and timely rotate it out. This house was a labor of love. Lots of light and functional flow created a home we love to care for.

Even if you can’t build a new house or remodel your existing structure, cultivate a space you love. Curate every item. Only buy what you want to clean and maintain. Trinkets and decor become dusty. It takes energy to keep them. Pay attention to what you really like. Purge the rest. Decide what it means to have things. What kind of things bring you great joy – cheap and easy often replaced or selective items you keep forever because they were made to last? It doesn’t matter as long as they bring you joy and you want to care for them.

As you purge what you do not use, do not need, and do not want to spend energy cleaning you end up with a home you love to clean. Each item you dust, vacuum around, and wipe down becomes something you take pride in. It feels good to take care of it. It feels good to pick it up, remember why you own it, and remember where it came from.

Cleaning becomes spiritual. The care you give to the space that reflects you and your personality brings you closer to yourself. Closer to things that have made your life worth living as you enjoy the pieces you’ve curated, and closer to the connections that bind us all. Maybe you remember the person who made the item you bought or delivered it. Maybe you remember the unique place you bought it or the people you were with.

As you methodically move through your space dusting, tidying, and cleaning you begin to enjoy it as a journey through special moments in your life. As this experience unfolds gratitude follows … and before you know it you are feeling the flow of something larger than yourself all while you toil away at the mundane task of cleaning house. The spiritual side of housekeeping.

The Home Gym: Full Body Strength & Cardio Fun

When it comes to working out the thing that matters is – You Do It. Here’s a workout you can do at home, at the gym, or in the park.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Warm Up Moves – 10 of each

  • Forward Arm Circles
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Elbows up and back with core rotation – like the self defense move
  • Backward Arms Circles
  • Air Squats with diagonal frontal arm raise
  • Super Slow Center Wood Chops

Cardio set 1 – 1 minute all out

  • Treadmill – 70-80% THR (not sure how to find your target heart rate? Read Here)

Full body Set 1 – 1 min each movement

  • Diagonal Lunge Back – Alternate legs
  • Side Lunge – Alternate sides
  • Diagonal Lunge Front – Alternate legs
  • Lat Pull Downs with Rubber Tubing – (need some tubing? Try KBands)
  • Butt Drops with push up in between – Think push up, flip to supine, drop butt, flip back prone and push up, lots of rotation with this one, keep your core tight and form good.

Free Athlete and Fitness Training

Cardio Set 2 – 1 min all out

  • Bike (spinner if you have access) – 75-85% THR

Full Body Set 2 – 2 sets / 10 reps each movement. Move all the way through set before repeating.

  • Med Ball Squat with Contra lateral over the shoulder lift
  • Single Leg Lunge with right leg kick through
  • Frog Jumps
  • Single Leg Lunge with left leg kick through

Cardio set 3 – 1 min all out

Cross Trainer – 70-80% THR

Core Set – 3 sets / 10 repetitions. Do full set then rest & repeat

  • Plank Set:
    • Alternating Knee Outside Elbow
    • Alternating Knee to Center
  • Alternating Table Top Lifts with side plank rotation
  • Plank Single Toe Rolls

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!

The Power of Your Thoughts

Ever wonder why two people can be in a similar situation, but one of them is positive about it and the other negative? Here’s why. The power of your thoughts cannot be underestimated. Use them wisely.

I see many people in my practice who struggle to turn their mind. This is the primary need in choosing your perspective. You have to have the skill of being able to look at what is going on, separate what is happening from your past experience lenses, and be able to find something good about it. Even if 99.9% sucks you have to be able and ready to find something that does not suck in your current situation. This is a very difficult skill and requires that we accept what is going on in our lives even if we do not like it. 

What you think about your experience is more important than the experience itself. In reality it is just what is happening right now. This is the neutral place of “it just is ____”. We then put our judgment upon it. We label the experience as “good”, “bad”, “I like”, “I don’t like”, “I want”, “I don’t want”, “should”, “should not” etc. When we place these labels on our experiences we are expressing our values. Our values help us decide what to do and how to engage with our environment by limiting our choices. This is actually helpful, as there are so many choices in any given moment, but it can make it hard for us to feel fulfilled and engaged in our current experiences. 

When we place so much emphasis on what we should do, how it should go, what we want, and turn our noses up at what we do not like, we are living our experiences based on judgments that color what we are actually experiencing. This keeps us locked in our heads and stuck in stories that may or may not be serving us anymore. We end up living from expectations rather than reality. When we can pick apart the experience for what it truly is, look at it honestly, and be open to what is to be learned from it, we find the beauty that surrounds us. 

Our thoughts have power. They shape what we focus on, where our attention goes, and what we continue to find in the world. As we discussed last week, when I find myself living in the same experiences I am often narrowing my focus and putting my attention on similar sorts of experiences and opportunities. It is what I know, therefore it continues to be what I find. Over and over and over again. Many times we do not even realize this is the case. We have no idea how powerful our thoughts are and how much they shape our experiences in the world – it is just what we have always experienced or always seen or always seem to run into. When you take control of your thinking patterns you can significantly shift your experience in the world and create the experiences you want to have. 

Part of the power of our thoughts is the chemical nature of them. For every thought you have, you create a chemical – electrical pattern in your physical structure. Your neurons function using electricity and chemistry to communicate across the synapse and travel through your neuromuscular junctions to make movements happen. The more you use a neuron pattern the closer those neurons move toward each other. As they do this they become much quicker in communication ability. For example:


I speak English as my 1st language. As a result I know a lot of English words, I have understanding of the language that I do not even know I know. It is just what I have always known to be true about communicating with people around me. I can understand elements of English communication through the nuances, inferences, and structure of the current communication patterns, inflections and presentation of the person communicating to me. I have very strong neural connections for the English language and specifically upper-midwestern United States of America English. 

If you have ever learned another language you also know what I am talking about – it is chunky and often slow to understand the words in normal conversation in another country/language. Once you spend enough time with the new language or learning the new style of speaking, it becomes easier to understand the nuances and patterns of speech. That is your neurology shifting and creating new or closer connections, thus becoming bilingual. People who grew up speaking 2 languages can often switch between them very quickly. They have strong neural networks for both. 


Now apply this concept to negative thinking patterns. If you are someone who spends a lot of time thinking negatively about yourself or others, situations or spaces, patterns people behave in, etc, you are creating strong neural pathways to find more of those examples … because your brain is wired to find them easy. 

You participate in them everyday (often multiple times a day) and your mind uses those thinking patterns to protect you from something given the amount of time you spend on them. Mind and brain work together to make sure you find them all around your environment. They are important for some reason or you would not be thinking of them so often. This is the reasoning your mind feels it is necessary to catalogue and find them all around you.  This is not meant to shame you for your responsibility in your current state. As I said above there is a reason you continually think in negative directions. Therapy can be a big help getting to the root of your behavior and help you figure out what you are using negative self talk, judgment, and overall pessimism for. You are doing it for a reason, now might be the time to figure out why. 

Imagine what would happen if you started focusing on what is working, rather than what is not working? If I am right about how important it is to pay attention on purpose, imagine how your life would shift if you were purposefully looking for and finding all the things going right in your life. Are you ready to take a positive focus in your life? Ready to live on purpose? Ready to shift into letting go of expectations and truly living in this moment of your life? 

Start taking control of your thoughts right now. I know it is easier said than done. Here’s an activity to get you started. 

Today try this activity – FIND BLUE CARS.

See how many you find around you. Comment your number on our Facebook group. For this activity do not change your routine or go out of your way to find a lot. Just notice how many you run into during your regular day doing the same things you do in your normal routine. Notice and count how many you find around you today. 

Body Weight and Machine Cardio Blast

Ready to hit the gym and need to let go of some steam? This workout will blast through any stress you have hanging around. You’ll leave feeling strong, powerful, and ready to take on the world.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Workout Warm Up Movements – Do 10 to each side

  • Arm Circles
  • Elbows Jabs (up and back) with core rotations – pay attention to pulling the bellybutton toward the spine and allowing movement through the torso without straining the spine.
  • Diagonal Front Arm Raise with Unweighted Squat – knees over ankles & butt back, like you are using a porta-potty at a music festival and determined not to touch any surfaces or soil yourself 🙂

Body Weight Set 1 – repeat the list 3 times for 30 seconds each movement

  • 180 Jump Squats
  • Froward / Backward Jumps
  • Leg Overs
  • Lateral Walking Pushups

Machine Set 1 – 1 minute as fast as you can

Treadmill Hill Climb – set incline at level high enough to maintain your target heart rate at 60-70%

Body Weight Set 2 – Repeat the list 3 times for 30 seconds each movement

  • Power Burpees
  • Plank Clocks to each side
  • Jumping Lunges
  • Side Plank Drops
  • Lateral Shuffle
  • 1 Leg 4 Square Hops

Machine Set 2 – 1 minute as fast as you can

Cross Trainer / Elliptical – Set level to maintain 60-70% target heart rate

Body Weight Set 3 – Repeat the list 3 times for 30 seconds each movement

  • Oblique Crunch Right Side
  • Center Sit Ups
  • Oblique Crunch Left Side
  • Boat Pose 30 Second Hold
  • Quadruped Knee to Opposite Elbow – Alternate sides

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!


3 Ways to Find Creativity At Work

Ever wonder what sets you up to have those days where you feel creative and inspired at work? Here are 3 ways to find it during your 9-5.

Ever had that feeling at work when you feel on fire with ideas and things are bouncing so fast between you and your co-workers it is electrifying? You get sweaty, your pen runs out of ink, it feels like you have burnt through the pages in your notebook? Want more of those days? You have to create the creative space to get that going.

First, you have to have space. Creativity will not find its way to you if your day is too full of busywork, other people’s ideas and stories, or mental chatter around what is wrong with you (or everyone else). There will be no space for you to have an intuitive thought. So cultivate a work space that allows for staring into space sometimes. Practice meditation or deep breathing to help you slow down your brain so you have space for a new idea. It helps to get up and move every 50 minutes to an hour for 5-10 minutes. It is natural for your brain to need a attention break and this allows you to take it while engaging the rest of the body. Gives the brain other things to focus on … often a precursor to having a good idea. Ever lost something only to find it when you focus on something else? Same concept do not try too hard, allow your brain a break and see what creative thought crosses your mind next.

Next find some inspiring things. I like architecture pictures and books. So I have these around my spaces. They allow me a smile when I look at them. They also offer an opportunity to observe and notice connections I may not have seen at first. Thus giving me something to put together or build upon. It brings me joy and excitement to see something interesting and new, even if it is not my area of expertise. Put items you like in spaces so you can see them during your work day. This way you will find inspiration in your joy of these items you love. As you find inspiration, you find motivation. The inspiration helps cultivate ideas because you are in a state of flow, the motivation helps you act on them.

Finally, stay away from things that steal your creativity. Things like social media, TV, low self regulation, and negative people can rob you of your creativity by feeding you others’ stories and low energy. As you peruse their stories you forget your own. Now before you say … but Pinterest … know that you may find inspiration in each of the above, just make sure you are not sacrificing your own creativity to look at someone else’s. In addition, if you have not eaten well, slept well, done some movement, or drunk enough water you will not be in a place to think creatively. Make sure to take care of you so you are ready for ideas to flow and you have the endurance to enjoy the brainstorming session.

Today I had a couple of fantastic gatherings with collaborators and connections that really helped get my creativity flowing and projects outlined. I got to live in that sweet space of creating and planning, allowing for inspiration and outlines. It is one of my favorite spots to hang out, and I am sure glad I was ready for that kind of idea flinging this afternoon. I hope you have as much fun at your next creative session.

Get Moving: The links between physical exercise and psychological states

Ever wonder why it is so hard to exercise when you are feeling stressed? When you are feeling depressed? After experiencing a trauma? My research showed that when the nervous system is overwhelmed it is harder to workout, but that just exposing yourself to more exercise helps you get over the initial barriers you are experiencing.

This week, in the last of the series on self regulation, we are going to talk about exercise and movement. For many exercise is something extra they must do every day, but in reality movement is part of what regulates your body throughout the day. 

It starts with breathing. As you breathe you regulate your sympathetic and para sympathetic parts of your nervous system. You do this through what is known as heart rate variability. Many of us who work in the exercise and health care fields use this number to understand how healthy your cardiovascular system is, however in my world of somatic psychology I can also use it to program movement to help you change your psychological states. This manipulation of your physical system allows for another option to change how you feel without the same level of concentration changing your thoughts may take. 

Mind & Body as One

Lots of people talk about the mind – body connection and how important is is to your health. To me there is no separation. If we want to know if you are stressed we would look at your cortisol levels in your saliva, depressed check out your blood serotonin levels, how well you are absorbing the nutrients you need to make the neurotransmitters to feel content, pleasure, calm, and control your impulses (physical and thought based) we could examine your feces. 

The body and mind do not have a connection point. They are one thing. The mind just has the ability to abstractly consider your experiences and decide what you would like them to mean. This ability gives the impression that the body is separate from the mind, but the mind has nothing to make meaning of if it does not have the body experiences to decipher. Understanding this oneness helps make more sense of our need for movement to regulate our emotions. 

My Research Findings

When I was doing my doctoral research, it was hard to find the bridges to understanding how our physical health intersects our mental health. There were studies with some longevity looking at how aerobic exercise helped depression, anxiety, bi-polar, and even schizophrenia. We could see how exercise impacted stress levels and anecdotally I heard many stories of people who were helped by regular exercise. However, so many people struggle to work out it was hard to understand how psychological struggle was associated with lack of exercise when we know how helpful it is. Turns out there is correlation between how physically stressed your system is and how hard it is for you to exercise. In my research I found that those who struggled with panic disorder (that feeling like you are having a heart attack, going to die, cannot breathe, and are so scared that you cannot think. Sometimes even feel as though you are losing your mind) is the hardest disorder to get enough physical exercise to meet your needs. Problem is, physical exercise is what helps metabolize the chemicals out of your system and decrease your feelings of panic and stress. As the cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones rise in the system, they feed the symptoms creating a self fulfilling cycle of increasing stress levels. Thus making it harder and harder for the person to physically exercise.

Anxiety and Stress

For the person without panic, but with anxiety and stress overload, struggling to exercise is often linked in a similar fashion just not at the same level. It is hard to motivate and get out the door when your physical system is already so tired and feeling overwhelmed. People will describe feeling heavy, lethargic, slow thinking, or in contrast “tired but wired”. As a result exercise seems too hard and it is much easier to grab a substance to unwind or sit and watch TV. 

Depression

Depression is similar but different. In a depressed system every thing feels hard to manage and the body is very fatigued. It is a similar stress on the physical system, but depressed, a different manifestation of difficulties. When feeling depressed we often struggle to see the point of doing anything. People describe feeling heavy, lethargic, overwhelmed, increased sensitivity to pain, and inability to take care of basic living tasks. These make getting on the treadmill pretty darn hard. 

Kbands

How to Help Yourself Start Exercising

One thing interesting from my research was the fact that the more substance use disorder diagnoses someone had the more likely they were to exercise and the less likely they were to buy into barrier beliefs to accomplishing the tasks of working out. What they told me was, they had to move – they’d lost their license and had to ride bikes, walk, and “there isn’t much to do in jail”. As a result they were exposed to movement regularly and therefore saw and felt the benefits and kept the habit going while they could. As a result of their insight it became apparent that exposure was important to helping others begin the process of working out regularly. Enter movement specifically designed to help mental health diagnosed disorders – depression, anxiety, PTSD, phobia, bi-polar, ADHD. I routinely prescribe physical movement along side traditional therapy interventions because the research is pretty clear, exercise helps. It teaches us a lot about ourselves. 

The research links between physical movement and mental health is growing. There is more and more research coming out everyday looking at how the physical system changes as a result of our thinking and how our thinking is changed by our movements. 

So today, just move. Take a moment, get out of your chair or bed and walk around. As you move the body notice what movements might feel good. Based on your current mental state do you want to move slow or fast? Do you want to be close to the ground or jumping? Do you want to be “quiet” in your moments or “loud”? Move slow or explosive?

Use your inner awareness of your current mental health state to determine what movement would be best for you right now … Now go do that.

Saturday Weekend Warrior Workout – Slow to Fast

Ready for your weekend? It’s time to get moving with this super slow and speed drill full body workout.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up. There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

Super Slow 1

the following three movements are done super slow, to the count of 10 up, 10 down. Focus on your balance and stability. Pull the belly button in and up and keep the spine supported with the contraction. Practice using good form – form always comes before speed. 

  • 10 Kick through right leg lunge without weight, challenge your ability to balance, but hold on as needed. Front knee should remain behind the ankle throughout the movement. Shoulders should center over the hips. Step back into the lunge and up into the front kick
  • 30 Crunches
  • 10 Pushups – do on your knees or standing against the wall if you do not have the core strength to maintain form through your lower back. Your back should not “sway” toward the floor.
  • 10 Kick through left leg lunge without weight, challenge your ability to balance, but hold on as needed. Front knee should remain behind the ankle throughout the movement. Shoulders should center over the hips. Step back into the lunge and up into the front kick

Speed Drill 1

Do each movement below for 30 seconds: hold on as needed, but challenge your balance. Use good form. Go only as fast as you can maintain your form.

  • Kick through right leg lunge without weight
  • 180 Jumps
  • Push Ups
  • Butt Drops
  • Kick through left leg lunge without weight.

Super Slow 2

The following three movements are done super slow, to the count of 10 up, 10 down. Focus on your balance and stability. Pull the belly button in and up and keep the spine supported with the contraction. Practice using good form – form always comes before speed.

  • 10 Squat to balance toe raise begin with feet shoulder width apart, squat back (think music festival porta potty and you aren’t going to touch anything while you go, and will not soil your clothes), knees behind toes and over ankles. Lower as far as you can and maintain a flat lower back, if it rounds you’ve gone too low. As you come up continue to rise until you are balancing on your toes.
  • 10 Frontal Arm Raise – you can use weight or not, maintain good form and do not rise above shoulder height. Can do arms together or single, maintain symmetrical balance for body on single
  • 10 Medicine Ball / Weight Russian Twists – each side
  • 10 Alternating Diagonal Shaking Hand Planks – each side

Speed Drill 2

Do each movement below for 30 seconds: hold on as needed, but challenge your balance. Use good form. Go only as fast as you can maintain your form.

  • Squat to toe raise
  • Power Burpee
  • Medicine ball / weight Russian Twists
  • Rocket Girls – Plyometeric Split Lunges

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

As always have a fun living in your body today!


Ready for Bed …

Have trouble getting to sleep? Be kind to yourself even if you are worried about it. Part of getting ready to relax is allowing for the discomfort of the unknown. Know you are working on new habits and that effort pays off.

Have you been working to shift your bedtime routine to support your quality of sleep. This is one of the hardest skills my clients struggle with. It is such a fearful time because “what if I don’t get enough tonight?” or “will I even get to sleep?” the thoughts begin to plague us before we hit the pillow.

Your job … is to believe that you can shift old patterns and that you are patient enough to work through the effort it takes to make a change in your life. This is hard work. New behaviors take 20-40 days to get set up. Sleep is one of those that takes a while, and often we’ve conditioned ourselves to worry about it.

Tonight, as you go to bed, have grace with yourself and say “I am going to sleep well. I have been working hard to get back on track and shift my system, step by step. I am doing the work and I sleep well as a result”. If it does not go great, just remind yourself that you are working on it and step by step shifting old patterns. Have compassion for the work you are doing and know that each night you give it effort you help make those changes possible.

Little by little … step by step … Sleep Tight.