Fitness Journey, Health

9K Steps @ 39 Weeks Pregnant: What’s your excuse?

I have been even more motivated to get my steps in during the past few weeks to hopefully progress faster in labor once it begins.

Today, I logged 9,160 steps, 3.93 miles, burned 2,125 cals, and spent 49 minutes exercising.

I managed to meet my hourly step goal of 250+ steps between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. This is something I do not typically target to accomplish but was very proud of myself to have completed it. I really enjoy using my Fitbit to manage my stats.

To record my walking I use Map my Walk which tracks your walk via GPS. I find it to be very accurate. This morning I started out my day with fasted cardio at 6:15 am and walked for 1.10 miles before work. Around lunch I took another walk and accomplished another 1.11 miles. It’s hard to make an excuse for not having time to walk. Walking is one of the simplest exercises routines you can incorporate into your daily activities. One strategy is to park further away from your destination and walk (parking lots at stores). This can help you burn a few calories, increase your heart rate, and save your car from someone dinging your doors.

Take a look at my stats from my two walking sessions today:

It’s not too bad for someone who is 39 weeks pregnant and carrying a whole (7+ lb) human in her womb. If I can get out and walk- so can you! So, what’s your excuse?

The most important part of embarking on your fitness journey is to START today! Small progress is better than no progress at all. I am not challenging you to be a runner or a top athlete. It’s okay to be a walker and have a slower pace. It’s not about running a marathon, it’s about keeping moving!

My advice to you is to cancel that gym membership that you are paying for and not using. Walking is totally FREE! It’s easy to make an excuse of why getting to the gym is out of the way or inconvenient for you. It’s tougher to make an excuse on how you can’t incorporate walking into your daily routine.

Story time: While I was walking today around lunch time I passed a wounded Veteran who was sitting in his wheelchair outside of Starbucks. After I passed him for the third time he looked at me and told me to get some steps in for him. This moment made me realize that while I am complaining about pelvic pressure and backaches from pregnancy I should not take for granted my ability to walk and still be mobile. There in front of me was a man who has lost his ability to walk. Just a Monday reminder to be humble and thankful.

FLWE ❤

How To, Personal Development

6 Tips on How to Become a Morning Person

Are you struggling to get moving in the morning? While, you may refer to yourself as not a “morning” person- you are very capable of becoming one. I will be sharing 6 tips on how to become a morning person. Routine is everything! Training yourself does not solely relate to working out. We also have to train our body, especially if we are seeking to make changes in our lifestyle.

6 Tips on How to Become a Morning Person

  1. Create a schedule: Having a schedule in place is essential. Create a morning routine and stick to it! A schedule will not only hold you accountable but it will keep you motivated. I recommend for you to select a time and commit to waking up and eating breakfast at the same time daily. This includes weekdays and weekends. You can even include a morning workout or morning stretch into your routine which will help get you moving after your slumber. You will notice after a week that your body time clock will have adapted to your new schedule and you may find that you are waking up before your alarm.
  2. Use a Smart Alarm: Opt for an alarm that does not have a snooze button. I have overslept so many morning by accidentally selecting the snooze button. Some of those mornings were not accidental but definitely resulted in me running late to work. I personally hate to hear abrupt and annoying alarms in the morning. I was lucky enough to find a application, “Sleep Cycle” in my app store (Apple). Sleep Cycle allows you to select the time which you need to wake up by and will gradually wake you within 30 minutes prior to that time, depending on where you are in your sleep cycle. Studies report that there are stages of sleep when you should not be interrupted. This app monitors your sleep cycles and wakes you at the most appropriate time in order to wake you up when you are feeling optimally rested.
  3. Open your blinds: Allow natural or artificial light into your bedroom and throughout the house. Lighting signals to your brain to stop making melatonin which is a hormone that encourages sleep. Waking up before the sun rises can be a challenge especially if you are trying to wake up and get ready in a dark or poorly lit room. The darkness and poor lighting will promote sleepiness.
  4. Exercise: Opting to exercise or stretch first thing in the morning is a perfect routine to help wake up your body. It has been reported that morning exercises assists with lowering blood pressure, reducing stress/anxiety, and encourages you to sleep better at night. Recommended activities: morning walk/jog/run, walk your dog, yoga
  5. Enjoy a protein-packed breakfast: Avoid heavy breakfast items such as biscuits or bagels. Instead opt for high protein items such as eggs and yogurt. Protein encourages wakefulness and will help in keeping you full longer. Protein is packed with nutrients to keep your energy levels elevated which will further help you feel better in the mornings.
  6. Avoid naps: Fight the urge to nap throughout the day. Naps can definitely through off your schedule and destroy all your progress from your newly developed morning schedule. Naps make it harder to fall asleep at night. If you are noticing that you are feeling sleepy towards the end of the day, use this as an opportunity to go to bed earlier at night.

I hope you find these 6 tips useful. Please comment below your experience and feedback. Let me know what worked and did not work for you. Your insight can help others. If you are a morning person, please share any advice you have regarding what keeps you grounded and motivated.

FLWE ❤

Fitness Journey, Health, How To

How to Reduce Your Weight Effectively

Are you looking to lose weight? Has your progress flatlined? If your goal is to reduce your weight effectively here are a few recommendations that I suggest you incorporate in your routine:

  1. Workout Variety- Do not allow your body to get use to the same old routine. Mixing up your intensity, duration, and workout type will shock your body into weight loss. If you are not already, combine both cardio and strength training in your routine.
  2. Strength Training- Incorporating strength training with free weights into your routine will encourage weight loss. Remember: the more muscle you have in total body mass will allow you to burn more calories in your workout.
  3. Sleep- Be sure that you are getting an adequate amount of sleep daily. People that are sleep deprived often have a harder time at losing weight and often weigh more, compared to those who eat the same diet but receive adequate sleep. When your body lacks sleep it “over” produces the following hormones: leptin and ghrelin which signals hunger pains.
  4. Nutrition- Exercise and diet together work to improve your health on the inside and out. Physical activity works to reduce your risks of disease (heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, etc.). Balanced nutrition assists with improving your health (heart health, brain health, energy levels, and weight control).
  5. Recovery- Although, you may be addicted the results you are seeing from working out, do not forget the importance of “rest days.” Your body and muscles need time to repair and this occurs when you are sleeping. While asleep you produce the most growth hormone; further assisting with burning fat and building muscles. Overtime building more muscle results in increased strength which further encourages weight loss.

FLWE ❤

Fitness Journey

Build Good Fitness Habits: What is the Optimal Amount of Exercise per week?

As you start out on your fitness journey you may be unsure of exactly where to start when it comes to exercising. You may wonder how often you should be exercising, to what extent, and what type of workout you should be doing.

The answers to these type of questions differ from person to person. Which means you need to assess your personal fitness goals and ability in order to build good fitness habits custom for you.

Cardio vs Strength Training

If you are seeking to improve your cardiovascular health it is recommended that you select exercises that include cardio. Examples include: cycling, swimming, walking, and jogging. These cardio exercises will assist in building your endurance.

If you are seeking to build muscle it is recommended that you focus on strength training. Strength training can be done with the use of your own body weight and/or the use of free weights.

How often should you work out each week?

The answer to this question depends on your activity level. If you are not moderately active, working out at a minimum of one day a week may be sufficient enough to notice some results. However, if you are active it may require working out multiple days per week in order to challenge your body enough to maintain and/or make progress.

If you are a beginner I recommend that you start out slow; workout one day a week for a minimum of 30 min and build your momentum. Each week increasing your time and then you can work up to adding an additional day of training (2-3 days per week).

For more experienced individuals looking to workout and balance both cardio and strength training; working out five days per week is sufficient in maintaining active. However, it is encouraged to incorporate at least two rest days.

Always consider your schedule and have reasonable expectations for yourself. If 4 days per week is more ideal, then be realistic. Reconsider your goals. If your goal is to add muscle, then replace a cardio day for strength training. If your goal is to increase endurance, replace a strength training day with cardio. You have the ability and control over your workout schedule; make adjustments as needed. Keeping realistic expectations, will keep you on target for success. Ultimately, unrealistic goals will lead to failure.

Cardio (2-3 Times per Week)

Benefits: Cardio encourages good circulation and blood flow. Cardio also assists with your recovery, while improving your endurance.

Exercise Options: outdoor jogging, elliptical, treadmill, stair stepper, cycling, row machine, etc.

Goal: Reach and maintain your targeted heart rate (fat burning zone)

Strength Training (2-3 Times per Week)

Benefits: Strengthens joints and bones (more muscle = higher metabolic rate)

Exercise Options: squats, lunges, bicep curls, overhead presses, etc. (strength train with body weight or assisted/free weights)

Goal: Body shaping, gain muscle, weight loss, improve flexibility

Rest Day- Recovery (2 Times per Week)

The importance of having rest days is allowing your body to recover and rebuild. By doing so you are allowing yourself to reset and refresh, which contributes greatly to your success in building good fitness habits.

I am encouraging you to start building good fitness habits today. It all starts with getting active. Share below in the comments some fitness habits that you have incorporated into your routine. What does your daily/weekly workouts consist of? What keeps you motivated to keep moving? I would love to hear from you.

FLWE ❤