Push Play to Prevent Disease (It’s a Must)

not easy, fatigue makes it super hard some days to get it done
not easy, fatigue makes it super hard some days to get it done

NO QUITTING is what I had to tell myself over and over this morning when my alarm was going off at 430 am and I felt like a tonne of bricks. My head was heavy and could hardly lift it off the pillow. It truly took everything I had to get up and put on workout clothes and shoes today.

This is the beauty of home workouts…I threw my hair into a pony tail, pushed PLAY and got through the 40 min power workout the best I could and now am DONE my workout for the day!   …Being this tired, I never would have made it out to a gym with all the extra travel time and inconvenience…no way…  Day 69 of my current 91 day fitness challenge is complete!

All I have to do each and every day is tell myself to PUSH PLAY and with no pressure to perform or be perfect. “Just get down there, push play and do your best” is what I tell myself and it works! 💪🏻

What are you doing for your health to prevent diseases and to maintain a healthy weight? Fitness work is not easy but it is worth it. It’s not easy having a heart attack or a stroke either…my opinion is that it’s better to do the work now to prevent those from happening in the first place! It’s also not easy looking in the mirror if you are unhappy with how you look or feel. Take a few minutes to make a serious decision to optimize your health and message me to get started today!

#athleticgrandma #NOWisthetime #dontwait #preventioniskey #startNOW #getoffyourbutt #makeYOUthepriority!

Build on Mistakes and Challenges (and Get Stronger)

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Mistakes or challenges in life and then learning from them has a way of building our strength by giving us better skills, resilience, self-confidence and power.

We face these difficulties for a reason even though that may be hard to see initially while we are in the midst of them. This has been true for me in many ways and I am still learning new lessons all the time.

Speaking of lessons, I have had some shoulder issues in the past, so wanted to share a tip with you.

A strong upper back is vital to minimize shoulder joint and shoulder girdle injuries. Many people who lift weights love the pressing and pushing exercises: bench press, incline press, decline press, dips, and overhead press which was what I used to focus on. …However, to counter balance those movements and give shoulder joint stability, pulling-type exercises need to be incorporated (see picture for example). If these moves are not done, the risk of injury is increased especially to shoulders!

So, to strengthen the upper-back/shoulder area, minimize injury potential, and boost your ability to optimize upper-body capacity, posterior upper-body pulling exercises need to be incorporated to give balance to the anterior pushing exercises most people do so much of.

This is where a professionally designed body building program comes in handy since it takes the guesswork out of the proper way to work out to keep the body and joints balanced and avoid injury. If you would like some guidance on this, be sure to contact me. I have learned so many valuable tips by training with professionals. It’s so worth it!

Day 54 of my current 91 day fighting and resistance training is complete!✅

With Vision you Can Accomplish Anything (Yes, Even abs as a Granny!)

 

Yes it is possible for even a granny like me to get abs!!

Working at strengthening and toning the belly muscles like a beast as well as staying away from processed and junk food makes all the difference!! My goal is to have flat toned abs and be rid of this puffy muffin top by the time my 91 day challenge is over…I know I can do it! I am a dang determined granny with a vision anyways…LOL

Determination and a vision for yourself is what will get you the furthest in life in every area! I have learned this one by practising it …and it totally works! 😁

What is your vision for yourself? Do you have a health and fitness vision, a financial vision, a business vision, a time freedom or family related vision? Having a strong vision you truly believe in makes anything possible!!  Do you believe this?

 

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5 Reasons to Never Miss Leg Day (Seriously!)…OK 6

 

I was working these quads, hamstrings, glutes and abdominals early this morning… in a combination of deadlifts, squats and lunges…wow! Leg day is hard but I hear that it brings the most benefits over all other lifting routines so its worth the hard work!

Leg muscles are the largest muscle groups in the body, so they burn the most calories… did you know that your gluteus Maximus (ie your buns) is the largest muscle in the body?

OOH! Leg Muscles look Good!

Leg muscles are our big muscle groups, but they also look really nice.  Strong glutes, athletic quads, healthy hamstrings and toned calves certainly look good in a pair of shorts.  However, there are 5 bigger reasons to work those legs than just for the looks!  …

  1.  Power and Endurance

Legs are powerful when they are strong and give us higher athletic ability to do other sports such as running, jumping or sports requiring speed!  Having strong conditioned muscles also gives us more endurance so that we can move faster and for a longer period of time without getting tired!

2.  Less Injuries

When our legs are strong, joints are optimally supported and there is much less likelihood of having certain injuries especially during sporting activities

3.  Burn more Calories

With conditioned leg muscles, our whole body will generally have a higher metabolism.    Those larger muscles require more energy and therefore your metabolism 24 hours per day will be higher!  Aha!  Weight loss!

4.  Less Back Pain

Less back pain will be there if we have strong lower body.  The glutes take a lot of the strain off the lower back when we are standing.  If we sit all day, we are more likely to have short hip flexors and weak hamstrings (leading to sore back)….  Stretching those hip flexors and working on strengthening the glutes, hamstrings and abdominal muscles can make a dramatic difference in reducing back pain.

5.  Practical strength

With strong legs, even if you are not an athlete, it will help you with day to day activities without getting hurt.  Things such as moving around heavy items, carrying groceries, moving furniture are easier if the legs are strong because your body will have the strength to squat and hinge at the hips.  This way, when we use our strong legs, we can much easier lift heavy items without hurting our back!

LEG WORKOUT TIP

With leg exercises, it is important to start low and gradually increase the weights.  Do full range of motion slowly, with abdominals in to support the back and slowly increase the depth of your movements.  It is very important to use proper form to avoid hurting the knees so be sure to research this or get a coach (like me) to help you out.

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Strength to the Core (Reduce Waist Size)


How many of us would benefit from having a smaller waist size? I think the majority feel that it would be a good idea… especially those over 40! Gosh…being over 40, these pounds seem to slip onto the waistline so easily!!

One thing is for sure…taking time to do core work at least a couple times a week definitely makes a difference. By working those core muscles, they become smaller, stronger and more compact (thus a smaller waist size) it has definitely made a difference for me!  The moves I am doing in the video are part of a 16 min Core workout that I do at least twice per week.  It was very hard to start with, but I have been doing this for 3 months now and my core is already MUCH stronger!

The side benefits of having a strong core is that you are stronger and better in other sports and activities (everything from hockey, to running to horseback riding!)  and have a stronger back and less prone to injury!  My back pain is almost non-existent since working on my core regularly!

Core work is definitely worth it…😁

 

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Fight For Your Health (and Lose Weight too!)


Now THAT is something worth fighting for!!! My health is something that I do not take for granted any longer! No way!

I spent too many years out of shape, in pain, digestion not working worth a crap (literally), painful knees, fatigue, poor sleep, constant lower back issues and miserable in the head too! That’s no way to live!! I am so happy that I made the decision 2 years ago that I was going to change this!

The decision was made after going through every medical test known to man including colonoscopy and finding out that there was nothing medically wrong with me!!! Ultimately I was just unhealthy, fat and out of shape! What an epiphany that was!!!

I said NO MORE and started working my ass off, superfood and professional fitness every day and clean eating and my body totally transformed. …and guess what? My whole mental health and mood transformed with it since my body was now running efficiently and my hormones were better balanced too! And you know what happens when you become a happier and more fun person? Your whole life changes!

Oh yes, believe me, the decision I made 2 years ago was the best decision of my life and I will NEVER EVER go back to how I was.

To transform your body and your health, be sure to join me for my next accountability and support group for superfood and fitness.  There are programs for everyone from beginners to even the most conditioned athlete!  CONTACT ME NOW to get started!

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Muscles Pump You Up (In More Ways Than One!)

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There is something about working those muscles hard and having that feeling of being totally pumped up afterwards!! I just love that feeling!

The muscles feel swollen and full as the blood surges through them after the heavy burn wears off.. if you have never felt it, you may not know what I mean.. but if you have done a good lifting routine…you will know exactly what I am talking about here…😊💪🏻

This morning, I feel compelled to talk about what goes on inside the muscle to make it feel this way and how that gives us benefit, conditioning and a sense of well-being.  Its totally changed my life to do resistance training and I am certain it would change yours as well.

It may sound weird, but the action of lifting weights actually depletes muscle building nutrients in the body and causes microscopic tears in our muscle fibres.  Its only after the workout is over that our bodies work to repair the damage we inflicted on it and then the muscle growth starts to happen.  Immediately after a workout, the body gets to work by increasing blood flow to those muscles causing them to feel bigger and more full.  This increase blood flow and high rate of repair happens for up to several hours after a workout.

How to make sure our muscles repair and stay with us…

Its important to regularly have small meals with carbs and proteins after the workout to help keep the growth and repair process moving forward.  During our sleep time at night, our body runs out of repair nutrients while we are sleeping (fasting) and this is why having a bit of extra protein at bedtime can be helpful to keep this repair process working well while sleeping.  If we have prolonged periods of fasting, our body goes into what is called a catabolic state where muscle breakdown occurs.  We definitely do not want to get into this state as it will reduce our muscle mass…so be sure that muscle is well fed and don’t allow your body to go into prolonged fasting periods.

WHY build muscle anyways?

Lifting weights (resistance training) is important to build muscle strength, but it also strengthens the surrounding connective tissue as well (tendon, ligament).  The stronger the structures are, the less likely it will be that you will experience a strain, dislocation or tear around a joint or a muscle injury while in motion!!

The health benefits to having conditioned muscles are so amazing, that it is an important activity to incorporate into your life ASAP!    Having muscles improves our physical appearance (more toned, nice shape, less fat), gives us more energy, increases bone density, increases power and strength, reduced injury, makes recovery from injuries faster, slows down aging and improves hormone balance, increases HDL (good cholesterol), improves our balance, lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate.  The list goes on and on… so many benefits!

Oh and one more thing!  Conditioned muscles typically do not cause us chronic pain!  Yes, we will have some sore muscles from lifting at times especially when increasing weight or intensity, but in general, conditioned muscles at rest do not cause us pain!  HUGE BENEFIT that improves quality of life!  I suffered from chronic body, muscle, neck and knee pains for years and getting into shape completely transformed my quality of life and I am not in pain any longer!  Its so worth the work!

If you would like to find a professionally designed resistance training program to get started with, please contact me and I will help you out.

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Benefit of Planks (It may look easy, but…)

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If you have never tried doing a plank, it may look rather easy, but this is deceiving.   Holding this position takes a LOT of endurance in your abdominal muscles, back muscles and core.  This morning, I was working on core workout and was having aching in my shoulders, so figured a checkup on my plank form was in order… this is the beauty of having photo and video on our phones… its easy to take shots of ourself doing positions and analyze it to see what we are doing wrong!

Reminding myself of proper plank form here and analyzing the mistakes I made, so I will share them with you

  1.  Hold elbows directly under shoulders and place wrists in line with elbows.(I need to avoiding placing my hands too close together, this creates internal rotation and can cause instability at shoulder joint)
  2. Push body up into upper back and hold chin close to your neck (like you are holding a small apple between chin and throat).  I need to to tilt my chin more towards my chest to reduce strain on my neck and allow me to more fully use my abs and pull my belly button in)
  3. Hold abdominals tight, contracting them, squeeze your buttock muscles and thigh muscles at the same time while breathing regularly (don’t hold your breath)
  4. Hold plank 20-30 seconds, rest then repeat (I was trying to hold the plank too long and was losing my form…I learned its better to do short planks several times, than trying to do one long plank with loss of form!)
  5. Start doing plank using elbows and toes (drop to knees if needed) and progress to high plank when you feel you have developed the necessary strength

These are hard!  …What do we need to do planks for?

  1.  Reducing back pain!   Planks help back pain because they strengthen your core which helps to reduce back pain.  It especially helps lower back pain and because there is minimal movement in the exercise, the chance of injury is very low.
  2. Improve balance and posture!  Having a strong core helps posture and balance.  There are various types of plank exercises which work the core from all angles such as side planks as well.
  3. Tone up core!  Planks are good for working on the deeper core muscles that give a good foundation for tightening up those abs!

There are many benefits to doing work on our core which I wrote about in another post in the recent past…take a few minutes to check that out…I posted a video and tips to help you get started on building your core on that post.

For today, I am glad I took the time to learn about how to improve my plank form and will build on this moving forward.  I typically do plank work almost every day, so having proper form is so important so that I do not injure myself!  I hope that you found this helpful and will take some time to work on your core strength each day.  Every 20-30 seconds you put in doing a plank will make a difference and will be worth it!

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Strength is Worth the Sweat (and how Professional Programs get the Best Results)

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This morning’s agility and strength workout really got the sweat moving! On day 16 of my 30 day fitness challenge and I am feeling stronger and more capable of pushing my body weight every day. This program is heavily focused on core work, so I can feel my midsection really firming up as well (bonus!!)😁

Committing to completing a specific program really helps to boost motivation and results! To push yourself for a 30-day stretch and give yourself rewards for completion is very satisfying and then is motivating to do more!

For me, just being generally an “active” person versus completing a professional program is far too boring! I need the vigour and excitement of always achieving new things and testing myself to see just what I am capable of! Plus, with professional program challenges, I have achieved far better results than I ever did in the gym.

I remember those days in the gym with a semi-structured program (check off sheet), waiting for machines, dirty equipment at times, inconvenience of travel and excessive use of my time …all of this and the results were just not there!

Professional programs are specifically designed by trainers to give us total body conditioning, strength, agility, flexibility in a totally balanced and thorough manner and we can do them in the convenience of our home and for only 30 min per day! (…and yes, there are even beginner programs too!)  The professional programs we have come with very simple and easy to follow nutrition programs which definitely work to maintain energy, lose weight and get amazing results!

Ultimately the message for today is that professional programs WORK!  …and it is totally worth trading sweat for strength to not only get results, but to feel awesome! 😊

Hope you have a wonderful day!

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Stretching Benefits every Middle Age Grandma Needs to Know (and 7 Ways it Helps me)

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Stretching regularly gives your body the capacity to do more and more!

One thing I have learned is that taking the time to stretch regularly certainly has benefits.

It not only boosts strength and performance and capacity in other activities, but minimizes chance for injury. Stretching also gives time to breathe and be present within yourself.

I used to have a hard time stretching properly since I was always in such a hurry and didn’t truly see the benefits. Now, I have learned to enjoy the opportunity to quieten the mind and gently stretch the whole body and it has really now helped me in several ways….

Here is 7 ways stretching has helped me…

  1.  Taking the time to stretch has helped to ease stress, and after a week of challenges and stressful situations, the muscle tension and uneasiness that can occur needs some release!  Stretching really helps to relax the muscles and improve blood flow.  It helps to release endorphins, which give me a sense of relaxation and well-being.  It has helped me to have a more optimistic outlook.
  2. Stretching has helped to improve my posture and ease off pain in my upper back.  After working on a computer and being slouched over a desk all week, stretching the lower back, chest and shoulders helps to get my spine in better alignment and improve my posture.   Having my shoulders back in proper position and sitting taller has really helped to have less muscle aches between shoulder blades and thus less headaches!
  3. The range of motion in my muscles have improved a lot over time and I have had much less issues with injuries and definitely have noticed less lower back incidents or pain “tweaks” with day to day activities such as picking up my grandson, carrying boxes and moving furniture.
  4. I have noticed that by being consistent with stretching, that my muscles have more stamina and energy.  Stretching improves blood flow and healing of the muscles and I noticed my exercise endurance has improved!  I can make it through more lifting reps and my cardio has improved significantly since my muscles don’t fatigue as quickly.  Oh, and I notice that my muscles recover faster after a workout too and I have far less muscle soreness even with heavy workouts.
  5. What I found before I dedicated to stretching regularly was that my muscles were tight and were less effective during exercise.  So this regular stretching I am doing now relaxes all of my muscles and allows them to be more fully available during vigorous exercise…thus my performance improves!   I can run faster, lift more, jump higher etc and it feels great!
  6. I have noticed stretching and relaxation prior to bed time is beneficial. Only 5-10 min of relaxed stretching and deep breathing prior to sleep has helped to improve my sleep quality.
  7. I do 3-5 minutes of lower back, and hip stretches before getting out of bed in the morning which really minimizes lower back stiffness and pain… I find that without this short stretch session before getting out of bed, that it takes about 30-60 min to feel the stiffness ease off.  The joys of being a over-45 granny! 🙂

Stretching is an important component of any fitness program.  Be sure to take the time to do this on a regular basis to feel better, be stronger and more resistant to injury, improve your athletic performance and to feel more positive too!

I am feeling happy and accomplished today…got a 20 min workout done called MMA Active Recovery….Day 14 of my current 30 day fitness challenge is complete!

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