I have experienced the AMAZING benefits working out on a consistent basis can give you and I feel a strong desire to share some of the ideas and things I have learned with others so they can start getting in their own routine and feel some of the same benefits. Exercise is just one step on the path to better health, which I believe we as a whole are in real need of. Every step counts and you will find as you take one step and begin to feel successful you will find it easier to take more steps.... "not that the nature of the thing has changed but that our power to do has increased." (Ralph Waldo Emerson) I am beginning this blog with this end in mind, to help you take a step; or, if you've taken the step already, to keep on going!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Let the fun begin!

School is starting soon! For a homeschooling mom like myself, that means.... "AAAAA!!!" Haha. Just kidding. But it does mean things are going to get even busier over here. As my kids are a top priority, my daily posts are going to have to drop to 'whenever I can' posts. Hopefully I've given you enough to work with and some ideas and you can put the label section in the side bar to good use.

Feel free to follow by email ------>>> so you can see new posts as they come. Per suggestions, I will try to find some more beginner ideas as well as some more nutrition ideas.

Here are some of my favorites that you could also try out!

Fitness Blenders 5 Day Workout for Busy People - I love these. They're each about 30 minutes and they're great for all levels. Daniel and Kelly are good at helping beginners modify. (Don't let the one funky move in the first one stop you from doing the rest.)

30 Days of Yoga with Adriene - Also fabulous. Good for all levels!

30 Day Yoga Challenge with Erin Motz - These are great too. I can't help that yoga's my favorite. I really think everyone should add it to your routine, whether running is your thing or walking or tennis or football or jazzersize. Yoga is for everyone!

You can also check out Blogilates - A blog about Pilates. My friend recently introduced me to it and I can't wait to check it out.

One more thing I want to encourage - Habit. Habit. Habit. I'm reading an excellent book, The Power of Full Engagement. In it the authors encourage developing positive rituals as a way to make positive changes. If adding exercise to your daily routine is something you are working towards, think of what rituals you will base your routine around. For Example: every day when you wake up; every Mon, Wed, Fri, & Sat; walking on Mon, Wed,  Fri & Strength on Tues/Thurs; right when the kids go to school; with kids; with husband; with friends. It might not even be very much to start. Whatever you decide, forget whether you want to do it! If you don't have a routine in place already, you probably won't want to do it. Make yourself do it when you say you will. (If you have little kids, then just do the best you can and don't stress when you have to cut your time in half because of a crying baby, the important thing is you started.) Eventually it will be a habit. You will feel funny without it, kind of like if you forget to brush your teeth. Also, don't compare yourself to anybody else!!!! You're not like anybody else. Just do what feels good to your body. Push yourself to work past your own comfort zone to build more capacity, but don't worry about anyone else. You've got this.

Laura :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Your yoga for today

And more poses every beginner should learn. These are two of my favorites. :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Feedback Please

Hello all!

If you have visited this blog a few times I would love some feedback. Is there anything you especially love that you would like to see more of? Is there anything you haven't seen that you would like to see more of? I would love any kind thoughts and/or constructive criticism you may have. Thank you!



Today my friends and I used Jillian Michael's 3-2-1 strategy (from 30 Day Shred). That's 3 minutes strength training, 2 minutes cardio, one minute core.

Here's the breakdown.
(Most smart phone interval timers can be made to follow this time structure.)

45 sec - superman
45 sec - push ups
45 sec - superman
45 sec - push ups
30 sec - butt kicks
30 sec - elbow to knee
30 sec - butt kicks
30 sec - elbow to knee
1 min hip rolls

quick water break if needed

45 sec - lateral squat with fly
45 sec - static lunge with bicep curls
45 sec - lateral squat with fly
45 sec - static lunge with bicep curls
30 sec - star jump
30 sec - twist (like the dance move, jump your feet to the left, then the right)
30 sec - star jump
30 sec - twist
30 sec - bicycle (slow)
30 sec - bicycle (fast)

quick water break if needed

45 sec - plank with row and leg lift
45 sec - bridge (pulse your hips up and down)
45 sec - plank with row and leg lift
45 sec - bridge (pulse your hips up and down)
30 sec - butt kicks
30 sec - elbow to knee
30 sec - star jump
30 sec - twist
30 sec - boat pose (pulse your arms)
30 sec - boat pose (hold still)

Whew! You're done! Unless you want to do that core routine I posted last week.... or maybe a short yoga routine?

-Laura :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

For the days when there's just not enough time

Today has not gone as planned. By the time I was ready to work out there wasn't enough time!  That's why I found this sweet little video. Beginners will probably need to modify some of these moves. Gotta love Tony Horton!

P.S. I found Tony's youtube channel today! (Not sure why I never looked before.) I haven't had time to look around much, but I'm pretty excited. I like the short video that popped up when I first went to the site... great thoughts about making exercise work for you. Check it out here.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nutrition on My Mind

I have been asked by a few people about nutrition. As I mentioned before, although exercise is amazing-important-needed, nutrition is the key that opens the door to better health. When we start putting better fuel in our body, that's when the magic happens.

The problem is most of us haven't grown up eating healthy whole foods and figuring out how can be frustrating (to say the least).

Remember... one step at a time! Any change you make should be one you're willing to make a lifestyle, but you don't have to figure it out all at once. When trying to figure out what is the good info in the deluge of info out there, listen to people you trust and people who are living a healthy lifestyle themselves and whose purpose is not self-serving, but to help others.

One great option I've found is green smoothies. This is a great and simple way to start putting the right stuff in your body. In fact you can increase your nutrition by 700% compared to the average American diet! I am a Green Smoothie Girl instructor, you can find more info and see what Green Smoothie Girl has to offer HERE .

And check out some of my friends who I consider my nutrition mentors HERE and HERE and HERE.

Now I was going to do a whole schpeel on sugar, but I think I'll save it for another day... Something to look forward too. ;)

Have a happy and productive week!

Easy Starter Smoothie
1 Cup water or almond milk
Handful or two of spinach
1 Cup blueberries
1/2 Banana
1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
1 Scoop Protein Powder (I didn't add this ingredient until I found GSG protein powder, there aren't many others out there that I enjoy.)

If you just really need to sweeten it up try a small amount of orange juice (or I've heard Stevia or raw honey, though I've never tried them in a smoothie).

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Yoga for Advanced & Yoga for Beginners

Yoga for my very advanced friends...

So, the first half I spent trying the different poses, but by the end my kids and I were just laughing at the thought of even attempting what she was doing. Ha! We had a good time, but even though I laugh, I can say there are poses I laughed at when I first started practicing, that now I can do. In fact, I just achieved headstand!! The great thing about yoga (and any exercise), you just start where you are and push yourself a little more every time. You can do great things this way!  You've heard it said I'm sure, when it gets hard and you keep going, that's when you get stronger. True. True. And what I love the most is this is a great analogy for life! Everything I practice when I exercise I can take out and practice in life. Now go achieve something wonderful! ;)

But before you go, let me leave something for my beginning friends...

Breathing is key in yoga. This is best video I could find that explains it. (She starts actually teaching it around minute two.) She said something about it being called a Darth Vader breath which she doesn't like, but I do. It makes it easier to understand. Anyway, take from it what you will.

Here are some other basic poses, every beginner should understand.

I better stop there or I could go on forever. I'll post some more goodies another time. For now, you can work on these. :)


Friday, July 24, 2015

Low Impact

And JSYK low impact does not necessarily equal easy! This one is a good one. Have fun! ;)


Thursday, July 23, 2015

I know, I'm on a yoga binge

I found another good one for you. I think beginners could follow along with this one. 


My Favorite Videos

It's not necessary to buy videos, but I do have some old standbys that I love and would recommend.

Yoga Booty Ballet - Silly name, I know, but for someone just starting out and/or needing something a little easier on the body these are fantastic. These are the ladies that made me fall in love with yoga. They introduce it in small doses. I don't love all of their videos, but the ones I do love include: Complete Body Shaping - GREAT for beginners and anyone who needs to take it easy. Love, love, love this one. You don't need shoes and lets face it, getting ready to workout is half the battle. I even started without any of the equipment they suggested.
Total Toning Basic - I still do this one a lot. It's fantastic. (I even have an extra one I will GIVE you if you want it, just for reading my blog.)
Hip Hop Abs - This one's really fun if you like to dance and I do, so I love it. (I also have an extra one of these to give away.)

Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred - She claims it's 20 minutes, but it's 25 and it is a great workout. There are 3 different ones on the DVD and great for someone that really wants to push themselves to do a harder workout.

P90x - I love these videos but they are too long! So only check these out if you have 1 1/2 hours a day to devote to exercise. You might want to find some used, too. Super pricey. He has an updated one that's only 30 minutes I've heard. I would love to try it out.

I hope you have a happy and healthy day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Time to get moving

Think of a favorite activity and invite some friends to go do it or if you need to be with your kids, invite them along. Today I played speed with a bunch of young'ns for an hour and felt like I had a good workout when I was done. You can also go for a walk as a family. If some want to go a little slower, wait at the corner for them and while you wait do some jumping jacks. Kids have an endless amount of energy. Any time I decide to jump into one of their games, its good exercise.

And Wednesday is yoga day. I tried a new yogi today. This one will be hard for beginners to follow, but is a good challenge for intermediate or more advanced.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Legs, Gluteus, and CORE

Today I grabbed this CRAZY LEGS workout to do with friends, but first, we started with some jump roping and these 10 core exercises.

1. Sit-ups (Regular, old fashioned, Rocky style sit-ups)
2. In and Outs
3. Mini Bicycle Forward
4. Mini Bicycle Backwards
5. Crunches with your legs at a 90 degree angle
6. Heels to the Heavens
7. Regular Bicycle
8. Side Crunch Left
9. Side Crunch Right
10. Russian Twist

We do these core exercise almost every time we meet (2x a week) We started out with 10 reps each time until we could do most of them, then moved to 15, then 20. So you can pick your own pain. ;)

Monday, July 20, 2015

My thoughts exactly...


I workout at home for several reasons, some being that I can't always afford a gym, I'm not super comfortable there, or it just takes more time and effort to get there. However sometimes it is nice to be with an instructor so they can help you with form and alignment (and also exercise with out kids running circles around me, ha! - most of the time I don't mind that though), so from time to time I take advantage of good deals. Some gyms will let you come for a few weeks for free to try it out or at least take a free class. If you're interested in trying something new (kickboxing, body strengthening, yoga...) this a great chance to learn from someone face to face and check in to be sure you're doing it right. ;) Groupon's a great place to get some good deals too. If you're in my area and want to try out some yoga, you can try this one.  I took my first class (of 5) today and it's already worth the $10.

-Laura :)

Kickboxing Monday

Kickboxing is always a fun way to workout. Enjoy!

Have a happy week!
-Laura :)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Happy Birthday!

I should've done THIS video today! Maybe I still will...

There's an app for that

I found this app on my i phone today.... 
It appears that with the free app you can get a few free lessons a week. Not sure yet if I love it enough to purchase the premium package (that would give you unlimited lessons and additional features), but it might be something worth checking out. And
is another one of my favorite Yogis. (She is the star of this yoga app.) 
I just found some of her classes you can purchase to download, too. Hmmm. I've only tried her you tube videos, but I would imagine these classes might be worth having. I'll let you know if I try any.
There's also a 
app which I haven't tried yet, but probably will. 

And might I just add there are a TON of fitness apps you can explore if you prefer that route. Fitness Blender (whose videos I use a lot) has one you can search, plus there are all kinds of running apps that will tell you how far you've gone and fitness timers. You probably already knew this, but I just wanted to throw it out there in case you didn't. ;)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Arms, Booty, Core

OUCH! These are all labeled as beginner, but I'm thinking that's not really so. Plus she manages to stay perky through the whole video. Impressive. These are simple but very effective workouts. Good ones to build into your routines two or three times a week.

I did these with a jog outside today. There's a chance of rain and it's beautiful, not to mention the fantastic smell of the desert on a rainy day. Oh happy me. :)

*Form is important. If you can't do the exercise with the correct form, then modify to avoid injury.*

Thursday, July 16, 2015

No-Running Cardio Workout

This is a good one and it includes a cool down.

Another Tabata today

Warm up...

Reminder: One Tabata round is 20 seconds high intensity exercise followed by a 10 second rest repeated for eight sets. You can get great tabata apps on your smart phone.

Round 1  Butt kicks/push-ups
Round 2 Wacky Jacks/squat with a twist (squat, up, twist to the right and back, repeat with a twist to the left)
Round 3 high knees/walk out to plank (bend down to touch toes, walk hands out to plank, walk hands back in, stand up, repeat)
Round 4 Forward punches/ forward kicks
Round 5 Calf raises/bridge

I'm not sure how to explain wacky jacks. Good thing this lady posted a video! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday is Yoga Day

Yoga makes me feel fabulous every time I do it. Here's today's dose of greatness. Adriene is one of my favorite YouTube yogis. <3

If you haven't tried a lot of yoga but would like to you can find a ton of beginner videos on YouTube. I'll also post some of my favorites soon.

Fat-Blasting Cardio & What is Tabata

I did this with friends yesterday. 

This is a difficult one if you're a newbie, but you can get creative and modify if you need to.
Find detailed explanations of each move HERE

I turned it into a TABATA workout. 

What is Tabata? It's a fantastic HIIT you can complete in 4 minutes. Read about the history of Tabata and the research that explains how awesome it is HERE.

Here's a quick rundown... 
1. Choose an exercise 
2. Workout as hard as you can for 20 seconds 
3. Rest for 10
4. Complete 8 sets

For example, for the above exercises I took 2 at a time to complete one Tabata round.
Cross Jack & Alternating Back Lunge
1. Cross Jack - 20 Seconds
Rest -10 Seconds
2. Lunge - 20 Seconds
Rest - 10 Seconds
3. Cross Jack - 20 Seconds
Rest -10 Seconds
4. Lunge - 20 Seconds
Rest - 10 Seconds
5. Cross Jack - 20 Seconds
Rest -10 Seconds
6. Lunge - 20 Seconds
Rest - 10 Seconds
7. Cross Jack - 20 Seconds
Rest -10 Seconds
8. Lunge - 20 Seconds
Rest - 10 Seconds

I paired the other exercises as well to complete more rounds, with one minute rest between rounds. You can also choose just one exercise for the whole round. (Jump roping is a good one!)

PS There a tons of free tabata timer apps on your smart phone.
PPS Feel free to post any questions or comments.

Happy day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Today's Workout and Fitness Blender

Yay! It worked. I have been trying to figure out how to upload these darn you tube videos and it hasn't worked. Thanks to a new computer we can make this happen. Anyway, this was my workout the other day. These guys are my favorite youtube friends, at least for HIIT (high intensity interval training). It's a 20 minute video, although you have to add time to warm up and cool down. They're great at modifying for beginners. 

I also added a little yoga for the day. 
(My favorite form of exercise, everyone should have yoga in their life.)

Have fun!

In the Beginning...

Although this blog is obviously devoted to exercise, it will surely contain some other health related ideas also.  I feel like I am walking a path to a healthier me and I want to invite you to join me. It only seems appropriate to begin with where my path started... and I don't mean back in highschool when I faithfully ate only fat free food (yes, I stuck to skittles and fat free Entenmann's) or after I had a few kids and I kept a stock of slim fast in the fridge... I mean when I got started on the RIGHT path. I was 30 and overweight. I remember a friend gave me 30 candy bars for my 30th birthday and I stuck them in the freezer. I ate one a day (maybe 2) and with every one I would tell myself I wouldn't eat another one for at least a week. Ha! I finally just thought, "Well, I'll do better when they're all gone." I also had a lot of back pain and sciatic nerve problems.

It was shortly after this time that a friend invited me to an exercise challenge that she was having with a friend. She was moving and she wanted to motivate herself to exercise. The challenge was called "San Diego or Bust." We were supposed to exercise the equivalent miles it would take to get to San Diego and as soon as we all reached the goal we would go. I almost didn't join because I thought I couldn't with all the back pain, but I hated to be left out so I did and I started out slow. A fire was lit in me. Competition was what I needed. I was the only one that finished that challenge or at least the only one that finished entering miles. I started another one after that and then another. Exercise became a habit and then it became something I loved. I have had little back pain since and no sciatic nerve problems. My routine has looked different at different times of my life. I have completed p90x which was awesome but not realistic time-wise for a lot of people (or for me at this point in my life). I joined a group of friends who had formed an early morning boot camp from 5-6 which was absolutely fantastic and something I highly recommend, but again, although I still exercise with friends 2x a week, it not realistic for me right now. My routines are usually 30 minutes on the other days. Everybody's routine is going to look different based on their lives, but everyone can do something!

A year or two after this "San Diego or Bust," I was frustrated because, though I had lost some weight, I was still overweight and I couldn't figure out why when I had such a great exercise routine. This is when I was invited to another health challenge. This one involved 10 goals which included exercise as well as getting enough water, avoiding bad fast food, eating fruits and veggies, avoiding sugar, and other healthy habits. This is when everything fell into place. The light went off. Processed foods really ARE bad for you. Sugar really does make you fat and sick. I started reading books and watching movies about eating right. I've been taking steps ever since. I recently watched a great movie, Hungry For Change, in which was said that you have to move from "I want that, but I can't have that," to "I can have that, but I don't want that." I think that's brilliant and it has helped me give up sugar.... for the most part.

So here I am, still taking steps. Still moving forward. Hopefully someone will find these upcoming posts helpful. :)