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!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Brutal is right

I heart my mornings. They are my personal time for exercise, checking my email, studying scripture, and drinking my green smoothie. The house is quiet, the sun is rising, the weather is cool. I just love this time of day. The earlier I wake up the better, because the more time I have for said activities. The problem is I also heart SLEEP. I need sleep. I need all of these things. Sometimes, to assure I get the much needed sleep, I sleep later than I really want to, cutting into my special time before the kids wake up. Some days this has a negative impact, but mostly I've learned to let it go and savor whatever time I can carve for myself. This is why these 20 & 30 minute videos work so well for me. When you HIIT, that's all the time you need anyway! This one is only 20 minutes but it's intense! There is no cool down so be sure to leave a little time for that because you will need it. Now go work it!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Awww, Yoga

I took an ah-mazing ashtanga yoga class last week. Ashtanga yoga has an intense, flowing style in which the same asanas (poses) are always done in the same order. I wish I could find the words to explain how I felt when I left that hour and a half class. Other than the fact that I could barely stand (how many vinyasa flows can one person do??) I felt so good. Yes. Just really very good. Yoga has a way of making your body feel tall, long, strong, and capable. Learning to breath and focus on my practice and on what I need right at that moment is a skill I feel has effected my whole life. I have had a stressful few years, but I've made it through them and I am still making it through each day. Yoga calms me and it encourages me. I think back to the first time I tried yoga and laughed at what I was trying to do. At the time I was laughing because I thought there was no possible way I was ever going to accomplish these crazy things, but as my practice continued my view changed and I began to try. I decided I would just see what happened. I left that class last week having held a headstand, a backbend, and several balancing poses and binds! Yay! We can do so many things, but first we have to try and then we have to diligently keep trying until *suddenly* you realize you're doing it!! It is such a great feeling that everyone should experience. Okay, go try something new this week! And keep trying until you've got it.... even if it takes a year... or five years. :)

Here's a great beginning - feel fantastic - yoga video, if you want to give it a try.

My current goal: Grasshopper Pose

I'm getting there!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Encouragement wether you want it or not. It's just on my mind.

I found out yesterday, during a conversation with a few health conscious friends, that Grade B is the more nutritious maple syrup to buy, as opposed to the large Grade A pure maple syrup I buy at Costco. So again, I learn something new about the foods I'm eating. This just got me thinking. Thinking about how frustrating healthy eating can feel sometimes, right?! I'm doing something I'm sure is good for me and then I find out I should be doing something else. Now, the maple syrup isn't a big deal (upon further research I found that all types contain nutritious minerals, but the darker syrup has a higher quantity of said minerals) and I didn't actually feel disheartened by this news, but it reminded me of all the times I have been disheartened. Like when I go to the grocery store and start reading labels. I feel like being completely honest with you, I have stood in the store with tears in my eyes trying to figure out what I can feed my family that is nutritious and edible! I am still not as healthy as some, but I am a long way from where I started. As I sat around this table with health conscious friends, I listened to my friend--who gave up refined white sugars cold turkey and soaks all of her grains when she cooks--tell me she was in a slump! Whaaaaat? How can this be? She said she hadn't been exercising regularly and was buying pre-made food (bread) that she didn't normally buy because it was just easier, but she was working on getting better again. Now mind you, her "slump" might be healthier than my very healthiest, but the point I'm hoping to make here is that we all have times when we feel weaker than other times. Think of our healthy living journey like a great big hill (mountain??) that we are climbing. We are all at different parts of the trail, some at the beginning and some further up, and all of us are going to get tired and slow down sometimes. We might even stop for a while. The key to eventual success, though, is to KEEP TRYING. Thomas Edison said, "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." This is as applicable here as it is in all other areas of our life. First you have to believe you can make it to the top of that hill. It might be really hard. You might stumble and fall a few times before  you get the hang of it, but you will get there. This part is really important, because if you don't believe this it will be really hard to keep going when you've stumbled, you're desire to give up will be strong because, after all, you don't think you'll even make it. Next, you have to believe that it is worth it! If you're at the bottom of the hill, it might not seem that way, but when you start getting higher and look around you begin to see the fruits of your effort and you realize how great it feels. You gain more confidence with your ability. Lastly (for now at least), you have to make climbing this hill a lifetime commitment. This is not a one time deal or something you start and finish, but rather something you choose to add to your life. It gets easier, for sure, but anything you're doing is something you need to keep on doing. Remember, don't worry if you stumble or even if you fall off, expect the downfalls. Not very many (if any) people head straight up without any set backs. JUST KEEP ON TRYING. Thomas Edison tried 10,000 times before he invented the light bulb. That's right friends, YOU'VE GOT THIS! Here's one of my favorite books for anyone who's interested. Easy to follow and practical ideas that make sense and you can start implementing right away.

Now my son is about to go crazy dancing all around me needing to "check stats" before he goes to bed. I think I should turn over the computer time to him. It is fantasy football season after all.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Denise Austin! Well, say no more.

I found it for you! You know, that "comfort video" I talked about in the last post... because, really, who doesn't love Denise Austin. Watching this video was a blast from my past. It was at least 20 years ago that I had some Denise Austin videos I used and she is the exact same. I am pretty sure that she and I could be good friends. She is always so happy and encouraging! This video is an "easy mile" walking video. I had never done a walking video before, but I'm sold. Beginners, this one is perfect for you! I smiled through the whole thing. Having an instructor that is fun to watch is a big bonus for me because it makes the workout that much more fun.... funner? Let me know how you like this one! I hope you enjoy it, because, in the words of Denise Austin, "You deserve it and you're worth it!" <3 <3 <3

Friday, September 11, 2015

Wow. I don't think this one is as difficult as it felt.

This is a great quick 16 minute workout, but it felt like a really long one today!

You know how some days are just like that? I was sick last weekend and this week I have done a lot of walking and yoga while I recover. Today I felt like I was ready for more. Ack! It's crazy how one week of relaxing a little can make you feel like you're starting over again. This made me realize I have comfort videos... Yes, really. Workout routines that I can always go to when I just don't feel up to it. (I wish I had chosen one of these today.) I've told you about them before... Yoga Booty Ballet... they sound silly, but when I was starting out they were perfect! I still love them when I'm not feeling up to too much and I feel super after doing one. I suppose my point is that everyone should find something they love. Find something that makes you feel great when you've finished. When you do something that feels this way, do it again! Do it enough that you know it well. When you get tired of it or it becomes too easy, and it will, put it aside for a time and go back to it when you just don't want to do anything else. I don't know, do I sound like a crazy person? Is there any exercise routine that you could fall in love with? Yes, there is. I know there is. ;)

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My new favorite you tube yogi

I've already posted some of SaraBeth's videos and I've found myself searching for her videos more often lately.  Great teacher. Great voice. Great method. This video is good for flexibility, strength, and balance....  All in 16 minutes!

 I also went for a good walk this morning with a good friend. Sometimes I forget how great getting outside when the weather is cooler and talking with friend can be for a workout. Seriously my Arizona friends, the weather actually is cooler in the mornings now. Get outside and watch the sunrise!


Laura :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Love this!

This article speaks truth! It is our voice we hear all day long and we need to be able to talk nice to ourselves. Enjoy! :)

If you're in the mood for a little more today....

This is a great way to spend 40 minutes of your life. (Just be ready for a lot of jumping jacks! Fair warning all you mama's out there.)