4 ways to get committed

personal blog

I’ve always believed that getting the body you want takes a lot of hard work, healthy eating habits, and mental strength.

Working out has been something I’ve enjoyed for quite some time now but like anybody else, sometimes finding time is the “hardest” part. And when I say finding time, I mean not finding excuses to skip my workout and stay consistent. We’ve all been there., “I have work.”, “Gotta feed the kids.”, “I have errands to run.”, “Tired from working late.” We’ve heard them all before. But following those excuses, we’ve also heard, “I want to get in shape for summer.” “I want to feel and look healthier.” “I’m tired of the body I have.” If you want results, you have to be mentally committed to the grind.

Mental awareness has played a huge influence on my ability to commit since I started practicing Pilates in 2012. It’s helped me help my clients achieve their goals, while reaching my own. Mental awareness has kept me positively engaged to getting the results I want, mentally and physically.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve the results you want by being mentally committed:

Choose something you enjoy

Don’t settle for an exercise that you get bored with quickly, and doesn’t challenge you. Do something you enjoy. Maybe running isn’t your thing, but you love dancing. Take a Zumba class, or rent a home video and do it at home if you have stage fright.

Working out shouldn’t be a hassle or a task you check off a list. You should feel good when you’re working out, and if you don’t you probably need a new workout. Sometimes taking a group exercise class helps open new doors and expose you to different workouts. Try ClassPass to try out local studios in your area. It’s affordable and a great way to get out and try something new!

Make a plan

Now not everyone likes to write like me 🙂 but I believe that note taking helps you remember to do things when they need to get done. You’re probably already use to note taking at work, or setting reminders for events/work meetings. Treat your workout plan like a work meeting. I even pretend I’m getting paid for the workout. And trust me, the payout of the body you want is much more valuable than any $ amount.

A great way to take notes is through your phones notepad. I use my iPhone’s NotePad and Google Keep to help organize my workout plans and check off what I’ve accomplished. This is a great way to see how far you’ve come and give yourself pats on the back along the way 🖐🏼.

Be realistic

Set small goals for yourself that are achievable. Many times, people have unrealistic expectations and go through extreme measures to get instant results. Cutting out all “bad” things out of your diet isn’t realistic to do overnight. And expecting to lose 50lbs in 2 months is also not something most people can achieve. So set a timeline for yourself. Use apps like My Fitness Pal to keep track of your progress like I do.

Practice the note taking approach in my last tip, and write out the small goals you want to meet within the next year. Give yourself reasonable timelines to meet these goals, and hold yourself accountable to revisiting this list as much as possible! I always find a few minutes in my day to open up my notepad and read through my goals. It helps me remember that the small bits of progress matter most.

Take picture of your progress

I always take pictures to help me track my progress. I have them stored in a hidden folder so I don’t have to worry about others seeing them if I want them to stay private. This way, I can look back to see how I’m doing and not worry about sharing my progress until I’m 100% confident.

Taking pictures also helps you appreciate the work you’ve been putting in to reach your fitness goals. Since the beginning of 2018, I’ve been working out more consistently and keeping track my my progress while also eating a well balanced diet. By doing these things and simply following the tips I shared with you above, I’ve maintained staying mentally aware and motivating myself to reach my fitness goals. The small steps I’ve taken over the past year have helped me tremendously, and I hope you’ll try them and share how they work for you!

March Matness coming to an end…

personal blog

This month has been filled with so many exercises benefiting the spine. From flexion to extension, and a little bit of twisting, March Matness is officially coming to an end.

To wrap the month up, I’ve included a few of my favorite exercises for you below. Check out the benefits of each and what to look for when you’re performing these exercises so you get the best results.

💫Swimming – Spinal extension is super important for everyone. Do you sit all day? Drive a car for work? Text? If any of these sound like you, do a little swim at the end of your day. Swimming opens up your chest and helps release tension in your pecks. Focus on anchoring your shoulders away from your neck and ears and reaching through the crown of your head. Only lift your chest and quads up as high as they need to go to keep your lower back in a neutral state (natural arch in the low back). Try to avoid over extending and focus more on targeting the mid back muscles – your thoracic spine. Kick your arms and legs, alternating in opposite directions while keeping the torso still.

💫Rocking – Similar to swimming, rocking helps open up the chest and extends the spine. Challenge yourself to keep the legs as parallel to the ground possible. Rocking is accomplished mostly by breathing and small shifts of the body forward and back, activating your abdominal and back muscles. The ribs will naturally want to expand wide, but by engaging your abdominals try and control the ribs from popping out.

💫One leg kick – Glutes and hamstrings will definitely fire up if you perform this exercise correctly. Keeping your pelvis and hips slightly tucked to protect your back is super important here. If you can challenge yourself to lift your quads, you’ll feel the hamstrings fire up even more. Again, watch the ribs and turn on those abdominals to find control. Don’t forget to keep your shoulders anchored as they will naturally want to creep up into the neck area. Kick each heel back two times towards your glutes and switch.

💫 Side bend – Probably one of my most favorite Pilates exercises, and it only gets easier with practice. Strengthening your shoulders, back muscles, and oblique abdominals, the side bend also stretches the side body. Focus on keeping your palm directly under your wrist and creating as much space as possible between the wrist and shoulder. As you lower your hips, keep them squared off and avoid letting your weight shift into your neck. Pull up with the belly and hips while still lengthening through the crown of the head.

💫Side kick – This exercise focuses on the control from your belly while strengthening your butt and thighs. You can see in my video, my hips start to sway a bit. Try laying on your side in a straight line from your shoulders to ankles and use your bottom hand to prop up your head for more support.

Pilates Hundred

Pilates

I am so excited for March Matness! During the month of March, I will be posting mat exercises every few days that you try at home.

March 4th is a little late, but its never to late to start NOW.

My goal is to help you achieve a strong core, good posture, and a healthy mind. It takes some time, but if you follow me along through the month of March, I promise you won’t regret it. Below is the first exercise; The Hundred.

What are the many benefits to The Hundred?

  • Helps create stronger core muscles – those ABS baby!
  • Gets your blood moving FAST- a great warm-up to any exercise
  • Develops trunk stabilization and increases endurance.
  • Increases lung capacity and develops mindful breathing techniques into the back of the ribs.

How do I execute The Hundred?

Lye on your back with your knees bent, soles of your feet flat and your spine in a neutral position (soft, natural arch in your lower back). Keep your arms long by your side with palms facing down. Slowly lift your legs up into a tabletop position while keeping the inner thighs connected and feel your abdominals fire up to protect the maintain the lower back in a neutral position. Reach your fingertips away from your shoulders towards your feet while curling the chest (sternum leads the way) up. Feel your shoulders anchor down your back and relax your neck.

Step-by-step Execution:

Step 1. Inhale (using active breathing) for a count of five, filling the lungs with air. Pump the arms with a slight emphasis on the downward movement – almost like you are pumping them through molasses or peanut butter 😉

Step 5. Exhale for a count of five, continuing to pump arms. Move from the shoulder joint, maintaining a stable torso – AVIOID letting your head and neck bounce.

Step 6. Repeat 10x until you complete a set of 100!