For me hiking is therapeutic, it clears my mind and fills my soul with happiness. I love escaping from the city out into the peaceful surroundings of nature, exploring somewhere new and being amazed by the beautiful views around each corner. I always come back from a hike feeling rejuvenated. With all that being said, hiking is also an amazing workout! You don’t need to always hit the gym to get a great workout in. Hiking is great for building muscle endurance and increasing your cardiovascular abilities. I realize that not everyone has hiking trails where they live, but if you do, take advantage of this great form of movement and get out and HIKE!
Here Are My
BENEFITS OF HIKING!
Challenges your lower body strength and endurance. Specifically your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. The steeper the climb the more you are going to work those legs!If you are carrying a pack, you will also work those upper body muscle too.
Boost your bone density. Walking/hiking is a great form of a weight-bearing exercising. It’s important that you incorporate some kind of weight-bearing exercising throughout your week, this will encourages healthy bone structure and reduces the chances of osteoporosis.
Improve your mood. Being in nature is engrained in our DNA and we sometimes forget that. Hiking in nature will help you feel closer to nature and it’s natural rhythms which may increase your happiness and help you feel more fulfilled.
Improve your balance. The rugged and varied terrain of most hiking trails forces your body to stabilize itself, in time improving your balance and co-ordination.
Gain a feeling of achievement. A difficult hike like a steep hill or mountain can make you feel like you’ve achieved something more table than completing a circuit class at the gym. There is something empowering about getting to the top of a big hill or mountain. You are usually rewarded with some kind beautiful view too.
I was at a fitness convention a month ago, and one of the session I went to was a talk by Brendon Burchard. I did not know this man, but after listening to him I thought to myself, I need to learn more from him and learn more about him! I’ve spent the last month watching many of his youtube videos, which has honestly been a great way to start off my day and get my mind in the right place.
In the video below he talks about what he believes is the 4 cornerstones of achievement. We all want to achieve something, right? How many times in your life have you stated that you wanted to do something, but have never been able to reach that goal? We’ve all been there and we need to stop saying “this is what I want for myself” but never actually getting there because something always comes in the way. You can’t just say you want something and not have plan or put forth any work towards what you want.
4 Cornerstones of Achievement
You need to have deep desire to move the needle of your life forward. What’s your vision and what do you want out of life? You need to desire to have that journey that you need to go on to get to where you want to be.
You need have a plan of how you’re going to reach your desires/goals. Be a student in life and a master of information on what you desire.
You have to WORK for what you want. High level of discipline everyday. Set up habits that keep you on track towards your desires and goals. You can not be afraid to work for what you want. You don’t see any high level achievers who doesn’t have some kind of discipline. They are committed to their habits and practices that positively support them on their path to their goals. Don’t make disciplines in your life a negative things, but it should be a joyful habit of pressuring your dreams.
You need to manage all of those distraction that will get in your way of achieving your desires and goals. Minimize and remove all distractions.
You don’t always need equipment to get a good total body workout in. This workout uses only your body weight and some stairs. There are a total of 3 circuits that you will repeat 2-3 times. If you are new to exercise start with repeating each circuit only 1X. Enjoy the workout and have fun!
Sleek & Strong Body Weight Circuit
- Warm-Up for 10 minutes.
- Repeat the full circuit, 30 seconds each exercise.
- Rest for 60 seconds after the circuit is completed.
- Repeat the circuit 3-4X
- Move to the next 2 circuits and repeat the same process.
- Cool down and stretch.
Step By Step Instructions
Bulgarian Split Squat: Begin by placing the toes of your right foot on the stairs, with your left leg straight. Make sure your left foot is out far enough so that when you lower your hips, your knee stays directly over your ankle. Bend your left knee, squeeze your right glute, and lower your pelvis toward the ground. Press your left heel into the ground to straighten your left knee. Repeat this movement for the full time.
Superwoman Push-Up: Start in a plank position. Slowly lower your body down to the mat, pull your elbows back squeezing your shoulder blades down and together, your leg comes up as you tighten your butt. Keep your abs engaged to protect your lower back. Lower your arms and legs to the mat, placing your palms by your shoulders. Engage your abs and push your body up into a full plank. Repeat this movement for the full time.
Stair Runs: Start with your right foot on the first stair and left foot is on the ground in front of the stairs. Quickly switch your feet at the same time as your left foot comes to the top of the stair and your right foot is on the ground. Quickly repeat this movement for the full time.High Knees With a Twist: Stand with your feet hip width apart with your arms in front of you. Quickly bring your right knee towards your chest, as you twist your upper body towards the right knee. Bring the right leg down, then bring your left knee up and towards your chest as you twist your upper body towards the left knee. Quickly repeat this step for the full time. Tricep Dips: Position your hands shoulder-width apart on the stair behind you. Move your butt in front of the stairs with your legs bent and feet placed about hip-width distance apart on the floor. Straighten out your arms. Slowly bend your elbows and lower your upper body down toward the floor until your arms are at about a 90-degree angle. Your elbows should de pointed straight behind you. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position. Repeat this movement for the full time.Prisoner Squat: Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Place your fingers on the back of your head. Squat down by bringing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. Repeat this movement for the full time.Inverted Hamstring: Stand on your left leg while your right knee is bent at 90 degrees in front of you. Slowly bend at your hips and lower your torso until it’s parallel to the floor and your right knee comes behind you and straightens out. As you bend over, raise your arms straight out from your sides until they’re in line with your torso, your palms facing down. Your right leg should stay in line with your body as you lower your torso. Return to the start. Repeat this movement on the same side for the full amount of time, then switch sides. Plank Oblique Crunch: Bring your body into a plank position. Slowly bring your right leg to the side of your body, then keeping your knee bent bring it towards you right elbow. As your knee comes to your elbow crunch your torso to that same side while bending at your hips. Come back to the starting position. Repeat this movement on the same side for the full time, then switch sides.Squat Jumps: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms in front of you. Start with a regular squat, then jump up as explosively as you can. When you land, lower your body back into the squat position to complete one rep. Make sure you land toe – ball – heal. Try not to let your shoulders lean out beyond your knees as this can strain and injure your back. Quickly repeat this movement for the full amount of time.
OK everyone, here is round two of your ab attack workout using the medicine ball. This one is going to require a little more coordination and core stability to perform the moves. Have fun, you should definitely feel this one when you’re done with the workout.
- Warm-up 5-10 minutes.
- 60 seconds each exercise.
- No rest in-between.
- 1-2 minute rest after completing the full set.
- Repeat circuit 2-4 times.
* I would suggest using a 4- 8 pound medicine ball. If you are new to exercising please make sure you warm-up, watch your form and start with only 30 seconds each exercise.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent, holding a medicine ball in front of you. Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the floor. Bring your left knee toward your chest while straightening your right leg. Pass the medicine ball under your left leg, then bend your right knee toward your chest while straightening your left leg. Pass the medicine ball under your right leg. Repeat for 60 seconds. * If you have difficulty balancing on your glutes, touch the foot of the straight leg to the floor during the passes until you can develop that core strength and balance.
Start in a Plank position with your hands balancing on the ball. Bring your right knee towards the ball, then back to the starting position. Quickly bring you left knee towards the ball, then back to starting position. Repeat for 60 seconds in a quick motion. * Try to keep you body in plank position the entire time without rocking from side to side as you switch your legs. High Knee Crunch:
Stand with feet hip width apart, arms are above your head holding the ball with both hands. Using your core muscle quickly bring your knee towards your chest and ball towards your lifted knee. The ball should come down and a controlled fast motion. Tighten your abs as your knee comes towards your chest. *Make sure you are not using you leg muscle, but are focusing on your abs when you lift and crunch.
Plank Triangle Pass:
Start in a plank position, bring your right arm to the side of your body while balancing on the ball. With your hand still on the ball bring your arm up and across in a triangle shape to the left side. Take your right hand off the ball and bring it back to your right side. Do the same motion with your left hand. Repeat both side for 60 seconds. *You will be moving the ball in a triangle shape motion from one side to the other. Make sure you keep you body stable while you move the ball. Tucks:
Start with the ball above your head and feet a few inches off the ground. Lift you knees up and towards your chest while bringing the ball above your knees. Extend you arms and feet back out again. Repeat for 60 seconds. *Repeat this in a slow and controlled motion. When your arms and legs are stretch out make sure you core is tighten which should help you protect your low back.
I love eating and cooking with this delicious and nutritious white beauty! Cauliflower has a subtle low-key flavor which might be boring by itself, but when added to other spices or paired with a dip, it seems to light up with flavor. I love using it as a substitute for many different dishes like pizza crust, hamburger buns, mashed potatoes, sauces and soups. I seriously think the possibilities are endless when in comes to using cauliflower.
So, why should you eat this stuff?
- Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable – such as kale, broccoli and cabbage. These vegetables are great for cancer prevention because they provide powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
- Cauliflower is a great detoxifier.
- Cauliflowers is an anti-inflammatory. The anti-inflammatory properties come from the Omega-3 fatty acids and high levels of vitamin K.
- Cauliflower is a wonderful source of vitamin C. 1 cup of steamed cauliflower provides about 90% of the recommended daily amount.
- Cauliflower is an excellent source of folate & fiber. It has 9 grams of fiber for every 100 calories!
- Cauliflower is a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development.
What kind of cauliflower should I cook with?
- White cauliflower is the most common color you will find and it works great with all the recipes. You will also find a variety of different colors, each color will have a subtle flavor difference. Try using the different colors to make your dish even more colorful. With the different colors you will also find that each of them have a slightly different nutrient content due to its color.
- Try these other colors – Purple, Orange and Green.
- Purple – Cooks a little faster than white and has a slightly milder flavor. It’s color comes from anthocyacins, which is the same cancer fighting phytonutrients found in beets, blueberries and raisins. It is also higher in Vitamin A than white cauliflower. When you eat or drink phytonutrients, they may help prevent disease and keep your body working properly.
- Orange – Taste a little sweeter, milder and creamier than white cauliflower. Orange cauliflower has 25% more beta-carotene than white. The human body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A (retinol) – beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A. We need vitamin A for healthy skin and mucus membranes, our immune system, and good eye health and vision.
- Green – A cross between cauliflower and broccoli. When it is cooked it taste more like broccoli.
1 Medium Head (5-6 inches in diameter)
Total Fat 1.6 g
Sodium 176 mg
Potassium 1,758 mg
Total Carbohydrate 29 g
Dietary fiber 12 g
Sugar 11 g
Protein 11 g
For the next week I will post 3 or more NEW cauliflower recipes for you to try! If you’ve never tried cooking with cauliflower before, it’s time for you to get out of your comfort zone and experiment with some of these recipes. If you just want to incorporate cauliflower into your diet without trying to make anything fancy, try eating it raw with humus, lightly steam it, roast it in the oven or lightly sauté it in olive oil or butter.
I believe in order to make your day a positive and successful one, you need to first begin each morning setting your day up for happiness and success. If you wake up stressed, grumpy and dreading the day, you will most likely spend the rest of your day in that same state of mind. Happiness or being positive does not come naturally and easy for everyone, so it’s important that you are conscious about doing things that bring positiveness into your life. Our THOUGHTS create our EMOTIONS! Since you have the power to control your thoughts and emotions (even though it may not seem like it at times), you also have the power to start you day off on a positive note each and every day.
My challenge for you is to pick 2-3 of these to practice for the next couple of weeks. Start making the ones you chose a habit in your morning routine and see how your day might change. I believe it will definitely change for the better if you are open to starting your day out with positive habits that will set you up for success.
1. Practice Gratitude Every Morning.
Whether you spend each morning writing down 3-5 things you’re grateful for or you talk to the one you love about what your grateful for, it makes a huge difference to spend that time focusing on things that make you happy and fulfilled in life. It can be anything as simple as a beautiful sunset, the sound of your children laughing, a good cup of coffee or a friend who helped you out. Many of us get caught up in the cycle of negative thinking, and forget to remember how good we may actually have it.
2. Get Up & Move.
There is something about starting your day off moving your body whether your outside running or practicing yoga in the comfort of you home. Moving or exercising can be anything you love doing that gets your body moving and heart pumping. Exercise releases endorphins, which is a feel good hormone, who doesn’t want some of those!!! Willpower is also the strongest in the morning, so the likelihood of you getting out later in the day can be slim due to that fact that life can get in the way, and sometimes the last things you want to do after work is exercise. So, schedule in your excise time and get it done in the morning.
3. Stay Off Social Media.
I found myself getting in the habit each morning of looking on social media right when I woke up, silly right! I’m not saying that you should not look at social media, but it shouldn’t be the first thing your thoughts go to each morning. If you need to read something, read a good book or article instead.
4. Spend Some Time Mediating.
Once you get into meditation routine you may feel your life becoming more peaceful, feel more in-tune with your body and surroundings, have a greater sense of being and have the ability to focus on what you need and want in life. I am in no way a seasoned meditator, but I have found that on the morning I do try to meditate it seems to help my day run smoother and I feel more at peace.
5. Read An Inspiring Book Or Article.
Reading something inspiring and motivating in the morning is bound to get you revved up and ready to tackle the day, there are also many podcast that are great to listen too also. It’s important to constantly strive to keep learning and being inspired each and every day. Stretch and grow your mind each morning. Find something that inspires you and spend some time reading it or listening to it.
6. Enjoy Your Surrounds & Breath In The Fresh Air.
I realize that we all live in different surrounding. Anything from bustling cities, beautiful suburbs and quite countryside. Wherever you live, try to find the beauty in it and ENJOY it! Get outside for a moment and breathe slowly and appreciate the beautiful earth you live in. If you live in a city that does not have fresh air, just pretend it is fresh air you’re breathing in. 🙂
7. Spend Time Making A Healthy Breakfast.
In order for your mind and body to work properly you need to fuel yourself with the right food. You body can not run on garbage for long, so don’t rush out the door with a donut in your hand, but take a few minutes and actually make yourself a nutritious breakfast. Your body will thank you.
8. Wake Up In A Clean Room.
When your surroundings are cluttered, your mind feels cluttered. Clean up your room and you will notice the energy in your room feeling more peaceful and calm. If if struggle with messiness, try taking simple steps, like hanging your towel up right after you shower or never leaving for work unless you bed is made. I am a mom of 4 kids and messiness can be common at my home, but I find that I am happier when my house is clean and organized.
9. Forget About The Mistakes Of Yesterday.
We all sometimes dwell on the past and all of our shortcoming. We think about what we DID NOT do yesterday, instead of focusing on what we WILL DO today. We may of had complete failures yesterday, but today is a new day for success and adventures.
10. Write Down Some Micro Goals.
I am a big believe in goals. There is something about writing them down and accomplishing them throughout the day. It’s important to make them simple. These are micro goals, nothing that can’t be accomplished during the day, but something that challenges you and makes you a better person. Some of the most successful people start their day with a list of what they need to do. Benjamin Franklin started his day off with a list of what he wanted to accomplished throughout the day. If you look below you can see his list. I love that the questions he asked himself each morning “What good shall I do this Day?” and in the evening he asked “What good have I done today?” Make sure some of the goals you put down are ones that will help you and others around you.
11. Ask Yourself “How Can I Make This Day Amazing?”
It’s a simple question, but it’s so powerful. By simply asking yourself “How can I make today amazing?” you make yourself realize that you are in control of how your day goes and how you feel about it. Then, do the things to make it amazing! Sounds kind of silly right, but who cares! The more you focus on yourself and constantly making your life better the more it will actually become the amazing life you strive for.
12. Begin Each Day With A Smile.
Simple, if you wake up frowning and grumpy that frown will most likely stay the rest of the day. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, look at yourself in the mirror and force a smile out and eventually a real one just might appear, and stay too.
What does your breakfast usually look like, are you pulling out the cereal or grabbing for the muffins and donuts? If you are eating a quick and unhealthy breakfast each morning, then it’s time to change. Start your day off right with something that’s going to give you energy, not leave you needing more energy later on in the day. With just a little extra time in the mornings you can make a delicious and nutrition meal. If you’re short on time each morning, try prepping the night before to save on time.
This smoothie is a great idea for breakfast. Not only does it taste good, but it’s packed full of nutritious ingredients. The avocado is full of good fats which will help keep you full. The ginger and lemon are great for detoxifying you body. Ginger helps cleanse the body by stimulating digestion, circulation and sweating. Its digestive actions may help cleanse the build-up of waste and toxins in the colon, liver and other organs. WOW, makes you want to eat more ginger, right? The banana will add some carbs to boost your energy and replenish any depleted energy stores that might have been lost throughout the night. And the last but not least, the greens, blueberries and cucumbers are packed full of vitamins and minerals.
- Add all of the ingredients below into a blender.
- Blend until everything is completely smooth.
- Drink up and ENJOY!!!
Nutrition and hydration are two crucial factors that set you up for success when it come to your workouts. It’s important that you fuel your body pre and post workout with proper nutrition so you can get the most out of you workouts with the energy you need and help rebuild your muscle after you have broken them down.
Pre-Workout Snacks or Meal
Try these snacks 30-60 minutes before you exercise. You need a combination of easily digestible carbs and a healthy source of protein. The carbohydrates are going to help you get a quick fuel boost and the protein will initiate muscle recovery. If you have stomach problems when you eat before you exercise, then choose a smaller snack or try a snack 60 minutes before your workout. It’s important to listen to your body and what works best for you.
Organic Greek yogurt and fresh berries
Bananas & almond butter
Handful of nuts with unsweetened coconut shreds or a small amount of raisins.
Natural fruit leather
Hardboiled eggs with a side of fruit
Organic cottage cheese & melons
Small protein shake
Half of an avocado on 1 slice of bread or rice cake (choose a gluten free, spouted, or organic bread and a natural rice cake)
Post-Workout Snacks or Meal
Make sure you time your post workout snack or meal appropriately. You need to replenish the muscles you have just broken down to help them recover faster and aid in the building up of your muscle fibers. Carbohydrates will help replenish your glycogen (energy) stores which you may have used up during your workout. Be sure to recharge with plenty of healthy protein and some form of carbohydrate 20-60 minutes after you workout. The size of your post-workout meal/snack will depend on how hard or long you exercised and the time of day.
Grilled chicken and sweet potato
grilled shrimp and brown rice
Tuna or sardines on a salad
Lentil or bean soup
Hummus & veggie sticks
Almond butter & banana sandwich (choose a gluten free, spouted, organic bread or a natural rice cake)
Dates & nut butter.
I am a mother of 4 adorable little kids and unless I am waking up at 5:00 a.m. to exercise, finding time to get it in can be difficult. There have been many times where my exercise session are with the kids and I actually really enjoy these times. Teaching my kids to get up and move is priceless to me. Most of the time my kids don’t even realize we are exercising, but they think we are just having fun playing games, and that’s the point of it. It’s a great way to bond, laugh and play with your kids while getting your body up and moving.
20 Ways To Exercise With Your Kids
1. Carry your own weight
If you are lifting weights have your kids join you. Giving them an appropriate weight teach them the moves you are doing. Younger kids can use bean bags, wooden blocks, or water bottles. Count together as you lift and you’re practicing numbers too!
2. Dance it out
This is one of our favorites in our house, plus it may be the easiest way to exercise with children. Pump up the music and dance. Do it vigorously enough and it gives you a cardiovascular workout. You can even put in an aerobic dance video and call it a dance party.
3. Frisbee throw
Have your kids throw a ball or Frisbee as far as they can then you sprint after the ball or Frisbee and then sprint back to them. If they can not throw very far try jumping, running backwards or lunging to the ball.
4. Crab walk
Go out side and pretend you are all crabs and have crab wars. You do this by getting in a crab walk position then try to tip the other crab over with your legs. My boys love this one, but it not suitable for younger kids. Try just a plan old crab walk with the young ones.
5. Hang on front squat
This exercise always seems to turn into a full on competition with my kids. Who can hang on the longest, by the time they have all had their fill of hanging on to me while I do my squats my legs are usually exhausted. You perform this by having one of your kids hang on to you by wrapping their arms around your neck (not to tight, so you don’t choke) and there legs will wrap around your hips. You can either have them in front or behind, try mixing it up each time. Then having GOOD form go down into a squat with out holding your kids and see how many you can do before them have to let go.
6. Weighted push ups
Get in push up position and have one of your little kids climb on your back and hang on as you perform as many push up as you can with good form.
7. Run, walk, bike – scavenger hunt game
Go running, walking or biking with your kids in a stroller, bike trailer or even running or biking right beside you. Make a game out of it and have the kids try to find different landmarks or items along the way.
Get OUTSIDE!!!! I love going for hikes with my kids. I realize that sometimes hiking at your kids pace can seem like a snails pace, so stop enjoy the scenery, do a couple of cardio bust like jumping jacks or burpees, then move again. You can also get your kids jumping from rock to rock while you perform some front lunges on the rocks.
9. Go to a track
You can run around the track or do some speed and interval training while your kids play in the middle of the field. You can also have your kids time you. They hold the stop watch as you run around. Encourage them to cheer you on while you run.
10. Wall sit contest
Have a contest with your to and see who can perform wall sits the longest.
11. Jump on the tramp
Get out there and jump away!
12. Play a family game of soccer
This is another regular occurrence at our house. You would be amazed at how fast your can get your heart pumping while playing soccer with your kids.
13. Make an obstacle course
You can make one inside or out, create one that requires you to jump over and crawl through objects.
14. Go to a pool
Let the kids swim with life jackets while you wade in water. Try running, swinging your legs out and in or doing scissors in the pool.
15. Kids yoga video
There is a bunch of great yoga kids video out there. If you don’t want to buy one try your local library.
16. Horsing around
Put one of your kids on your back and run back and forth as fast as your can for 1-2 minutes, then rest for 1.5 minutes. Repeat this 6-10 times depending on your fitness level.
17. You pick the move
This is a game where each of your kids get the chance to pick a crazy move that you all do for 1 minute. During that minute you do the move your kids picked with all your heart, you’re going to look silly, but this is about moving and getting your heart going!
18. Play the WII or Xbox Kinnect
So, I am usually really opposed to letting my kids play video games, but there are some games out there that gets you up and moving. We have a Kinnect and the kids love playing the Olympics games as a family.
19. Jump Rope
Bust out your old jump rope and teach your kids how it was done when you were a kid (if you even did jump rope) I have one in my studio that I use on clients and my kids love getting it out.
20. Freeze Tag
This is another favorite of ours, the good old game of freeze tag. We love playing this at a play ground, the best part is that there is so many things that you can run around, jump over or crawl through. It’s a great way to get your body moving in different planes of motion.