Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sassier Saddle

Exercises that work your butt and thighs?

Here are some of the better exercises that you can do for your butt and thighs.

1. The good old squat
Oh, the squat. How I love and hate you. I love how you make my legs strong and super sassy! I can tackle those subway stairs thanks to you. You give me amazing lower body power.
Make weighted squats the core of your leg workouts but make sure you are practicing good form so you don't hurt your knees.

2. Fast and Furious Hills
I'm going to say this and I know you heard this before up hills fast. You will get lean, strong and sexy legs. Yes sprints burn like crazy but you kill two birds with one stone. You get a killer cardio workout and your legs get toned at the same time! Running up hills is one of the best exercises you can do for your butt and thighs.

3. Yoga
Not everyone is a runner so I want to feature another workout that is very powerful for your gams. Make sure the style you choose is challenging. Think Power Yoga. Also you get to build muscles and work on your flexibility at the same time! 

4. Step ups
This exercise is one of my favs. You will get a really awesome butt and thigh workout if you step up onto a solid surface slightly higher than your knees. You will love the pain. Best of all you don't need any extra equipment!

Here are just some leg and butt exercises that are in my "go to" leg workout program. Find the ones that work for your body. Every one is different and what works for you may not work for someone else. Find what does and really "perfect" your form so you will see results.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't Take It Personally: The Sassy Girl's Guide To Constructive Criticism

“The class was good but I felt so singled out with corrections.”

Sound familiar? Sound like you? I am always surprised when I hear people say statements like this about a workout.  And I don’t get it. As a fitness professional I have people in my classes that don't like to be touched or corrected. I know I shouldn't take it personal, but sometimes I do. EVERYONE can stand to be corrected and here's why...

One of the greatest benefits of a group fitness class with a great instructor is getting corrected. How awesome is it when you are in a small class and you get a lot of attention? It's my favorite time!
Sometimes, one little correction alerts me to something I’ve been doing incorrectly for a very long time. The exercise you thought you were doing right can become a completely new exercise!

Frequently, even though I have been corrected in a certain exercise plenty of times before,  my body just falls back to its old habits. A great instructor will help to remind you what proper form should be. Whether it's a gentle touch on the muscles that are working or a big adjustment to help you feel were the emphasis should be. She or he will help you establish new habits that will help you not only in your workout but in your daily life.

I know corrections can make you feel "off" but that's just because your body isn't accustomed to the adjustment. It's also important to know that as much as you think you've "perfected" a move, there are ALWAYS ways to improve. Your instructor has a different angle to view your body. Trust that she or he knows what they are doing and they are just trying to prevent you from injury. You don't want to be doing something unsafe right?! They are also there to challenge you and help you improve.

I can not stress this enough... It doesn’t matter what shape you are in — every single person can stand to be corrected to be sure they are getting the most effective and safest workout possible. That is the benefit of small classes where the instructors are knowledgeable on proper form! That is one of the reasons they come with a higher price tag. You’re paying to get your best workout, but how can you get it if you aren’t doing things correctly?

I guarantee that you are NOT being singled out though.  I know it can feel frustrating when it seems like you’re doing every exercise wrong, but that is not the case. If you’re someone who gets discouraged by instructors fixing you, try and remember that it’s for your own good, and remember that even the strongest in the class are being corrected as well.

If everyone was perfect during their workout I wouldn't have a job.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fitness Resolutions Stick?

3 weeks ago you were so optismistic. You vowed to be more active in 2013 and you vowed to include your loved ones in your fitness journey. Did you actually do it? If not, no biggie you can make the change now. Here's a reason to renew it -- and bring your mom along, too:
Here's something you've heard before...The more active women are in midlife, the more likely they are to live longer. That means make workout dates with your Mom. For example go hiking together every Sunday. I know distance can be an issue. (It is for me.) If it is for you too I suggest when you are together spend time working out, make her a sassy playlist she can listen to on her next walk or run, give her a gift of fitness by purchasing a class package for her to use at her favorite studio.

Another reason to make sure you should renew your vow to be physically active in 2013. Stress relief. Stress can be a weight obstacle for women. I’m not talking about full on bootcamp workouts (those are fun too, and I highly suggest you try them if you haven’t already) try 4.5 to 8 hours of walking a week. That is enough to bring on the benefit of stress relief. I’m not talking about slow sauntering but kicking things up and walking at a moderate pace.
So go ahead and get moving.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Setting A Sassy Example

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses. We all make them. I hear this excuse a lot. "I Don't Get a Break From the Kids."
Here is my answer: Mulitask. If you are a parent you are amazing at this so this will not be a problem for you.

When you go to the park or your backyard for a workout: Take the kids with you, they can swing while you jumprope.
Instead of using the car go walk the kids to school. Gas is expensive! You save money, get some exercise in and spend time with your kids! How awesome is that?!
Kids are busy and if yours spend time at a field practicing (for example: soccer), walk briskly around the field.

I encourage you to get the whole family involved in physical activity together. Go biking with your kids, put up a badminton net in the yard, sign up as a family for "fun runs," or just walk around the neighborhood with your children. I know it's January so being outside for a long period of time may not happen, try active video games like Dance Dance Revolution (which is my fav), Wii Sport, and Wii Fit.

When mom or dad is fit, everyone wins!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

To Workout or Not Workout....That Is The Question

It is that time of year that it seems like everyone has a cold. Lucky you, you have seemed to "catch" it as well. It can be super aggravating when you have a common cold and not knowing if or how intense you should workout is often a question. When you have the sniffles a spin class may not be the best idea. The best thing you can do is stay flexible with your exercise routine. Know that in general, it is safe to exercise if you have a cold virus. There is no difference in how the body responds to exercising when it is fighting a cold virus. However, if you have an underlying medical condition such as asthma, heart disease, or other medical illnesses, you should check with your doctor first, as exercise may worsen an underlying medical problem.

Say yes to exercise if:‪
• You want to and have the energy.‬‪
• Your symptoms are mild, such as just a runny nose.‬‪
• You have bee
n fever-free for 24 hours.
Just say "NO":
• You have a fever.‬‪
• Your body aches.‬‪
• You have a cough.‬‪
• You have flu symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.‬‪
• You have a cold along with chronic health concerns, such as heart disease or asthma.‬

Please know that sweating does not help get rid of a cold! Only rest and staying hydrated will help you get better.
If you do go to the gym when you're sick or recovering,  do everyone else a favor. Please cover your mouth with a facial tissue when you sneeze or cough, or cough into your shoulder — not your bare hands, which are more likely to spread germs. Immediately go wash your hands.

My # 1 piece of advise when it comes to exercising with a cold: listen to your body, and oblige if you think you need a rest day. You’ll be back in Bootcamp class soon enough Sassy Girl.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mix It Up!

Be honest. How OFTEN do you change up your exercise routines?
Is your answer...every few months?
Is your answer...NEVER?
If you want continuous results and especially if you want to burn fat you have to change your rountine every 4-8 weeks. (This applies to those who have been only training for six months. When you first begin to exercise your body needs time to learn proper exercise technique.)

Ok, Ok I’ll change but why?
Well first your body is smart and adapts really easily. An exercise routine will only work for a short period of time before your body catches on and progress stops. To make sure you don’t plateu do something your body isn’t accustomed to. When your body becomes so energy-efficient performing the usual activity you will actually burn less calories than when you first started the routine.

Here is an example of how to mix your cardio up. I suggest doing something new every 2 weeks.

Sample Weight Loss Plan

Week 1 to 2 - Swimming

Week 3 to 4 - Jump Rope

Week 5 to 6 - Plyometrics

Week 7 to 8 - Sprints

It's insanity to do the same thing over and over and expect results.
Change your routine often to keep making progress.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

All The Right Moves

Wanna save some time and money? If relying on back pain medication is something you do then you might want to think about practiceing yoga DAILY. People who practice yoga experience less back pain.

85% of people suffer from lower back pain at some point in life. Most people go to the doctor for this reason. But did you know that taking a yoga class 2-3 times a week can help to reduce current pain and helps to reduce the risk of suffering from being uncomfortable plus you will probably be in a better mood too! You should also practice at home on the days you can’t make it to class. I suggest at least 30 minutes a day.
What kind of yoga is most effective for this purpose: Iyengar yoga is a style that emphasizes strength and flexibility with the use of props for support. It's a gentle form of yoga that includes restful yoga moves.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Let The Sunshine In

Ugh! My body is feeling a little achy breaky. I’ve felt this way for a month now. Am I sick? What’s the deal? I went to the doc for my annual exam and my doc said “Maybe some extra D in your diet would help put your joints at ease.” Brilliant! I can do that! I thought about what she said and I think that may be the answer. Here’s why:

Since most people have low vitamin D that may be the reason for chronic pain. But getting your blood levels back up could help set things right.
So if you've been suffering from unexplained muscle or bone pain, consider getting your D levels checked.
You might already know that getting too little of the essential nutrient may be tied to a host of other health problems, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain kinds of cancer.

  • Get out a little. The sun is one of the best sources of vitamin D because it helps your body synthesize the nutrient.
  • Savor some salmon. This lean and healthful source of protein is high in D -- as are fortified fruit juices, milk, cereals, and soy products.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


85% of weight loss comes from your eating habits. Yes a great workout helps...a ton.
It’s that time of year when we all decide that in order to be happy “I will lose weight” (I actually hate this resolution. I hate it so much I must not discuss it now. I will save it for another blog post.)
Even though it is winter and it’s easy hide the pounds with layers of sweaters I have some advice for eating during these next few winter months. These tips work wonders for females or males no matter your age.

This first tip is key. No matter what you do make the choice to do this
1.Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily, including one glass before every meal.

I harp on this one alot. I always talk about it because it works.
2.Always have breakfast. It provides energy to your body and brain and keeps you from going into starvation mode and binge-eating later.

This next tip is a must.
3.Schedule time to eat. Plan on three meals and two fruit or veggie snacks every day. Look at your schedule for the day and block out windows of time to eat; "not enough time" is not an excuse. I make sure to eat every 4 hours.

Hands down the best advice I have ever received about eating. I love it so much I want to share it with you.
4.Count to your age before you "cheat." Anytime you find you are about to eat something that's not healthy, count to your age. If you still want a bit after your countdown, feel free; you've made a conscious decision to indulge.

Don’t eat Junk! Just Don’t!
5.Avoid processed snacks. Always try to have a piece of fruit rather than processed snack foods, especially late at night. If fruit alone doesn't cut it, try adding some peanut butter. If you need a sugar fix, nuke a handful of dark chocolate chips in the microwave for a few seconds and dip your fruit into that.
Sounds simple. It is.

Think before you eat! Happy New Year Sassy Girl!