Tag Archives: exercise

Happiness through Neighboring

iGnite - The purpose of lifePoint to Ponder:
What aspect of your life brings you the most happiness?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Currently I am reading a very interesting book called The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon. It’s an easy read and pretty common sense, but I’m completely hooked and fascinated. Based on the title you’ve probably figured out that the book is about how to be a good neighbor, but more important is the why — why it is critical to our society that we be good neighbors.

In the first chapter, a group of ministers in the Denver, Colorado area met with their city mayor to learn how they could help serve the city. The mayor responded: “The majority of the issues our community is facing would be eliminated or drastically reduced if we could just figure out a way to become a community of great neighbors.” He then added, “Government programs aren’t always the most effective way to address social issues. Relationships are more important than programs because they are organic and ongoing. The idea is that when neighbors are in relationship with one another, the elderly shut-in gets cared for by the person next door, the at-risk kid gets mentored by a dad who lives on the block, and so on.”

Honestly, I haven’t made it past the first chapter because I am continuing to contemplate just that paragraph. Of course the mayor is right. In theory it sounds so simple, but it appears that societally we are way off.

Ironically, while reading The Art of Neighboring, I came upon an interesting article in SUCCESS Magazine by Patty Onderko called Oh, Happy Day. The article states that research has found that happy people are healthier, live longer, give back more to their communities, cultivate stronger family and social ties and even make more money. The article also lists these ten evidence-based ways to be happy (by actionforhappiness.org):

  1. Giving: Do things for others
  2. Relating: Connecting with people
  3. Exercising: Take care of your body
  4. Appreciating: Notice the world around you
  5. Trying Out: Keep learning new things
  6. Direction: Have a goal to look forward to
  7. Resilience: Find ways to bounce back
  8. Emotion: Take a positive approach
  9. Acceptance: Be comfortable with who you are
  10. Meaning: Be part of something bigger

After reading this article I began thinking about the time in my life when food and exercise consumed all of my thoughts. I was constantly calculating fat and calories, thinking about my next meal and never allowed myself the pleasure of a splurge — at least without a five to ten mile run to follow. I was obsessed with the scale and a one to three pound weight increase would sabotage my day. It was also during a time when I was younger, worked in a gym and was surrounded by mirrors. It’s interesting because looking back I can see that the harder I worked out and the more restrictive my diet was, the more my body literally fought back. I was out of balance, my priorities were out of line, my focus was too inward and therefore my body (and I) was not happy. It wasn’t until I had a literal mental and spiritual shift, got outside of myself, and realized that life was much bigger and more meaningful than a number on a scale or the size of my clothes, that my whole body became happy. Ironically, I stopped exercising as much, I didn’t eat “perfectly,” and I rested more, yet my body felt better and performed better — all the while the size of my clothes stayed the same. I’ve since ditched the scale.

You may be wondering, “Neissa, what in the world do neighboring, being happy, and diet and exercise have to do with one another?” The answer is everything. Happiness cannot be achieved from being primarily inward-focused. For sure it’s easier and feels safer to be focused on ourselves, our families and our homogeneous circles, but true happiness comes from living for and in the things that are bigger than ourselves. Could it be possible that there’s a real connection between our society being the most wealthy it’s ever been, while simultaneously unhappiness and neighborly love are on the decline?

For me, there was a time when my idol was my body. Other idols that can prevent us from living outwardly and being neighborly are our children, family, work, social circles, wealth, television, social media — anything that causes us to live inward and be “me-focused.” As the wonderful quote above suggests, the ultimate goal is to be useful, honorable and compassionate, a.k.a. being a good neighbor, which in my opinion produces ultimate happiness!

Action Item:
Do something for a neighbor who you have never met or interacted with before. This could be baking cookies, writing a note, knocking on their door to say hello — anything!

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4 Moves to Release Tension in the Neck & Shoulders Using a Tennis Ball

If we feel tight or tense anywhere, it’s often in our neck, shoulders and upper back. Yoga leaders Amy Younkman and Cary Fyfe share 4 fantastic and easy ways you can use simple tennis balls to release that tension from the comfort of your own home or even while traveling.

 

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Member Spotlight: Leslie McConnico

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iGniter of  7.5 years
Roots:
I am a true native Austinite, born and raised as we say. I have lived here almost all of my life with the exception of some college and for a short time in Houston. I love the city and it just keeps getting better.
Family Life:
I have been married to Steve for 22 years. Steve has two “boys”, Kit (33) and Andrew (30). Andrew is married to a wonderful woman, Caitlin, and they live in Seattle. Andrew is a landscape architect with a commercial firm, and Caitlin is in Public Health. Kit lives in Austin and does sports announcing for college games and professional soccer teams. He also has a radio show on The Horn. Steve and I have a daughter, Callie, who is a junior at Hamilton College in upstate New York. We have lots of fun together, but I’m not sure if and when I’ll get her back to Austin!
Work life:
I retired from Stuart Title Guaranty Company soon after marrying Steve. I was the Director of Communications for their national office. With two boys at home, managing their activities, and becoming pregnant 4 months after getting married, we decided it was best for our family.
Biggest lesson learned through my iGnite experience:
I can do more than I think I can. It is so good to have positive reinforcements and cheering coaches. They have made me better at some things and pushed me to a new level. I also enjoy the women of the group–who knew exercising could be so much fun and rewarding!
Best advice given:
“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” -Don Williams Jr. (American Novelist and Poet, b. 1968) I really have to try and keep this in my head. I am such a planner, which can be a very good thing, but I forget to take everything in and enjoy the moment and the journey.
What I like to do in my free time:
I love to read and travel. Those are my hobbies with a little Mah Jongg thrown in. I think I caught the travel bug from my mother! We are going to the Amazon for 9 days in June.
My favorite color is:
Orange. My daughter says its because when I attended Camp Waldemar I was a Comanche, and their color is orange. There might be something to this, but I am drawn to the color in clothes, fruits, shoes and nature. It makes me happy.

How to Maximize Nature’s Body Benefits

maximize_natures_benefits

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

Given that we are so big on exercising outdoors, here are 4 ways to maximize nature’s benefits:

  1. GET OUTSIDE! People who get outdoors have lower BMI’s (meaning they have less body fat) than those who don’t, according to a report in PLOS One. Getting outdoors also has a strong stabilizing effect on your body clock, which regulates metabolism and energy levels.
  2. MAKE QUICKY JAUNTS ALL DAY: A mere five minutes of being in fresh air can improve your mood and self-esteem, according to a study in Environmental Science and Technology. Your goal is to take a mini blue-sky break 3 to 4 times a day. Just looking at natural landscapes increases activity in the areas of the brain that control happy memories and stress reduction, found researchers from Chonnam University.
  3. LET YOURSELF FEEL CHILLY! As soon as you start to feel the cold, the weight-loss perks of outdoor time kick in!  Temperatures of 63 degrees and lower will both increase activity in brown fat (the “good” calorie-burning kind), and have been linked to reductions in total body fat, according to research from Japan and the Netherlands.
  4. EXERCISE IN FRESH AIR! Nature can motivate! When you exercise outdoors, you tend to work harder and feel more powerful than when you work out inside, a study in Psychology of Sports and Exercise reports. Your immunity gets a boost from outdoor activity, too: walking in wooded areas can even increase the function of cancer-fighting white blood cells, according to research from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo.

I hope to see you this week, and if not, be sure to get outdoors!

Keep moving,
Kathleen

Source: 
Ketchiff, Mirel. “Live Healthy: Slim, Happy, Calm,” Shape.

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Putting Your Gratitude in Writing

afterlight-2

“There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.”

Point to Ponder:
What things are you grateful for?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

I don’t know about you but I am having a really fun time with our #gratefulgram challenge. I do not find it challenging to post something I am grateful for each day, rather I am finding it difficult to post only one thing that I am grateful for each day. The study I referenced in last week’s journal suggesting that expressing gratitude releases the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine is playing out exactly as the study said it would for me. The more I express gratitude, the more grateful I feel! And interestingly, last week was busy so I was up very early each morning so I could get a head start on the day. Now that I think about it, I had no problem getting up and moving and I absolutely think this early morning energy is directly related to my looking for the positive in each day.

Because expressing gratitude has instant positive impact on our lives and the lives of everyone around us, this week we encourage you to take the time to write down exactly what you are grateful for. If you attend any of our classes this week, we will provide you with the opportunity to physically write down what you are grateful for. If you are unable to attend class, print out the handout at home, fill it out and post it somewhere you can see it everyday. I promise this gratitude exercise will ignite your spirit and leave you feeling blessed and amazing!

Finally, if you are like me, sometimes I find myself hesitant to express certain things I am grateful for, simply because they seem silly or superficial. However, where there’s gratitude there is a grateful spirit that is spreading goodness in the world. So, I encourage you to not judge what you are grateful for and just write it down, as our iGnite leaders did below.

“I am grateful for…

…bicycles.”

"I am grateful for bicycles! Mine, my husband's, and my kids' bikes! My husband commutes to/from work every day by bike, about 35 miles round trip, and he arrives home every evening already having exercised, feeling refreshed and energized from his second "workout" of the day, and ready mentally, truly "present" and "turned on," for his family. My kids also commute by bike to/from school, and our ride home together every afternoon is my favorite part of the day; as we enjoy cycling through our neighborhood, they tell me about school and friends, we "race" and do "stunts" (all completely safe ;)), and we laugh and connect with each other in a way that just can't happen in a car. Of course we also enjoy family bike rides to/from town lake and/or our neighborhood parks on the weekends. Cycling is such an important part of my family’s daily routine, and it adds so much to our quality of life, that I can't imagine life without our bikes!" -Alli

“I am grateful for bicycles! Mine, my husband’s, and my kids’ bikes! My husband commutes to/from work every day by bike, about 35 miles round trip, and he arrives home every evening already having exercised, feeling refreshed and energized from his second “workout” of the day, and ready mentally, truly “present” and “turned on,” for his family. My kids also commute by bike to/from school, and our ride home together every afternoon is my favorite part of the day; as we enjoy cycling through our neighborhood, they tell me about school and friends, we “race” and do “stunts” (all completely safe ;)), and we laugh and connect with each other in a way that just can’t happen in a car. Of course we also enjoy family bike rides to/from town lake and/or our neighborhood parks on the weekends. Cycling is such an important part of my family’s daily routine, and it adds so much to our quality of life, that I can’t imagine life without our bikes!” -Alli

…yellow roses.”

"I am grateful for 32 years of receiving yellow roses from the love of my life!"  -Amy

“I am grateful for 32 years of receiving yellow roses from the love of my life!” -Amy

…music.”

"I am so thankful for music, especially music that is at least 140 BPM and makes you want to dance your heart out, fling your hair back while the sweat rolls off your back and dance like no one is watching! I am thankful for music that makes me think I can sing, even though my children have differing opinions. I am grateful for the music that allows my beautiful daughter to dance. I am thankful for the bass, because 'It’s All About the Bass!' "  -Betty

“I am so thankful for music, especially music that is at least 140 BPM and makes you want to dance your heart out, fling your hair back while the sweat rolls off your back and dance like no one is watching! I am thankful for music that makes me think I can sing, even though my children have differing opinions. I am grateful for the music that allows my beautiful daughter to dance. I am thankful for the bass, because ‘It’s All About the Bass!’ ” -Betty

…laughter.”

"Laughter, plain and simple...that is one thing for which I am crazy thankful. Laughter lifts, and it eases. It cleanses and it soothes. It fills you up and carries you away from the nooks and crannies of life that you might prefer not to be in at the moment. It sings to your heart like pearl-coated raindrops. Laughing is a full-body and soul experience, radiating and erupting from a place so deep inside you that you can't even say where, it's just all over -- it's true, watch your body the next time you laugh! And the other little thing I’m thankful for — laughter is best when it's shared."  -Cary

“Laughter, plain and simple…that is one thing for which I am crazy thankful. Laughter lifts, and it eases. It cleanses and it soothes. It fills you up and carries you away from the nooks and crannies of life that you might prefer not to be in at the moment. It sings to your heart like pearl-coated raindrops. Laughing is a full-body and soul experience, radiating and erupting from a place so deep inside you that you can’t even say where, it’s just all over — it’s true, watch your body the next time you laugh! And the other little thing I’m thankful for — laughter is best when it’s shared.” -Cary

…books.”

"I am thankful for BOOKS and the freedom they give me to learn about absolutely anything I want! An evening spent wandering around a bookstore picking up anything that strikes my fancy and thumbing through the pages just makes my heart sing, I can’t imagine not having that ability!"  -Catherine

“I am thankful for BOOKS and the freedom they give me to learn about absolutely anything I want! An evening spent wandering around a bookstore picking up anything that strikes my fancy and thumbing through the pages just makes my heart sing, I can’t imagine not having that ability!” -Catherine

…my health and fitness.”

"I am grateful for my health and fitness! I think this is something we all easily take for granted until it's gone... I am so thankful to be able to teach and participate in iGnite and that I can do so many activities because of my strength and fitness abilities! Life would be so different without that and I am always thinking how grateful and fortunate I am to be strong and fit. Specially being able to rock climb like on the Monarch Escape after never doing it in my life…"  -Jill

“I am grateful for my health and fitness! I think this is something we all easily take for granted until it’s gone… I am so thankful to be able to teach and participate in iGnite and that I can do so many activities because of my strength and fitness abilities! Life would be so different without that and I am always thinking how grateful and fortunate I am to be strong and fit. Specially being able to rock climb like on the Monarch Escape after never doing it in my life…” -Jill

…my boat.”

"I am thankful for my boat. It brings me so much joy! It also brings Brad and I so many fun date nights and afternoons together. Bonding friendships have started on the boat and are still blossoming. It is also a place of adventure! Trying new things on the water is exhilarating! Just gliding across the water on a ski, wake board or surf board makes my heart sing!! It is a family gathering place where everyone loves to meet for the day. Did you know if you are ON, IN or NEAR WATER you are 90% happier??!! It is true! I am so thankful for our beautiful Lake Austin!"  -Kathleen

“I am thankful for my boat. It brings me so much joy! It also brings Brad and I so many fun date nights and afternoons together. Bonding friendships have started on the boat and are still blossoming. It is also a place of adventure! Trying new things on the water is exhilarating! Just gliding across the water on a ski, wake board or surf board makes my heart sing!! It is a family gathering place where everyone loves to meet for the day. Did you know if you are ON, IN or NEAR WATER you are 90% happier??!! It is true! I am so thankful for our beautiful Lake Austin!” -Kathleen

…arabesques.”

"I am grateful for arabesques! I know this sounds weird, but growing up a dancer and still a closet one, some of my best times with my family are posing and attempting to do arabesques! This pose is currently a challenge with my back, but still brings a smile to my face as I see my girls develop theirs. So, I guess what I am really grateful for is time, time to enjoy the little things."  -Meg

“I am grateful for arabesques! I know this sounds weird, but growing up a dancer and still a closet one, some of my best times with my family are posing and attempting to do arabesques! This pose is currently a challenge with my back, but still brings a smile to my face as I see my girls develop theirs. So, I guess what I am really grateful for is time, time to enjoy the little things.” -Meg

…our condo.”

"I am grateful for the condo and location of our condo where Clayton and I live. I am so grateful my parents chose to keep it and not sell it so that we could live here until we are ready to buy a house. I tend to question Clayton a lot and ask "When are we going to buy a house?" Can we afford to do it soon?", even though I know we've discussed this topic numerous times and came up with a timeline, which is not now. :) (I am "trusting the process" and learning to enjoy it!) I know I am blessed to live in central Austin, where it only takes me minutes to get to work, to a restaurant or to meet a friend. I have come to accept we will be in our sweet and cozy 900 square foot home for a couple more years, and I’m very thankful I have a roof over my head and a safe place to call home."  -Molly

“I am grateful for the condo and location of our condo where Clayton and I live. I am so grateful my parents chose to keep it and not sell it so that we could live here until we are ready to buy a house. I tend to question Clayton a lot and ask “When are we going to buy a house?” Can we afford to do it soon?”, even though I know we’ve discussed this topic numerous times and came up with a timeline, which is not now. 🙂 (I am “trusting the process” and learning to enjoy it!) I know I am blessed to live in central Austin, where it only takes me minutes to get to work, to a restaurant or to meet a friend. I have come to accept we will be in our sweet and cozy 900 square foot home for a couple more years, and I’m very thankful I have a roof over my head and a safe place to call home.” -Molly

…glasses and chapstick.”

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“I am grateful for my glasses and Chapstick. At the end of each day there is nothing more satisfying than taking my out my contacts (which I am grateful for) and putting my glasses on to give my eyes a break. Then, I slather Chapstick all over my lips. Actually, I have Chapstick with me at all times so I am regularly moisturizing my lips which feel soooooo good! In fact, if I were on a deserted island, my glasses and chapstick would be two of my top five items. I love them both!” -Neissa

…our boat.”

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“One of the things I am grateful for is our boat. Our boat is like a mini retreat for our family and we love being on it together. We use the boat several times a week to ski, or wakeboard which is fun, but one of the main things we enjoy is inviting family and friends to join us for a relaxing sunset cruise and picnic. We often jump in too. Just being on beautiful Lake Austin, surrounded by nature brings a lot of peace and joy to our busy lives. When we’ve been out on our boat for the evening, we feel like we’ve had a mini vacay!” -Sha

Action Item:
This week, take the time to physically write down exactly what you are grateful for. If you are unable to attend an iGnite class this week, print out the handout at home, fill it out and post it somewhere you can see it everyday.

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The Magical Tibetan Twist

by Cary Fyfe

by Cary Fyfe

As we move more deeply into November, and closer to — ready for this? — The Holidays!! — I want to share my yoga “go-to” with you. This magical move is for those moments when, in one minute, your head is spinning wildly off of your body, and in the very next, you fall asleep while standing in line at the post office, still holding on to your packages. This move is called a “Tibetan Twist”, and it reconnects my body and mind every single time that I do it.

How-To:

Twist_w-1 Twist_w-2 Twist_w-3

So here we go…stand up, feet hip-distance apart, lift your arms straight out to the sides, to shoulder height (like you’re pretending to be a bird, one that could fly to Grandma’s house and not have to ride in the car with the kids for 5 hours), and:

  • twist right, twist left
  • inhale right, exhale left, breathe in and out, through your nose
  • twist 21 times on each side, and you will soon love yourself and your life again.

Benefits

If anxiety is poking at you, twist and breathe slowly, for calming. If lethargy is plaguing you, move more quickly, for energy. And if you’ve had too much pecan pie and dressing, twist away and your full belly will thank you. You can do this anywhere — yes, people will stare, but we are entering the Season of Wonder, so who cares? Just put the packages down first, twist and breathe away, and the wonderers will wish they knew what you knew. And now, I’ll leave you with a fun-fact: the magic of 21 times has another story, and there are 4 other exercises in the Tibetan series, but I will stop here and say — a little pre-Christmas gift from me to you — the next time you see Amy Younkman, ask her to tell you more because she is a “Tibetan Five” expert! Happy Travels, Happy Feasting and Happy Twisting!

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4 Benefits to Working Out in the Great Outdoors

workout outside

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

This is great info! You will love it 🙂

There are numerous benefits of working out in the great outdoors:

1. It’s Harder and More Effective

Studies found that outdoor running/walking is more strenuous than the indoor treadmill/eliptical. In studies comparing the exertion of running on a treadmill and the exertion of running outside, treadmill runners expended less energy to cover the same distance as those striding outside, primarily because indoor exercisers face no wind resistance or changes in terrain, no matter how subtle. The machines are obviously doing some of the work for you. When you run outside, YOU provide the movement. Running outside increases your work load from 2% to 10%!!!!

The same dynamics apply to CYCLING:

Where wind drag can result in much greater energy demands than going the same distance on a stationary bike. That means if you have limited time and want to burn as many calories as possible, you should head outside instead of the gym!

2. It Improves Your Mood

In a number of recent studies, volunteers have been asked to go for two walks for the same time or distance — one inside on a treadmill and one outdoors. In all of the studies, the volunteers reported more enjoyment outdoors, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside! And of course exposure to direct sunlight greatly affects your mood.

3. You’ll Do it More Often, for Longer and Be More Active

In another study, those who exercised outside exercised longer and more often than those working out indoors, and were significantly more physically active than those who exercised indoors!

4. Stress Reduction

A few studies have found that people have lower blood levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress, after exerting themselves outside as compared to inside!

We are blessed to live in Austin, Texas where we can work out outside most of the year, so keep moving!
~Kathleen

Make Your Own Future

Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love.
– Bradley Whitford

Johanna Quaas is an inspiration, indeed!  At 86 years old, she’s the oldest gymnast in the world and man does she rock!  There’s no doubt she has infused her life with action and is living the ‘YES I CAN’ motto.

Tell Us What This Amazing 86 Year Old Woman is Inspiring You To Do! 

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Family Fitness FUNdamentals

iGnite Exercise Playdate

by Alli Phillips M.Ed.

A child’s first and most important teachers are her/his parents, and just as daily reading to our children helps develop literacy, daily exercise teaches our children healthy living practices.  Furthermore, exercising on our own, with a group, with neighbors and friends, and especially with our children and families, demonstrates that we value our health, as well as theirs.  Weaving exercise into daily routines teaches kids that fitness is a way of life, how we live, and how we live well.

The Cross-Training Playdate class I teach for iGnite is offered for women with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and provides moms the opportunity to get out, exercise, and “play” with other moms, while their children enjoy a built-in playdate of their own.  And, women who attend this class, while enjoying an exercise fix and some “mommy-time,” are also modeling healthy habits for their children and creating for them a “fitness-lifestyle” framework.

DEVELOPING A FITNESS LIFESTYLE
Suggestions for Mommies of Young Children (and Daddies too!)

MAKE A PLAN
Based on your current level of fitness, your goals, your work schedule, and your family’s routine, devise a daily exercise plan by which you achieve the weekly totals below:

  1. 100+ minutes of aerobic conditioning 
  2. 30+ minutes of muscular endurance and strength training
  3. 30+ minutes of flexibility and balance work
  • Write your plan in your calendar. 
  • Expect the unexpected…. Having kids means “stuff” will come up and there will be days, weeks, even months when you are not able to exercise as much as you’ve planned….
  • Keep an attitude of gratitude for your current level of health and fitness and your families’, and enjoy any amount of time you have for exercise.
  • Be kind, patient, and gentle with yourself when/if you do not or cannot stick to “the plan.”   It takes time to develop a fitness-lifestyle, and even after exercise routines are established, they are ever-changing and evolving. So, plan to….
  • Make changes to your routine periodically, mindful of what from your original plan is working and what is not, and what activities and exercise modalities “enhance and improve your quality of life.”

 

BREAK IT UP. SQUEEZE IT IN.
If you do not have a ½ hour or hour block of time in your day for a large “workout meal”, try to “break it up” and “squeeze it in” with shorter bouts of exercise, “exercise snacking,” throughout the day. Actually, the fitness benefits of “exercise snacking” are equal to or greater than those of longer-duration exercise if the intensity is higher. So… no time for your regular workout class? Run the stairs in your house between sets of push-ups and squats during your baby’s morning nap; after a picnic lunch with your toddler at the park, play chase between sets of lunges and dips; and/or after dinner take a family-walk in the neighborhood followed by a game of “Yoga-Simon-Says.” What a great day of exercise!… Make that a great day, period.

playdate3 

KEEP IT SIMPLE

  • Aerobic conditioning can be as simple as a walk or bike ride with your children, to/from school, the neighborhood library, or the grocery store. Or for moms of babies, “cardio stepping” on your front porch during your infant’s morning nap is a great way to get a quick aerobic-fix.
  • Muscular endurance and strength work need be nothing more than squats and push-ups thrown into your day whenever you have the opportunity.
  • And a few simple yoga poses like down-dog, warrior I, II, III, and plank, mixed into your daily routine will improve your balance and flexibility, not to mention calm your mind and open your heart.

MAKE IT FUN
As I mentioned, parents are role models and we teach our children by example, but our children teach us too! My children have taught (and continue to teach) me how to make exercise play, and vice-versa, how to make play exercise. With older kids the opportunities for “play-based fitness” are endless; sports are an obvious way to enjoy exercise with our children; but equally fun are good-old-fashioned playground games like tag, duck-duck-goose, hop-scotch, jump-rope, and relays. Also, neighborhood-public tennis and basketball courts and tracks may be available for trike-bike-and-scooter-riding; so while the kids run, ride, and/or scoot around, mommy can do the same. Finally, for moms with babies and very young kids, squats beside a baby’s crib or a child’s bed can turn into a game of peek-a-boo, push-ups with a 2-year-old on your back can become a game of “bucking-bronco,” and yoga poses can be integrated into “tummy-time” for infants or a game of “Yoga Simon Says” for toddlers.

abs

THE FUNdamental EXERCISES
These simple exercises are ALL you need for a well-rounded fitness program.  They can be integrated easily into the daily routines of women at various stages of mommy-hood, adjusted for all levels of fitness, and tailored to personal goals. And with a little imagination, creativity, and inspiration from your children, they can also be incorporated into “play.”

Lower Body 

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Step-Ups

Upper Body

  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Rows or Pull-ups

Core

  • Plank
  • Ab Crunches
  • Back Extensions

Flexibility & Balance

  • Yoga
  • Down Dog
  • Warrior I, II, III
  • Plank/Side-Plank
  • Twists

Cardio 

  • Walking
  • Cycling
  • Aerobic Stepping – on stairs, a curb, or low ledge
  • Jump Rope
  • Track, Tennis Court, or BBall Court Drills
  • Playground Circuits

plank

downward dog

…Now go play! 

alli teaching

Alli Phillips has years of experience teaching child-friendly exercise classes for moms in the Austin, Texas area, and she teaches iGnite’s Cross Training Playdate class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:45am in central Austin.

During this class, moms enjoy a cross-training opportunity while their babies, toddlers and pre-school age children enjoy the outdoors and playtime in the park. Lifting primarily body weight, this mom-specific class emphasizes functional fitness, fundamental strength training, cardiovascular conditioning and yoga-based flow. Not only does this class leave moms feeling rejuvenated and strong, but it’s a perfect time to model healthy habits and actions to our children.   All fitness levels are welcome.  View the class schedule here.

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Strength Training Facts You Want to Know

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iGnite corporate wellness program members — getting stronger every week!

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

In case you are struggling with your motivation to exercise, and specifically to add strength training to your workout, here are a few facts you will want to know:

  1. For every pound of muscle you gain, your body burns 50 extra calories every day of the week!
  2. Strong muscles, tendons and ligaments are much more capable of withstanding stress, and improved flexibility gained by strength training also reduces the likelihood of pulled muscles and back pain.
  3. Resistance Exercise can reduce bone deterioration and build bone mass, preventing Osteoporosis at any age!
  4. Working your muscles inhibits the affects of sarcopenia, the age-related loss of muscle mass, strength and function. After the age of 30 there is a loss of 3 – 5% of muscle mass per decade, making day to day tasks gradually harder to perform and slowing down metabolism.
  5. Strengthening your muscles has been proven to have a positive affect on insulin resistance, blood pressure, body fat and gastrointestinal transit time — all factors that are linked to illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
  6. Best of all, you feel healthier, have more confidence, have a more positive outlook on life and look better!

Yipee for a stronger, fitter, healthier and happier life!
Keep moving!

What do you think? Leave a comment & join the discussion

Join Kathleen each week at Cross Training, Total Body Strength & Toning and Cardio Core!

Click here to view the class schedule

Source:
John Litchfield, Weightlossresources.co.uk

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