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Measuring Wellness: Why Scales Aren’t Always the Best Way to Track

We all know the battle with the scale!  We watch as the number creeps up and the number creeps down.  But, is the good old scale really the best way to track your wellness?  Connie, from our iFamily Mom & Dad Squad gives us her take on why scales aren’t always the best way!

measuring wellness

Measuring Wellness:

Why Scales Aren’t Always the Best Way to Track

Scales are evil.  I almost threw mine out of the window this week.  I got a very harsh reality check from the scale.  One that I needed.  I am of the mindset that life is too short to be crazy strict with your diet.  If I want a cookie, I eat a cookie.  I just generally try not to eat 5 cookies when I want one.  Everything in moderation.

Lately, I have let moderation go and have been overindulging.  It was this that led to the nightmare weigh in this week.  In the past, a rough weigh in would have led me to excuses.  I would have blamed a lack of exercise or too much water, or my thyroid issues and the fact that I was stressed all summer.  But this time I decided to take a completely different approach to my nightmare weigh in.

I’m using it as motivation.

I needed a reminder to eat better and get back to life in moderation.

If our weight was determined by only the amount of exercise we get, I would be thin as a rail.  I love the gym, and the feeling of a good workout.  Unfortunately, there is a whole lot more that goes into it than that.  Not only is healthy eating important for weight loss, its vital.  It’s more important than working out.  And it is hard.  It shouldn’t be, but it is.  Cookies are delicious.  As are cupcakes and candy bars and chicken nachos (don’t even get me started on chicken nachos).

It used to be that a bad weigh in would send me reeling.  I would start beating myself up for eating anything other than veggies and chicken.  I would go on some harsh fad diet that I wouldn’t be able to stick to and throw my metabolism all out of whack.  Once I even decided I would only eat one meal a day until I lost 20 pounds.  You can guess how that turned out.

It took me a long time to figure out that the scale didn’t define me.  I have stuck with my workouts and possibly even over trained a little bit.  I am as fit as I have ever been, and stronger and more muscular.  All of these things are what is important.

Fit looks different on everyone

Did I need the scale to remind me to stay on track with my eating?  I did.  But I didn’t need it to tell me whether or not I am healthy.  I am healthy and active and constantly improving.  I am not perfect when it comes to my diet or anything else for that matter, but I am always working.

Often, I also have to remind myself that while this weight is higher than its been in a long time.  It looks so much different than the last time the scale read this high.  There is more muscle involved, less fat.  More workouts and less nights out.

There are changes coming.  I am back to tracking my food, making sure I eat something every 3 hours and eating more whole foods.  Hopefully these changes will create the change on the scale that I would like.  But even if they don’t, and for whatever reason I am stuck here for a bit, I am okay with that.  I am healthy, and I am happy and I am comfortable in my own skin.  So, take that Scale!

From iFamily to Yours,

 


Work It Wednesdays: The Ugly Truth About Fitness

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City!

We are so excited to share today’s Work It Wednesdays post with you because, like many of you, we each struggle with finding the motivation to get to the gym (or out for a neighborhood walk, or downstairs to hop on the treadmill) on a regular basis. Connie, from our Mom Squad team, is sharing the ugly truth about fitness and heading to the gym with you this morning on the blog because, guess what?! You’re not alone. Take a look…

 

work it wednesdays

Work It Wednesdays: The Ugly Truth About Fitness

I go on and on about how much I love working out, how great I feel after I get a good sweat on, and how centered and calm I feel when I’m ready to face the day.  But let’s be real.  The gym, my fitness journey, working out, all of it is not always sunshine and rainbows.  Some days are just plain hard.  There are times when I feel defeated.  Some mornings it’s the last thing I want to do.  Now, while these days are few and far between for me now, they are definitely still there and should be addressed and talked about.

Sometimes I’m tired.

I get up between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning to get a workout in before my family wakes up and needs me to Mommy.  And most mornings I wake up before the alarm even goes off.  I am ready to get my day started and get my sweat on. And then there are those mornings every 3 weeks or so when I audibly groan when my alarm goes off.  I hit snooze three times and it’s not enough because I am tired and don’t want to leave the warm comfort of my bed and my pillow.  My head feels cloudy and I don’t want to get up.

Sometimes my body is tired.

I work out twice a day 5 days a week.  Some days I work out three times in a day between my own workouts and teaching classes.  And then I teach on a 6th day during the week.  Which leaves Sunday as my rest day.  And I love it. But I’m not 20 anymore.  My 35 year old body desperately wants to be 20 again, but it’s just not.  So sometimes my body is done.

Sometimes I just want to be lazy.

I feel fine physically, I got enough sleep the night before, but I just want to be lazy.  Lay in bed all morning (and by all morning I mean until 7 or so when my kids get up) and then lounge around with them on the couch all day watching cartoons.  I want to be a human slug.

Sometimes, I just need a change.

I get annoyed with someone or something at the gym and I just need a change.  I need to not see that person or do that thing that is annoying me for just a bit.  Just long enough to get over the irritation.

Sometimes the weather makes me want to curl up in a ball and stay under the blankets all day.  I hate cold, so winter is especially hard for me, but I am also not a huge fan of rain.  Dreary days seem to dampen my energy and often times my mood, which can make it hard to get motivated to get done what I need to do.

The Solution

What’s the solution (and the point of this post), you ask?  Well, the answer varies.  Sometimes I give in to whatever excuse I have that day.  If I am exhausted and need sleep, I take the day and I sleep in.  I can always hit up the gym later in the day when I am feeling more rested.

If my body is really tired and telling me it needs a break, I listen then too.  I can’t afford to injure myself, not to mention, I am a horrible patient and just basically loathe being sidelined.  If it is just a lazy day, I try to make myself go anyway.  Once I get there I always feel better and shake off the urge to be a slug.  Or I can go home and slug it up after I’ve burned some calories at the gym.  When I need a change, I find a new workout or try some new machines, or a new class.

Luckily I have a membership to multiple gyms just because I am on the staff, so I can move around if I need to.  And the weather issue, that one is tough.  We live in the Midwest, so winter and rain are inevitable.  I try to prepare myself with fun winter workout gear, and remote start on my car for those cold winter mornings.  And I remind myself that the rain doesn’t have to drain me.  In fact, a couple of friends and I finished our outside run the other morning in the rain.  It was fun.

Sometimes I just have to get out of my own head.

Working out is something I love and yet I still sometimes struggle to stay motivated.  What I will not allow to happen again is my lack of motivation for a day or two to turn into a week or two and then into quitting.  I take my rest days, I listen to my body, but I don’t quit.

I’ve quit too many times before and starting all over is the hardest part.  I can’t go there again, so I keep going.  And I remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect and get every workout in to be fit.  I can give myself a little grace and a little space to get my head right on the days it doesn’t feel like what I want to do.  I don’t ever want to let a day of feeling defeated completely throw me off track.  So in your own routines, when you find yourself feeling like giving up, or being tired or sore or just plain over it, embrace that feeling, take that day, make whatever change you need to and then get back at it.  You’ll be glad you did.

From iFamily to Yours,

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8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! We’re back at it with another Work It Wednesday from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. This week she’s giving us the inside look in why gym friends are the best friends to have. So, get ready to get active and find your tribe. Take a look!

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

 

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the
Best of Friends for Mamas

 

Alright guys, if you’ve been reading my posts, you already know that I spend lots of time in the gym.  And sometimes lots of time in the gym can mean being away from friends and family.  But I am lucky enough to have made some incredible friends at the gym, and they not only make my workouts worth it, but they have become a huge part of my life.  I am not sure where I would be without them.  Here are some reasons why they are the best.

#1 They see you at your worst—and they love you anyway.

I mean, seriously, who looks good at the gym?  Who looks good sweating it out and pushing themselves until their arms shake and they can’t do anymore reps?  Well, I guess some people do.  I am definitely not one of them.  I sweat like a pig, I have a terrible lifting face, and while I love workout clothes, they’re not what I wear when I am dressing to impress.  And yet these amazing people still talk to me.

#2 They support you, even when you don’t want them to.

I can’t begin to tell you how many of my gym friends have offered support, not just during a tough class, or when I was training for half marathons, but in real life situations.  I had thyroid surgery and they were all checking on me.  I was struggling with some stressors and they offered to help.  I didn’t want to go run one day and they dragged me out there and reminded me that we always run on Mondays.  I didn’t want them to support me at that moment, but I am so glad they did.

 

#3 They make you want to come to the gym.

Not feeling your workout today, but dying to chat with your friend about what happened on Dancing with the Stars last night?  Better get your butt to the gym and talk about it.  They’ll be glad to see you.

 

#4 They push you to do better.

I used to be a stuck in a rut, boring workout person.  I went to the gym daily, did 40 minutes on the elliptical machine and then went home.  Until one fateful Saturday when my now dear friend Larry approached me and said, in his amazing, unfiltered way “aren’t you ever going to do anything else?”  Then he walked me through 3 other cardio machines that morning.  I woke up so sore the next day and completely in love with my new routine.  Then he started challenging me to come try some classes.  I was hooked.  So in a sense, I owe a lot of my fitness passion to him.

 

#5 They keep you sane.

My gym time is my calm time, my sane time.  These people are my friends and we vent and we destress and we take out our frustrations on some weights.  We shake away our stress in a Zumba class.  We laugh until we cry when one of us makes a clutsy move during class.

 

#6 We aren’t just gym friends.

These amazing people have become part of my life.  We talk outside of the gym.  We have girls nights and playdates and park time and we are a part of each other’s every day.  I am so blessed to have these people and know that they have my back.

 

#7 They become the voices inside your head.

When I am out running by myself and I want to quit, I can hear them in my head telling me that I can’t give up yet.  When I hear one of our favorite workout songs on the radio I hear them all singing along.  When I think about skipping a class or not going because it looks too challenging, I hear them telling me to suck it up and just go.

 

#8 They just get it.

There is something about pushing through a tough class with a room full of people that bonds you, whether you like it or not.  There’s a comradery that comes from working out together.  You can look at each other in the middle of a particularly tough class and just know that they get it.  The struggle is real.  And you’re not alone in it.

8 Reasons Why Gym Friends are the Best of Friends for Mamas

 

Now these people aren’t just limited to people I take classes with.  I have friends from the gym who don’t take classes.  Who I started chatting with because they lift at the same time I do on weekday mornings.  People who I stopped to ask questions when I was first starting, or who asked me some when they were new.  Somehow seeing someone every day and not at least saying hello seems strange to me.

I have a fantastic group of gym friends that I wouldn’t trade for the world.  They have become some of my best friends and the people I talk to the most.  They are my tribe.   I just hope they all know how much I appreciate them.

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


Work It Wednesdays: Why You Should Consider Working Out on Vacation

Hello, Kansas City! Once you get in a regular workout routine, it can be difficult to figure out how to handle it on vacation. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie, is back with another great Work It Wednesday post, and let’s just say — it’s all about balance. Take a look!

Work It Wednesdays: Why You Should Consider Working Out on Vacation

 

Work It Wednesdays: Why You Should Consider
Working Out on Vacation

So I was a little nervous about going on vacation. I had never left my kids for longer than 48 hours. I wasn’t sure how many clothes to pack. Did I need a hair dryer or would there be one in the room? Is 4 swimsuits enough for a 10 day cruise? Do I have everything the kids need ready to go? It was the best kind of stress I had had in years. I also worried about whether or not to pack workout clothes. Working out is what I do. Its what I love, its my job, its my sanity, its my me time. But I was going on vacation. For the first time in 8 years. And I was determined to enjoy every minute.
I thought back to my last vacation, also a cruise, which happened to be my honeymoon. My husband and I had done Weight Watchers and worked out 5 times a week in preparation for the wedding and we both agreed that we were not taking workout clothes on our honeymoon. We were just going to relax and enjoy and get back at it when we got home. And it was fabulous. We had a fantastic trip. We ate too much, drank too much, and napped daily. It was fantastic.
The more I debated, the more I got frustrated with myself. I knew that 10 days was not going to make or break me. I knew that if I took the time off I would be fine. I knew that my body could use the time to recover and it might actually be good for me.
I also knew that my workout time is my calming time. It’s the time that I spend processing my day, destressing, and basically just getting my mind right. And I feel so much better when I am done. I take a rest day at least one day a week, and then have one lighter day as well. And I have noticed that while my body needs that rest day to recoup and renew, I also drag a little bit. Working out is my coffee and my pick me up. I was worried that without it, on top of eating too much and drinking too much, I was going to be a mess by the end of the trip. So I decided to pack 7 workout outfits. I would not set an alarm to make it to the gym early. It was vacation. I would also not miss out on any excursions so that I could go to the gym. Again, vacation priorities. But I would workout anytime I felt myself dragging. Or anytime we had a late start or a day at sea. I would just listen to my body and go from there.
I ended up using all 7 workout outfits. I slept in when I was tired, I shortened my workout to accommodate an excursion. I did longer workouts on our days at sea. And I took rest days. I enjoyed my vacation, my unlimited drink package, and the desert they offered with dinner every night. And vacation was fantastic. I returned feeling rested and renewed and relaxed. I didn’t stress about not working out enough, or working out too much and missing out on all the fun. For me, it was the perfect balance.
Taking a break, or backing off a bit like I did, are both totally acceptable options. Listen to your body and do what works for you. I have a feeling I would have been miserable (bloated, irritable, feeling unbalanced) had I not taken the time to at least get a little bit of a workout in while I was gone. But I never felt that way on our honeymoon. My point is, relax. Its vacation. Its not like giving up your routine permanently. Life is too short. Miss the gym for an ATV tour on a gorgeous island, or go sweat it out for a quick 30 minutes when you’re feeling bloated and tired. Just don’t stress! Health is always about balance.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fitness Clichés that Actually Ring True, and a Few that Don’t

Happy Hump Day, Kansas City! We’re back with a great Work It Wednesday post from our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. This time she’s tackling fitness cliches — some being true, and some…not so much. If you’re trying to stay fit and need a little extra motivation, she’s got it for you below. Take a look!

Fitness Clichés that Actually Ring True, and a Few that Don’t

Fitness clichés that actually ring true…and a few that don’t.

 

#1 Fit is not a destination, it’s a way of life.

I talked about this in my previous post. Fit is a process. Enjoy the journey. Make it a part of your lifestyle. You can’t workout for a while and then stop and expect the health to stay. You have to make it a way of life.

 

#2 What you eat in private, you wear in public.

Unfortunately, this one is true. But who hasn’t eaten a cookie in the corner of your kitchen with your back turned so the kids can’t see and then told yourself it didn’t count because no one saw it?!? One cookie won’t kill you, but consistently eating badly will quickly curb those health goals and gains.

 

#3 The act of getting strong doesn’t start in the gym, it starts in your head.

You have to be mentally strong and positive regardless of what happens in the gym. You have to be able to tell yourself to keep going and that you are doing great, even when you feel like you don’t want to keep going and that you are the least healthy person on the planet. Get it done mentally so you can get it done physically.

 

#4 Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.

There are so many doubts, so many negative thoughts, so many misconceptions that can keep you from achieving your goals and sticking to a healthier lifestyle. You have to overcome all of those doubts and fears in order to come out on the other side, stronger and healthier. So tackle what scares you head on. Do a workout that you don’t think you can do. Once it is done, you’ll feel like the strongest person alive.

 

#5 Once you see results, it becomes an addiction.

I feel like this one could go either way. Some people see results and think ‘yay! I’m done! Goal reached!’ and they quit. Guess what? It doesn’t work that way. You have to work to maintain. But there are many people who are very motivated by results. It keeps them wanting more and pushing themselves harder. It makes them gym rats. It makes them healthy.

#6 You can’t out train a bad diet.

Again, sadly, this one is true. Weight is 80% diet, 20% working out. And oh how I wish those numbers were reversed. I would be the thinnest woman alive if they were. Winning in the kitchen is the hardest part of weight loss.

 

#7 You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.

Unless a bear is chasing you, then you should probably go fast.

 

#8 The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.

Not true! I have had some really bad workouts. Painful, struggle filled, daunting workouts. Workouts that made me want to cry. (Mostly running on a treadmill—that’s just pure torture!) But the end result is good. The end result is strong. The end result is ‘yes I did do that!’

#9 If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.

If you are always doing the same workout or the same weight or the same level, you will see results for a bit, but then your body becomes used to that workout and that movement or weight and it stops changing you. Change your routine up, push yourself a little harder sometimes, try something new. Keep challenging yourself and the results will come.

 

#10 One of the greatest moments in life is realizing that two weeks ago, your body couldn’t do what it just did.

I’m not saying it’s not a great moment. It is a great moment. It’s a great motivational tool. But nothing will compare to the day my kids were born, the day I got married, the day my kids walked for the first time, etc. Those moments, at least for me, will always top physical achievements as great moments. But physical achievements do feel pretty dang good.

 

#11 Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

What?!?!? That just can’t happen. Once I’m comfortable being uncomfortable, I’m not uncomfortable anymore. I know, too literal an interpretation. This one falls in line with the challenge/change line from above.

 

#12 Summer bodies are made in the winter.

While this one is probably true, I would LOVE to know when I can start working on my winter body. When does that happen exactly?

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

Happy Hump Day, Kansas City! It’s been a gloomy few days here in the metro, but we are back to bring you the next installment of Work it Wednesdays with our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie. Today, Connie gives us some helpful advice on how to appreciate the fitness journey we’re on – regardless of where we might be. Take a look…

 

Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

Work It Wednesdays: Appreciating Your Fitness Journey

 

I was approached by one of my people after class last week and she asked me “when can I expect to see results?” She had been coming to my class for a few weeks and always working very hard, and she was getting frustrated because she wasn’t seeing the physical changes she would have liked to have been seeing. I feel like this is such a common hang up for people when it comes to fitness and working out. I can’t tell you the number of times I have started a new workout routine or a new machine at the gym and immediately started checking the mirror for changes. And I know better than that.

We have become so ingrained with the need for instant gratification that it becomes daunting to have to work really hard for something on a consistent basis for a long period of time. It is one of the most common reasons I see people quitting their routines. But here’s the thing, anything worth having is worth working for. And, I believe fitness is about more than a change in your appearance. Its about a change in the way you feel, and a change in the way you see yourself. And that’s what I want to focus on.

There is a cliché saying in the fitness world: It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change. It takes 8 weeks for your friends to notice. It takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice a change. It takes one day to decide that you are enough. 4 weeks is a long time to stick with something without seeing results. It’s a long time to tell yourself that its worth it and the work is paying off, when you can’t see it. But it takes one day for you to decide that you are worth the effort. Your health is important enough for you to take the time to make the effort to be better. To be healthier than the person you were yesterday. It’s a one day, one step at a time journey. It is daunting at first. It is miserable feeling like you are never going to be as in shape as the person next to you. It is discouraging to think that you are never going to get to your weight goal or your fitness goal. But guess what, you can get there.

A huge part of making the journey less daunting is noticing the small changes. Notice when you can go one minute longer on the elliptical machine than you could yesterday. Notice when you can push yourself through a 10 minute mile on the treadmill instead of a 10:20. Notice when you choose to eat grilled chicken instead of a burger and veggies instead of fries. Notice when lifting 12 pound dumbbells becomes 15 pound dumbbells. And notice how you feel. Notice when you wake up with more energy than you had a week ago. Notice that you sleep better at night once you get into a workout routine and stick with it. Notice that you no longer run out of breath chasing your kids around the yard. Notice those small changes and celebrate them, even if its just to do a little victory dance in your head.

After a while you will start to see yourself differently. We all tend to be our own worst critics. If you can focus on the small changes and the small victories, all of the sudden that voice inside your head starts becoming a positive one. Instead of saying ‘you are so out of shape,’ you now say ‘I can do 20 minutes of cardio now instead of just 15,’ or ‘I am stronger than I was 3 weeks ago.’ Once we can convince ourselves to be kind to ourselves, suddenly it becomes a whole lot easier to stay motivated and focused.

We tend to focus on the huge goals. The long term, big, scary, life changing goals. But fitness is a journey, not a destination. There is so much to see and enjoy along the way. So embrace the journey. Embrace the small stuff, and the big stuff will come. Stay consistent, stay dedicated and stay enthusiastic. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to enjoy what you are doing to be healthy. Enjoy walking your dog or riding your bike, or taking a dip in your pool. Enjoy your 15 mile training run if that’s what you’re into. Enjoy trying new healthy recipes that you aren’t sure about and discovering new foods you love. Just embrace the ride.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 


Work It Wednesdays: How to Cultivate Self-Love in Your Every Day Life

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! We’re starting a fun, new series to bring on a healthy Spring – Work It Wednesdays. Our Mom Squad Ambassador (and fitness guru), Connie, kicks it off this week with the center of it all — self-love. It can be tough to find balance and to get healthy out of love. Check out her post for some tips on how to cultivate it into your everyday life.

Work It Wednesdays: How to Cultivate Self-Love in Your Every Day Life

How to Cultivate Self-Love in Your Every Day Life

 

I want to let you guys in on a little secret. One that no one really likes to talk about. One that is really hard for a lot of people to admit to. You ready for it?

We are all a little insecure. We all have something that makes us feel less than stellar. We all have at least one thing that makes us scrunch up our noses a bit. We all sometimes struggle with self-love.

Don’t you feel better now that it’s out there? Now let’s have an honest discussion about it.

Self-love is an awkward topic. Love yourself too much, you’re considered arrogant. Don’t love yourself enough, you’re considered depressed, negative, a downer. Guess what? Loving yourself and being a positive voice for yourself is healthy. It’s a huge part of leading a healthy lifestyle. I talk a lot about fitness and health, but no matter how much you workout and how many abs you have visible, if you don’t love yourself, its never going to be good enough.

We are our own worst critics. We see flaws in ourselves that no one else sees. We criticize fine lines that no one notices. Our one toe that’s a little longer than the others. That funny cowlick in our hair that makes it impossible to part it straight. Guess what? No one else notices those things!

The same principle can be used for fitness and overall health. We look in the mirror and see fat where others see strong. We see the flabby underarm (chicken wing as I like to call it) while others see strong rounded shoulders. We see thighs like tree trunks where others see muscle. We are always harder on ourselves than anyone else is. Some of the fittest people I know can still list off a list of their flaws easier than they can list off a list of things they like about their bodies. So don’t ever go into fitness thinking that once you reach a certain goal all of your self-love problems will be solved. Instead, go in with the thinking that you are amazing just the way you are, but you want to be a stronger, healthier, more fit version of yourself. Remember that fitness and health look different on everyone.

Its not easy. Embracing yourself as you are and loving yourself is never easy. But life is too short to be constantly criticizing yourself. Challenge yourself to focus on your strengths. If there is something that really bothers you, decide if you can change it. If you can’t change it, learn to embrace it. Learn to see what other people see when they look at you. No one is looking at your wrinkles or your flat butt. No one sees those gray hairs or that freckle on your nose that bothers you so much. They are looking at your smiling face. They see their friend that makes them laugh and is there for them, no matter what. Instead of cataloging your faults, try embracing them. Those laugh lines? Those babies are physical evidence of a full life! Those stretch marks? You earned those bad boys building a tiny human.

Don’t be afraid of being confident and happy with who you are. It tends to be contagious. Be that positive person who lifts others up, who encourages others to be kind to themselves. Be the most uplifting person in the room. Own it. Own who you are and what you’re made of, whether that be sugar and spice or nerves and anxiety. We all need to see what self-love and a positive mind set looks like.

We are all our own unique combination of flaws that make us our fantastic selves. There is nothing wrong with loving that.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 

 


Five Great Options to Help You Choose the Right Gym

Hello, Kansas City! We’re slowing making our way into spring, which means many of us are trying to get a fitness routine going. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie, breaks down the different types of gyms around the metro & hopefully, helps you figure out which fits you best. Check it out…

Five Great Options to Help You Choose the Right Gym

Five Great Options to Help You Choose the Right Gym

 

With so many different options for gyms out there, its easy to get overwhelmed. And sadly, choosing the wrong gym can mean you end up giving up on your fitness goals. No one wants to go somewhere they hate to be. So here are a few different types of gyms and their benefits, to help make the decision process easier. I would always recommend a tour of any facility you are thinking about joining. Sometimes a simple walk through can tell you all you need to know about the atmosphere and energy of the facility.

#1 Planet Fitness (and other smaller, 24 hour gyms)

The big appeal of places like Planet Fitness is their low montly rate. They advertise gym memberships for as low as $10 per month. Places like these boast 24 hour entry, no judgements, and pizza and bagel days for their members. They are still fairly new in our area, so you can expect equipment to be in new or excellent used condition. They offer all the basic cardio equipment along with some smaller free weights and weight machines. A gym like this one is great for people who are just starting out, or who feel pressured by big gyms with trainers and lots of heavy lifters. It is also great for anyone who is very self-motivated who just needs a place to work out, but doesn’t need a trainer or a group setting to motivate them. These types of gyms are also ideal for anyone who works shift work and might want to work out at 3am while the rest of the world is sleeping. Some of these facilities also offer tanning packages and other amenities for an extra fee.

 

#2 Community Centers/YMCA/Lifetime Fitness

These facilities boast amenities such as group fitness classes, personal training, and kids classes. Many of them have pools and are able to offer water classes as well. They usually are not open 24 hours, but are open early morning until well into the evening. These facilities tend to attract a wide variety of clientele, from seniors to stay at home moms, to single 20 somethings, simply because they offer such a variety of services. They do tend to cost more than a Planet Fitness or Anytime Fitness facility, but that is due to the large numbers of classes that are going on and the added amenities such as the pools, spin bikes, TRX rooms, etc. These facilities usually also have a gym area with basketball courts for open play. Some facilities include saunas, smoothie bars and coffee shops as well.

 

#3 24 Hour Fitness

These facilities boast the best of both worlds. With 24 hour access to the gym, they can cater to the odd hours work out crowd, and they offer a daycare facility as well. Depending on which 24 Hour Fitness you go to, some have pools as well. They offer group fitness classes during the daytime and evening hours and on weekends. They also have a floor full of cardio equipment, free weights and weight machines. They have personal trainers on staff who services can be purchased by members at an additional fee.

 

#4 Boxing gyms (Title Boxing, Fight Camps, etc)

These gyms offer hard hitting classes that focus mainly on boxing and kick boxing instruction. They tend to be intense workouts designed to build endurance and skills quickly. These classes can be a great stress reliever. (Who doesn’t want to just punch something every once in a while?!?!) Just because these gyms specialize in boxing, doesn’t mean that they don’t have a variety of classes and instructors, to ensure that the workout is never the same, and never boring.

 

#5 Crossfit

These gyms have been popping up all over the metro area lately and building memberships quickly. These facilities focus on lifting, and lifting a lot. They concentrate on muscle strength and proper technique when you are lifting, etc. They have trainers working there the entire time they are open, and they walk you through the Workout of the Day or WOD as they call it. There is also cardio during these workouts as well, it is just not your typical run or stair stepper style cardio. These facilities tend to be higher in price, but anyone who is a member will tell you CrossFit is totally worth it.

There are pros and cons to every gym and there are going to always be people who say their gym is better. The main thing is to know what is important to you when you are looking for a gym to join. Tour some gyms. Talk to the front desk about a weekly trial pass or a day pass to check out what is happening and what they offer. Some gyms allow members to bring friends in on a day pass occasionally. Whatever gym you decide to go to, just make sure it is one where you can feel comfortable and get the work out you need. The beauty of fitness is that there are so many different types and styles and classes out there. Something is bound to fit your lifestyle and goals.

 

From iFamily to Yours,

 

 

 

 


10 Ways to Amp Up Your Fitness Game as a Busy Parent

Happy Wednesday, Kansas City! We are happy to introduce you to our newest Mom Squad Ambassador, Connie! She is a fitness instructor, with several classes around the metro, and has some great tips to tackling your fitness regimen as a busy parent. Give her a big ol’ Kansas City hello and check out her tips below!

 

10 Ways to Amp Up Your Fitness Game as a Busy Parent

 

Fitness. To a lot of busy moms, that is a dirty word. A word no one has time for. That annoying thing that your annoying Facebook friend is always posting about. That thing that you miss so much from when you used to have time to spend on it. That thing you have always been afraid to try, or that you tried once, but hated. However you feel about fitness and working out, I think we can all agree that it’s an important part of a healthy life. Luckily there are lots of options and tricks and tips to make time for (and gasp—even enjoy!) fitness and working out.
Here are some tips to get you motivated or to help keep you motivated to get in a workout.

#1 There are a million different ways to workout.

You have to find what you enjoy. If you hate what you are doing, eventually, you won’t do it anymore. So if you hate running, don’t run. Maybe you like to dance, check out a Zumba class or dance fitness class. If you’re intimidated by the thought of a gym, there are tons of Zumba routines and workouts on YouTube. Search for a song you like the beat of with the word Zumba behind it (i.e. 24K Magic by Bruno Mars Zumba) and get yourself moving. If you love the water, find a gym with a pool and take an Aqua class. They’re not just for old people! If you don’t want to take a class, you can just swim laps in a lap pool or walk in a more shallow pool to get in your workout. If you are motivated by group settings, find a gym that offers lots of classes and try them all until you find something that you like. If you are more self-motivated, find workouts online and take them with you to the gym. There are tons of apps that have workout routines that you can put yourself through.

#2 You are your own worst critic.

No one knows your story but you. Fitness and exercise take time. Don’t be discouraged if the person next to you is able to run further or faster than you or lift heavier. The only person you are trying to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Everyone you compare yourself to had to start somewhere. Remember that.

#3 Drink water like it’s your job.

It is so important for muscle recovery for you to stay hydrated. If you hate plain water, add some fresh fruit for a bit of flavor. Drink water even when you don’t think you are thirsty. This one thing will help boost your metabolism, aid in muscle recovery and growth, and help flush toxins out of your system.

#4 Find an accountability buddy.

This can be a person you actually workout with, it can be a Facebook group, it can be a journal that you write your workouts down in. It just needs to be someone or something that helps hold you accountable. Become that annoying person on Facebook who posts about their workouts everyday if that helps you. There will be less people annoyed than you think, and you will be surprised how many other people you may help motivate.

#5 It does not have to be a huge time commitment.

When I was dieting and trying to lose weight before my wedding, my husband and I spent 40 minutes a day at the gym, 5 days a week. That’s it. And it made a huge difference for us. Any time you spend moving and breaking a sweat counts. If you wake up late one day and only have 20 minutes, use it. Pick up the intensity a bit since it’s a shorter amount of time, and get that workout in.

#6 Make it a family affair.

Take a walk with your kids, or a family bike ride. Play a game of soccer or catch in the back yard. Find a gym that offers kids classes as well as classes for you. Have a 30 minute dance party in your living room. No one is allowed to stop dancing until the time is up.

#7: Try everything.

(Anyone else singing the Shakira song from Zootopia in their head right now, or is that just me?) I was the queen of cardio for years at the gym. 40 minutes on the elliptical every day and that was it. I never ventured away from that machine. It was my jam, and I wasn’t changing it. But your body needs to be challenged and surprised. It needs change. So try everything. Try lifting some weights. Try using the weight machines at the gym. Get on the stair stepper one morning. Get in the pool. Changing it up will keep you and your body from getting bored.

#8: Stick with it.

There will be times, especially if you are just beginning, where you don’t want to do it anymore. You’re sore, and you’re tired, and you had a long day at work or a rough day with the kids. Stick with it. That workout is going to help so much with the stress of everyday life. The endorphins released will make you calmer, more patient, more able to cope with the stress of the day. Eventually, when you find what you like to do, working out becomes something you look forward to, something that you need in your day.

#9 It does not have to be about the scale.

So many times we make working out about losing weight and not about being healthy and feeling better. Scales can make you crazy. Base your fitness goals around how you feel or how your clothes fit, rather than solely on what the scale says and you will be more successful. Scales are a great tool for weight loss and motivation, but they can also hinder your progress. They are only part of the package. Take before pictures, pay attention to how your clothes fit, and more importantly, how working out makes you feel. Then use the scale to keep track of your progress. I haven’t weighed myself regularly in over a year because it was making me crazy. If it went up I was frustrated and mad, and if it went down I would obsess over what I did and try to duplicate it again. Find the healthy balance and stick to it. I workout 6 days a week because I feel sluggish and tired if I don’t. I get up before my kids do so that I can get it in, even if they don’t feel like going to the gym with me that day. I do not workout so that the scale will get to a certain number. I want to feel healthy and be fit, and that looks different on everyone.

#10 Fitness looks different on everyone.

Body types, genetics, bone structure, etc, all play a part in how we are built and how our bodies look. Not everyone was meant to be a size 2, and that’s okay. Working out and being healthy are a personal journey and one that you have to do for you, regardless of how it looks to other people. So do your thing, and remember that everyone is built differently. Everyone has different lifestyles and different tastes and approaches to fitness. Find what works for you and what makes you feel the best, and stick with it. You’ve got this!

 

From iFamily to Yours,

Connie

 


22 Fun Ways to Get Your Family Active Today!

Happy Monday, Kansas City! With the up and down temperatures that this time of year brings us, it can be hard to stay active. Our Mom Squad Ambassador, Leah, has some fantastic ideas on how your family can kick it into gear and get active today. Take a look!

 

22 Fun Ways to Get Your Family Active Today!

 

My weight has been a struggle for most of my life. I can always remember struggling with my body image when it came to my weight. I’ve never felt thin enough. I would go on diets, then binge eat, then go on a work out craze, then be lazy, then repeat the cycle. Oh, how this took a toll on my self-esteem and body.

 

As an adult I still struggle with this viscous cycle. Several years ago I lost 72 pounds and kept it off for two years. I ate right, had some help from the doctor, was active throughout the day, and truly worked my butt off. However, once I grew comfortable in my new skin I started to resort back to my old eating habits. I found myself packing on the pounds as I indulged in carbs, fatty foods, and stopped being active.

 

Fast-forward four years later and I am the biggest weight I have ever been. I lack energy, hate the way I look in clothes, dread seeing myself in pictures, and find myself miserable in this shape. It isn’t who I am. I know my weight doesn’t defy me. I also know I am so much more than the number on the scale. Yet, I am the one that has to carry this excess skin. I am the one who knows I can do better. Therefore, I am the one who is now choosing to do better.

 

I recently saw a video on Facebook that woke me up. The video truly encouraged me to get my crap together. The video shares a woman’s story who vows to take a 100 day work out challenge. Now I know this challenge isn’t for everyone (and you should consult your doctor first if you have any health concerns or restraints) but this challenge was exactly what I needed.

 

I went from having a job where I was active all day to literally sitting down all day. My body started to physically hurt because I wasn’t moving it enough. I had hip pain, leg pain, shoulder pain, etc. Who wants to live like that every day? I don’t. I know a lot of the pain was from my weight. I also knew I needed to be more active.

 

 

So, my son and I went and joined a gym. I am proud to say I am now on my 10th day of the 100 day challenge. I am so proud of myself. I have so much more energy, feel happier, and feel like I am being such a great example to my son. I love having him there with me when I work out. He has told me every day that he is proud of me. I want him to see me being an example of living a healthy life. When we go to the gym together we take it slow, we talk, we bond, and most of all we simply move our bodies. I also started eating better since August. I am now down 13 pounds.

 

So, I encourage you to take this time to get you back, get up, sweat, and live again. You got this…. And bring your family with you!<3

 

Below are 22 fun ways to get your family active

“Big changes start with small steps”- author unknown.

 

#1 Go on a walk with your family.

My son and I love walking to the park,store, or for ice cream at Sonic.

#2 Have a dance party in the living room.

Dancing is such a fun way to exercise.

#3 Do yard work together as a family

 

 

#4 Go on a bike ride

 

22 Fun Ways to Get Your Family Active Today! // iFamilyKC Blog

#5 Have a pillow fight

 

 

#6 Play Hide and Go Seek

 

 

#7 Go play basketball, soccer, or football together

 

 

#8 Have a snow ball fight

 

 

 

22 Fun Ways to Get Your Family Active Today! // iFamilyKC Blog

#9 Go Sledding

 

 

#10 Ice Skating

 

 

#11 Run up and down the stairs

 

Providing they are at a safe age to do this.

 

 

#12 Do yoga as a family

 

#13 Take the dogs for a walk

22 Fun Ways to Get Your Family Active Today! // iFamilyKC Blog
#14 Work out on the Wii

 

 

#15 Rent a work out video

 

 

#16 Cleaning the house

You heard me right ;). Cleaning burns calories and you could make it fun and make it more like a game. Just be creative.

 

 

#17 Go on a scavenger hunt

 

#18 Play flash light tag

 

#19 Join a family friendly gym

 

#20 Build a snow fort

 

#21 Go Geocaching

 

#22 Wash the family pets

 

How do you stay active as a family? We’d love to hear in the comments!

 

To learn more about Leah, follow her at: http://www.facebook.com/solaceforthesoul

 

From iFamily to Yours,