FITNESS HACKS | Is your resolution to be healthier in 2016?

With the start of each new year, the feeling of a fresh start is created.  Using the lessons learned in the ended year, we make decisions to make changes!

Resolutions to be healthier are at the top of the lists.  We've all seen the packed gyms in January, but slowly the numbers decline and eventually we're back to the same folks we saw in December.  So what happened to everyone?

Health is not a fad; it is not something we try and decide it isn't for us.  I have made this journey personally many times.  I'm consistent for a few weeks, get busy with other things, don't see instant results, and quit.  When I had my third child, I was unhealthy and didn't have the energy to keep up with the demanding life of having three young children.  My metabolism changed, I wasn't taking time to take care of myself, and I didn't know how to fix it.   When I started receiving "Are you ok?" questions, I knew I needed to make a change.

I didn't play sports in school, didn't dance, and would definitely not categorize myself as athletic.  The gyms were intimidating; I could handle the elliptical, but that was about it.  My cousin had opened a Lagree Fitness studio and I went to try it out.  It was difficult.  I was incredibly weak.  And the soreness!!!!!  But it was fun and I got to hang out with family while I worked out so I stuck with it.  Then the results came.  I noticed my strength improving, I slept better, I had more energy, and I had muscles and shape that I had never seen on my body EVER!  I gained confidence and pride in my strength and hard work. 

This was 9 years ago.  I had made a lifestyle change;  health and fitness are a part of me and my family.  My kids are proud of how strong mama is and impromptu flex-offs are a regular thing around our house.  Yes, I skip days and yes, I ate my weight in cookies over the holidays, but that's life!  It would be impossible to maintain any sort of discipline for an extended period of time if you're miserable and constantly feeling guilty about your choices.  Set aside time to take care of yourself as something you do as part of the regular activities of your life, just like washing your car, getting your nails done, and seeing movies in the theater.

That's my story and here's my "before and after."


If I can do it, so can you.




HEALTH HACKS | Is winter dehydration a thing?

It's colder outside, and you may not feel thirsty, but did you know dehydration can happen just as easily in the winter as it can in the hot summer months?  As you move about in the cold, you may not be sweating, but water vapor is still being lost through your breath!

Winter is also a common time that we tend to exercise less and eat more.  When hydrated, you body is better able to break down body fat for energy and your appetite is better controlled.  Also, if your body does not get enough water, it will hold onto the water it already has; so hydration will help prevent water retention! 

Feeling thirsty is your body's signal that it's close to becoming dehydrated.  Another indication is the color of your urine (kinda gross, I know).  If it's not clear or light-colored, you need more water!  There are many viewpoints on how much water a day is enough.  Some say it's good to drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, each day.  If you're exercising (which you should be!) then you'll need more!

If a tall glass of ice water on a chilly day is not your thing, herbal teas are a great alternative!  Adding low-calorie/low-sodium flavors to your water is great too!  A squeeze of lemon juice or a few slices of cucumber can make getting enough water a lot easier.

Drink up! 

FITNESS HACKS | You don't have time to NOT exercise

Think you don't have time to workout?  The benefits of regular exercise far exceed just having nice biceps or a lifted booty.  Regular exercise has lasting health benefits across many physical aspects!  It is a common thing for people to feel they "don't have time to workout."  Just as with anything in our lives, if we feel it is important enough, we MAKE the time.  Especially in today's technologically-dependent lifestyle, we all are spending much more time sitting than we are moving, and spending a lot of our time looking at screens (phones, computers, tv, tablets).  This can have lasting NEGATIVE effects on our health and social interactions. 

Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of getting in some extra movement:

Regular exercise controls weight

Exercising burns calories, and with the Lagree Fitness method on the megaformer, you leave class CONTINUING to burn calories long after class!  The more intense the workout, the more calories you will burn.  Weight loss, and reversely weight gain, is all a numbers game of calories consumed and calories spent.  Exercise helps to balance that out.

Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

When you exercise you boost HDL or "good" cholesterol, and decrease unhealthy triglycerides.  This has the benefits of keeping your blood flowing smoothly and decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.  Regular exercise can also help manage a wide range of other health problems including stroke, type 2 diabetes, arthritis.  Also, with better balance and strengthened core, you reduce your risk of falls.

Exercise improves mood!

Regular exercise is a great way to relieve stress and leave you feeling happier!  When you exercise, certain feel-good chemicals are released from the brain leaving you happier, more relaxed, and improves your focus and learning which can result in you being more productive.  When you start to feel good physically, it also improves your confidence and self esteem.

Exercise boosts energy

Have you ever felt winded going up a flight of stairs, cleaning the house, or carrying in the groceries?  Regular exercise can improve your muscular strength and your endurance.  When you are physically active, you are delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your body and you're helping your heart to work more efficiently.  When you heart and lungs are working more efficiently, you have more energy to do your day-to-day tasks.

Exercise promotes better sleep

Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and can also help you sleep deeper!  Better and more sleep has many health benefits in and of itself.

Our workouts at Motivate are short, effective, and FUN!  It's also a great way to get away from the screens and make some new friends!  Just try to get in more movement in whatever form you choose!  It can be dance, hiking, walking the dog, or even standing at your desk instead of sitting; all of it will benefit your health.

I like to think of my exercise time as an appointment I am making for my health, just as you would for the dentist or a physical.  We have these bodies for a short time!  Why not make the most of it by being physically able do all the fun things life has to offer.  Future you will thank you for making the time.



FITNESS HACKS | Motivate Tip #1

Catfish, donkeys, spiders, and mermaids?

As you take a class, you'll quickly learn Motivate has crazy names for a lot of our exercises.  Learning these names will enhance your workout tremendously!  Lagree Fitness is intended to not only be your strength and endurance training, but also your CARDIO!  The more you attend class, the more familiar you will become with the names of the exercises, the faster your transitions will become between exercises.  This ensures you keep that heart-rate up and staying in that cardiovascular, fat-burning zone!

When time is taken to transition from one exercise to the next, you are essentially giving your body a break and allowing your heart-rate to decline.  Listening to your instructor's cues for the upcoming exercise will help you transition seamlessly.  This can get challenging and, with the help of your instructor, you'll need to push past your comfort zone. It is when we push our bodies to this threshold that we signal our bodies to change.

Together we will sweat, struggle, shake, and burn.  Together we MOTIVATE.