Friday, January 31, 2014

Why Workout?

Welcome to the second Food and Fitness Friday! Did any of you take the time to look at your nutrition labels and ingredients this past week? I hope so! How about this part... "take 3, 30 minute walks this week and challenge yourself to a 30 second to 1 minute plank each day (as long as you are cleared to do so by a Doctor) and check out these 3 videos (on Netflix): Hungry For Change, Forks over Knives and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead." 

How did you do?

If you did makes some changes GREAT! If not today is a great day to start!

I had some fitness inquiries this week so I am going to be focusing on that today.

Why workout? 

According to the Mayo Clinic (my doctor points me there all the time for information) there are 7 benefits to regular physical activity:

  1. Exercise controls weight (uh huh, it's true!)
  2. Combats health conditions and disease: "In fact, regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls". 
  3. Exercise improves Mood. Get out there Mr. or Mrs. Grumpy pants and perk up!
  4. Exercise boosts energy: "Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores".
  5. Exercise promotes better sleep. Too tired to squeeze in that workout? Think again!
  6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life. Say WHAT!?!
  7. Exercise can be fun.
Take a look at the link for details on each of those 7 benefits. I have experienced every single one of those benefits (sorry if this may be a little TMI because of reason 6 but it's true).

Now to the act of actually exercising. You should always check with your doctor if you have any injuries or conditions that may limit your ability to complete certain exercises but for most of us the following will be just fine.

My Favorite Exercises and Why:

Squats- I use a 12 lb kettle ball with my squats for that extra umph I need now. Squats are your biggest fat burning muscles burning those fat cells right off. Squats workout much more than the thighs. When doing them properly they help your core, your back, full legs, glutes and balance. 

Planks- This requires only your body and a floor. Gravity activates your core, arms, legs and sides. This is one of the ONLY moves that can give you a flat stomach, crunches will not! I repeat CRUNCHIES WILL NOT!  Check this out.

*if a full on plank is too hard at first, drop your knees but keep form.

Arm/Shoulder Workouts... Any, because that is one of my focus areas right now. Working toward leaner arms and get rid of the "extra wave"... you may know what I am talking about 

Yeeeeaaaah no one loves that... so do these:

Cardio- Now most people assume that you need to run a marathon to get cardio in... FALSE! There are non-running cardio exercises too! Such as punching or anything in this video below. Now... Cardio is not may favorite because I like doing it but getting your heart rate up is very important protecting you from heart disease, and keeping your oxygen levels good and lungs healthy plus it does feel good AFTER you are done. The below video is great if you are at home or in a small space. Running is great to do if you don't absolutely hate it. Grab some tunes or don't and let the experience of running clear your mind. 

ALL of the video's linked in this post can be done at home. Get your self a set of weights, start small and work your way up. Warm up your muscles by jumping rope (with  or without an actual rope), jumping jacks, leg swings, and arm circles are all good warms ups to do for about 5 minutes before your workout. Then create for yourself a circuit where you focus on 15-20 reps (reps=repetitions) of one move and then move to another move for 15-20 reps, and then a 3rd or 4th move with 15-20 reps. Take a 30-60 second break in-between your circuit and repeat it 3 times. Per my old personal trainer ALWAYS do Cardio (besides in the warm up) last so you are not fatigued when doing the circuit and do a 15-30 minute cardio workout after and pace yourself at a just beyond comfortable pace. Try to make your workouts no shorter than 30 minutes but a hour is ideal.

AND remember it's called a "Work"out because it actually will require work to see results, but well worth it in the end.

If you are a Stay at Home Mom or have your kids around you when you are trying to fit in that workout, check out this Link for some tips.


For the food portion of this post I have found a very helpful blog that has TONS and TONS of recipes all categorized so you can find what you are hungry for! Check out The Gracious Pantry's Recipe Index to find foods that are clean and tasty! Let me know what you end up trying and what your thoughts on the recipe are.

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20
    Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 


  1. Thanks for your blog Sandy! This is really helpful! I was wondering, for next week, if you know of some good arm strengthening exercises for people that have carpal tunnel syndrome (tennis elbow). I have it really bad in both arms and the muscle that I used to have is totally gone and my arms are all mushy. Are there any kinds of exercises out there that help to build strength that don’t require very heavy weights or putting your body weight on your arms? Thanks again!

  2. Debi great question! I will be doing some research and getting back to you!

  3. Debi, I have a question for you, do you have both carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow or one or the either, they are very much 2 separate things. Carpal tunnel is swelling the the upper wrist area just at the dip of your crease in the bottom of your palm, the swelling causes the nerves in that area to pinch and shoot pain up your arm. Tennis Elbow is an inflammation of your tendon on your inner elbow (thumb side) due to over use or injury, also there is another syndrome called golfers elbow that is similar to tennis elbow but it effects the tendon in your outer elbow (pinky side). In case you were wondering, I"m a certified massage therapist, that is why i know all this. Also there is another syndrome that is often confused with carpal tunnel, it is called thoracic outlet syndrome, it is actually from an elevated rib cage pinching your brachial plexus which is a group of nerves that run between your collar bone and 1st rib, they go outward to your arm and would cause similar shooting pain. a good way to test for this is if you put your arms up straight 90 degrees and do the chicken dance move where you pinch your hands open and shut, do it as long as you can, if you have thoracic outlet syndrome you will experience a good deal of pain and won't last long at all.