Top 4 Exercises to Include in a Workout

16546608_sWhat is the number one reason you don’t exercise? If you said “lack of time”, you are right there with most of the population. Everyone is busy and we all want ways to squeeze our workouts into an already full day. First of all, we need to make it a priority….one of the things that is first on the list of what to do each day! Secondly, make sure we are getting the most out of the time spent at the gym. Don’t waste it! So, what are the top 4 exercises we should make sure we include in our workout?

Here is a list of what some would consider the top whole body exercises to incorporate. They hit all major muscle groups through a range of motions. Big muscle group work will burn more calories if weight management is a focus. Movements that work through a range of movements are more functional and will help you build strength for everyday life tasks.

These exercises can be your entire workout when time is short or can be incorporated into existing workouts to add some variety.

If you are unsure of proper technique ask a trainer who is certified in personal training and fitness. You want to be safe first of all, and you deserve results.

1. Squats.

Why?  Most trainers agree that squats are one of the best exercises you can do. They work your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves all at once. Your core is engaged completely while doing the exercise. Many joints are used including hips, knees and ankles. It is a functional exercise. You squat to pick stuff up from floor every day!

How to Do it:

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes facing straight ahead or angled slightly outward, you should be comfortable. Slowly bend the knees and lower hips towards the floor, keeping your torso straight and abs pulled in tight. Keep your knees behind your toes by thinking of sitting down on a chair that is a bit too far back. Your weight should be in your heels; make sure everything’s pointing in the same direction. Do not go lower than 90 degrees. Squeeze through the glutes to come back up to standing position. Once you are comfortable with the technique you can add more resistance. That can be a barbell across your shoulders, dumbbells in your hands. There are dozens of variations to keep it interesting and challenging.

2. Push-Ups.

Why?  Push ups, like squats, are compound movements using almost all the muscles of your body. You’ll work your chest, shoulders, triceps, back and core. Obvious joint movements include shoulders, elbows and wrists.

How to Do It:

Position yourself face down on the floor, balancing on your toes/knees and hands. Your hands should be wider than shoulders, body in a straight line from head to toe. Don’t sag in the middle and don’t stick your butt up in the air. Slowly bend your arms and lower your body towards the floor, stopping when your elbows are at 90 degrees. Exhale and push back up. Variations include incline, decline, wall push-ups and modified versions for beginners.

3. Lunges.

Why? Like squats, lunges work most of the muscles in your legs including your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves while engaging your core. The lunge is a movement used in many sports and in daily life.

How to Do It:

Stand in a split-stance (one leg forward, one leg back). Bend knees and lower body into a lunge position, keeping the front knee and back knee at 90 degree angles. Keeping the weight in your front heel, push back up (slowly!) to starting position. Never lock your knees at the top and don’t let your knee bend past your toes. Think of lower your back knee towards the floor. The motion should be more up and down vs. forward and back. Variations: front lunges, back lunges and side lunges, walking lunges. Of course when you add weight it becomes a whole new ball game!

4. The Plank.

Why? The plank (or hover) is an isolation move used in Pilates and Yoga and works the abs, back, arms and legs. The plank also targets your internal abdominal muscles which is not typical of most common abdominal exercises.

How to Do It:

Lie face down on mat with elbows resting on floor next to chest. Push your body off the floor in a push-up position with body resting on elbows or hands. Contract the abs and keep the body in a straight line from head to toes. Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat as many times as you can. For beginners, do this move on your knees and gradually work your way up to balancing on your toes. You will be amazed at how challenging it is!

If you do these four exercises in a circuit with intensity and speed you will also get a good cardiovascular workout too!

Here is a combination to try the next time you are at the gym. Be sure to perfect the technique with a trainer before trying these on your own.


Warm up – 10 minutes fast walk to slow jog on treadmill or quick pace on elliptical

Circuit Workout

  • Goblet squat (holding dumbbell like wine goblet) – 15 reps
  • Push-up – with feet wide –  15 reps
  • Lunge – walking  – 15 reps per side
  • Plank – from elbows and toes. 30 seconds then rest for 10 second. Repeat 3x

Repeat circuit as many times as you can within 20 minutes. Keep track of the number of rounds that you complete so you can beat it next time!


Spend up to 10 minutes doing your favourite stretches. Never skip this part of your workout… will keep you limber and aid in recovery and injury prevention. You do have time for that!

I’d love your feedback! And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,



The Importance of Water – Staying Hydrated

9951562_sI know, you’ve heard it before. You must drink lots of water to maintain optimum health and to aid in weight loss. Why am I bringing it up again? I’ve had three separate conversations in the past week about the importance of hydration. In those conversations I was reminded that many people still don’t get how important it is to simply drink enough water.

Fact 1 – Water is the main constituent of the human body. It should represent 50% to 60% of your total mass. The muscles and brain are 75% water. You cannot survive without it! No other nutrient is more essential or needed in such large quantities.

Fact 2 – Many people say they “don’t like water” or “forget to drink it”.

Fact 3 – Water is not a choice. It is required.

Lack of water will affect how other systems function and grow and recover. The reason it is important for weight management or weight loss is that when your body is functioning optimally, it will regulate all systems and work towards finding your perfect weight.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Mild dehydration can cause symptoms such as thirst, headache, weakness, dizziness and fatigue and generally makes people feel tired and lethargic.

Symptoms of moderate dehydration may include dry mouth, little or no urine, sluggishness, a rapid heartbeat and lack of skin elasticity.

Severe dehydration is a life-threatening medical emergency, and is characterized by extreme thirst, no urine, rapid breathing, altered mental state and cold, clammy skin.

If you are thirsty, you are already mildly dehydrated. You should drink regularly, avoiding thirst.  A decrease in hydration of just 1% of your body weight can negatively affect your ability to exercise!

Here’s an interesting point – The afternoon wall, hunger or lack of energy that most people mistake for hunger (often giving in to sugary carbohydrate snacks), is OFTEN thirst. Try drinking water or herbal tea first.

Does it HAVE to be water?

Replacement of the body’s water and salt losses is essential to maintain appropriate hydration and a good health status. Replacement of water can be achieved through food and beverages. It is calculated that of the total water consumed, 20-30% typically comes from food and 70-80% from beverages, but this may vary greatly, depending on diet.

Plain water is a significant source of liquid intake in many humans, but many beverages like juices, milk, sparkling drinks, coffee and tea are more than 85% water and are therefore also an important source of water. It has been shown that the variety of sources, colours and flavours of beverages is as important as variety of food in nutrition.

Thus the answer is no, but water has no calories or side effects!

Four activities where hydration is key!

1. Studying

Being well hydrated is important for physical and mental health. The brain represents only 2% of the body’s weight, but gets 20% of blood circulation. When dehydrated, the blood volume in the body falls and there is a danger that the amount of blood, and hence the amount of oxygen and vital nutrients that are supplied to the brain, may also fall.

2. Driving

Dehydration can cause headaches, tiredness and loss of concentration, affecting mental alertness. Driving in a hot car can lead to sweating with large losses of water and mineral salts or electrolytes. Even in an air conditioned car, water losses can be high on a long drive.

3. Physical Activity

Dehydration during exercise may be reduced or prevented by drinking sufficient amounts of beverages or sports drinks both during and prior to sports activities when water loss is expected to occur. Sports drinks provide fluids, electrolytes and carbohydrates. During exercise, drinking should occur regularly, but the frequency of drinking and the amount consumed will depend on many factors, including the intensity and duration of exercise and the weather conditions, as well as on the physical characteristics of the individual, including body weight and individual sweating characteristics.

4. At Work

Many factors such as increased workload, stress, long journeys to or from work, dry air due to air-conditioning or heating environments can affect the normal functioning of the body and increase water loss even when we are not noticeably sweating.

How much water should you drink every day?  Here is a simple method to calculate your daily water intake requirement.

Body weight ÷ 2 = the number of ounces of water per day.

Divide this number by 8 to calculate how many glasses.

There are a lot more reasons to stay hydrated…but this is a simple overview intended to remind or encourage you to THINK about it every day. It matters and just might be the missing link that is slowing the success of your wellness journey.

How much water do you drink each day? I love getting feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,



6 Reasons People Fail at Their Fitness Resolutions

bigstock-Young-Woman-Training-In-The-Gy-51335635A few days into the year and the masses are making their way into the gym to begin their fitness journeys. This is an important time of year in fitness and weight loss businesses. Improved health via multiple methods is always one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Sadly, while an important and vital idea, most of the “resolutionists” don’t achieve it as a long term goal. Only about 20% of those who start a fitness plan because of a resolution actually manage to stay true to their plan. That compares to about a 60% success rate for those committing to fitness and wellness for other reasons. So, why are people unsuccessful with fitness resolutions? Here are 6 reasons:

1. Unrealistic timeline for success.

Advertisers and promoters tell you that you can “be fit and healthy in six short weeks”. Those are words meant to get you spending money with them. They aren’t necessarily true! Fitness and health are part of a lifestyle and the timeline for success should actually be forever. If you start your fitness journey with the idea that you will be there in six weeks or 90 days you will  be disappointed quickly and likely quit with that “end date” arrives or possibly sooner. It should be forever.

2. Lack of a realistic plan.

The biggest excuse for missing exercise is lack of time. You choose your priorities and manage your schedule…..which is your plan. Joining the gym is not the same as going to the gym. You need to have a plan of action to ensure that you are committed to ensure success. Book your workouts in your daily or weekly planner.

3. Poor support system.

When your family and friends are working towards the same goal you are more likely to have the healthy choices readily available. If you are on your own it will be more difficult to stay focused and successful. Find a workout partner.

4. Lack of knowledge.

Are you exercising with enough intensity or often enough to make a difference? To get results you need to be working hard enough. It doesn’t come naturally, you will need help to get the results that you are looking for. It will be discouraging if you are doing the time but not getting results. Ask for help! Hire a trainer, join a class.

5.  The goal is not your own.

If you chose fitness simply because you should without truly dedicating to it, to your plan and to the reasons why, you are less likely to stay committed. Choose a goal that fits into your life for reasons that matter to you.

6. Indifference by service providers.

You’ve made a big decision that requires commitment and motivation, along with a bit of money. If you’ve joined a gym or program with instructors that don’t make you feel important and provide sincere support you may quickly feel left out and you resolution may fade. Be sure that you spend time choosing the right establishment with the right people. Price is not the most important factor!

I hope that fitness is one of your 2013 lifestyle choices and that you create the right plan and stay motivated all year long!

I’d love your feedback! And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature you’ll find here on the site.

Until next time,



Holiday Season Shop ‘til You Drop Fitness Survival Tips

8153463_sI hope you haven’t done what I’ve done this year! Here we are a few short weeks away from Christmas and I have done absolutely nothing to prepare. I haven’t purchased one single gift…or even made a list. I’ve got all of the typical excuses. Of course none of those matter. I know that I will have to power shop at some point soon. It may be a full day or two battling crowds in the mall and crowds in the parking lot. Sadly, the time and dedication required for extended power shopping trips is not typically conducive to a healthy lifestyle. So, I thought it might be helpful to give you a quick list of potential health hazards and some shop ’til you drop fitness survival tips for this holiday season.

  1. Dehydration – the malls are dry and when you get busy in the crowds you may forget to drink enough water. Dehydration will make you tired and cranky. Plus it’s just not good for you. Take water with you and continue to drink throughout the day. Staying hydrated will also help to keep you out of the food court trap.
  2. Exercise – when you have a busy day shopping the thought of a workout may be enough to put you over the edge. This is the right day to work-out in the morning. Get it done before you get sidetracked by holiday happenings and you can avoid the guilt of just wanting to relax at the end of your trip.
  3. Fresh air – if your entire shopping day has you inside one mega shopping centre plan to step outside for fresh air occasionally. (here’s hoping you can avoid the smoking section). The fresh cool air will rejuvenate you.
  4. Unload your stuff- once the buying has begun you need to unload heavy and awkward packages into your car. Carrying unevenly balanced bags will change your walking gait pattern and over a long day can cause shoulder or back pain. The trip to the car will also help with the exercise and fresh air issues.
  5. Healthy snacks – you will need to eat! You will need to eat nourishing food. Pack some healthy “on the go” snacks with your water. Snacking properly will keep your blood sugar balanced which will keep you in control when you smell the cinnamon buns and cookies. Plan to go for a meal before you are starving and choose a restaurant with healthy options.

All of your success when it comes to your healthy lifestyle stem from planning properly for whatever is on your agenda. Know what challenges may be ahead and have the tools, or food ideas that you need ready. Yes, there are always excuses……but how much does is matter to you?

I’d love your feedback! And, don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,




8 Things to Consider When Joining a Fitness Club

It’s not a secret. Deciding on which fitness club to join can be a stressful undertaking, especially if you are looking for the very first time. As the owner of a privately owned club, I get asked many of the same questions over and over again as potential clients decide what facility will best suit their needs. Not every club is the right fit for every person who is ready to improve or maintain their health. You really should consider your options once you’ve created your list of “need to haves” and “nice to haves”. Recognize that the needs and wants are different and what your goals truly are. Here are 8 questions that people ask or look for when shopping for a fitness club.

  1. Location, location, location! Your gym needs to be close or you will find excuses not to go. Most people join a club that is less than 10 minutes from their home.
  2. Hours of operation! We live busy lives. The gym needs to be open when you are available. Many facilities, like Fitness Force Keswick offer 24hour access.
  3. Variety of Equipment! It’s essential to change your workout regularly. That means you need options. A variety of machines, free weights and cardio equipment is what many people are looking for.
  4. Cleanliness! It’s a gym after all! We are often asked if the facility is professionally cleaned on a very regular basis. The answer is YES! It’s an ongoing challenge…we really wish everyone would change to indoor shoes!
  5. Price! Yes of course it does come up and you should consider it. However it should be more about value than bottom line price. Typically, you get what you pay for. A facility that has staff to support you and includes some extras will certainly cost a little bit more. It’s probably worth it.
  6. Personal Training! As so many people are just starting out they are looking for training and support. We offer an orientation with any new membership as our goal is get everyone started on the road to success. Most will need some direction. Make sure the trainers at your facility of choice are certified and knowledgeable.
  7. Cancellation Policy! Many people are unsure of their long term commitment. Sadly, some gyms have given the industry a bad reputation for enforcing unrealistic contracts and more. This isn’t necessarily true. Most gyms now offer monthly options that have no contract or time commitment. You should ask those questions.
  8. Free Trial! Yes, yes, yes. You should have the opportunity to try a new facility before having to pay any money or sign a contract of any sort. At the very least you should do a day pass to check it out for yourself. You are hopefully making a long term decision!

Typically about 14% of a population will join some sort of fitness facility. That means you are already ahead of the majority! Those 14 out of 100 people will decide between a typical fitness club, yoga studio, fitness programs and other programmed options.

What are your goals? Is it weight loss, improved fitness or are you training for something specific? Hopefully your fitness goal is intended to be long term….like forever! You should have an idea of your goal before shopping for a facility. How would you know what to look for otherwise?

Do you have the knowledge?  There are experts in the fitness industry who have studied exercise technique and nutrition. Those are the people who can help you reach your goal. If you haven’t got the knowledge yourself you should be sure that your chosen fitness place has certified trainers who do. You will need help.

I hope that this list of top inquiries will help you to choose the right fitness place for you. I know when I was first shopping for a fitness facility I made some wrong choices because I didn’t ask the right questions. I ended up with little or no results and frustrated. When I first walked in to Fitness Force in Keswick to consider joining I was unsure and scared. Fortunately there was a friendly face to greet me, promise that there were trainers to help me and lots of options for fitness classes and equipment. I could never have imagined then, that I would end up buying the gym just 2 years later! When it works, it works! For more information on that story, please click here.

What are the things you consider? Send me your feedback. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,




CSAs – Community Supported Agriculture – Are You Participating?

5705016_sCSAs – Community Supported Agriculture – Are You Participating?

As the growing season comes to an end I’m a bit sad and disappointed that my Tuesday challenge of “what to do with all of these fresh organic vegetables” from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) will soon come to a halt. Don’t get me wrong! It’s a time commitment that hasn’t always been easy. Without doubt though, a summer season of interesting food (and a full, dirty refrigerator!)

This year a local organic farmer began a CSA program (community supported agriculture). Every Tuesday afternoon I would visit the farm to pick up my bounty of vegetables. It was an awesome experience to see the farm and meet the people who actually planted, watered and picked those vegetables. They were proud of their efforts….and it was a tough season from “no rain” to “rain all at once”.  I certainly can’t claim to understand the challenges of farming (organically at that!).

My greatest challenge has been what to do with these foods –some of which I have never seen or eaten before. That challenge brought to light another fun experience; talking about food and food ideas with other people.

Today is Tuesday. My bag of veggies is now processed.

1 – Carrots and radishes are washed and stored in bags to be used fresh in tomorrow’s dinner salad.

2- Broccoli is blanched, in a bag and into the freezer for future reference. (thanks to Stephanie of Sensible Wellness. It seems I hadn’t thought of that idea and I still had broccoli from last week!)

3- Beets are roasting in the oven and will be used in a beet salad with either feta or goat cheese later this week!

4- Kale will be made into kale chips as soon as the beets are done. The last time I made them they were delicious – but limp the next day. (thanks again to my food friend Stephanie for setting me straight on storage. Air tight container once completely cooled)

5 – Parsley is chopped up and added to the yummy sweet potato salad that I made last night. It can only make it better!

6 – Arugula is washed and ready to be added to my mix of leafy greens. I have too much though. Maybe arugula pesto?  Maybe sauce of some kind? Maybe the internet will help me figure this one out!

7- Eggplant! This one is always a challenge for me. I think I may sauté diced eggplant with some of the organic garlic and mix that with ground turkey. Wish me luck.

Today my food friend asked if I will take part in the CSA program again next year. I must admit I hesitated for a moment as it does take some commitment to use or prepare everything quickly enough to keep it fresh. Tonight I realized that it is truly an enjoyable challenge. Everything takes time, including food planning and food preparation. This just needs to be a priority.

Ultimately it needs to be a priority no matter where you get your fresh foods. Having your vegetables prepared and easy takes away the excuse of “I haven’t got time to eat healthy”.

It has been an enjoyable season of fresh food preparation, trying new ideas and sharing food ideas with friends. I encourage you to try foods that you have never tried before. Look them up on the internet and try a new recipe. Talk to a foodie friend who just might know what to do!

Click here to visit this site for more information on the CSA that I was a part of.  Maybe your city has a similar program that you can check out for next year!

Click here to meet Stephanie and follow her food and nutrition blog. You will not be disappointed.

And now I must clarify the dirty fridge remark. The really fresh veggies are covered in dirt. That’s just the way it is. Note for next year – always wash them before they go into the fridge!

How about you? Do you visit a local coop for your veggies? Share your experience with me. I love getting feedback. And don’t for get to leave that link back to your own blog too if you have one, via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,



7 Steps to Fitness Success

14332551_sIs it possible to make changes starting today? How about these 7 steps to becoming the fittest you have ever been? Yes, why not? You are the best boss of that decision. The only one in complete control of what you do. I read a quote a few weeks ago that is quite appropriate to achieving your fitness goals…..and other goals too.

“If something is important enough, you will always find a way. If it`s not, you can easily find an excuse!”

Achieving your goals or making your dreams come true is something that I know about. So much in fact, that I wrote a book about it! While my book (Jump For Joy…When Your Dreams Come True) is related to business achievements, the 7 steps outlined can be applied to any goal, dream, business plan or idea.

Step One – Picture the Goal Achieved!

You need to be conscious of your desire for change and know what you want to achieve. Picture yourself having done it. If your goal is to lose 25 pounds think about the new clothes you will buy. How much more energy will you have? Who will notice? What great things will they say? What will you feel when you look in the mirror? Yes, daydream and feel what it will be like.

Step Two – Pay Attention to the Signs!

If you find yourself yearning to look better in your favourite jeans or you’re struggling to keep your energy up for the day, you are already telling yourself a need change is coming. If your doctor has said “exercise or die” the time is right. If you can calculate the time you spend watching TV in hours per day, there is opportunity for improvement. The fit people you see on TV aren’t just lucky, they work for it.

Step Three – Choose a Goal, Set a Plan!

One that is realistic and achievable based on your intelligent research. Create a plan on how you will achieve it. Will you join a gym and hire a personal trainer? Will you attend nutrition workshops? How much time will you invest? Is your level of commitment sufficient to achieve your goal? If your goal is to lose 25 pounds in 3 months but you aren’t going to consider your nutritional needs then you aren’t setting yourself up for success. Predict your challenges – what will be difficult for you and set a plan to be successful in those situations. Your goal and plan need to be cohesive and you may need professional advice to make the plan……and support to get to the end.

Step Four – Start Right Now!

There is no reason to delay fitness and health. Once your plan is determined and written you should start immediately. Remember that it is important enough you promised yourself that you would find a way. If you are busy in the evening then get up earlier in the morning to exercise. If you don’t have time to cook healthy meals every single day then choose one day and cook in bulk. Solutions or excuses……the choice is yours.

Step Five – Overcome Obstacles, Avoid Temptation!

The first few days or weeks working on your goal may be exciting….and easier. But as time goes by you may find your willpower weakening. Go back to your written plan and go back to your original dream of success. If the new challenge facing you is a holiday gathering where food is a focus, talk to your trainer about acceptable choices and make a plan for extra activity to compensate. Remember your “why” and recommit. Yes, you can do it. Other people do, and you can too!

Step Six – Celebrate!

Reward yourself for your effort, commitment and success. You deserve it. In fact you should plan your “success prize” early in your goal setting. An image of the treat at the end of the mission will keep you motivated. This is when you go out and buy a new bathing suit or enjoy a day at the spa. Maybe a nice dinner out (healthy choices of course),  or a new pair of running shoes. It doesn’t matter what it is but it does matter that you do it!

Step Seven – Set a New Goal!

Why stop now? That would be silly. You know how to do it.

I hope that you choose fitness and health as one of your life goals. The body you have right now is the only one you get. We all choose how to treat it. I urge you to visit my other website for more information on “Jump For Joy…When Your Dreams Come True”. Order a copy of the book or download the ebook. I am sure you will find some inspiration on those pages that will encourage fitness success AND so much more.

And then, give me your feedback! Don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,





7 Ways to Stay Motivated and Active This Fall

Couple mountain biking with their dog on autumn dayThe seasons are changing again. It’s fall and a time when many people find themselves beginning to hibernate a bit more than usual. Not only is it darker later into the morning but it’s darker earlier in the evenings as well. The lack of daylight time can cause the feeling of increased tiredness, lack of energy….or excuse to be lazy! Below are 7 ways to stay motivated and active this season.

There is some truth to the seasonal change in energy levels. We are quite programmed to sleep or rest when it’s dark and do stuff (sometimes even fun stuff) in the daylight hours. A bright sunny day with a giant sun is always motivating.

When your goals include living a healthy and active lifestyle it’s important to not fall into the pitfalls that increased night time hours can bring. Here are a few ideas to help motivate you.

  1. Change your mind! Don’t decide that because it’s darker you should sit on the couch and watch TV. You are the one who is in complete control. Yes it is a choice. You may not be able to cut the grass or play on your boat in the dark but you can hit the gym or join a bowling league
  2. Watch your diet! I don’t mean “go on a diet”….they are typically a bad idea. What I mean is ensure that you are eating balanced meals that fuel your body. Avoid the winter comfort foods that are typically just big bad carbohydrates that will suck the energy out of you. If you can keep sugar out of your diet you will find your energy levels are stable….and high.
  3. Stay active in the day! Exercise or go for a hike. Use your body like it is meant to be used and it will reward you with more energy and vitality. You should look forward to your activities. Find something that you enjoy and it will always be easy and will always be a priority.
  4. Sleep at regular hours! Your body does need sleep and so does your mind. To maintain your maximum energy and intelligence you should go to bed at a regular time and get up at a regular time. The number of hours of sleep required is different for everyone. You should wake up feeling rested and ready for your awesome day.
  5. Manage stress! Stress is not only a great big sucker of your energy but it causes weight gain and a host of medical conditions. Find your release, it’s important. Meditation, a solo walk in the woods, a bubble bath, quiet time with your pet, play time with your kids, reading a book, a bike ride. Something!
  6. Have fun and laugh! There is nothing like a good laugh or a good time to boost your energy levels. Not only that, you end up wanting to have more fun which keeps you busy. We all have things that are responsibilities or obligations but when you have fun in between. those chores aren’t your main focus and happiness prevails.
  7. Drink lots of water! Can it really be this simple? Yes, if you notice yourself yawning and feeling like an afternoon nap, have a glass of water first. You may be in for quite a surprise… are dehydrated!

These are simple tips and kind of common sense. That being said, I would like to draw your attention to number One again. Change your mind! We are all the boss of what we do and what we choose as a priority. If something is important to you, you WILL find the time. I urge you to accept that responsibility and make your health and energy a priority. It is a choice that is available to you.

Share your favourite fall activity! I love getting feedback. Don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too!

Until next time,



10 Fun Autumn Activities

bigstock-morning-run-in-the-autumn-fore-52724119As the weather cools with the changing of the seasons we have the opportunity to find some new outdoor activities to fill in the days. I know my dogs are enjoying the crisp and cool Autumn days as they have a lot more energy and can play for hours and hours. That’s fun for me too as it means more outdoor time.  I know summer is fun but the heat of the day can sap your energy or leave you overheated. No excuses now….get outside and enjoy the big blue skies and fresh air.  So here are 10 fun activities for the weekend or early evening. These can help the next time you think or hear someone say “there is nothing good on TV”.

  1. Visit the local orchard to pick fresh apples. I remember picking apples as a kid. The whole family (cousins and all) would get together for apple picking fun. It’s a great memory and fresh apples are good for you.
  2. Go for a hike at a national park and enjoy the changing leaves and fresh air. Hiking doesn’t have to be strenuous. Just get out there. Bring a picnic or fun snack and stay out longer.
  3. Pick and carve pumpkin at a local patch. Be sure to bring your camera. Pumpkin patch photos are always interesting.
  4. Spend an evening around a campfire. Sing some songs or share some secrets.
  5. Fly a kite! When was the last time you tried?
  6. Dress warm and go boating or kayaking. If you don’t have a boat then head to the lake for a walk along the shore.
  7. Make preserves or pickles. Homemade treats are always better.
  8. Test your skill at a corn maze. They`re fun and challenging and sure to exist somewhere near you.
  9. Head out for a family bike ride on a country road.
  10. Visit the animal shelter and take a dog for walk. You’ll feel good and help an animal have a better day too.

If these ideas don’t capture your attention then I challenge you to create your list of 10 great things to do this fall. They can be family activities or something that you can enjoy on your own. They key is to get out of the house and move….or learn something new.

What’s your favourite fall activity? Share your ideas with me. And if you’re a blogger, don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog too via the commentluv feature here on the site!

Until next time,




How to Stay Committed to a Fitness Plan – The Last 10 Pounds

9195877_sRecently, I embarked on a new personal fitness challenge. OK, not really new, but more like a goal that I’ve had…..and even talked about but never truly committed to. Yes, like many people I’ve said “I want to” or “one day maybe I will, when I’m ready”. I have even gone as far as uttering “I’m going to” but without the actual plan, commitment, motivation and support, those were empty words. Yes, even trainers struggle sometimes.

My own fitness journey has been consistent…..and long. I say that without the intention of scaring people away but with the intention of helping everyone understand that it is forever and also, it is forever changing. My goals today are much different than they were 5 years ago. I am leaner and stronger, but I am NOT done. I am both willing and able to work out harder and with much more intensity. YES, I love that!

The specific, numeric goal is to lose 10 pounds of fat within a six week period. The tougher-to-measure portion of the goal is more vain but that’s ok….it’s my own business!

My weight and fitness level has stagnated for a long time now. I have accepted that as my body’s “comfortable and happy place”. I’m not complaining as I know I have worked hard to achieve this and I do a lot of the right things about 90% of the time. When I realized that I have said out loud several times “I want to lose 10 pounds, but I’m not sure that I can” it was time to either shut up or do it.

Why is now different?

Instead of saying “I want to” I am saying “I am, I will….and here is how”. I have the knowledge….and did before. The difference is the attitude. No, it is not easy but I know I want the change so I must make the change.

Is it working?

Yes, of course. I guess I knew it would once I was committed to the process.

What is the process?

  • Commitment to vigorous exercise of at least 10 or more hours per week with an accurate plan.
  • Commitment to proper nutrition… for real….all the time, no excuses or justifications. This requires planning, cooking and tracking everything.
  • Commitment to “buddies” who are dedicated to the same or similar process for all around support and motivation.  I do believe the checking in for a “great job” or “you can do one more” is essential.
  • A vision of the end result to ensure there is joy in the process and a plan for celebration when the goal is achieved.

Why am I sharing this?

There once was a time when I thought fit and strong people were just lucky to have “that kind of body”.  Of course that is simply not true, they work for it and take care of it and make it a priority! I am sharing this because I am kind of proud of myself. I’m not done yet, I haven’t finished the six weeks yet but I am confident in saying that I will achieve that fitness goal….and future ones too because I decided to.

….and that means you can too! Most of the power is in your mind, and you have the complete power to change it!

I will see you at the other side of 10 pounds in just over 3 weeks.

How about you? What is your fitness goal? I’d love to hear from you. And don’t forget to leave a link back to your own blog if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site.

Until next time,