Category Archives: Fit Tips

What is Audio Fitness?

Thank you to Aaptiv for sharing a free 2- week trial with me in exchange for my  honest review.

Fitness Apps, YouTube, & Online workouts, are the norm these days.  And for good reason, they are convenient- you don’t need to find a class time that works with your schedule, so you can do them whenever you want!

Since I am a fitness instructor, of course I think there is something said for going to a live class. However, having another option is key as getting tothe gym 5x a week is unrealistic for many. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you know I’m a huge fan of home workouts. Lately I’ve been into Cassy Ho’s workouts (I mean obviously – she’s the creater of Pop Pilates), Katie’s Love Sweat Fitness & Tone it Up. (LOVING the live workouts they have been doing lately, so much fun).

I’m obviously very passionate about postpartum fitness for others as well as my own fitness journey, so I was intrigued when Aaptiv reached out to me to try their Stroller Workouts!

So what is Aaptiv?

“We founded Aaptiv with the goal of bringing an elevated workout experience to a global community. We use technology to make that experience accessible anytime, anywhere – whether you’re working out at your local gym in LA or running outside while traveling in London.”

There is a workout for anyone- HIIT routines, running workouts (even marathon training plans), yoga, stretching, and even elliptical workouts. I really love the variety, but I was only able to check out the Stroller Workouts the past two weeks (2nd and 3rd trimester Maternity workouts are also coming soon).

First of all, the playlists are AWESOME. Music is so key to my motivation & they really have that part figured out.  I do think there is a little learning curve adjusting to the audio fitness aspect. If you are a visual learner you may feel a little lost initially, but that’s not to say the instructors are lacking at all. Their cues are specific and motivational.

The workouts were easy to follow and tough, especially the Stroller Plyo workout (hello legs). I think the time frame was perfect- no longer than 20 minutes. Now that Charlotte is 2, she doesn’t like to sit still in the stroller too long unless there are bubbles/songs etc. to keep her entertained. I am really curious to try out some of the running workouts as well, since I’m just getting back into being a runner again. 🙂

Not sure you want to swing the $9.99/month just yet, sign up here for your 7-day free trial!

What are your favorite fitness apps or at home workouts? Please share in the comments below!

 

 

 

CONS: A little tricky to cancel your account.

There is also first trimester workouts and soon to be second and third trimester workouts as well! I find this aspect so unique for a fitness app.

There is an option for a 7- day free trial to see if these workouts are for you! (You can also sign up through their app)

You can also check Aaptiv out on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

Tips for Working Out at Home

Happy Holiday Season everyone!

I can’t believe Christmas is so soon. I’ve thought a lot about my shopping list but naturally, I’ve barely scratched the surface. Oh well, it always gets done doesn’t it?? (Thank you, Amazon).

Today I wanted to chat a little bit about working out at home. Kids, spouse time and jobs can make it tough to get to a gym/studio on a regular basis. Plus the darker/colder weather does not help with my motivation to leave the house once hubby is home!

Curling up with a glass of wine and watching “This Is Us” is way more appealing. Right?

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With all that said, I need to sneak in some workouts somehow during the week.

Below are a few of my tips to kickstart your motivation (reword) to workout at home:

Lay out your Equipment

If I am planning on a workout during naptime, I will lay out my yoga mat in the middle of the kitchen or living room. If I physically have to step over it all morning, then I have a physical reminder to get my butt moving when the kiddos are asleep!

Find Something You Like

I know this goes without saying, but if you don’t find a type of exercise that you enjoy- you are not going to do it. Nowadays there are SO many more options out there than traditional exercise- dance workouts, HIIT workouts, TRX workouts, barre workouts – just to name a few. Lately I’ve been going through some Blogilates , Love Sweat & Fitness and some Tone it Up workouts. They all have youtube videos = awesome.

Dress the Part

Cute workout clothes always help, and if I get dressed in them first thing then I have no excuse. I love that athleisure is “a thing” these days, since that’s basically what I live in.

Some of my favorite looks are:

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Beyond Yoga Space Dye Leggings are AMAZING. Like the most comfortable pair of yoga pants ever. I love them.

{And no, I don’t look like this when I’m working out at home. I wish}

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Zella has the cutest shirts that are comfy and perfect to layer over a tank top or wear on their own.

Do you workout at home?

What are some of your favorite tips for working out at home?

Exercise at 38 Weeks Pregnant

This will likely be my last post before I’ll have 2 kiddos under 2 at home. Oh boy! We’ve been super busy lately keeping up with Charlotte plus trying to get ready for the little man’s arrival (as ready as we can be).

I’m happy that I have made it this far into the pregnancy- (I had Charlotte and Declan at 34 1/2 weeks). Baby boy is definitely growing, but oh man I am starting to feel real uncomfortable. The last couple weeks is rough, especially when you already have a kid!! It’s way different than the first pregnancy when I could nap or sit down when I wanted to!

Sleep is getting tough, showering, getting dressed and picking up Charlotte is a lot of work! So, let’s just say I’m happy to have him here and not in my belly anymore! 🙂

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 I never got around to getting any maternity pictures done with my first pregnancy, so we did a few this time and it was fun having my little love join in!

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Little Miss has no idea she’s going to be sharing my attention real soon. Ha- should be interesting! Thankfully, Damon has 2 weeks off work and then my mom will be in town after that so I’ll have some good help the first month!

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So…………Exercise.

Besides being able to sleep normally, I’m seriously craving a good workout. Like a good cardio, HIIT routine or a long run! Oh man, that sounds glorious!! The hubby is currently training for a 1/2 marathon and I’m so jealous. Of course I’ll be released to exercise again when it’s starting to get real hot and toasty here…..so that’ll be a shocker to the system.

It’s tough as I was just getting back into running shape and then found out I was pregnant again when Charlotte was about 6 months. So, I’ve had to slow it all down just when I was beginning to ramp back up. I am lucky that my doc has still okayed me to walk and take modified Pure Barre classes. As long as I’m not pushing myself too hard and I’m staying hydrated, he said I can go for it! Honestly it’s hard having to take so many breaks to catch my breath and just feeling overall fatigue. Like I wake up in the morning and my legs just feel heavy….probably has something to do with carrying that extra weight around! I’ve cut my walks down to about 15-20 minutes and I took Pure Barre only 2x last week. And don’t get me wrong, my barre classes are super modified, but it still feels good to somewhat move my body. These last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to balance resting but letting myself move around as I won’t be able to for another 6 weeks!!

I don’t really have a point to get to so thanks for listening to me ramble on and on- ha!

Mommas: Were you Exercising the last few weeks of Pregnancy?

Hope everyone has a lovely Monday! Thanks for stopping by!

~M

For the Love of Planks

Since getting back to teaching group fitness classes, I am realizing how much I incorporate planks into the workouts!  Besides the fact that they are excellent for core and shoulder strength, there are also so many ways to switch them up!

Below are 5 Variations of the Basic Plank!

Plank Jacks

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To Modify: Take out the jump and step each leg to the side and back to mid-line one at a time.

Up and Down Planks

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This exercise is SO awesome for shoulder stability. To modify, perform with knees on the ground.

Side Planks

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This can be performed with the arm straight or on the forearm. Lifting the top leg is an added bonus 🙂

Side Plank Crunch

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Who thought you could do crunches while holding a plank?!

Plank with Hip Swivels

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This variation is a great way to challenge your obliques, and again your shoulder stability.

I’d love to hear some ways that you like to switch up the regular ‘ol plank! Please share in the comments below! 

Happy Tuesday Friends! ~Marielle

All About Personal Training Certs

I stumbled upon this article written by Amanda Vogel titled “Cert by Selfie” and it inspired me to write a blog post today! Woop!

The article delves into the debate on social medial personalities and are they taking away from trainers that are certified?

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I love being able to go on Pinterest and search “at home workouts” and have tons of routines pop up or follow people on instagram that post workout videos.  And heck, I read and write a  fitness blog, so I can definitely say I’m a fan of social media + fitness. But at the same time, is someone an authority on fitness soley by the fact that they have a huge following or a fit physique? Not necessarily.

My take?

The consumer should be informed and/or research who they are taking serious exercise or nutrition advice from. Do they have a degree in Kinesiology, are they certified, what continuing education courses have they taken etc?

When I was in college (OMG 10 years ago), ACSM and NSCA were the big two to pursue. More recently ACE and NASM have gained more recognition. Thinking about becoming certified or are you looking for a trainer? I’d make sure they are certified by one of these organizations. Of course a big part of the job is being relatable to people. You can have a billion certs but if you aren’t easy to communicate with, it isn’t going to do you any good!

I had a certification through ACSM, but more recently pursued my CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist). I wanted it is because it is well respected when working with the athletic population as well as the general public.

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To take the exam you need a Bachelor’s degree (not necessarily in Kinesiology, but of course that helps).  There are two sections Scientific Foundations and the Applied/Practical portion. The exam covers nutrition, anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, exercise technique, program design, and testing/evaluation. The test was a beast and I studied for about 3 months prior and A LOT. I remember keeping flashcards in my purse and studying any chance I had. Don’t miss that!

I don’t think one certification is better than the other as you learn more through experience and continuing education.

Remember Group Exercise is different than personal training. For example, spinning instructors don’t need a personal training certification- they are certified to teach spin. Same goes for zumba, yoga, pilates etc.

Have you worked with a personal trainer?

Are you certified?

*Check out a recent article I contributed to from Gym Geek!*

Cordskinz Review

 Disclaimer: I received complimentary products in exchange for a blog review. The review is my own opinion.

If you are like me, getting my headphones all bunched up during my workouts is probably the most annoying thing ever! I’ve tried a variety of headphone brands, yet it still happens! Argh…the struggle.

I was recently contacted by the lovely people at Cordskinz to try out their newly launched product to resolve the tangled earbud issue. I figured “sure, why not?”

The skinz are basically little sleeves that fit over your headphone cords to keep them from getting tangled up. Genius!

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Cordskinz

And as luck would have it, I received some Pink Skinz!

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I was a little confused at what the heck I was supposed to do with them when I first opened the package, but their home page shows a quick youtube video on how to esemble them.

Now of course I’m not running right now, so I will have to test these babies out a little more once I’m able to ramp up the exercise intensity. But I’ve used them on my walks with miss Paisley and was surprisingly pleased, no tangled mess!

My only gripe is that you have to cut the cords and fit them to the current pair that you own and have to make sure to cut around your volume buttons…….that was a little tedious but not a huge deal…I am just lazy. 😉

Cost? Only $9.99….no too bad!

Also, check out their social media channels if interested:  Twitter and Facebook

Do you have issues with your headphones getting tangled up? Found any solutions?

3 Must-Do Exercises for the Pregnant Woman

Good morning everyone!

How’s the week been so far? Hopefully not too painful getting back into the grind after the Holidays. This week is actually going by pretty quick in our household. It has been SO cold (especially compared to Los Angeles) this week and all I want to do is bundle up and stay inside. This morning it was 25 degrees, brrr!! Paisley is not impressed.

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Today I wanted to share my favorite exercises for the pregnant lady! Of course there are many more exercises that are beneficial to do, but these are the three I feel like should be incorporated into every program!

Pregnancy Exercises

LUNGES

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Why? Lots of picking up, reaching, and setting down the baby. And don’t forget about groceries and all those other household chores forcing you to bend forward! We don’t want to cause a back issue, so keeping those legs and glutes strong is important. Lunges can be performed stationary, stepping, walking, or even lateral and posterior.

ROWS

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Why? Holding, feeding, and reaching into your babies crib is inevitably going to force you into a more “kyphotic” (rounded/forward) posture position, which lengthens and weakens your posture muscles. (Lame!) Any type of rowing exercise (or scapular strengthening) fights against this. Rows can be performed in sitting, standing or in the bent over position. When you are rowing, really focus on pinching your shoulder blades- not hunching your shoulders up towards your ears. For more exercise ideas to improve your posture, visit this article. 

ABDOMINAL DRAWS

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For the pregnant woman you may modify this exercise by performing it sitting or elevated with a bolster behind your head and torso so that you are not completely supine.

Why? The bellies are stretching, thus lengthening and weakening your abdominal muscles. Plus the added weight gain and new posture position your body is adjusting to can make it tough to activate your core muscles correctly.

For more detail about how to perform this exercise (it can be a little tricky), check out a past Fit Girl article for a greater explanation.

Once you have this movement down, add in supine marching (alternate lifting your legs) while maintaining that abdominal draw/brace. Your back should not arch and you should feel a subtle awareness in your lower abdominals below your belly button.

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Well there you have it folks! I hope that was a little informative for your Thursday 🙂

What is everyone up to this weekend?

Do you perform any of these exercises on a regular basis? 

Later! ~Marielle