Thursday, May 26, 2011

How Do You Get Motivated to Workout?

Ever asked yourself, "How do I get motivated to workout?"  Check out this article by our Guest Blogger, Victoria Slone who teaches our Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 Stroller Strides Class!

“How do you get motivated to workout?” or “How do you STAY motivated to exercise?” This is a question I’m asked frequently about my own personal journey & while training clients. You don’t need to be convinced that exercise is good for you. You know it is. What you need is a reason to choose exercise over some of the other options you have in your life.  The dishes will be there when you get home.  The laundry can wait.  But can you afford to put off an opportunity to do something for yourself and get a workout in?

Goal setting is a simple way to motivate you to exercise, but some goals are more effective than others.  Physical activity is a healthy habit that makes you feel good, not a chore to be endured. Here are some tips on establishing a goal that will help you enjoy the many benefits of fitness:

1. Challenge yourself. Set a personal goal detailing an amount of exercise to do in a set amount of time. Make sure that your goal is realistic for you, but challenging at the same time. Your goal should be hard enough that achieving it will significantly improve your fitness.  My first goal was finishing a 5K. You can start off small and as you increase your fitness, set your goals higher J  This is still the #1 way I stay on track & keep moving towards my goal.  If your goal is a race, find one & sign up for it!  It will make you accountable…..put your $$ where your mouth is!  You can join the new FIT MOMS ROCK 5K & HALF MARATHON Training Group to get started! 

2. Give your goal an end date. There is a problem with challenging yourself to workout for 30 minutes 3 times a week. The first week that you don’t exercise 3 times, you may be hard on yourself and look at that as a failure. A much better challenge would be to exercise 30 minutes an average of 3 times a week for the next 10 weeks.  This way your goal is to do 30 workouts in 10 weeks. If you are sick one week and only get to workout once, you have not failed. You just need to make up those missed workouts before the end of your challenge. You are still in the game.

3. Track your progress
. Of course, you will want to keep track of your workouts as you strive to reach your goal. There is something very satisfying about dragging your sweaty self over to your calendar or computer and logging the workout you just completed.

4. Allow cross training. Notice in the example above that the requirement is to exercise for 30 minutes. It doesn’t say walk or run or do an elliptical trainer for 30 minutes. By limiting yourself to a single mode of exercise you are setting yourself up for failure (e.g. your elliptical trainer breaks down), overuse injury from the repetitive motion, and insanity (I would go crazy if I had to do the same workout day after day).  The wonderful thing about Stroller Strides is that no two classes are the same.  You will get a variety of cross training exercises at every class for every level of fitness. 

5. Reward yourself. Fitness is its own reward, but it doesn’t hurt to add to the motivation value of your personal goal by dangling a carrot at the finish line. Perhaps the prospect of a manicure or a massage would get you off the couch those times when you just don’t feel like exercising.

If you are just starting an exercise program, you should see your doctor to make sure you are able to do any particular method of exercise – especially if you’re just 6 weeks postpartum. Once you are cleared, set yourself a challenging, but realistic goal and start noticing the differences in your life when regular exercise is a part of it. Good luck & hope to see you at a Stroller Strides class!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recipe of the Week- Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

I adapted this recipe from the Quaker Oat's Favorite Recipe Collection cookbook.  I'm always on the hunt for healthy homemade snacks for my girls and these muffins are super easy and yummy.  Whenever I follow a muffin or bread recipe, I automatically cut the sugar in half and it always tastes fine- sadly, doesn't work as well for cookies :) 

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins
1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. ground almond meal (found by the nuts at Trader Joes- if you don't have it or are worried about allergies, just use 1/2 c. additional flour)
1/4 c. ground flax seed
1/4 c. wheat germ
1 T. baking powder
1/4 c. agave nectar
1 c. skim milk
2 egg whites
2 T. applesauce
1 t. grated lemon zest
1 t. vanilla
1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400 and prepare muffin cups.

In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, almond meal, flax seed, wheat germ and baking powder.  Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine agave, milk, egg whites, applesauce, lemon zest and vanilla.  Blend well.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened- do not overmix.

Gently fold in blueberries.

Fill muffin cups almost full.  Bake 20-25 minutes until light golden brown.