Speaking Out and Standing Up

I’m going in a different direction today. And I know I’ve been quiet on here lately, but this is the most public voice I have, so I feel it’s important to use it. I also acknowledge that this is  not a political or current events blog, and I don’t tend to write too much outside of the areas of health, fitness, and wellness. But there are some things that I need to say, and there is no other time to say it than now. I also understand that there are many out there who warn against getting too political or one sided on a blog such as this, for fear that you may alienate and lose readers. Well, honestly, if I lose readers for speaking out against Trump/White Supremacy/Nazis/Racism/EtcEtcEtc, then those are most definitely not quite the target readership I had in the first place. So, bye.

I’m not writing today to tell you how scared I am or how I’ve been affected by the horrible things that have been happening lately, because the truth is, my life has not been turned upside down. I haven’t lost loved ones, I haven’t been living in fear, I haven’t had to protect my family from hatred and bigotry. Because I am the lucky, the privileged. I am the middle class white female who doesn’t have to be worried about being turned away from an establishment because of the color of my skin, or something I wear on my head, or the way my facial features are shaped. I blend in. I can just live my life these days. I don’t have to do anything.

But the truth is, the days of just blending in, shielding my eyes, and moving along have long come to an end. We have reached a time in our society where blending in almost means supporting the other side. Where turning a blind eye is as bad as perpetrating the hate. There is no more room to ignore or to watch from the sidelines as people are being unfairly persecuted and discriminated against, and literally being driven over by psychopathic Nazi’s (that’s not something we ever thought we’d say in modern times now, is it?).

And I’m not pretending, nor do I believe that I can be some sort of white knight that saves the day. I’m simply stating here, publicly, that I know it’s my duty to recognize bigotry, speak out against it, and support those who are discriminated against. I’m not 100% sure how to do this in a way that makes a difference, but I think it has to start with listening, listening, and more listening. Listening to people of color who tell me what it is I should be doing or not doing. Listening to those who have not had a voice for too long, and letting them know that their voice is heard here. Speaking out when I’m able, and not only teaching my daughter about tolerance and acceptance, but teaching her about speaking out against hatred and intolerance. Teaching her through example, so that one day when she’s old enough, she can continue to fight these battles and stand up for those who need it.

I want her to see me listening when necessary and acting out when it’s called for. I want her to see racial differences and accept them rather than ignoring them and being “color blind”. I want her to understand that these disparities do exist and that she is, in fact, lucky just because of the color of her skin. I want her to understand that although she may be lucky, she is not better than or superior to anyone else due to that same reason.

So I’m listening. I’m watching and I’m learning, and I’m pledging to do what I can, when I can. I promise to set a good example for my daughter and show her that ignorance is not “bliss”, it only makes things worse. We can not ignore racial issues, we cannot live in our little white bubble, pretending that everyone loves each other. We will stand up to hate, to intolerance, to racial slurs and jokes. We will offer a shoulder to our LGBTQ peers and a hand to our muslim neighbors. We will not sit down and be quiet, we will not tolerate a president or so-called leader who essentially glorifies the persecution of others.

So I’m listening. Tell me what to do, and what to read, and who to speak to and who to speak out against. And I know that these words are just that: only words. But words can be powerful, and they may be the only power I have right now. This is a declaration, a promise to stop “doing nothing”, to start trying to be the ally that I’ve always thought that I was. 

The ironic thing here is that I’ve been sitting on this blog post for a while now. I first wrote it almost 3 weeks ago, but I haven’t been able to figure out how to close it. It wasn’t until just now that I realized that not posting is just adding to my silence, to the very thing that I’m trying to speak up against. And besides, how exactly do you conclude a post on this topic? How do you wrap it up with a neat little bow and a perfect finishing paragraph? I can’t.

So here it is, unfinished. Maybe someday I’ll be able to come back to this and wrap it up neatly, but until then, I’ll use my voice, with or without a catchy concluding paragraph.

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My Very Unscientific Reason Why Running May Not Help You To Lose Weight

I went for a run the other day. A beautiful, sunny, solo run at a moderate pace. I ran 3.75 miles, which is neither long nor short, but a perfect middle distance for me right now.  It was a gorgeous morning, with just enough shade to be refreshing and the slightest breeze to cool without providing a vicious headwind.

But do you know how I felt for several hours after that run? Tired. Sluggish. And most of all– hungry. Ravenous even. And this is not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. No matter the distance or pace, whenever I run, I feel famished for the rest of the day.  Now, there’s no doubt that this is partly because I’m not an avid runner. I only run one or two times per week unless I’m training for a race. My body is much more used to and efficient with weight training than it is for running, so the shift in activity is like a shock to my muscles and my metabolism every time.

But the thing is, I know I’m not alone. I have heard countless people say that they are famished after a run, especially after long runs when training for a race. Many people go into training hoping to shed a few pounds, not realizing the level of hunger they’re about to experience, which may stop any weight loss dead in it’s tracks. You see, it’s ridiculously easy to “out eat” your run. Yes, even long runs. Calories go in a lot faster and easier than they burn, and you could easily eat more than you burned with a quick peanut butter bagel following a 5k.

My run yesterday wasn’t that long. It was hilly, and I’m out of running shape so it was difficult, but to refuel after a 35 minute run doesn’t require a whole lot of food. How much food I felt like eating though, is a completely different story. I probably could have eaten continuously all day long and still felt dissatisfied. And that, my friends, iswhere many people get into trouble if they are using running as their main weight loss tool.

Falmouth 10

Many people take up running with the primary goal to lose weight. But is it the right strategy?

Unless you’re an experienced or higher level runner, it tends to make people very, very hungry. And we fall into a trap of believing that we always need some sort of recovery meal following a run, which is not necessarily always true. Say you go out for a 3 mile jog and burn 300 calories. You may very well feel famished after that effort, and consume 500 calories in a post run smoothie without even giving it a second thought. Or even if the post-run starvation doesn’t hit you, you could easily eat a little bit extra here and there throughout the day, not really keeping track because hey, youran!  You deserve it, right?

Now I’m not all about counting calories or being extremely strict with macros, but the truth is that if you are trying to lose weight, being conscious of calories in vs. calories out is extremely important.

I’m not citing any studies here, I’m not showing you any research about running making people feel hungrier. I’m just talking about  my own experience and accounts I’ve heard from others, because sometimes anecdotal evidence is good enough for a conversation, which is all this really is.

But whether you experience this when you run or not, it seems like many people do. And because of that, many people find their weight loss goals sabotaged by their “recovery” from all of their hard work. So what do you do if you’re famished after a run? Hydrate first, recover smartly (be aware of how many calories are in that shake you’re downing), and do everything you can to help your body move more efficiently when you are running. Keep your muscles strong through strength training, and cross train when your body is telling you that a run is just too much.

And most importantly, if your workout is leaving you feeling this way all the time, it might be time for some tweaking. You shouldn’t feel broken down or overly sore after every workout, and it certainly shouldn’t be the goal or benchmark to determine a good vs. poor workout session. Move in ways that make your body feel better and energized, not sluggish and hangry.  Personally, the only time that weight lifting makes me feel a little broken down is when I do a max effort lift. Normal lifting days leave me feeling energized, strong, and ready for more, and that is precisely why I love it so much. Find something that makes your body feel better, not worse, and weight loss (if that’s your goal) might happen a whole lot easier.

Now all of this being said, I’m still going to go running once or twice per week. Because despite the extreme hunger, I do enjoy it and I value it as part of my fitness routine. So I’m not saying that you shouldn’t run, or that cardio is the devil, or that you’re wrong if running is what you love. All I’m saying is that when it comes to weight loss, running can be very misleading, and it’s very much worth it to be mindful of how you feel and what your body really needs. Running is not the magical weight loss cure that many hope for, and this is a huge reason why. But when you’re conscious of this, it becomes a whole lot easier to make a few changes to your routine that may help you reach your exercise goals and your weight loss goals all at the same time. Train smart, eat smarter!

Find Your Space

Two weeks ago, I worked out in a weight room with other humans for the first time since the end of my pregnancy. I’ve been working out at home, and granted, we do have a pretty great set up in our basement with a barbell, plates, a squat rack, plenty of kettle bells, and other equipment. And I’m certainly not poo-poo-ing on that, because I know how lucky I am to have such a great and comprehensive set up in my own home. But I had forgotten what it was like to be with others. I had forgotten what it felt like to lift alongside other people, To feed off of motivation and to push myself just that much further just because someone might be watching.

When you workout by yourself, it’s so easy to stop. It’s so easy to drop a set, to take a little more rest in between sets or exercises than is actually necessary. And I don’t know about you, but I tend to fall into patterns of doing the same thing over and over again when I’m working out on my own. For some reason, I find it harder to make progress when I’m by myself, no matter what equipment I have access to.

With my life right now, I can’t make it to the gym every day though. I’d be lucky if I get there once per week if I’m being honest, and I’m ok with that. But now that I’ve had a taste of the gym weight room again, I’ve gotten that little push I needed. Even if most of my workouts are at home, I know that I have that space to escape to when I get the chance. The chance to be around others and feel their motivation seeping into my workout, and maybe even for me to provide that motivation to someone else.

A week after that first visit to the gym, I went back. And even though all I did was a short kettlebell circuit, which I could have just as easily done at home, I loved being there. I felt rejuvenated afterward, as if I had just done some earth shattering new workout. It’s not about going there and moving huge weights or doing overly complicated workouts. It’s about feeling empowered, in my element, and energized. It’s about seeing other strong women lifting in the weight room along side me and watching others work hard to realize their goals.

What’s important here though is that I know that’s what best for me and what fuels my passion in the weight room. For someone else, solitude might be what pushes them forward, without the self consciousness or lack of confidence that a gym setting can bring. The message here is to find your space. There are so many things in life that can wreak havoc on our motivation or our progress, but if you find your “happy place” for working out, you’ll be more likely to stick with it in the long run.

Stephhiking5

Where do you find your fitness inspiration? In the weight room? On the trail? On top of a mountain? 

If you hate running solo, but that’s all you do because that’s all you know, you may be missing out on someplace else that will spark you forward into more progress or new adventures that you don’t even know are out there. Or maybe you don’t so much “hate” running solo, but you’re just feeling bored, in a rut, or otherwise stuck. Try a new space to give you a little extra push, and you may be surprised at the spark you can find! Maybe a spin studio will give you the bump in motivation you need — they do usually have killer playlists and infectiously high energy, after all!

Find your space, and even if you can’t visit it often, know that it’s there for when you truly need a little extra push. Maybe it’s an outdoor bootcamp group workout, maybe it’s a yoga studio, maybe it’s a local running group or club. There are so many options out there to dig you out of a rut that you may fall into, and along with many of these options come opportunities to meet like minded people and fall in love with your fitness routine all over again.

And bonus time if you’re in Boston: If you’re in the Jamaica Plain/Roslindale area, check out my bootcamp class, Rondeau Group  Fitness on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Or if you’re downtown and looking for somewhere new to freshen up your routine, check out the Seaport Sweat series. I haven’t been because it’s not convenient to my location, but my friends Athena and Monique each teach sessions for that series so you know you’ll get a good sweat in! And lastly, although there are many many options around, The Street at Chestnut Hill offers tons of fun and free programming throughout the summer, including yoga and other amazing outdoor workouts.

Readers: What’s your “happy place” when working out? How do you get out of a fitness rut? What’s a new fitness studio/group/class you’ve tried lately?

Rondeau Group Fitness 2017 Season

I’m here with some exciting news today — particularly exciting if you’re local to the Boston area and also if you’re a Boston mom!

I’m excited to announce that the 2017 season of Rondeau Group Fitness starts up next Tuesday, June 6. I am so ready for a summer of workouts with a kick ass group of ladies who work so hard each and every class! And to top off my excitement, this year we have a pretty awesome addition to the schedule: Strong Mamas stroller bootcamp classes!

I’m so excited about the new stroller bootcamp, and I hope local mamas are as well. This will be a place where you can bring your little one along for the ride, get a great workout in, and be a part of a great community of strong, like-minded mamas who want to show their little ones what it means to be STRONG!

The schedule for our general RGF bootcamp classes will remain the same (Tuesday and Thursday mornings), and RGF Strong Mamas will meet on Tuesday and Friday. The full schedule is as follows:

RGF Bootcamp: Tuesday/Thursday at 6:30 am, Fallon Field, Roslindale (Boston). 

RGF Strong Mamas: Tuesday/Friday at 11 am, Fallon Field, Roslindale (Boston). 

For more details, click on over to the Group Fitness tab above!

RGF is a bootcamp class that is based around positivity, support, and community. We cheer each other on, we have a great time, and we work hard above all else! We train with resistance bands, medicine balls, weights, battle ropes, and other equipment for a full body workout every time, with a whole lot of variety. You won’t find another cookie cutter circuit bootcamp class here– we thrive on fun and creativity, and a little bit of friendly competition occasionally!

Bootcamp collage

The summer months are one of my favorite time of year, and not just because of the weather. I absolutely love watching the RGF ladies work hard throughout the summer, meeting goals and taking pride in the progress that they make. This summer will be no different, with many returning faces who are ready to start up again.

And for those who may be nervous or unsure of their abilities, don’t let the word “bootcamp” scare you off! RGF classes are for ALL abilities. Everything is able to be modified to fit different fitness levels, and I am extremely focused on keeping exercises pain free with good form.

Spread the word, join us, and bring your friends! Can’t wait to see some of you out there next week!

RondeauGroupFitness

Lift Weights Faster. But How?

If you do a lot of reading about strength training, or are familiar with the female strength and conditioning world, you’ve probably heard Jen Sinkler‘s famous line. When asked how she works out, her reply was “I lift weights”. Well what about cardio? “I lift weights faster”.

Steph Deadlift

Weight room and cardio combined? Sign me up. 

“Lift weights faster” has become sort of a creed in the fitness world, and for good reason. It’s not always necessary to spend long, drawn out sessions on the treadmill or elliptical in order to get your cardio in. It’s just as easy to get cardio in by simply “lifting weights faster”, if that’s more your speed (pardon the pun). If you enjoy your time on the treadmill as a way to de-stress, that’s one thing. But if you’re hating every second of it, and doing it just because you think you need to, well, you’re in luck.

But when many people hear this, they don’t quite understand what this  means. Do you literally just lift your weights at lightning speed? Won’t that lead to bad form and maybe injuries? And won’t you look just a little bit ridiculous?

So today, we’re going to get into a few of the ways in which I typically “lift weights faster”. These are great ways to sneak workouts in when I don’t have a ton of time, but you can also stretch them out and get in a nice long, full workout as well.

When I’m doing one of these types of workouts, weights are not at or near my max. I keep the weights to a level where they are challenging for the sets that I will be doing, but remember that you’re generally doing more reps, and that these are not true strength building days.

Ladder Sets

I use ladder sets when I am really strapped for time and have a couple of exercises that I can string together for full body workout in just a few minutes. I’ll also use a ladder set as a finisher at the end of a strength day, doing just one round for speed. For a ladder set, you will start with a higher number of reps — let’s go with 10, for this example. Perform 10 reps of exercise A, 10 reps of exercise B, then 8 of each, then 6 of each, all the way down to 2. After you reach 2 reps of each exercise that you have chosen, start again with 2 and build your way back up to 10.

The beauty of ladder sets is that you have to so much freedom to get creative. For heavier exercises, I would stick with the 10-2 rep scheme. But for more cardio based exercises, such as body weight jump squats, or KB swings, you could go into a larger rep range, doing 20, then 15, 10, and 5 reps before building back up.

Some suggested pairings for ladder sets, although the possibilities are endless:

– Ring assisted pistol squats with ring inverted rows

– Jump squats with skater jumps

-Kettlebell swings

-Burpees

-Bulgarian split squats with elevated push ups.

Super Set Everything

To lift your weights faster, you can also just super set everything, cutting way down on the rest and recovery time in between sets. Remember, this is not done at max weight loads, since you’ll risk injury without the proper recovery between sets/exercises. To superset simply means to do two separate exercises back to back, generally with opposing muscle groups, without resting in between. Say you have 8 exercises that you plan on doing in your lift. You can superset these into 4 sets of exercises, alternating between each set of 2 with little to no rest, instead of resting between each set of each of your 8 exercises. Some common lifts that I superset are:

-Barbell Squat with overhead press

-RDL (romanian deadlift) with bent over dumbbell row

-Barbell reverse lunge with push up

Active Recovery Between Sets

This will vary slightly from supersets, although you’re still completing sets of two separate exercises back to back. However, the difference here is that the “in between” exercise is more of an active recovery than an actual lift. You’ll be keeping your body moving and heart rate up, but this secondary exercise will be more about recovery and mobility than building strength. This is done in the same manner as super sets, in which you complete the active recovery exercise between lift sets instead of resting. Some common active recovery exercises that I use between lifts are:

-Spiderman Lunges

-Medicine ball lunge/twist

-Downdog/Push-up/Up-dog repetitions

-Body weight deep side lunges

You can also check out this post for some additional hip mobility exercises that you could use here as well.

Barbell Complexes

Barbell complexes are probably one of the most common ways to “lift weights faster” in the strength training world. All it takes is a barbell loaded up with relatively light weight, and a string of movements that you’ll do with little to no rest. I usually try to string together about 5 different movements, and will go for 4-5 rounds of a complex. These can be extremely taxing, so go lighter on the weights than you think you might need to — maybe even just the barbell for the first time you try one of these. Especially if you’re stringing together both upper and lower body  movements, you’ll need that weight to be fairly light to get through all of the reps with little to no rest.

A barbell complex will get your heart pumping and breath elevated like no other, so get ready to work!! Below is an example that I’ve posted previously, but as with the other ideas here, there are endless combinations you can do for an effective workout. Just remember to rest thoroughly between each complex, and work with a weight that allows you to maintain proper form for every exercise. If you feel yourself fatiguing to the point where form is compromised, stop and rest in the middle of a complex, and/or lessen your weight/reps. 

barbell_complex1

Readers: In what form do you prefer your cardio? Weight room or traditional? 

Forget goals– Try This Instead.  

Last year at work, we had a staff retreat to start the year. You know those “retreats”; the name is misleading as it’s really just a day long meeting? Well needless to say, I wasn’t exactly stoked about the whole experience. But before the retreat, we were told that we were going to be taking part in the One Word program, and we would need to prepare one word on a sheet of paper for that day. The word was supposed to be ours — one word that we would want to embody throughout the year at work. My word for the year was Empathy, and I made a cute little arts and crafts poster to show it.

Now though, I’m not at work anymore. I practice empathy on a daily basis because it’s at the core of who I am as a person — I empathize even when I don’t really want to. But for some reason, I was recently thinking about this exercise and started thinking about what my word would be now. Life is different now, my priorities are different, I’m almost a completely different person than I was just a year and a half ago.

I also realized that at this point in my life, although I have things I want to work on, I don’t always have time to sit down and write down lengthy, specific goals for myself. Some days I’m lucky to just brush my hair, so a list of goals seems to be a little bit out of my wheelhouse right now. But one word? I can do that.

So I got to thinking. What is my one word? One word that encapsulates who I am, who I want to be and what I want to show Izzy as an example. And who knows — maybe my word will change next week, next month, or a few months from now, but at least it gives me something to focus on for the time being.

Presence. 

These are the months when Isabelle is growing and changing at a pace that I never thought imaginable. She changes seemingly overnight, and if I’m not present and aware, I’ll miss these subtle changes happening right before my eyes.

Likewise, little things I love that she does tend to disappear in the blink of an eye, and if I’m not present to notice them, they may disappear and be gone forever. Take, for example, when she was about 4 months old she had a span of about two weeks where she would do these loud, long, dramatic yawns that made me laugh every time. If I wasn’t paying attention and present during that time, I wouldn’t have those as a memory, because they’re gone from her ever changing vocal repertoire now.

But this word is not only important for my relationship with Isabelle right now; it’s important for my relationship with myself. I need to be present in the limited time I get for myself if I want to maintain some sanity and sense of self.

I need to be present during my workouts, because the time I have for them is so limited. If I’m off in La La Land, I’m not going to get done what I need to get done, and in turn, I won’t feel like my best self.

I need to be present during my limited time with Will, because my marriage is equally as important to sustain and flourish right now as my “me” time and my “Izzy” time.

I need to be present when on the phone with my family and friends — a feat that has proven to be very difficult nowadays, but those relationships deserve my time too, when I’m able to give it!

This one word involves so many pieces of my life, and it is equally important in all of them. Rather than make specific goals right now, which I realistically wouldn’t follow, I can easily think about this one word during my day and during my interactions with my loved ones, and my time by myself. I can try to incorporate it into different parts of my day, working on it a little bit more every day until full mental presence becomes my norm, and not something that I have to work on (hopefully, right?).

I’m feeling good about this, this one word. I’m feeling weight off my shoulders, not having specific goals to live up to right now, just letting things come as they will and working on each moment in that very moment.

If you’re feeling stressed or pressed for time, or unsure of what your goals should be right now, give this a try. Do some brainstorming, and figure out what words and themes are important to your life. You may find one common thread between them, and this may become your word! It’s much easier to focus on one word than several small steps, and it may give you something to focus on, which could in turn spur some inspiration or motivation for larger goals. (Along these same lines, my girl Monique recently wrote a great post about just doing something in order to get your inspiration flowing– check it out here!)

So if the thought of specific goals weighs you down more than it motivates you, take a few moments to think about one word. You may just feel lighter and more focused, without the stress of resolutions or deadlines.

What’s your word?

 

The “I Don’t Have Time” Workout Solution

My oh my. Where has the time gone?

I’ll tell you exactly where the time went. The 4 month sleep regression. But now we’re at six months so I don’t think I can even use that as my excuse anymore. I think we are finally on a good path to some quality baby sleep (until the next regression anyway), so maybe my sanity and sense of time will return one of these days. I could have sworn I had posted my last post just a week or two ago. It’s been two months. What the heck?

I guess all this is to say, I’m still figuring all of this mom stuff out. I suppose I’ll always be figuring it out since Isabelle will be forever evolving, but eventually I’ll get the baby/life/blog/work balance that I’m aiming for!

These past several weeks have been full of wonderful things though. Isabelle grows in so many ways each and every day, and it is so incredible to witness this little human who is learning so much at such a fast pace. She develops new skills seemingly overnight, which I always knew would happen with a baby, but it’s different to watch it happen before your very eyes.

Because of this ever expanding brain of hers, she has become increasingly curious about the world around her. This makes my life both harder and easier in certain ways, and I don’t always have the time that I would like to take care of myself with fitness and mindfulness. I squeeze fitness in wherever I can though, even if it’s just 10 minutes at a time while Izzy smiles at me from her bouncy chair. The key has been finding ways to get the most bang for my buck, i.e. getting exercises done fast, but remembering to do them well.

The truth is, we all want more time for something. Many of us wish we had more time to work out, while some of us wish we had more time to do other things. Sleep, play with your kids, read, write, even binge watch your favorite Netflix shows. There are so many ways that we could spend extra time, but the fact is that those extra minutes are never just going to show up. You have to make a concerted effort to carve them out of your day, or find a way to make do with what you already have.

A lot of times with little kids or babies, there is no way to carve out extra minutes, so you have to learn to make do. I think that is probably why many new parents give up on fitness all together, because there is often only time for a short burst, and what good can that even do? Well, actually, it can make a world of difference.

10 minutes of exercise, of you time each day can not only maintain a certain level of fitness, but can greatly help with mental clarity and well being. Even if it’s just running through a few rounds of sun salutations or doing a few push ups, getting your blood flowing and body moving can change your outlook on your whole day.

Sometimes, after an especially rough night of sleep, the last thing I want to do is get my heart rate up and move. But if I just take a few minutes to fit in what I can, I find that I truly do feel better about myself and about my day. I am going to be totally honest that I’ve been guilty of the old “I don’t really have time” excuse lately. And that’s totally true. I don’t have time. But thankfully I have Will to remind me that 10 or 20 minutes is better than nothing, and that I’ll thank myself when I’m done.

For instance, the other day I literally only had 15 minutes before I would have to get in the shower and then feed Isabelle. Will could be with her for those 15 minutes, so I got right to it. I did a few warm up exercises, some glute work, push ups, 100 KB swings, and a few Turkish Get Ups. It wasn’t much, and it certainly wasn’t a “full workout”. But it made me feel 100% better going into the rest of the day, and I was thankful I took those few minutes for myself.

And it doesn’t always have to be hard exercise. Sometimes using those 10 or 15 spare minutes to just stretch and focus your mind can work wonders on your mood and energy level. If you are looking for some quick exercise though, check out the following for some super quick ideas. You could do just one of these or put a few of them together for a little bit longer workout if it turns out you have more time. The most important thing here is to forgive yourself for “only” having so much time, and make the most of it. The only thing that complaining about your lack of time will do is eat up even more of your precious minutes that you already don’t have enough of.

Blog graphic 10 Min workouts

Give some of these a try next time you’re strapped for time. Each will get your heart pumping, but you can be done and on with your life in just a few minutes.

Just a few notes:

*Inchworm push ups – Start standing. Bend down and place your hands on the floor. Walk your hands out until you are in push up position, do one push up, and walk hands back. That is one rep.

*To make the jump squats, reverse lunges, and side to side squats more challenging, hold a dumbbell, kettlebell, or other form of weight.

* For the mini band workout, wear the mini band around your ankles and keep it on for the entirety of the workout.

*Side to side squats: wearing mini band, step out to left, squat. Step to right, squat. This is one rep.

*Plank up downs: Starting in high plank position (on hands and toes), move to your left forearm, followed by right. Immediately return to high plank one hand at a time. This is one rep.

*Touch backs: Wearing mini band, stand in quarter squat position (knees slightly bent). Staying in quarter squat, bring left leg back behind you and touch your toe to the ground. Bring that foot back to starting position and bring right foot behind you. This is one rep. Continue alternating legs, finishing set before standing straight up.