Second quarter check in

The second quarter of 2018 is already underway…how do you feel about your first quarter?
What are you proud of? Find things to celebrate- big and small.
What do you not want to bring into the next one? Ditch the things that don’t serve you well or make you feel great.
What are your goals for the second quarter of the year? Focus on what you want to make happen.

In this first quarter of 2018, I found a new way of thinking- “if I am uncomfortable with a situation, I have the power to change it”. Instead of being unhappy with something or making excuses for why something hasn’t happened yet, I know that I have the potential to get myself to that desired place.
I found a new way to move. Revolution in Motion is my new way of connecting my body and brain so they both will get stronger. It also helps to realign the structure of my body so that I can move with less pain from old injuries while preventing new ones.
Also, I am excited to have finally created this platform for myself and you all to share my thoughts and ideas of how to live a healthy and happy life.

For this next quarter of the year, I am choosing to spend more productive time alone. I thrive with the company of others, however I realized that I rely on that company to keep myself occupied while I let things in my own life slip by without being handled…NO MORE! I will not wait until the last second to get things done. I am finding a sense of urgency for myself.

Eating is something that I’ve always loved, too much. I’ve struggled with eating when I’m not hungry and still continuing even after I’m full. While I get work done or study, I tend to mindlessly munch and it leaves me feeling overstuffed and guilty. I have begun to listen to my body’s real hunger cues and not the clock necessarily telling me when to eat. My goal for the next few months is to cut the mindless munching while I work by setting out a portion of food and sticking to that- that’s it!
With life overall, I strive to make each day a great one. Living with gratitude allows us to find wonder in “average” days. This is something I am going to undoubtedly continue and I will share this gratitude with 1 person everyday.

Summer will be here before we know it, how are you setting yourself up for it?
Think about those three questions. You are the author of your own book, make it a great one filled with whatever you want and leaving out the things you don’t want or need.

#funfact: opia : (noun) the ambiguous intensity of looking someone in the eye, which can feel simultaneously invasive and vulnerable…
Sourced from The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Sleep more, you’re welcome.

Gone are the days of going beast mode and grinding 24/7, now we are realizing the importance of listening to our bodies and responding with rest and regeneration. How much better do you feel when you get a full night of restful sleep instead of staying up too late binge-watching that show? You might notice that you’re happier, make smarter decisions, your body feels better, and you have the energy to do more.

For the betterment of yourself and others around you, get more sleep! Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night to be well-rested and stay feeling healthy & happy. Even a loss of 1-2 hours in a night can start to create noticeable differences in your energy levels, food cravings, and health.

Great sleep will allow your body to do the magical things it’s meant to do, like:
-rejuvenate our liveliness and energy, enabling you to be happier throughout the day
-enhance problem solving skills by improving cognition, performance, and productivity
-process information and thoughts accumulated over the day to retain information and build memory
-rebuild and grow muscles
-boost your immune system to keep you healthy
-reduce stress/cortisol levels
-repair tissues and help your body recover from injuries

While there are endless benefits to getting plenty of sleep, there are an equal amount of risks of not getting enough sleep:
-increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke
-affects blood sugar/insulin resistance showing signs of pre-diabetes
-reduced alertness which can dangerously affect driving
-weight gain is common because sleep deprived people tend to eat more calories and exercise less
-mood and overall mental health can take a dive
-inflammation within the body and brain
-impaired decision making

We don’t want to run into any of those issues when they can be avoided by a better nights sleep, right?! My best advice for getting a more restful night of sleep is to create a nightly routine, set a bedtime and avoid screens.
Every night before I go to sleep I prepare and pack up my food for the next day, pick out my work and workout clothes, wash my face, brush my teeth, write in my positivity journal for 2-5 minutes, rub on a little bit of lavender essential oil, turn on quiet, yoga-ish music and turn the lights off. BOOM. My routine allows me to feel ready for the next day so I don’t have to worry about anything. Once my head hits the pillow, I’m doing belly breathing and welcoming the sleep that is soon to come.

How will you guys set yourselves up for a great night of sleep?

#funfact : a single Portabella mushroom can contain more potassium than a banana!`

Just breeeeaaaathe.

Wish you could melt away stress? Fall asleep quicker and sleep better? Lift heavier and more confidently? Lower your blood pressure? Improve your posture?…what if I told you all of this could be achieved through efficient breathing?
Yes, breathing. By being mindful of the way you breathe, our bodies are capable of tackling challenging tasks and even producing healing-type benefits.

We breathe all day, every day. But take note of how you are breathing.
Do you notice your chest moving up and down? Are they quick and shallow? Is it through your mouth or your nose?
To reap the benefits of breathing, and going back to how we breathe when we were infants, is with diaphragmatic breathing. You may have heard of belly breathing or pranayama in yoga- same thing.

Diaphragmatic breathing is very simple (it can be tricky, but simple) and will help you:
Reduce stress: when you feel yourself start to get overwhelmed, belly breathing to the rescue! Find a quiet spot and take a few belly breaths before deciding on how to move forward .
Get better sleep: sometimes your mind starts racing and you think about all the things you need to get done tomorrow or things that happened during the day, turn it off with some deep breaths. Off with the screens and on with some soothing music while you belly breathe your way to dreamland.
Improve your posture: chest breathing leads to a wound up neck and shoulders. Allow your shoulders to fall away from your ears and find a more relaxed, yet taller posture with belly breathing.
Get a better workout: by breathing more efficiently, you won’t get so gassed during workouts. Also, you’ll be able to brace your core to complete exercises more smoothly and safely.
FEEL BETTER: with poor breathing patterns your body isn’t receiving oxygen as effectively as it could be. This means that nutrients and waste aren’t being transported like they should be, leaving you feeling less than stellar.

Ready to start your diaphragmatic breathing practice?!
1) Sit upright in a chair with a back or lay face up on the floor.
2) Place one hand a couple of inches above your belly button and one hand on your chest. These are here to feel for movement in the diaphragm and to check that there isn’t too much chest movement.
3) Inhale slowly and smoothly through your nose like you are smelling something heavenly.
4) Feel for the hand on your abdomen to rise as you fill the diaphragm with your breath. Take the breath in until you cannot expand anymore and/or the breath gets too forced, we don’t want that.
5) SLOWLY exhale through your mouth like you are blowing out of a small straw. Trying to match the length of the inhale.
6) Feel the hand on your abdomen to drop as the breath empties from your diaphragm. The hand on your chest is looking for as little movement as possible until the end of the breath.
7) Repeat for 5 full breaths. We’re looking for smooth, easy and even breaths.
Once you are able to feel your stomach rise and fall naturally with the breaths, take your breaths without your hands. I find it more beneficial to close my eyes while I practice my belly breaths.

I encourage practicing diaphragmatic breathing everyday, at least once a day, to start to build up your breath awareness and allow you to get the benefits of this wonderful breathing technique you can take with you everywhere! It’s tricky to relearn a habit that we have been doing for YEARS. Be patient with yourself and do your best not to force the breaths into your stomach.
Belly breathing is my go-to when the days get challenging, during my workouts, and as I’m falling asleep at night. Breathe your way to a better, more relaxed and easy going you.

#funfact : Until the year 2000, Disney theme park employees weren’t allowed to grow facial hair.

Cardio simplified.

Whether you’re getting some cardio in for weight loss, heart health, stress reduction, or just for fun, there are SO many different ways to get that heart rate up and get sweating. My best advice is to find something that you enjoy, something that won’t feel like a terrible chore, something that doesn’t hurt your body, and something that allows you to get into a groove with your thoughts, music, and/or breathing.

In conjunction with a consistent resistance training and regeneration program, cardio can be infinitely beneficial to your body and mental health. Just a few benefits are:
-Better sleep
-Stronger, more efficient heart
-Lower body fat
-More energy throughout the day
-Reduced stress

Cardio for weight loss:
My ideal program for this would be a combination of circuit-style resistance training and pure cardio. Outside of strength training workouts, add in 2-4 days/week of the cardio of your choice. I’d recommend at least a day of each: interval training and endurance/steady-state training.
Interval training can be walking for 2 minutes and jogging for 2 minutes, it could be running for 3 minutes and walking for 1 minute, it could even be a :30 sprint every 90 seconds. Make up an interval that makes sense for you and will challenge you. For the endurance training, find a type of cardio that you can do at a low-moderate pace for 30-60 minutes, again challenge yourself. Work your way up to those times if you don’t feel like you’re ready for it.

Cardio for heart health:
For heart health, the American Heart Association recommends that everyone gets at least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week. That’s doable, right? That activity could be walking, jogging, swimming, lifting weights, anyway you like to get your body moving. To increase the benefits, especially if you’re already at a decent fitness level, it would be best to add in rigorous bouts of activities. Try a 1:00 speed burst every few minutes to spike that heart rate and then bring it back down to a normal level. Or to completely mix it up, sprinkle in a couple rounds of squat thrusters during your cardio workout.

Cardio for stress reduction/pleasure:
Find that activity you enjoy the most and just GO. There’s no wrong way to move, unless it hurts. Push yourself as much as you’re comfortable with- somedays you might want to go balls to the wall INTENSE, somedays you’ll feel best doing something more mellow. Listen to your body and what feels good for you. Listen a podcast or audio book, invite a friend, enjoy the outside, and just breathe…you won’t regret it!

Along my journey I’ve spent many years in the pool swimming, however now I lean towards walking and jogging for cardio workouts. I’ve been digging dance walking on a treadmill or reading a book as I slowly get some steps in. The rower is another one of my favorite cardio machines because it incorporates upper body and lower body for a more intense workout.

Start with something you know you can do and layer on challenges as you progress. Keep it fun and keep it simple.

Who am I?

There has been some interest expressed in hearing my story and I’d love to share who I am and what brought me to this point with you all.

I am fortunate to live in California my whole life. Home for me is Oxnard- it’s a melting pot of cultures and has incredible diversity within the city depending on what part of town you’re in. Being the daughter of a emigrant Mexican man and valley-raised Japanese woman, it was a great place to grow up.

I’m grateful to have wonderfully supportive parents that encouraged and allowed me to try new hobbies and sports growing up. Through the years I got to try ballet, soccer, piano, golf (mom made me), ice skating, tae kwon do, softball…I’ve tried it all.
In 2010, some close family friends had found a hula group (Hula Halau O’Puananiha’aheo) that my mom and I joined. From the age of 10 until 17, we danced competitively, in shows and festivals around Ventura County, and for fun with our forever family. Through hula, I picked up the ukulele, the guitar, and the bass for a girl band with my hula sistahs.
When I got to Oxnard High School, I was introduced to water polo. I had no idea what the sport was and I didn’t know how to properly swim, but went for it anyways because one of my best friends was joining the team. All four years of high school, we spent hours in the pool after school swimming, practicing, treading water, and running drills to prepare us for the endurance and skill needed during games. I was excited to be named co-captain with Mollie, who had introduced me to the sport in the first place, during our senior year.

After graduating in 2008, I moved up to San Luis Obispo to attended Cal Poly. I had a little too much fun being away from home for the first time and returned to Oxnard after completing a lackluster school year. Thank goodness, because instead of the “freshman 15”, I had gained the freshman 20 and wasn’t fitting into my clothes anymore! I had been eating like I was still playing water polo but was mostly inactive during my time in SLO.
Coming back home was imperative for my health and fitness journey. My mom and I joined 24 Hour Fitness and began taking group classes together- Zumba, Step, and Body Pump were our favorites. During these classes I noticed how happy everyone was- sweating and working hard. I loved the energy and admired the instructors that were leading the classes towards their fitness goals.

I completed my AA at Ventura College and transferred to California State University Northridge to study Systems and Operations Management. While at CSUN, I had met a couple of vibrant young ladies who introduced me to Herbalife. That culture is full of like-minded individuals on the path to embody healthy, active lifestyles to share with the world. Herbalife opened up my eyes to the world of personal development. I loved the community, but didn’t feel like it was a permanent place for me. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without that very important stepping stone along my journey.
As I was finishing up my last few semesters in 2012, I realized that I wanted to be part of the health and fitness world. I just wasn’t sure how I was going to get there.

Fast forward to 2015, I moved to San Francisco to live with my then boyfriend. We worked together at Barry’s Bootcamp, which is a well-known boutique fitness studio that specializes in high energy, group classes with top-notch trainers and an incredible crew. I moved along the ranks from front desk, fuel bar, and made my way to manager on duty. During this time I had also decided to take the leap and study to become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, in hopes of becoming a Barry’s instructor.
A coworker of mine was working double duty at Barry’s and as a personal trainer at Equinox Sports Club SF. Hallelujah for Anthony! He introduced me to the club and the managers there which enabled me to land an interview to come on board as a personal trainer once I finalized my certification.

I was nervous out of my mind during the interview process. I had no formal experience as a trainer, but came as a humble student hungry to learn everything I could to help people on their fitness journeys. To my great pleasure and shock, they invited me to join the team.
WHAT?! Equinox was a place I had wanted to be a part of since I first stepped into one in 2011. I was willing to work in any position to just get a foot in the door and now my dreams were coming true in a way I never thought were possible.
As soon as I started there, I noticed that I was surrounded by so many well-educated and experienced trainers. I was in way over my head. There were many long 10-13 hour days, it was stressful learning how to build a business, and trying to catch up educationally with others that had studied kinesiology/exercise science in school.
With an incredible support system I was able to successfully build a full-time business at Equinox. It was mind blowing to realize that I was able to change lives through the things that I love and am passionate about- health and fitness.

Now I am back in Southern California, building my personal training business at Equinox Westlake Village with a new team and new clientele. Being a personal trainer at Equinox for the last 2 years has been nothing short of incredible. Although, the journey has not been rainbows and unicorns the whole time…I wouldn’t change a thing. So many wonderful trainers and managers I’ve had the pleasure of learning from, clients and families that I’ve been able to impact, and the experiences that came with it all- priceless!

My journey is just getting started and I am excited for the future ahead as I continue to learn, grow, and share with everyone around me.
If there is anything you’re interested in and might want to pursue for yourself, my advice is GO FOR IT! What have you got to lose?! There are opportunities out there for us, take them as they come, whether you feel like you’re ready or not. If someone else can do it, why not you?

True Life: I have a sugar addiction

If you know me, you know I love food. I love eating food, I love preparing food, I love talking about food, looking at pictures of food, hearing what other people have eaten…all the food. As I continue on my journey through health and fitness, I realize that my relationship with food might not be the healthiest. I may look and feel healthy now, but there could be serious consequences down the road if I continue feeding into bad habits.

Like many other Americans, I have a sweet tooth. I joke that I “have a mouth full of sweet teeth“. Desserts are a major focus when I’m eating, and also when I’m not. There are many times when I catch myself daydreaming about delicious treats that I’ve enjoyed in the past and I have list of sweets that I often crave. When I go to birthday parties, I look forward to the cake. (That’s what the party is for, right?)
Although I dream of and think about these things periodically throughout the day, I do not indulge and “treat” myself every time. I would be morbidly obese if I gave in to every craving I had.

For as long as I can remember, there have been some type of baked good at home. My mom bakes the most amazing cookies (of course) and loves sweet treats herself, so she makes sure to always have the pantry stocked with something delicious. Family parties were always loaded with savory foods, full plates and happy bellies. We spend time together, eat, share stories, eat, play games, and eat. When the sweets came out, you’d better grab what you can before it’s gone!
Food, in excess, has always been accessible and accepted.

Taking on a healthy, active lifestyle purposefully as a young adult helped me not give into the temptations that were always around. I had taken on very clean eating and was fairly strict. However, I would go through times when I would dip back into old ways and go nuts on ice cream and cookies and whatever I could get my hands on until I felt terrible. These “bingers” are still happening today.
While I am still in my twenties, very active, drink a lot of water and appear to be healthy, there might be a time my body is unable to manage all of the sugar and stress I place on it. Diabetes is prevalent on both sides of my family, along with heart conditions.

I need to get this under control before my body makes me.

Confession time: I just ended a dessert binge. Somewhere through the holidays I started indulging and saying “yes” to the things I wouldn’t normally. The yeses continued until I realized that I was eating some type of treat everyday, maybe even multiple times a day…that’s not a “treat” anymore. That’s a habit. I was constantly seeking out something sweet to munch on, even if I wasn’t hungry, just because.
Tired of feeling out of control, I have decided to stop eating desserts for 8 weeks to prove to myself that I don’t need them. It is day 2 of my sweet break, I have my blinders on and am doing okay. There are definitely cravings, but I remind myself that “I don’t want it and I really don’t need it”. There are delicious meals prepped, fruit ready to be picked at, and a square of dark chocolate- in case of emergencies.

My goal for this is to ween myself off processed sugars and decrease the amount of sweets I crave and consequently consume. Body fat loss is something that I hope for and expect to see without the added daily, empty, bad calories…I should recheck my body fat percentage. This can be done with a scale that measures body fat through electrical bioimpedance and/or calipers.

For others with sugar/food cravings, I’m not saying this is the proper method for everyone or that everyone should do something like this. But I do encourage you all to take a look at the way you eat and what your relationship with food is like.
Do you eat all 3 meals? Do you eat when you’re not hungry? Do you stop when you are full? Do you eat mindlessly while doing other things?
Think about those things the next time you sit down for a meal.

I’m just a lady on the pursuit of health and happiness, trying to bring everyone with me along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns, let’s explore them together and support each other on our journeys.

#funfact : Friday March 16 is World Sleep Day, it celebrates the benefits of good and healthy sleep.

The secret to to abs…

…is there is NO SECRET.

“Abs” are the cultivation of many monotonous, simple, healthy lifestyle choices.
You’ve got to eat right for your body, challenge your strength and endurance, and allow your body to rest and repair itself.
Things we have all heard before and know. Eat your veggies. Drink lots of water. Strengthen your core.

I’m here to simplify it for you all. It’s not always easy, but it’s simple…

Maintain healthy body fat
Our bodies need a certain ratio of muscle mass and body fat to have visible abs. I’m no scientist and all of our bodies are vastly different, so I cannot give you those exact numbers for YOU. Let’s say that women should have 20-25% body fat and men 10-15% at the minimum to start to see any core musculature. Below those ranges…you’ve most likely got some kind of abs.

Consume fuel your body needs without too much excess
Eat your 3 meals and snack on healthy foods when hungry in between meals. Remember balance– lean protein, good carbs, and a small amount of healthy fats for your meals.
Protein serving– size of palm
Veggie serving– size of fist
Carb serving– size of cupped hand
Fat serving– size of thumb

Keep your body hydrated
Drink water throughout your day and with your meals. Listen to your body’s thirst cues…if you’re thirsty you’re already lurking on some level of dehydration. I firmly believe that water is the cure for everything.
I always start my day with warm lemon water with about 1/2 of a lemon, I stick to black or green tea instead of coffee in the AM’s, and I always have a water bottle on deck!

Move and strengthen your whole body
YOU CANNOT SPOT REDUCE. Work on building a all-over strong body to serve you well during big lifts and full body movements. Yes, you’ll need to do core specific exercises also but doing 1,000 crunches won’t get those abs, although you might get a sore neck or back.
Sprinkle these focuses into your workout to strengthen more of the core musculature:
Transverse abdominus– plank and plank variations, deadbugs, etc.
External and internal obliques– rotational exercises like Russian twists or bicycle crunches (without yanking on your head!)
Rectus abdominus– crunches on a Bosu ball
…there are more, but let’s start there.

Treat your body well
When stress levels are high, your body is more resistant to letting go of unwanted weight. Cortisol is one of the hormones your body produces under stress. Higher levels of cortisol in the body can increase your appetite, make you crave comfort foods, and add to abdominal weight gain.
Work to schedule “you time” into your day:
-Take up a belly breathing practice
-Get your 7-8 hours of sleep every night
-Read a book
-Stretch and take lower intensity and rest days throughout the week as needed
No need to go 110% everyday…that could increase cortisol levels.

Sure, some people are naturally leaner and may be genetically inclined to have abs. However, we can do our part by being consistent with our healthy eating and workouts. Be realistic with a timeline and results, it’s taken years of bad habits to end up here, it’s going to take time to make changes and see the results you want…keep going.

If you have any questions about exercises or specifics, leave a comment or send me an email

#funfact : The United States is second out of top 5 ice cream consuming countries in the world. #1 is New Zealand.

How to move more

Guys, we need to realize that life is SO good. You have your health and a warm bed to sleep in every night. You have a job that you may or may not like, but it allows you to live and pay your bills.
Even being able to read this post on that device you are holding is pretty remarkable, if you think about it. Some people would do terrible things to be wearing the clothes you are wearing, do the things you do everyday, and have the ones that love and care about you.
I am all about gratitude. Most things “could be worse”…it’s a matter of perspective. Also, know that you have the power change the situation that you are in.

How are those health and fitness goals for this year coming along? Are you moving more and feeling better in your body? Are you eating things that make you feel good and look good? Are you keeping it simple?

We have enough stress in our lives. No need to add to it with pressure to do the most bad-ass, intense workouts to get you and your body where you want it to be. My advice…move more and move often.
Moving could mean a workout in the gym, it could also be playing with your dog, or walking around the block. The more movement you have in your day, I guarantee you’ll be happier and feel more accomplished. I don’t mean running yourself to the ground, I mean purposeful tasks that will force you to use your body over the choice of not.

Try a few of these this week:

  • Always take the stairs and don’t be afraid to take more than one trip for things
  • Play with your kids- have a hula hooping contest or play tag
  • Stand up at work whenever you have some water
  • Park your car further away from work/gym/grocery store
  • Walk(on a tread or somewhere safe) while you play video games or read
  • Dance often- in your car, with friends, while you’re alone, anytime
  • Take a 1 minute stretch break every hour at work- whether it’s your legs or just your hands!
  • Plan only your workout day, not your rest days
  • Go outside and walk around the block (maybe even more than once!)

In life we always have choices. The options might not always be blatantly great ones, but we have to make decisions and do our damndest to make them work for us. Don’t sit and wonder why shit isn’t getting done when you know you’re not doing the work. Move more and move often. #NeverStopMakingMoves

#funfact : A dog’s normal body temperature is 100-102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

They say it’s 80% of the game

Food is the fuel that our body uses to serve us. If you put junk into your tank you might find yourself sluggish, unsatisfied, and perhaps gaining or losing unwanted weight. If you consistently fill your tank with quality fuel you’re likely to have more energy, be healthier and overall feel better.

Eating healthy can be the most challenging part of the “fit life”. There is a balance we must find to properly nourish our bodies so we can get through our days while also enjoying our food. I live by the 80/20 rule, you may be familiar with this concept. 80% of the time, I eat balanced, fresh, healthy meals and snacks, while 20% of the time I allow myself to treat myself and eat outside of the strict, healthy scope.

If you follow me on Instagram (@hii_manduuh), you’ll find drool-worthy photos of foods I get to enjoy and wonder how I eat those foods while maintaining a healthy, strong body. What I don’t post are those basic meals and snacks that I eat every day. I aim for balance within each meal- a lean source of protein, a complex carbohydrate, and some healthy fats.

Check out a typical eating day for me:
Breakfast: broccoli rice, 2.5 egg scramble with cheese, on long days I’ll add Ezekiel toast with AB and fruit preserve
Snack: roasted, unsalted mixed nuts
Lunch: kale & hemp seed salad w/ almonds and cheese, chicken breast
Snack: pita crackers and snap peas with spicy hummus
Dinner: roasted butternut squash and brussel sprouts, more chicken
If I’m dying for dessert: small serving of fruit or granola

This is the way I regularly eat on my working days (6 days/wk). I prepare my own meals and bring them to work everyday, I get up earlier in the mornings to make myself breakfast, I pack snacks for the day when I’m out and about. These are all things that we’ve heard before, they’re simple, but who makes it a priority to actually do it?

Nutrition guidelines to keep in mind while making food decisions:

  • Strive for balance- protein, carbs, fat
  • Include fresh veggies or fruit whenever you eat
  • Drink water with every meal or snack
  • Eat your calories instead of drink them- avoid sodas, juices, alcohol, etc.
  • Go for organic and in-season products
  • Don’t wait until you’re STARVING to eat
  • Start with a smaller serving before loading up your plate
  • Chew slowly and do not overstuff your mouth
  • Listen to your body’s fullness cues

If you’re on the road to weight loss, yes, you’re looking for a calorie deficit. However, don’t deprive yourself of your 3 meals. Your body will have a hard time shedding weight when it’s not functioning properly because of lack of nutrition.
And if you’re looking for some gainz, you’re going to need a calorie surplus. Load up on good, quality calories. Something for your body to use to build the results you’re looking for…not junk.

Nourish your body so you may tackle whatever the day has in store for you. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or topics you’d like to learn more about.

#funfact : The first day of spring is March 20.

Get strong

How do I get toned? What’s your secret to abs? How can I make my butt bigger? What’s the best exercise for losing weight?

My personal opinion for all of these is through STRENGTH. Lift things, put them down, get sweaty and smile (because you can)!
No matter the fitness goal, having a strong, well-moving body will allow you to work your way to them.

I often get approached by people with goals to lose body fat and get “toned”…do you know what “tone” is?! It’s lean muscle. It’s the product of resistance training and a good nutrition. You cannot have one without the other.

There are many benefits to lifting weights and getting stronger:
1. Your body is more effective and efficient at burning fat and calories – the more lean muscle mass you have on you, the more calories your body burns throughout the day.
2. It beats cardio– instead of monotonous exercises, there are SO many variations of resistance training you can do. Also, you’ll use more of your body and build muscle through full body resistance training.
3. Increases bone density – through weight bearing exercises your body adapts by building stronger and more dense bones to take the extra load and impact.
4. YOU WILL NOT GET BULKY – those body builders really have to try to get “Hulk-like”. You don’t need to worry about getting too buff, please!
5. Boost your confidence – you’ll become more independent, you’ll feel better, you’ll look better and stronger…all great things.

How do you build strength? I get to do resistance training 3-4 times per week, focusing on full-body workouts each time. Following the basic movement patterns: push, pull, squat, hinge, and core. Within each workout, I aim to hit each of these movements while under varying load on different days: bodyweight, light, medium and heavy days.
If you’re a newbie, aim for at least 2 full-body strength training days each week. 3 or 4 sets of 8-15 repetitions of each exercise. Lighter weight, higher reps for light days. Higher weight, lower reps for heavy days.

Here is a sample workout to give you an idea of how I like to lift:
3 x 10 suitcase deadlifts
bent-over dumbbell rows
3 minute treadmill jog
3 x 10 squat to overhead press
3 minute treadmill jog
3 x :45 forearm plank on physioball
3 x :30 side planks

BOOM! Nothing crazy or too fancy…just keeping it simple within the basic movement patterns. Find a weight to challenge you through the repetitions, you should be fatigued by the end of each set and need a short rest before continuing.

If you are unsure of how to lift weights with proper form or feel pain during movments, I highly recommend seeking out a professional for guidance….I’m a professional and totally happy to help anyway I can! Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. Leave a comment or shoot me an email:

#funfact : Humans are the only mammals that willingly delay sleep.