Don’t Skip the Stretching!

I got a wonderful email today from my health care provider (Aetna) and there were so many great little nuggets of information I am going to dedicate a blog post to each one.

Stretching… don’t lie, I know when the video is over and there are 3 minutes left of stretching, you turn the video off and go put in a load of laundry or empty the dishwasher.  Don’t!  Stretching is just as important as the workout both to warm up your muscles and cool them down.  This prevents injury.

Experts say the best way to do this is to go at a slower pace for 5 to 10 minutes. So if you’re jogging, you should walk for a few minutes to warm up. And then again to cool down.

Stretching’s important, but bouncing is for balls
While stretching is important to remain flexible, if you don’t do it right, you risk injury. You should stretch your muscles a couple times a week.  Hello yoga!

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Avoid the following:

  • Stretching cold muscles
  • Holding a stretch for more than 15 seconds
  • Bouncing (don’t do that)

Other ways to avoid injury include using the proper equipment. And having the proper form. No matter what the exercise warriors on television advise, don’t overdo it. If you push yourself too hard, you could go from warrior to war torn.

For more on how to avoid injury from exercise, visit the National Institutes of Health Medline Plus website.

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Give it a wink

Choosing to take care of yourself and do something about how you feel takes mental strength. When you are tired from working, or taking care of your kids (or husbands or pets) but you still make the decision day after day to keep going and just get in 30 minutes of exercise for you. It does wonders for your mental strength.

I don’t know about you, but when I complete a really tough workout, that sense of accomplishment trickles into the rest of my day. I think critically, bring forward innovative ideas at work, and at home I have just that ounce more patience with my kids start screaming at me when I cut their sandwich in rectangles instead of triangles.

Today I finally had a “normal” routine day where I got up early and got my workout in before the household was awake.  I hadn’t done a hardcore lifting workout in awhile, so it was challenging but felt great.   The rest of the morning there were a few bumps, but I didn’t let them bother me and we all got out the door without too much struggle.

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I personally love a challenge.  When someone says I can’t do something, it gives me more fuel to prove them wrong.  Oh yea I can’t?  Watch me.

Half way through the week.  Let’s finish strong!

The 3 phases in creating a lasting habit

Right now, I am running a challenge group of 21 day fix.  We are on day 20 and a lot of people are wondering what to do after the first 21 days?  I shared this with them tonight, and I want to share it with all of you too.
I am reading the “Miracle Morning”, and this chapter could NOT have come at a better time. It is all about how it takes 30 days (not 21) to create a habit.  It is broken down into 3 phases.
Phase 1: Days 1-10: UNBEARABLE.
First, you have made a decision to do something. Here you have advantage over everyone else, BUT you need to be prepared for the first 10 days. These days are challenging, but temporary. If the benefit is great enough, you can do anything for 10 days right?  If you are going to improve your health, lose weight, or gain mental clarity, changing a habit it WORTH IT!
The first 10 days of implementing anything aren’t a picnic, but you can defy it, you may even hate it at times but you CAN do it. It only gets easier from here and the reward is the ability to create anything you want for your life!
Phase 2: Days 10-21, UNCOMFORTABLE
These are the most difficult. The excitement of doing something new has worn off but the new habit is considerably easier and you have begun to create positive associations to the benefit of your habit. You will have developed some confidence. It requires disciple and commitment on your part to stay consistent and it will be easy to feel tempted to fall back into your old habits.
THIS IS WHERE  PEOPLE STOP!!
DON’T!
Phase 3 Days 21-30 UNSTOPPABLE
You have formed a new habit in the first 21 days, but these NEXT 10 days are crucial for sustaining your habit for the long term. The final 10 days are where you positively reinforce and associate pleasure with your new habit, where before you were associating pain. Instead of resisting, you start feeling happy and proud of yourself that you have made it this far. Phase 3 is also where the REAL transformation occurs. Your new habit becomes part of your identity. It transcends the space between something you’re trying and who you’re becoming. You start seeing yourself as someone who LIVES the habit.
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I went on to encourage everyone to keep going and grab some friends.  Starting April 4th I will be hosting a new group for #summerstrong.
If you are interested in joining us, drop me an email.  I will be announcing their 21 day transformations next week.  I am so proud of all of them already!
Happy Saturday everyone!!!
In case you aren’t following me on snapchat yet, here are a few snippets of yesterday!  [snapchat: jessicaheidifit]
Sam got into her jewelry early in the morning and came downstairs super dolled up.  After I snapped this picture she wanted to add some flowers to it and share it with her aunt!
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I absolutely loved yesterday, I got off my computer and spent 4 glorious hours in the lab.  I got so much done and was able to just zone out, listen to music, and make something pretty amazing.   I look like such a nerd.   I actually really hate selfies… but this is me!
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It’s FRIDAY night, the kids were so excited.  After their little dance party, we went out to dinner and they were so well behaved!  They sat nicely, colored, and ate all their dinner.  I actually think it was a miracle.

Off to spin this morning, maybe followed by a farmers market and an extra Beachbody On Demand workout if I am feeling up to it.   Gotta relieve that stress of living with toddlers.  I love them more than anything, but sometimes it is a bit trying!!
I hope everyone has a great weekend, and as always if you are interested in making a change in your life, either with fitness, or looking to add some extra income by doing something you love and meeting new people.  Send me a message.

A running & steak kind of day

I needed to get some fresh air.  Work has been totally hectic and I’ve been spending so much time at meetings and conference calls I needed to step away so I took my lunch break to go for a wonderful run outside.   There were so many people out!  I think we all had the same idea.  I made sure to pack my clothes just in case the opportunity presented itself!

I love my bridesmaid gift from my sister in laws wedding.  The perfect tote for sneakers and a change of clothes!
  

Running has such a transformative power.  You are outside, the sun is shining, you are pushing your limits, and all the stress from your brain starts melting away and you are able to really think.   I came back in totally refreshed and with new ideas for how to innovate in the lab.

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James came home with some Chinese food but I already had dinner cooking.  I still took my fortune cookie though!  I agree with this sentiment whole heartedly!

   

I don’t know about you but I just love steak.   I’m super happy to report I made this recipe by winging it and it was delicious!  

1 package skillet steak ($6.50 at ShopRite).  I used 3 slices

Montreal Steak seasoning, lift coating

1 onion

1 pepper

1/2 cup quinoa.

Softened the onion and pepper in olive oil in a cast iron skillet, cooked the steak on high heat about a minute or so each side. Had a side of quinoa for carbs.  

Quick, easy, inexpensive, and delicious.
  

My favorite dessert is a container of yogurt topped with fruit.  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and kiwi.

 

No Excuses

I am going to get so REAL. I hate excuses. The number one thing I hear ALL THE TIME is “I don’t have time.” Guess what, That’s BS. What you are really saying is “This isn’t important to me”.

We are all given the same 24 hours in a day. If you want time, you need to MAKE it. We are all capable of anything we set our minds to. What sets you apart from that guy over there who runs marathons, runs a company, travels for business, and still spends time with his family? NOTHING. They MAKE the time.

Think about it, if you wake up at 6 and go to bed at 10, that is 16 waking hours!

  • Full Time Job (9 hours)
  • Hour commute (2 hours)
  • Free time: (FIVE HOURS!)

What are you doing with those FIVE extra hours???? Cooking? Cleaning? Spending quality time with your partner, kids, pets? I hope so.

My guess is you are watching TV, Playing on your ipad, Scrolling through fb, surfing the internet…

I want YOU. If you are reading this and want a change in your life. Get OFF YOUR BUTT. I need you to give me 22 minutes. YES, just 22 minutes of those 5 extra hours you have when you aren’t working or commuting. That is less 1 TV episode.

I want a group of MEN and WOMEN, committed to changing their outlook on life, sick of making excuses for themselves to join me on March 28th to start a new fitness program. Do it from home, only 22 minutes and start taking control of your life.

Is it you?

Contact me now. No excuses.

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Deer Valley Utah Part 1

It has been awhile since my last blog post.  We were on our winter family vacation!  It was wonderful!  Just last year we started trying to take a family ski vacation.  I fell in love with the mountain air, being outside all day, being active, learning something new, and exposing our kids to yet another way to experience the amazingness of nature, and our human bodies!

This was the view from our kitchen window… can’t beat that.

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Last year Jimmy did not come with us, he was not going to ski, and having two toddlers on a plane did not seem like fun, but I am so happy he was with us this year.  He LOVED the planes and the airport.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of his face during takeoff.  He was holding on to the arm rests and made a scared/excited face.  I think he was surprise how fast we went.    And he was not drinking soda, it was filled with water.  Nana also came with us!

We were a bit nervous about spring weather, but we had a few days of phenomenal conditions!

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The perk of staying on the mountain was we ALWAYS got the first run in.  It was so perfect, peaceful, and quiet in the morning.  You could race down the mountain and feel the crisp winter air on your cheeks.

Deer Valley is a skiers only resort in Park City Utah.    We stayed on the SUCCESS run on Bald Eagle Mountain.   Last year I was just learning so I stayed on mainly greens.  This year I got to really explore the entire resort and go on all the mountains.  I stayed on all blues!  Next year my goal is to tackle a double blue.

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One of my favorite days was Wednesday.  We got a babysitter to come to the house for the morning and all the adults went skiing all morning.  We made it over to the eastern most peak Empire, and the view was spectacular.  Thank goodness there was 1 blue to go down, the rest were diamonds and double diamonds!

 

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Our absolute favorite trails were off Flagstaff Mountain.  We enjoyed Hawkeye, Sidewinder which was like a long winding S turns all the way down, and Bluebell to Stargazer.  On Bald Mountain we liked Nabob and Keno.  Aren’t the names so fun too?!

Samantha was a champ! She skied down Success 3 times!

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We got to enjoy dinners out with friends.  My favorite restaurant was Zoom.  The food was so delicious, Jimmy cleaned his plate then he devoured mine instead of his kids meal.  He is no dummy!

James and I also had a nice date at Butcher’s Chop House & Bar.  It was a lovely dinner and I had a delicious bison.  James tried a bit of mine but he said he wasn’t that adventurous yet.  I told Jimmy when we got home and he kept saying the rest of vacation that he wanted to eat buffalo for dinner.  That’s my boy!

My mother in law and some family ate at the Bistro American Bistro and they said it was phenomenal.  All French cuisine.

After full days of skiing, we were exhausted!  We enjoyed quality time together, colored, sipped tea, relaxed by the fire, and went in the hot tub outside.  IMG_2397

 

More to come…

Family weekend

I just love family weekends!  My sister in law and family were visiting from MA for the holiday weekend so we all gathered at my mother in law’s house for the weekend!  Nothing like 6 adults, 2 toddlers, and a teenager in one house all weekend.  So fun!   

The kids loved waking up to everyone hanging out.  

 
Saturday we decided to spend the day at iPlay America.  The place was insane!  Like an indoor Boardwalk, arcade, carnival, and sports bar.  There was something for everyone.   

Sam rode her first superman ride with her cousin.

  

Jimmy was in awe.

 
Jimmy liked the spinning dinosaurs.

   He also loved going fast with dad!

  There were games for everyone.

We had a nice dinner out too! 

Sunday was a day filled with art.  We make valentines, we colored, drew pictures, and did some finger painting.  We made a nice big breakfast, pancakes and omelettes!  Dinner was fabulous assortments of soups.  James and I also stole away for a Valentine’s Day lunch.  

Finger painting session.  Jenn made potato stamps!   
My first piece of the weekend 

  Lots of coloring and lots of tea  
My second piece.  Colored pencils and markers

 
Sam is a pro.  

We also got a nice surprise, we had Jimmy sit on the potty and he pooped!!! The first poopie on the potty is a huge deal.  We did a dance. 

  
James and I got our daily workout in too!  Saturday was Chisel Agility and Sunday was Hammer Power.

The kids got one last book out of Gaia before we left.  They really love her!  

  
Monday was our last stay home day.  We spent the morning at the gym.  I ran 5.5 miles on the treadmill while I watched Downton Abby.  The kids got in a good monkey maze session too. It snowed a bunch today.  I made it to the grocery store and stocked up on fruits and veggies!  

Onto another week!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend!  

Birthday Weekend Festivities

It’s a birthday weekend!  My husband’s birthday is Monday so of course we got to celebrate for 3 days!

Saturday night we had a wonderful family dinner at my mothers.  It is nice to have everyone together.  I am blessed there is so much love and my children get to be surrounded in it.

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We had the kiddos stay the weekend with their grandparents.  My parents, Oma and Opa.  It is a treat for them to have sleepovers and a treat for us to have adult time!

To celebrate, James and I went to Camelback Mountain for a ski day!

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This is only my second year skiing,  I am learning all about different conditions and such.  We live on the east coast in the US, and I learned to ski last year in Utah.  Then we took a nice little trip to Vermont in January.  This was my first experience with real east coast snow conditions.  YUCK!  I was told that what we skiied today was granular snow.  Basically chunked up ice.  I was not a fan.  I felt like I was on the defensive and was always unsure of what I was going to hit, whether it be an ice patch or huge mound of snow.   Even though the conditions were pretty blecky, we still had a great day.

After skiing we got in another workout then headed over to a friend’s house for a Superbowl party.   Nothing is better than spending time with good friends.

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What is your favorite place to ski?

What are your favorite birthday traditions?

What was your favorite superbowl commercial?

Practice Patience

It all started this morning, bright and early at 5:30 am when I went in our basement to get in my daily workout and found a flooded basement.

  
We spent 2 hours pumping the water out and it just kept coming!  Where was this water coming from?    I decided to work from home to bail the water out every hour or so and James went to take a shower… no hot water.

Our water heater was done.  It was leaking water everywhere!   A few calls and lucky we got someone in to replace it today.  Owning a house really is a money pit.

It took the gentleman 3ish hours to pump out the old one and install the new one.  He said it was so old and rusted that when he unscrewed the connector the piece disintegrated in his hand!    I didn’t really believe him until I went downstairs and saw the rust particulates everywhere.  What a mess!   That took me another 2 hours to clean up and put everything back all the while managing conference calls and actually getting work done!

   

  

Even though it was not a pleasant experience, I am proud of how we handled it.  In the past when things like that would happen we would B* and moan and yell, but that doesn’t accomplish much.  Although we were extremely upset and frustrated, I am glad we didn’t let it ruin our day completely.   On a positive note, I got an enormous amount of work done because I could sit in silence and just work with no interruptions.  Another bonus, I got work done in my pajamas all day since we didn’t have any hot water!  Plus number 3, our basement is back to normal and so clean!  Ready for my workout tomorrow!

  
   I am happy with our new water heater, it is quieter and takes up less space too.  I wonder what will break next.  We thought it would have been the furnace!
After dinner the kids had some cuddle time with daddy.  Finding Nemo was on.  It’s a classic!  

  
I found this article really insightful about How to Practice Patience in Stressful Times.

Check it out.  Here are some of my favorite parts…

Patience is really made up of three aspects. One is persistence. That’s the capacity to keep on going even though you can’t yet see the end result. It’s what keeps us moving toward our goal and thus helps us make our dreams come true. Two is acceptance. Accepting that whatever is happening right now is the way it is. The third is a sense of peacefulness or serenity or calmness in the face of what is. 

Why is patience important?

To understand that, we need to look at the other side and ask, “What is impatience?” Impatience is on the anger continuum. First you have irritation, then impatience and then anger and, at the far end, rage. So, besides helping us reach goals, what is important about patience is that it keeps our anger turned off.

What do we gain by being patient?

Ultimately, patience allows us to act more mindfully and wisely. You get peace of mind when things are challenging, and you also have better relationships with other people — parents, kids, co-workers, spouse. Lord knows, patience is a quality we most need for high-functioning relationships. It allows us to hang in there and keep going, whether with a person or with a process, or in a business.

That’s some good stuff right there.
What was the last appliance you had to replace?  Was it a catastrophe?

What’s your favorite Disney movie? 

How do you practice patience? 

A little 9pm cleaning

Do you ever look at your house and just think “ugh,  I really need to clean.  Do I really have to?”  I got that feeling today, and the answer was yes.  I had to clean.

First up, I live in an old home, with hard water.  We have a water softener, but we still get buildup everywhere!  These pumice stones are amazing!  $0.99 at Walmart and they get rid of all the water rings.  No bleach or anything necessary.


Next, floors.  Having toddlers means food everywhere!  No matter how much I clean we find little ants.  So we finally got them to listen to the new rule, no food in the living room.  Only in the dining room.  They “forget” sometimes but we are getting there.

So far under the couch I found an empty bag of pirates booty, a few headbands, legos, balls, coins, random other toys and tons of popcorn kernels.  We’ll see how long things stay clean.  For now they are nice and shiny clean!


There is still a little laundry to do… And two more baskets in the basement.  Maybe I’ll tackle some before work tomorrow.


As for today’s workout, Hammer max strength.  One minute of each exercise then 8 reps at max weight.  Then a little 10 minute abs!

Here is a little preview for you!  Do 1 minute of each exercise.  For all the oblique exercises (the ones on your side) make sure to do 1 minute per side!

What was the weirdest thing you have found under your couch?

What is your least favorite chore?  Mine is laundry.

Do you have a favorite ab exercise?