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March 25, 2015

Fit Bod, Fun Life Series Week 4: Level Up

Welcome back to the Fit Bod, Fun Life series! So glad you decided to drop by for some extra motivation from my go to personal trainer friend, Mariah Secrest-Comer

Just in case you were curious...
Yes, that super toned gorgeous lady below is Mariah! I know, right.
After seeing those muscles I know you're ready for her simple, attainable tips on living a healthier lifestyle. 

One of my favorite things about this series is that she knows many of us are busy working professionals/moms/superwomen, and she reassures us that being a better version of yourself doesn't have to take lots of time, just practicing a few simple steps. We can handle that right?!

Fit Bod, Fun Life Week 4:  Level Up

A huge thank-you to both Meg, as well as those who have been following our 4-part Fit Bod, Fun Life series! (For those of you who want to catch up, I know Meg will be linking back to the first 3 posts for ya!)

To recap our journey together this month, we first talked about the importance of finding your fitness sweet spot. That is, finding that exact activity level, frequency, and duration that gives you the most benefits while taking the least from your busy life.  No one can choose this for you—everyone’s “set point” is different as to what makes them happy, and the only one you need to worry about making happy is beautiful, healthy Y-O-U.

Secondly, we talked about that magical secret ingredient of developing consistency. My favorite, sure-fire way to do this is to start with small increments coupled with relentless regularity. My challenge to you this month was to just move 20 minutes a day. Every. Single. Day. No matter the intensity level. No matter the type of activity. Just move. Even more important than building your physical muscles, by doing this you build the muscle of habit. By easing into it, you also create the positive mental association of well-being that accompanies judgment-free exercise.

On week three, we discussed setting limits around food. This may have come as a breath of fresh air for some of you, as I gave you full permission to savor your favorite foods on a regular, planned basis. I also gave you a peek into my own eating habits—including my indulgences.

So how are we feeling, folks? Is this fit-bod, fun-life thing starting to seem within reach? It should, because it totally is!

Today I want to give you my insider secrets to level up your results, now that you’ve gotten into a groove of regularity and balance.

What may bug some people about starting slow and steady, instead of hot and heavy, is that they want results, like, YESTERDAY! But that impatience is also what will ultimately derail us from the sustained effort it takes to achieve lasting success.

So be proud of yourself. You’ve stayed the course. You’ve trusted the process. And only now are you ready to kick it into high gear! All you have to do is incorporate these things into your regimen now to achieve that hot bod and can-do attitude that comes with a little bit of hustle!

  • Level Up Tip #1: Put Some Muscle Into It

Up until now, we haven’t been too concerned with what type of activity we do. But now it’s time, if you haven’t already, to get serious about strength training. Exercises that use your muscles to overcome resistance are important for strengthening bones, creating sexy curves, and—maybe a surprise to you—skyrocketing your metabolism!

P.S. If you’re not into the gym weight room, I’m in the process of creating some more strength-training resources specifically for you! Want in? Just sign up HERE or click the button at the end of the post, and you’ll be the first to hear when they roll out later this spring!

  • Level Up Tip #2: Try Time-Blocking Your Carbs

This is my own super-duper insider tip--pulling from concepts like intermittent fasting, hormone optimization, and what we know about circadian rhythms, as well as personal experience. Don’t shy away from whole-grain, complex carbs (such as whole-grain breads, crackers, grains, etc.), but try restricting them a block of time between noon to 7 p.m. This gives your insulin levels a chance to even out overnight, dipping into fat stores for energy, and reducing that “I just ate breakfast but now I’m even hungrier” feeling. 

It also reduces any risk of late-night binge snacking, which kicks into high gear right before bedtime and creates a vicious carb-loading cycle if you consume carbohydrates after about 7 p.m. Instead, try toasting a small handful of nuts in a skillet with some coconut oil and sea salt for your evening snack, and whip up a batch of Chia Pudding (add some protein powder instead of the sweetener) to have ready for your carb-free breakfast the next morning.

  • Level Up Tip #3: Strategize Your Intensity Level

You probably already know that not every workout should be exactly the same, if you want to get better and change your body. But neither should your intensity level. If you max-out your effort every time, you’ll risk over-training as well as psychological burnout (tending to make it easier to skip a day, and the next, and so on). But if you hardly ever break a sweat, you won’t reap the full endorphin high of having to go into recovery mode, and your scale probably won’t budge either. 

Here’s what I suggest: Pick 2 days a week of all-out effort. These days can be shorter, but higher intensity - like 20 to 30 minutes of heavy lifting or interval training. Add one or two moderate-effort, medium-length days - maybe 40 minutes on the elliptical at a steady Level 5 for example - and pick another day (probably a weekend) to do a long, gentle repetitive activity. Hiking is my favorite! This will ensure that you’re both physically and emotionally well-balanced in your exercise regime, and that you’re squeezing out the most results.

P.S. - I’ll be offering some strength-training resources later this spring for busy professionals who hate the gym. Want in? Sign-up HERE and you’ll be the first to know when the new goodies are rolled out!)

My parting Fit Bod, Fun Life wisdom for you is this: Always have a back-up plan.

If you can’t get to your full workout, it’s ALWAYS okay to temporarily go back to your easy 20 minutes of activity as a placeholder for your daily routine.

Exercise is not a zero-sum game. Any exercise is a net gain—instantly boosting your cognitive performance, coping abilities, libido, appetite control, work productivity, problem-solving skills, self-confidence, relationship skills, complexion, and mood. And long workout or short, I’ll take those benefits ANY day! 

Thanks, everyone! I hope you have enjoyed the Fit Bod, Fun Life series!

Your Trainer,

Well that last post wraps up the series! A big thank you to Mariah for the new motivation! 
Looking for more great healthy living tips and inspiration? Jump on over to Mariah's business website/blog - Elevate Mobile Fitness

And if you are looking for a coach walk you through the next two weeks of starting an exercise program, you can now join her FREE 14 Days to Fit Lifestyle Jumpstart anytime for instant access! I've done this program with her help and had awesome results and motivation. Click HERE to sign up!

For more of the Fit Bod, Fun Life series, check out:

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