Monday, November 28, 2011

Time for a Curveball?

In Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom we talk about the importance of making exercise a habit, especially when you're first finding your fitness mojo. But once you've been at your routine a while, it might be time to change things up. How do you know when you're at the point that you should try something new? If any of the following sound familiar, you might want to consider adding a curveball to your daily dose of fitness:

1. You've hit a plateau with your weight loss goals.
2. You see a decrease in performance gains.
3. You're lacking enthusiasm to just get moving.
4. It's mentally difficult to make it through your workout.
5. You see an increase in aches and pains, or nagging injuries that don't go away.

If you're experiencing one or more of the above, it might be time to experiment with your workouts. Try something new, whether that means attending a new group fitness class, adding strength and flexibility training, or changing how vigorously you work out. Anything that moves your body in a new way (or new intensity) will do. Stick with your new groove until things feel better. And if you happen to fall in love, stick with it indefinitely. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Celebrating Thanksgiving... Hot (Sweaty) Family Style

Another great year celebrating Thanksgiving Day by movin' it at a local Turkey Trot. So proud of the girls who each hoofed their own best distance--Cady the whole 5K and Maggie two miles! 

Happy Thanksgiving!
Much Love, 


Monday, November 21, 2011

Yoga In Action

My panties are in a bunch this morning. Nothing too life altering, except a general need to slow the world down a bit. Target is opening its doors for holiday shopping at midnight on Thanksgiving and I woke up to an e-mail that read, "Black Friday Deals Start Now." Feels like the freneticism of the holiday season is creeping into the outer edge of what was once considered an unspoken, yet sacred, lull.

Lucky for me, I went to a candlelight yoga class on Saturday night. Getting there on time was no easy task; it was our first real taste of winter in Minneapolis and the streets were like ice rinks. Despite the white-knuckled anxiety I felt getting there, once inside the studio I felt my body make an intentional, purposeful shift. My mind quickly followed. I found myself able to soften the chaos I knew was just outside the brick wall behind me; I was acutely aware of my ability to block out the unwanted noise in my life. Even if just for that moment.
Mind over matter. 

So today I'm going to put my yoga practice to work in everyday life. I'm going to focus on this moment and not worry about the chaos that is most certainly on the way. For me, this will mean making some very deliberate plans for today and, ultimately, our five day weekend. Trips to the science museum, nature center, and the pool will definitely be on the list. Some structure, lots of flexibility. 

Thank you, Yoga, my wise and always friend.

Breathe in. Breathe out. 



What will you do to keep grounded during the holiday season? Start by checking out today's stop on the Hot (Sweaty) Mamas virtual book tour: Kate Hanley's Ms. MindBody. Kate's a yoga instructor, writer, speaker, and mom to two young children. Take a look around and check out her interview of my co-author and me!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Tour Stops at Bump Life with Guest Post on Mother Guilt Today

Today the Hot (Sweaty) Mamas book tour is making a stop at Bump Life. Bump Life is a one stop shop for lots of great information on pre and postnatal fitness. Megan, the site's founder, has solid information that appeals to the I-like-up-to-date-and-accurate-information part of me. Check out her blog post with spot on answers to these top prenatal fitness questions: 

4 Top Prenatal Fitness Questions
  1.     Can I get my heart rate over 140bpm
  2.     Can I do ab work while I am pregnant?
  3.     I woke up last night on my back, should I be worried?
  4.     My joints feel loosey-goosey, should I avoid working out?
Done making babies? Megan's still got you covered with a great 10 Minute Workout that Really Works for those days when your schedule is tight. And her 10 Steps to Fitness After the Birth of Your Baby provides sound advice on how to successfully and (perhaps more importantly) happily get back at after baby is born. And we all know that Happy Mom = Happy Baby, right?

So, check out Bump Life's review of the book. Later today, I'll be guest posting here on my favorite topic... Mother Guilt. Come join the conversation!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The (Virtual) Trip is Underway!

Going on tour with Hot (Sweaty) Mamas: Five Secrets to Life as a Fit Mom sounds like a blast. That is until I think about all the stuff I'd miss out on at home, like my kids, my husband and my workouts. So while there are a couple real life trips planned for the near future, the Hot (Sweaty) Mamas book tour is going virtual. My co-author, Kara Thom, and I will spend the next five weeks visiting 23 (and counting) mom bloggers. As the bloggers check out our book, I'm going to do some fun research on my own visiting their blogs and sharing my favorite takeaways from each. Stop back throughout the tour and get to know these bloggers...

Our first stop was right here in Minneapolis with fellow runner, Carly, at Chubby Chicks Run Too. She rode a camel, rode the pole (you'll have to check that post out!), and now wears Dansko clogs...  My kind of girl. Carly's doing the work of the Hot (Sweaty) Mama: managing to stay fit while working part-time and caring for her family and home. Love that she's sharing her struggles and successes with other moms...

Day two we hit Chicago to spend time with Stephanie Mansour from Step it Up with Steph.
Stephanie is a premier, private personal trainer and coach for women. She combines yoga, Pilates, personal training, and body image and confidence coaching for a unique approach to wellness. Steph's workbook, 30 Days to Love Your Body and Your Life, is on my gift list this year (cause who couldn't love their body or their life just a little more?).

Today we were up in British Columbia visiting Tamara of Fit Knit Chick. I've never met Tamara in person, but I think I might have a little girl crush on her. Guess she appeals to the student in me... Tamara has a PhD in Ecology and recently moved into the fitness industry. She's a mom to three kids who realized the best way to keep active was to turn that activity into a career. (Good thinking, Tamara!) And, of course, Tamara knits too. That's something I've tried (and failed at) many times...

Love these ladies and I'm excited to keep traveling! Stop back tomorrow to see who we'll be chatting with!


Monday, November 7, 2011

When the going gets tough...

Kara and I could never have given birth to Hot (Sweaty) Mamas without the help of others. Sure, we did some of our work amidst a hurricane of children, armed with junk food and Barbie, err, educational movies for those moments of desperation. Sometimes, however, we had to leave the kids behind and for me that usually meant my girls would have a play date with my father-in-law, Grandpa Tony.

Grandpa Tony didn’t just facilitate writing time for me, he also helped me practice the very things we were writing about in our book. Prioritizing fitness and taking care of myself were logistically more convenient knowing Grandpa, who lives less than a mile away, was eager to spend time with his granddaughters.

It’s been almost two weeks since my father-in-law had his knee replaced, and he’ll likely be in a transitional care facility rehabbing his new joint for a while longer. Without Grandpa around, I find myself doing my version of Bible dipping: opening Hot (Sweaty) Mamas to random pages to get some
encouragement for my balancing act.

For the first time in five years, I’m working outside of the home on a regular basis, completing my internship for my master’s in counseling. I’m in school two nights a week. I’m the primary caregiver for my children and the main domestic engineer. I recently started coaching my daughter’s basketball team. We don’t use a cleaning service and rarely hire babysitters (with the very important exception of date night!), so I’m juggling. Lots. Sometimes it feels like things are falling through the cracks, and I’m playing child swap with my neighbor more than I’m used to. But I’m making this new “normal” work. I’m getting out there, staying active, and desperately finding time to exercise.

The point of this post it to offer kudos to every woman out there who is working hard to keep things going. Someone always has is more difficult, but we should be proud to find our way during both calm and rocky waters…

Cheers to each and every one of you for making this work as best you can. When the going gets tough, the hot and sweaty keep going!