This week I’m kicking it up a notch!

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Monday: Jillian Michaels Shape Up Front
Tuesday: Mandy Ingber Yogalosophy
Thursday: Jillian Michaels Shape Up Back
Sunday: Cathe Friendrich Bootcamp

This week I’m kicking it up a notch! I decided to start running up my stairs just to get my heart rate going a little bit more doing household stuff, which would add up during the day and over the week. “Running” up the stairs was more like a small hop onto each step and by the fifth or sixth one my “run” turned into walking slower than a normal pace. I could feel every part of my body jiggle all the way up to my saggy eyelids! It made me laugh…and I thought of my girlfriends who would laugh with me.

The two Jillian Michaels DVDs are 30 minutes long and work the parts of the body in the title – the front or the back. There’s a warm up section followed by two intervals that we repeat once then stretch. I dig it because 30 minutes and I’m done! Plus it goes fast. (I don’t like getting bored!) The intervals include cardio aspects to get the heart rate up. She works both the upper and lower body at the same time – like a lunge with a bicep curl – to maximize time and effort. This makes for a more efficient workout.

So why does she have two different workouts, one for the front of the body and one for the back? Here’s why: the front of the body is primarily made of up of “push muscles” like the front of the thigh (quadriceps) which pushes the body from a sitting position for example. Your triceps are also push muscles along with deltoids (shoulders) and calves. The back of the body is primarily made of up of “pull muscles” such as the hamstring (back of the thigh) which pulls your lower leg towards your booty. Your biceps and back muscles are also pull muscles.

Imagine picking something up off the floor – you bend down (like a squat), reach for the item (deltoid and tricep), pick the item up and bring it towards you (bicep and back muscles), then stand back up (booty and thighs), all the while your abs and core are used to stabilize you so you don’t fall over. So your whole body is used for that one movement. Pretty rad, huh?

While doing the Yogalosophy workout this week, I wanted to tell you that I’m not a yogi. I’m not one of those people who likes doing yoga because I dig the zen stuff nor do I meditate. I have to exhaust my body in order to calm my mind. Yoga helped me do that – to work my muscles to fatigue in order to let my mind relax. As you know, this is a hard thing to do as a Mom. We’re always thinking. You know you are. I used to find my zen at the bottom of a fabulous martini but now I find it in a few minutes of calmness at the end of a yoga workout. It makes me more patient with a toddler who makes a mess or throws a toy. Find a way to work your body and calm your mind. Find YOUR zen!

Pictured above is a delicious salad that’s easy and fast to make: apples, feta cheese, and cranberries with poppy seed dressing.

A mother of two and a Colorado Native, she grew up in suburbia Denver and met her husband in college at Regis University. They were best friends for years before he kissed her and well…as they say, the rest is history. He joined the Army after they graduated in 2002, so they moved several times and just came back from living overseas. Being gone for over 10 years, Colorado is still their home and they feel so good to be back!

<em><strong>Click here for more “New” mom articles from Crystal!</strong></em>

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