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How 7 Mom Trainers Squeeze in a Workout

When your day involves shuttling kids to school, daycare and baseball practice and … making three meals and snacks for the entire family, while also working and keeping everyone happy, it’s hard to remember to brush your teeth, let alone fit in a workout.

“As a mother of three and business owner, I admit it is hard (expletive hard!) to make time for exercise. Our mom to-do lists never end,” says Jessica Griffin, owner of NJ Fit Mom Training and Wellness Coaching.

But she finds a way. Like many other moms who are trainers, Griffin swears by one trick: scheduling her workouts for the week on Sundays. “As moms we live by the calendar. So my personal strategy is to schedule my workouts on there like all other things. Then I show up like I do all other important meetings. I do not cancel on myself. That would be rude,” she says.

You don’t need to be a mom to follow her example — or the examples of the trainers below who all have kids. If they manage to exercise while working and taking care of a family, you can too. After all, mother knows best, right?

1. MAKE A KID-FRIENDLY WORKOUT AREA

“I brought my 3-year-old’s art table into the place where I workout and will sometimes set her up with Play-Doh, coloring books, etc. to entertain her. But truth is, she does that for 5–10 minutes then prefers to come work out with mommy. She has her own 1- and 2-pound weights and she loves to ‘lift’ and do burpees!

– Griffin

2. EXERCISE WITH YOUR KIDS

“I have infant twin boys and a 3 1/2-year-old toddler who keep me active and on my feet. I do a mommy-and-me yoga class with the twins and with my toddler, I make it a priority to get outside and go to Central Park for some cardio where we do a lot of walking, running, throwing balls, riding scooters and playing soccer.”

– Kristin McGee, celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor and author of “Chair Yoga”

3. EXERCISE WITH YOUR KIDS, LITERALLY

“I’ll hold my son while doing exercises like squats or shoulder presses, have him sit in my lap for triceps dips, or I’ll bring out equipment like a mini trampoline and Bosu, and we’ll take turns using them. But sometimes he loves the equipment so much, I can’t get a turn!”

– Sara Haley, pre- and postnatal fitness expert

4. SET GOALS

“It’s hard to accomplish something when you haven’t identified exactly what you’re trying to achieve, so I set goals. Some examples are: number of runs per week, mileage, strength training goals, races I’ve entered (it totally keeps my run schedule on track when there’s a race looming!) and nutrition goals. Your goals need to be specific — decide what, when, how and where!”

– Nichole Sargent, American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer

5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NAP TIME …

“There really is no secret — it is all a mindset and how badly you want it. Excuses are so easy to make. Let’s face it, anything can typically derail our plans for the day. As soon as my daughter goes down for her first nap, I go jump on my treadmill and lift weights. If my little one does not want to nap, I include her in my workouts by either placing her beside me with one of her toys or actually using her as my weight.”

– Sia Cooper, personal trainer and Diary of a Fit Mommy blogger

6. … AND ANY FREE TIME

“I don’t schedule workouts into my calendar because everyday has different variables. If I’m set to teach at the studio, I try to take the class before mine or after, even if it’s just 15–30 minutes. If I’m working from home, I do a barre3 online workout, which are 10-, 30-, 40- or 60-minutes. Let’s be real, I rarely do the 60 minutes at home when my daughter is there. But 30 minutes is doable while she’s playing or watching TV. Sometimes I even break it up 10 minutes at a time.”

– Jenna Muller, certified barre3 and Pilates instructor

7. RETHINK YOUR COMMUTE AND DATE NIGHT

“I have learned to take advantage of biking to my dentist appointment instead of taking the subway, or, if the stars align, date night with my husband to a yoga class!”

– Tanya Sripanich Burton, instructor at Lyons Den Power Yoga

The post How 7 Mom Trainers Squeeze in a Workout appeared first on Under Armour.

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Spring Clean Your Workout — 4 Ways to Freshen Up Your Routine

You’re a spring-cleaning fiend — vacuuming dust bunnies, washing the winter linens and scrubbing the baseboards until the entire house is refreshed. The start of a new season is also a good time to spring clean your workout.

Here’s an essential guide to blowing the cobwebs off your workout (and your equipment).

IF YOU DO YOGA: START SCRUBBING

Doing downward dog on a sweaty, stinky yoga mat is no one’s idea of Zen. Instead of rolling up the mat and stacking the blocks without giving their cleanliness a second thought, take the time to deep clean your gear.

“It’s so easy to forget about cleaning your yoga mat and props [or to feel like it’s an overwhelming task you don’t have time for], so it’s great to take advantage of built-in reminders like spring cleaning,” says Anna Guest-Jelley, yoga instructor, founder of Curvy Yoga and author of “Curvy Yoga: Love Yourself and Your Body a Little More Each Day.” “Cleaning your yoga props will keep you safe from germs while also extending [their] life.” Opt for a non-toxic cleaning spray or make your own concoction — add a squirt of mild dish detergent to a spray bottle filled with warm water. Spray your mat and props, wipe them down and let them dry.


READ MORE > ECO-FRIENDLY YOGA GEAR


Don’t stop at your yoga gear. Other exercise equipment from the treadmill and free weights to your gym bag also need to be cleaned. Use a mixture of gentle soap and water to scrub your equipment. Make sure everything dries completely before putting it away.

IF YOU RUN: REPLACE YOUR RUNNING SHOES

You tossed the sandals that gave you blisters and the flip flops with barely-there soles when you cleaned out the closest. Your sneakers also need a once-over.

“Typically the first sign that your shoes are “dead” — that the cushioning is packed out — are shin splints,” says Brent James, Product Line Manager, Run Footwear at Under Armour. “Knee and hip pain could also indicate that it’s time to replace your shoes, because when the cushioning wears out, your body has to absorb the impact that your shoes were handling.” He recommends to swap out training shoes at 400 miles.


READ MORE > WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR FEET WHEN BUYING RUNNING SHOES


Greg Chertok, a sports psychology coach and spokesperson for the American College of Sports Medicine, offers another reason to toss your old sneakers during spring cleaning. “It may seem superficial, but looking good sometimes precedes feeling good and is typically an effective motivational tool,” he says. The same goes for your workout clothes. If something is smelly even after it’s washed, it’s time to toss it.

IF YOU DO GROUP FITNESS: TRY SOMETHING NEW

It’s a great time to clear the cobwebs on your workout routine. Instead of showing up for the same deep stretch class at the yoga studio, try power yoga; go for a hike in nature instead of your regular walk around the block; or sign up for a race instead of running solo.

Variety keeps things fresh,” Chertok says. “Ruts exist in fitness regimens. Intentionally changing things, even subtle things, can help us see workouts in a new light and with fresh perspective.”


READ MORE > SENSORY OVERLOAD OR THE BEST SPIN CLASS EVER?


In the process of trying new classes or fitness activities — or even creating a new workout playlist — Guest-Jelley notes that you just might find something you love that becomes a new exercise go-to.

REWARD YOURSELF

Spring cleaning often involves adding seasonal touches like new pillows or a vase of fresh flowers — consider it a reward for washing the drapes. Similarly, you should reward yourself for hitting fitness goals, too. Go ahead and buy new running tights or a foam roller.

“Sometimes we don’t have the inner drive [to work out] and a reward gives us a necessary boost when we can’t seem to find it within ourselves,” Chertok says.

In other words, if new gear makes you feel like going for a run, it’s worth the splurge.


GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT

> Men’s Workout Tops
> Men’s Workout Pants
> Women’s Workout Tops
> Women’s Workout Pants


The post Spring Clean Your Workout — 4 Ways to Freshen Up Your Routine appeared first on Under Armour.

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6 Ways to “Green” Your Workout

You re-use canvas bags at the market, drive a fuel-efficient car — maybe even take public transportation or walk your errands — and buy organic in an effort to be kind to the planet. If you’re looking for ways to extend this environmental stewardship to your workout, here are six tips to green your workout without sacrificing the quality of your sweat session:

1. HEAD OUTSIDE

There is a “fun factor” associated with outdoor fitness activities like golf and tennis. “Outside exercise requires more energy and greater caloric expenditure because our bodies have to adapt to the temperature, the terrain and resistance from wind,” says Ramona Braganza, global fitness expert and celebrity trainer.

Research confirms this: One study found that treadmill runners expend less energy than runners who ran outdoors; a second study found similar results for riding a stationary bikes versus bicycling outside.

The natural light — compared to the fluorescent bulbs in a gym — may help boost mood, says Braganza. The sunshine also offers up a healthy dose of vitamin D, which builds bone strength, eases depression and improves immune function.

2. USE A REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE

It takes 17 billion barrels of oil — enough to fuel one million cars and trucks — to manufacture the 51 billion water bottles we purchase each year, according to the nonprofit think tank Pacific Institute. The Container Recycling Institute reports that 86% of plastic water bottles are tossed in the trash, not the recycle bin.

Reusable water bottles a more eco-friendly option. Opt for a stainless steel, glass or BPA-free plastic water bottle and remember to wash it thoroughly between workouts.

3. FUEL UP ON SUSTAINABLE FOOD

Your favorite organic foods can help fuel your workout. And shopping at the farmers market also supports local farmers.

Braganza recommends going to the farmers market to stock up on nuts, greens, apples and other healthy sources of protein, fiber and carbohydrates instead of buying processed protein bars.

4. RECYCLE YOUR SNEAKERS

Your worn out, smelly sneakers are not worthy of the donation pile, but that doesn’t mean you should toss them in the trash. The soles of used sneakers can be recycled into cushioned surfaces for tracks, sport courts and playgrounds.

Look for drop-off boxes at running stores and athletic retailers. You might end up shooting hoops on a court made with your favorite sneakers.

5. UNPLUG

You could go to the gym, hop on a treadmill and watch TV or use the touchscreen to monitor your speed and calorie burn while the a/c blasts, which increases your carbon footprint as well as your heart rate.

Or, you could opt for an analog workout experience, trading machines plugged into the walls for resistance bands and balance balls. You’ll expend physical energy while using fewer resources to power your workout.

6. RECRUIT A FRIEND

Carpooling to the gym, soccer field or hiking trail cuts down on emissions but there is another reason to recruit a friend to be your workout buddy. A 2016 study found that those who had a workout partner exercised more than those who got sweaty solo. The reason, according to researchers, was the added element of emotional support.

“A friend can motivate you and challenge you,” says celebrity fitness expert Mandy Ingber. “It doubles [your] energy, makes it more social and also is a wonderful, healthy way to bond. It causes you to be responsible and show up.”

The post 6 Ways to “Green” Your Workout appeared first on Under Armour.

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18 Ways to Fuel for a 6 a.m. Workout: What Dietitians Eat Before They Work Out

When you jump out of bed at the buzz of your 5:30 a.m. alarm for an early morning workout, eating breakfast might be the last thing on your mind. But after fasting all night, your energy stores are depleted — and the last thing you want to hear during a grueling workout is your stomach growl.

While simple carbohydrates found in sports drinks, energy gels and cereal provide a quick source of energy, they might not sustain you through a longer workout. Pairing these energy-boosting carbohydrates with a small amount of fat and protein is the best way to ensure sustained energy while working out. Adding in a dose of protein floods your bloodstream with amino acids right when you need them the most, allowing for muscle-building optimization. Healthy fats slow the digestion process, promoting a gradual release of energy throughout a longer workout.

The size of your pre-workout meal will vary depending on the length of your workout and your energy needs. Going for a long or high-intensity workout? Consider a more energy dense meal, but keep in mind it may take 3-4 hours to fully digest. A lower-intensity workout will require less energy. Aim for a small meal that can be digested in about 2–3 hours. But, if you’re working out early in the morning, you won’t have 2 hours to spare. Consider a blended option, such as a smoothie. They digest quickly because the blender has already done a lot of the work for your stomach. Another quick option is a 100–200 calorie snack (like many of the examples below); these will take you less than an hour to digest and won’t weigh you down.


READ MORE > THE MOST COMMON WEIGHT-LOSS BLUNDERS DIETITIANS SEE


Just can’t eat breakfast early in the morning? While you may be used to running on fumes, your performance may be suffering. Luckily, your gut can be trained to accept a light morning meal. Start small with a snack that will be easy on your stomach, such as a banana or a piece of toast. Gradually add onto this meal until your stomach can tolerate it. A little change in eating habits can make a huge difference in your performance!

If you’re ready to amp up your a.m. fuel, check out what dietitians eat before their morning workouts!

1. FRUIT

Fruit is a key RD go-to. (Are you surprised?) Tara Gidus Collingwood, MS, RDN, the sports dietitian for the Orlando Magic eats a half or full banana before she heads out for a morning run. Fruit, whether it is fresh, frozen or dried, has quickly digestible carbohydrates that can fuel a morning workout, and it offers a light option if you’re not an early morning eater. For a more filling alternative, Ashley Munro, RD, of A Pinch of Grace, likes to stuff 1–2 dates with 1 tablespoon almond butter “because it’s quick and easy on the stomach.”

2. HOMEMADE MUFFIN

If you’re heading out for a longer workout, you need enough fuel to sustain you. Pair a hearty homemade muffin, such as these Almond Butter Banana Oat Muffins, with a small smoothie or a fresh piece of fruit. Freeze these muffins and heat in the microwave or defrost on the countertop overnight for a grab-and-go breakfast.

3. OATMEAL

You can’t go wrong with a classic bowl of warm oatmeal. Packed full of carbohydrates and fiber, oats will give you sustained energy throughout your morning workout. There are endless possibilities for mix-ins, including nuts and nut butters, dried or fresh fruit, yogurt and protein powder. Angie Asche, MS, RD,owner of Eleat Sports Nutrition, uses overnight oats as her go-to early morning pre-workout meal. Simply add oats, milk and a handful of berries or sliced banana to a sealed Mason jar. Place the jar in the fridge overnight for a quick breakfast in the morning. Need some inspiration? Give this High Protein Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats recipe a try.

4. SMOOTHIES

Smoothies are both easy to make and full of the nutrients necessary for an intense workout. This Tropical Superfood Smoothie provides a boost of antioxidants from superfoods that aid in recovery from the natural stress of exercise. Smoothies can be as simple as a blend of fruit or can include protein powder and vegetables to provide nutrients from all food groups. Try adding Greek yogurt, chia seeds or nut butter. There are endless combinations to experiment with.

WATCH > APPLE PIE BREAKFAST BOWL

5. ENERGY BOWLS

These bowls are similar to a smoothie except you can sit down and enjoy them with a spoon. Energy bowls are the perfect combination of energy-dense carbohydrates blended for easy digestion prior to a long workout. The easy preparation is an added bonus at 6 a.m. This Green Energy Bowl blends energizing carbohydrates with walnuts and chia seeds for sustained energy that provides a punch of protein.

6. YOGURT PARFAITS

Greek yogurt is ideal for athletes; it provides less added sugar (if you opt for plain) and is higher in protein than traditional yogurt, while also providing a great source of probiotics and bone-strengthening calcium. Parfaits are an optimal pre-workout snack that’s easy to digest while providing key nutrients from a variety of food groups. Try this Peach Parfait to energize your next early workout.  

7. TOASTER WAFFLES

Waffles are versatile and easy to prep ahead of time. Simply choose your favorite waffle base (such as bananas, protein powder or whole grains). You can even experiment with different types of flour, like coconut flour for a grain-free option. If you are gluten-free, check out these Gluten Free Blender Waffles. Freeze extras and pop them in the toaster on busy mornings.  

8. PANCAKES

This breakfast staple can be made with a variety of grains to provide the carbohydrates needed to fuel your workout. If you don’t have time to sit down and eat them, they are easy to eat on the go, either plain or topped with a little nut butter. Check out this recipe for a Tart Cherry Greek Yogurt pancake that combines the recovery power of tart cherry juice with the protein boost of Greek yogurt. Jessica Levings, MS, RD, of Balanced Pantry, agrees. Her favorite pre-workout fuel is one homemade buckwheat pancake. “I make a big batch and freeze them so I can defrost a few at a time,” she says. “One gives me just enough energy for an hourlong run, plus it’s portable so I can eat it in the car on the way to meet my running buddy!”

9. EGG WHITE ENGLISH MUFFIN OR BREAKFAST SANDWICH

This may sound like too much to handle in the early hours of the morning, but breakfast sandwiches are easy to prepare ahead of time, wrap and freeze. Don’t forget to add the veggies; this is an easy way to sneak in a handful of leafy greens or bell peppers. In the morning, simply unwrap your sandwich and microwave for 60–90 seconds.


READ MORE > 21 DIETITIAN-APPROVED TIPS TO JUMP-START WEIGHT LOSS


10. AVOCADO TOAST

Avocados in the morning? Yes! They are perfect to combine with whole-grain bread for long-lasting energy that won’t leave you feeling overfull. This Avocado Toast with Kale Sprouts adds the powerful nutrient boost of kale sprouts.

11. SWEET POTATO TOAST

Have you seen this trendy new breakfast? Simply cut a sweet potato (round ones work best) into thin slices, then toast on high for 2–3 cycles. The sweet potato will be soft but not soggy and ready for your choice of toppings. Go sweet and add peanut butter, raisins or cinnamon. Or, try a savory version and top with an egg, avocado or cheese. Sweet potatoes are a great pre-workout pick because they are rich in carbohydrates, high in fiber and provide a boost of vitamin A.

12. BREAKFAST PIZZA

Pizza for breakfast? Why not! Pizza has a carbohydrate-rich crust, and adding eggs, cheese and vegetables can make it a satisfying and tasty way to energize in the morning. Breakfast pizza can be prepared at the beginning of the week and portions can be reheated daily.

13. ENERGY BITES

Energy bites are tasty and easy to grab if you are not a morning person. I love energy bites before a morning workout,” says Edwina Clark, MS, RD. “They provide a little bit of protein and carbohydrate to fuel working muscles, without leaving you heavy and uncomfortable.” Have a sweet tooth? Here’s one of our favorite recipes for Cookie Dough Energy Bites.

14. BREAKFAST BURRITO

Instead of swinging by the drive-thru for a fast breakfast option, why not make your own? Breakfast burritos are a quick and easy way to incorporate carbohydrates, protein and whatever else you would like into a hand-held, energy-packed option. They can also be prepared ahead of time and frozen, making them a convenient heat-and-go meal.

15. HOMEMADE GRANOLA BARS

Make granola bars on the weekend then use all week. These Tart Cherry Dark Chocolate Granola Bars are filled with lasting energy plus a recovery boost from the tart cherries. If you are a heavy sweater or do high-intensity workouts, you may benefit from the added sodium of these granola bars. To reduce your added sugar intake, try homemade granola. Grab a handful while running out the door, or add it on top of a yogurt parfait or an energy bowl. Here is a fun, breakfast-inspired recipe to try: Blueberry Muffin Granola.  

16. BREAKFAST COOKIES

Cookies for breakfast? Don’t worry, these aren’t your typical chocolate chip treat. Breakfast cookies are typically lower in sugar and made with ingredients like whole-grain flour, oats, nuts and dried fruit to make a condensed, energy-packed snack.

17. RICE CAKES AND NUT BUTTER

Rice cakes topped with nut butter, banana and chia seeds are a complete and easy breakfast. This option combines all the good stuff dietitians love: whole-grain carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein and fruit. “I always have two rice cakes with peanut butter, banana and a sprinkle of chia seeds about 45 minutes before a workout,” says Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, of Bucket List Tummy. “It’s a great balance of carbs, with a tiny bit of protein to help sustain me but is easy on the digestive system.” She also adds 16 ounces of water.

18. BREAKFAST QUINOA

To switch up your usual hot cereal routine, try quinoa instead. Quinoa provides the benefits of a whole grain with the added bonus of extra protein. It can be prepared similarly to oatmeal with your favorite add-ins, or you can get creative and try these Roasted Quinoa Stuffed Pears.


GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT

> Men’s Workout Tops
> Men’s Workout Pants
> Women’s Workout Tops
> Women’s Workout Pants


The post 18 Ways to Fuel for a 6 a.m. Workout: What Dietitians Eat Before They Work Out appeared first on Under Armour.

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