Pick 5 Little Things To Change Your Life Today

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from TIME MANAGEMENT NINJA

Do you have big goals?

Big things that you want to change in your life?

If so, I want to shift your thinking today. Because, often we get caught up in the big changes.

We lose sight of the little things and don’t consider the impact that even small steps can make in our lives.

Today, I want you to change 5 little things in your day.

Change… Just a Little Bit

Change is hard.

In fact, most people don’t change.

Have you ever run into someone after several years of not seeing them?

They are usually the exact same person.

Appearance, dress, personality, and behavior. Maybe a little older, a little rounder, or less hair. Yet, the same as when you saw them last.

That is why we are impressed when we see someone who has made dramatic change in their life.

“The most powerful people are those who can change themselves.” (Tweet this Quote)

So, how do you make change?

Bit by bit. Step by step. And little by little.

Make Little Changes

We get so caught up in the big picture that we fail to see the small things we need to change.

Change is not usually done in big jumps, but rather little-by-little.

(Note: I am not saying that you shouldn’t set your goals high.)

I am saying to concentrate on the little things each and every day.

What are some small things that you could change in your life?

Here are a few little suggestions of things that you could change today:

  • Read 20 pages of a book
  • Exercise, even if it is just to take a quick walk
  • Floss
  • Take your vitamins
  • Learn 1 new thing 
  • Write a few sentences in your journal
  • Don’t complain
  • Compliment someone who is deserving
  • Tell someone you love them (this little thing is often overlooked)
  • Introduce yourself to someone you have encountered multiple times but yet still don’t know their name
  • Take a different route to work… even if it is just the stairs vs. the elevator
  • Bite your tongue when you shouldn’t be speaking
  • Smile, even during tough situations
  • Have a positive attitude, no matter the circumstances
  • Be on time
  • Drink water
  • Get up early… or go to bed before it is too late
  • Prepare for tomorrow today
  • Take 1 step to make your goals closer

Don’t think big… think about something small that you can change today.

Take 5 Small Steps Today

It is good to aim high and stretch your limits.

But life is not always about changing the big things, but rather the little ones along the way.

It is about continuously makings small adjustments. Always course correcting.

I challenge you to pick 5 small changes to make in your life today.

Question: What 5 little things could you change today? Share yours below.

Bob Dylan Themed Spin Playlist

Bob Dylan Themed Spin Playlist

A few weeks ago it was Bob Dylan’s birthday.  If you follow this blog you know I love me a good themed playlist so I decided to see if it would work.  This playlist worked surprisingly well for a nice chill endurance and hill based ride.  I threw in a few Dylan covers too to keep it fun!

The Skinny on Training for a Triathlon / Duathlon with Spin Classes

Wondering if triathletes and duathletes should use spin bikes, or if spin bikes give you as good (or better) a workout as riding your bike outdoors? Here’s the skinny…

Spin Bikes Are Different6ef16836dbebce7096bf3f7c0de89862

The majority of spin bikes are different than normal road, mountain or triathlon bikes because they have a “fly wheel”, which is a 30-40 pound wheel that provides the resistance as you pedal (and which is also the reason that the pedals on a spin bike keep moving after you stop pedaling). Because of this fly wheel, your hamstrings work harder to slow the pedals as they come around. But when you’re outdoors, you’re pedaling against the friction of road resistance and wind resistance, and this motion requires more work from your hip flexors and quadriceps. That fly wheel keeps the pedals spinning after you get the pedals moving, so it’s also very easy to let a spin bike do the majority of the work for you, which is why many people in a spin class appear to be pedaling very fast when they’re actually not doing much work at all.

So, now that you understand the difference between spin bikes and regular bikes, let’s look at whether triathletes/ duathletes will get a bang for their buck actually use spin bikes.

Spinning vs. Cycling – Overall Fitness

Spinning: A study by the American Council On Exercise (ACE) found that indoor spinning on a regular spin bike can keep you at around 75-95% of your maximum heart rate, which is more than adequate for a triathlete to build cardiovascular fitness. Of course, a big part of this heart rate boost could be the heat of an indoor spin room, the peer pressure of spinning classmates, and the motivation of an instructor barking orders in your face. However, as you’ve just learned, spinning tends to use primarily your hamstring muscles because of that fly-wheel, which A) means more help from the spin bike and fewer overall calories burned or muscles strengthened and B) you using far different muscle groups in a different way compared to what you’d experience with outdoor cycling.

Cycling: As you know if you’re a serious triathlete or cyclist, you can easily get your heart rate as high and higher as those in a spin class. But if you’re new to the sport and have a hard time pedaling that fast while balancing the bike, navigating, and not having the motivation of a crowd and an instructor, you may find it easier to build skills on the bike, and then build your cardiovascular fitness in a spin class. But in contrast to a spin bike, you use your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, shins and calves more when you’re on a bike outside – so your muscular fitness will likely be higher (as long as you don’t spend much of your time “cruising”). But once again, you need to be working hard enough to hit those muscles with adequate force to make them stronger and to burn significant calories, and some people just have a hard time riding a bike that hard unless they’re racing.

Fitness Summary: The average triathlete, and especially the beginner triathlete, can get pretty fit in a spin class. But they shouldn’t neglect outdoor riding skills, and if you can get your heart rate high with outdoor rides, you’ll be better served keeping things on the road, or throwing your tri or road bike on an indoor trainer (which doesn’t have a fly wheel like a spin bike does).

Spinning vs. Cycling – Perceived Difficulty
Spinning: When you’re riding a bike indoors, spinning can get boring (this does not apply to Ashland’s fun spin instructors), and it can also use the same muscles over and over again (no ascents and no descents). This can certainly make spinning seem more difficult than cycling. But the pounding music and group/instructor motivation can help with this. Plus, note that a spin class can make time go by much faster compared to just throwing your bike on an indoor trainer.

Cycling: Unless you’re in a race or training with a fast group, cycling goes by much faster and generally feels much easier from an effort standpoint compared to a spin class. But as you take your cycling to the next level, there are technical skills required that can quickly make cycling become more difficult than spinning.

Summing it UP! :

You’re going to get a great workout with both spinning and cycling. But if you’re a triathlete, you’re going to want to be primarily training the muscles you’ll be using during the race, and also getting used to handling your road bike. Especially if you’re a beginner triathlete/duathlete, a spin class is going to give you great motivation and improve your fitness – but unless you’re just doing spin classes because you enjoy the heck out of them (and really WHO DOESN’T?!) – you’ll get more bang for your triathlete buck by riding your bike outdoors the 3 months a year that you are able to in northern Wisconsin!

Thanks to http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com for most of the above information!

Erin go ‘sports’ bragh! St. Patty’s Spin Playlist

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This week we celebrated a belated St. Patrick’s Day by spinning our through the Emerald Isle. This trip across the Atlantic was made possible with a multimedia extravaganza that included projecting a larger-than-life first person perspective movie of a bike trip across Ireland onto the big screen!  We pedaled and sweated ourselves through Ireland using the playlist below!

“You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.” – Irish Saying

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Come Punch and Kick Your Way to Sanity

ANOTHER NEW CLASS? Heck yes!

Beginner spinners and entry level ninjas welcome!

Come join me for 30 minutes of spin and 30 minutes of kickboxing circuit work! The kickboxing circuit will be a unique & fun workout that combines “old school” boxing and kickboxing with functional, interval, & cardiovascular exercises. Class size is limited to 12 and you must pre-register online. Course fee is $8 per class and payable upon arrival. Registration for this class will open on March 19th at 8am and will be via the web. Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

CLASSES ARE FROM 5:15 – 6:30 (there is time allocated for switching groups & instruction)

** YOU MUST REGISTER FOR EACH WEEK SEPARATELY**

What to bring?
* boxing gloves if you have them (no worries if you do not, there are some at CHF)
* water
* sweat towel
* tri shorts or cycling shorts are nice but not necessary

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Long time coming… New Trek Express Class

I have been wanting to teach a treadmill interval class forever! Our small town gym is limited in treadmill capacity, so it has been a challenge finding a way to do this. I AM SO EXCITED to announce the new Trek Express class starts April 4th and space is limited, but it will be great! Registration for this class will open on March 19th at 8AM. I will post the link SOON on Facebook and posters will go up Chequamegon Health & Fitness on the 18th. If you want to do Trek Express at home or are looking to prep yourself check out my treadmill workout board on Pinterest!

What is Trek Express? A treadmill training class for runners done at YOUR pace. This class will provide a new challenge each time ranging from hill workouts, endurance training and even speed work. Classes are either 35 or 40 minutes and are an effective way to burn fat fast and great for all fitness levels!

Class cost is $6.00 per class and payable to Northern Grrrls LLC. Class size is limited to 5 students per week so please remember to sign up each week and for only the classes you will attend and give others a chance to sign up too.

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What to Look for in a Personal Trainer

Recently, Fitibie had a great article on 5 Things to Look For in A Personal Trainer and then one of my favorite bloggers, StrongFitBeautiful, expanded on the topic even more. Both did a fantastic job capturing all the things to consider when looking for a personal trainer- so I’ve summarized all the tips below!

1. Your personalities click
Trainer tip: Don’t be afraid to shop around
Personality is paramount when it comes to considering working with a trainer. A trainer can have all the qualifications and experience in the world, but if you don’t connect, then it will be difficult to develop a relationship that leads to commitment and success. I always encourage potential clients to interview me during our initial assessment to make sure our personalities match.

2. They put their clients before the program

Trainer tip: The first session will say it all
Going through a workout at the first session can be a sign of a bad trainer. It is impossible to receive personal training until the trainer knows the person behind the program they are creating. Your trainer should become familiar with your goals, history, likes and dislikes, schedule, current movement abilities, and areas of pain.

3. They’re all ears and a lot of heart
Trainer tip: Make sure you do most of the talking
A good trainer has good listening skills, a compassionate disposition, and generally feels like someone with whom you connect personally.

4. They never stop learning
Trainer tip: They are committed to their own ongoing education
Make sure your trainer has a NCCA-accredited personal training certification and also has committed to ongoing learning by attending workshops and conferences. The fitness industry changes at warp-speed, so it’s important for all fitness pros to stay up with the latest trends, knowledge, and practical ways to deliver results.

5. They know why it’s called personal training
Trainer tip: Be sure the workout is about  your specific goals
When you pay top dollar for one-on-one workouts, you deserve more than a canned workout. While every trainer has some favorite moves that they may use for multiple clients, your workout should be very specific to your goals, your shortcomings, and your level. Be sure that your trainer focuses on your individualized needs–and doesn’t just give you the same workout she gives every client.

6. They have references
Trainer Tip: If you know people who are like you who love their trainer- it’s a good bet you might too!
Do a background check. No, I’m not talking do they pay their bills on time – but rather their experience.  Which professional certifications do they hold? How long have they been training? All of these are great questions to ask to make sure you are working with a qualified professional – not just somebody who looks like they work out a lot. You can look up most trainers on IDEAFit or other sites. Here is an example (yep it’s mine) of a trainer profile!

7. It Needs to Be the RIGHT FIT for Both of YOU!
Trainer Tip: You will be spending a lot of time with this person so make sure it works for you both.
Your training should fit your life – and your schedule. If you know you aren’t going to be out of bed and to the gym by 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, find another time (and if necessary, another trainer). Many trainers will still charge your hourly fee if you don’t keep your appointment time – and you aren’t going to make any gains (or losses) if you aren’t committed to putting the work in! Also, be clear about what you want to accomplish in training. A trainer can only help you achieve your goals if he or she is clear on what they are. Are you trying to lose weight? Bulk up? Feel healthier? Different goals require different strategies – and just like people are not one size fits all, neither is training.

Perhaps above all, your trainer should be upbeat, motivational, and committed to helping you become a better version of yourself.what-doesn-t-kill-you-makes-you-stronger-p-source

Belly Button to Spine… What Does That Mean?!

At Boot Camp the other night I had a student ask about proper abdominal contraction during ab workouts. My response was the often heard “…ensure your belly button is drawn back towards your spine”. She looked at me like this ————–>

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Here is a better explanation of this concept…

Are you sitting down? Okay, sit up straight, and try this.

Suck in your gut as much as you can. Notice how you feel as if your belly button turns up. Your waist sucks in. It’s also quite difficult to breath.

Let that out. 🙂

Now, imagine you are using your stomach muscles (abs) to pull your belly button backwards. Not back and up, just straight back. So that your belly button touches (of course it won’t literally) your spine.

You should notice that it feels more muscular, less tummy-sucking, and that your belly button feels straighter, not tipped up, and that breathing is a lot easier than sucking in your tummy.

I notice that when I suck in my tummy my spare roll above sucks in nicely. But when I pull my belly button to my spine it doesn’t anywhere near as much.

Check out the blog entry Is Your Ab Workout Hurting Your Back for a better explanation of the reasoning as to why your back may hurt when doing an ab workout. Here is a great brief article from Livestrong.com too…

Muscle Contractions
When doing ab exercises, make sure to use muscle on the way up and down, and pause in between each movement. Don’t let gravity bring you down after an upward movement. This will create concentric, eccentric and isometric muscle contractions. You’ll get the most benefit from eccentric muscle contractions, such as lowering yourself during a crunch or sit-up. Don’t let yourself fall back down after you sit up — slowly lower yourself using your core muscles. Introduce constant tension by not lowering yourself all the way after a crunch, sit-up or pull-up. If you keep your shoulders off the floor after lowering yourself from a sit-up or crunch, you’ll keep tension in your ab muscles, creating isometric contractions.

Direction
To increase the benefit of your ab workouts, move side to side, not just forward and back. For example, in addition to doing crunches by moving up and down, reach across your body with one elbow toward the opposite knee. Lie on your side and raise your shoulders off the floor to work your obliques, located on the side of core. Use a medicine ball to do twists. Hold the ball at arms’ length in front of you. Turn to the side using your core, then hold the ball. Return to the center, then move in the opposite direction. Change the technique by placing the ball on the floor, next to your hip each time. If you use an ab wheel, roll forward and backward, then add forward rolls veering to the left and right to work the obliques.

Compensatory Movements
You can work your abs using a variety of exercises. You can use an ab wheel, kettlebell, stability ball, medicine ball, weight machines or do body weight exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, hip raises, bicycle kicks or kipping pull-ups. With all of these exercises, it’s important to use your core muscles to perform the movements to prevent back and neck strain. As you begin to tire during your workout, avoid using your hips and back to help you move up or down — this could lead to a back injury. Don’t pull yourself up with your hands if you have them behind your neck during sit-ups and crunches.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/375907-ab-workout-techniques/#ixzz2M1YIgUka

Hearts on Fire Event a HUGE Success

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Participants and instructors from the Hearts on Fire event show their love!

On Sunday I celebrated Valentine’s Day and showed my love of fitness by hosting a fundraiser for the Chequamegon Health & Fitness Center. A few other AMAZING instructors donated their time and energy to the Hearts on Fire fundraiser which included Zumba, Intro to CrossFit, Spinning, and a Kickboxing Circuit. The event was designed to not only raise funds for the gym, but also to expose women to fitness options other than the standard treadmill and elliptical. We rotated the group through the various workouts and it was a huge success as 24 women participated in 120 minutes of frantic fitness FUN!  I ran the kickboxing circuit portion of the evening and even though the physical space and available equipment limited the possible stations, we had a great time! The ladies loved being able to punch and kick their way through the evening!  Below is the workout, which you will see had adaptations for plyo and conditioning stations as well so that we could accommodate the number of people who participated!

Hearts on Fire Kickboxing Circuit:   = 24 minutes plus instruction and cool down…= 30 min

1 minute at each station – use tabata timer

Station 1: Heavy Bag (N) Round Jab Cross Combo (rounds 1 & 3) Hooks on round 2
Station 1a: Jump Rope
Station 2: Heavy Bag (S) Roundhouse rapid fire kicks (1 minute each leg, or 30 seconds x 2)** on these kicks work on power and exhale with every kick making sure to pivot and rotate your hips for full contact.
Station 2a: Burpees
Station 3: Speedbag Speedbag play – slow and steady and increasing as coordination improves
Station 3a: Push ups
Station 4: Maize/ heavy bag Rapid Fire Uppercuts (round 1 & 3)
Station 4a: Alternating punches in a sitting/horse stance

Can also add in a jumping jack station, bicep curls, squat bar, shoulder press, weighted v-sits,