6 Tips to Avoid Derailing your Fitness Progress through the Holidays

The next few weeks until the end of the year are sure to be filled with a lot festivities. Health-conscious people everywhere are also bracing themselves to not derail all their hard work. There is no reason to not enjoy this Most Wonderful Time of the Year…It’s a time meant for celebrating and being thankful after all; with some simple habits you can keep yourself accountable and stay fit through the Holiday Season.

tips to avoid derailing progress

6 Tips to Avoid Derailing your Fitness Progress through the Holidays

1) Schedule your workouts. I prefer to use an agenda (not an app) and pencil in the workouts and runs I plan on doing for that week. This also goes for anything else I need/want to get done like creating a healthy eating plan, going to the grocery store or the post office. If I accomplish 90% of what’s on my list, I consider that to be a very successful week. I write it in my agenda and check it off when I’m done.

2) Avoid sitting for too long. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has been proven to be hazardous to our health. Remember this not just for when you’re at the office but also when watching Disney shows or Christmas movies with your family. Make it a habit to get up and move frequently.

3) Drink up! Many people track their food intake but I also find that it’s very important to track your water intake because most people simply don’t drink enough water. I have an oversized water bottle that I refill several times a day and end up drinking about 1 gallon of per day. When it comes to Holiday libations, avoid anything with fruit juices as they are full of sugar. Stick to clear liquor mixed with club soda or wine.

4) A little bit is better than nothing when it comes to exercise. This is so true now that I’m a mom, especially one who is mostly at home. My “me” time is pretty much non-existent, so I rely on naps to get stuff done around the house or for my businesses. Sometimes after all my to-dos are done, I only have a few minutes to get my sweat on.

If you feel like 10 minutes is not enough, remember that it is better than a 0 minute workout.

5) Indulge a few times, but not the whole Season. I truly love the Christmas season and the family bonding and get-togethers with friends. It helps us all be thankful for all that we have and the important people that make up our circles. If you are at a party and you really want to try the desserts, go for it. Just snack on the lower calorie appetizers and limit your alcoholic drinking to avoid consuming too many calories.

Tips to avoid derailing your progress

6 Tips to Avoid Derailing your Fitness Progress through the Holidays

6) Don’t make a New Year’s resolution to stay in shape. Make it a year-long resolution, not just a temporary one. Remember that it’s not about perfection, but about making continuous progress week after week.

If you simply can’t get yourself to do all of the above, then it’s time to consider investing in yourself. Find a trainer or coach who can help you stay motivated and accountable through the busy Holiday Season. I work with a lot of busy moms who simply do not have the time for a one hour workout, but with the right workouts and a fun group of other like-minded ladies, they are able to make improvements in their physiques, energy levels, and most importantly, their mindsets.

Right now I’m running my first ever 6-Week Holiday Hustle program online and the ladies are loving it so far! I know that with the combination of workouts, meal plans and the accountability that they will share, it will be a successful season for all of them.

How are you staying accountable through the last 2 months of the year?

This post was originally shared on TAPInto Morristown in 2017 and has since been updated.

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Marathons: I don’t always love them but I keep going back for more

Running for 26.2 miles is not for the faint of heart. It takes consistency, dedication and determination, and a small amount of crazy, to put in the work week after week, anywhere from 12 to sometimes 20 weeks. I’m counting down the days to my 5th marathon which had me thinking about a few things…

Why I keep coming back for more marathons...

First of all, I have a runfession to make. I don’t love training for marathons. Whaaat?!!

I don’t. I really like running but I don’t love it all the time. Some runs are awesome, while other runs I need to really force myself to finish. It’s the sense of accomplishment I get from finishing a tough (physically or mentally) training run and the pride from getting my finisher’s medal after crossing the finish line that keep me going back for more.

Us marathoners know we can’t just show up and fake it. We have to put in the work to have the best performance possible. Setting a new personal record and feeling good throughout the entire run is an amazing feeling that makes all the hard work worth it.

Many people turn to long distance running because it makes them a better person, a better wife, a better mom, a better friend, by allowing them to clear their mind of stress and “head noise.”

It gives us mamas some “Me Time” to daydream. Some people may choose to binge watch Netflix; others, we choose to lace up our sneakers and run.

I don’t do it to be “skinny.” I have actually gained a few pounds training for this marathon. Sure, running helps keep me in shape, but if my goal was to just be fit I could simply do 20-minute workouts every day and be fine. Long distance running digs into other areas of my wellness I just can’t get from a lifting session.

My 4th marathon, the NJ Marathon. April 2018.

Let’s discuss my training a bit.

Avoid injury and crosstrain.

My first goal is always to show up healthy to the start line of the marathon. I want to avoid injury as much as possible and it’s my main goal with any clients I train as well. I build up mileage progressively and cross-train by doing strength training about 2 days a week. It’s really important to not give up strength training, but to modify it so you are doing movements that are the most beneficial to running. Examples are single-leg squats and side planks. I’m such a strong believer in the philosophy that in order to be a better runner, you need to be a stronger and more mobile runner, that I have made it my duty to help runners, and any type of endurance athlete, get fitter to run better.

Run a short race to test your speed and to “practice” racing.

It doesn’t have to be a half marathon; even a 5K can help you gauge how fit you are and give you a better idea of what your goal time should be. It gives you a chance to practice controlling the nerves and also you can practice some of your nutrition.

Run twice a day.

I don’t mean multiple crazy longs run that you’re breaking up into two. Doing 2 runs a day is an option if you only have time for 4 miles in the morning and then maybe you can do 4 more on your lunch break. I wouldn’t break up a speed session, but if it’s a day that calls for 8 easy miles, I believe it’s fine to do this. If the long runs are also fatiguing you or you’re injury prone, I would recommend breaking those up too. Perhaps you do 10 miles in the morning and the rest of the long run in the afternoon. The most important factor of the long run is time spent on your feet, so the accumulated fatigue will still present itself if you do it this way.

Work on your mental fitness.

I have completed long runs in 90+ degree weather. I have completed long runs by myself. I have done many boring runs on the treadmill. I occasionally get comments such as, “I can’t believe you do that!” Well, my response is always, “I have to do what I have to do!”. The reality is that by doing things that are not so exciting, you build your mental toughness and it will pay off tremendously come race day.

Follow along on Instagram to see how I make out at the Steamtown Marathon this Sunday. I missed the Boston cut-off by a couple of minutes even though I broke my qualifying time of 3:35. I’m ready for a no-long distance winter and hope to work on half marathons (funny I don’t consider 13 miles long distance anymore!) until I decide to go for another 26.2 next year.

In the meantime, I’ll be participating in a virtual stroller race- so check that out on Instagram too.

What is the one thing that you struggle with most when training for a race?

If you enjoyed this blog post and feel that it might help someone, I would appreciate if you shared it.

xo,

Julia

Friday Fitness

Happy Friday everyone! I’m in definite need of some extra caffeine this morning as a little someone decided to wake up FOUR times last night! He’s never done that before and I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out why. He didn’t even break out of his swaddle as he’s been doing lately. I’ll take any mommy advise I can get in this issue! #desperate

  
As a busy mom, it’s becoming so hard to post a blog even once a week like I’ve been trying to do but you may see more frequent posts on my Instagram. 

Today, I’ll be doing a 2 mile treadmill run (during Frankie’s nap) followed by a Posterior Chain Workout by Betty Rocker (once he’s up). The workout entails doing 3 rounds of 45 seconds of each exercise- thigh jacks, elevated bridge lifts, triceps dips, swimmers, single leg tabletops and 3-way calf raises. Lower body/booty burner! 

  
It’s supposed to be 81 degrees later here in NJ so some outdoor play time with Frankie will be a must 🙂 He loves music so we sometimes have dance parties on our deck 😉

 Hopefully the hubby and I will be able to get a longish run in on Sunday like we did last weekend. We went running on this trail by our house which went through a few local farms. We’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful area close to a great downtown as well as nature. 

  
Have a great Friday and weekend! Planning on running this weekend? Are there trails by you that you love? 

~Julia 

At Home Workouts

Before baby, I would run 3-5 days a week and do CrossFit 3 times a week (yes, I would sometimes double up). In order to keep myself sane and fit, I had to learn to get creative in sneaking in workouts throughout the day with my now 3 month old. 

  

What I learned works best for me at home is circuit training or “rounds for time.” I basically look for things I can do with a pair of dumbbells and my own body weight. I also get outside with Frankie and walk whenever it’s nice enough.

Last week, I signed up for a free 30 day challenge by Betty Rocker. Each day I get an email with that day’s workout including a warmup and a link to a video showing the moves. I don’t plan on doing them on consecutive days, just whenever I don’t have CrossFit or some other type of exercise in mind.

On Easter morning, I woke up early to do the CrossFit Open 16.5, a combo of thrusters and over the bar burpees. It took me 17:58, which is not bad considering I just started training with barbells again. 

  
Today I did the “Hot Abs” Betty Rocker workout; instead of doing 3 rounds as suggested, I did 2 before Frankie’s nap and then 2 after:

1 min of air squats

30 sec side bridge w/ hip dip (each side)

30 sec overhead reach (each side)

1 min mountain climbers

30 sec reverse tabletop toe taps (each side)

I could see and feel tighter abs right after just the first 2 rounds. This is 3 months post partum!  

After 2 rounds of “Hot Abs”

 

Check back to see how I do with this new challenge and how I keep juggling motherhood with my active life. 
Xoxo 

Running happy 

I had back-to-back running days this weekend and loved it. I didn’t get a chance to do my once a week run last weekend so I was glad I was able to get these in. 

Saturday I did the same 5K loop I had done the past 2 times and shaved 2 minutes off my previous time (which was 30 minutes). I’m finally starting to feel like my old running self! 

   
I finished the run by doing a few sprints up and down my driveway. And can we just say how cute these leggings are? I got them from my local Athleta store recently.   
Later that afternoon, I did another workout:

1 round of

15 burpees

1 power clean (65#)

5 front squats (65#)

20 double unders

3 pull ups

3 toes to bar

Then, rounds 2-4 I did 15 deadlifts instead of the clean/squat movement. 

On Sunday, the hubby and I were supposed to go to CrossFit but overslept (thanks, daylight savings time!) so we went on a quick 25-minute run instead. The legs were feeling tired but I managed to make it through without any stopping 🙂

Today is my mom’s birthday, so there will be some indulging and I’ll probably take a rest day. 

Happy Monday to all! 😀