Happy National No Housework Day—the one day of the year you don’t have to do housework! Does that ever really happen—for a whole day? Just Curious. Anyway…while you get the day “off” today, all those household chores you do on the other 364 days of the year can be a secret calorie-burning weapon I bet you didn’t know you had in your workout arsenal!
According to one study, people spend an average of 13 hours every week doing household chores. Whether or not you spend that amount of time, even a few minutes spent doing chores can burn some extra calories that can really add up over the course of weeks, months, and years!
Pretty awesome, right? And I bet you’re looking at your vacuum in a whole new way!
And try out these ideas to burn even more calories while you’re doing all those chores:
Instead of collecting several things and making one trip up or down the stairs, only take one item at a time. You’ll burn 9.5 calories every minute while you’re doing those stairs (and even more if you quicken your pace!), and you won’t really be spending that much more time. And the extra calories burned will be so worth it!
Do lunges or squats (or “lunches and squaks,” as Cash calls them) while you vacuum and dust.
Set a timer and clean for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, do a certain number of burpees for an awesome total body burner. Repeat as many times as you can.
If you listen to your favorite playlist while cleaning, stop in between each song and work on your sexy arms or your fabulous abs.
Are you so excited to do all those chores you love to hate? Just be sure to not do the same exercises two days in a row—even muscles need a bit of a rest.
So enjoy your day “off” today, and get ready to burn some extra calories tomorrow. And you’ll get a sparkly clean house as bonus! That’s a win-win in my book!
What’s a girl (or a boy) to do when she finds herself in a foreign country with very minimal fitness equipment, minimal time with a work schedule, and two little kiddos in tow?
A fast, fun, high intensity circuit, of course ☺. For me, it’s always important to maximize the limited time I do have to workout, so these are always a wonderful go-to.
This workout came straight from Crossfit’s home page a few days back and was perfect, considering my travel circumstances. I started with a 5 minute treadmill warm up, then did the following as quickly as I was able:
500 meter row (the workout called for 50 pushups, but I wanted something to counter balance the pressing motion from my burpees instead)
50 jumping jacks
50 swing ups
50 second handstand hold
To finish? A nice and easy stretching session while my muscles are still warm.
Although this wasn’t the hardest workout I have ever done, it was nice to know that with so little equipment and time, I was still able to get the workout in that my body was needing.
Travel can be tough, but doesn’t need to be an excuse for fitness failure! Something, even this quick circuit, is better than nothing ☺.
50 burpees (these were brutal!)
50 jumping jacks (my "rest")
50 swing ups (not easy post baby - my core isn't as stong as it used to be)
The holidays are finally here! While I love this season more than any other, I have to admit that the multiple gatherings and parties can make it tough for even ME to stay on track. No one wants to go into the New Year with extra baggage, right?
Not to fear, help is here!
Behold, my top 10 tips for holiday survival
Plan your meals ahead of time so when the holiday craziness sets in you’ll be prepared to make better choices.
Eat before you go to parties and gatherings, and take healthy foods. Not only will you have a non-diet busting option, but those with similar goals will thank you!
Eat breakfast. You’ll start your day out right and will be less tempted to overindulge on all those holiday goodies.
Pack your shopping cart with lots of fruits and veggies, and make sure you eat at least five servings every day. Make them easily accessible: keep fruit in a bowl on the counter, keep cut up veggies in the fridge, and take them with you wherever you go for a quick and healthy snack.
Move, move, move. Make time for exercise—at least five minutes—every day. Rev up your metabolism by exercising before and after holiday dinners so fewer of those holiday calories will find a final resting place! And remember, exercising is a great opportunity to spend quality, non-screen-involved time with family and friends, so involve them too!
Give neighbors and family non-food treats—they will probably thank you for this! Some ideas: a coupon for an act of service, an ornament, or other inexpensive items that will last longer than the holidays. Or if you must give treats, give something that can be enjoyed post-holidays like frozen cookie dough, mixes, and so on.
Stay hydrated to fight hunger and holiday fatigue by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day (150 pounds = 75 ounces of water).
Do enjoy your holiday favorites—in moderation. Often a few bites will satisfy that craving for those foods you’re so fond of, and honestly, a few bites won’t blow your weight loss goals!
And last, but certainly not least, stay focused on your goals throughout the holidays. While you might not have total control over what foods you’re served, you always have control over what you choose to eat and do (exercise!). Be sure to keep your promises to yourself, and you’ll have a healthy and rewarding holiday season and an awesome start to the New Year!
If there is one thing I wish I had from day one of Cash’s life, it would be an Ergobaby Performance Carrier. With all of the hiking, trekking, moving, and walking the Powell Pack does, this sure would have made our life easier.
I was introduced to the Ergobaby Carrier this last summer in Colorado. A friend and I were taking our combined 5 kids (6, if you include the baby on board ☺) for a hike in the beautiful mountains of Canon City, CO, and Cash – bless his heart – was being the usual Cashy Boy…super rambunctious! I didn’t have any desire to pull him up those mountains with the risk of him running over a ledge. Nor did I feel like carrying him on my hip the whole way. I was 6 months pregnant for crying out loud!
Ergobaby to the rescue! Much to my surprise, the Ergobaby Carrier my friend lent me not only carried Cash’s 2 year old body on my back, but carried him comfortably for both of us. And until this point, Cash had NEVER been a fan of carriers!! EVER.
After doing some research of my own, I realized Ergobaby has a line specifically designed for active parents like us! I thought the one I wore was comfortable for hiking…I can only imagine how comfortable the Performance Carrier is. I can’t wait to try it out!
You can win one of these $135 amazing carriers for yourself!
Ergobaby has been kind enough to offer up a carrier from their Performance Carrier line for Baby Powell’s 12-week Baby Shower Giveaway for one of my lucky readers. Thank you, Ergobaby
Here’s what you had to do to win:
1. Comment on this post – tell me about your favorite hike, or how you plan to use the Ergobaby Performance Carrier.
2. Like, Share, and/or rePin my #BabyPowell Giveaway posts on as many social media channels as you can: Facebook , Instagram, Twitter, and/or Pinterest.
3. Follow Ergobaby on Pinterest and/or on Twitter.
Random winner was announced on Wednesday, October 23, 2013. Thanks for participating!
Name: Heidi Powell Age: 31 Job Title and Description: Transformation Specialist College/Major: ASU, UVSC, and UOP / Business Administration (believe it or not) Website:www.heidipowell.net Twitter Handle:@realheidipowell
What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Heidi Powell: Oh boy – how do I explain this? As a transformation specialist, I am a trainer, life coach, friend, therapist (not licensed), mom, sister, daughter, doula (yes, for one of our Season Four peeps), stylist, hair dresser, nutritionist…I am whatever people need me to be to make sure they have the most successful transformation possible. When you care so much about people, you will do anything to help them realize their own potential.
There is never, ever a typical day, but I don’t know if I’d know what to do with myself if I had “typical days”! Every single day brings a new adventure and a new lesson.
What is the best part of your job?
HP: I love it so much that I never feel like I am working. Not a single day of my life goes by where it feels like work. I put in some long and unreasonable hours, but it is because this is my passion. It only helps that I get to do this with my best friend in the entire world, Chris. Another perk – I get to spend my days with the most incredible “peeps” ever as they transform their lives. I make lifelong friends that inspire me.
What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
HP: I was a front desk girl at a Gold’s gym in Provo, Utah. I checked people in [when they arrived] and folded towels when they were dry! I spent most of my days watching the trainers [work with] clients and wishing someone would ask me to train them!
I got the job the old fashioned way! I walked in and asked if they were hiring. They said maybe and had me fill out a form. I got the job!
What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
HP: I wish I would have known that it’s okay to fail. Not only is it okay, but it is necessary for our own human growth. For many years, I was so afraid of failure that I wouldn’t try much unless I knew I could succeed. Unfortunately, I spent those years not living life to the fullest. I never knew back then that dreams could come true with a lot of hard work and some tolerance for failure.
How has making that transition from behind-the-scenes to “front and center” impact your career? Do you have any tips for making that switch?
HP: Oddly enough and thankfully, it hasn’t changed my everyday routine very much. I might be in front of the camera more now than before, but I coach and live the same in front of the camera as I do behind the camera. It was a huge blessing to me to have the team acknowledge my efforts and want to show it on screen, but I would honestly be doing the same thing either way. I have found my passion in life.
With that being said, the only tip I have is to do what you are passionate about. Success will be immediate. It is not determined by a dollar figure or the number of Facebook fans you have, but by how fulfilled you feel at the end of every day.
Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
HP: Chris. Meeting him changed not only my professional life, but my life in general. Although I was a trainer in college back in 2001, I didn’t think the training route was for me. It didn’t seem exciting enough and felt a bit redundant in the environment I was training in. I made the transition into the real estate world in 2002 and loved it because I felt like I was helping people accomplish something they never thought they could do – buy their dream home for an affordable price!
When I met with Chris in 2008, he taught me that training the super obese was entirely different than “training” in a gym environment. He proved that training wasn’t just for a better set of biceps or six-pack abs, but [it] was also to transform lives. Together, we joined forces and have created such a unique and emotional approach to transformation. I have never felt more fulfilled in my life.
What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
HP: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Marianne Williamson
Okay, enough business for a second—what are some of your best health/fitness tips for our readers?
HP: While I could rattle off hundreds, this is one tip I wish I would have heard [in college]: strong is the new sexy! Stop using the scale and jean size to determine how fit or unfit you are. Get in the gym and fight, run, jump, climb, and lift heavier and harder each time than you did the last. I’ve found there is nothing more empowering as a woman than feeling strong. It has helped me get over some of my own past body image issues.
What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
HP: I never call them “mistakes”, but rather “learning experiences.” One learning experience in particular is the reason I love the tip above! As a teenager and college adult, I put far too much emphasis on the number on the scale. I got caught up in the “being skinny” game, and felt unworthy if I wasn’t as thin, beautiful, or muscular as another girl. I struggled to find self-worth, and developed an eating disorder as a result. There was some physiological and emotional damage done because of this. And for a while, the disorder controlled my life more than I would have liked it to and kind of pulled my off of the path to reach my goals.
It was by overcoming these issues that I realized the power in my own strength. I found fulfillment in something outside of my looks. I found that fulfillment I needed in my efforts in the gym. It was quite amazing to realize how capable and tough my body was. I’ve been hooked on “strong” ever since. My hope is that both of my daughters (one is seven and one is not yet born) will both learn this lesson sooner than I did to save them some pain.
What do you look for when considering hiring someone?
HP: Heart and intentions! These are first and foremost for me. I could meet the most capable human being in the world, but if their heart and their intentions aren’t aligned with ours, then it’s an automatic no. I can see through that stuff pretty well—mother’s intuition!
What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
HP: Steve Jobs says it best, “Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
I was searching my tried and true CrossFit blog to get inspiration for my workout today, and ran across this article they had reposted from CrossFit Oakland. Genius. I couldn’t help but repost myself to help set the record straight on a few things, including women crossfitting, how to get the beach bod we’ve always dreamed of, and the effects of good old hard work!
Image credit: Bladium Sports & Fitness Club
Women, CrossFit, and Myths
As I was pondering what to write for today’s post I noticed an article posted to FaceBook by D-Pain (aka Dana). It is titled “LIES IN THE GYM”. It shows us that one does not have to go far in the average gym (obviously not a CrossFit Gym) to find someone willing to hand out bad information. This article outlines many of the myths that women are hearing about fitness and strength training.
Let me summarize several of the myths this article touches on.
Weight training will make you huge and masculine.
Men train. Women tone.
There is a difference between toning, sculpting and firming.
Women should stick to machines and stay away from free weights.
Women shouldn’t work on their leg and butt muscles, otherwise they’ll get to big.
Weight training turns fat into muscle.
Women should only lift light weights to not get “bulky”.
To quote a famous fitness author, “Women are not a special population. They are half the population. ”
In an article written by Mark Rippetoe he points out that women DO respond to heavy physical stress (i.e. lifting heavy shit) differently than men. However, women get the best results when they train for performance (the whole premise of CrossFit and what we do), because even though there are differences between men’s and women’s response to training, there is no difference in the quality of the exercise needed to produce the stress that causes our bodies to change. The different responses men and women see in training are not the ones that the industry, media and popular culture have presented as fact. This unfortunately has had a detrimental effect on women’s training.
The answer to our questions on how to get there are right in front of us. The results, in terms of both performance and aesthetics, admired by the vast majority of women, continue to be routinely produced by advanced athletic programs. Which then amazes me how “body-sculpting sessions or low intensity machine based circuit programs were the approach sold to the public. But then again, “easier” is easier to sell. The fact is that aesthetics are best obtained from training for performance.
It becomes very simple, if you want to look like a lean athlete (the standard most active women strive to emulate) you have to train like an athlete, and the unfortunate part is that most people lack the “sand” for that. Despite this unfortunate truth (most truths seem to fall into this category), the fitness industry continues to see appearances first, as though it is independent of performance. Appearance cannot be trained for. Think about it: I know how to make your squat stronger, but how do you program Bun Blaster sets and reps for a tight ass? I may be able to double your pull-ups in a month, but I don’t know how to give your back that V-Shape everyone craves without increasing your pull-ups. Every single aspect of programming for resistance training that works at all does so because it increases some aspect of performance, and appearance is a side effect of performance.
Image credit: Bladium Sports & Fitness Club
Appearance is a side effect of performance.
Appearance can’t change unless performance does, and the performance changes are what we quantify and what we program. Your appearance when fit is almost entirely a function of your genetics, which are expressed at their best only when your training is at it’s highest level, and this level is only obtainable from a program based on an improvement in your performance in the gym. To top it off the best improvements in the gym occur when participating in a program that looks more like performance athletics (i.e. CrossFit) that one that looks like waving your arms or legs around on a machine.
More Unfortunate Truths:
Your muscles cannot get longer without some rather radical orthopedic surgery.
Muscles don’t get leaner ….. you do!
There is no such thing as “firming & toning”. There is only stronger and weaker.
The vast majority of women cannot get large, masculine muscles from weight training. If it were that easy, I would have them!
Women who do look like men have taken some rather drastic steps in that direction that have little to do with their exercise program.
Women who claim to be afraid to train hard because they “always bulk up too much” are often already pretty bulky, or “skinny fat” (thin but weak and de-conditioned) and have found another excise to continue life sitting on their butts.
Only people willing to work to the point of discomfort on a regular basis using effective means to produce that discomfort will actually look like they have been other-than-comfortable most of the time.
You can thank the muscle magazines for these persistent misconceptions, along with the natural tendency of all normal humans to see reasons to avoid hard physical exertion.
Ever wish there was a trainer that could feel your pain? Someone that could understand and has dealt with the struggles that come along with obesity? If you don’t know this man already, then you should get to know him. Our good friend, Drew Manning, took the courageous trip from Fit2Fat2Fit, and is here to share some of his words of wisdom. PS – Drew comes with one amazing PIC (partner in crime)! His sweet, adorable, funny, amazing wife Lynn works side-by-side with him. The kind of partnership Chris and I appreciate!
Drew Manning – From Fit 2 Fat 2 Fit. Copyright (c) Drew Manning
by Drew Manning
The hard truth is that most “fit” people hear “food addiction” and roll their eyes. I admit, even I was that closed-minded once. Until I embarked on a journey that showed me just how real food addiction really is.
Fit2Fat2Fit in a nutshell is my journey of going from fit (which I had been my entire life) to fat (gaining 75 lbs.) back to fit (in a year’s time). For 6 months I allowed myself to eat an unrestricted diet and stop exercising in my attempt to see a different perspective. My clients kept telling me I didn’t understand their struggles. They’d mention late night snacking and food addiction, and I felt they were just being lazy and making poor choices. Until I walked (a small ways) in their shoes…
Food became a comfort, a friend and an escape within a few short months. I’d get headaches without my Mountain Dew and I found myself emotionally eating as my relationships, job and self-esteem struggled during my journey. When it was time to go back to a healthy lifestyle, giving up these addictive foods was not just a challenge but required a detox (just like a drug). In fact, most studies show that food is just as addictive as drugs.
This may not be news to you. You may be struggling with food addiction right now. Though I can only scratch the surface in a short blog post, here are 3 tips on how to push through food addiction:
1) Keep “trigger foods” out of the house.
For me this is Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Zingers and Mountain Dew. It’s different for everyone, but there are certain foods that really trigger your emotional eating. It is those foods that make it hard to quit eating and make you feel you have no self-control. If it’s in the house you will eat it, so don’t bring it into your house! Even when I have a cheat/treat meal I still avoid those items because they trigger an episode that leaves me with an empty box of cereal and a massive stomachache.
2) Be prepared.
Often, our poorest food choices have everything to do with lack of preparation. After a late night at the office the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. Or anytime you’re starving you grab the quickest thing you can find. If you don’t have healthy food prepared in advance you will always go for fast food or packaged (processed) food because it’s convenient. So make healthy eating convenient too by being prepared. My wife and I cook in bulk (often using the crockpot) and we cut and separate snacks for several days so they are just an arms reach away. This helps so you aren’t as tempted with fast food.
3) Find another emotional outlet.
As my wife likes to say “we eat our emotions”. A common phrase she uses when she has a hard day and made a lot of poor food choices. Anyone that has struggled with food addiction understands that you “eat your emotions”. It’s hard not to use food for comfort. This will always be a struggle, even years later. Something that helps is finding another emotional outlet. I like to use exercise as my emotional outlet (I know, big surprise-ha). Find something besides food that can help relieve stress such as reading, working in the yard, etc. When you have a stressful moment and want to search through the cupboards, acknowledge you want to emotionally eat, then steer yourself to your new outlet. It’ll take time, but you’ll create a healthier habit.
Food addiction doesn’t just go away. It will be something that creeps back up and will be something most of us battle with our whole live