Tag Archives: healthy-living

Goodbye San Francisco!

10 Mar

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I have officially decided to leave San Francisco and return home to Vancouver, British Columbia this summer :) I have definitely grown from the 2 years I have lived in this city and have come to realize, I much prefer living in Vancouver, Canada while raising children.
People always ask me with such enthusiasm how I love living in San Francisco…I always seem to burst their bubble with my response. I make sure to emphasize, my experience living in San Francisco would be much different, more positive, if I didn’t have 2 young daughters. I would embrace the debauchery and naked people if I wasn’t responsible for 2 very impressionable children. My reality is, I do have 2 young daughters who would benefit more from living in a modest city…without naked people, public displays of raunchy behavior and all the other confusing sights you typically see in San Francisco. I don’t think a 7-year-old and 2-year-old need to be confronted with men in thongs biking by, nor should they have to walk through thick pot smoke on the way to the kids park (hello, Dolores Park). Furthermore, I don’t want to deal with my daughters’ issues in the future for exposing them to such things at such a young age.

Dolores park...

Dolores park…

I have had really good experiences living in San Fran, like the emphasis on building a clean city. I have learned a lot about composting…being forced to compost, or pay a fine is a great motivator :) I love the healthy food options here, the US has more products than Canada. I love going to farmer’s markets in the local neighborhoods. I really enjoy all the different venues and restaurants that are sure to leave a lasting impression. My favorite part about living in San Francisco are the people, people are so friendly here. There are no weirdos in San Francisco, people from all walks of life fit in.
My biggest life-changing experience from living in San Francisco will be my decision to go into Yoga Therapy as my next career move. By the time I move back to Vancouver, I will be nearly finished my Advanced Yoga Instructor and Yoga Therapist certification. My goal is to help people find true happiness and overcome the issues that are holding them back from finding fulfillment in life.
Thank you San Francisco for all the great experiences I have had and for helping me realize there really is no place like home…in Vancouver, Canada :)

FREE Mama Park Workout

27 Jan

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I’ve been a certified Personal Trainer for 8 years now and just because I’ve become a certified Yoga Instructor, doesn’t mean I’ve lost my passion for muscle-building. Being a mother to 2 beautiful little girls, I love building sexy muscles via resistance training to stay healthy and fit. Here is your free mama park workout to do while your kids play.
814d4e6efd0128e47919e1668bd6e0feBegin with a warm up. You can bring a skipping rope (great cardio!) or do some jumping jacks. You may also like to do a brisk walk around the playground. Your goal is to warm up your body and get prepared to do some fun exercises ;)

How to skip

With hands at your sides, three inches from your hips, hold the handles lightly and turn them with your wrists in small circles

Keep elbows slightly bent

Tilt head slightly down, but not so you’re staring at your feet

Keep your upper body straight and erect

Land on the balls of your feet with the heels barely touching
FitnessOnTheFly001Squat and Press

Target Muscles: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, anterior and lateral deltoids

Set Up: Stand in the center of the band with your feet hip-width apart, holding the band handles at shoulder height, palms forward.

Action: Squat down until your thighs come parallel to the floor [A], press through your heels to stand back up. As you reach full extension, drive the band handles up toward the ceiling [B]. Reverse the move, and return to the starting position.
Tip: Because you’re stretching the band really far when extending your arms overhead, use a lighter band for this move to protect your shoulders.

FitnessOnTheFly004Lunge with Curl

Target Muscles: quadriceps, gluteus maximus, biceps brachii

Set Up: Step on the center of the band with your left foot. Hold the handles at your sides, arms in close to your body, palms forward. Step back with your right foot [A].

Action: Keeping your upper arms tight to your sides, curl the handles toward your shoulders [B]. Next, bend your legs to lower into a lunge [C]. Return to your standing position, lower your arms for one rep. Complete all reps before switching to your other side.
SecretGreatGlutesLegs007Resistance-Band Abductor Pull

Set Up: Attach a resistance band securely around a pole. Attach the looped end of the resistance band around the foot furthest away from the pole, and step away from the pole enough so that you can feel the tension in the resistance band. You may need to split your stance for more stability.

Action: Flex your toes of the leg attached to the resistance band toward your shin. Next, keeping your leg extended, slowly move your foot away from the opposite foot. Feel the tension in your outer thigh, slowly return to the start position. Repeat. After completing 12-15 reps, switch sides and repeat the sequence.
SecretGreatGlutesLegs002_1 Resistance-Band Adductor Pull

Set Up: Attach a resistance band securely by looping around a pole. Attach the looped end of the resistance band around the foot closest to the pole, and then step away from the pole enough so that you can feel the tension in the resistance band. You may need to split your stance a bit to feel stable.

Action: Flex your toes of the leg attached to the resistance band toward your shin. Next, keeping your leg extended, slowly move your foot across the opposite foot. Feel the tension in your inner thigh, then slowly return to the start position.  Repeat. After completing 12-15 reps, switch sides and repeat the sequence.

Tip: To protect your lumbar spine, maintain a vertical posture throughout the range of exercise. Do not rotate your torso when you begin to fatigue. When you can no longer use proper form, stop the set.

Tip:
 Stabilize yourself by contracting your core, and keep your body vertical throughout each set. Also, flex your toes toward your shin.
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Bruce Lee Kick

Target Muscles: Glutes

Action: Stand to the left of a railing or study object, your feet hip-width apart and both hands placed lightly on the sturdy object. Shift your weight onto your right leg, bend at the waist, and pull your left knee up toward your chest [A]. Quickly extend your left leg, pushing through your heel and contracting your left glute [B]. Reverse the movement to return to start, lowering your left leg back to the floor. That’s one rep. Do 12-15, then repeat on the other side
Calf-Raises-For-Legs-mdnCalf Raises

Target muscles: Calves

Action: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold on to a bench, or railing for support, if necessary. Lift onto balls of feet, then lower. Repeat 8–10 times.

FitnessOnTheFly003Chest Press and Flye

Target Muscles: pectorals, anterior deltoids

Set Up: Anchor the band in a door. Hold the handles at shoulder height and take a large step away from the anchor with one foot. Extend your arms parallel to the ground, palms facing downward [A].

Action: Bend your elbows to bring your hands back toward your shoulders [B]. Smoothly reverse the move, pressing the handles to an extended position. Turn your palms inward, bend your elbows slightly, and open your arms wide until your elbows come in line with your torso[C]. Bring the handles back to the starting position. Continue, alternating presses and flyes.
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Deadlift with Row

Target Muscles: hamstrings, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, rear deltoids

Set Up: Knot a loop in the band and stand on it with both feet. Hold the handles at your sides with your palms facing inward.

Action: Keeping your legs straight, fold forward from the hips until your torso makes a 45-degree angle [A]. Pull both handles toward your rib cage, squeezing your shoulder blades together while keeping your elbows in close to your sides [B]. Pause, then lower your hands and use your hamstrings and glutes to raise your body back to the starting position.

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BODY ROW

Target muscles: arms, back, core

Action: Stand facing anchor point, holding 1 handle in each hand with arms extended. Lean back until straps are taut [A]. Pull chest forward, bending elbows and squeezing shoulder blades, bringing hands alongside chest until almost standing straight [B]. Return to start and repeat.

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Forward Lunge and Fly with Resistance Band

Target muscles: Pectorals and core

Action: Loop the resistance band around a sturdy object at chest height. With your back to the object, grab a handle in each hand and step forward until there’s no slack in the band. Stand with your feet together and knees slightly bent, then raise your arms to shoulder height, palms facing away from you, so that your body forms a T [A]. In one motion, step forward with your left leg, bend your left knee, and press the handles towards each other in front of your chest, keeping your arms straight [B]. Return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat on the other leg and continue alternating until you’ve completed 12-15 reps on each side.
Pull-Aparts-for-back-and-shoulders-mdnPull-Aparts

Target muscles: Back and Shoulders

Action: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Grasp band with both arms extended in front of you at shoulder height, elbows slightly bent. Pull hands away from each other, stretching band, focusing on squeezing your shoulder blades together until both arms are horizontal to your body (band may be against chest). Release and repeat 8–10 times.

ss_101388783Band Biceps Curl

 Target muscles: Biceps

 Action: Stand with right foot in middle of band, holding one end of band (forget the dumbbell) wrap ends of band around palms. Keeping elbows by sides, turn palms forward and curl both hands up to shoulders. Do 10-12 reps. Next, curl one hand up at a time, alternating sides. Do 10-12 curls on each side. Repeat.

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Tricep Dips: This is one of my favorite exercises. I do this when I’m watching my girls at the park.
Action: Sit on a bench of chair, placing hands next to your hips. Lift up on your hands, bring your hips forward and lower your hips down until your elbows get no lower than 90 degrees. Push back up without locking your elbows. Try to do 10-20 reps. Make sure not to shrug your shoulders, keeping them down and away from your ears as you bend your elbows. To make this move more intense, walk your feet farther out or prop them up on a bench.
FitnessOnTheFly002Balancing Triceps Extension

Target Muscles: triceps brachii, transverse abdominis

Set Up: Stand on one end of the band with your right foot and hold the other end in your right hand. Lift your right elbow so it points toward the ceiling, and drop your hand behind your head. Place your left hand on your waist and lift your left knee to hip height in front of you.

Action: Straighten your right arm toward the ceiling, keeping your upper arm close to your ear and your core tight. Pause at full extension, then slowly lower to the starting position. Complete all reps on one side, then switch to the other.
FitnessOnTheFly006-1Torso Rotation

Target Muscles: obliques, transverse abdominis, rear and lateral deltoids, pectorals, trapezius, rhomboids

Set Up: Anchor the band at shoulder height and stand sideways to the anchor, feet shoulder-width apart for stability. Grasp both handles with straight arms at chest height, and rotate your torso and shoulders toward the anchor [A].

Action: Move your arms, shoulders and torso as one unit and twist away from the anchor, stretching the band as you pull it across your body to face the opposite way [B]. Slowly uncoil and return to the starting position. Complete all reps on one side then switch to the other.
ss_101388816Pull-Down

Target muscles: Back, arms, abs, obliques, and hips

 Action: Stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, holding one end of band in each hand, arms by sides. Lift arms overhead, pulling band tight, and point right toes out to side. Keeping left arm still, engage obliques, pull right elbow down to side, and lift right knee to meet it. Extend right arm and leg without touching toes to floor. Do 10-12 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Crunches-For-Abs-mdnCrunches (For Abs)

Action: Lie with knees bent, feet flat. Place hands behind head, or cross arms across chest. Lift torso up a few inches (keep a space between chin and chest), then lower. Repeat 8–10 times.

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Plank: This is one of the most effective abs exercise that you can do, and it’s not just great for strengthening your abdominal muscles, it also works on all your core muscles, such as your hips and back.

Action: Start by lying face down on the exercise mat/ grass. Place your elbows and forearms underneath your chest and prop yourself up into a bridge using your forearms and toes, engaging your core. Keep your back flat and don’t let your hips sag towards the floor. Hold while focusing on tightening your abs. Beginners can start at 10 seconds and then work your way up to a full minute. Return to starting position and rest.

*Focus on form, slow and controlled.
*Breathe! Exhale the tension out on the working phase, the hard part. NEVER hold your breath.
*Drink water!
*Stretch afterwards

Save money on a gym membership and invest in resistance bands. You can workout at the park while your kids play :) Fit mama = happy, healthy mama :)

Mom Fitness While Kids Play

26 Jan
Obviously, it was a very sunny day.

Obviously, it was a very sunny day.

Being a mother to 2 children, I’ve had to be creative with creating time for fitness. I have come up with the perfect solution for creating time for exercise, workout at the park while your kids play!

Fabulous park in Hayes Valley that already has some equipment :)

Fabulous park in Hayes Valley that already has some equipment :)

If you are a beginner, there are some parks in your neighborhood that offer some fitness equipment, use it! If you are looking for a more specific workout, you only need  limited equipment made up of fitness bands.

My favorite workout equipment as it is very portable.

My favorite workout equipment as it is very portable.

This is my personal park fitness gear,  fitness bands. Make sure to get the ones with good material so it doesn’t rub and fray too easily. I like to bring some balance equipment as well to change-up the intensity. Don’t forget water! For an added perk, I like to use my Basis Band to keep track of heart rate, calories, and other fascinating biometrics.

The kids play as mama gets fit and strong :)

The kids play as mama gets fit and strong :)

The kids will happily play as you workout. Use the time at the park for your own play ;) no more wasting your time on your cell phone. The park workout is the perfect solution for mothers who are too busy with kids to get to a gym :) I have been doing my park workout since my 1st daughter was a toddler. Plus, what kids observe their parents doing, they will naturally follow in your footsteps. Lead by example.

Stay tuned for an example park workout in my next blog post.

Basis Habits Game

27 Dec

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I love Basis habits game! I really enjoy picking my goals/ habits based on areas I choose to improve, not some general goal of reaching 10, 000 steps a day. As a fitness professional and mother of 2, my goals vary week-to-week.

Goals I’ve chosen:

  • Wear it- habit to wear the Basis Band more each day.
  • Get more sleep- as a mother of 2, this is a goal based on group effort ;)
  • Move it- I knew I would accomplish this goal merely chasing after my 2 kids.
  • Don’t be a sitter- I loved seeing how long I sit for at one time…not very long with all the demands of motherhood ;)
  • Morning lap- this is the habit that keeps me motivated to create time in the morning for my mommy hour of intense workouts, either weight-training, running, or Yoga.

I really like how Basis habits are fun and easy to understand. When I click on the habit, I receive more specific data, like how many minutes in each zone, how many calories burned, how many steps taken, how many hours I slept and of course the crème de la crème, heart rate.

The best part of having the Basis Band on my wrist is feeling empowered to create a healthier life, like I’m truly in control of creating a healthier me. I feel more in-tune with myself overall and more connected with my mind and body. The data will also be very useful to give realtime feedback to any health professional in the future.

Stay tuned for more updates soon :)

Mother of 2 Fitness Update

13 Dec

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I thought it was time to update you all on my fitness progress as a mom of 2. As you can see in the photo above, I am getting my abs back! This is my main goal to prevent back pain from a previous accident I had. Having multiple children (I had 2) challenges your body’s ability to rebuild the abs and lose the baby weight. I am happy with my progress so far but am not finished my goal until I get my lower abs…that’s the hardest for me. Not to mention, tone up this Jlo booty! I was blessed with a backside that doesn’t quit ;) For reference, I am a size 29 in jeans…these hips are definitely wider from birthing 2 babies.

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Here’s a side-view to add further proof I am nearing my fitness goal of a lean, mean, child-rearing machine ;) Just to clarify, my 2nd daughter just turned 2 so I have no excuses as to why I would still have baby-weight to lose ;)

I’ll post more progress pics when the booty shrinks…please, please, please!

Basis Band!

1 Dec

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So happy to own my very own Basis Band. Now I can track my lifestyle and improve areas of my life I was otherwise clueless about. As a mother of 2, and a fitness professional, I am excited to know more on my overall lifestyle habits, especially sleep. I will be blogging soon with updates on my experience using the Basis Band so stay tuned!

Beautiful Body, Beautiful Music

23 Nov

The most kickass Old Spice Ad yet.

This has to be the very best ad by far. I love me some eye candy ;) And the powerful expression of the body using muscles.

Lose Weight on Thanksgiving

22 Nov

Thanksgiving can help you lose weight, just stick to the ketogenic plan ;)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Certified Yoga Instructor!

23 May

I’m super excited to announce I have earned my Yoga Instructor certification! While juggling 2 young daughters and a position within Social Fluency, I have managed to earn my certification… yay me!

This yoga certification is such a great addition to my Personal Training certifications. While personal training is focused more on the muscles, yoga is focused more on the bones. These certifications together will help me become even better at helping others create and maintain a healthy lifestyle, starting with my own family.

My family has been instrumental in my growth as a Wellness Mama. My daughters have been such a huge source of motivation for me to lead by example and teach them the power of determination and the power of being a woman. My partner has been supportive by allowing me to have the freedom to accomplish my goals within the health and wellness industry. I know the power of having a supportive family has meant everything to my success thus far.

My next goal is to continue within the yoga world and take another 300 hours, earning me my 500 hour Yoga Therapist certification. I’m excited about the possibilities ahead :)

Here’s to going for your goals and creating your best life!

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