Improving My Fitness With FIT4MOM

Back in January we had a Stroller Strides class where we did a sort of fitness test to see how many of each exercise we could do in one minute, or how long we could hold an exercise. There were nine exercises: sit-ups, squats, burpees, running stairs, push ups, step ups (right/left leg), plank, wall sit, and side plank (right/left side). We wrote our results down on note cards and the instructor saved them so that we could reference them when we repeated the test mid-way through the year. I started Stroller Strides classes in November and already felt in better shape than when I had started, so I was curious to see my results.

Today, five months later, we repeated the test to see how we have improved. I was a little nervous. Would I see any improvements? Would I do worse? As we began our warm up, I banished these thoughts from my mind and focused on the task at hand.

Exercise January 2015 June 2015
Sit ups 32 34
Squats 36 43
Burpees 20 24
Stairs 5 3/4 5 3/4
Push ups 30 26
Step ups R/L 34/32 40/38
Plank 4:00 4:12
Wall Sit 4:00 4:16
Side Plank R/L 1:31/1:36 1:33/1:35

I noticed that my legs felt a lot stronger than they did back in January; squats don’t kill me anymore. I was able to move a little faster when doing squats and step ups. I was surprised to beat my wall sit time since my legs were tired from doing squats, step ups, and running stairs prior.

When doing side plank my shoulders started to shake and my wrists gave out on me.  My shoulders probably had enough after holding regular plank and doing burpees, but I’m happy with the times I got. I’m also pleased to report that burpees aren’t as intimidating as they used to be.

Not only am I proud of myself after today, but I am proud of all of the moms. The only competition that existed was with themselves. It was so inspiring to see everyone push themselves and congratulate themselves (and each other) on a job well done.

There are a few lessons that were reiterated for me over these past seven months since starting FIT4MOM classes:

  1. Keep going when you feel like giving up – you will surprise yourself.
  2. You will see results when you put in the work and don’t opt for quick fixes or shortcuts.
  3. Five months may seem like a long time, but you will feel so proud of yourself to see how far you have come. You will have gotten farther in five months putting in the work than you would have not starting at all.
  4. Having an exercise routine that you actually enjoy makes the time that goes by irrelevant. Having fun while staying active will keep you on track.

I will have been with FIT4MOM for a year this November. I’m very thankful for the instructors kicking my butt several times a week. I am certainly in the best shape of my life and I am so grateful to be able to model an active lifestyle for my son.

We are going to repeat the test again in December. I don’t think I’m looking forward to trying to beat my 4:12 plank hold in 6 months, but I’m certainly up for the challenge!

Why I Love My Fitbit

A Fitbit has been on my wishlist for a while now. When I saw that they were releasing the Surge that comes with both a heart rate sensor and GPS, I just about drooled. But the price tag put a damper on my dreams of ever owning one. Fast forward to two days ago when my husband got home from work to reveal that he has bought himself a Fitbit Surge in hopes to motivate himself to get back in shape. I held the box in my hands admiring it.

“Oh. You got the one I wanted,” I said, trying not to sound disappointed that I didn’t get one.

“I got you one, too,” he said, as he pulled a second one out of the bag.

I was so awestruck by the fact that I was holding my very own Fitbit that I didn’t care about the money my husband had just dropped to get them. We read the instructions and put them on. I noticed it’s a little bulky for my small wrist, but I suppose that’s the tradeoff for having a touchscreen watch.

That night it monitored my sleep. In the morning it declared that my sleep was 97% efficient, even though I was restless 11 times. “Why am I still tired, Fitbit? Why,” I asked, but it did not answer. I was ready to put my Fitbit to the test since I had Stroller Strides that morning. I set it to Circuit Training and it timed my workout while keeping track of my steps, floors climbed, my heart rate zones, and calories burned. It even put all of the data into charts for me to look at online.

Yesterday I tried out the GPS function on my run. It tracked all of the above in addition to my pace, elevation, and miles. It was great to be able to glance at my watch to see my mileage and pace. This feature will be wonderful to have for when I start Running Club to train for my half marathon.

Other things I love about my Fitbit:

  • You can do challenges with friends. I have been doing a daily challenge with my husband and mother-in-law which has been fun. We can cheer each other on and help keep each other motivated.
  • It syncs up with MyFitnessPal which is great because I like using the MyFitnessPal app to log my food.
  • It receives text messages from your phone and lets you know when someone is calling. I love this because I don’t have to keep my phone on me which makes me less likely to do other things, like browse the Internet and Facebook.

Most of all, I love that the Fitbit motivates me to keep moving throughout the day. Normally I do my workout and then take it easy the rest of the day. Instead, today after Stroller Strides I walked a lap around the mall and walked up the parking garage ramps instead of taking the elevator. I was only halfway through my 10,000 steps by the time I got home, so this afternoon my Fitbit motivated me to do some cleaning. Yes, you read that right. Why take it easy when I can get some steps in cleaning? I also ran around the house with D which racked up some steps. After all that, I ended the day exceeding my goal.

So there you have it. After just two days I’m in love with my Fitbit. It’s my little cheerleader that I carry around on my wrist. It certainly works for me.

My New Workout Buddy

This may look like an ordinary chair but I assure you it isn’t.  It is one of the four chairs that sits out on our patio looking rather sad and lonely.  Instead of just sitting there waiting for a caboose to rest on it, it has become my workout buddy.

Finding time for myself to exercise is a bit of a challenge.  D likes to climb on me and pull my hair while I do yoga.  We go on walks but it has to be for the right amount of time otherwise he gets restless.  The other day while we were out playing in the yard, I looked at this uncomfortable wooden chair on the patio and an idea came to me.  I dragged it out into the yard and got to work.

After some arm dips, push-ups, lunges, and step-ups, my heart rate was up and I had actually worked up a bit of a sweat.  When I felt like I couldn’t do anymore, the chair looked at me with its wooden stare as if it was saying, “Is that all you’ve got?” It pushed me to discover more ways to use it.

It probably was only about 20 minutes which was enough time for D to stay entertained without needing me.  He actually seemed amused watching me.  We both got to enjoy some sunshine and some exercise.  A win-win for us both.

The lower half of my body was sore for the next two days.  The chair sits on the patio taunting me each time I look at it.  I can almost hear it yelling, “Are you ready for more?!” Now that I can walk properly again, I can look at that chair and say, “You bet your wooden seat I am!”