July 28, 2014

The Winter Fitness Nightmare

allieduxburyAllison Duxbury is an AFFA qualified fitness professional with over 15 years experience in group and personal training.  After many years travelling the world with her husband Rod, an officer in the British Army, they returned to her roots in Connecticut to bring up their young family and start her business: FitFocused.  Three years later, the business is thriving and her clients range from 9-year-old competitive Irish Dancers to an octogenarian veteran. Reach Allie at 860.304.9899 or fitfocused.com

First, there were the holiday feasts.  Now we have Super Bowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day treats to battle. Not to mention all the winter weekend gatherings filled with comfort food.

Most of us are about ready to give up and join the rest of the natural world in hibernation.  Even those who do have a consistent workout schedule may start to find themselves falling behind.  However, the arrival of winter is absolutely no excuse to put away the sneakers and yoga pants.

Try some creative ways to get out all that energy you’re storing up!

Exercise doesn’t have to mean facing the bitter cold head on.  Give indoor fitness a try.  Yoga is a slow- paced exercise that can easily be done in the familiarity of your own home.  It helps improve flexibility, strength, and posture all at once.  If you need something a bit faster, try blending a few other elements into your routine; jump rope, jumping jacks, push ups, lunges, and squats will all do the trick.

If you are itching to get into the open air, go for it!  As long as you keep well hydrated and properly layered, running in the wintery outdoors may be just the thing to keep you going until the weather warms up.

Why not make it social?  Joining exercise classes is a great way to keep yourself going through the winter cold.  Working out with friends means you’ll have a better chance of sticking with it.  Encourage each other, and spring will be here in no time.

As for all the social gatherings, keep these simple tips in mind.

Decide what’s worth it: Avoid anything high in fat or calories that isn’t your favorite.  Save your calories for something you’ll really enjoy.

Don’t arrive starving: Before you go, grab a carb and protein mix to keep your willpower in place.  Try an apple and peanut butter, a few nuts and yogurt, or turkey and hummus.  Eat something that is about 150 to 200 calories as a pre-party snack.

Snack smart: Gravitate to the veggie tray and munch away …

Drink up: Have a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage.  That will prevent you from consuming too many empty calories.

No matter how you choose to beat the winter laziness and blues, I’m confident you’ll be thanking yourself for it later on.  Mindful eating and exercise will keep you happy and healthy until Spring.

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Fall is Perfect Time for Outdoor Exercise

Now that we have said  goodbye to the younger members of the family and somewhat settled into a routine what are you planning to do with your newly found free time?  Perhaps it’s time to welcome the change of seasons in with a little time to focus on yourself a bit more and — yes, you guessed it — fitness!

And conveniently enough, October and early November may very easily be considered the ‘ideal’ time for exercising outdoors. Not too cold, not quite too warm, and easy on the eyes if you can appreciate the fall foliage- there’s no better time to get yourself going on a new outdoor routine.

Now might be the time to drag out those running sneakers from the back of the closet and get kicking on that jogging route you’ve been promising to try or take to the playground and do your workout  there.  You can do pull ups on the swings, calf raises on the picnic tables, and sit ups on the slides.  Exercising can be fun!

But what if you’re finding your schedule to be just as busy as that of your elementary schooler?  Time isn’t always as easy to find as we’d like for it to be.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t make adjustments …

Try altering your schedule by waking up just an hour earlier than usual and squeezing in time to exercise before your day really gets started.  You’ll find it even comes along with some benefits of its own — exercising in the morning jump starts both you and your metabolism, and helps you sleep better at night.

If you stick with it for long enough, and you’ll have no issue getting up in the earlier hours.  In fact, you might even come to like it more than your past daytime routines.  Who knows?

The other option is to let your spouse do the bedtime routine and come out to an evening class or two to get the stress out from the day.  When you wake up in the morning you will be happy to feel all those muscles you used the night before knowing you have done something good for your health.

With a little prioritizing and adjustment making, I trust you’ll be able to find the time you need to get (and stay) active.

Allison Duxbury is an AFFA qualified fitness professional with over 15 years experience in group and personal training.  After many years travelling the world with her husband Rod, an officer in the British Army, they returned to her roots in Connecticut to bring up their young family and start her business: FitFocused.  Three years later, the business is thriving and her clients range from 9-year-old competitive Irish Dancers to an octogenarian veteran. Reach Allie at 860.304.9899 or fitfocused.com

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Swim for the Summer

Winter is the perfect season to hide behind long sleeves.  During the freezing months, dealing with less-than desirable limb shapes can easily be put off until it’s almost too late.  But with summer already upon us, its time to break out the sleeveless tops and get back into shape.

As desirable as the result may be, actually getting those sleek, toned arms before the summer months come to an end probably isn’t the most exciting way to spend your free time.  Let’s admit it, who doesn’t want to look good?

And exercising in the heat of August – who really wants to do that?  Why don’t you hit the pool for a little cool down, instead?  Believe it or not, swimming is one of the easiest and most effective ways to tone your arms and get your entire body into tip-top shape.

 Spending just an hour or two swimming each day can get you on the right track to a super toned upper and lower body – with no extra equipment needed.  Easy?  You bet!

I encourage you to work a little harder for the rest of this summer season to achieve a body that won’t leave you scavenging for reasons not to break out your favorite tank top or spaghetti-strap dress.  There’s no reason you can’t obtain a fit, desirable body and fit, toned arms.

Come join me for pool and aqua fitness classes this summer.  It’s not about swimming laps, but about fun with pool weights, bands, and noodles.

Get up, get out, and get fit!

Allison Duxbury is an AFFA qualified fitness professional with over 15 years experience in group and personal training.  After many years travelling the world with her husband Rod, an officer in the British Army, they returned to her roots in Connecticut to bring up their young family and start her business: FitFocused.  Three years later, the business is thriving and her clients range from 9-year-old competitive Irish Dancers to an octogenarian veteran.

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Summer Challenge

We’ve all been there … the weeks leading up to 70-degree weather when it’s time to shed those heavy sweaters and throw on a dress.  Squeezing into last year’s summer outfits, especially a swimsuit, makes you cringe.

Looking at pictures from your past doesn’t help either.

It’s time to kick those post-winter blues to the side and renew your New Year’s resolution.  All you need to do is commit to a six-week body and mind restoration and you’ll boost your self-esteem and confidence—fast!

Fear is one of the biggest excuses I hear as a fitness instructor.  There’s fear of having to get in shape for the summer season.  There’s fear of working out with other people.  There’s fear of being watched.

The reality is that everyone is focused on his or her own workout and getting in shape because it’s what they are committed to.

It’s time to stop being fearful and get fit.  Exercise is the first commitment a person can make.  Finding the time in a day when you’re juggling 15 different tasks at once can seem overwhelming and exhausting.

Everyone feels this way; however, it’s important to stop the guilt and start a weekly exercise schedule that’s realistic.  After starting a routine, you need to commit to it.  Put the book of excuses aside and wake up earlier if you have to.

Stick with your routine and do not give up!  This will not only improve your health, but also your happiness.

Many fit people I know wake up early and exercise before work because of the way they feel throughout the entire day from the endorphins that exercise brings.  Trust me, happiness, energy, and a positive attitude will make you feel more self-confident immediately.

I challenge you to be positive and commit to renewing your New Year’s resolution.  Take the six-week restoration challenge even if it means waking up early.

Summer’s almost here, so stop hiding behind your layers and get into physical and mental shape!

Allison Duxbury is an AFFA qualified fitness professional with over 15 years experience in group and personal training.  After many years travelling the world with her husband Rod, an officer in the British Army, they returned to her roots in Connecticut to bring up their young family and start her business: FitFocused.  Three years later, the business is thriving and her clients range from 9-year-old competitive Irish Dancers to an octogenarian veteran.

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