Fit2B Advancing: Week 6

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WEEK 6: Three Daily Double Workouts + Bonus

Daily Double One: Warm-up then do Yoga 4 Runners and Jump Change

Warm-up: Core Wakeup

Yoga 4 Runners

Jump Change
Core Wakeup was a great warm up. I want to continue to find ways to integrate proper core engagement throughout my day, and this is a good one to help do that. Jump Change is isn’t usually one of my favorites. It definitely gets the heart rate up and the higher impact aspect is supposed to be quite good for bone density. But it doesn’t have the flow of Beth’s other workouts. I also had to do a good bit of modifying since I seem to have this uncloseable core, despite all of my hard work. But I did my best to engage and do the alternatives offered and suggested. Yoga for Runners was a favorite of mine from back when I used to actually run. But it was still a good cool down and stretch. It’s definitely worth adding to your routine.

 
Daily Double Two: Weighted Warriors and Kelly’s Core Cardio

I loved revisiting Kelly’s Core Cardio and it was a perfect way to warm up for Weighted Warriors. I chose to use my lighter three lb weights since I knew I had lost some momentum during our weeks of illness. I probably could have gone a little heavier, but I decided to focus more on proper form and alignment. A great workout emphasizes just a handful of yoga movements but adding weights to increase the difficulty.

 
Daily Double Three: Warm-up then Wall Workout with Beth and Hold It!

Warm-up: Vertical Core

Wall Workout with Beth

Hold it!
Vertical Core provided a good, stationary warm up. I like these office routine workouts because they show how you can integrate healthy core movement. This is only the second time I’ve done the Wall workout with Beth. I definitely had to do some careful modifications, and you can be sure I didn’t end up upside down at all. It’s not quite as comprehensive as Kelly Dean’s Wall Workout, but it’s still some good movement in a short period of time. I’m not sure I’d ever do it by itself but it’s good paired with something else.

Usually I don’t like Hold It. The entire workout is focused on sustained movement. It is in this workout that I learn something important about myself, that I would rather do something hard and fast than slow and sustained. Because it somehow feels better to get sweaty and even hurt a little because it feels like a “real” workout. But in Hold It my arms were screaming from properly holding the various warrior poses. I was forced to focus on my breath, alignment and core. It is deceptively simple, because to do it properly requires a great deal of work.

 

Bonus
21 Tone Up

I love this workout. It has earned the rank of one I will come back to time and again; like all the Basic Aerobics routines and Kelly Dean’s Total Body Workout. It isn’t too long and while I appreciate the benefits of longer workouts, sometimes if I don’t have an hour it can be easy to just give up and skip it. But this packs a punch, without overdoing it and makes it easy to fit things into my workout. While it is fine as is, you can also add weights if you feel the need to bump it up a notch. Since I was having a tired day and working out in the evening which is not my preferred time, I did it mostly without.
Step & Pivot around the World

This was a new one that I have been dying to try. But since it was ranked as challenging I wanted to wait until I was in better shape. It didn’t disappoint. I chose the simpler modification of several motions and I’m fairly sure I was on the wrong foot the majority of the time, but this was a blast. Step aerobics may seems like a cliché from the late 20th century but it has a lot to recommend itself. If you’ve tried Basic Step and Basic Step II, and you are looking to try some more complicated choreography, give this one a try. It got my heart rate thumping without making me feel short of breath.
And just like that, 6 weeks is up and I’m ready to move on from Fit2B Advancing. I’m excited to come back in a week or two and tell you about the 6 X 6 Pathway. It debuted while I was postpartum, so I haven’t been able to try it yet. I’m excited to continue my fitness growth with Fit2B. Three plus years, and I still haven’t run out of ways to use this amazing program. I will always be grateful to Beth Learn, and the rest of her team for the positive impact they have had on me.

If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, I encourage you to give Fit2B a try. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

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Fit2B Advancing: Week 2

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This week introduces warming up as a good way to extend the length of the workout. I also think that warm ups are very important before extended stretching as well as before high levels of exertion. Basically any gentle movement that gets your blood pumping and your body moving. You don’t have to get sweaty. Think of it like warming up your car’s engine on a cold day. It makes everything run smoother. Only four workouts this week. Which actually feels quite attainable to me.

WEEK 2 GOAL: Four Fit2B™ Studio Workouts
Studio Workout One: Warm-up for 5 minutes then do Yoga & Pilates Blend

Warm-Up: Core Wake Up

Yoga & Pilates Blend

This is a refilm of an older workout and I hadn’t yet tried the new one. The plank position was difficult but I was able to successfully modify it. I do enjoy both Yoga and Pilates so a workout combing the two was a nice way to start the week.

 

Studio Workout Two: Walk for 10-15 minutes then do Kelly’s Floor Core Workout

I substituted the Walking Workout and added weights. For some reason Kelly’s Floor Core always makes me feel kind of sad, because when I’m laying down, my stomach kind of folds in on itself. But at least I felt strong enough to properly engage my abdominals. While it isn’t one of my favorites, this contains many good modifications for traditional ab work.

 

Studio Workout Three: Warm-up for 5-10 minutes then do Weighted Warriors

Warm-Up: Vertical Core

I love these short core routines as warm ups. It’s a great way to make sure I’m properly connecting with my abdominal muscles and continuing to stabilize my diastasis as it heals.

Weighted Warriors

I love the unique combination of weights and slow sustained movement in this workout. I chose light weights this time because I wanted to make sure I could use proper form before adding heavier weights. The integrated nature of the weights makes it much more fun for me than just a typical weight routine.

 

Studio Workout Four: Warm-up for 10 minutes then do Insane Upper Body

Warm Up: Basic Aerobics II

Insane Upper Body

This isn’t so much a warm up before a workout, as a complete body workout combination. This felt fantastic. First of all, I always love doing Basic Aerobics, it gets my heart rate up quickly. Then following it up with Insane Upper Body got my muscles really working. I experimented this time with trying heavier weights (which for me is 6 lb dumbbells), at least for portions of the workout. I was pleased with what I was able to do. A great way to finish out the week.
But wait, you want to do more? Then do more.

You can always do more or less than is recommended in these weekly schedules.

I like to do something each weekday whenever possible, so grab an extra short cardio or something from the Pathway to Relaxation to finish out the week.

I hope you are finding, as I am, that you are making progress with your exercise goals and feeling stronger. The goal of exercise is not so you can do more exercise, but to make you strong enough for the life you want to live. So make sure you have enough energy left after your workout to actually function in your life.

Week 3

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

 

 

Fit2B Minimal: Week 1

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This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support. 

This is an very busy time of year and it’s easy to let exercise slide during times like this. But trying to avoid that is what the Fit2B Minimal is about.

If you do nothing else, try to do one or both of these workouts every day.

Daily Core: Core Wake Up
Daily Stretch: Face & Neck Yoga

Now if you are able here is a list of workouts, one for each day of the week to tackle when you are able. You don’t have to do everything at once either. Try doing Daily Core first thing in the morning and Daily Stretch before bed. Fit any other workouts in wherever you can.

 

Basic Aerobics II

Yes this is one of my favorite workouts, ever. Because when I only have 15 minutes, it makes me feel like I’m really putting in some effort to keep my body healthy.

 

Little Big Band Workout

This is a great upper body workout if you don’t have much time and don’t love using weights. I actually don’t mind weights, but my four year old gets into them constantly, so the band feels safer. (Though he did actually snap one of my older ones) Beth Learn also points out in this workout that it is very portable.

 

Basic Aerobics III

Yep, same as Basic Aerobics II. Love it. Fast and functional. Good stuff.

 

Ankles & Upper Body

I love this workout because it allows me to get some arm and leg work in quick. No sweat, no fuss. A few small pieces of equipment (stretchy band and dumbbells)but it works great even if you don’t have those. (A few cans of soup, bottles or jugs of water and a stretchy scarf or even a pair of pants, will work just fine).

 

Kelly Dean Wall Workout

So I was pretty sick this week, but I didn’t want to get too far off track. This workout is short, and while not super easy, it can be modified if you aren’t feeling great.
Scarf It Down

This is a fun little workout. I was tempted to use it as a Daily Minimum, but it works great as a stand alone on a busy day when you don’t have time for much more.

 

Pelvic Floor Connections

I do fast forward a lot of the teaching in this workout, but it still has some good exercises to remember. While Mula Bandha is my favorite pelvic floor workout, this one really breaks everything down for you if you’ve never done anything like this before. Especially great when recovering from pelvic floor rehab.
I was surprised how much doing my daily minimum felt a little silly, and yet I liked the feeling of consistency. As we approach the holidays with lots of busyness (and in our case travel and preparing to move house), the consistency of doing at least something small, the same something small most days, is very appealing.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

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The Kelly Dean Project: Week 2

 

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If you are just joining me, last week I asked the question: What would happen if you only did Kelly Dean workouts for one month plus the Foundational Five?

I’m definitely starting to feel more awareness in my abdominals. There is something about Kelly’s cuing that forces me to make sure I’m really engaging all of my abdominals. Plus a good review of the Foundational 5 is always welcome. This week will be using the same basic routines as last week but in new pairings.

Just to clarify something from last week. This is no way replaces abdominal rehab. There are three amazing online abdominal rehab programs available at The Tummy Team. If you think this is something you may need, don’t hesitate. (Check out more at the bottom about the one day sale!) I created this combination of workouts, because I wanted something that would create the important reminders of the elements of abdominal rehab that Kelly naturally integrates into her workouts. Think of this as review for your core before you need rehab again.

This week will be getting a little harder because I’ll be pairing the routines together. But you’ll also be getting a recharge day in between to focus more on the Foundational 5 and similar core routines from Fit2B.

Day 1

Kelly Dean Total Body Toning

Kelly Dean Total Body Stretching

Day 2 

Totally Transverse II

Mula Bandha

Tummy Safe Transitions
 

Day 3

Kelly Dean Core Cardio

Kelly’s Pregnancy Stretching

 

Day 4 

Align It Flat

Squat Prep

 

Day 5

Kelly Dean Wall Workout

Kelly Dean Floor Core
Day 6 Bonus

Try the new Pelvic Floor Connections video.
This post is perfect timing because today is Kelly Dean’s 43rd birthday! In honor of this fact, The Tummy Team is having a One-Day Only sale.

This year the sale is 43% off all The Tummy Team online programs.

promo code:  HAPPY43

Included in sale: Core Foundations, Prenatal Core Training, and the NEW Core Integrations (follow up to Core Foundations) and the Prenatal CEU course Importance of Core Strength for the Prenatal and Post Partum Client.
(splints and Skypes not included in this sale)

A Gift Certificate option has been added that will allow members to purchase programs for others more easily and will allow members to purchase programs for later use without interfering with current programs or without forcing members to start right away.
Gift Certificates are included in this sale.

The Tummy Team Core Foundations Online Program

Kelly Dean Project Week 3

If you haven’t yet tried Fit2B, now is your chance. You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month!
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Or check out the Fit2B Store for other great healthy living products.

Shop the Fit2B Online Store

 

Don’t forget the Fit2B e-course, Experts on Diastasis Recti, too.

Experts on Diastasis Recti Online Course 

Treat Yourself to Healthier Holidays and a Stronger New Year

In the last year I’ve extensively reviewed the Fit2B Studio online fitness site as well as The Tummy Team’s online core rehab program. If you’ve been considering whether to try them out, now is the time. (This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.)

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The Tummy Team

Leaking urine, lower back pain, protruding tummy and  trouble performing normal daily activities is not normal, even after having babies. But these symptoms need not be permanent. These are signs of a condition called diastasis recti also known as an abdominal separation. (Men can also suffer from diastasis recti but it is commonly seen in pregnant and post partum women). Kelly Dean and her associates at The Tummy Team have created two online programs to provide a road map to the journey from healing for those of us who want to be strong enough to have more children or just be able to lives our lives free of pain and discomfort.

They offer splints to help you stabilize your core during the healing process. (Think of it like a cast or brace for a broken bone or sprained muscle; a temporary measure to speed up the healing process leading to future strength and wholeness). You can also schedule Skype sessions for a more personalized experience.

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Fit2B Studio

Fit2B Studio, while complementary to the rehabilitation offered by the Tummy Team is a different animal altogether. Founder Bethany Learn focuses on fitness. Much of what has been taught regarding abdominal fitness in the past can actually be counterproductive for someone with an abdominal separation. Bethany philosophy of slowly building strength rather than ripping, shredding or beating your body into submission is a departure from the focus of much of the current fitness trends in the industry.

Does that mean that the workouts aren’t intense? Nope. With levels starting from post-partum and diastasis recti recovery up to challenging workouts that will keep you sweating she truly does have it all. But the best part is that it is virtually all tummy safe. More than 70 workouts of varying lengths and difficulties so that you never get bored and can always find something for wherever you are in your fitness journey.

For those who need abdominal rehab, this is a great next step after The Tummy Team, or if you don’t have a diastasis recti or hope to prevent one in the future), this is a great place to start.

Take 40% off a yearly membership and/or the “5×5 Fitness Challenge” and/or the “Experts …on Diastasis Recti” eLearning courses with code BF14Fit2b40 right now. This is your chance to join or upgrade your membership! She only does this once per year, so jump on it! Offer isn’t valid on pre-bundled products. May not be combined with other offers and expires Sunday 11/30 at 11:59 p.m. PST and offer

The 5X5 Challenge is a great way to help build consistency into your routine through just a few basic movements. (I’ll be hopefully reviewing this program in detail in January. The Experts on Diastasis Recti is a great program with no time limit that is yours forever. Basically it’s a chance to educate yourself on core health to both help treat and current issues as well as prevent problems in the future.

(There will also be a Cyber Monday sale: Enjoy 20% off your total cart purchase at Fit2B including any eLearning course, fit2b necklace, Tummy Creme, or yearly memberships with code: BF14Fit2B20 !!! Offer expires Friday 12/5 at 11:59 p.m. Offer not valid on pre-bundled products or monthly memberships.offer 20% off everyone in your cart, except monthly memberships)

How To Check For Diastasis Recti

I am an affiliate for both of these programs, but I would recommend and promote them regardless. The results I’ve seen in my own body, plus the convenience of doing these workouts in the comfort of my home is enough for me to recommend them to anyone.

I’ll be renewing my annual membership this weekend.  I hope you will too. Start 2015 by doing something great for your body, and building the strength you need to live the life you want.

A Very Fair Trade Christmas: Use Your Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shopping to Change the World

 

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This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

We all know that the Christmas season is probably the largest spending time of the year, especially in the United States. Traditionally, Black Friday and now Cyber Monday as well have become a major part of that experience.

However, it’s easy to overlook how our Christmas shopping can be a tool to create social and economic change. There are some ethical companies offering great deals this weekend. Even by making just a few ethical or fair trade purchases as you do your holiday shopping allows artisans all over the world to create better lives for themselves and their families.

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The Root Collective

If you haven’t figured it out already, I really love The Root Collective. Founder Bethany Tran has put together a great collection of shoes, scarves, jewelry and more by artisans primarily from Guatemala and Kenya.  You can see the artisan who made each item and learn more about his or her story.

In case you needed yet another reason, the items are gorgeous and unique. Plus I love knowing that the artisans have been paid a fair wage for their work and my limited buying power is a tool toward providing better lives for young women in Kenya or former gang members in La Limonada.

The Root Collective is offering 25% off all items (including those already on sale) through December 2 with the code JOYTOTHEWORLD. But don’t worry, all the artisans have already been paid in full.

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Elegantees

What if you could by unique clothes and provide housing and employment to victims of sex trafficking? You can! Elegantees creates clothing that is stylish and beautiful but also practical and washable. (As a mom, that sounds perfect to me). Their products are produced in New York City and Nepal by victim’s of sex trafficking who are building new lives for themselves.  These amazing women are learning a trade that will allow them to financially support themselves while also being counseling and mentored.

These beautiful tops, dresses and scarves will be 15% off until December 2 with the code THANKS, plus any purchase of $50 or more receives a free gift.

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To The Market

This is basically an online market for products from all over the world. They carry a little bit of everything and you also get the story of each artisan.

“TTM showcases handmade goods made exclusively by proud and passionate artisans who have overcome the perils of abuse, conflict, and disease. By assisting local partners around the world in bringing these goods “to the market,” we take an active role in equipping the survivor’s that they employ with economic independence, while raising awareness of the challenges that they face.”

I don’t think there is a better way to describe this amazing site. If you find the sheer number of goods a bit overwhelming (I know I did at first), check out their holiday gift guide.

You can search by country, item (such as bags, accessories or jewelry) or cause. If you have a passion for victims of HIV/Aids or Human Trafficking, for example, you can search for goods made specifically by those fighting those challenges. Even better, you have the option of consulting a personal stylist to help you choose an item for yourself or a gift for someone else.

So as you field the blitz of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals, don’t overlook the chance to be a more conscious consumer and make a real impact with your purchases.

 

Learning to Ride: A Beginner’s Intro to Ethical Shopping

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Photo courtesy of The Root Collective

As we head into the biggest shopping season of the year, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress and excitement associated with the holidays especially when it comes to our buying habits. It’s not just about how much money we spend, but how we choose to spend it. Today I’m pleased and honored to share a guest post from Brooke Fontoura, blog manager of the Root Collective, about how we can make our buying choices more consciously. (This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support.)

They say you never forget how to ride a bike. Once you’ve learned, it cannot be unlearned.

The same can be said of conscious consumerism. Because once you’ve seen the atrocities that occur daily in many garment factories across the globe, you cannot unsee it. Poor working conditions, low wages, child labor, etc.

It sticks with you.

And that’s a pretty scary thing. Because you’re left feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, and lost. Like a five year old on a bicycle.

But the best thing about learning to ride a bike… is that there are training wheels.

Becoming an ethical shopper isn’t always easy. It takes knowledge, effort, and a whole mess of patience. It takes honesty, persistence, and heart. Like any new challenge, it needs to be met with understanding. It’s easy to say that you are going to completely change your shopping habits overnight, but the reality can become a bit less easy. (This may or may not be from my own experience of picking up and then putting down the same LBD ten times at a fast fashion outlet, my conscious and vanity competing with each other.)

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Photo courtesy of The Root Collective

Below are some (what I hope will be) helpful suggestions and tips for riding through the murky world of shopping. Remember to keep your helmet on and don’t stop peddling.

  • Keep calm and think of why you’re doing this: Be real with yourself. Ask yourself, “Why am I committed to changing my purchasing habits?” Is there a personal story that effected you? What was it about that story that caused you to rethink how you spend your money? Keep that in mind when you shop. Remember why.
  • Do your research: Researching isn’t just for term papers. Like any important change in life, researching is going to be the golden rule in your journey to an ethical closet. Knowing where your goods come from is important. It may seem overwhelming at first, but you’ll be surprised at the amount of resources a simple Google search can yield. And always read your labels. (I suggest this post from The Art of Simple for a handy list of awesome, ethically sourced companies.)
  • Ask questions: Don’t be afraid to raise your hand. Generally speaking, a quality ethical company will be transparent about their supply chain. However, if while researching a company, you find that they may not be as see-through as you’d like – ask! Ask where they source their goods from, how their workers are treated, or anything else you can’t seem to find the answer to.
  • Don’t beat yourself up: Life is tough. Some of us have a flock of kids in the backseat, others are college students with not a lot of spending money, while others are in the somewhere between. Do what you can. Don’t feel awful about yourself if you find that one of your favorite companies may not be on the ethical shopper’s good list. We’ve all made mistakes before and that’s okay. It’s part of the learning process. Instead of buying from that brand, search for an ethical company with similar products. If that search is taking a bit of time, try buying used products from that brand at a local thrift shop while you wait. (There are also awesome online used clothing stores. The Root Collective featured some for our weekly blog series, #FashionFriday.)
  • Take it one step at a time: What do you normally buy most? Scarves? What do you need at the moment? A good pair of shoes? Look for an ethical supplier (like The Root Collective!). After that, incorporate something else – like jewelry, then handbags, etc. When you make one step, you’ll start making more and then it all becomes second nature. (Also, many companies offer more than one fashion category. Your search for ethically sourced leggings can lead you to dresses, skirts, hats, and more!)
  • Sharing is caring: Share your findings with others. Often times, shoppers feel discouraged by what they feel is a lack of options. They simply don’t know that there is another choice out there for them other than what they see in the stores, on T.V., or on a billboard. They may already know of the abuse within the fashion industry, but don’t know what they can do themselves. When you talk about your favorite new ethical fashion brand or wear your new earrings to the office Christmas party, share the story behind your purchase and let everyone know how they can contribute to the change.

 

Taking on a new way of life is frightening stuff and starting an ethical fashion journey is no exception. It’s a big step, a genuine step, one with the opportunity to create real change. It may be a bumpy road but you’ll notice the difference with each turn of the peddle. And, donned in your ethically sourced fashion lovelies, you’ll look pretty great doing it.

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Brooke Fontoura is the blog manager for The Root Collective, an ethical fashion company with a mission for good. She’s a tea drinking, chocolate loving, book reading girl next door who pins more things on Pinterest than she actually makes. A fair trade activist and animal lover, she can usually be found singing silly sings out of tune with her little one. She also has difficulties writing her own bio.

Don’t forget that The Root Collective is offering the coupon code JOYTOTHEWORLD that is valid from Friday to Tuesday for 25% off your purchase! (Don’t worry, all the artisans have been paid in full.)