Fitness Friday: I Broke up with My Step Counter


After having Mila, I started going for walks about a week or two post partum. I love walking. It’s such a great form of movement and a way to get outside with a newborn. I started checking my step counter on my iPhone after 4 weeks postpartum to see how many steps I had taken. Eventually, when I felt recovered enough I started aiming for 10k steps a day. Fast forward, weeks later… I broke up with my step counter.

To be honest, I never even had one that wasn’t on my iPhone, but I actually asked for the vivofit for an anniversary present, then I decided I didn’t want it. My step count was making me obsessed and after a few weeks of that I realized I need to step back and break up from it.

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Over the summer it’s decently easy to get to 10k steps, but I found myself to be thinking too much about having to go for a walk. I didn’t have the “more steps everyday” mentality, but I REALLY wanted to get to 10k steps a day. Then the weather got hotter, I realized I was thinking about steps too much. When can I go for a walk? Could we fit it in after dinner? Is my phone with me so it’s accurate?  How many steps is it to the park?  It’s not like I can take Mila out for a walk when it’s 95 degrees and humid out, so needless to say the steps weren’t happening and I was getting bummed, so I realized enough was enough…I can’t look at it anymore. I also was starting to think about how I would be able to get my 10k steps in, in the winter…which WHO CARES.  I have said before how I didn’t want to go back to my cardio ways and this was heading in that direction. I caught myself quick because I can recognize these thoughts*. I haven’t opened the step count app once since I broke up with it.

*Just want to add, I would do about an hour of cardio a day in my pre-baby days. It’s really not *that* much in the scheme of things, but I know it doesn’t work for my body. It makes me “skinny fat”. You can’t see muscle tone and I don’t even look like I work out. 

Now, obviously I’m NOT saying I don’t go for walks or exercise. I obviously do, BUT it’s not a make or break thing. If I can’t get out for a walk during the day, then oh well. It doesn’t matter. During the warmer months, I really enjoy going for leisurely walks, but for the last 3 weeks with Mila’s nap schedule and the heat it just hasn’t been working. I HAVE to put Mila’s nap and routine first (obviously) because 1. she’s a baby and needs sleep and 2. if she doesn’t nap well, I can’t work! Yes, she would fall asleep on a walk, but if I have work to do, then I need to prioritize that over a walk. When I finish work, if she’ll take another nap and we don’t have anything to do then that’s great and we’ll go for a walk.

Does this mean I sit on my butt all day? No, of course not. I start my day with a workout (which is Body Shred by Jillian Michaels these days….killer…). I try to get out for a short walk daily, but lately that mostly doesn’t happen. I’m hoping to get back to it mostly to just enjoy being outside while it’s warm!

If walking is your primary form of exercise, then I think a step counter is a great tool for you to use to make sure you are moving enough. If you find you’re only doing a few thousand steps a day, try to walk 1k more. Take breaks from work and walk around. Walk around the block. Walk to the mailbox. Do things like that. But if you start to get obsessive and it’s making you crazy or being a negative focus in your day, I encourage you to take a step back!

What are your thoughts? Do you use a step counter to help keep you accountable?

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Fitness Friday: Favorite Moves and Thoughts from Weeks 1 & 2 of #BodyShred

BodyShred is my workout of choice these days. I started after Ripped in 30, 3 weeks ago. It’s 30 minutes, 6 days a week. It kicks my butt every single day.

From amazon: Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED is a high-intensity, holistic resistance and endurance-based 60-Day fitness plan, involving synergistic 3D body dynamics that explore the scope of movement possibilities to maximize athletic performance and metabolic potential in just 30 minutes. Using Jillian’s S.H.R.E.D. Method, you’ll shed fat, define muscle, transform the look of your entire physique, and dramatically enhance your overall health and athletic performance!

If you want to start this, be ready to work for 30 minutes. It’s the same warm up every time (except for cardio days, which have no warm up). The transitions are the fastest I’ve ever experienced. You move from each exercise in almost no time. There is no time to get water either so make sure you’re hydrated. The first few times I did each workout I paused and went back because I missed 2 or 3 moves because it goes so fast.

I just finished dvd’s from BodyShred weeks 1 (Launch) & 2 (Rise) today. Now I’m moving on to weeks 3 (Amplify) & 4 (Escalate) even though techinically it will be my week 4 starting Sunday. I stayed with Launch and Rise for an extra week because I wasn’t feeling strong enough to move on. I’m starting week 3 on Sunday and I have to say I’m a little nervous. I am feeling so much stronger though! I thought it would be fun to share my favorite moves from Body Shred Launch and Rise just so you can see the pain I’m being put through. The moves in these two dvds are not insane, but they are really tough. I’ve heard that once you move on, it gets pretty crazy. In this program there are MEGA SETS, not even super sets that just work the same body parts for 3 moves in a row. Are you sore yet?

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 3.02.50 PM 5 Favorite Fitness Moves from Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED

 

  • Wide Push Ups
  • Donkey Kicks (these are cruel. Especially cruel because you just hammered your arms in the strength circuit with renegade rows before it and then have to stay on arms to get your legs up!)
  • Uneven push ups – I think I love these so much just because it was the first time I’ve done push ups on my toes in months! I still did the wide and chatarunga push ups on my knees.
  • Chair Squat with front raise
  • Hero: get into plank; push back, bending knees until they are a few inches off ground, then push forward back into plank. 
before BodyShred to After week 2

Before BodyShred to After Week 2  (3 months Post Partum)

Thoughts of Weeks 1 & 2: I’m so happy I’m seeing such great results with this program. I really think the majority of the reason is because I’m sticking to it and not doing any extra cardio. I’ll take the girls for a walk a couple times a week, but it’s very leisurely and it’s not long. I’m absolutely in love with the 3-2-1 method of strength, cardio and core/abs….and the fact that this is 30 minutes. I should also note that there are 4 circuits in each workout! It is slightly longer than 30 minutes with warm up and cool down, so figure just under 35 minutes, but then you are DONE. It’s such a comprehensive workout and you really feel that results. I used 5s and 8s for both of these strength workout. By week 2 I was using primarly 8s except for side lunges with serving biceps, those still needs 5s!

To get back to this level of fitness I really have to take care of myself. I have to foam roll, stretch and ice everyday. I have also been going to the chiropractor once a week. My left IT band has a history of getting tight, so I’m very careful to not over do it…and that means lugging the car seat around. I know I’m going to have to preview the next two workouts because I need to learn the moves before I can do it smoothly. I didn’t really do that this time, but I paused a lot the first time I did it to make sure I was going it correctly (and because I felt like I was dying…)

Since I’m starting on a Sunday, I’ll have the time to do that, but as for Monday’s workout I’ll have to make sure I don’t hit snooze on the wake up! This workout series I would say is NOT for someone starting from scratch. I would highly recommend going through Ripped in 30 before you do this. After being confident with level 4 of Ripped in 30, you’ll be ready for this. The moves in bodyshred are high intermediate I would say. There are modifications, but if you need to modify the whole workout, I would say get stronger before you do this.

As for the diet, I’m not following it. I’m trying to just honor my body by eating when I’m hungry and not over eating. I also try to stay balanced and not over do it on sugar. That’s good enough for me. I stay away from processed food most of the time, so that’s good enough for me. I have a hard time with lunches because I don’t really have time to prepare anything…but that’s a post for another day.

I’ll be sure to write more about my experience with BodyShred as the weeks go on!

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*Links to Body Shred in this post are amazon affiliate links and give me a small percentage of your purchase. Thank you for your support! 

Body After Baby #2: Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 Review

When I reached the end of my pregnancy with Mila, I was so ready to 1. have my baby and 2. get back to working out. I made a promise to myself that I would really rest until I was really recovered and that I would focus on getting my strength back through strength training and lay off the cardio…enter Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 .

I started walking about 2 weeks after I gave birth, but they were short walks. After 4 weeks, I was ready to get back to very light weights and I did some barre work. I found a 15 minute lower body barre workout and an upper body Tone It Up workout. I did those two workouts for 3 weeks, a total of 2 times each per week.

At 7 weeks postpartum I started Ripped in 30. I didn’t take before pictures, which I kind of wish I did now, but I just wasn’t into it. The weight didn’t come off as quick as it did with Liv, but it wasn’t bad. (I still have probably 5 pounds to go, but those are always the hardest to lose!)  The thing I found most annoying is that my shorts didn’t fit (obviously!) and I was limited in what I had to wear. It wasn’t a “I care about my weight and how I look thing”, it was a “I’m over wearing this one pair of shorts” thing. Luckily, elastic shorts are in this year and I grabbed a few pairs from JCrew.

Ripped in 30 is an amazing workout program. For $8.96 on Amazon it includes 4 workouts, each one harder than the next. I keep recommending this to friends and I have 5 friends that are doing it now. The reason why this is so, so great is that it’s 30 minutes. 30 minutes! That’s it. And frankly, that’s all I have time for.

Half Way Through Ripped in 30

Half Way Through Ripped in 30

Each workout consists of 3 rounds of her 3-2-1 system. 3 minutes strength, 2 cardio, 1 abs/core. All the moves work different parts of your body at the same time. They’re combo moves, so they really make you work. You won’t be stopping for the entire 30 minutes, so make sure you’re ready to work! I should add, that I was really starting from beginner level. There is a modifier in every workout and if you need to modify even more, just do the reps slower. I will admit to hitting pause a few times to take a break.

Some examples of the moves are: Strength: push ups, squats with push press, crescent pose with tricep kickbacks, dead lift with upright row, chair pose with reverse fly. Cardio: fast feet, butt kicks, leg hops, burpees, plank jacks and mountain climbers. Abs: Lots of variations of planks and crunches!

After workout 3 ripped in 30

After workout 3: Ripped in 30

I spent about 2 weeks on each workout and did it every other day. Jillian suggests on the DVD doing it 5-6 days a week, but that was too much for me. I ended up going for a walk, or doing her short cardio dvd from BodyShred on the opposite days (unless it was a rest day).

I decided to focus on strength training because I wanted to lose fat. When I do a lot of cardio, which is my default, I don’t tone up as quickly. PLUS, I have less time than before with two kids, so I don’t have time to run 4-5 miles, 3x a week. Now my schedule is get up at 5:00, fit in a workout and try to take the kids for a walk if weather permits.

Ripped in 30 is perfect for this. You get your strength, cardio and core in…and done. Up, workout, shower and done by 6:00. In my past life, I was a cardio queen and I’m fighting those tendencies.  Sometimes I still feel like the more cardio the better, but it’s NOT true at all. I’m working on getting fit again in 30 minutes a day and I’m already seeing big changes, no treadmill involved. The only “cardio” I’m doing is part of the program and then regular walking. No treadmill, no cardio machines, nothing. Even still, my walk is about 20-30 minutes and it’s LEISURELY.

 

Post Ripped in 30

Post Ripped in 30

Body After Baby #2: Post Ripped in 30

I would love to hear your thoughts if you have done Ripped in 30. Anyone have any other 30 minute workout program you are doing? I started BodyShred last week and I’m loving it even more than Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 . Somehow it’s even more intense. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on Body Shred throughout the program.

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*Note: the links in this post are Amazon Affiliate links. I will recieve a small percentage of your purchase. Thank you for your support of my blog! 

Running: Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. As always, the opinions expressed here are completely my own.

Fitness has taken a back seat on my blog for a longgggg time, but it hasn’t taken one in my life. I still am active and run 3 times a week. Although I’m a recreational runner and I don’t have goals or races on the calender, I still love getting out there a few times a week for a run, especially while being pregnant. Running makes me feel like me, no matter how fast or slow I am. I love taking Liv out with the jogging stroller because she loves exploring and counting buses, dogs, trucks, cars, etc. IMG_3180

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to review the Wave Rider 18’s by Mizuno. I’ve been wearing Mizunos for a couple of years now, so I was excited to be able to try out a new model and shoe from them.  It’s a neutral shoe, which Mizuno says works for a variety of neutral runners with just enough support.

Mizuno wants you to feel positive energy in every step of these sneakers. I have to admit I was a little nervous to try out a different shoe, since I’ve been running in the sayonara’s for a long time. I’m on the my third pair of them. I’ve run in the Wave Rider’s for about three weeks now and I really like them. They fit perfectly and are really comfortable.  So far I’ve worn them for walks and runs ranging from 3-5 miles.  They were very easy to break in and I had no trouble just getting out and running in them.

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The Wave Rider’s have a great balance of fit and performance, while being lightweight (7.8 oz!). Mizuno’s Wave Techonology makes the shoe deliver with maximum responsiveness and a perfect amount of support for your run. Mizuno improved the underfoot feel on this version and the outsole pattern gives the shoe added durability.

The Wave Rider 18’s have three different types of Mizuno technology:  U41c midsole, which has optimal shock absorbtion and gives a superior ride. Dynamotion Fit relieves the stress the foot places on footwear and lastly, Mizuno Wave Technology provides runners with a stable ride from landing to toe off.

I absolutely recommend these sneakers. They’re comfortable, lightweight, supportive and nice to look at too. Thanks to Mizuno for giving me a chance to try out a new model of sneakers. I’ll be buying another pair after these are worn down!