Wellness By Little means making those daily choices that we don’t get much praise for. The daily choices we make that seem boring. But these seemingly small, insignificant choices DO matter. When it comes to our health and well being it might look like denying our desire to oversleep and instead waking up for that early morning workout or when we reach for an apple instead of the chocolate chip cookie (or three... let’s be honest.) To me, this is a beautiful obedience. I fail often at being disciplined but there can be satisfaction, growth and transformation found we lean into the difficulty of stewarding our health and well being better.
It was when we turned the corner and the wind started blowing 60mph. Little BB sized ice pellets picked up off the surface of the hard packed snow and whipped into the small area where our faces were bare. It was like a million bee stings hitting our cheeks all at once. 60mph was the max wind speed before our guide would turn us around regardless of how close the summit was. He walkie talkied down to Paradise and the rangers reported back that the wind was not supposed to increase and it was safe to move forward. It was in that moment and for the first time in my life I really felt like I could die. I questioned everything. “Am I strong enough for this? “Do they know how dangerous this is?” “What the heck did I just sign up for?” “Do I trust my rope team?” “Do I even trust myself?” We were just 1,000 feet shy of the summit and decided to push on.
In life we make decisions and take risks every single day. I strongly believe that if my life isn’t costing me something than I need to check my heart. Life is full of surprises, the unexpected, the wild. I’ve found rest in the fact that we were made for this wild. A life well lived is not achieved through the pursuit of comfort and happiness - of course we experience those things as humans but it is in the beautiful moments and the suffering that we are the most profoundly shaped.
It's that time a year again. Summer is over and it's time to start sippin' our PSL's and binge watching Stranger Things but not without showing a little love to our booty's.
Challenge start Oct 1 and ends on Halloween. We're throwing in some curveballs into this years challenge so prepare for more than just squats! This challenge is perfect for anyone wanting to building strength and stamina in their legs (shoutout to all the snow bunnies) and is suitable for all fitness levels. Each day there is a designated number of squats to be performed and you can do them all at once or break them into mini circuits throughout the day - do what works best for you.
Show us those beautiful squats by tagging us @wellnessbylittle and sharing your progress with the community using #WBLdoesabootygood.
MODIFICATIONS: If you have a lower back, knee, ankle or hip issue modify the squat hop with a regular squat, no hop. If you are healthy and good to go - no dogging it, hops for days!
Reminders for Wall Sits: Lower down so hips are parallel to knees, tuck your tailbone so you're able to glue your low back to the wall. Weight in heels and BREATHE!!!!!! Those legs are going to want oxygen during these wall sits and the only way they'll get it is if you take deep inhales and exhales.
Oct 1: 20 squat hops + hold a wall sit for as long as you can.
Be sure to time yourself. This is your baseline number. We will repeat this at the end of October.
Oct 2: 30 squat hops
Oct 3: 40 squat hops
Oct 4: 50 squat hops
Oct 5: 50 squat hops + a 2 minute wall sit
Oct 6: 50 squat hops
Oct 7: 50 squat hops + a 1 minute isometric squat hold (you can perform a sumo/plea squat if you prefer!)
Oct 8: 50 squat hops
Oct 9: 60 squat hops
Oct 10: 60 squat hops + a 2 minute wall sit
Oct 11: 60 squat hops
Oct 12: 60 squat hops + a 1 minute isometric squat hold (you can perform a sumo/plea squat if you prefer!)
Oct 13: 60 squat hops
Oct 14: 65 squat hops
Oct 15: 70 squat hops
Oct 16: 72 squat hops
Oct 17: 74 squat hops
Oct 18: 76 squat hops
Oct 19: 78 squat hops
Oct 20: 80 squat hops
Oct 21: 80 squat hops + a 2 minute wall sit
Oct 22: 80 squat hops
Oct 23: 80 squat hops + a 1 minute isometric squat hold (you can perform a sumo/plea squat if you prefer!)
Oct 24: 90 squat hops
Oct 25: 100 squat hops
Oct 26: 120 squat hops
Oct 27: 140 squat hops
Oct 28: 160 squat hops
Oct 29: 180 squat hops
Oct 30: 200 squat hops
Oct 31: Retest your wall sit time by holding as long as you can again. Share your success @wellnessbylittle!
Congrats, you made it! Whoo hoo!
It's time to start mentally prepping for the #WBL31daypushupchallenge! Join us May 1st-31st as we build muscle and endurance using our upper bodies!
Plus we're doing a GIVEAWAY to @athleta for $50 to the person with the most check ins using hashtag #WBL31daypushupchallenge. Share your progress or the struggle is real face and let's lift each other up (not during the actual push up part though 😆) for the next 31 days. @wellnessbylittle clients, friends & family are all welcome to join in!
Good luck and get ready to seriously improve your push up game in just 31 days. Starts Monday!
Here are the daily deets:
May 1 Knock out as many push ups as you can at once keeping a consistent pace. No resting between reps. (this is your baseline number).
May 2 12 push ups
May 3 15 push ups
May 4 18 push ups
May 5 20 push ups
May 6 20 push ups
May 7 25 push ups
May 8 25 push ups
May 9 25 push ups
May 10 30 push ups
May 11 30 push ups
May 12 30 push ups
May 13 35 push ups
May 14 35 push ups
May 15 35 push ups
May 16 60 push ups
May 17 40 push ups
May 18 40 push ups
May 19 40 push ups
May 20 45 push ups
May 21 45 push ups
May 22 45 push ups
May 23 50 push ups
May 24 50 push ups
May 25 50 push ups
May 26 60 push ups
May 27 70 push ups
May 28 80 push ups
May 29 90 push ups
May 30 100 push ups
May 31 Just like day 1 knock out as many push ups as you can at once keeping a consistent pace. What's your new baseline?!
To answer this question objectively right off the bat, I think it depends on the person. There's an interesting podcast I listened to by Freakonomics on "What's The Best Kind Of Exercise?" In the podcast, they brought up gym memberships and how most people who become a member of a gym overestimate the amount they'll actually use the facility by 70% and this got me wondering... why? For myself and I know a lot of my clients, working out is more enjoyable when it's fun, different, safe, results driven and when you leave the workout feeling like you got your money's worth.
I asked a few of my clients why they hired me and here are the top 5 reasons:
1.) To be pushed harder then I would push on my own. (They say that now!!)
2.) To feel encouraged, motivated and to have fun during the session and throughout the week.
4.) To learn how to move safely and have that second set of eyes watching form and biomechanics.
5.) To have an intentional, focused hour with no distractions.
For the sake of not wanting to write a novel, I only want to dive into the last reason further. Have you ever gone to the gym or set out to do a workout anywhere for that matter and not made good use of your time? I know I have and I've seen it happen a lot at gyms. We get to talking to people, we rest for too long between sets, we take way too long to find the perfect Pandora station or God forbid we're busy taking locker room selfies ;). If you're like most busy Americans then efficiency is probably important to you. By hiring a trainer you are devoting a solid hour to working out your body in a safe, effective, transformative way. A good trainer will design a workout to meet the clients needs that day while still being an efficient use of time and focused in a way that will allow clients to reach their goals.
If you're thinking of hiring a trainer - do it! If financially its difficult to justify one-on-one training consider small group training as a way to bring the price down and still get that focused hour with people you enjoy spending time with. Did you know that 80% of American's claim to not meet American College of Sports Medicine's guidelines of exercising for 30 minutes a day/5 days a week? My encouragement to folks is to simply start. Do one thing differently this week than you did last week. Moving daily (even a walk!) improves quality of life and adds years to your life. And of course if you slip up that doesn't mean you have to give up. We all have our hard days. Have grace with yourself. Pick yourself up and keep going!
If you'd like more information on training availability with Wellness By Little click here to contact us!
Who doesn't love TABATA? Just kidding. If you've done a tabata style workout you probably know how brutal it can be but it's also a really efficient way to get the heart pumping and fatigue specific muscle groups. Try this out as a quick solo workout or to build into a larger circuit. Tag a friend who would do this with you!
Jump rope (mad props if you can do double unders all the way through this) 20 seconds on
10 seconds rest
Push ups 20 seconds on
10 second rest
What was your main reason(s) for joining a small women's group training program?
Ellie: After Eva was born, I found it really difficult to get back into a workout routine. I would start a class or video at home with the intention of continuing week to week, but it was very easy to make excuses and not stick to it. When the opportunity to join this group came along, I knew I needed to do it. When you work out with friends, it is a lot harder to make the excuse that you are "just too tired" because they are there to encourage you to show up anyway. Having the support of a group to hold you accountable was essential for me.
What challenges were you faced with when you started this group?
Ellie: Showing up every week was one of my main challenges. It is so difficult with a baby (and now toddler) to work around her ever changing schedule. However, the fact that we can train with our babies in tow and be so flexible about adjusting our training time is such a huge help! My other main challenge was just getting active again and back into shape. Eva was 3 months old when we started training and I hadn't really worked out at all the last 6 months of pregnancy, so I found myself 25 lbs heavier and very out of shape. While I'm still dealing with this challenge today because I'm not quite where I want to be, I certainly feel stronger than I did last year!
What kept you from keeping a regular exercise routine in the past and how have you benefited from training?
Emma: In the past clinical depression has kept me from having the motivation to work out. Having a set meeting time outside in the sun or at my house with other people means I can't talk myself out of it as easily. Even when I'm not having problems with motivation, working out with a trainer makes me push myself harder than I do with a recorded workout (plus laughs and good company!)
What has been the best part about training in a small women's group?
Desirae: It's been great being able to bring Ivan (my baby) to this who also have babies the same age. It's not just a workout but almost like a support group in a way of people that are going through similar things and all trying to feel better about ourselves physically and mentally.
What keeps you coming back month after month?
Desirae: The days we do our workouts are the best of my week. I feel so so good after working out with Mary, sadly finding the time outside of our workouts hasn't been as easier. But I know that every week on Tuesday I get a kick ass workout in and that helps me get through the week.
What are your health goal(s) and intentions for the future and what will you have to give up in order to achieve these goals?
Kathy: My goals and intentions for the future are to continue on a path to put healthy living first - not just for me and my family. This is really important to me, now that I am a wife and mother. We have cut our a lot of junk from our diet (like sodas and sugary snacks) and increased the amount of fruits and veggies we eat. I have also tried to do at least 1 or 2 meatless meal days per week. But I believe everything should be in moderation, so we aren't being extreme with it.
If you could give someone (who's recently had a child) encouragement for starting a program what would tell them?
Kathy: I would really encourage new moms to get motivated to start! It sounds daunting and exhausting when you aren't getting enough sleep and are adjusting to your new life, but getting your butt up and kicked does wonders for your mood and energy. Plus, I loved being able to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes! I would also highly recommend doing a program as a group. It helps with accountability, but more importantly, it's so much fun! And having a trainer who knows you and your body really helps - so thankful to you, Mary, for accommodating and catering workouts to the needs of new moms.
What's been something that has kept you motivated week to week?
Kathy: I love seeing our little group during our weekly workouts. I especially love that my daughter can see her baby buddies every week. Being with other new moms has been such a blessing. We push and cheer each other on, and we commiserate and celebrate the little victories together - like getting through a tough workout or a baby milestone.
Desirae: The way I feel after the workouts keeps me coming back week after week!
This client success story goes out to Rita in Seattle. I remember the day Rita called to inquire about training. One of the first things she said was "I need to start a training program but I really dislike exercising." Rita is bold, honest and real and I appreciated that about her right away. I laughed on the inside and thought "alright I'm going to have my work cut out for me with this one!" Rita has always said she values her health and her story, I hope, empowers and encourages other people to get moving regularly because the benefits really can be life changing!
Here's some of her story:
1) What got you interested in starting an in home training program?
Last year, at the age of 60, I was told by my doctor that I had entered into the early stages of osteoporosis. One of the things that he recommend was strength training exercise. The time then came for me to seriously consider my exercise regimen and include strength training in a consistent and regular fashion.
I've never enjoyed strenuous exercise and I always avoided it. However, I am disciplined and respect commitment. I knew that the only solution was to have someone come to my house and have a date and time firmly set into my weekly schedule so that it would be less likely for me to cancel.
It was also important to me to optimize the benefits of correctly performed exercises while working out and you only get this on a one-on-one basis. My body has responded well to strength training movements and having a second set of eyes watching me has been critical for injury prevention.
2) Why is exercise important to you?
I am committed to a healthy living. It feels good to feel fit.
3) What keeps you going with maintaining a workout routine? Where do you get your motivation from?
First, seeing positive results gives me encouragement to stick with it. Secondly, to have a personal trainer that you connect with, who understands your goals and who keeps you focused on achieving them is paramount. I found this in Mary. She keeps me on track without being overbearing. Her professionalism and grace in dealing, in particularly, with my sometimes unenthusiastic responses, has been key in my keeping up with it. Mary has a lovely personality which combines thoughtfulness and firmness. Because I exercise out of necessity rather than choice, she keeps me determined by giving me feedback about my progress and making sure that I experience my best. Her meaningful observations and comments about relevant topics that both of us are interested in also creates an engaging atmosphere during our sessions.
4) How long have you been training and share some of your major successes?
I have been training once a week for 14 months (since August 2015). At that time, I also started my calcium supplement regimen and combined it with strength exercise alongside with a 45 minute walk nearly daily and yoga to see if I could reverse my early stage of osteoporosis. I was thrilled to go for a bone density 10 months later and I no longer had osteoporosis. I was back to osteopenia stage. The bone density technician, who has been following me for a number of years, was impressed and said that my improvement was statistically significant. My primary care physician was also impressed that I achieved this improvement naturally without the use of pharmaceuticals, and together with his recommended strength training.
5) What are your short and long term goals?
My immediate goal is to continue with the same program of strength exercise and calcium supplementation to reverse the osteopenia to normal bone density. After that, I will continue with my exercise routine for fun and for injury prevention but also to encourage those around me that you can achieve what you want if you put your mind to it and choose the right means (professionals) to assist you. Perseverance is a feature to acquire and inspire!
What better way to lead up to Thanksgiving than a beautiful wall sit challenge :)
The rules are the same as the plank challenge we did last month. You do not have to complete the full time in one sitting. You can break the timing up into circuits if needed but the full time listed below for each day must be completed by the end of that day. Good luck to everyone participating!
Alignment & Posture Considerations:
Sit to 90 degrees
Knees don't come over toes
Weight in your heels
Knees track in line with toes
Low back firmly presses into wall by tucking the tailbone under (posteriorly tilt the pelvis)
Nov 1 30 seconds
Nov 2 45 seconds
Nov 3 1:00 min
Nov 4 1:15 min
Nov 5 1:30 min
Nov 6 1:45 min
Nov 7 2:00 min
Nov 8 2:15 min
Nov 9 2:30 min
Nov 10 2:45 min
Nov 11 3:00 min
Nov 12 3:15 min
Nov 13 3:30 min
Nov 14 3:45 min
Nov 15 4:00 min
Nov 16 4:15 min
Nov 17 4:30 min
Nov 18 4:45 min
Nov 19 5:00 min
Nov 20 5:15 min
Nov 21 5:30 min
Nov 22 5:45 min
Nov 23 6:00 min
Nov 24 8:00 min
The time is almost here for our highly anticipated plank challenge! The challenge will run from Oct 1-31st. The rules are: you have to complete the amount of time within the day - doesn't have to be all at once but I would encourage you to push to fatigue every day.
*Notice that last 5 days of the challenge are all 5:00 minutes. Wanted to give you 5 opportunities to to go as long as you can after a whole month of building your core strength.
I'm excited for this one! Spread the word to your friends and family and get them in on it too!
Oct 1 30 seconds
Oct 2 45 seconds
Oct 3 45 seconds
Oct 4 1:00 minute
Oct 5 1:00 minute
Oct 6 1:15 minutes
Oct 7 1:15 minutes
Oct 8 1:30 minutes
Oct 9 1:30 minutes
Oct 10 1:45
Oct 11 1:45
Oct 12 2:00
Oct 13 2:15
Oct 14 2:30
Oct 15 2:45
Oct 16 3:00
Oct 17 3:00
Oct 18 3:15
Oct 19 3:15
Oct 20 3:30
Oct 21 3:45
Oct 22 4:00
Oct 23 4:15
Oct 24 4:15
Oct 25 4:30
Oct 26 4:45
Oct 27 5:00
Oct 28 5:00
Oct 29 5:00
Oct 30 5:00
Oct 31 5:00
Repeat this circuit three times through!
Meet Kristi, a client of Wellness By Little for over 2 years. Kristi came to training with a clear vision, a hilarious sense of humor and accomplished her goals day by day with the help of a nutrionist and regular weekly training appointments. Hear more of her story:
Why did you decide to start a training program?
A few years ago, I experienced a short period of extreme back pain. I went to the doctor, weighed in at my all time high and for the first time, my blood pressure was quite high. So I had to get a grip on things. My husband and I joined the WAC, started nutritional counseling, and I signed up for personal training twice a week. That's how I met Mary!
What are your short (3 months) and long (6 months to a year) goals?
3 formal workouts weekly
7-8 hours sleep at least 5 nights per week
Maintain weight loss and lose another 5lbs
Maintain my exercise and sleep routine.
Not training for the Olympics, just want to be walking and healthy when I am 80!
What success(es) have you had since starting training?
Initially, I lost 20 lbs and many inches. And my BP returned to normal without medication. Yeah for me! But recently, I have been less diligent with my diet and exercise so I have regained 10lbs. It's a life long process, that's for sure. But despite that, I am in much better physical condition than when I started, both aerobically and muscularly. I just did a 10 mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail with no problem, and not even sore afterward.
What's your most favorite and least favorite exercise?
Anything that stretches my obliques; feels so good!
Not so Favorite -
Those Planks are just my personal earthquake! And I call the Stability Ball, the Instability Ball!
If you could give one piece of advice for someone contemplating starting a program what would it be?
Cut yourself some slack and take it one step at a time. Working with Mary is such a pleasure! The time will fly by and you will hardly know you are working hard. Well, except for the planking...
A Little Background on April's History.
I am 51 and have lead a pretty active lifestyle around my work schedule. I mostly hike and ski on the weekends. I have always been on a healthy nutritional path. I had a wake board injury occur in August 2015 that actually pulled my entire hamstring off the pelvic bone called Avulsion. This required surgery followed by crutches and brace for 6 weeks, total non weight bearing. I began PT in week 2 of that period, twice a week.
What got you Interested in Starting an In-Home Training Program?
I began a home training program in January because I wanted a more aggressive work out to reach my personal goals faster. My short term goal was to build back the muscles in my leg from atrophy and be as strong on that side of my body as the other. I also wanted to stretch out my back and the side of my body that had been compensating for the length of my recovery. In home training makes my life easier as I don't have to hassle with gyms and it saves me a ton of time!
Tell us About Your Successes so Far.
My long term goal was to ski in Spring. This injury takes anywhere from 6 months to 3 years to recover from, so I knew this was an aggressive goal, but possible with the will and dedication I was willing to put into it. I started training with Mary Little in January to help me with a plan and to stay on track. I also knew I would need the motivation along with her guidance. She was recommended by a friend. I was with her just twice a week and saw results already in week 2! The biggest success has been the strength I've gained in my core, and arms along with the injured leg to have overall body strength to ski. She gave me "homework" cardio to go along with this to build endurance, which I did on the days I didn't see her,or in addition to, once I felt strong enough.
My success story is that I skied 5 months and 3 weeks after my surgery! Although I only made it 4 runs that first day, my goal was just to be able to complete 1. Since then, I have been skiing 8 more times, and feel stronger than I ever have. Thank you Wellness by Little!! I couldn't have done it with out you!
There is much evidence to show that sitting for 8+ hours a day has negative effects on the body, posture and mental health. It is so important to get up and move ONCE every hour. Below are 3 exercises that help promote good posture, get blood flowing throughout the body to help rejuvinate the mind and circulatory system. By performing these exercises once every hour, you can improve posture and productivity at work.
From a seated position, bring hands behind head and rotate left and right while keeping spine and torso long. The more you can rotate, the better. Be sure to engage the core while performing this exercise. Rotate 10 times to the left and 10 times to the right.
From a seated position, bring arms out to 90 degrees, palms facing forward. From here, without arching the back press arms up towards the ceiling while keeping the core engaged. Repeat 20 times.
From a plank position, hands in line with shoulders bring one knee at a time up towards the elbow. Repeat 20 times per leg.
Modification: If wrists are bothersome or this version is too difficult you can perform mountian climbers on a seat or bench and come down to your forearms.
When you're crunched for time and don't want to miss out on a workout, do this routine ANYWHERE to tone arms, legs, back and core. This workout requires no equipment!
20 Reverse Lunges/leg (shown in picture)
20 Mountain Climbers/leg
20 Squat Hops
20 Slow Bicycles
Repeat 3 times
Pushups- Use knees if needed.
Reverse Lunges- If you have knee pain, bend back knee less than front knee (shown in picture).
Mountain Climbers- If you have wrist issues, perform mountain climbers on a bench/chair on forearms .
Squat Hops- Again, if knees are bothersome, take the hop out of the squat.
Going to the gym doesn't have to mean you need to master the newest machines or lift free weights. Sometimes the only thing you need is you. If your primary goal is to lose weight or get strong, keep it simple by utilizing your own body weight to work out.
There are hundreds of ways to challenge all systems of the body through body weight exercise. For example, the circulatory system is stimulated through longer duration, moderate intensity exercises such as running, jumping jacks, power skipping or even just jumping up and down or side to side.
The muscular system, meanwhile, can be targeted through strength exercises such as planks, push ups, lunges and squats. Each of these targets specific muscles to improve strength.
Another benefit of body weight exercises is their inclusion of balancing components. When using machines, the body doesn't need to balance any weight because it can only push or pull the weight via the cable. Because the cable guides the movement, most of the balancing action is eliminated.
For example, let's look at the differences between doing a leg press on a machine versus doing a standing squat. The machine is set up for a "generic human," and a cable guides the resistance, thus eliminating any balancing possibility. With a squat, however, you're in control of how the weight is distributed by having proper form from your feet all the way up to the crown of your head. You're forced to balance your own body weight. The same principal holds true when comparing machines to free weights, as free weights still challenge the body to balance.
There are many ways to progress any body weight movement, such as increasing the number of sets and/or reps. You can also shorten your break time, lengthen the duration of the exercise or add supplemental weight when appropriate.
This routine can be done in your home by simply using your own body weight. NO EQUIPMENT NEEDED!
Side plank push ups x 15
Reverse Lunge with Step up x 15/leg
Mountain Climbers 1:00 minute
15 Burpees (using step as modification if needed)
20 Squat hops (take out hop as modification)
Jog for 2:00 minutes @ moderate pace
When was the last time you jump roped? It's cheap, portable and strengthens upper and lower body while also requiring some serious cardiovascular endurance.
If you're new to jump roping or trying for the first time in a while try this workout:
50 jumps>15 sec rest and repeat 5 times.
If you're wanting more of a challenge try this:
100 jumps>15 sec rest and repeat 5 times
If you're familiar with double unders this is the ultimate jump roping challenge:
10 double unders, rest
20 double unders, rest
30 double unders, rest
40 double unders, rest
50 double unders, rest
60 double unders, rest
50 double unders, rest
40 double unders, rest
30 double unders, rest
20 double unders, rest
10 double unders, DONE!
The rule is this: once you've completed 10, move onto 20. If you fail to complete 10, you have to start over again. For example: If you make it 59 but not 60, you must start at 50 again.
Stairs are a great way to get a quick, yet intense workout in your day. Try these moves to get your legs and glutes stronger:
Find a set of stars that has 20 to 50 steps.
1. Up and down once, single step on each stair
2. Up with two steps on each stair, single step down
3. Up sideways (right leg leading), single step down
4. Up sideways (left leg leading), single step down
5. Up skipping one step, single step down
Repeat five times.