wellness by little

Lessons Learned at 13,310 Feet

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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. 

6 Minute Tabata Workout

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
Repeat 6x

📷: @materas

WBL Mom's Group Training Success Stories!

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! 

Client Success Story featuring Kristi R

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 nutritionist 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?
Short -
Lose 10lbs
3 formal workouts weekly
7-8 hours sleep at least 5 nights per week

Long - 
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? 
Favorite - 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...

 

Workout Wednesday: Create Your Own Gym. Use Your Own Body.

Ellyn in Eastern Washington. Photo Credit: Stephen Matera 

Ellyn in Eastern Washington. Photo Credit: Stephen Matera 

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. 

Client Success Story: Linda from Capitol Hill

Linda joined Wellness By Little in January 2015 looking to increase her overall strength and to improve her balance and posture. On day one, we did baseline testing together and her numbers were as follows: Push Ups: 6 Plank: 1:25  Wall Sit: 1:25    With many months of dedicated training and pushing to the places Linda did not think were possible she increased muscular strength in her upper body, core and lower body.  On 7/9/15 we re-did Linda's baseline testing and her results were impressive: Push ups: 17 Plank: 1:53 Wall Sit: 2:40  The numbers speak for themselves and Linda reports to feel increased muscular endurance specifically in her yoga practice. She's able to hold positions longer and her stamina throughout classes have improved. 

Linda joined Wellness By Little in January 2015 looking to increase her overall strength and to improve her balance and posture. On day one, we did baseline testing together and her numbers were as follows:
Push Ups: 6
Plank: 1:25
Wall Sit: 1:25  

With many months of dedicated training and pushing to the places Linda did not think were possible she increased muscular strength in her upper body, core and lower body.

On 7/9/15 we re-did Linda's baseline testing and her results were impressive:
Push ups: 17
Plank: 1:53
Wall Sit: 2:40

The numbers speak for themselves and Linda reports to feel increased muscular endurance specifically in her yoga practice. She's able to hold positions longer and her stamina throughout classes have improved.