Exercise – This Mama Cooks! On a Diet™ https://www.thismamacooks.com Healthy recipes & lifestyle tips for busy moms & their families Wed, 28 Jun 2017 01:17:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 https://cdn.thismamacooks.com/images/2016/05/cropped-very-large-TMC-badge-512-3-32x32.jpg Exercise – This Mama Cooks! On a Diet™ https://www.thismamacooks.com 32 32 Get a FREE health & fitness newsletter by email! https://www.thismamacooks.com/2016/08/free-health-fitness-newsletter.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2016/08/free-health-fitness-newsletter.html#respond Thu, 11 Aug 2016 03:31:30 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=16954 Get a free health & fitness newsletter from ArcaMax. Click to learn how!

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Celebrate National Yoga Month with Athleta #AthletaEmbrace https://www.thismamacooks.com/2012/09/celebrate-national-yoga-month-athleta-athletaembrace.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2012/09/celebrate-national-yoga-month-athleta-athletaembrace.html#comments Wed, 05 Sep 2012 11:01:00 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=6230 National Yoga Month

Athleta is celebrating National Yoga Month this September by inspiring women of all ages and all fitness levels to initiate, enhance or advance their yoga practice! This includes:

Plus Athleta has posted resources for yoga newbies and online yoga tutorials for runners, swimmers, and cyclists on their website. Check it out!

Embrace the Yoga Challenge Instagram Contest

During National Yoga Month, Athleta wants to help you embrace new challenges on the yoga mat with an Instagram contest. All you need to do is check out Athleta’s Embrace Yoga Tutorials and submit an Instagram photo of you completing one of the poses for a chance to WIN a $200 Athleta Giftcard and Satya Jewelry!


Here’s how:

Step 1: Roll out your mat and follow the Embrace Yoga tutorials. These tutorials will help you build strength and perfect your form so you can embrace some of the challenging asanas featured in our catalogs. Once you’re ready, put on your favorite Athleta yoga outfit and strike your favorite pose (pun intended) from one of the tutorials!

Step 2: Follow @Athleta and @SatyaJewelry on Instagram

Step 3: Take a photo of you completing one of the poses from the Embrace Yoga tutorials pictured above.

Step 4: Use the #AthletaEmbrace hashtag, mention @Athleta and upload your photo to Instagram.

Step 5 (optional): Share your #AthletaEmbrace Instagram photo with friends on Twitter, Facebook, your blog, etc. (Our panel of judges might be extra impressed if your entry has a lot of likes and comments.)

One entry per person. Entries must be submitted by 5:00 PM Pacific time on Sunday, September 30th. The Winner will be announced on the Chi Blog on or before October 12th.

Disclosure: Thanks to Athleta for sponsoring this post.

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How to use mobile apps to get fit https://www.thismamacooks.com/2012/07/how-to-use-mobile-apps-to-get-fit.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2012/07/how-to-use-mobile-apps-to-get-fit.html#respond Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:55:58 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=5949 bikingSatnav for cars is an established idea – we’ve all heard about the drivers who forgo the printed map and instead decide that their GPS device must be telling the truth, even though it appears to be taking them up a cliff-top bridleway. But some unfortunate episodes aside, the technology is great; although they are still not an inexpensive option, being able to see exactly where you are, in real time, is an extremely clever and useful trick of modern communications.

However, the benefits for tracking exactly where you are in the world don’t have to be limited to the car. If you carry around a smartphone, then you have the potential to turn your own comings and goings into a treasure trove of information about your movements – something that I’ve really incorporated into my passion for cycling. They are particularly useful for mountain bikers like me, who tend to get off the beaten track.

By using GPS fitness apps, you can track exactly where you’ve been. But what they also tell you is detailed information about how far you went, the speed you managed and what kind of vertical distance you travelled. From this, apps can extrapolate information about the amount of energy used and calories burned, giving you a real spur to stay in the saddle. And of course, anything that can be used for cycling can also be used for running or walking – though the numbers are likely to be slightly less exciting.

So what are some of the best available – and what can they really offer you? Here are some I’ve tried…

Cyclemeter – The beauty of Cyclemeter is that it keeps the experience of using a GPS app really simple. While some apps have you exporting files you have recorded on your phone, then uploading them to a website, Cyclemeter exists entirely on your iPhone, without needing to go to your laptop to unlock the full range of features. That said, if you want to share your achievements with your social network, then of course there’s the usual Twitter and Facebook integration.

As with many of these apps, the GPS functionality allows you to record and log your rides. On Cyclemeter, however, these are saved for posterity right on your phone – rather than online – meaning your data is right at your fingertips wherever you are. It features an in-depth calendar function, so you can keep track of your exertions by day, week, month, or year – and I can vouch for the fact that it’s really satisfying to watch those numbers add up to something special.

Runkeeper – Available for both iPhone and Android systems, Runkeeper is one of the most popular GPS apps. Don’t be put off by the name: I know many people who use this for cycling into the back of beyond.

Cyclemeter, though, makes it easier to compare what you’ve done with your friends. By joining a virtual team, you can follow where they are riding and what they are doing; great for keeping tabs on who’s putting the time in, and for motivating yourself to get out.

Strava-ing for the top

Strava takes this more socially-focused component of the app and adds a gamification element. In addition to logging your progress for yourself, or even letting you compare your progress with your circle of friends, Strava uploads your times to a public online leaderboard (if you choose to put yourself in this sometimes very competitive forum). This means that you can see exactly how you match up to sometimes hundreds of other riders.

It does this by tracking your speed over ‘segments’ – sections of on- or off-road tracks which can be just a few meters, or many miles, long. Using an app automatically captures your speed and time when you pass through one of these segments, effectively meaning you run numerous virtual races during a ride.

This has been a revelation for me – I’ve never had a particular desire to race on my bike, but this allows you to get competitive in your own time. Once you get home and look at your data for the ride, you can compare your time to that of others.

You can even create your own if you find somewhere interesting. And if you get to the top of a leaderboard, there’s always someone coming along to try and knock you off your perch – which can be infuriating and exciting in equal measures – so there’s always an incentive to improve.

While the suite of functions you get with these free apps is fairly extensive – often including graphs, split times, voice announcements (a little unnerving the first time you hear this…) – to experience the full potential you need to purchase the paid-for version, or sometimes a monthly or yearly subscription to the service, as with Strava.

And to get the greatest accuracy for your fitness, you might even like to invest in a specific GPS device, such as a Garmin. These triangulate your position from satellites, rather than the telephone communications towers that smartphones use – though buying this hardware is somewhat more expensive than using an app on your phone.

One way to help you spread the initial cost could be by credit card, especially if you've got a card that offers a 0% period on purchases. It's important to bear in mind though that if you don’t clear the balance within the introductory period, you will be charged interest.

This is a sponsored post by William David on behalf of Sainsbury’s Bank.

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Ways for moms to find exercise opportunities https://www.thismamacooks.com/2012/07/ways-for-moms-to-find-exercise-opportunities.html https://www.thismamacooks.com/2012/07/ways-for-moms-to-find-exercise-opportunities.html#respond Mon, 16 Jul 2012 17:37:53 +0000 http://www.thismamacooks.com/?p=5883 Ways for moms to find exercise opportunities at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comExercise tends to take a back seat to your family and all of the responsibilities that go along with being a mom. We just don’t seem to be able to find time or make time for self care because we are exhausted from sleepless nights with a newborn, from chasing a toddler around, or from driving our older children back and forth to practices and events. We all have a reason or an excuse. However, exercise can help to increase your energy level (sans caffeine), lose weight, improve your mood, cope with stress, and live a healthier lifestyle.

Here are some ideas on how to fit exercise into your life with children:

  • Find an activity that you enjoy that works with your lifestyle and your schedule. If you are enjoying the activity, you will look forward to it rather than seeing it as another chore.
  • Make exercise a part of your daily routine. There is always time for exercise in your day. Identify a time slot that works for you and commit to it. Whether it requires waking up earlier, skipping lunch at work to do 30 minutes of strength training, or going for a walk or a run in the evenings once the children are in bed, you can find the time if you make the effort.
  • Invest in a jogger or a walking stroller. Take your small children with you. Bring toys, books, and a snack. Try to get your entire workout in without stopping for a break or to let you little one out of the stroller. Once you start the habit of letting them out, they will expect it. Get your full workout in.
  • Start a caregiver exchange. Have your partner or friend keep an eye on your children for 30 minutes so you can get a walk or jog in. Return the favor.
  • Wake up earlier. If you work outside the home, try getting up about an hour or so earlier to get your workout in before work. If you are a stay-at-home mom, get up before your partner leaves to get some exercise in.
  • Keep your sneakers handy. Keep a pair in your car so that you can walk or jog laps around the soccer field or park during your child’s soccer practice. If your child is at dance or piano lessons, take a walk around the block. Bring your sneakers to work. On your lunch break, go for a stroll.
  • Check out your local fitness centers, health clubs, or fitness studios. Some facilities now offer babysitting services. Some offer classes, such as Mommy and Me, which you can take with your child.
  • Check out local stroller programs. There are mom and baby stroller exercise programs available. Check out Stroller Strides, Baby Boot Camp, or Stroller Fit. It is a great way to get out of the house and meet other moms.
  • Invest in some equipment to use while your child is napping or playing. An exercise mat and some hand held weights can go a long way. Invest in some DVDs and workout at home. Create a DVD exchange with other moms to vary your workouts. Your local library may be a good resource for exercise videos as well.
  • Use your Smartphone. There are so many free apps out there to help you get started and keep you moving. Use that phone for more than just talking!
  • Most importantly, play with your kids. Shoot a basketball, kick around a soccer ball, go for a bike ride with your kids, or have races in your yard. Jog alongside your child as they ride their bike. When you bring you children to the playground, don’t just sit and watch, play! You will be leading by example and showing your children the importance of being fit and healthy.

Jennifer Bayliss, MSEd, ATC, CSCS, is Manager of Fitness for Everyday Health and its Calorie Counter available at my-calorie-counter.com.

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