Fitness Files: Rosanna Shilollo

Rosanna Shilollo is a Certified Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer, Nutritional Counsellor and SUP Instructor/Yogini. Her studio Sunrise Yoga Studio is located in the heart of Cottage Country, on beautiful Lake Couchiching in Orillia, Ontario, Canada. The peaceful setting offers a quiet environment ideal for yoga practice and meditation. Just by looking at the pictures I want to pack my bags and head to Canada! Rosanna hopes to inspire clients to live their best life. She says "We all need inspiration, motivation, and information to live a continually healthy lifestyle." Similar to me Shilollo has a BA in Psychology and uses that background to help others achieve ultimate wellness. Continue reading my Fitness Files interview with Rosanna to learn more about her fitness journey and how she is helping others through the practice of yoga.

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

Rosanna Shilollo (RS): I was a senior in high school when I first discovered the toning and sculpting benefits of fitness. It started with classic videos like Abs and Buns of Steel and step aerobics with Kathy Smith. Then I joined a cross-country running club and really made the connection that exercises made me feel good. A sweat session had the power to improve my mood, outlook, and confidence. Once I had saved up enough money for my first gym membership, I added resistance training to my regime and quickly learned to navigate the weight room. Naturally, my commitment to working out led me to earn my certification as a Personal Trainer. It wasn't until after the birth of my son that my dedication to staying in shape was truly tested. I had gained almost 60lbs throughout pregnancy and now there was much less time to focus on myself. I was determined to make fitness a priority even if it meant including my little one in the workout. I highly recommend a running stroller for any new mom! I learned you have to be prepared to squeeze in some activity whenever a window of time appears. You can't always plan it, but if you put on workout clothes in the morning with good intentions, you'll be ready to seize the opportunity when it presents itself. It didn't take long to shed the baby weight as my commitment to fitness was fortified by my goal of getting back into pre-pregnancy shape. This was also the case following my next two pregnancies. Although each one offered a bit more of a challenge than the last to find the time, by this point I had established some good habits that made working out a lifestyle. Life can get hectic with 3 kids, so my discovery of yoga while in the thick of it was truly a gift that completed my fitness (and sanity!) regime. 

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

RS: I drink kombucha (fermented green tea) daily for both energizing and calming effects, plus the probiotic and anti-inflammatory benefits. To stay hydrated I'm usually sipping lemon water which also promotes detoxification. My go to healthy snack is a  Keto-Luxe bar by Powerhouse Superfoods. They are 100% natural, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and keto friendly based on the ketogenic diet which emphasizes high fat, low carbs to help shift the body's primary fuel source from sugar/carbs to fats/keytones. The combination of chocolate with coconut is delicious! 

NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

RS: Visualizing the positive outcome that I want to achieve helps me stay motivated. At times I've known I wasn't living to my fullest potential, but I only allow myself to view a setback as an opportunity to make a comeback.  I'm not competitive by nature, except with myself. I think it's important not to compare yourself to others. It's also crucial to the success of your goals to find activities that you enjoy doing so it doesn't feel like work. Get outside, workout with friends, sign up for fun races and events that get you excited. 

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

RS: Everybody is different but everybody can find a balance of proper nutrition and exercise that works for them to achieve their goals. After 20 years of consistently working out, I now know I require all 3 elements of fitness ( cardio, resistance, flexibility/yoga) training to achieve an overall balance. As a trainer, I can share this trial and error wisdom with my clients so they can find a balance and avoid overdoing it in one area which leads to injury and exhaustion. Variety in your weekly workout regime is key. Surprising the body will avoid plateauing and will keep your interest piqued. My favourite way to enhance my composition is through yoga because it strengthens, stretches and tones the body but it also calms the mind. When we can reduce stress hormones that otherwise interfere with metabolism and fat storage, we can function more optimally which I think is always the ultimate goal. 

When I was struggling to find 'me' time with three young children, I was reminded of my time starting out with fitness videos. The convenience of a doing a video at home was what inspired me to make my very own yoga DVD. Sun Series Vinyasa Yoga with Rosanna Shillolo is my passion come to life in video format. There are 3x 20-minute segments that you can do all together or one at a time depending on your time availability. Filmed along a beautiful lakefront setting, the sunrise and sunset are captured along with many calming elements of nature. Each segment will challenge but also renew your mind, body, and spirit. I'm very proud of this project and feel my background with fitness videos prepared me to make an exceptional one. I recall buying tapes (it was VHS back in my day) I'd only ever do once because they lacked certain qualities but then there would be videos so motivating and addictive I'd worry I was going to wear them out. I'm confident that this yoga DVD possesses the qualities that will capture your attention and inspire a whole new level of health and wellness. 

For more healthy living tidbits you can follow Rosanna on Instagram @sunriseyogastudio Facebook @SunriseYogaStudio and Twitter @sunriseyogini

For more information visit:  www.sunriseyogastudio.ca 

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

NMFIT New Jersey Fitness Studio Picks

Listen up Jersey folks! Below are few my recommended New Jersey workouts worth checking out including my barre classes!

Fly Wheel Milburn: Love good music and a solid workout?  Flywheel in Milburn offers just that! I checked out Amanda's class over the weekend (thank you Sweaty Betty) and was pleasantly surprised by the super spacious location! They offer everything from water to fruit post-workout! For more information check click here!

Femme Fitness: If you are looking for an intimate workout experience with all women Femme Fitness is a great option! This is also where I teach two barre classes a week, come say hi you are in the area! (Tuesdays and Thursdays).  Not only are you able to get to know members but you are able to develop a close relationship with the instructors as well! For more information on classes click here!

Equinox (Summit): I have only had the opportunity to check out the Equinox locations in New York so I was super excited when my friend Elaine invited me to workout with her at the Equinox in Summit, NJ.  I was able to partake in challenging strength training workout and brainstorm event concepts (next event with Elaine June 10th!) in their juice bar post workout. It really felt more like an escape and not just a gym! Next time I will have to take full advantage of their steam room and sauna!

Cool Hot Yoga: I always like stepping out of my comfort zone by checking out new workouts. A few months ago I visited Cool Hot Yoga and did the Antigravity, Restore and Decompress class followed by Coolbarre BootCamp! Needless to say that morning I walked away with a great workout experience. Both classes were small and you can clearly tell these ladies are regulars and dedicated to their workout routine! For more information on classes (location in California too) click here

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

 

 

Fitness Files: Jessamyn Stanley

You may be already familiar with Jessamyn Stanley, she is breaking boundaries everywhere especially in the world of health and fitness! So it makes complete sense why Jessamyn has partnered with U by Kotex, as a yoga teacher that encourages body positivity she is the face of the NEW U by Kotex® FITNESS* line.  The intent of U by Kotex FITNESS is to open an honest dialogue about working out on your period, which is why the brand partnered with Jessamyn, who has accumulated an Instagram audience of 283K+ followers because of her ability to approach honest and authentic conversations. After attending the launch for U by Kotex Fitness I knew I had to interview Jessamyn for my Fitness Files series. Contiue reading to learn more about Jessamyn and how she leads a healthy lifestyle inside and out. 

Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for U by Kotex FITNESS

Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for U by Kotex FITNESS

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

Jessamyn Stanley (JS): I’ve always enjoyed being active, indoors and outdoors, but because I was never the fastest, strongest, or most agile in athletic settings during my youth (though frequently the fattest, slowest, and least coordinated) – as a result, I’ve suffered from fitness related anxiety ever since my childhood. It wasn’t until I started to embrace my body with body-positive language and thinking that I started to focus on fitness and wellness.

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks or drinks to feel your best?

(JS): I love coconut water, KIND bars, Trader Joe’s broccoli snacks, and I’m a sucker for dried fruit. I love smoothies and shakes, especially with Sunwarrior Protein Powder or Olly Mango Protein Powder.

NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for U by Kotex FITNESS

Photo Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images for U by Kotex FITNESS

(JS): I train my mind by consistently looking within myself via breathwork and meditation. I try to focus on overall mental, spiritual, and body balance, and I think of keeping my body active as a maintenance technique – just like brushing my teeth or hair, or applying lotion. It’s not an issue of vanity – it’s an issue of overall maintenance and care.

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

(JS): I don’t think about changing my body. If I want to sweat profusely and feel my body ache, I will attend a hot yoga class or a spin class.

For more info on Jessamyn click here!  #FindYourFITNESS.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

 

 

 

 

Pre-Race Survivor/Forever Fighter Fashion Show and Celebration Recap

Nadia Murdock Fit and Dr. Vanessa Trespalacios

Nadia Murdock Fit and Dr. Vanessa Trespalacios

I had the honor to take part in the Pre-Race Survivor/Forever Fighter Fashion Show and Celebration for Susan G. Komen at Bloomingdale's Short Hills. I teamed up with Dr. Vanessa Trespalacios to discuss the importance of food and mood.  Dr. T is an internist at St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, N.J. She takes pride in encouraging patients to heal themselves through food and lifestyle.  I knew instantly we would click, I am all about creating a healthy lifestyle and not a quick fix!

Below are tips from both Dr. T and NMFIT! 

Glycemic Index

What is Glycemic Index? Dr. T describes it as the way your body performs best when your blood sugar is kept relatively constant. If your blood sugar drops too low, you can become lethargic and/or experience increased hunger.  Here at NMFIT I encourage client to stay away from starchy foods like bread, breakfast cereals and baked potatoes

Sticking to a low glycemic diet helps to prevent heart disease and diabetes. The following foods have the lowest GI. 

  • Oatmeal
  • Peanuts
  • Peas
  • Hummus 
  • Skim Milk
  • Carrots 
  • Kidney Beans

Dr. T goes on to say that foods with high glycemic index lead to an initial elevation in energy and mood as blood sugar rises, but this is followed by a cycle of fat storage, lethargy and more hunger as your blood sugar plummet.

IMG_7355.JPG

Serotonin

According to Dr. T: Serotonin is a Neurotransmitter, primarily found in the GI tract (90%), blood and CNS of animals, including humans.  Serotonin exerts a powerful influence over mood, emotions, memory, cravings, self-esteem, pain tolerance, sleep habits, appetite, digestion, and body temperature regulation. It is often thought of as our “happy hormone”.

I shared that the following foods can help boost your serotonin:

  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Pineapples
  • Tofu
  • Salmon
  • Turkey
  • Nuts & Seeds

A handful of nuts a day has been said to lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory problems. Nuts also provide a source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. 

Find new ways to keep meals interesting by sauteing chicken in one of the suggested oils (Omega section) and add shredded coconut with pineapples, so good!

 

Tryptophan

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid needed for general growth and development. Tryptophan produces niacin and therefore creates serotonin. Niacin deficiency can lead to depression, insomnia, and anxiety. Longterm niacin deficiency can lead to dementia and serious diseases that resemble schizophrenia.  So what foods are rich in Tryptophan? Here is a short list: 

  • Nuts
  • Red Meat
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Lentils
  • Tofu
  • Seeds

Omega 3,6 and 9

Dr. T revealed that research has found that Omega 3, 6 and 9 found in fatty fish, flaxseed, and walnuts can help protect against depression.  Omegas also have a relevant impact on serotonin metabolism, known to be an important neurotransmitter in depression.

As I mentioned before it's about creating a healthy lifestyle my suggested recommendations for foods full of Omegas include fish, nuts, seeds and avocado. Opting for oils rich in these omegas is an excellent way to change the flavoring of your regular meals and get the health benefits at the same time. A few oils to consider are Grape Seed Oil, Hemp Oil, Safflower Oil and Black Currant Oil. 

Dark Chocolate

This food is a powerful source of antioxidants that can help improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. It also lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Because dark chocolate is packed with flavonoids it helps to protect your skin against sun damage. With summer around the corner, you need all the sun protection you can get but remember consume this treat in moderation. 

Hydration

Keeping your mood in check could have a lot to do with your hydration! Dr. T says:  Staying hydrated can help avoid fatigue. Even mild dehydration can slow your metabolism and sap your energy.  Generally speaking, the recommendation is 1/2 your body weight in ounces daily for those with sedentary lifestyles in a cool climate. Another way to stay hydrated is to snack on certain fruits and vegetables with are naturally full of water (apple wedges, celery sticks). 

As Dr. T mentioned there are foods you can snack on that have water content, check out a few of my additional recommendations below.

  • Cauliflower 92% water
  • Eggplant 92% water 
  • Red Cabbage 92% water
  • Spinach 92% water
  • Cucumber 96% water
  • Grapefruit 90% water 
  • Celery 95% water 

RECIPES

Glycemic Index Friendly Smoothie

  • Handful of ice
  • Fruit of choice, avoid bananas because it's high in glycemic index. 
  • Half a cup of soaked oats.
  • 1 cup of skim or almond milk

Tip: An alternative quick breakfast option is oatmeal with a teaspoon of raw peanut butter unsweetened! 

Simple Dark Chocolate Smoothie

  • Ahandful of Ice
  • Your choice of Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Milk or Water
  • Banana or Avocado for a dose of potassium and fiber
  • Cocoa
  • Agave (optional)
  • Scoop of chia seeds
  • A handful of spinach (optional) for a kick of folic acid!

This smoothie is packed with potassium, omega 3's, fiber and vitamin B!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

Posted on May 15, 2017 and filed under Lifestyle.

Fitness Files: Ngo Okafor

I was introduced to celebrity trainer and NYC based fitness expert Ngo Okafor when he launched his new fitness app, FitMatch (http://www.wefitmatch.com/), available to download for free now in the app store.

This new Yelp-meets-Tinder fitness app is designed to enhance the social aspect of working out and make it easy and fun to connect with like-minded fitness lovers. FitMatch makes it easy to connect with people in your area by using a geo-location technology. You can find fitness buddies to workout with and hold you accountable while also finding gyms and classes in your area that you’re interested in.

With Ngo encouraging others to find their fitness tribe I wanted share the good vibes by learning more about Okafor and his love for health and wellness. Continue reading the interview below and make sure to try Ngo's sample workout below.

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

NO: Fitness has not always been a major part of my life. I was very sick for most of my childhood and it wasn't until the age of 13 that I started to feel fully healthy, just like any other kid. I didn't get a chance to play and be active like the other kids, because when I wasn't in the hospital, I was at home catching up on all of the school work that I missed. I was also a very skinny kid and got bullied quite a bit. At the age of 14, I decided that I did not want to be skinny any more or bullied by any one. Then I made the decision to get stronger and change my body. That was when I started working out and lifting weights. 

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

NO: My go-to snacks are mainly fruits, such as oranges and apples or nuts, such cashews, peanuts or different variations of trail mix. These snacks are perfect because my work days are very long and these snacks have a low glycemic index, therefore do not cause me to crash shortly after eating them. With regards to drinks, I drink mostly just water. Drinking so much water can get boring at times, so I occasionally add some lemon or juice to my water, for a little bit of taste.

NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

NO: The way I train my mind to stay motivated is to constantly remind myself about where I came from. I was this skinny kid, growing up in Nigeria, and now I'm here. I may have achieved success with my physique and career, but one little slip and I could lose it all. Therefore, I never take any of it for granted. For that reason, I aim to work hard every day.

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites

NO: The way I change my body and the way that I've changed many of my clients' bodies is doing a combination of weight training and cardio. I don't use heavy weights. I keep the weights low, while performing at least 15 to 20 repetitions. On a sample workout day, I would select exercises that train two opposing muscle groups, such as chest and back and perform the exercises back-to-back, in a circuit, an ab exercise and then round out the circuit with 3 minutes of a cardio burst.

Try the sample workout below from Ngo to get your heart rate going!

Ngo Okafor SAMPLE WORKOUT:

•Dumbbell Chest Press - 20 reps

•Cable Pulldowns - 20 reps 

•Bicycle Crunches - 30 reps on each leg

•3 minute run on the treadmill ( 1 minute at 2 % incline, 1 minute at 4 % incline and then 1 minute at 6 % incline)

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

TRY TABATA: AN EXPLOSIVE AND EFFICIENT WORKOUT

I have found Tabata to be an amazing workout for clients, classes and myself! Take a look at the guest blog post below to learn more about this style of workout and how you can benefit from it as well!

Countless fitness trends have come and gone over the years. Each one promises to help you slim down, tone up, and achieve your fitness goals. Everyone has a different goal in mind when they commit to a fitness plan, and with hard work and dedication most exercise programs will produce results. But what happens if you can’t carve out 60 minutes a day to get your sweat on or you find it hard to stick to a specific fitness plan? Whether you need a quick burn or want to shake up your routine, Tabata training will deliver.

History of Tabata

Tabata is a form of high-intensity interval training, more commonly known as HIIT. It was invented by Dr. Izumi Tabata in 1996. Tabata, along with a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, was hired by the head coach of the Japanese speed skating team to assess the efficacy of their workout program.

During his research, Tabata divided the athletes into two groups and gave each group a different workout plan. Group A worked out with moderate intensity for 60 minutes, five days a week. Group B worked out at a high-intensity level four days a week for only 4 minutes and 20 seconds. Both groups were monitored over a six-week period. At the end of the study, they compared the VO2 max (maximal oxygen uptake) of the athletes in both groups and discovered the high-intensity training performed by Group B had a greater impact on both their aerobic and anaerobic systems. It was concluded that working out in four-minute high-intensity intervals was more beneficial than working out for 60 minutes at a moderate pace.

Benefits of Tabata

Improved Stamina: Tabata improves your aerobic and anaerobic threshold. Your aerobic capacity is a measurement of your maximum oxygen uptake during exercise. Your body requires more oxygen when you work out. The rate at which your muscles and tissue are able to absorb oxygen is known as your VO2 max. Most people have a VO2 max between 30 and 60 ml/kg/min. The higher your VO2 max, the more potential you have for aerobic endurance. As you do Tabata training, your VO2 max will improve, along with your stamina.

Anaerobic capacity refers to the maximum amount of energy your body can produce without oxygen. By increasing your anaerobic capacity, you can exert yourself at a maximum effort for a longer period of time. An easy way to measure improvements in your anaerobic capacity is to time yourself while sprinting at 100 percent effort. Record your time and distance. After six weeks of Tabata training, revisit this challenge. You will be amazed at how much farther you can run at maximum effort.

Increased Metabolic Rate and Fat Loss: High-intensity interval training increases our metabolic rate by almost 15 times the basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body uses naturally at rest. Not only are you burning an average of 15 calories a minute, but the increased demand Tabata puts on your body will increase your BMR and torch fat for hours after your workout.

Muscle Tissue Retention: If you want to improve your cardiovascular fitness but are concerned about losing hard-earned muscle, Tabata training is for you. The stress placed on your muscle tissue during Tabata sends signals to you body that more muscle tissue is needed and the ratio of lean body mass to fat will increase. If you choose full-body workouts that use more muscle mass, you could actually end up increasing your muscle tissue.

No Time Constraints: No time to workout? Can’t get to the gym? These excuses won’t fly when it comes to Tabata training. All you need are four minutes and a pair of sneakers to complete this workout.

How to do Tabata

Tabata is a 4-minute workout that consists of eight timed intervals. Each interval is broken down into 20 seconds of all-out exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest. Tabata training is going to mentally and physically push you to your limit. If you are doing this workout correctly, you should feel completely exhausted and find it nearly impossible to finish the final interval.

People often use this form of workout to improve their cardiovascular fitness, but Tabata training is versatile and can also be use to improve weight training and core strength. Beginners should concentrate on cardio, such as running, cycling, and rowing, or bodyweight exercises. Whatever your focus, to get the most out of your workout, it is important you choose exercises that engage a large number of muscles.

Tabata Warm-Up

It’s recommended that you do a 5-minute, full-body dynamic warmup before you attempt your first set of Tabata. A dynamic warm-up consists of a series of movements that will engage the muscles you are going to use in your workout. This warm-up will increase your body temperature and range of motion and activate your nervous system. When done properly a dynamic warm-up can improve your performance.

Mix and match these exercises to create a 5-minute dynamic warm-up. Make sure you choose exercises that engage the muscle groups you plan to work out.

  • Walking lunges
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Arm Circles
  • High Knees
  • Side Bends
  • Front Leg Swing
  • Push-Ups
  • Burpees
  • Butt Kicks
  • Side Shuffles

Tabata Workouts

If you’re new to fitness or are short on time, do one set of Tabata exercises two to three times a week. To get the most out of your workout, it is important to give your body time to rest. Leave a day or two between workouts for your muscles to recover. Once you’re ready to get started, all you will need for most of these exercises is a stopwatch (we use the timer on our phone) and lots of motivation. There are endless options for exercises you can use in your Tabata workout. I have listed below a few for you to choose from based on your fitness level and goals.

Dangers and Cautions

Tabata doesn’t involve many risks; however, due to its high intensity, I don’t recommend it for heart patients or people with high blood pressure. This type of interval training rapidly increases your heart rate, so it is recommended that you consult your doctor before adding Tabata to your workout regime.

There is also a risk of injury when you are performing any exercise; however, this risk can increase when you increase intensity and speed. Make sure you are comfortable performing the exercises and can maintain proper form at a moderate pace before incorporating them into your Tabata routine. If you have questions about form or technique, seek out a professional trainer for advice and assistance.

Guest Blog Post

ASHLEY AUCOIN: Ashley is a former competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and currently a lifestyle writer, full-time dog parent, and social media guru.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

Posted on May 9, 2017 and filed under Fitness, Fitness Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Tips, TYMCYB, Workout.

Jari Love Shares Her Favorite Exercises

Leslie McClure of 411 Video has honestly been my source over the years for the multitude of new workouts I have been introduced to. One of the workouts that I have fallen in love with for a well-rounded toning session is Jari Love's workouts. With summer quickly approaching I was looking for some inspiration when it comes to spicing up my leg workout routine! Jari shares her favorite moves below, give it a try and let me know what your thoughts are by commenting below. 

Back Elevator Row with Alternating Side Squat

Main Muscles Worked: Quads, Hamstrings, Inner & Outer Thighs, Glutes, Upper & Lower Back and Core

Description: Position your step so it is vertically facing with you. Begin standing centered in the middle of the step with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding medium dumbbells in each hand. This will be your starting position.

Bend slightly at the knees and flex forward at the hips keeping your shoulders back and down, with spine neutral.

Initiate body weight onto the left foot while stepping your right foot off the right side of the step into a squat position. Keep weight by your sides bent at 90 degrees with palms facing each other.

Press your weight up through the heels and bring your right leg back on top of the step while simultaneously retracting your shoulder blades and squeezing them together for the row. Ensure the shoulders are back and down, with the elbows in tight to the body.

Repeat this movement on the left side so that you are alternating side squats with each repetition.

 

Curtsy Lunge On Step with Bicep Concentration Curls

Note: I suggest starting with 8 lbs dumbbells

Main Muscles Worked: Quads, Hamstrings, Inner & Outer Thighs, Glutes & Core, biceps

Description: Position your step so it is vertically facing with you. Begin standing centered in the middle of the step with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, holding medium dumbbells in each hand. This will be your starting position.

Initiate body weight onto the left foot while stepping your right foot off the right side of the step into a squat position. Keep weight by your sides bent at 90 degrees with palms facing each other.

Press your weight up through your heels and bring your right left back up to ‘tap’ the top of the step. Curl dumbbell with right arm, up to the shoulder and squeeze your biceps as you bring leg to the top of the bench.  Continue transferring the movement by crossing the right leg across the back of the left leg and as you cross the back of the left leg, curl your left arm up to the shoulder and squeeze and until your right foot lands firmly on the ground to the left of the step; the curtsy position. At this point, your torso and left knee should remain facing forward, with your chest up and shoulders back.

Press up through the front heel and back toed while engaging the core to bring your right leg back to starting position.

Continue the side squats, transitioning into curtsy lunges with your right leg leading for your determined repetitions. Complete three sets and switch to your left leg leading.
 

Standing Lateral Leg Raise

Note: (optional) with step

Main Muscles Worked: Quads, Hamstrings, Inner & Outer Thighs, Glutes & Core

Description: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with chest up, shoulders back. Stand a riser top on its end, while resting left hand on the top for balance and stability. Place right hand on waist. This will be your starting position.

Lift right leg to the side, as high as you can reach. Do not swing. Hold the top position for 3–5 seconds.

Return the leg slowly to the starting position. You should remain facing forward the entire movement. Do not lock either knee while going through the movement. Your knees should remain soft, but not bent.

Continue right leg raise for your determined amount of repetitions. Alternate to the left leg once complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single Legged Squats with Bench

Note: (optional) you can use a wall for support

Main Muscles Worked: Quads, Hamstrings, Inner & Outer Thighs, Glutes & Core

Description: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with chest up, shoulders back. Stand a riser top on its end, while resting left hand on the top for balance and stability. Place right hand on waist.

Transfer body weight to the heel of your left leg, while lifting your right leg off the ground. Your leg will be bent at about a 90-degree position. This will be your starting position.

Move into a squat position by bending left knee and dropping your butt. Ensure that your knee does not go ahead of your toe, while keeping your chest up and shoulder back. Head should be up and looking straight ahead with spine neutral. Weight should still be in your heel of your foot planted on the ground.

Press up through the front heel and return to the starting position.

Continue this repetition for your determined amount. Then, alternate to the opposite leg.

Step Ups on Bench

Main Muscles Worked: Quads, Hamstrings, Inner & Outer Thighs, Glutes & Core

Description: To start, place your entire right foot flat on a bench, with your left leg straight and grounded on the floor. Hold a medium weight in each hand, arms straight down by sides.

Press through your right to lift your left leg and body, until you are standing vertically on top of the bench with both right and left leg hip width apart. Arms will remain straight down by sides through the entire motion.

Return to starting position by stepping back with left leg, until it is firmly on the ground.

Repeat until for your determined amount of repetitions. Then alternate with your left foot on bench, right leg grounded.

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

Posted on May 5, 2017 and filed under Fitness, Fitness Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Tips, Trainer.

Fitness Files: Taylor Gainor, co-founder, LIT Method

LIT Method [Low – Impact – Training] was one of the first workouts I tried after having my baby. It is a group workout class offering low impact training without sacrificing intensity. Founded by Taylor Gainor and Justin Norris in 2015, the LIT Method program utilizes a water rowing machine for a low impact cardio experience along with a resistance band training system.  I loved how easy this workout was on my joints, I still felt like I got a killer workout without the aches and pains afterward. Continue reading my interview with co-founder Taylor to get the inside scoop on how she maintains a healthy lifestyle when she is not teaching.

Taylor Gainor 

Taylor Gainor 

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority? 

Taylor Gainor (TG): Fitness has always been a major part of my life, but when I met Justin (my fiance and co-founder of LIT Method) is when things dramatically changed.  He was a personal trainer as well and we joined forces as fitness professionals specializing in rehabilitated injuries. Our business began to grow so rapidly that we were no longer able to take on any more clients.  We decided that in order to reach a larger audience, we had to expand to group classes. Thus LIT Method was born! LIT stands for [Low – Impact – Training]. Our method is designed to “Build you not break you”.  While other regimens can break you down over time, we felt the need to create a sustainable method that strengthens, empowers and corrects you. With LIT Method, there’s little to no impact being placed on the ankles, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders - all of which are prone to injury with other fitness classes. Our method changes the way people approach fitness.

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

TG: A few of my go-to healthy snacks would for sure be Vital Proteins collagen protein powder, Perfect bars and Bonafide Provisions bone broth. It is important to keep your metabolism running throughout the day, and if that means snacking often, I am all about it. I usually start my mornings with hot water, a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar, and lemon. For me, it wakes up my metabolism, does some cleansing, and gives me energy. To end my nights, I love making a cup of bone broth with spices and adaptogens. It is important to ease and calm the mind before bed - this mixture does just that! 

NMF: How do you train your mind and stay motivated? 

TG: Honestly, I train my mind with Headspace, if you haven’t heard about it go and download it right now in the App store! It is this amazing meditation app, that helps me kickstart my day. I can easily stay motivated because of the amazing BoltCult community that Justin & I have built. We are firm believers in practicing what we preach, and whether that be teaching class or taking class, I am truly motivated and inspired by our community. 

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

TG: I change my body by practicing what I preach! Justin and I try to do a LIT class or LIT KIT workout everyday. Rowing is incredibly low impact on the body & joints, yet somehow makes the cardio burn so real! Another favorite would be working with a bootie band, who doesn't love to workout the booty?!

As far as fitness must have items go, I would for sure have to say anything from my favorite active wear company Varley. It keeps me feeling confident and ready to take on the world. My lacrosse ball from our LIT KIT is a must-have for me, too, because it is so convenient to travel with and roll out my body when I am on the go. Lastly, any type of Adidas shoes I’m usually rocking!

For more info on LIT click here!

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

 

Finding Your New Community: Life After Sport

There was never a course in college about how to integrate into life after college sports. I played competitive basketball for 16 years. Pouring everything into the sport. I wasn’t just Hanna, I was “Hanna the basketball player” my name might as well have been Hanna Ball. When ball wasn’t life anymore some struggles came from it that I did and didn’t expect. I enjoy finding people who have commonality, so in my own personal struggles, I investigated some other athletes who also gave their life to sports and uncovered their struggles during the transition, and ways they pushed forward in their new journey. Here is how they started creating their new identities.

Identity

The first struggle that most athletes can identify with, is the loss of identity. Athletes are so set on being an athlete with a fierce desire and passion. It can be easy to overlook other interests and passions. Trying new things and exploring life beyond competitive athletics can help with finding love and passion in other areas of life. As I investigated this further, I spoke with a good friend, former D1 swimmer and one of the most competitive people I know, Emily Stucky. When her time as a competitive athlete was finished, she had a difficult time finding her new path, when it came to health and working out. She started by focusing on her new goal, body image as it was a good tool to measure health and fitness. Unfortunately, this view did not give her the fire or goal that she was looking for. Through much searching, resilience, and trial and error she was able to find a new outlet. Emily said she “tried so many different forms of working out and dieting within the first couple months after college swimming, and by complete accident [she] found boxing. Boxing has helped [her] to stay healthy and love exercising. It has allowed [her] to love [her] muscular and athletic physique and forced [her] to have a nutrition plan that keeps [her] feeling great.” I also had the chance to speak with a former teammate, Kelsey Sigl, who went through a similar struggle this is what she had to say about losing a piece of her. She said, “when the decision to "hang 'em up" came around, I was faced with a lot of doubt regarding the next step of life. I feared I wouldn't be as 'successful' in whichever path I chose, relentless to let go of who I identified myself as - 'Kelsey, the basketball player' and allow space for what potentially could be!” For Kelsey the best thing for her was to change her perspective instead of trying to hold tightly to what had been, she in a way had to let it go to be able to move onto the next chapter. “Appreciating what was and applying the various lessons basketball taught me, I was able to greet the 'unknown' with confidence and wide open arms.” Her best piece of advice is to enjoy the journey and start making some more great life stories as you build your new identity.

Competitiveness/ Working Towards Goals

For most athletes, it helps to figure out how to focus their competitive nature into different aspects of life. Each day at practice they work toward a goal of winning and doing whatever it takes to be the fastest, strongest, the best. Each day is met with one question. “Who is getting beat today?” As most athletes will move out of this platform at some time or another, it can be hard to figure out when and when not to be competitive as well as find outlets to be competitive. Emily found, “In athletics, we are constantly working towards a goal and a purpose. When I stopped swimming I didn't have many short term goals that would keep me motivated in my everyday life. I always knew that my purpose came from something bigger than myself, but when I stopped swimming I had to learn what that actually meant to me. I also had to learn how to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals for myself so that I felt motivated to excel and grow in my career, friendships, and personally (physically, mentally and spiritually).” Others athletes found that they want to step out of this competitive nature and create a space where everything is not a competition, making self-goals instead of comparing oneself to others. Kelsey took this approach,  “A thing [she] still find challenging is not making everything competitive, mostly with myself.” She has been able to find more constructive ways to have healthy competition in her life and still on occasion swings by an outdoor court and get a few shots up, and 'playfully' challenge anyone around to a quick game of HORSE.

Community/ Family

Athletes spend so many hours with teammates who become so much more than teammates they become family. “We spend endless amounts of time with the same friends, we all work towards the same goals, and we see the best and worst days of our teammates. We get the privilege of experiencing life with a group of people in a way that is incredibly unique,”  said Emily. The first thing athletes including myself missed from their sports were the teammates who they played with and shared this experience. It is more than just teammates these people became family. At times this can feel very hard to replace. “Not seeing/being around teammates 17 hours/day 6 days/week. A group of girls who essentially become 13 of your nonblood-related sisters. You become so close you know each other's every characteristic, 'good' or 'bad.” It is imperative that athletes find a community of like-minded people put themselves in places that breed an environment of like-minded individuals, gyms are a great place to start. Another way to get connected is by joining online community forums of former college athletes. Check out this new community Mpowher Athlete, whose mission is to link up athletes with other athletes to connect on a personal, professional, and geographical level.


Whether it is a gym, community or network, it is essential that athletes find a group of people that they can connect with post athletics. Both Kelsey and Emily are learning to find their way through life after athletics and the Mpowher Athlete community has helped them find their new team. Enjoy your journey!

Guest blog post from Mpowher

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

Posted on May 2, 2017 and filed under AskNadia, Fitness, Fitness Lifestyle, Healthy, Lifestyle, Tips.

Avia Women's Active Wear

I kicked off spring with this look!

I kicked off spring with this look!

It is said that a strong woman never goes out of style. Avia focuses on making their female customer feel good about themselves inside and outside of the gym. I love this messaging because I tell my students and clients that a fit lifestyle exists inside and outside the gym. 

A front runner in the fitness industry, Avia has been capturing the attention of the fit woman since the design launch of the Cantilever sole that revolutionized footwear, to the wicking technology in their apparel. 

I tested out the look above once we were finally blessed with warm weather on the East coast. I really need looks that can help stay dry in between classes and running errands.  Not only did the Avia tank do the trick but it's also super affordable (under $10). As I start to introduce more workouts in the warmer weather I like to know I can stock up on functional and stylish options without breaking the bank!  

Avia styles are available at Walmart and Amazon

Follow me on Twitter and Facebook @NadiaMurdockFit Instagram@NadiaMurdock

Craving a smoothie? NMFIT has the solution! Check out my smoothie book by clicking here!

 

Posted on April 24, 2017 and filed under AskNadia, Fitness Lifestyle, Fitness, Lifestyle, Style.