Working Out with Friends in the time of COVID

Guest Post by Natascha Pearson

Monday 12/21/20 9:30am

During these long winter days of 2020, when many businesses are closed, and enjoyable amenities are unavailable we must get off our couches and strive for a fit life. YouTube is an amazing source for workout routines and videos, but it does not come with motivation or zest. Where can we find the kick to get started? In our dear friends, of course! There is nothing better during the holiday season than sharing our time with our friends, even if it means whipping out the yoga mats and getting sweaty in our own living rooms.

Next, we might ask ourselves, what friend will we call upon? We might hear the buzz that the weight is packing on and the need to work out is fierce, but you want someone that is reliable, dedicated, and willing to show up. If your form of communication is through Facebook Messenger (recommended) or Zoom set up a time and most importantly…

Send them the video! Which video to choose from? I recommend 2-3 times a week, preplan by sending your friend a YouTube video of different sorts that range from 20-40 minutes long. This might not seem like all the workouts you need to get the slim body you crave but it is easily doable, and it starts the motion of working out at home. With this motivational start, the rest is up to you.

YouTube has an assortment of workout videos ranging from yoga, abs, and legs, full-body, and Boot camp routines. After arranging a day and time with your workout buddy take the time to evaluate how you and your partner feel that day. This is not a gym, you’re not showing up to be a coach, we show up to work out in our living rooms and I promise you it will be filled with laughter and funny side banter as you begin your workout adventure. My friend and I like to do abs and legs, more than the other videos but there will be days where I want to do some yoga and even though he’s not always comfortable with yoga, it’s only a 20minute video and the following workout will be something completely different. Now if our routine had been fierce that week and we want to push ourselves to strive for more a 40-minute Boot camp video will be what we seek.

Just because it’s COVID and the gyms are packed with people without masks it doesn’t have to stop us from coming together in our social groups and getting the workout we need to shed those holiday pounds. Grab your buddy, no exercise equipment needed, and dive into 30 minutes of laughter and fun as you tone and build muscle, shedding those COVID 15lbs.

Here are some videos my workout buddy and I have done in the past. Thank you for reading my guest blog post for MIGHTY GREAT FITNESS, I am honored to lend the team a hand and share my experience with working out in the time of COVID with friends.

20 Minute Morning Yoga Flow | Daily Yoga Routine – Stretch + Strengthen

20 min TOTAL CORE AB WORKOUT (At Home No Equipment)

40 Minute Full Body At Home Boot Camp Workout 🔥BURN 500 CALORIES!🔥

Burn Belly Fat & Thigh Fat Workout | Fat Burning Workout (15 Mins)

Natascha Pearson is a blogger and writer from California. You can read her blog, Beyond the Pocket, at https://nataschapearson.wordpress.com/ or visit her personal website at https://nataschapearson.wixsite.com/home. She enjoys writing about Northern California, the outdoors as well as fiction short stories.

Family Hiking in Leavenworth Washington

Leavenworth Washington is one of the most beautiful cities in Washington State and full of fun activities. People travel from miles around to check out the many festivals and beautiful Christmas light show. There is camping, hiking, skiing, and tons of outdoor fun in the small Bavarian village. One of the best outdoor activities that most people don’t know is that Leavenworth is full of hiking trails. For beginners, to advanced hikers, you are guaranteed to find a trail for you and your family.

Alltrails.com is a great free site to find local trails near you and all the information you could possibly need. Here you will find where the trails are, how long they are, and how difficult they are. You can sit down with the family and figure out what trail you want to try out and make plans to do it. This will be a great way to get some exercise, get your kids off of the couch, as well as off of their screens, and you get to spend time together. This is a win-win situation.

One of the best trails for a great family hike is the Icicle Gorge Trail located right outside of Leavenworth. It is a 4.5-mile loop with only a 387-foot elevation which makes it easy on the kiddos. This is a heavily trafficked loop as many people love to explore it so be prepared to see others along the trail. This trail is beautiful as it follows the river and is good for all skill levels. You will even see a beautiful waterfall along the way. This trail is the best to use between the months of March through October as Leavenworth is known to get quite a bit of snow and freezing temperatures. This trail is also dog friendly, but leashes are required so be sure to bring a leash and doodie bags if you are going to bring your fur baby.  

This trail is extremely fun for kids as there are many trees and rocks to climb along the way to keep them interested. It is also a great chance for a fun photo with the kiddos. Turn it into a game and do an I-spy while hiking and let your kids explore the beautiful surroundings.

Leavenworth is one of the greatest places to take the family and get a workout in all while having fun. When life gets crazy it’s time to find a way to stay in shape and connect with the family. Hiking is one of the greatest ways to do that. There are many trails in Leavenworth that are worth looking into so check out what is around.

Safety is number one when it comes to any outdoor activity but very important when you are hiking. Make sure to prepare for the trip and take all of the essentials with you. You can even find a hiking checklist to use that will guarantee you have everything. A few key tips would be to dress properly, make sure you have energy type snacks, plenty of water, and a first aid kit. There are lots of things you should take to make sure you are prepared and safe. This is supposed to be a great workout and a chance to have some family time, so you want to do it right.

If you are not in the Leavenworth area it is definitely worth the trip and if it’s not possible then check out places near you to do a hike with the family. Make it a new family tradition and hike once a month. You will be happy you did, and you will have lifetime memories to cherish.

Amanda Jordan
Author/Weight Loss Coach

10 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

The holidays are a great time and most people look forward to them all year long. You can spend time with loved ones, eat delicious foods, and reflect on everything we have to be thankful for. One of the downsides to the holidays is all the delicious foods we eat. Thanksgiving is a time that is surrounded by food. People sit down and talk about why they are thankful, eat a bunch of food, and take a nap.

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This sounds like a pretty good day unless you are one of the people out there that spend most of the year watching their weight and staying healthy. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy the holidays and the food and not ruin all of your hard work. Here are 10 tips for staying healthy at Thanksgiving.

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#1 Stay Active

Yes, this time of year might have you wanting to curl up under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and a good show to binge-watch but your body is really craving some activities. Remember to stay active and get in some workouts so you can burn off those extra calories you are taking in during the holidays.

#2 Portion Control

Watch your portions and use a smaller plate to avoid overeating. You can still enjoy all the delicious foods that are made but you don’t need a full portion of each item. Take a little bit of everything. Split your roll with someone, take a small piece of the pie, and avoid feeling stuffed.

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#3 Feel Satisfied not Stuffed

This is very important when eating but super important during the holidays. The feeling of being stuffed or full is actually a bad thing. This means that your stomach has too much food in it. You should only eat until you feel satisfied. This means that your body is telling you it is comfortable and happy with the food it just had. During the holidays lots of people make the mistake of eating until they are so stuffed that they fall asleep. This can lead to weight gain.

#4 Make healthy dishes

This is one of the best ways to avoid eating things you should not have. If you are hosting dinner then you are in the perfect spot to make the food healthy. If you are attending someone else dinner then make sure to take a healthy side dish and healthy dessert so you have options. This will give the appearance of generosity as well as helping your diet. Here are 4 recipes for healthy dishes & desserts you can prepare.
Smashed Green Beans With Lemony Sumac Dressing
Blistered Green Beans With Fried Shallots
Pumpkin donuts with pecan frosting
Mini chocolate pumpkin seed candy peanut butter cups
You can also find many more recipes like this on my Pinterest boards. Follow me there!

#5 Eat Breakfast

A lot of times people will skip breakfast on Thanksgiving because they are busy cooking and they know they will eat a ton of food later. Remember that a ton of food is never a good thing. Start your day off with a small breakfast that is full of protein and fiber. This will help you discriminate later when the appetizers come out.

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#6 Avoid Seconds

This can be really hard at Thanksgiving when there is so much food around and your nosy Aunt Ruth wants you to try some of her macaroni surprise. Just remember it is ok to say no or that you are full. If you aim to please people then by all means take a bite not a helping. Try to say no to seconds and remember that there is probably more dessert than you will ever need. Remember that leftovers from Thanksgiving taste amazing the next day so save your seconds for that. If you keep your portions small the first time around then you will be fine getting a second helping of small portions. This is the best way when there are a lot of dishes.

#7 Watch the Alcohol

No this is not a surgeon general warning about what alcohol can do to you and how you should avoid it. This is simply a tip telling you to watch how much you take in. A lot of times on holidays there are yummy mixed drinks and wine pouring all around. These can be delicious and don’t feel like you can’t partake. Just remember that alcohol has a lot of hidden calories that can really add to your daily limit which can cause you to gain weight. Stick to a glass of wine or a spritzer. A low calories hard cider or beer would work as well. If you are attending someone else’s dinner then bring your own bottle so you know exactly how much you are having.

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#8 Eat Slow

This can be hard to do when there is so much good food around. However, if you take small bites and put your fork down between bites you will find that you fill up faster and eat less. Even counting to 20 as you chew can be helpful, but this is not always the greatest idea when people are trying to have a conversation with you. Just remember to go slow and the food isn’t going anywhere.

#9 Be Realistic

The holidays bring lots of wonderful times and delicious foods. It also can bring stress and pressure as you are entertaining and searching for the perfect gifts, clothes, not to mention the stress of how to pay for all of it. This is the best time to focus on maintaining your weight versus weight loss. Don’t get upset with yourself if you eat too much on Thanksgiving or forget to get a workout in. Just keep moving forward.

#10 Work it off

Get in a workout the morning of Thanksgiving and start your day off right. That will help with the balance of the extra calories you take in today. No time in the morning, then try to squeeze one in before bed. Anytime you can find to workout will help. This day can be challenging so don’t focus on a long workout but go for a HIIT workout that you can do in 5 to 10 minutes. Check out my Etsy store for 5 minutes HIIT workout cards that will give you many different options.

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All and all remember to have a great day and remember what you are thankful for.

For more information on weight loss for women check out my coaching options.

Amanda Jordan

Halloween Treats that Kids and Parents will Love!

Halloween can be exciting and fun as you dress up in fun costumes and take the kids out trick or treating. The kids are excited because they look forward to the abundance of candy they get. You know how it goes, you head out for the night and come home with hyped up kids who are impatiently waiting for you to check their candy to make sure it’s safe so they can go nuts and eat themselves into a sugar coma. When the end of the night hits and you have a chance to stand back and observe all the candy that has been brought into your house. You will be hit with an overwhelming feeling of guilt, as you think about the rotting teeth in your kid’s mouth, or the diet you just ruined because you indulged in their candy as well. Don’t forget the candy you just gave out to all the kids that stopped by your place.

Don’t worry it will all be ok. There are ways to fix this before you starting thinking you are the worst parent ever. The best way to take care of this is before Halloween even takes place so you can decide how to handle the candy situation and prepare the kiddos. A couple ideas would be to limit how many houses the kids can trick or treat at. Fewer houses mean less candy. The other would be to check with your local dentist and see if they are doing a candy trade. A lot of dentists will exchange candy for toys to kids who bring their candy in.

The best way to avoid all the candy is to find candy alternatives to give out to trick or treaters. Just think if all parents did this there would be less candy, less childhood obesity, and less holiday weight gains. Here is a list of treats to give out this holiday.

Raisins
Pretzels
Teddy Grahams
Juice Boxes
Mini Water Bottles
Baked Chips
Popcorn
Lowfat Granola or Cereal Bars
Sugar-Free Gum
Decorative Pencils or Pens
Small Rubber Balls
Fun Erasers
Glow Sticks
Stickers
Marbles
Small Games like Jacks
Bubbles
Mini Coloring Books
Crayons
Fruit Roll-Ups

These items will not only make the kids happy but the parents happy as well. Don’t forget to check out Pinterest for lots of other great Halloween treats.

Avoid Vacation Weight Gain

Vacations are a must when it comes to relaxing and destressing. This is something that you need to help release all the negative toxins in your body. Mind health is just as important as physical health when it comes to losing weight. Taking moments to relax and clear your head will keep you feeling fresh and focused on what matters in life. You need to let go of the negative things that your body will hold on to. Vacations and weekend getaways are the best way to do this.

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However, the downside to vacations and relaxing is the side effects it has on your waistline. It is common to go away for a few days, only to come home to find out that you have put on a few pounds. Here are some tips to remember the next time you take that much-needed R&R, so you don’t come home with extra baggage.

Amenities

Make sure you take advantage of the amenties that your hotel offers. If there is a gym, use it in the morning before you start your day and burn off some of those extra calories you have eaten, or drank.

Activities

Add in some activities during your trip that will guarantee you get some exercise in. Yes, you can have fun and exercise at the same time. Add on a hiking trip, kayaking, paddleboarding, or ride bikes. There are a lot of fun activities you can incorporate with your vacation that will guarantee to burn some calories.

Hydration

It is extremely important to remember that you need to drink water when you are on vacation. Especially if you are drinking fruity yummy alcoholic drinks. These are filled with calories and will leave you dehydrated. Make sure you get in enough water to stay hydrated.

Snacking

Being on vacation you will find yourself picking up food that is not healthy. Unhealthy snacks and trips to the vending machine will add unwanted calories to your diet, causing weight gain. Try to book a room that has a kitchen, or at least a refrigerator so you can store healthy snacks.

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Share Food

This is the big one that people often forget to do when they are traveling. Share food with people you came with. This is a great way to save on calories and money. It’s a win-win. Sharing food does not guarantee that you won’t get enough to eat. Just remember if you are truly hungry you can always order something else, but remember to start with sharing an appetizer , then share your entry, and desert, and you will be full in your tummy and your wallet.

Late Eating

This happens a lot when on vacation because you are happy and relaxed so you sleep in and stay up late. The problem is when you stay up late your body starts to feel hungry again. If you eat right before you go to bed your body won’t have a chance to burn off all those calories before you fall asleep. Try to keep a regular eating schedule and don’t skip meals.

Watch out for calories

Vacations are all about splurging and enjoying yourself but you don’t have to splurge on everything. Having dessert every single night after a day of fruity drinks will add more calories than you realize. Also pay attention to the free food that is brought with your meal, such as bread or chips and salsa. Yes, these are yummy and free but they are also full of calories and your meal will end up with hundreds of extra calories that you don’t even realize. Remember to have everything in moderation.

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Following a few of these tips will help you from putting on weight while enjoying yourself on vacation. You don’t want to come home to find out you have pounds to take off. However, if this does happen, don’t get down on yourself just remember its time to step up those workouts and take those pounds off. Everyone slips from time to time, it is no big deal, just keep moving forward.

Amanda Jordan