Fitlandia Blog: Exercise

4 Home Workouts to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

4 Home Workouts to Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Many people with the best fitness intentions and New Year’s fitness resolutions fail to stick to them by the end of January for two main reasons: they don’t have enough time to work out, or they hate the gym. If you fall into these categories but really want to commit to making permanent healthy habits this year, the solution may be closer than you think. By working out at home, you will save time commuting to the gym, and you will save yourself the anxiety of working out in front of strangers on unfamiliar equipment. Our X home workouts will help you save your New Year’s fitness resolution.

  1. Start Strength Training

Strength training is an important part of working out for everyone. With regular strength and resistance training, people reduce body fat and burn calories more efficiently for healthy weight loss. Lifting weights also helps preserve and build muscle mass and bones for people of all ages, and it increases resting metabolism by approximately 7% to help protect against muscle loss.

If you are going to workout at home, be sure to purchase dumbbells and kettlebells in the appropriate weights. If you’re a beginner, be sure to get weights that challenge you but won’t hurt you; you will increase the weight as you progress. With a quick search online, you can find various exercises that target certain body parts; for example, squatting with dumbbells works out the shoulders, arms, abs, and legs.

  1. Jump Rope

Jumping rope tones the upper and lower body all at the same time. It’s also a great way to work out because it increases your heart rate and helps you burn calories quickly. If you don’t have room in your home to swing a rope, do it in your driveway or front yard. Another option is to mimic the movement without using a real rope. Once you’re ready, bump up your jump rope workout by doing fast intervals and short recovery times. If jumping rope starts to get boring, spice it up by jumping on one leg, playing double-dutch with your kids, or jumping to your favorite songs.

  1. Follow Along with Online Workouts

There are tons of workout routines available online, and many are available free of charge. You can find beginner, intermediate, and expert workouts in addition to yoga routines, dance fitness classes, step aerobics, and more. If you’ve never tried an online workout before, search YouTube for the type of exercise you want to do. Then, see how many views the video you choose has and how many people gave it a thumbs up. Chances are, you will enjoy a workout video that’s been viewed more often and has more thumbs up than one that only a few people have seen or liked.

Another option is to subscribe to an online workout program and stream it whenever you have some free time, either at home or at the office. When you subscribe to streaming workouts, you feel like you have a personal trainer. Some people also stick to these workouts because they know they will have options and won’t have to keep searching for workouts since the subscription delivers them to you.

  1. Practice Yoga 

For people who like to wind down at the end of the day and don’t want to run to a gym or a yoga studio, practicing yoga is an ideal at-home workout option. Put on comfy clothes, roll out your yoga mat, turn on your essential oil diffuser, play relaxing music or soothing sounds, and start stretching and getting into your practice. If you’ve taken yoga classes before, you can get started right away, or  you can subscribe to a yoga channel that provides daily email, a calendar, and a routine to follow so you stay accountable and on track with your New Year’s resolution.

Working out at home is one of the easiest ways to stay on track with your New Year’s resolution and develop healthy habits. You won’t waste time commuting to a gym, and you’ll be more comfortable working out in the comfort of your own home. Working out at home also eliminates most people’s excuses for skipping their workouts, especially if you purchase the essential equipment ahead of time.

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Stop Putting Off These 5 Powerful Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Stop Putting Off These 5 Powerful Healthy Lifestyle Habits

In a world that is all about “less” it is somewhat foreign to think about adding more of something in our lives. We are told to eat less, weigh less, own less…the list continues. But there are many healthy lifestyle habits that are positively powerful and could and should be increased in our daily lives. And believe it or not, they are easy!

These lifestyle changes can reduce our stress, add value to our daily experiences, or even help improve our overall health and wellness. Developing a healthy lifestyle is essential to leading a happy, productive and enjoyable life daily.

The other benefit to adopting, practicing and improving these 5 healthy lifestyle habits? Beginning with one or many of these changes will make it that much easier to have other incredibly healthy lifestyle practices stick, too!

Check out these amazing 5 healthy habits you should add MORE of in your life NOW…

1) Drink More Water 

Water is a well known essential nutrient for the human body. Our bodies use water for basic functions and requires continuous hydration in order to work properly.

Studies have shown that even slight dehydration of 1-2% can impair basic cognitive performance, critical thinking, attentiveness and even memory.

Drinking plenty of water can even help with weight loss. Another study at Virginia Tech suggests that drinking water before eating your meals can help increase metabolic rates and also encourage you to consume less calories!

Healthcare professionals suggest drinking at least half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day and drinking water before each meal. You will feel more energized when your body has the hydration it needs to perform at its best!

2) Get More Sleep

Sleep is the body’s way of hitting the reset button. We heal, we re-energize, and we fuel our bodies with sweet, sweet sleep. We not only need sleep for energy but also for cognitive function, physical wellness, and emotional well-being.

We all live busy lives but it is important to realize the implications of regularly having a lack of sleep. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk in heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and even obesity.

It is suggested to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Give yourself one week of 8 hours of sleep each night on a regular sleep schedule and you will feel incredible benefits!

3) Stand and Walk More

Leading a regularly active lifestyle is incredibly important for your health. Sitting all day at your desk is not only hard on your body, it is hard on your brain and energy levels as well! Try using a standing desk for half of the day (or more!) and see how you feel.

Feeling like you have low energy today? Try taking a 10 minute walk to clear your head and re-energize your body and brain!

Fitting in regular walking or standing into your daily life can make a huge difference in your happiness, and help you burn extra calories, too!

4) Practice More Deep Breathing

Let’s face it. Our daily lives can be incredibly stressful. There are many things that cause this stress and a great deal are out of our control, but taking a moment or two to focus on your breathing can bring you inner peace and help curb that anxiety you are feeling.

Try taking a deep breath for a count of 8, holding it for a count of 3, and fully exhaling for another count of 8. Repeat this as many times as necessary until you feel more at ease and in control of your situation.

Sometimes just taking a moment to appreciate and focus on your breath can be incredibly healing and pleasant, and is a much healthier way to respond to life’s daily stressors.

And don’t just take my word for it, studies have shown than even just a few sessions of controlled breathing can significantly lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in our brains. Talk about powerful!

5) Eat More Small Meals

If you think back to our ancestors, there is very little chance that they survived by eating three square meals a day. They were foragers and continuously ate throughout each day to survive. So how can we integrate this principle into our modern lives?

Try allowing yourself to graze throughout your day. Pack healthy, nutrient rich snacks and small meals to eat while you are away from the house. So long as you make meal choices that align with a healthy lifestyle, you will gain boosts of energy from each serving and feel more energized in general. Studies have even shown this practice could help with weight management.

Your digestive system will thank you, too! Not overloading your body with too many carbs or sugars in one sitting does a world of good for a healthy gut!

You Can Do It!

Many of these changes may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t get discouraged! Take small steps to integrate these powerful lifestyle habits into your daily schedule and slowly work your way to larger changes. Try your best and your hard work will pay off and help these powerful lifestyle habits stick!

Who doesn’t want to drink more, sleep more, walk more, breathe more, and eat more?!

The best part? You get to do MORE of what makes you feel happier and healthier each and every day!


What healthy habits are on your “must-do” list? Post up your comments below and we’ll feature the on an upcoming Fitlandia Podcast episode.



1 Riebl, Shaun K, and Brenda M. Davy. “The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive

Performance.” ACSM’s health & fitness journal 17.6 (2013): 21-28. PMC. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

2 Dennis, Elizabeth A. Ana Laura Dengo, Dana L. Comber, Kyle D. Flack, Jyoti Savla, Kevin P. Davy, and

Brenda M. Davy. “Water Consumption Increases Weight Loss During a Hypocaloric Diet Intervention

In Middle-aged and Older Adults.” Obesity: A research journal 18.2 (2010): 300-307. PMC. Web. 20

Mar. 2017.

3 “Why Is Sleep Important?” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2012) Web. 20 Mar. 2017

4 Diedrich, Sara. “A stand-up solution.” The University of Iowa: Iowa Now (2015): Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

5 “Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response.” Harvard Health Publications:

Harvard Medical School (2015): Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

6 Cea, Ugarte JI., Arrillaga A. Gonzalez-Pinto, and OM Cabo Gonzalez. “Efficacy of the controlled breathing

therapy on stress: biological correlates.” Rev Enferm 33.5 (2010): 48-54. Web. PMC 20 Mar. 2017.

7 Kant, AK. “Evidence for efficacy and effectiveness of changes in eating frequency for body weight

management.” Adv Nutr. 5.6 (2014): 822–828. Web. 20 Mar. 2017.

Websites/Blogs searched for inspiration/ideas/studies:


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Episode 18 – HIIT Workouts for Workaholics With Megan Benedict and Loren Castillo

Episode 18 – HIIT Workouts for Workaholics With Megan Benedict and Loren Castillo

On this episode of the Fitlandia podcast, Christa hosts her first ever three-person podcast as she welcomes Megan Benedict and Loren Castillo, two of Fitlandia’s partners and the creators of Fit Kitchen Direct, for a breakdown of the HIIT Workout.


HIIT stands for “High Intensity Interval Training” and is a workout style that’s gained massive popularity in the past few years, and for good reason. Christa, Megan, and Loren are all entrepreneurs which means (among other things) they lead hyper-busy, always-on lives. Unfortunately, that also means that simple things like cooking and exercise can fall by the wayside, but HIIT serves as a solution to that problem.

HIIT is a workout you can do at the gym, at the park, or even from your home. HIIT entails the exerciser doing one sort of movement at the highest intensity they possibly can followed by a short period of rest. According to Megan, who is also a personal trainer, “you should be doing it to the point where you cannot talk.”

Megan says that for beginners it’s okay to start out at 30 seconds of high interval training with a minute of rest. Doing that for a max of ten minutes is enough to constitute a rigorous exercise that will keep your blood pumping. In addition to its time-saving nature, the great thing about HIIT is that each exercise is extremely customizable to the individual which means you can build up your timing as you get better. The  7 Minute Workout is an app that’s gained popularity over the past several years though there are plenty of other HIIT-specific apps in every phone’s app store.

Specific Exercises

Mountain Climber


High knees

Kettlebell Swings

Jog Sprints

Air Squats


Whatever You Start, Finish it.

Megan’s biggest tip is to make time for exercise and don’t overthink it. The great part about HIIT workouts is that you can do them anytime, anywhere, and without equipment. There’s a wealth of different workouts, apps, and knowledge available online, the only thing stopping you is you. Starting out slow, doing research, and knowing what you’re doing is key. Soon you’ll find movements you like that you can integrate into your routine and you’ll be crafting your own HIIT before you know it.

Special Offer

Megan and Loren also come bearing gifts in the form of a free Fit Kitchen Direct meal on them. Using the code FITLANDIA will get you one free meal out of FKD’s 5, 10, or 12 packs. Check out their delicious meals here and #EatCleanIn2017

Need the perfect complement to your workouts? Get a free, 2-week membership at Fitlandia today.


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Episode 11 – New Year’s Resolutions Part 3: Get in a Good Mood for Resolutions

Episode 11 – New Year’s Resolutions Part 3: Get in a Good Mood for Resolutions


On this episode of the Fitlandia Podcast, we’re looking forward to 2017 with this third installation in our series on New Year’s Resolutions. Joined by Rebecca Van Damm of Food Mood Coaching, this episode focuses specifically on getting yourself into a good mood for resolutions.

Starting Small

New Year’s Resolutions tend to bring mixed emotions, we’re part excited for a fresh start, but also pessimistic because it’s a system that has not worked in the past. Rebecca’s number one tip is to keep it simple. People have a tendency to want to overhaul their entire lifestyle, but trying to do so much in such a short period of time just means it’s that much harder to achieve, and also that much easier to give up when you hit a bump. Instead, she advises people to look deep within themselves and find your own intrinsic value, the thing that will make you a little happier. When you knock that out, then you move on to the next thing. It’s about working toward enjoyment.

“When people focus on having more fun, especially when it relates to diet, exercise, and lifestyle, they’re going to get a lot farther than if they were trying to relegate themselves to practices they don’t enjoy.” – Rebecca Van Damm

Rebecca goes on to list some other small tips related to food and movement that are simple and easy-to-execute. If you want some ideas for simple resolutions, these serve as a great starting point.

  1. Eat breakfast
  2. Drink water
  3. Sleep
  4. Nutrient-dense meals
  5. Cooking at home more

Receptive to Change

Another thing to notice is how you’re consuming your food. After talking health tips Rebecca brings up the fact that being mindful and enjoying your food slowly is paramount. Additionally, noticing what else you’re consuming while you eat is important. You’re putting your body into a receptive mode when you’re eating, and everything is being digested, experiences, conversations, media, etc. so when you’re putting your body into that mode, make sure it’s something that’s supportive and positive.

On Compassion

Whenever New Year’s comes around, there are also a lot of resolutions naysayers, people that say they never work, or complain about the influx of people at the gym. Harnessing that power of intention is a beautiful thing and only serves to build the greater fitness community. Embrace the fact that these people are trying to be as healthy as possible, be a part of their journey.

Rebecca says that it starts with self-compassion. If we’re attacking others there’s something deeper, some kind of shame point, something we’re not proud of. She asks the listener to notice those thoughts and look within themselves to find what that is. What is it that you don’t have compassion for? Where can you give yourself more compassion? It’s easier to have compassion for people around you when you have compassion for yourself.

Love yourself where you are. You’re perfect, and whole, and evolving into whatever goals you have. Be gentle with yourself and the body, and the mind, and the spirit that you are today. Embrace the fact that this is a journey over time.

Rebecca ends with one final bit of advice on upcoming resolutions: think of New Year’s Resolutions as a way to do something a little better, not a time to overhaul. Focus on doing better, don’t focus on trying to be better.


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Episode 10 – What does it mean to be a Fitlandian?

Episode 10 – What does it mean to be a Fitlandian?


In this TENTH episode of the Fitlandia Podcast Christa is flying solo as she answers the question “what does it mean to be a Fitlandian?”

As we’ve talked about in every episode prior, Fitlandia is about putting an end to dieting. People have come to hate dieting (rightfully so) because it is a flawed system that’s set up for short-term results, not long-term success. We like to think of Fitlandians as “recovered dieters,” anyone who has tried to get healthy, but who the dieting industry has failed. Fitlandia wants to be your end to dieting. The solution. The start of a truly healthy life.

Why is it important to be a Fitlandian?

We are three times more likely to reach and maintain our goals when we are connected with a community. Being a Fitlandian is about a sense of place, and connection, and community. To build a safe space and having that network of fellow Fitlandians to support and inspire you in your journey.

“Sometimes we do more for others than we do for ourselves. Here at Fitlandia we’re continually looking at ways to make ourselves the priority, but also harness the power of wanting to support others” – Christa King

What does it mean to be a Fitlandian?

It’s about a sense of place, an embodiment of what it takes to achieve your goals. What it takes to give up dieting, to be conscious of mindful eating, and be loving of your body. There are ten key things that make a Fitlandian:

  1. We are Positive (we get better and better at catching our negative thoughts)
  2. We are Resilient (whenever we find ourselves in a rut we come back to our resolve to be healthy)
  3. We are Committed (committed for the long haul. For Life.)
  4. We are Strong (we are strong mentally and physically)
  5. We Inspire (openness to share our struggles and how we overcame)
  6. We Motivate (we motivate others and ourselves)
  7. We Connect (honest, open, vulnerable, connection)
  8. We Give (we give up ourselves, we give our experiences, we give our support)
  9. We Receive (we are open to asking for help and openly take it in)
  10. We Thrive (how does your body feel when it’s thriving? How is your mind operating when it’s thriving? We identify that state and fight relentlessly to get there)

Fitlandia’s Core Values

What do you want out of fitness? At Fitlandia you get to define that, and we accept you just as you are. There’s a shift happening in the fitness industry. A movement away from body image (or obsession) and towards having a healthy lifestyle. Health doesn’t mean “Size 2,” we are all built differently, and true health is about finding what’s best for you.

First and foremost, Fitlandia’s is on a mission to end dieting. There are 108 million people in the US alone who are currently on a diet, and 67% of them are projected to fail at reaching or maintaining their goals. Fitlandia is about creating the right mindset for weight loss by starting with your mind and working from there. It’s about creating a change that is sustainable.

We also see Fitness as an individual journey. You’re in full control of the choices you make or choose to not make. It’s up to the individuals to decide what’s right for them. Fitlandia is body positive for all. We are 100% inclusive and see everybody as a beautiful body being formed in health. 


Fitlandia supports permanent, healthy lifestyle changes, not quick-fix rapid weight loss. We want you to run optimally and efficiently. Our mantra courtesy of Dr. Jerome Craig is “we get healthy on purpose, and we lose weight as a result.

We also respect that there are different fitness modalities, practices, perspectives, and philosophies. Fitlandia also promotes an environment for you to be vulnerable. There’s power in vulnerability, and using that to get to the root of what you want to change is vital for your journey.

Love, Respect, and Positivity.

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Don’t Feel Like Exercising? Here are 5 Simple Tips to Get You Moving!

Don’t Feel Like Exercising?  Here are 5 Simple Tips to Get You Moving!

By Carrie Billings, MA, CHWC

You hear your alarm buzzing and quickly reach over to turn it off.  It’s barely light out, and you can hear the rain pouring down.   Your bed is warm and comfortable, so you snuggle back under the covers.    It’s too cold and too early to be thinking about moving your body.

As much as you want to go back to sleep, you know you’ll feel so much better if you get up and get moving.  Here are 5 simple tips to help you fight the urge to stay in bed the next time your alarm goes off.

1) Change your mindset.

Take a moment to think about your expectations around exercise.  Do you get on the scale after every workout and feel disappointed if the number hasn’t gone down?  Or maybe you look in the mirror every day, hoping that certain parts of your body will look different. 

If you’re not getting the result you want, don’t berate yourself for your lack of progress or think about giving up entirely.  Instead, try this simple trick:  change your mindset. Step away from the scale and the mirror and choose to focus on how exercising makes you feel.  It can give you more energy, improve your mood, and reduce stress – all of which will help you feel your best every day. Try taking notice of and appreciating these benefits and you just might begin to look forward to your morning exercise routine.

2) Identify your motivation.

Identifying the unique reasons why you want to exercise can help you tap into your inner desire for change.  Try this:  take some time to think about all of the reasons you might want to be physically active.  Then, for 10 minutes, write down everything that comes to mind.  Next, read it through and see what jumps out at you.  You may be surprised to find a motivator that you hadn’t thought of before.  Choose the motivation that feels the strongest and reflect on it often.

3) Start with an easy goal (really!).

If you choose a goal that’s too difficult, it can be challenging to stick to it.  If you’re currently not working out at all and you decide you want to start running 5 miles every day, it’s likely that you’ll have a hard time making that happen (not to mention you’ll risk injury).  Just thinking about it will probably be overwhelming and stressful!  Instead, try setting a small, easy goal you know you can achieve.  Here are a few ideas: 5 sit-ups, 5-10 minutes walking on the treadmill or outside, or 5 minutes of yoga poses.  Once you’re moving, you may even decide to do more.  Choose something that seems almost ridiculously simple and see where it takes you!

4) Write it down.

Research shows that writing down your goals increases the likelihood that you’ll accomplish them.[1]   To boost your chance of success even more, share that goal with a friend (or coach!) and then send that friend weekly updates on your progress.  

5) Reward yourself.

Once you’ve completed your goal, choose a simple, healthy way to pat yourself on the back for a job well-done.  Try rewarding yourself with a few extra minutes in the shower, a new book you’ve been dying to read, even stickers on a calendar.  Accomplishing your goal is something to celebrate, so don’t skip this!  It will help you build your exercise habit.

Put these practices into place and the next time your alarm goes off, you’ll be able to get up, get moving, and reap the benefits.

For more help with your health and fitness goals, sign up for a free trial of Fitlandia! Fitlandia’s online holistic fitness program will help you shift the deep-rooted mental patterns that drive your ability to be successful in creating a healthy lifestyle change.


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Episode 8 – New Year’s Resolutions Part 2: Harnessing the Power of Intention

Episode 8 – New Year’s Resolutions Part 2: Harnessing the Power of Intention


On the eighth episode of the Fitlandia Podcast Christa welcomes Andrew Arredondo for a talk about the power of intention. Andrew is a gym owner, personal trainer, and coach with 8 years of experience in the industry. After interning at a physical therapy center he landed a job as a personal trainer at a private gym and he knew instantly that owning a gym was what he wanted to do. A year later he started renting space and building his own clientele as an independent contractor and officially opened his doors by starting his facility FIT.


Moving onto the topic at hand, the two discuss New Year’s Resolutions and the beauty of our culture’s collective intention for change. At the same time, Resolutions feel like something we “need” to have, and as a result, are often something that people go through the motions with. If there’s nothing deep behind it then it will wither away. Andrew says if there’s something deeper then people will be far more likely to change.

It’s not enough for your goal to be “look better,” if you look deeper and ask yourself “why?” you see that’s about confidence. If you look deeper at that you’ll see that may be about being appealing to a specific person. Asking yourself these questions and drilling deep to find your true motivating factor is an incredibly important part of the fitness journey and can serve as a major stumbling block for someone, especially as they jump into New Year’s Resolutions.

Stumbling Blocks

Even with self-belief and desire to change, negativity and discouragement still serve as stumbling blocks. Andrew and Christa also touch on the idea that fitness and health aren’t a short-term solution, but a journey. Because resolutions are framed in terms of results, hitting a numeric end goal is viewed as a success when it really should be an ongoing process.

Indicators of Success

Christa and Andrew go on to outline two indicators of someone’s ability to reach and maintain their goals. One is having a strong desire for change. Figuring out those “why’s” and keep asking yourself what’s the deeper connection that you have with them. The second is the belief in change. Giving your brain a new blueprint and telling yourself that you can achieve that is vital to your own success.

“The starting point for all achievement is desire” – Napoleon Hill

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Episode 5 – Stories of Transformation 2: Nicole Anderson

Episode 5 – Stories of Transformation 2: Nicole Anderson


Nicole Anderson joins Christa this week to discuss her fitness journey and the impact that a corporate lifestyle has on health. Hailing from the Digital marketing space, Nicole reached her unhealthiest point about a year ago as genetics and stress intersected. She searched for a way to change knowing that most dieting platforms simply offer short-term solutions. She jumped into Crossfit knowing nothing about it and ended up losing 55 pounds through that program and coaching from gym’s owner. That community pushed her and she found a way to make that work with her hectic schedule.

“I found a way to make myself and my health a priority and still manage my job.” – Nicole Anderson

As her health was improving she was simultaneously reaching a wall in her career. Through this weight loss experience and Crossfit, she discovered that health, fitness, and helping others was her passion. After a moment of realization, she realized she needed change. She’d been doing the same job for 18 years. She didn’t just need to change her job, she needed to change her career. She left her corporate job and is currently in the process of launching her new health coaching career to help people become their best selves. Her goal is to help others overcome their roadblocks the same way that she did.

“You are three times more likely to achieve and maintain your goals when you’re connected with a community.”

It’s about putting an end to dieting. Whatever form that may take. You’re creating a lifestyle, you’re figuring out what works best for your body, and what works for each person will be different. In addition to her work/life imbalance, Nicole’s change was brought on after being diagnosed with genetic high cholesterol. Her rock bottom point was when she realized she hated having her picture taken because it meant she had to look at herself, and once she brushed the point of needing the seat belt extender on a plane she knew it was time for a change.

Proactive, Not Reactive

That diagnosis combined with her desire for a physical change made her decide that it was time to be proactive rather than reactive. She took a look at her eating habits, got into Crossfit and gradually eased into her new lifestyle. After realizing she was addicted to sugar she borrowed a mantra from Jillian Michaels “Will this bring me closer to my goal, or further away?” which went on to help Nicole combat the lure of sweets. She also touches base on how much our culture values independence but says do not be afraid to ask for help. Trying to do everything yourself leads to burnout, and the beautiful thing about us is that we are willing to help each other out no matter what form that takes.

Keep an eye out for Nicole’s business Born To Fly within the next month and on the Fitlandia website as one of our expert practitioners.

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5 Steps for Regaining a Fit Physique

5 Tips for Regaining a Fit Physique

If you’re someone to whom fitness is important, then you don’t need to be told how dedicated you need to be in order to achieve real results. People devote years of their lives and many hours of their time to losing weight, getting healthy, and becoming stronger. Good habits develop as a result. However, even the most deeply ingrained good habits can be broken.

Most modern people lead incredibly busy lives, and sometimes life gets in the way of that fitness regimen you worked so hard to establish. At first, maybe an increasingly busy schedule stops you from making it to the gym once or twice. Then things escalate and continue to take even more time away from your workout routine. Before you know it, you’re completely off the wagon and out of shape, wondering what happened.

This is something that can and does happen to the best of us. However, it’s important to realize that it’s something you can come back from if you really put your mind to it. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Don’t underestimate what your body is capable of right now.motivation for exercise

No, you’re not in the kind of shape you once were. Yes, you’ve probably got a long way to go before you’re back to where you want to be, and you won’t be able to pick up right where you left off. However, this doesn’t mean that you should work out as little as possible. To begin with, factors like muscle memory will make it easier for your body to bounce back than you might otherwise think.

You also have an advantage that you didn’t have the first time you got into shape. You actually know what it takes to get yourself into tip-top condition, so there’s no guesswork involved. You did it once. You can do it again.

  1. Keep the intensity level low at first.

In many ways, you’re where a beginner would be as far as strength training and general endurance are concerned. However, you can be sure that your progress will be much quicker this time around.

Gauge where you are currently by keeping the intensity level low at first. Lift or work out at about 50-60% of what you perceive your ability to be and take it from there. As long as you’re not totally hurting after your workouts, it’s not only okay to gradually up the intensity, but recommended.

  1. Understand the three stages of muscle building.

It takes the average person about a month to go from a sedentary fitness level to having light muscle mass. After about three months, that same person can expect to have achieved a moderate degree of muscle mass. As touched on above, a person who has muscle memory in their corner can expect to make progress more quickly, as the body remembers where it was once and will be better equipped to get back there.

This process generally takes place over three stages. They are as follows:

  • Stage One: This is the “getting back in shape” phase. Ideally, it involves doing easier exercises, but at a high number of reps to help activate muscle memory.
  • Stage Two: This is where you get into doing harder exercises, but at a median number of reps. Maximize the benefit you’ll get out of your workout by opting for compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups. Pull-ups, dips, and squats are just a few examples.
  • Stage Three: Here’s where more advanced exercises can be safely introduced. Go with lower numbers of reps so that you can use higher amounts of weight – the best combo for rebuilding muscle structure and improving overall strength.

You’ll be seeing (and feeling) yourself improve before you know it.

  1. Don’t forget to take nutrition into account.

As you no doubt already know, your actual workout is only half of the equation when it comes to getting into shape. Nutrition is the other half, and a very important one at that. Even the best, most ideal training routine isn’t going to help you get back to where you want to be if you’re not supporting your body via a proper diet.

The chances are pretty good that if you’ve stopped working out, then you’ve also lapsed in regards to healthy eating habits. It’s time to get back on track by recommitting yourself to a diet that is roughly 40% carbs, 40% protein, and 20% fats.

You’ll also need to be clear with yourself as far as what your goals are. Are you looking to bulk up? Ingest about 800 calories over your basic daily usage. Looking to cut or lose weight? Opt for 800 calories under that usage instead.

  1. Realize that getting enough rest is also important.Restful sleep creates motivation for exercise

Once you have your diet in check and your workout back on the up-and-up, it might be tempting to think you’ve covered everything important. However, it can’t be stressed enough that getting enough rest is important as well. You need eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each day in order to build muscle, rest your system, and recover from your workouts.

For best results, do everything you can to make falling and staying asleep as easy as possible. Don’t nap during the day if you can help it. Avoid drinking too many liquids before bed to lower the likelihood of having to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Keep your bedroom cooler as far as temperature. If you still have trouble sleeping well enough or long enough, try a natural sleep supplement like melatonin.

Avoid overtraining, and definitely try to avoid ever breaking the habit of hitting the gym again if at all possible. It’s too easy to never get around to coming back from such a break! Consider making staying on top of your workouts simpler by setting up a home gym so you can maintain your progress even if life gets in the way again. You’ll be back on track in no time!

Author Bio:

Carole Klein is the manager of social media and content for Unique Fitness Concepts located at their headquarters in Vernon Hills, IL.  She has a B.S. in exercise physiology and is a fitness industry expert with more than 20 years of experience as a competitor and personal trainer.

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9 Reasons Why HIIT Can Be Better Than Cardio

9 Reasons Why HIIT Can Be Better Than Steady State Cardio

When you’re looking to make a permanent lifestyle change and end yo-yo dieting, incorporating daily exercise is a key component in a holistic fitness practice.

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s important to take care of your health in order to reduce the chances of prolonged illnesses and to eliminate stress. The fitness market is flooded with activities to help you achieve a healthy status.  

Activities ranging from walking in the park to running a marathon are always a good choice for those who like traditional exercises.  More recently, activities like Zumba and yoga, along with a variety of cardio and weight training options have also become popular alternative choices for getting fit.

Among all, Steady Cardio vs. High Intensity Interval Training has always been a hot topic of discussion in the fitness world. Some say, “yes” to cardio and some say a big,  “NO” to cardio.

 HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training and Cardio Defined:

As of lately HIIT seems to be gaining ground in the eyes of the experts.  As the name suggests, this type of exercise is a high-intensity regime where you perform rigorously for a short amount of time then take a short break before completing another interval.

You can get healthy with HIIT in a variety of ways.  Many people interval train by moving between a treadmill/elliptical, to cycling, or to running outdoors. Some even combine cardio exercises with strength training by using equipment like kettlebells, sleds, barbells, jump ropes, or even your own bodyweight.  

Contrary to HIIT, Steady Cardio is usually performed at a low intensity or at a low pace where you do same set of exercise for prolonged period of time. Cardio is also known as aerobic or cardiovascular exercise that increases heartbeats gradually. This is not the case with HIIT.

Eric Salvador, NASM, NSCA, head instructor at The Fhitting Room in New York City says that HIIT increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage that causes your body to ask for more oxygen during recovery period. This process is known as EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption), and this EPOC leads to continuous fat and calorie burn after performing HIIT.    

Let’s Look at the Pros of HIIT That Will Make You Fall in Love with It.

Increased Metabolism

Wouldn’t you love it if your body kept on burning excess fat even after you left the gym? HIIT increases your speed, power, endurance, and metabolic rate, which helps you burn fat continuously as well as much faster than any other cardio exercise.

Noticeable Results

Short duration and more fat burning leads to quick results. Who doesn’t love that? With dieting, juicing, and aerobic exercises, it’s hard to not lose muscle mass along with fat. Studies show that both weight training and HIIT workouts allow dieters to preserve their hard-earned muscles while burning more fat.

Healthier Heart

Stress, junk food, and the fast life affect your heart the most, and HIIT works as a better way to a healthier heart. When you perform HIIT your body experiences EPOC, which encourages fat burning and leads to lower cholesterol levels.  This in turn equals a healthier heart.

Speedy, Sweaty, and Handy

Lack of time or no access to a gym is the reason most people avoid working out. HIIT brings a solution. It is fast paced and can be done with your own bodyweight if you don’t have access to other instruments. Plus, it can be done anywhere i.e., home, office, park, or even in the restaurant waiting lines.

Better Use of Your Bodyweight

With HIIT, you mostly use your body weight to get your heart rate up and keep it there. No excess to dumbbells? Excuses won’t work here.

Get Toned

Those who love a ripped body, love HIIT. HIIT workouts result in optimal muscle building and muscle retention plus more fat loss and increased calorie burn.

Love the Challenge

Are you one who loves a challenge? Then you are meant for HIIT. You can read a book or listen to your favorite music while walking or running on a treadmill or elliptical machine, but with HIIT all you hear is a loud heartbeat. You will be in pain at the end, but as they say, “No pain no gain”.

It Works

If you don’t have time for the gym, don’t get disappointed. All you need is 20-30 minutes a day for HIIT, and you will get a toned body in a short period of time.    

It’s Not Boring

Many people get in a rut with the same workout routine and stop working out due to boredom. HIIT won’t let you tire of same old routine. Once your body reaches a high endurance level, it needs a more powerful workout regime, which it can get from HIIT.


Once you start HIIT, you will feel the difference. HIIT goes way beyond more calories burned during the workout than many exercise methods. It’s a great alternative to the boredom that most people associate with the repetitive nature of cardio, and it offers more mental stimulation as well as greater physical results.

“What Is the Effect of HIIT on Health Related Markers in …” Accessed July 31, 2016.

Ask The Ripped Dude: Why Does HIIT Burn So Much Fat?” 2012. Accessed July 31, 2016.

Taylor, Conor W., Stephen A. Ingham, and Richard A. Ferguson. “Acute and Chronic Effect of Sprint Interval Training Combined with Postexercise Blood-flow Restriction in Trained Individuals.” Exp Physiol Experimental Physiology 101, no. 1 (2015): 143-54. doi:10.1113/ep085293.


Danaher, Jessica, Tracey Gerber, R. Mark Wellard, Christos G. Stathis, and Matthew B. Cooke. “The Use of Metabolomics to Monitor Simultaneous Changes in Metabolic Variables following Supramaximal Low Volume High Intensity Exercise.” Metabolomics 12, no. 1 (2015). doi:10.1007/s11306-015-0883-7.


Phil Slater is a blogger and fitness expert who writes about all things relating to health and fitness. Over the years, Phil has helped many of his personal coaching clients live happier lives by helping them achieve their fitness goals.


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