WHAT YOGA HAS DONE FOR ME!

What does it mean to be ZEN? According to the Urban Dictionary one way to think of zen is this: a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body and mind. Zen is a way of being. It also is a state of mind. Zen involves dropping illusion and seeing things without distortion created by your own thoughts.

Do I claim to be a “YOGI”?…. No.

Do I claim to be “ZEN”?…… Hell No.

But Yoga has done so many great things for me physically and spiritually. I am a person that is on 100 all the time. I am a person that when I have nothing to do I am probably going crazy. Yoga has been amazing for me!

What has Yoga done for me? 

1. I found my inner “ZEN”. Yoga has helped me realize that I can actually be still and at peace in my life. The time I have felt most relaxed was sitting on my mat and thinking I can physically take on anything that will be thrown my way.

2. Bye Bye Anxiety! I have dealt with anxiety my entire life. Yoga has helped me with my breathing and knowing I can go to a place where everything will be fine.

3. Flexibility. The last time I was flexible was when I was a cheerleader in high school. Who knew I could go back to doing the splits, I mean HELLO!

If you have not done yoga you may want to look into it. Search your local gyms, yoga studios are typically more expensive than gyms but those are always an option! 

WHAT I HAVE LEARNED…..

I had my own struggle with losing weight. To be honest I struggle every day but this time it’s a different struggle. I struggle to maintain my weight, maintain my healthy lifestyle and maintain my progress of not losing weight but toning and getting stronger. Regardless, of what our struggle is we all struggle. I struggle to drink my water everyday, to not pick up that soda and to walk away from the snickers. I have worked so hard to get my body to where it is and it’s so hard when people want the same results but don’t want to work for it.

What I have learned this far in my coaching career is that you can’t make anyone lose weight, or get healthy. You can give them all the tools to be successful and to lose weight but if there is no real motivation well then there will be no real results. As a coach I can just be here for them when they are really ready for change and help.

I work at the gym of course because I am a Zumba instructor but it’s amazing how you see the same people at the gym, over and over! These are the people who keep me motivated, these are the people who has seen change and craves more change! I am learning and will still learn probably each day but I see everyday as a new opportunity.

HOW TO WALK 10,000 Steps a Day

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It seems as if everyone is tracking their daily steps. Between pedometers, higher end fitness bands like a Fitbit or an UP3 by Jawbone, or even just using your phone to track your movement, there is no excuse to not know how many steps a day you are taking. When you track your steps, you are challenging yourself to live a healthier life each and every day. It is also nice to compare your progress and push yourself to reach new fitness goals.

 Here’s how to reach 10,000 Steps a Day:

  1. Create a challenge for yourself. This can be anything you want that requires walking. Maybe you want to walk to the store instead of driving once a week or walk for thirty minutes every day after dinner. Walking 10,000 steps daily will help keep you active during the times when it is hardest. Start slowly so that you can achieve this step milestone in time. When I first started using my FitBit, I was surprised to see only 2,000 a day when I worked at an indoor office job. I slowly made sure to get to 5,000 each day before it was a breeze to get to 10,000.
  1. Make a specific goal. Keep track of what you normally walk in a day so that you can have an average step count. Next, you will want to make a goal to increase your steps by a certain percentage. For example, let’s say that you walk 3,600 steps a day right now. You will want to increase that amount by at least 10% for a week. Check your progress and then repeat! You will soon reach 10,000 steps a day.

When you record your steps daily, it will be easier to see how you have been doing. Some days it will be easy to reach your goal, but other days may be a struggle. Don’t give up!

  1. Track your moods. Do you feel motivated? Are you having issues reaching your goal? What is holding you back? At first you may not feel like walking 10,000 steps a day will be a huge increase or be a big improvement in your life. This is especially true in the beginning when you feel like you want to give up. Evaluate how you feel after you reach your targeted walking goal.

If you struggled to meet your goal, brainstorm ways to reach it daily. Get creative! Take the stairs, park further away when you are shopping, and use your lunch breaks to get up and move around.

  1. Make it fun. Download audiobooks that you only listen to as you walk or start listening to podcasts. This is how I “trick” myself into walking more since the only time I can finish my current novel or catch up on my favorite podcast is by walking around the block with my smartphone!

Does 10,000 daily steps sound overwhelming? It should inspire you to live a healthy life. Feel better and get fit with these tips to reach your milestone!

This guest post was provided as a courtesy from the Bloggers Get Social group. We are a blog network, podcast, and community for content solutions. Join us today for creative content, accountability, and learn how to blog better.

WORK OUT WITH RYDERWEAR!

I live by the motto if you look your best, you feel your best and that goes for even when your at the gym. Many people may not agree with me but I feel I at least need lipgloss or mascara before I  work out. Im not saying you have to go to the gym with a face full of make up or your hair done up because my hair is usually in a messy bun or an upside down pineapple.ryderwear-womens-bra

Typically I get off of work, change into my workout clothes and will work out for an hour about 3 times a week and then I teach Zumba on Saturdays so to say I live in gym clothes would be an understatement. There are only certain leggings I can wear that are not only are comfy when working out but I don’t have to worry about them rising when doing lifts and squats. I always look for cute workout clothes and I finally found a brand that provides not only comfy workout clothes but they are cute.

 

When it comes to sports bras it’s so hard finding a good bra that doesn’t make you feel like you have no chest! Ryderwear push up crop black sports bra ( what I am wearing) give you great support for any type of exercise. I danced for 90 minutes during Zumba class and the girls were nice and secure! The bra is made with performance fabric with 4 way stretch, breathable padding and body wick cool and dry material.

 

As soon as I went into the gym with these #LIFTSQUAT tights everyone complimented me! These are comfortable and are cute which is what I love! Also these shoes the Ladies D-Maks are perfect for squats. The flat soles that the shoes have allow your feet to be planted firmly on the ground which are perfect for squats.

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I wish I could say what was my favorite but my shirt says it all— Muscles and Mascara! No I am not being paid to post about their products but I think not only are they perfect for people like me that loves good workout clothes and that are fashionable. Check them out www.ryderwear.com!

 

MONDAY MOTIVATION

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It’s a Monday! All things that could go wrong have went wrong. From not getting any sleep all weekend and it finally catching up to me, even this concealer can’t cover up everything I went through this weekend.

My life has been a wreck this weekend. It started with the toddler getting a fever at daycare, which means she had to get picked up. That turned into a crying, whining, disaster 1 year old not wanting to sleep, eat or play. She just wanted mommy and it was so hard because my 3 year old couldn’t understand why I couldn’t play with him. My hubby had to work all weekend, which meant it was just me and the kids!

Guess what?! I will still be in the gym today after work, I am up early writing this post……. I am motivated and determined to get strong. Working out doesn’t only make me strong physically but mentally. I feel empowered when I am lifting those weights and doing those reps. It is something about lifting and pushing your body to lengths you never thought you would make it.

I don’t work out to be skinny. I work out to be strong. Physically and mentally!

What is your motivation? Why do you hit the gym?

 

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5 Question To Ask Yourself Before Joining A Gym

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Gym and contracts are a big deal! I am always hesitant with contracts because I have had bad experiences.

The bad experience I had was signing a 2 year contract with the first place I looked. When I first started going I loved it, I had a personal trainer and was loving the gym life. As the first year continued I started noticing the gym was adding more members than they actually had equipment, room inside the facility or parking for.




Before signing a contract there are 5 questions you should ask yourself.

Fitness equipment in the gym. Gym.

1.DO I LIKE THE GYM OR DO I LIKE WORKING OUT AT HOME?

Speaking to many people, that pay for memberships and refuse to use it is because they signed up and found out they actually hate the gym. Working out when everyone can see them, is not for everyone. Most people find it to be better just to work out in their living room.

2. DO THEY OFFER GROUP FITNESS CLASSES?

For me that was important! When I first started working out I knew that I wasn’t a runner and couldn’t just motivate myself to work out. I needed a class/classes to get into because I knew being amongst other people would push me. I tried every class my gym had to offer at least once and I found my thing was Zumba!

3. CHILDCARE?

Childcare is a big deal, especially for people with kids. Not only do they have childcare, but what are the hours? I have visited a lot of gyms where the childcare is at the most inconvenient times for working parents. Why have a childcare in the gym and it’s closed during peak hours?! Make sure you verify the times!

4. GYM HOURS?

Do the hours work with your schedule? Some gyms don’t open until 6am, which wouldn’t work for a lot of people that has to work out first thing at 5am. I love 24 hour gyms but realize not every gym is like that so make sure you check on the hours.

5. WHAT IS THE ATMOSPHERE?

This is the most important question to ask yourself while visiting. I love the gym I go to, because they do a lot with the members. They offer free body boot camp, and will have little parties and Zumbathons for the members. I have been to many places, where the staff at the front aren’t friendly, and your just another body to them.

The biggest advice I could give is to do your research. Don’t go with the name because it’s well known (those are the worse ones), go with the one you love. Each gym offers things to their members, just make sure it fits you!




A Mothers Guilt: When You Put Yourself First

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Here is to the lady in the mirror that doesn’t feel good enough. Who is tired from sleepless nights from a 10 month old baby. Who has worked all day and still manages to get home to the kids and husband, make dinner and rushes to get to the gym. Here is to the mom that is looking in the mirror feeling some type of guilt because the time she is spending at the gym could be spent with her kids. Here is to the mom that lifts that bar and feels weak not only physically but mentally. Who can’t do another push up, plank or even jumping jack.



 

I am here to tell you that you’re not alone. I am that mom. This week has been rougher then most weeks. We all have our days where we feel guilty because we are choosing to put ourselves first by going to the gym for an hour. For taking some “mommy time” and putting her needs before her families. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We all have those days, but make sure you take out all of your anger and aggression in the gym.

It is difficult to put ourselves before our family and I am learning that, this is a normal feeling. Is it right?! I am not sure and still looking for the answer. One thing I do know is, sometimes I need to get my thoughts together or sort things out and the best place for that is the gym. This week has been especially hard because I have been to the gym everyday so far and have not really spent tons of time with my kids. Yes, I feel guilty but no matter how perfect my schedule is planned out I think I will always feel guilty. When you have bad days know your not alone, that it is ok if you skip the gym to spend time with your family. When you have those days stay home and wait for the kids to go to bed. Pop in the workout DVD and get your sweat on. There is so much pressure on us as moms, women, and wives that you don’t need to be even harder on yourself. This is why home workouts are so important and why I have to keep reminding myself why I created OH CHIC MOM. I created this brand because I know the struggles of working out, eating right and by nature putting yourself last. Don’t get me wrong, I have an awesome husband that helps out but he can’t fill my shoes, just like I can fill his shoes. So if you are having those days, know your not alone and you can do anything!



Intelli Glass Pro Review


GLASS PRO REVIEW

With every great gym workout you will need 3 things to kill your workout great headphones (prefer wireless), iPhone/ Phone and some type of protective gear like a screen protector for my phone. I have dropped my phone about a million times and my lifeline has came out with some bruises worse then I get while doing body pump.

Have you ever been in the gym when and you drop your phone while working out? I have and it hurts, not me but my pretty little phone aka my lifeline. I refuse to wear an arm band where I put my phone in it because I feel like it restricts my movement and it is very annoying. Yes, I have tried the belt and again I feel its annoying and it limits me from being great in the gym! Not only does my phone get war wounds often at the gym but also at home with my 3 year old. He loves watching spiderman on my phone, and my house is mostly ceramic so I have had close encounters with my phone getting dropped on the floor. Did I mention not even a week after the iPhone 6s came out my 3 year old dropped it and it cracked.

I think if anyone makes a manual for moms in 2016 it should include a checklist and a screen protector should be included. I know I am not the only mom that puts her grocery list in her phone, or entertains her 3 year old with the phone when we wait in a line or doctors office and he starts to get antsy.

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Being a mom of 2 little kids Intelli Armor understood my pain and sent me Intelli Glass for my iPhone 6s. Not only was it super easy to put on and if you have a screen protector for your phone well then you know what I am talking about. I have used so many screen protectors and those stupid bubbles would drive me crazy! With this screen protector you don’t have to worry about it all all.

It not only comes with a alcohol wipe to clean your screen before installing but it also comes with a microfiber wipe to clean off any alcohol left on your phone and any dust. Let me just tell you that microfiber wipe has come in handy when the little one gets nastiness on my phone LOL. The instructions not only take you step by step but it’ so easy! The best part is the white part covered up the crack the little caused! Like everyone that likes the bang for their buck they also offer lifetime warranty, that was icing on the cake.

I can honestly say right after I installed the glass protector I dropped it on a weight and it had no scratch or damage done!

If you want to get your own screen protector at 20% use this code:   Coupon Code: TM-5FPGC0PG  

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*This post is sponsored by intelliarmor but these are my honest opinions on the product*

Fit Mom Mother’s Day Gift Guide

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If your like me well then you probably have no idea what to get your own mother or your husband has no clue on what to get you! Mother’s Day can get tricky but like most holidays I typically over think everything! Before I made this lifestyle change my husband always would get my favorite or at the time my favorite food! Chocolate covered strawberries was part of the norm for every holiday or birthday so this is also very shocking to him. Instead of going out to eat or getting my favorite dessert he now has to find something that is in my lifestyle change! I have am a big fan of looking cute while working out! I love cute tanks to work out in and I always say you don’t have to look rough to work out! After all I am a girlie girl that lifts weights and works out so why not look cute while sweating. My favorite workout item is my FIT BIT! I love how it syncs with my phone and how me and my friends can challenge each other on how may steps a day we are taking!m

Here are some great Mother’s Day Picks! 

Fit Mom Mother's Day Gifts
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Affordable Activewear By TopKnot Style

Hello all you beautiful Oh Chic Mom readers. I am here today to share some great options for affordable activewear.

I have always exercised pretty consistently (I have danced my entire life), but I have been changing my workout routine recently and simply focusing on toning. Yes, squats. Ugh. Because of that, I am in workout clothes about 5 days a week, unless I take an extra day off… don’t lie, you do it, too! Now I am no fitness expert, but I do want to give all of you one tip. DRESS UP when you go to the gym. Don’t judge me, but I am that woman with bronzer and her eyebrows done at the gym. And I always have on a cute outfit. I just find that it motivates me more when I feel good about myself. Throwing on old sweats and t-shirt just doesn’t make me beautiful and ready to commit to a good workout.

Obviously fitness has been a thing forever, but because of fitness and fashion bloggers and tv shows about losing weight, I feel that a lot more people are paying attention. And that is so great! And because of all that, you can find trendy, affordable activewear almost anywhere. All that also makes it acceptable to run errands and grab lunch with a friend in your activewear. If it’s all cute, why not wear it everywhere you go! I have linked a few trendy options below; all under $50!

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 Thanks for reading, y’all. I hope you liked some of my affordable activewear choices! Let me or the Chic Mom know what pieces you picked out in the comments. Be sure to check out Topknot Style for all your other fashion inspiration! XO.


-Alexandria