November Exercise Challenge: Beat the Holiday Bulge!

As always, please check with your healthcare provider if you have any specific healthcare needs, and to make sure that you can partake in this challenge. You can always feel free to add or omit weights based upon your personal fitness levels.  And before and after pictures are always a plus so we can see how much we’ve all improved our form!

Since I haven’t posted an exercise challenge in a couple of months, and we have been left to our own devices, I’m going to start it slow, and use some exercises we have done in the past, change-up a few, and then add some new stuff in! Get excited, and get ready to kick up your exercise and get ahead to prevent that dreaded holiday bulge!  This month we will be working on our core abs, hips, and legs, to keep strong and feeling good heading into the holiday season.

Kick lunges work your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, and calves. From and standing position, legs hip width apart, start by lunging backwards with your left leg until your right thigh is parallel with the ground, then rise up and kick your left leg out in front of you (hip height), return to the standing position, then repeat on the other leg.kick lunge

Side leg lifts  work your abductor, AKA hip, muscles (can be made more challenging with a resistance band or ankle weights).  Lay on your side with the leg you are laying on bent at a 45-degree angle, with your upper arm on the ground, bend your elbow and rest your head in your hand.  Keep your top leg straight, and lift it directly up to hip height, then slowly bring it back down to the resting position, switch sides. side leg lift

Back Kicks (or Donkey Kicks) work your core abdominal muscles and your gluteals (can be made more challenging by adding a resistance band or ankle weights). Rest on your hands and knees, slowly kick one leg back until it is straight back until it is hip height, then slowly bring your knee into your chest, then down to resting position, switch sides. Donkey kick

Day 1: Kick Lunges (KL) 10 on each leg and Side Leg Lifts (SLL) 15 on each leg

Day 2: KL 15 on each leg and SLL 20 on each leg

Day 3: KL 20 on each leg and SLL 25 on each leg

Day 4: KL 25 on each leg and SLL 30 on each leg

Day 5: KL 30 on each leg and SLL 40 on each leg

Day 6: KL 35 on each leg and SLL 45 on each leg

Day 7: REST Day!!

Day 8: KL 40 on each leg and SLL 50 on each leg

Day 9: KL 50 on each leg and SLL 60 on each leg

Day 10: KL 60 on each leg and SLL 70 on each leg

Day 11: KL 70 on each leg and SLL 80 on each leg

Day 12: KL 80 on each leg and SLL 90 on each leg

Day 13: KL 90 on each leg and SLL 100 on each leg

Day 14: REST Day!!

Day 15: KL 100 on each leg and Back Kicks (BK) 20 on each leg

Day 16: KL 110 on each leg and BK 20 on each leg

Day 17: KL 120 on each leg and BK 40 on each leg

Day 18: KL 130 on each leg and BK 60 on each leg

Day 19: KL 140 on each leg and BK 80 on each leg

Day 20: KL 150 on each leg and BK 100 on each leg

Day 21: REST Day

Day 22: KL 100 on each leg, BK 20 on each leg, and SLL 50

Day 23: KL 110 on each leg, BK 20 on each leg, and SLL 50

Day 24: KL 120 on each leg, BK 20 on each leg, and SLL 50

Day 25: KL 130 on each leg, BK 20 on each leg, and SLL 50

Day 26: KL 140 on each leg, BK 20 on each leg, and SLL 50

Day 27: KL 150 on each leg, BK 20 on each leg, and SLL 50

Finished! You are looking better, feeling better, have a stronger core and leg muscles, and are ready to continue to dodge that holiday bulge throughout December! Strong core, gluteal, and leg muscles help to stabilize us and make us actually feel stronger.  Keep up the good work!  And join our Facebook Fitness Challenge page to get added tips, ask questions, and cheer each other on!

Yours in Good Health


April Squat Challenge: Transform your lower Abs and legs

I love that there are random exercise “challenges” that keep popping up monthly.  I’m not sure who creates them, but for people like me who are super competitive, even with myself, the April Squat Challenge is the perfect challenge! The goal is to take a picture of yourself before day 1 and then after Day 30 and see the results.  This is a very intense regimen, and if you have any sort of lower joint (hip, ankle, knee) problems, this may not be the challenge for you, and if at any point you feel pain (other than the pain of intense muscle-building), you should stop; it may be too intense for you. But there’s no one stopping you from creating your own personal challenge! If you have a partner to join in on the fun, then do it, because you both can make sure that you have proper posture AND it will keep you honest. Feel free to post before and after pics at the end of the month!

Day #1- April Squat Challenge

Day #1- April Squat Challenge

What is the Challenge?

Squats help to sculpt your lower abs, legs, gluteals (your butt), and they help to improve your muscle strength, your speed when walking running (your gluteals are key when you first start running- even when not up hills), and improve your self image: who doesn’t feel great when their legs and butt look amazing in these warmer weather months? *These are intended to be without weights, but if you are already a ‘squatter’ and you want to add some low weights (after checking with your HCP or after checking with a trainer to ensure it is safe for you- go for it!).

Day 1: 30 squats

Day 2: 40 squats

Day 3: 50 squats

Day 4: 60 squats

Day 5: 70 squats

Day 6: 80 squats


Day 8: 90 squats

Day 9: 100 squats

Day 10: 110 squats

Day 11: 120 squats

Day 12: 130 squats

Day 13: 140 squats

Day 14: REST DAY

Day 15: 150 squats

Day 16: 160 squats

Day 17: 170 squats

Day 18: 180 squats

Day 19: 190 squats

Day 20: 200 squats

Day 21: REST DAY

Day 22: 220 squats

Day 23: 230 squats

Day 24: 240 squats

Day 25: 250 squats

Day 26: 260 squats

Day 27: REST DAY

Day 28: 265 squats

Day 29: 270 squats

Day 30: 280-300 squats

As you can see, the final goal is 300 squats!!  Let’s do this! Who’s with me?

Yours in Good Health


***Edited 4/2 20:35: To perform a squat appropriately, you want to squat straight down (feet hips width apart) as if you are about to sit in a chair (think butt out) as far down as you can go keeping your balance and posture, then stand back up straight.  To maintain a straight upper body posture, you can put an exercise ball between your upper back and a wall, to make sure you are keeping your upper body straight! You can do reps of whatever works for you with 30 second breaks, if you so choose! I am just going straight through and I have added weights (but I do lunges and squats a few times a week anyways).  Good Luck and don’t forget to add pre/post pics on the April Squat Challenge Facebook page I have created!!