Tag Archives: women’s fitness

NEW Training Services (and press!)

New Training Services

 

 

I’m excited to announce that after a six-month hiatus following my family’s move from Washington, DC to Richmond, VA that I’m back at it. Training, that is. Yup. I’m officially taking both old and new clients for virtual and in-person training services. So, if you’re in the central Virginia region and want to work with me in person, let’s do it! If you’re ANYWHERE ELSE, be that Los Angeles, New York, England, China or Mars, you can still connect with me via virtual training. I promise, it’s quite effective. You won’t regret it. I’m currently offering four types of training (all are offered both virtually and in person, whichever works best for you!):

 

Women’s Fitness

Race Training

Wellness Coaching

Prenatal & Postpartum Exercise

 

To learn more about training offerings, pricing and FREE consultations please check out the Services page. Or contact me directly to chat: Train with Maggie!

 

New Press

Recently, I’ve been honored to be interviewed by Shape Magazine, Spark People, MyFitnessPal and Prevention Magazine! Below are the two articles that have already hit the press. More to come. Please feel free to take a look, learn a little, and become inspired for your new, *HEALTHY*, and inspired year ahead!

 

Why Body Recomposition is the New Weight Loss

Featured in Shape.com

 

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If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, chances are you relied—at least in part—on the scale to measure your progress. While there’s nothing wrong with tracking your scale weight, which can give you a concrete idea of where you stand, experts agree that it shouldn’t be the *only* way you track your progress. Why? Because body composition, or the amount of fat your body has compared to other stuff like muscles, bones, water, and organs, is also an important indicator of how healthy and fit you are. (To see what we’re talking about, check out this fitness blogger who proves weight is just a number.)

That’s why many fitness professionals, social media influencers, and regular exercisers are focusing on something called body recomposition (“recomp”) instead of simply trying to lose weight. After all, body recomposition is the phenomenon behind many those side-by-side transformation photos that have become so popular on social media. But just because you see something all over the internet doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good idea. That’s why we talked to experts in the field to find out why the focus on body composition over weight loss is on the rise—and importantly, is this way of training right for you?

Read More: Recomposition

 

8 Trainers Share Their Favorite Resistance Band Exercises

Featured in SparkPeople.com

You’re eating more of the right foods than the wrong ones. You’re getting plenty of cardio, whether it’s walking at lunch, running on the treadmill or sweating it out at spin class. But you’re still not seeing the results you want in terms of weight loss and body composition.

You keep hearing how strength training is the key, the missing puzzle piece that will help you burn more calories, build muscle definition and even boost your heart health, mood and bone density. But the idea of lifting heavy weights or navigating those complicated-looking machines at the gym scares you a little—okay, maybe more than a little.

The good news? You can start an easy and effective strength training regimen without touching a single weight.

At first glance, it might not seem like there’s much to a resistance band. Some of them are stretchy, tube-like cables with handles on both ends, and other versions are wide, flat bands in the shape of a circle.. Can you really get an effective, full-body workout with a single piece of stretchy rubber?

The short answer: Yes! Instead of relying on heavy, cumbersome weights, resistance bands use your own body weight to create resistance. They also allow you to perform more precise movements that target specific muscle groups that are difficult to work with weights. Plus, because you have to work harder to maintain balance and stability when exercising with a band, you’ll use more muscles than you would on a traditional machine.

As an added bonus, resistance bands are practically weightless and perfectly portable. You can easily toss a band in your briefcase or suitcase, making on-the-go workouts a breeze. They’re even affordable enough to keep one at home, one in your gym bag and one at the office.

Although all bands look alike, the various colors indicate different levels of difficulty. Bands are available in various tension levels, with some colors more difficult than others.

Ready to hop on the BANDwagon? To help you get started, we asked some trainers to share their favorite resistance band exercises.

Read More: BANDwagon

 

Happy New Year!

Okay, if you’ve made it to here, I’m impressed (ESP if you clicked through to read the articles – woo!). So, HAPPY NEW YEAR! And one last shameless plug – if you’re even just slightly curious about what benefits you would gain from a single session (or several) with me, then check out my Services page: Train with Maggie!

Seriously, I can’t wait.

Cheers to 2018!

Maggie

 

 

 

 

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Where to Workout in “America’s Fittest City”

My home for over eight years, Washington, DC, does more than a few things right in the fitness department. DC was ranked “America’s Fittest City” in 2016 for good reason. The city spends $287 per resident on its public parks! No matter where you are in the nation’s capital, you are within 2 miles of a public park where you can work out. There are also a plethora of hip (albeit pricey) fitness classes to attend at studios like Soul Cycle, PureBarre and SolidCore. But, what’s the city’s best kept secret? Answer: The 50 FREE fitness classes and meet ups you can attend every week! Here’s a guide for visitors and locals on how to find these hidden gems in our nation’s capital. I have also included my top 5 favorite outdoor workout spaces.
A startup company that I advise called Fitiverse helps DC residents find these free workouts across different fitness zones in the city. For example, there’s the ever-popular Nike Store in Georgetown that hosts jam-packed classes that you can check out. Also, if you are game for some friendly competition, you can register for free for Fletcher’s Cove weekly park run. This is a timed 5K run with 100 participants competing to see who can beat who and which runners can beat their time from the previous week. Don’t be intimidated! If you’re more into mind/body classes, DC has lots of options for you too. There are tons of yoga classes to check out. Not sure if you’re interested in any of the classes I already mentioned? No problem. Check out all of DC’s weekly fitness class offerings here: Fitiverse
 
If a large group workout isn’t your thing, don’t be disheartened! DC is a “no excuse” zone because there are opportunities abound. If you want a traditional gym workout but don’t have the desire or means to pay for a big-box gym’s monthly membership, you can now exercise in one of 22 city-run fitness centers. (Yes, also for free). Or hit up one of my favorite workout spots with a buddy or solo (with a good playlist to motivate you).

Here are my top 5 favorite places to exercise outdoors in DC
1) The National Mall (duh) 
Who wouldn’t enjoy running alongside the National Mall’s reflecting pool or pushing past tourists on a sprint up the Lincoln Memorial’s steps? The National Mall spans just under 2 miles in length, so a full loop is a great distance for a run or walk. If you’re into long distance running, I suggest you keep the pace going and run the loop of the tidal basin in front of the Jefferson Memorial or continue to follow the Potomac down the popular Cherry Blossom loop on Ohio Drive. If long-distance running isn’t your mojo, you can do sprint-walk intervals along the reflecting pool or push-ups and step-ups on any of the memorial’s steps. Just watch out for tourists with selfie sticks – they might trip over you!
2) “The 3 Paths” by The Four Seasons 
This is my favorite lesser-known place in DC. The Four Seasons in Georgetown is nestled right beside an intersection of three amazing running routes. If you’re facing the hotel and go down the hill to the left, you will see a foot path. At the bottom of the hill, you have three convenient running/biking options: 1) The Canal Path, 2) Rock Creek Parkway (north towards the zoo), or 3) Rock Creek Parkway alongside the Potomac River and Kennedy Center. I love going down this path and seeing which direction my feet decide to go.
3) Meridian Hill Park
This lovely park makes its home between the Adams Morgan and U St. neighborhoods. Anyone who has been here on a weekend will know it for its famous drum circle. There is plenty of level space for workouts, Frisbee throwing and sun salutations. And picnics! The stairs alongside the beautiful stone fountain make for a heart-racing workout if you run up them and make laps around the park a few times.
4) Rock Creek Park 
While it’s “against the rules” to run inside the National Zoo (ahem…I may have broken those rules a time or two), Rock Creek is truly wonderful near the zoo. The wooded paths make for a relaxing run, walk or bike, and the outdoor exercise equipment that is sprinkled along the path gives you a little something to get creative with.
 
5) The Exorcist Stairs 
These stairs are iconic for their appearance in the box-office hit movie The Exorcist. They are truly as daunting as they sound, but the die-hard fitness fanatics LOVE them. Just a few times up and down these babies and your heart will be pounding. Suggestion: run up and then jog or walk a block around and down to repeat, instead of running down them. These bad boys can be treacherous, especially if you’re a little lightheaded. But they’re worth it…and conveniently close to Georgetown Cupcake.
It’s summertime and now you have one too many options for your next workout. I hope this helps you make the most of summer in the area and/or your next trip to this majestic and very fit city!
Yours in health and wellness,
Maggie
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The Ultimate Guide to Pre-Workout Supplements

Even as a personal trainer I spent my early career hesitant to approach the topic of supplementation. I was confused about some of the existing information out there and wasn’t sure about my stance on it. Today, I believe supplementation is a personal choice and one I encourage each person to consider and weigh for themselves. This infographic, so kindly provided just for us by Supplement Mart, makes all the confusing terminology easy to understand so you can make the decisions best for you and your body! Now raise a protein drink and cheers!!!

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Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

 

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Upper Body Toning; Tricks of the Trade

This is not a post to tell you how many sets and reps is ideal for you. In fact, I’m not even going to mention the amount of weight you should attempt to lift. This article is centered on the stuff you probably don’t know about upper body lifting and how to achieve optimal tone. Your triceps can thank me later…wink wink. 

Upper Body 3

 

Forget Biceps and Triceps…Temporarily

Yes, I’m serious. You can actually put off doing bicep curls and tricep exercises until the end of your routine. These muscles [biceps and triceps] act as assistors to larger muscles. Literally, every time you flex your elbow, the bicep is shortening and having to work. This applies to motions like picking up something heavy or even lifting a fork to your mouth. Can we make that a fork puncturing a big fluffy bite of chocolate cake, please?  

The same is true for your triceps. Any time you extend your arm straight or push something away from your body, you’re shortening and actively working your tricep. Soooo, you know what this means? It means that when you’re doing chest, back and shoulder exercises, your biceps and triceps are actually getting a workout too!

Thus, if you’re pressed on time, opt for working larger muscles in your upper body. You will accomplish more overall work and will reap the benefits. Helloooo strapless dress! 

 

Back it up, Baby!

Your back is begging you to pay more attention to it. It’s actually quite common to forget about the back because we tend to focus our workouts on areas of the body that are easier to give the stink eye to via our mirror’s reflection. But, it’s SO important to incorporate more back work. Here’s why…

  1. You will get the optimal posture that you want by doing exercises (properly) like rows, reverse flies, lat pull downs and rotator cuff exercises. You will look more confident, tall and lean with improved posture. Not to mention “the girls” will now be sitting pretty! 
  2. Since we’re sitting down all day long, we often slouch forwards. This creates a rounded posture that can lead to kyphosis, discomfort, rotator cuff issues and impaired movement. Thus, it’s important for both function and tone to focus on opening the chest and working the back. I typically tell my clients to do two back exercises for every chest exercise. If someone has serious postural issues then I suggest an even greater ratio.

 

Upper Body 2

 

Get Low, Get Low, Get Low

I know I just preached about doing more back than chest exercises, but the chest is important too, and many women see great results when they work it. Here’s the thing though; if you want optimal tone for your chest exercises, you’ve got to complete a full range of motion in your exercises. For example, many people will opt for push-ups on their toes instead of their knees, but they only lower their bodies a few inches towards the ground before pushing back up to the starting posture. This is not ideal push-up form. A chick like this needs to humble herself and choose an easier modification (knee push-ups, wall/”mommy” push-ups, or push-ups with hands on a raised bench). Ironically, she will get more out of her workout this way.

You will achieve better results when you lower your body to a 90-degree angle (in the elbows) at the bottom of a push-up. You may not be able to complete nearly as many push-ups this way at the outset, but you will build up much better upper body and core strength in the process. Funny side note: I’ve corrected a lot of ex-military professionals on their push-up form. At first they think I’m crazy and arrogant, and then they feel the difference…

Upper Body 1

 

Don’t Fear the Transition

There’s this painful point in any exercise where you’re transitioning from lengthening your muscle to shortening it, or vice vera. For example, you’re doing a tricep dip and you’re changing from lowering to lifting your body (i.e. bending to straightening the elbows). The transition feels super intense and your body gets overwhelmed by the effort, so, oftentimes, people rush through this part of the exercise. They’re missing out…

By taking your time transitioning from one phase of the exercise to the next, you will get way stronger than if you rush the process. And you know what goes with getting stronger? Getting more toned!

There are many more bits of advice I could give you about upper body lifting and toning, but, for today, let’s leave it at these four nuggets. I hope you consider at least one of these concepts and achieve greater resilience through the application of it.

 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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5 Special Treats for Readers!

Guess what this month is?! National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! (oh yea, and my birthday month, hehe) It’s time to step into the joy of fitness like you’ve never done before! It’s time to drop excuses, enjoy the fresh spring air and get moving! Today, I’m not going to share a long form blog post. I don’t want you to spend your time reading. I want you to spend your time MOVING!!! I hope that these 5 special treats will help you do just that.

Drum roll, please!

Today….I will be PROUDLY presenting you with….

A chance to get a FREE hour-long fitness and wellness consulting phone call (or skype) with yours truly!

 A three ingredient, summer-inspired recipe that I love!

 Hand-picked images to inspire you towards fitness!

 22 energizing songs to fire up your workout playlist!

 …annnnnddd a poem, written by one of our readers, that just plain rocks.

Get it, girls!! Today is your day!

 

Part 1: COACHING GIVEAWAY!

WellnessWinz FB Cover

Yes, it’s true. I have a golden window of time this spring during which I’m excited to extend my professional guidance even more than usual. Thus, the coaching giveaway! This will be a FREE one-hour coaching session via phone or skype, focused exclusively on your top-priority fitness and wellness needs. It will include a customized, 4-week workout schedule.

All you have to do to enter is go to the new WellnessWinz Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wellnesswinz (or click the above image) and “like” the page. Then, comment on the timeline with this hashtag: #WannaWinzGiveaway. At the end of the month of May, I will randomly draw a winner! Get excited!!!

PS – if you aren’t interested in the drawing, I would still be honored if you’d like the Facebook page!  

 

Part 2: “FROSTED MANGO,” MY FAVORITE ANYTIME SMOOTHIE!

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It tastes just like summer and it can be made for any meal of the day. It only requires THREE ingredients: Mangos, Milk, and Vanilla Protein Powder. I prefer almond milk but you can use regular milk, coconut milk or cashew milk. You can also pick a protein powder that works for your dietary needs and preferences (e.g. whey-based, soy-based, hemp-based or pea-protein-based). Try to find a protein powder with minimal processing, minimal sugars and sugar alcohols, and lots of packed-in nutrition.

I swear, this smoothie is simply the best because you can keep all three items in your pantry and fridge for long periods of time without spoiling. Choose frozen mangos and you will avoid wasting ones that turn to mush.

Put a handful of ice in your blender and then scoop in some mangos. Next, add the powder (serving size or half a serving) and milk product. Use 12-16 ounces of milk so that everything blends well. Add spinach, bananas, berries or anything else yummy for extra nutrition and taste! This smoothie will probably come out to 400 calories or less, depending on your ingredients and portions. Yummmmm. 

 

Part 3: HAND-PICKED PINS FOR FITNESS INSPIRATION!! 

Straight from my Pinterest-loving heart to your computer monitor. Hope one of these will inspire you to get moving!

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Pinspiration 7

 

Pinspiration 6

 

Pinspiration 4

 

Pinspiration 3

 

Pinspiration 2

 

Pinspiration 1

 

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Part 4: THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT PLAYLIST. GET IT, GIRLS!!! 

Allow me a moment to brag…I’ve been told by many exercise class participants that they love my music selection. Of course, I like to think that they love the workouts more, but alas, there’s something about a well-rounded playlist that boosts energy like none other.

Enter the songs below into your iTunes search bar and you can download them for yourself. It will take about 5 minutes or so, and then you will be stocked with enough songs to last you almost an hour and a half!! (For some of us, that’s TWO workouts or more!)

WellnessWinz Workout Playlist

 

Part 5: POEM BY ONE OF OUR READERS!

I was so thrilled to see this poem from our reader, Meredith O’Leary. She recently shared it with me and I’ve got to say, tears swelled in my eyes. Why? Well, Meredith and I have talked about her fitness/wellness journey for a few years now. One of the most challenging parts of it, like for most women, is understanding the line between pushing one’s body towards health and accepting one’s body and its incredible beauty. I couldn’t be prouder to present you with Meredith’s insights and powerful words… 

“This is My Body”

This is my body, true and real
Don’t tell me how I should feel
About it. Cause it isn’t for you
To decide just how I make it through

This is my body, and only mine
The only body I could find
To host my spirit and my mind.
I promise you, I’ll be just fine

This is my body, ever improving
I assure you that I’m always moving,
Being aware, and trying not to care
About others’ judgments, though they’re always there

This is my body. You can’t see through me
It isn’t like you ever knew me
And yet, you disregard the rest
Which is making it through Life’s great test

This is my body. Watch what it can do!
It can clean a house, drive a car
Sometimes it can walk quite far,
And when I hear a good beat, it can dance, too!

This is my body, which you cannot own.
You try to possess, and sometimes offend
But I digress, because I can mend
Myself. So just leave me alone.

This is my body. And I’m proud of it!
Life is the cause, and I’m the effect
It’s never, ever allowed me to quit
And I think it’s about time I gave it some respect

This is my body. And I am beautiful!
Nothing about me has ever been dull
The Universe, in me, is embodied
I have a strong soul! And this is my body.

Meredith O’Leary (c) 2015 MAO

 

Alright, ladies! What are you waiting for?! HAVE FUN! GET MOVING!!!!

Happy National Fitness and Sports Month! 

Yours in health and wellness,

Maggie

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