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Jackie Article 7What motivates you to get into the gym? By now, we’ve all started our new years resolution...” Lose weight, get in-shape, get that six pack!” Besides the goals of losing 10-15 pounds, having a bomb body with toned arms and tight glutes, what else is there? I started off wanting to compete in a figure competition. I wanted shoulders like all the fitness models in every fitness magazine YEAH (I’m guilty of that one) ... AND mission accomplished!! Along the way, I discovered more! I found that my body is capable of doing so much more then I could ever imagine. Like, going on a hike and climbing these crazy rocks or hanging on a side of a mountain (not by choice). The first time I went hiking, it was ‘survival for the fittest’. An unexpected turn and I found myself clinging on for dear life. Thank God I had the upper and lower body strength to keep climbing until we got back to where it was safe to climb back down! Building strength, having endurance, developing flexibility, stability & mobility is definitely EMPOWERING. These physical attributes and abilities are essential in our daily lives! Whether it’s an indoor - outdoor activity OR activities of daily living (ADL- everyday things you do, brushing your teeth, showering, get out of bed, etc.), we need to be able to do these things without putting stress on our body. Nothing is worse then pulling a muscle because we squatted down to pick something up or not being able to care for ourselves when no one is around. There are many benefits when working towards that “perfect body”... gaining strength and transforming from the inside out! That’s what’s sexy... THAT’S what’s attractive!

Jackie Article 7Now, start with building stability and mobility. Check out my article on yoga! If you haven’t mastered balancing on one foot... GET on it! It requires leg strength, activating core muscles, aligning your spine, controlling your breathing, it takes a lot out of you! Balancing on one foot and finding balance in general, takes patience and developing the stamina to do it! If you are just beginning... break up your times... 10, 15, 30 second holds. Once you feel comfortable balancing on one foot, hop on to a bosu ball and give it a try! The bosu is my BFF at the gym... There is controversy about doing workouts on it...but I am always up for a challenge. You must be able to balance yourself, sustain good posture and proper technique before attempting to add any weights or perform an exercise with it.

Get CREATIVE and have FUN with it! Try doing everything you do on one foot.. Washing dishes, changing diapers, talking on the phone.. make it part of your active living lifestyle.

*Always keep shoulders back and down- Do not let your shoulders roll forward* Be conscious of your posture, even when sitting down.

Jackie Article 7Try this:

30 Side Hops “skee hops”:
  • Start with feet together, lift right leg, press off your left, hopping to the right (landing on your right foot). Hold for a second, get your balance and hop to your left, landing on one foot at a time.
Single leg deadlifts

  • Beginners do this without any weights. Once you feel confident with proper technique, add kettle bells or dumbbells to the workout. Always keep your shoulders back!

15 jump squats

  • Keep knees behind your toes and torso tall. Squeeze your core! Last jump squat... down and hold for 20 seconds. Keep your form during the hold!
  • *Parents: if you have a toddler... you can do this with him/her. Use your child as your extra weight. Holding your child with both hands, facing you, squat down and perform small jump squats while holding your child.

Having been in the early child development field as a preschool teacher for 12 years, you better believe I needed to have the physical endurance to keep up with 36 preschoolers ages 2 - 5 years old. I caught myself holding a child in one hand and squatting down to pick up play-dough that just rolled off the table with no problem! Once I started training, I felt myself becoming more energized throughout the day and less fatigued by the end of the day!

NO excuses! Build strength, gain endurance and push yourself to overcome something that was once thought impossible! It’s great to be inspired by others... remember we’re all created to have our own unique physique. Be the best you can be, put in hard work and get the fit body you were created to have!

Follow her on Twitter now! @MsJackieFitness