Category Archives: Physical Activity


Motivation – I’m BACK

imagesMotivation is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior.” Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong! Many of us struggle on a daily basis for motivation when it comes to getting out of bed, going to the gym, eating healthy, or anything else that might be a challenge to you.

This is where I come in! When I first started my personal training business and was searching for a name it was really hard. Then I remembered what a friend I used to run with used to say to me. She told me I was so motivating! Every time she wanted to quit, not show up, slow down a bit, I helped her to find her motivation to keep going. I took great pride in that then and now.

To be successful in life and health we need the following:

Healthy Lifestyle Habits
I am so happy to get back to the basics and to what I love doing most, MOTIVATING others, help create healthy lifestyles, and inspire change. If you live in the Iowa City area you have heard the phrase Win The Day. I have been inspired to win each and every day and I am going to pay that forward by helping others. Motivation Personal Training is back in business!


Are you a person who goes to the gym and never looks anyone in the eye? Do you put on your headphones and notice nothing else around you? If so that is ok, but I have a challenge for you. Check out what other people are doing!yourock

Every now and then I get awesome messages from past and current clients. Recently I received 2 messages from one. The first telling me that she got compliment for an exercise that she was doing at the gym that I taught her. Next, was another from her telling me how she paid it forward a few weeks later and complimented someone else on their hard work.

So many times we get into what we are doing and don’t notice what else is going on around you. Try to break that trend. I know when I run, I always try to make eye contact and say hello or good morning. And you know what happens? The person I just talked to usually smiles and you can see their pace pick up. It is AWESOME!

There are many ways in which you can reward yourself for a job well done. There are those that are obligated to tell us we look good or did a good job (i.e. parents, spouse, kids – or at least they are supposed to). But then, there are those people who notice what you are doing and tell you about it. It builds confidence. It builds character. And it builds strength.

Build someone’s strength with your words the next time you are at the gym. Try it. You might just like it!

Stay happy, healthy and as always, keep moving!

Are Your Goals SMART?

Do you set goals with your life whether it is work or exercise related? Do you think you set good goals? Today I challenge you to make SMART goals. smart

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time-Bound

Whether it is with myself, my kids or my clients, we are always talking about goals. Everyone seems to have a good idea of what they want, but not sure how exactly to get there. If you start using the SMART principle it will make goal setting more successful.

For example, if you tell me your goal is to be healthy. I’ll tell you that’s great, but how are you going to measure that? What do you consider healthy?  When do you want to be healthy by? And most importantly why do you want to be healthy? It is easy to say you want to do something, but it is harder to say why you want to accomplish that goal, and even harder to be completely successful. If you want to up the chance of succcess, try:

  • Writing your goals down and put them up in your home or workplace
  • Tell a friend
  • Post them on social media
  • Create a reward for reaching your goal

You can make your goals short term (4-8 week period) or longer (1 year or more). The goals can be modified if you meet them before your pre-determined date. Getting things done faster is not always best. Completing a goal and maintaining that goal is an accomplishment in and of itself.

Are you ready to challenge yourself with SMART goals? Make it something you really want. Know the reason why. Make your plan and get er’ done!

Stay happy, healthy and as always, keep moving!

Here Comes the Boom

I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase “If it’s too loud, you’re too old”. caution__loud_music_by_rainingblackstars-d4m5k13While I do enjoy cranking the tunes, I recently found louder is not necessarily better. Last week I was at the LIW trade show in Birmingham, England. Now if any of you have ever been to a trade show, you know they can be loud. But a fitness trade show takes it to a new level. You have booth after booth turning up their music louder and louder during the exercise demonstration times.

So, I got to thinking. Will louder music make me want to join a class and try a workout. At first, the music will catch my attention, but then, if the instructor isn’t good and the workout seems silly, I won’t stick around. A good class can have good music, but the instructor and the exercises make the class GREAT. If you are new to a gym try these few pointers before joining a class

  • Peek in the room and see if people are having fun
  • Check out the instructor and make sure he or she is having fun
  • Make sure the class length suits you
  • If you feel like you will be too uncoordinated, talk to the instructor before joining
  • And if the music moves you – GO FOR IT!

While I may be getting older, I still like my music loud, just don’t turn yours up to make it louder than mine!

Stay happy, healthy and as always, keep moving!

My Favorite Things, Part II – TRX

One of my favorite new toys (as I like to call it, torture devices said by my clients) is my TRX . If you have never seen one or seen one and wondered how it could possibly help your workout, well let me tell you – IT IS AMAZING. I must admit that I was a skeptic for a long time. I would see other trainers using them and think, how in the world can you get a workout from that. Then, in March I went to IHRSA where I was able to sample. It took me less than two minutes to know that this was something that I needed to use and my clients would hate and love at the same time.

The TRX is suspension training. What is that? Well, in my words, it is a workout that uses your own body weight, suspended by straps to do a variety of exercises. It focuses on core strength with each and every move as the position of your posture can help to challenge you. There are modifications for each exercise that are controlled by the person doing the exercise.

The following are a few extra perks:

  1. Great workout for the whole body in 30 minutes – I love the fact that I can challenge my entire body in 30 minutes. I have several clients who come in for 30 minute sessions only of TRX workouts and leave feeling completely satisfied.
  2. You can take it anywhere – I have taken my TRX to the park, basketball hoop in my driveway, high school track, a tree, inside with the door attachment, pretty much anywhere!
  3. You are only limited by your imagination – while there are videos you can buy, hundreds of youtube videos to view, ideas from, I am constantly making up my own “cool-combos”, 40/40 or 20/20 challenges, adding the Bosu ball (see next week for more info on that), etc to challenge myself and my clients.

Here is a video  link of how I use it with my daughter for some swimming exercises:

I got the best email from a client today regarding her TRX workout from yesterday:

Chest = Sore ALL OVER


Core = It hurts to laugh!

Getting a killer workout with Heather = PRICELESS!!

That, thanks to my favorite thing, part II, the TRX!

My Favorite Things, Part I – Octane Elliptical Trainer

I have spent many hours in gyms throughout my years. For the last 3.5 years, they have been in my own studio. During that time I have found some equipment that I really like and some that I don’t so much. I am going to talk about one of my favorite pieces today and do my next few posts on some  of my other favorite (I can’t live without) pieces.

Today’s favorite is my Octane Elliptical. The following are a few reasons why:

  1. Converging handle bars – the natural range of motion for the arms this provides is priceless. I don’t feel as if my arms are way outside my body and I can put my hands in several places to get different parts of my upper body a good workout.
  2. Rear entry – If you don’t know what I am talking about, think about all the ellipticals as the gym. Think of the ones you have to step into, or trip over trying to get where you want to go. With the Octane you don’t have to step over anything like that. I find that it is easier for my older clients as well.
  3. Angle of the foot pedals – this is a big one for me. I always had the problem of my feet falling asleep. The angle of the foot pedals decreases this problem. If my clients do start to feel the tingling, I have them move their feet toward the back of the pedal and this helps.
  4. The programs! – Anyone can jump on an elliptical and hit quick start, but the Octane provides many different programs. A few of my favorite are the 10k and the 30/30. The 10k counts down from the 6.2 miles changing levels every 10th of a mile. The 30/30 can be an intense interval workout that I will use either for a killer warm up or interval during mid workout.
  5. Xmode and Glute Kicker– If you want some variety and to challenge the lower body, these modes put you in different positions (squatting, backwards, slow, etc) to give your body a new challenge, not to mention an excellent calorie burn
  6. Arm Blaster – The elliptical does not just have to be about your legs and cardio. The Octane provides some great upper body strength training when in this mode. It will up the tension and has you do 10 rotations with the upper body to get the strength up top and also revs the heart rate.

I also use my Octane in my training sessions as part of a cardio interval. With this, I will have my clients start in the upward position and then every 15 seconds I will have them squat and then return to standing after 15 seconds. I up the intensity to get the calorie burn up and we do this for 1-2 minutes. TRY IT! You might just be surprised how hard it is and how good of a workout you can get. We know the importance of cardio and I like to try to get the most out of my time. Adding resistance will do just that.

Bottom line – I love my Octane!

What’s on your radar?

Do you remember the movie “The Rookie ” when Dennis Quaid is standing in front radar sign and he throws the fast ball to get the ball to register the mph of the ball. Well, I had one of those moments on one of my runs last week . My friend and I were running and we were determined to see if we could get the radar to go off. Now, I am not the biggest of people, so I wasn’t sure I could make it happen, but my training partner is about 100 pounds more than me and he was confident we could. So we started running faster and faster waving our arms and guess what happened – boom the number 7 popped up on the sign. I must say that was pretty cool.

If you’re wondering where this is going, I’m about to tell you. It got me thinking about what is on my radar. For instance, my upcoming race, my kids events, my family reunion….

Most of us have a reason why we exercise, try to eat right, etc. There are the typical;

  • I need to lose this last 5 pounds
  • I don’t want my arms to wave
  • My thighs jiggle (come on, you know you have said it)
  • I have my class reunion and I want to look really good

But, have you examined the bigger picture

  • I want to live a long healthy life
  • I have a family history of heart disease
  • I am not at my ideal BMI
  • I have no energy and I want more

We all know that our health and wellness is very important and we each take different steps to make sure we stay around for a long time. So what is on your radar? What number do you want to pop up on that sign? Is it a healthy weight? Is it a good blood pressure? Is it a healthy cholesterol number? Is it a race time?

Find the number you want and MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Get Outside this Summer!

Summer is here – a big YEAH for that. Now that it is nice outside, nobody really wants to go inside to get their workout. I have a few ideas that anybody can do outside and burn calories

  1. Go for a walk!! This is a great way to reconnect with a loved one, an old friend or get to and from that favorite ice cream place you like to visit in the summer (and burn calories at the same time).
  2. Organize a game with family/neighbors – Most of us live close enough to baseball fields, sand volleyball courts or a pool. Schedule a time for adults and kids to go play a little mini tournament or a few games.
  3. Enter a race – whether it is a bike race, road race or tri – try something out of your comfort zone – the benefits will be priceless!
  4. Make up your own 5k – I say this one because I have a big family reunion coming up next month and many of us are active, so I decided we needed our own 5k race. Everyone can be involved whether they are walking, running, water stop, or just course supports. This sets great examples for our kids and may just inspire that sedentary family member to get moving.
  5. Go to the park – I will have more on this in my next post as I was taped for a segment of a local newscasts’ Workout of the Week. Going to the park doesn’t have to be watching your kids – use your imagination and get some exercise.
  6. Dust that bike off – If your bike is still hanging from the ceiling in the garage – take it down! Bike places that are too far to walk, but close enough to bike!

We all know in the Midwest that this weather doesn’t last long – so TAKE ADVANTAGE!! Now go get moving!!!

Dam to Dam 10

So yesterday I ran one of my not so favorite races, Dam to Dam. For those of you not from Des Moines, this is a race that begins at the Saylorville dam and runs to downtown for a total of 12.4 miles (20K). Well, let me tell you about one thing that is always changing in Iowa – the WEATHER!

I got dropped off about an hour and 45 minutes before the race and it was just starting to rain. By the time I made it over the bridge, there was the announcement of “If it begins to thunder and lightning, stay low to the ground and do not touch the rails on the bridge” – serious! My shoes were soaked, I was shaking with goosebumps, and just laughing, because what else do you do in a moment like that!

Once the race started, I had the opportunity to run with a good friend of mine I hadn’t seen in 18 months. It was such a pleasure. We decided to use the Jeff Galloway method of running where we run for 5 minutes and then walk for a minute. My friend has been recovering from a stress fracture and I knew this would help her to hit her goal and finish the race.

The race began at 7am. It was rainy, windy and warm all at once. But I really didn’t care because I was running with a great friend. Many times she told me to just go, but I was not leaving my friend. At one point we ran up on a man who was 76 years old. He started singing and everyone around him sang with him. (I told her we couldn’t get beat by him, and we didn’t).

The last half mile the sun was beating on us. Cathy wanted to walk and I wouldn’t let her. She may have yelled at me. I may have ran backwards to encourage her, the Isiserettes were beating on their drums, I was dancing and waving my arms. And guess what? She didn’t walk – she ran – finished strong – hugged me at the end and told me she was sorry for yelling at me. I didn’t care.

Then, the reason I run was shouted out by another person – this gal said (and I’m sure I don’t have it 100% correct, but close) ‘We all need somebody like you to run with. You are so motivating.” I looked at her and told her “That’s what I do.”

  • I’ll never be the fastest
  • I’ll never be the slowest
  • But I can certainly keep on going!!!

My Youtube Workouts!

I’m not sure how many of you know this, but I have my own YOUTUBE channel. On it, I video workouts that I design for some of my clients. All of the workouts that I put on the channel are done with your own body weight, free weights, swiss ball or bands. In other words – all things you can do ANYWHERE.

I thought today I would share a link to one of my videos. Most of the work outs are designed to be done in increments of 3 repetitions and set of 10-12. I love Interval Training. It is a great way to get Maximal Benefits in Minimal Time!

If you like this one, please feel free to check out the rest and subscribe to my channel so that you know when I have put new material on there. Also, if you have suggestions or more things you would like to learn about, please let me know!!