Category Archives: Time Management


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 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!

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!

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!!!

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!!

My Own Worst Enemy

One of my two jobs I GET to do is to be a Corporate Wellness Coach. What this means is that initially I go in and do biometrics which consists of height, weight, waist and hip circumference (determiner of future risk disease), body fat and blood pressure in a given company. We also have blood drawn to check out the key trouble spots such as cholesterol, triglycerides and fasting blood glucose. Once all this is done the patients are placed into categories of Critical, high risk, moderate risk and healthy. I would say that less than 10% of the people who go through these screenings are in the healthy range and that is scary news to me.

When I start the coaching process, I help people take a good look at their nutrition, their exercise level and their overall quality life. I am always big on goal setting. Once we set these goals, one of the questions I ask has to do with potential roadblocks. The one that seems very constant is this: WE ARE OUR OWN WORST ENEMY! We all know what to do. We all know we need to do it, and most of us have a pretty good idea how to do it. The IT is to be healthy, exercise and eat right to ensure a long, healthy life. Our mind can be very powerful!

At first, I have to build the trust factor when I work with someone. Once that is done, a beautiful thing happens – change. I am in the business of changing lives. The bottom line is we hold the power to control what we eat, how much we eat, if we exercise, how much we exercise and how healthy we can be. I always say there are 3 things we cannot change:

  1. Our Age
  2. Our Genetics
  3. What we have done in the past

Beyond that, the sky is the limit – don’t be your own worst enemy, be your biggest fan!

Weather the Storm

brings all kinds of weather. We can have it cool, warm, wet and windy. It could be a light drizzle or tornados! Today, I decided to weather the storm and run in 20 mph winds and rain. I decided I would stick with my mentality that I was trying to adopt last week the “I GET TO” mentality. So on a Sunday morning, the day I usually try to sleep past 4:45 AM, I was up at 5:30 instead to get on the road by 6:30. My sleepy friend met me and we were off. (It was storming on Saturday at 5AM or I would have gone then!)

We started out into a heavy head wind for the first 2 miles. But something about it felt really good. Really challenging and really exciting. I love when I am out running in inclement weather and I see very few other people out (I think we saw 3 others today in our hour and a half run). Now some people look at me like I am a crazy woman when they see me in this kind of weather. Others see me as dedicated. I see me as a little of both.

My friend had a harder than normal time today so I reminded him that WE GET TO RUN. I also talked about PMA – Positive Mental Attitude. As with most things we endure in life, the way we approach a situation can make or break our outcome. Running is not just about physical toughness, but mental toughness.

In the end, I made it the double digits I was aiming for (testing my injury) and was as pleased as could be! My running partner did also. Runs like today build physical and mental toughness that I can use in my day to day life!


What do you GET to do today? I read an article the other day in Runner’s World, by Kristen Armstrong talking about what she Gets to do. My friend Angela Maiers and I have had many similar conversations like this. For example

  • I get to get up at 4:15 AM
  • I get to go to work everyday
  • I get to go to my children’s ballgames
  • I get to walk the dog

I think you get the picture.

Yesterday morning, I was running with my brother-in-law. We ran from my parent’s house to my brother’s house, about 10k. My brother-in-law had never run that far. It is always great conversation! We had both been out late the night before but we

  • Got to get up at 5AM
  • Got to see the sun rise
  • Got to accomplish a new endeavor
  • Got to start our day off with fresh air and good company

When things are hard, I often think about the good things I have in my life that others may not. When I run a marathon I think about how I run the 26.2 miles for people who may never be able to run 26.2 feet.






What will you GET to do today?

Max Results in Min Time

Tired of spending hours in the gym for what you feel are less than optimal

If you are able to maximize your body, you will be able to maximize your time. What am I talking about? I am talking about when you know how to use your body to its fullest potential, you will be able to work out less and see more benefits.

For instance, the position in which we stand when we are doing resistance training can help you maximize your body. Here’s how you should stand.

  1. Feet – hip’s width apart
  2. Legs – slight bend in the knees
  3. Hips – tilt your pelvis to the back like you are going to sit in a chair
  4. Shoulders – rolled back to open up the spine
  5. Chest – sticking out

This is the position you should be in for any standing exercise. Our posture is everything! When you do whatever exercise you are doing, such as a bicep curl, maintain this body position and only move the joint of your elbow.

Pace – to increase your muscle tone (not mass), your tempo should be at two seconds at the upward phase and 4 on the downward phase. This negative contraction will help to tone those muscles. You should aim for 8-12 repetitions and 3 sets.

If you are in correct anatomical position, your core is working, your legs are working and you are getting the maximum benefits for the particular muscle that you are training.

This kind of training gives you MAXIMIMUM BENEFITS IN MINIMUM TIME!

Burning Calories in Smaller Workouts

Frequently Asked Question: In order to improve conditioning, would it be better to work out once for 60 minutes or twice for 30 minutes? What about from a calorie burn standpoint?

I love this question because it proves a point that I try to make daily, especially when it has to do with one’s time. It is not necessary to do your workout all at once. Sometimes it is just plain hard to do this with the hectic schedules that we lead. There are more studies coming out to prove the point that it is not necessary to exercise all at once to the the desired benefit you are looking for.

I believe that you can get great benefit from smaller frequent workouts throughout the day. What I have found are the following:

  1. I am able to get my heart rate up which increases blood flow and metabolism.
  2. If I only have 10 minutes, great, I take advantage. Try doing 1 minute intervals of resistance and plyometric exercises.
  3. If you are having a hard time sticking to a program because of time, trying smaller workouts will help you stick to your program.
  4. I have been able to be creative with my time, whether it is taking 10 minutes when I am cooking dinner or watching a tv show.
  5. Every extra bit of movement you have adds up to more calories burned, and who doesn’t want that?!!

Keep moving – whenever you can!!