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Category: Fitness

Get moving! Things and places to keep you and/or your kids moving.

Fun at Apex Athletics

The kids and I checked out a new, fun place last week … Apex Athletics.

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Apex Athletics is located in Johnston and known for their all-star cheerleading and tumbling. They have been open since May of 2009 and since their opening, they have won several grand championship rewards, spirit rewards, community recognition, and more!

Not only do they offer cheerleading, tumbling,  and dance for ages pre-k and older, but they also offer awesome open play times, morning out programs, kids night out, and more!

We dropped in for a Des Moines Moms Blog play date event and had a blast! The gym was open for all the kids to run around and play. All of the tumbling equipment was available, a huge trampoline to jump on, a balance beam, a large area with lots of balls to play with, and more!

There were also several kids and moms their. It was a great opportunity for moms to meet other each other and the kids made friends quickly also.

Apex Athletics offers a lot and it’s all very affordable also.

Mom’s Morning Out: Monthly registration program. $80 a month or $25 for drop-in. Monday or Friday 9 am – 12 pm. Drop the kids off while you go run errands! The kids will enjoy crafts, gym time, snacks and more!

Daytime Playtime: Available every Thursday 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. The entire family cam come and enjoy the gym. Families come meet other families, while the children run around and play. There is no age limit and it’s only $5 per family!

Lunch Bunch: Available every Friday 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm after Mom’s Morning Out. $10 per child. This includes more play time, crafts, and children bring their own lunch to eat. Register the previous week to attend and you do not have to participate in Mom’s Morning Out to attend.

Pre-K Tumbling: These specific classes are available during the week days. The classes are available as 10-week sessions. They will learn basic tumbling techniques, coordination, and more. Check here for dates, times and prices.

Recreational Cheerleading: These specific classes are available during the week days for children ages 3-6 years old. The classes are available as 10-week sessions. Children will learn tumbling, jumping, stunting, dancing and more! Check here for dates, times and prices.

They also offer a lot of special events monthly and other fun activities. This is definitely a site to bookmark to keep track of what is going on!

My New Year’s Resolution 2015

It’s the New Year! Have you already started your New Year’s resolutions? Every year I make a list of things I want to do aaaaaaand maybe I accomplish one or two things for awhile, then give up. This year I decided I was making ONE resolution …. I will wake up at 5 am every week day.

 

You are thinking “Wow that’s early!” “That’s your only goal?” Yepp, it is! I have other little goals, but I will not be able to accomplish them, without my MAIN resolution. My thought process is, if I wake up every morning at 5 am, that gives me an extra 2 hours or more to do what I want to do. The house is quiet, kids and hubby are still asleep and daycare kids have not arrived yet.

The past few months, since I had baby Amelia, I have messed around with a few ways to live healthier and be active.

I tried:

  • Planning when I was going to workout and where – I became overwhelmed and felt if I missed one class, the entire week was ruined.
  • Working out during nap time- That lasted about a week.
  • Going to YMCA classes when my hubby came home from work- I began to miss family time or I was completely exhausted and did not want to leave the house!

I was also:

  • NOT making myself a healthy breakfast – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
  • NOT allowing myself to wake-up before my day began – I would wake up about 30 minutes before daycare kids arrived.
  • NOT allowing myself “me” time.
  • NOT allowing myself time to meditate before the day began.

SOOOOO I figured if I make this one resolution, to wake up at 5 am everyday, everything else will fall into place. If I get myself out of bed at 5 am, what else am I going to do for 2 hours? It’s my time, I want to be healthy & active and this is my chance!

So far it’s been going great! I’ve been able to meditate, workout, shower peacefully, take my time preparing a healthy breakfast, and even prep myself a little for the day for when the kids wake up and daycare kids arrive!

This goes to show you may have several resolutions, you may want to achieve this year. It can be a little overwhelming BUT if you make ONE main resolution everything else will just fall into place.

Happy New Year’s to you! What are your New Year’s resolutions?!

The Body Book Review

I finally finished The Body Book. It was such a great book and I am so happy I picked it up! Now, I know what you are thinking … “another diet book, another exercise regimen, etc., etc.” Nope! Not the case. It is none of that. It is basically a users manual to your body. It is a book that breaks down how your body works and why your body works the way it does. Yes, there are some suggestions of foods to eat, exercises to do, but it’s not all about that.

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I will be honest, this book is pretty much anatomy class all over again, BUT it’s so much more interesting this time around. I promise ūüôā Maybe it was more interesting and the information stuck with me more, because I am actually interested. Or maybe because I’m not thinking about passing notes in class and what I am doing on Friday night ūüôā Also, it helps that the book was written by Cameron Diaz, not another textbook author. It’s real life explanation. A lot of the information you read, you already know, but it’s explained to you, so you UNDERSTAND.

I love how this book was broken down. The first section was all about nutrition¬†…

  1. Water intake! I just started keeping a 16 oz mason jar of room temperature water in my bathroom and chug it every morning when I wake up,¬†BEFORE I do anything else. It’s amazing how much this makes a difference.
  2. Sugar … it’s bad duh! But, why is it so bad?
  3. Carbs are NOT bad! As long as you are eating good carbs.
  4. Microbiome. Sounds boring? But, so interesting!

The second section is about fitness! You are thinking … “yes, I know, I need to workout more. OKAY!” Nope. There is more to it ūüôā

  1. The history of why going to the gym and planning for your workout has become a much needed priority today.
  2. The evolution of technology … CRAZY to see how technology has affected our movement!
  3. What happens when you do NOT move.
  4. “Energy In, Energy Out” very interesting topic! Energy = LIFE!
  5. Break down of bones, muscles, and system functions.
  6. Sleep is so important. All technology off! I sleep with a mask now!

The third and final section is about mind! Okay, so you can read this entire book, understand, and agree with everything that is written in it. BUT nothing will change if you don’t DO something. Put your MIND to it!

  1. Connect body and mind
  2. Realize your body is NOT the same as the person next to you. LISTEN to your body!
  3. Break the habits … practice, practice!
  4. “Nothing’s For Free” … discipline!
  5. Plan!

Cameron Diaz says this in the book … we are a machine. You would not let your car go months and months without an oil change would you? Or if you do, is it still functioning correctly? We function at our bests when we eat the right foods to give us energy, drink enough water, and keep moving. If we lay on the couch for days and eat cake and potato chips for days, our machine slowly breaks down over time.

The year is coming to an end and I know the most popular New Year’s Resolution is to lose weight, be healthy, etc. THIS book will help you keep your resolution. Of course, I cannot promise it will help you keep it, because ONLY YOU can make that change. This book will help you in the right direction.

 

YMCA Fitness Classes

I absolutely love the YMCA! It is not very expensive for a family membership ($50-$70) monthly, which you can share with all the Des Moines YMCA locations and they have SOOOOOO much to offer.

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Child care

Fitness Classes

Full gym

Swimming pool

Discounted children classes

Discounted kid sports

Indoor running track

Very friendly and helpful staff

AND MUCH MORE!

My favorite, are the fitness classes. They have so many variety of classes to offer and with the multiple locations around Des Moines, you can usually find a time that will suit you. Some classes include:

Zumba

Cycling

Yoga

Pilates

BodyPump

Body Sculpt

Tai Chi

Insanity

Tabata Strength

AND MUCH MORE!

There is an awesome iPhone app to keep track of what classes and what time classes are available. They also will post special events that may be going on at the specific YMCA you belong to, open swim schedules, open gym schedules, etc. You can search by class and instructor. You can also click on a specific class, sync it to your calendar and place an alert, so you do NOT forget to work out. The app ROCKS!

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Since giving birth to baby number two, it has been a lot harder to work off this baby weight! It is also a lot harder to get to the gym with two kids! Luckily, Travis is very supportive and flexible. Each week I compare his work schedule, my schedule, the kids schedule and I plan out what classes I plan to take. Then with the YMCA app I can add it to my calendar!

Right now, I have two favorite classes I have been going to regularly.

1. BodyPump

I love BodyPump! A lot of people feel that they need to have good coordination when taking this class because there is counting, but the instructors are awesome at counting it out and keeping you on track. If you are a beginner or experience, this class is for you. The instructors do an awesome job explaining each lift and also show you an alternative way of doing a lift or exercise, if you are not experienced enough.

BodyPump is NOT about how much weight you lift. It is based on form, how slow, fast and reps you lift. You do it all to music and once you get in the groove, it’s a lot of fun! During one class I have burned between 350-500 calories. They change up the classes every 8 weeks or so, and they just recently switched up the class. With the new routine, I have burnt over 500 calories! I definitely recommend this class!

2. Body Sculpt

Body Sculpt is a mixture of cardio and strength training. Each class I have been to has been different and totally awesome. I always burn between 400-500 calories in a Body Sculpt class. Each instructor creates their own workout which can consist of bands, weights, barbells, running on the track, jumping jacks, crunches, etc. You usually start off with a jog around the track, to get your heart rate up, then you will do some strength training exercises. Through out class you will alternate cardio and strength training, so your heart rate continuously stays increased.

If you are looking to get into shape, I definitely recommend joining your local YMCA. The YMCA makes it very easy to workout, even with busy schedules and kids.

Check out the YMCA Greater of Des Moines website for more information and how to join.

Hike It Baby

I want to share an awesome group, I learned about these past couple of weeks …

Hike It Baby!

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I learned about Hike It Baby from another local babywearer in the Babywearing of Central Iowa group.

Hike It Baby all began in July of 2013 and has EXPLODED since then. It all started when one mother, Shanti Hodges, from Portland, Oregon, asked a group of other women if they wanted to go hiking with her. Week after week, more and more women joined. As the numbers increased, Shanti decided to create a website and newsletter to keep everyone in touch with each another.

Shanti created this group with the main focus to get moms (even dads) and babies out into nature. The hikes also help minimize postpartum depression, allows you to learn more about your city, meet other people who have the same interests as you, and give you some exercise.

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By word of mouth, and social media, several moms AND dads volunteered to lead hikes. The number of hikes that were lead weekly and daily, grew and grew! At this time, there are 40-80 Hike It Baby lead hikes across America. Each location has their own Facebook group, where leaders plan hikes and everyone who is in that area can talk and plan.

I absolutely love babywearing and to hear that an activity like Hike It Baby exists, makes me so happy!

Hike It Baby is completely free. It’s free to lead and it’s free to hike. It does not take much to become a leader. You can wear your baby, you can push them in a stroller, or if they want to hike along with you, they can do that too!

Right now, the Hike It Baby 30 challenge is taking place during the month of November. The challenge is to hike 30 miles in the month of November. Every 10 miles you hike, you are entered into a giveaway and there are some AWESOME prizes to be won! You can register for $10 to be officially part of the Hike It Baby 30 challenge and have a chance to win prizes OR  you can do it on your own, without registering, but you will not win prizes.

There are several levels of the challenge if you really want to challenge yourself even more. Such as hiking on only dirt trails all 30 miles, or you can walk around anywhere in your city as long as you hit the 30 miles. Amelia and I signed up for this challenge. Since it has been getting colder, it has been hard to get out and hike/walk, but there is still time! I know we can do it!

There is still time to sign up for the Hike It Baby 30 Challenge and if you belong to the Babywearing of Central Iowa Group, there are a group of women who are planning some hikes to meet this challenge. If you have not joined Babywearing of Central Iowa, read this to find out how!

As of now, there is no official Hike It Baby group in the Des Moines area. After the Hike It Baby 30 challenge, there has been talk of one being created! So, keep your eyes and ears open!

Valley Community Center

Monte and I have fallen in LOVE with the Valley Community Center!

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I learned about the Valley Community Center from my favorite Facebook group, Des Moines Beyond 4 Walls! This place has so much to offer for FREE and/or not very much money! Not only for children, but for adults also!

Our favorite thing is the kids play area. It is a great place to take your kiddos when the weather is icky and cold. Monte can spend hours running around, playing on the equipment and meeting new friends. Oh, and it’s FREE! Score! ūüôā

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There is free Wi-Fi and a small little cafe, Maplenol Cafe, where you can order espresso, coffee, smoothies, and small snacks. There is also a  fire place in this area with big comfy couches. You should always be supervising your child while they are in the play area, but there are large glass windows so you can sit in the cafe, sip coffee and watch!

The Valley Community Center also offers classes for a small fee for children and adults. Right now they are offering …

  1. Creative Dance for Kids
  2. Zumba Fitness for Kids
  3. Barre
  4. Cardio Low
  5. Zumba Fitness for Adults
  6. Mat Pilates
  7. Kids in Motion
  8. Homeschool PE

These classes are between $3-$5 a class. You can buy a punch card and save some money! Some of these classes and other classes, I have not listed, may require pre-registration. Check out here for an entire list and calendar!

The Valley Community Center is only open during the week, but you can reserve certain areas during the week and/or weekends. I think this would be an awesome place to reserve out for a winter birthday party! Check out here for more information and prices.

What is your favorite thing to do at the Valley Community Center?

Friday Randoms

It’s Friday and I just have to share with you some random things, I’ve discovered this week, and have fallen in love with!

1. Crane Humidifiers

Sunday night into Monday was a tough night for Monte. He was very congested and he slept like crap. I heard about these Crane humidifiers last year, but never brought myself to purchase one. We had a basic Vicks one, that I thought, did the job just fine. Boy was I wrong! Monday I went out and purchased this adorable owl humidifier and Monte slept so much better that night. It uses cool mist and increases moisture in the air for easier breathing. Monte also enjoyed that it was an owl ūüôā I bought mine at Babies R Us and it was 20% off. Great buy!

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2. Green Grounds Cafe

I finally checked out this little gem in Valley Junction. I have heard lots of people talk about this small coffee shop, but never made a stop. I am so happy I finally did! They have awesome lattes (I tried the White Chocolate Raspberry) and delicious, not so good for you scones (I tried the apple cinnamon). They also offer wraps, sandwiches, salads, muffins, and breakfast. They have unique gifts from local artists and also carry Young Living products and I love Young Living Essential Oils. It’s a very large cafe where you could meet others for a meeting or just to hang out. Definitely check it out and support a local business!

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3. “Disconnect to Connect”

I updated my vision board this week and came across this quote. I will admit, I have an addiction to Facebook, Instagram, checking my e-mail, etc. I have an iPhone and all of these things are easily at my finger tips and so easy to look at. I’ve decided I need to limit my time on the phone. Each day will be a bit different, depending on what is going on. Monday night was my first night. I put my phone down, left it in another room from 5 pm – 9:45 pm (I checked it right before bed). Since I did this I enjoyed some quality time with my family and actually focused on them. I also read almost half a book! And I’ve been complaining I don’t have time to read? REALLY?!?¬†

I challenge you all to do the same. You don’t even realize how much time you spend on your phone. I always said to my self “I will just check my e-mail quick” “Did someone post something on Facebook? I will check real quick”, etc. Those “quick” checks add up to many minutes you are missing out on your family and/or reading a great book!

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4. The Body Book

Above I mentioned I read half a book in one night … it was The Body Book by Cameron Diaz. I’ve heard good things about this book and decided to pick it up. I absolutely love it! This is a not a diet book and not a workout regimen. It doesn’t tell you, you need to do this and this; to look amazing. It basically explains how YOUR own body works and how to LOVE the body you have been given. Right now, I am in the section on nutrition. It’s amazing how much I have learned, about the food I put in my body and what my body NEEDS to survive and work at its best. Of course, I know too much sugar is bad for you and you need to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but this book explains WHY.¬†I think it’s easier if you understand WHY and how things work, it’s easier to follow through. When I finish this book I will definitely share my thoughts and favorite things I gained from reading The Body Book.

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What are some new or different things you have come across this week?

Paleo

Okay … let’s talk about Paleo!

Paleo is anything a caveman could hunt or find years and years ago such as meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and seeds.

I have just become more interested in the Paleo way¬†of living (notice that I did not say¬†diet).¬†After taking a summer off from anything and everything healthy¬†(seriously) I can tell you that I have felt¬†miserable! I had spent about 6 months eating clean, working out¬†everyday, lost 30 pounds, ran my first 5K, and felt¬†AWESOME! Well, of course summer came¬†… I took a trip, had some family emergencies, ate out a lot, and¬†found¬†every¬†other¬†excuse not to exercise or stay on track with my eating.

It is crazy¬†how big of a difference I feel from the spring time (when I was on¬†track) to now. I am more tired, feel bloated all the time, breaking¬†out, etc. Although this probably isn’t the best way to experiment,¬†this experience has taught me what my body can and cannot¬†handle.

One thing I have noticed is dairy. Remember when I talked about my obsession with Pumpkin Spice Lattes and every other latte for that matter?

Well, I have noticed a direct affect with drinking lattes (loaded with milk) with breaking out and bloating. Also bread and pasta! They just make you feel ucky!!!!!

So, I made a¬†trip to our local library and checked out this book …

Wow! This is a great book and I definitely recommend purchasing it! Practical Paleo does a great job explaining what the Paleo way of eating is and how it affects your body. I seriously felt that I was reading a story of how my body felt, according to my body! This book offers TONS of recipes and tear out cards to help you get on track with Paleo.

After reading¬†this book, I continued my research online and talked to a few¬†friends. Another popular thing is the Whole 30 program.¬†For those¬†individuals who are interested in starting the Paleo lifestyle, the¬†Whole 30 is a great way to introduce¬†you to it. It’s a straight, 30 days eating Paleo and no sugar. You¬†also cannot create the Paleo cookies or other Paleo (awesome¬†looking) desserts. It’s just straight up meat, vegetables, seafood,¬†some fruit, seeds and nuts!

I decided against the Whole 30 :/ (for now at least) Mainly, because I know that I have the tendency to binge if I absolutely, cannot have something! I would rather ease my way into something then going cold turkey!

Here are the things I like about¬†Paleo and why I will be easing my way into this lifestyle change …

  1. It’s all whole foods
  2. It teaches you to get creative!
  3. You learn a LOT!!

 

Since I have started looking at¬†everything I eat, it’s¬†CRAZY¬†to see¬†all of the additional things are added into foods that you may¬†think are¬†healthy¬†or “clean”. This week is¬†kind of my first week of beginning this process. For example …

  • Breakfast:¬†I have¬†been eating French Toast Scramble, (from one of my¬†FAVORITE¬†blogs¬†Carrots ‘n¬†Cake!) ¬†With a big scoop of Almond Butter (can’t use¬†Peanut Butter anymore!)
  • Lunch: I cut up a couple of¬†sweet potatoes into fourths and baked them in the oven,with honey¬†drizzled on top, and garlic salt.¬†I then cooked several¬†strips of turkey bacon. I eat a strip of turkey bacon, sweet¬†potato and some pineapple and feel very satisfied!

  • Dinner: Hy – Vee has a lot¬†of pre-made seafood. Last night I had a Sweet and Spicy Salmon¬†filet, delish! Another place to check out is Trader Joe’s, they¬†have a lot of frozen seafood items that can be thawed and cooked up¬†quickly with some veggies for dinner.
  • Snack: GREEN JUICE! If you¬†did not see, I got a Hurom juicer for my birthday¬†ūüôā Also, I have made my¬†own trail mix using banana chips, sunflower seeds, and roasted¬†almonds from Trader Joe’s. It’s the perfect combo of sweet &
    salty!

 

Here is to the beginning of my journey eating Paleo! Any tips and suggestions are appreciated!