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This is one of the most common questions clients ask me when they start to really mentally and physically get into the workout groove! Many people tend to alternate between the cardio and weights switching off day to day. But what happens when you combine both types of exercise into the same workout? Determining which to do first can be tricky!

Cardio can be EITHER a great starter or finisher to weight training. However, if you are doing cardio at a higher intensity, it may leave you tired during your strength training. If going on a moderately paced walk, you probably will not be tired to go ahead and strength train immediately afterward.

The Benefits of Cardio Before Weights:

If you want to increase endurance, cardio before weight training is the optimal choice. Performing cardio uses energy from the energy stores needed to sustain aerobic/cardiovascular exercise.

Performing cardio before weight training will enhance cardiovascular endurance. Also, weight training with these depleted energy stores will enhance muscular endurance as well. This may be a goal of long-distance or marathon runners. It will improve fatigue resistance and develop the slow-twitch muscle fibers needed for endurance-based activities.

The cardio is also a great warm-up! If you complete a walk before strength training and are not physically tired after the walk, you could look at your walk as your warm-up.

The Benefits of Cardio After Weights:

Doing cardio after weight training is ideal if you want to lose fat and increase strength. Increasing muscle mass is also desirable for fat loss goals and has been shown to increase metabolism.

You will have so much energy for strength training if you wait until AFTER it to do your cardiovascular section.

If you are somewhat new to exercising and currently in a routine, it is important to stick with what is working! If you feel better doing weights after cardio or vice versa, then do it! It’s more important to stay motivated and do what feels good for you, especially if just beginning.

The holiday season (in my opinion) has some of the yummiest foods around! However, it can bring up feelings of food anxiety and stress for many people. It an be very difficult to indulge, while also listening to your body and its hunger cues. Whether you are home for the holidays or going from party to party, the holiday season can hold lots of triggers around food. Here are some tips that will allow you to enjoy the season with less stress:

1. Stick With Your Routine:

The holidays can be quite chaotic! Trying to keep a sense of normalcy is crucial during this time. Try to take the time and workout at your normal time you would during the year ( even if it’s less time or in a different setting). Try my 25-30 min. workouts for days that you are in a pinch!

2. No Judgement:

Listen to your INNER thoughts. Are you food-shaming and being extra hard on yourself during this time? Take 10 minutes to throw on a meditation OR make a list of things you are grateful for to put you back in a positive mind-frame.

3. Mindful Eating:

Really listen to cues of when you are feeling hungry/full. Take time to chew and digest your food before deciding if you are truly hungry. It takes our brains a good 10-15 minutes to register that we are full after eating. Try to sit and enjoy the meal without chatting on the phone or doing multiple tasks at once. When you are full, stop and take the time to digest.

4. Take Time To Breathe:

Feeling the tension rising? Try some EFT tapping or going for a ten minute walk. While ten minutes may seem like too much time to take from the current task, it will shift your mindset and allow you to work more efficiently. Thus, in the long run saving valuable time.

5. ENJOY yourself and this time:

The holidays only come once a year. Really take the time to enjoy yourself and savor it! Let yourself enjoy what you want without feeling like exercise is a punishment to work off the extra calories. You will have plenty of time in the New Year for that! With that said, I do not believe in the New Year, New You mantra. That is a LOT of pressure , especially if you worked hard the previous year. Continue to do great things and make small positive strides.

Hope you Holiday Season is magical and enjoyable! Enjoy!

One thing I am asked a lot about is my morning routine and if I have one. Truly, my schedule is a bit different everyday. I strive for progress in my morning routine, and perfection isn’t an option. I try to commit to these non-negotiables regardless of what I have going on during the day.

1. Drinks + Supplements:

I start my day with warm tea (preferably green) and lemon to get my digestion optimized. I usually take probiotics in the evening. Check out my probiotic blog https://cgmfit.com/blog/gut-health-and-digestion/

2. Breathe Fresh Air:

Breathing fresh air has been proven to help you naturally wake up, and I find it gives me that natural boost of energy. I focus on grounding and breathing in the fresh air as I sip my tea to start my day. If I have the time, I will go on a quick walk.

3. Making My Bed:

Maybe it’s just me, but making my bed first thing in the morning, really sets the tone for my day. It only takes 1-2 minutes and it is so worth it! I feel more positive and productive immediately after.

4. Movement:

Movement is one of the most important pieces of my life and I find that I feel my best during the day if I start out with movement! I teach my LIVE fitness classes five mornings a week. On the days I don’t teach, I will record a segment first thing in the morning or take a walk! Just a 10 minute workout in the AM can work wonders!

5. Self-care:

Since I typically start my day with movement and have to quickly jump to business, I find myself in a bit of a rush to get to my computer as quickly as possible. I need to remind myself to slow down the transition from movement to business. I try to enjoy the process of getting ready! I take the time to wash my face, do a skincare routine (toner, serum, under-eye cream, and moisturizer) and putting on a bit of make-up (powder, lipstick, cream blush, and highlighter). I feel a bit more calm and ready to tackle the day when I take a few minutes for self-care.

6. Slow Breakfast:

Food is fuel and breakfast is an extremely important meal I never skip. I like to take a few minutes to enjoy my food and not multi-task while eating (ie e-mails, meetings, texts). On weekends it is a bit easier to actually sit down and have a nice hot breakfast. During the week I opt for easier things such as oatmeal with fruit and nuts or a multi-grain waffle with the same toppings. On the weekends, I try for avocado toast and/or eggs!  

“Tamsin Jordan from Jordan Nutrition is also a firm believer in taking your time when it comes to breakfast. The hormones that regulate our appetite and satiety, namely leptin,  takes some time to register when we’ve had enough to eat. Taking our time to savor every bite ensures that we take in the right number of calories for our body and reduces blood sugar swings later in the day.”

7. Meditation:

I often do meditations at night, but if I can sneak one in the morning, I will. I aim for a 10-15 minute meditation or EFT tapping. Check some of my suggestions in the last blog article https://cgmfit.com/blog/5-ways-to-deal-with-stress/https://cgmfit.com/blog/5-ways-to-deal-with-stress/

Not sure if you should be looking for a Group Fitness Instructor or a Personal Trainer? Your “why” should be the first question you answer. Why are you working out? What are your goals? Once you have your answer, you can delve into which individual is better for you!

This article should give you guidance on choosing between personal training sessions or group fitness classes. Maybe, you will decide to do a little bit of both!

Group Fitness and Personal Training are two totally different certifications-a person can be certified in one, or both. Perhaps, they hold speciality certifications as well (barre, Pilates, TRX). The education and training can be vastly diffrent between the two certifications, and this is also an important factor to think about when making a choice.

As the titles suggest, Group Fitness Instructors teach group classes, while Personal Trainers train clients 1:1 and set up a custom workout plan for their clients. Personal Trainers typically must pass more rigorous tests if they have a respectable certification!

What setting do you prefer to workout in? What educational background do you prefer your coach to have?

A Personal Trainer is there for YOU! You will have their undivided attention for the session length (typically 30-60 min.) This type of setting gives them the opportunity to educate and motivate the client on a personal level. A good Personal Trainer will get to know you, your goals, and obstacles you may overcome. They can also work around your injuries. If you have underlying health issues, injuries, and/or a specific goal, a Personal Trainer may be the right decision for you! You will get a custom workout program that will help you achieve your goals quicker than a general workout plan from a Group Fitness Instructor.

Many times, a Personal Trainer is the right choice for a beginner. Form, exercise intensity, and how to get the most out of an exercise session will be stressed to someone new to working out. Personal Trainers are able to make an impact on individuals who want more specific direction.

Group Fitness instructors are typically extroverted and extremely diverse! They may teach a range of fitness classes such as Barre, Pilates, Zumba, Yoga, and/or spin to name just a few. All of these formats require different certifications behind the Group Fitness general certification as well. A Group Fitness instructor will likely know how to teach multiple formats which can sometimes make it more interesting than a Personal Trainer who does not have the group fitness background.

A Group Fitness Instructor will typically know how to pump a crowd, get them motivated, and ready to work hard! You will still (if the Fitness Instructor is reputable), get a highly motivated and effective workout with feedback. You may get a few individual helpful hints with your form, but do not expect the instructor to get to every individual in the class. Typically, they correct as a whole as well as offer modifications for all levels.

A group fitness class is usually a fraction of the cost of a personal training session, which makes it appealing for many people. The price is lower as you aren’t getting a customized workout plan and/or corrective training. Many people will supplement group fitness classes in addition to their personal training sessions!

I happen to be certified in both! I am backed by the American College of Sports Medicine as well as the International Sports and Sciences Association for Personal Training. Some of the TOP certifications you should look for in a trainer are the two I mentioned as well as ACE and NASM. I am group certified by AFAA (Athletics and Fitness Association of America), and I hold specialities in barre, kettlebell, Pilates, and TRX. BEWARE of Group Fitness Instructors who only teach specific type of workouts such as BEACHBODY. If they do not teach anything else, these type of workouts only require about a day long training!

It is IMPERATIVE to ask Personal Trainers these questions and get an idea of their backgrounds. Unfortunately, there are all too many gimmicky websites offering a certification within a couple of hours. It is up to YOU to research. The other thing to watch out for are rates that are far below the going standard industry prices. The going rate for a Personal Trainer is approximately $100-150 an hour. If they are priced far below these rates ask questions about their training, background and experience. You do get what you INVEST in.

As always, if there are any questions or concerns, feel free to ask me!

Why should you wear Pilates socks, when going barefoot/wearing shoes has worked fine for Pilates and Barre?

First off, wearing sneakers is not the way to go. It causes flooring and equipment to get scuffed up! More importantly, your toes are contained in the structure of the shoe. The movements of Pilates and Barre call for specific articulation and flexibility of the feet. For example, releves in barre are executed much more efficiently sans shoes.

So why not just go barefoot? If you take barre classes (especially movement based ones like mine), sweating tends to happen. Your feet and toes may no longer have that grip on the floor and/or equipment, which can cause you to slip and lose your form. Also, why be in contact with dirt and germs? Pilates/Barre socks are the way to go!

Another great aspect of these socks are the grips! Most have a number of silicon pads on the bottom, which will keep your feet from sliding and slipping as you move about. This will encourage you to spend time on your exercise and less time worrying about staying upright!

As silly as it may sound, Pilates/Barre socks can also get you into the right headspace! How do you feel when you slip on yoga pants and a matching sports bra? Like a million bucks, right? Wearing these socks can help prepare your body and mind to enter into a more focused state while you center your body!

Grip socks not only keep you safe, but they are a stylish piece of fitness gear to own! They will also keep your feet warm on cold days/air conditioned rooms. So which are the best types of barre socks to get?

I highly suggest the “Alo Yoga” Pivot Barre Sock. They come in a variety of colors and are priced at about $24 per pair. They are ideal for studio classes and feature no-slip grips , cushioning-soles, and fit-perfecting elastic straps. This will keep you comfortable in every workout. They come in a variety of sizes and can machine wash + tumble dry on low. Here is a link to get yours (click on picture):

Want a different option that is not as pricey, but still great? Try this Amazon alternative (click on picture):

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you, we make a small commission if you purchase a product through these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps support CGM Fitness. Thank you!

Rest and recovery are so important, especially when working out multiple days per week. In this day and age, we all have such hectic schedules, and taking some time to take care of yourself and your body can be super beneficial! Taking a day to recover helps prevent injury as well as allowing your muscles to repair. Do not ignore signals from your body that are telling you to take a break!

One of the easiest ways I recover is by foam rolling. Check out my foam rolling blog with the roller I recommend here:

Pair foam rolling with a nice epsom salt bath and you will immediately feel your muscles relax. However, sometimes foam rolling just isn’t enough. A few options are to try a medical massage with a licensed practitioner and/or acupuncture. I go for a 45 minute medical massage once a month and it truly helps me reset.

Besides taking care of my body physically, mentally taking care of myself is ultra important. I meditate for 15-30 minutes daily and I have found there to be a huge overall improvement in my mood. Some good meditation suggestions can be found in my last blog article, “5 Ways To Deal with Stress.”

The last extremely important part to all of this is getting enough sleep! On average 7-8 hours a night for most people are needed. Have some chamomile tea to relax and put away your screen about an hour before bed! Happy Resting!

Hate to say it, but as times evolve, the word “stress” seems to come out of most people’s mouths at some point or another. Prolonged stress can have serious effects on both physical and mental health. Tension can present itself in our bodies in a number of ways including digestive problems, headaches, and weakened immune systems.

To help manage and prevent stress, I like to make meditations a daily self-care ritual. When I am able to connect with myself, I am better able to connect with my feelings and emotions. Here are 5 ways I deal with stress:

Guided Meditation:

I dedicate 15-30 minutes a day to meditate. Some of my favorites are on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MaryKate88

https://www.youtube.com/c/Dauchsy

Connecting with family & friends:

A chat can go a LONG way. Even if you may not have the time to get together in person, just doing a simple facetime or call to catch up and/or vent, can make a world of difference.

Self-Care Night:

Taking an evening epsom salt bath while reading a great book in the tub can be divine. Light some candles to soften the mood as well! A facemask and comfy clothes are key! Try these Netflix series if you haven’t yet: “Sweet Magnolias”, “Virgin River”, “The Maid”, and “You” are just a few of many!

Get Enough Sleep:

Sleep plays a huge role in regulating your mood. In order to get 7-8 hours, try to avoid screens at least 30 minutes before bed. I also use Magnesium Glycinate, which is a GREAT way to get some R&R. Here is a link for the one I use: https://a.co/d/gLqKNUz

Cut Back on Caffeine:

This can be a tough one, but if you can switch your later coffee to a tea, it could definitely help the jitters. Green tea can give you a great burst of energy without the crash. Hate tea? Try a half caf or decaf latte in the afternoon!

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you, we make a small commission if you purchase a product through these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps support CGM Fitness. Thank you!

Many of us are running day in and day out! Taking care of yourself post-workout is extremely important. Taking 1-2 days a week off is needed to help prevent injury and allows your muscles proper time to repair themselves and rest. If your body is screaming at you that you need to take a day off, you should listen. The body intuitively knows what we need. Here are four ways to reset, rest and recover spiritually, mentally and physically:

1. Going for a Walk:

Recovery doesn’t necessarily mean staying stagnant and not moving all day. If you love to get daily movement, walking is a great alternative to machine based cardio and/or weight training. If it is nice outside, consider taking your kids for a walk, walking the dog or going with a friend. Change the location up! Suggestions could be the park, beach, track, or neighborhood. Phone a friend or listen to an audio book on Libby. The time will fly by!

2. Stretch:

Stretching is great for a recovery, but also reduces post-exercise muscle stiffness and soreness. Starting with just 5-10 minutes is beneficial! You can do this while watching TV, on a desk break, or before bed to de-stress. I always add a stretch to the end of each class as I truly believe in the benefits for our physical and mental well-being.

3. Meditation:

Working our minds is just as beneficial as working our bodies. I alternate between meditating and tapping (explained below) on a daily basis. Just a 10 minute meditation can make us more present in our lives. I highly suggest Mary Kate’s YouTUBE channel: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCamj35pqzYWvABxGfVOTsvA. She has different length meditations/ manifestation techniques depending on what you are looking for!

4. EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique- Tapping) – Check out this Butt and Gut recording done on May 10, with an intro to EFT tapping at the end https://cgmfit.com/product-category/streaming/?page=6 . Tapping helps to ease tension in our bodies and minds, relieve stress, anxiety, depression as well as keep us grounded.

Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women and Women 50 and Wiser is my top pick for a Women’s Multivitamin. The Women’s Multivitamin is for active women during reproductive years and the 50 and Wiser is for 50 and up! They both will help to optimize health and energy!

Vitamin Code is a comprehensive whole food multi-nutrient formula, specifically designed to meet the needs of active women! These vitamins will provide the nourishment the body needs to maintain optimal health and well-being.

There are over 20 fruits and vegetables, which add supporting antioxidants, vitamins and nutrient cofactors. They are RAW! This means no high heat, synthetic binders, artificial flavors, sweeteners and/or colors which are commonly used in many tablets. They are NON-GMO verified as well as gluten free!

Enjoy the benefits of increased energy and metabolism, healthy skin and nails, and live probiotics to support healthy digestion. A link for each kind can be found below:

https://amzn.to/3zbo6Qm
https://amzn.to/3IK5ABq

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you, we make a small commission if you purchase a product through these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps support CGM Fitness. Thank you!

Finding a workout program that you actually enjoy can be challenging. This is why it’s SO important to vary your routine! In my early twenties I spent countless hours at the gym and didn’t see or feel many results!

It wasn’t until I started incorporating barre/ Pilates workouts with my strength based workouts that I felt a major shift. I felt stronger, more focused, and less anxious. Working out does NOT need to be a punishment! It can be FUN!

Whether you feel mentally burned out from working out like it’s a chore or your body feels physically burned out, it’s important we stop this in its tracks! Here are some workout burnout tips:

Alternate Workout Intensity:

All your workouts do not need to be high intensity where you are pushing yourself to your limit. It is important we alternate intensities to avoid boredom as well as get the best results. If I am craving higher intensity I will do a H.I.I.T workout with alternating cardio and strength intervals. If I am in a lower intensity mood, I will do a Barre class or my own format called L.E.T.S. Werq! TM (lengthen/ elongate/ tone/ stretch).

Find a Workout that is Fun!:

The more fun you have in your workout, the more likely you are to stick with it. If it feels like a chore we don’t want to do, the less likely we are to keep with it. Find something enjoyable that you look forward to!

Listen to Your Body:

If your body is telling you that you are overdoing it, you probably are! Feeling burnt out is usually your bodies way of telling you that you need a break. A day or two off a week does the body wonders! Change your internal dialogue! Taking a rest day does NOT make us weak. Instead, it is giving our body the time to recover so we see the results.

STRETCH:

See my stretch REEL here:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CfZPw_9gkda/?igshid=NDBlY2NjN2I=

I created my community because I wanted working out to be FUN and for all levels. I believe in alternating workouts and changing the routine daily. I also wanted recordings to be accessible for those who can’t make LIVE workouts. The emphasis is on feeling strong and confident!

Want a FREE trial? Add a class/recording to your cart. At checkout enter code WECOMECGM! Can’t wait to see you!

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