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Workout Wednesday: Curtsy Squats with Your Baby

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If you want to slim and tone your thighs, this exercise is perfect for you! Traditional squats help to tone the glutes and quads, but this alternative really helps to target the inner and outer thigh, helping you to see faster results in the areas you want. By adding the additional weight of your baby, you increase the intensity of the exercise, for faster gains in strength.

 

To perform, wear your baby forward facing in the carrier of your choice. Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart. Slowly bend your left knee as your cross your right leg behind you. Your right knee should lower to the floor, but don’t allow it to actually touch the floor. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. You can place your hands on your hips or out to the sides for balance if you need it. Make sure as you perform the squat you are sinking down into your left heel and not allowing your left knee to pass over your toe line.

 

Perform 3 sets of 10-15 squats on each side.

Whole Grain Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muffins

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These are so good you will forget they are healthy too! With a few ingredient tweaks, you can take a muffin recipe that would be damaging to your waistline and transform it into something good for you that still tastes great. This recipe is an example of just that! A traditional fruit and chocolate muffin recipe would call for added sugars, refined flours, and added fats. Instead, this recipe is filled with whole grains, healthy fats, and limited added sugars. Here’s what you need:

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Ingredients:

1 cup 100% whole wheat flour

½ cup ground flax

1 cup all purpose flour

¾ cup milk

1/3 cup agave nectar

¼ cup honey

1 egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1 dash of salt

1 Tbs ground cinnamon

1/3 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 60% cacoa)

1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed

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Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix together flour and flax to blend evenly. Add in baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and blend. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add in honey, yogurt, and agave and blend until smooth. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients. Stir together while slowly pouring in milk to thin batter. Add in chocolate chips and blend evenly. Lightly grease a muffin tin and place 2 Tbs of batter into each muffin cup. Next, lay 2-3 raspberries on top of batter. Pour remaining batter on top of raspberries to create a “raspberry filling” in the muffin. Then, top off each muffin with 1-2 raspberries. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

 

Friday Fitness Challenge: Belly Fat Blasting Arm Circles

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Whan to blast belly fat, but hate crunches? You’re in luck! Core exercises don’t always need to be done on the floor. This exercise helps you get up off the floor and works your obliques, upper and lower abs, as well as your shoulders and arms.

For this week’s Fitness Challenge, I challenge you to perform a total of 30 arm circles (15 in each direction) daily for a full week. Are you up for the #FatBlastingArmCircle challenge?

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To perform:

  1. Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Hold a 5-pound dumbbell (or use a filled water bottle if a dumbbell isn’t available) with both hands in front of your body with straight arms.

                        Keep your back straight and your core tight. See Figure 10-2 to get an idea of the position you should be in. If you prefer, you can start with no weight and gradually build up.

  1. While keeping both hands on the weight and your arms straight, slowly make a large circle with your arms to the right, above your head, to the left, and back to the starting position.

                        Keep your core tight the whole time you’re making the circle.

  1. Repeat the preceding step 15 times to the right and 15 times to the left for one set. Rest for 30 seconds.

 

Advanced: Over time, build up to an 8- or 10-pound dumbbell.

 

 

Keep me updated on how you are doing with your #FatBlastingArmCircle challenge!

 

 

 

 

Workout Wednesday: Straight Leg Side Raises with Your Baby

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Outer thighs can be a trouble area, especially if you have found yourself sitting more. Toning the thighs however is easy with this exercise (and it’s a fun way to bond with your baby!). Wearing your baby forward facing in the carrier of your choice, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Raise your arms out to the side and slightly bend your base knee to maintain balance throughout the exercise. Slowly raise your right leg up to the side. Your foot should be turned in slightly, so that your heel is pointing towards the ceiling. Raise your leg a little lower than waist high, and then lower down towards the floor. Only allow your foot to come very near to the floor, but don’t allow it to actually be placed on the floor. Now, repeat the exercise by raising your right leg again. Remember, each time you lower your leg, don’t allow your foot to touch the floor. Perform 15 leg raises on your right leg and then 15 on your left leg.

 

Note: Perform this exercise in front of a floor length mirror to help you maintain good form. This is also a great way to keep your baby entertained!

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