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Archive for the ‘fitness’ tag

May 9th, 2014 at 9:34 am

Conquering Diet and Exercise Hurdles


One thing that plagues me day after day is weight loss. What I have realized is identifying the biggest hurdles helps you gain control, so you can actively acknowledge and work on them.

Only eat when you are hungry.
You don’t have to eat just because food is in front of you or the rest of your family is eating. Pay attention to whether you are really feeling hungry or if you’re just craving taste. If you aren’t really hungry at dinner but want to eat with the family, choose vegetables with low carbs, low calories and low fat.

You aren’t respecting your portions.
Watch how big your plate is and how much food you are putting on it. Use a scale or measuring cup to see how much an actual portion is. Check out food labels to determine the portion size. As a rule, your plate should be half vegetables or salad, a quarter carbohydrates, and a quarter protein.

Watch what you drink.
Watch what you have in your cup. Remember that things like alcohol, juice, and soft drinks all contain calories and sugars. Sometimes a cup of these things may be as much as an extra snack.

You have no motivation.
Set some goals to give you something to work towards. Keep track of your food in a food diary, get up and move by using a pedometer, or even reward yourself for working out.

Failure isn’t your enemy.
A day of failure or even a moment of failure doesn’t mean that you should quit. Start over and tell yourself that you will do better next time.

What do you feel are some of your biggest hurdles?

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February 24th, 2014 at 8:31 am

Keeping Your Kids Active When Stuck Inside


This winter has been an extremely long one for my family.  Living in Wisconsin, most days the temperatures aren’t even hitting zero, so playing outside isn’t always an option and we have had to get inventive to help rid the boys of their never-ending energy.  I want to share some ideas with you to get some physical activity into your children’s day when you are stuck inside.

Do you have a room big enough to blow up that bouncy house inside? We move all our furniture out of the way and on our “cold” days when school was canceled we ran the house inside. The boys had hours of fun jumping up and down.

My parents have a heated sunroom that is covered with tile. When the kids were infants and toddlers we would sometimes blow up a baby pool on a sunny day and fill with some warm water. Stick on the boys swim trunks and its time to go swimming, or at least splash around.

If you have a basement in your house, there are so many great things you can do!  Hang some swings from the ceiling joists and bring outdoor fun inside. Also, if you have a lot of empty room in the basement bring in bikes, scooters, or even roller skates. I used to love roller skating through our basement growing up. The basement is a great place to practice dribbling a basketball and if you have decent ceiling height you may even be able to perfect your jump roping skills! Also, if you have a cement floor and accessible floor drain play with sidewalk chalk or even draw a hopscotch or foursquare area.

As moms, we like to limit our children’s electronics time. I don’t mind a little extra time though when they are playing active games. My kids love to use the WiiFit or play Just Dance. If you don’t have these it is just as easy to find some Just Dance videos on You Tube or run a family exercise class using online exercise videos. One night we had a competition to see who could plank the longest. Needless to say, I did not win.

Get inventive when trying to keep active and wear out some of that energy while the Polar Vortex takes over. We are in the home stretch; Spring is right around the corner.

How do you stay active inside?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.


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January 9th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Mommy and Me Exercises



Pregnancy is synonymous with “change.” When you have a child (especially your first), everything changes…and that includes your body! Once new moms settle into a routine, one of the most common sentiments is, “Now, how do I get my body back??” When you have kids, especially young babies, it can be difficult to find the time or opportunity to get a decent workout in. Here are some “Mommy and Me” exercises you can do with your little one!

*Keep in mind, you should always ask your doctor what types of exercises you’re allowed to do (depending on the type of birth you had, your personal health, etc.) before starting.

Other great ways to exercise with your baby are jogging/walking with the stroller, dancing, and hiking with the baby in a carrier.

Share your postnatal exercise routine with us on our Facebook wall…what worked for you?

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July 24th, 2013 at 10:17 am

Pregnancy Fitness


It’s important for both you and your baby to stay fit and healthy while you’re pregnant, but your growing belly and dietary and exercise restrictions will likely prevent you from sticking to your typical routines. The right exercises can actually prevent or lessen common pregnancy discomforts, such as backache and fatigue. Here are some pregnancy exercises that will help you feel your best during this special time! Remember to drink a lot of water, and not push yourself or your body too hard.

Keep in mind, you should always consult your doctor before you start any type of exercise during pregnancy.


The best part about swimming is you’re not burdened by any weight gain, no matter what trimester you’re in. This gentle exercise can relieve swollen ankles and back pain. Stick to easy, fluid movements… no butterfly stroke!


Prenatal yoga is hot right now. Many studios offer classes and there are a number of DVDs available for you to use at home. It’s the perfect way to help you relax your tense muscles and mind. Avoid any type of hot yoga and use your best judgment, avoiding any moves that don’t feel right or seem too aggressive.


An easy and convenient exercise for pregnant women. This is something most people can do throughout their pregnancy, even up to the day of labor!

Kegal Exercises

This “invisible” exercise will strengthen the muscles that help you during labor and delivery.

Light Strength Training

Light weightlifting workouts, modified for pregnancy, can be an excellent way to keep your “problem areas” at bay while your bump grows. Avoid heavy weights, lying flat on your back, and overdoing it. Check out for some great exercise demonstrations and instructions.

What type of pregnancy fitness do you engage in?


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June 12th, 2012 at 6:57 am

Keeping Track of Your Food and Fitness with Fitbit

A couple of months ago, inspired by a woman I met who had recently lost a significant amount of weight, I wrote a post about the website. This site helps you track your diet and fitness progress online or with a mobile app helping you to achieve your nutrition and weight loss goals. It’s a great site that really helps you visualize your goals and monitor your progress.

Since then, I’ve been using a new device, the FitBit Ultra, that takes that process to the next level, by recording your physical activity automatically.

Think of FitBit as a 21st century pedometer, with the technology that not only tracks your steps, but calories burned, distance traveled (no calculating), as well as stairs climbed. It’s about the size of your thumb and is lightweight and easy to wear on your garment, belt, or bra.

The device itself tracks your movements throughout the day, and there’s an LED display that you can read on the go. However, the real benefits come from the companion website/phone app where you log additional activities including workouts, food, sleep and weight, as well as health measurements such as heart rates, blood pressure and glucose. There’s a journal tab where you can record your daily mood, allergies or other info about your general health.

The FitBit dashboard is easy to use and offers many tools to help you monitor and track your diet and exercise program. There’s a large database of food choices, with full nutritional info, as well as fitness activities, with the option to save what you eat or practice regularly as favorites .

Set up is easy. There’s a USB charger that plugs into your pc, which wirelessly syncs with the website when you are nearby so it’s really easy to monitor your progress while you are logging your data. There are mobile apps which sync to the website so you can access your dashboard on your phone.

After wearing the device for that last 2 months, I’ve gotten used to, and enjoy, having a record of my daily physical activity. And I admit, I like getting the emails congratulating me for distance or stair climbing milestones. I’m not very diligent at logging my food or sleep or weight, but I really like using this device. At $95, it’s a bit pricey, but certainly less expensive than a gym membership for the long term. I like to think of it as my electronic personal trainer that works 24/7 to motivate me towards results.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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April 3rd, 2012 at 5:00 am

Food, Fitness and Healthy Living at

Does your diet and exercise routine need a little support? Would it help to have a site that gives you good information, inspiration, encouragement and a place to record your accomplishments? Oh and by the way, a free resource at that?

I recently was referred to a terrific website that does just that. It’s and it’s chock full of tools, ideas, articles, and resources that can help you get, and stay, on track with good nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle choices.

My favorite app on this site is myPlate. It has a huge database that includes the nutritional information for thousands of foods, from generic to brand- and restaurant-specific items and entrees.

We all have heard how beneficial it is to keep a food diary. Enter what you’ve consumed during the day, and myPlate calculates the total calorie, carbs, fat, protein, sugar and sodium content. Graphs and tables allow you to compare these totals with recommended daily allowances in a way that is both informative and eye opening. It really encourages you to think about what you eat and drink and see how even small changes can add up to better nutrition and even weight loss.

Set goals for yourself and use the data to help yourself reach them. Need to tip the balance from too many carbs to more protein? Recording your choices and paying attention to the nutritional numbers empowers you get smarter about what you eat and make that happen.

And then there’s the fitness app. Prefer gardening to push-ups? Use the guides to help you get the most out of your planting and weeding chores, and at 281 calories burned per hour, you can make it count as a workout. Just click the “I did this” and indicate for how long. It records what you’ve burned.

Once you’ve seen the data, you’re naturally going to be inspired to keep going. Knowing that much of your normal daily activity like walking, climbing stairs, chasing after your kids and doing housework does actually count as exercise, and knowing how much it’s worth on the calorie-burning scale is a real boost. And it may even inspire you to do more.

The tools are really comprehensive. If you’re a walker or runner, you can use the loops option to plan your route and let the app calculate distance and calories burned. It just makes it so easy for you to succeed.

Currently there is an iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile app for the Calorie Tracker application but no Android app just yet. Hopefully that will be here soon. In the meantime, I’m bookmarking

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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January 13th, 2012 at 5:00 am

Workout Gear Trends for the New Year

Workout Gear Trends for the New Year!

Every January everyone gets on the workout kick! I have to be honest, I’m one of those people. I’m committed to walking and/or running at 3 least times a week. I not only want to do it for the physical health, but I want to do it for the emotional health, too. With 4 sons, I need to be able to keep up with them — and I know working out is the only thing that will keep me moving (and keeping up).

Seeing so many people at the gym each week has made me realize that there are some fabulous workout gear trends right now. There’s lots of bright colors in the gym and beautiful, fun prints. I want to share 5 trends that I’ve been seeing a ton lately. The beauty (and secret) is that sometimes when you feel like you look good, it’s even more motivation to get to the gym regularly!

I’m all about branching out and finding some fabulous options for the gym.  For Christmas my husband bought me a few new pieces for my workout “wardrobe” and it’s really been a lot of fun to “show some off!”

5 Workout Gear Trends for the New Year:

1. Bright and Bold Colors —Yellow is my favorite! I love the energy it exudes whenever I wear bright, bold colors. I think it gets my blood pumping and totally amps me up!

2. Fitness Skirts are all the RAGE right now! I haven’t bought one yet, but I’ve been seeing women wear these at the gym more and more. They’re very cute and a wonderful alternative to standard gym shorts.

3. Fashionable Yoga Clothing… looking chic for your yoga class! I love the wrap top, so trendy! There’s something about adding in some clothing that you could easily wear outside of the gym, too. I love finding these “gem” pieces.

4. Fun and fabulous prints! I love how workout gear has kicked itself up a notch and is offering fashionable prints and fabrics!

5. Monochromatic Workout Gear – Just as it’s fashionable to dress monochromatically from top to bottom, it can be for workout gear, too! I chose to put together some tangerines (since it’s the 2012 color of the year!), but it’s super easy to find a color and match your top and bottom.

Audrey McClelland can also be found at MomGenerations.comLifetime Beauty/ and She is also the co-author of The Digital Mom Handbook.

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