Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ever Hear of The Bar Method?

I stumbled upon The Bar Method through a pre-promotion through Suburban Momma, which is very similar to Groupon but geared towards Northern NJ. (If you haven't signed up, I highly recommend it. They offer great deals to local businesses.)

The Bar Method is a combination of ballet, yoga and pilates. According to
It integrates the fat burning format of interval training, the muscle shaping technique of isometrics, the elongating principles of dance conditioning, and the science of physical therapy to create a revolutionary new workout that quickly and safely reshapes your entire body.
Here's an interesting fact: you can't take Bar Method classes at any old gym. You have to take the classes at a Bar Method studio where the owners are required to teach classes, serve as models for their teachers, and maintain a high quality of teaching at their studios.

What immediately drew me in is the results you can achieve with this workout:
The Bar Method™workout creates a uniquely lean, firm, sculpted body by combining the muscle-shaping principles of isometrics, the body-elongating practice of dance conditioning, the science of physical therapy and the intense pace of interval training into a powerful exercise format that quickly and safely reshapes and elongates muscles.
Now I'm intrigued. The nearest studio to me is either Boonton or Englewood and both are at least a 30-minute ride. These classes aren't cheap ($20-25 per class) so I'm considering ordering their DVDs (2 for $30). Or I could just open my own studio. Only kidding, just checking to see if you're paying attention.

I'll be doing a review soon once I get the DVDs. Please let me know if you've taken a class and what you thought of it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Have You Tried Boot Camp?

Since I'm always on the lookout for new classes and workouts, I couldn't help but notice the ad in the paper for Valley Boot Camp. It's an outdoor exercise program that involves strength training, obstacle courses, circuit training and much more. If you're an early bird, they offer 5:30am classes in Ramsey and Hillsdale. Park Ridge and Mahwah have more humane 9am classes.

My mom tried boot camp in her area and really enjoyed it. Members show up rain or shine and everyone has to establish goals -- whether it's to lose inches, pounds or just overall reshaping.

I'm tempted to give it a shot. The first class is free so you can try it out. I'd love to hear from anyone who's done it before or is currently taking boot camp classes. It seems like it would be interesting and totally different -- sort of like Zumba! LOL!

I'd love to hear your thoughts! And if you want to try it out with me, shoot me an email at

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Great Day for a 5K

Hopefully you got a chance to spend some time outside today. It was a gorgeous fall day and makes you appreciate this time of year. I ran the Family Reach 5K in Mahwah. While I didn't have any PRs (personal records), the run felt great.

Now that the 5K is over, I kind of feel like a lost soul. Do you ever feel that way after you train for an event and then it's over? Now what? There are a few 5Ks left in 2010 that I'm going to try and do, so I definitely need to keep running. One of my New Year's resolutions was to finish a 5K in 25:30. I still have some work to do to reach that goal, so there's my incentive!

Motivation seems to get harder and harder as you get older and there's so much more going on, between kids activities, housework and regular work. What's a Fit Mom to do? You have to make time for yourself. It's not selfish; it's necessary for you to be the best mom, wife, sister, daughter, etc. that you can be. For me, running is a stress reliever. I have more patience and can focus much better after a great workout.

Perhaps your motivation is a weight loss goal. I'm right there, too. Another New Year's Resolution I have is to get down to my goal weight...and if you think I'm posting that goal weight, you're crazy. LOL! I have about 3-5 pounds to go, depending on the day and how much water I'm retaining. Sometimes I think it would be easier to lose 20 than it is to keep battling the same 3-5 pounds. You may also wonder why I just don't let it go. I can't, then it means my body and age have won. Plus, I keep thinking that shedding a few pounds will help my running times.

So what do you do to motivate yourself? And what are some tricks you use to make sure that your workouts are never (or rarely) skipped? Any goals you'd like to share? I'm always looking for new ones.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Are You Ready for a 5K?

I know many of our Fit Moms of NJ are avid runners. If you're looking for a race, this weekend is the Family Reach 5K at Darlington Park in Mahwah, NJ. The 3.1 miles is a cross country course that's entirely contained within the park. I ran this race last year and it's a really fun run. Best of all, your race fee goes to a great cause -- it helps families with children impacted by cancer.

Last year, there were approx. 200 runners and they're expecting even more this year. Afterwards, there's food, drink and fun for the whole family. If you're not a runner or you want to bring the little ones, there's also a 1-mile walk before the race. No excuses!! Bring the family along.

You can register and learn more at  I'll be there and hope to see you with your running sneakers!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Low-fat GIngerbread Muffins

I was originally looking for low-fat pumpkin muffins (I love just about everythng made with pumpkin), but I came across this recipe. Doesn't it look like a great fall treat? And it's lowfat, so how can you go wrong?

Not only are these gingerbread muffins delicious and low in fat, but they also contain 18.2 g of carbs, and 1.7 g of dietary fiber... and no cholesterol. And if you're watching your sodium intake, these muffins each contain only 70 mg.

1 1/4 cups of whole-grain flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
2 tsps crushed ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup of skim milk (1% fat)
6 Tbsp apple sauce
1/4 cup molasses
3 Tbsps maple syrup
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 egg

This is what you do:

  • For starters, pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
  • Then get a muffin baking tray with 12 cups. Spray the inside of the cup-holes with canola oil.
  • Sift the flour, dry milk, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cloves into a large bowl.
  • Next, mix the milk, crushed ginger, apple sauce, maple syrup, molasses, oil and egg into a small bowl.
  • Now combine the milk mix with the flour mix well (till all dry ingredients go moistened, but not over-mixing).
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin cup-holes in the baking tray, and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Remove your low fat gingerbread muffins and let them cool down.
Nutritional Info
Serves 12
Fat: 1.3 g
Cal: 93
WW: 1.5 Points (for our Weight Watcher fans)

Source: I found this low fat gingerbread muffins recipe in Low Fat Living
Let me know if you try this recipe. I may test it out this weekend...

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Good Workout for Fit Moms -- Zumba Review

I thought Zumba would be fun...and it was really fun! Granted I had some sore hips this morning (I don't think I've used my hips that much since child birth!), but overall it was a great cardio workout.

There were a lot of fun Latin dance moves, so it does take a bit of coordination. But the dance music and  fun props made all the difference. Wearing a skirt of bells was great motivation for all of the hip-shaking!

It's interesting if you compare Zumba to Jazzercise, which also involves a number of dance moves. Back in the 80's when I took Jazzercise with my mom (again, dating myself), the instructors were very big on cues, 8-counts and ensuring you knew what moves were coming next. Not so much with Zumba. I felt like it was more of a free-for-all, and everyone was playing Simon Says as we tried to keep up with instructor. The music was really loud, as if we were in a dance club. So we wouldn't have been able to hear any cues even if we wanted to. I thought it would be frustrating, but it really wasn't. Once you got used to the instructor, the steps became easier and easier to follow.

As with any class, the instructor really sets the tone of the class. However, if you're not confident in your dance abilities, I can see how a Zumba class could be frustrating.

I was drenched in sweat by the end of the workout and had some great laughs with all the belly, hip and butt shaking. I would definitely take another class. It's more like a dance party than a workout.

What do you think of Zumba? And what other classes would you be interested in learning about? I'm contemplating taking a hot yoga class and a Pilates reformer class. What else is out there?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Get Ready for Zumba

Before my kids and husband, I used to always be on top of the latest exercise trends. Mind you, I taught aerobics 1) when it used to be called "aerobics" and 2) when step aerobics was all the rage. Okay, I'm dating myself...

Anyway, I've been dying to try Zumba. So when a fellow mom asked if I wanted to try it out, I was all over it! If any local moms are interested, we'll be taking an 8:15pm class at Debi's Dance in Suffern, NY (located at the end of Suffern Place off Main St.) My daughter takes dance classes at Debi's so it couldn't be more convenient.

The Zumba craze got started in the mid-90's and has picked up steam ever since. It combines Latin dance with a good workout -- what's not to love? According to, it "fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves to create a one-of-a-kind fitness program."

Here is a video I found that gives you a little taste. I have to tell you that I frequently get sucked into Zumba DVD infomercials...

Have you tried Zumba? I want to hear how you like it, whether you've taken a class or used a DVD. And if you're not busy Thursday night, join us at Debi's Dance...

Monday, October 11, 2010

5 Tips to Stay Focused on Eating Right

I always seem to fall off the diet-wagon on the weekends -- and this weekend was no different. We celebrated my little brother's 30th birthday with a surprise party. And with parties, you always end up with lots of delicious, fattening food and drink.

So how do you try to stay on the path to healthy, low-fat eating when temptation is all around you?

Here are some of my helpful hints to make sure that you eat right when cravings and temptation consumes you...

1. Chew gum
Personally, I prefer minty gum. Having a mouthful of gum prevents you from drinking alcoholic beverages and eating.

2. Brush your teeth
Again, fresh, clean teeth feel much better than the taste of food you know you shouldn't be having.

3. Drink water...and lots of it
Not only is water filling, you'll be so busy going to the bathroom, there won't be time to eat!

4. Keep your hands occupied
Whether you need to hold a napkin, a glass, your purse, or something else, keep your hands full so you can't mindlessly eat or drink too much.

5. Have just one bite -- and that's it
If you're dying to have a taste of that chocolate cake or try a great-looking appetizer at a party, by all means do it. Just don't feed your face! Get a taste and then get back on track.

Studies show that in the battle to lose or maintain your weight, diet is 80% of the effort  versus exercise (20%). I shared my tips and now I want to hear yours. What are the tips you use to stay in shape?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Welcome Fit Moms!

Finally a place where like-minded moms can meet up, exchange info and learn! You may be wondering how came about.

It was a Friday night Mommy Playdate (aka Happy Hour at the local bar). Since I'm fairly new to the area and my son recently started first grade, I met up with a handful of very cool moms,a few have children in my son's class. Interestingly enough, one of the main topics of conversation (besides our sweet children) was about working out and dieting. We were all trying P90X, attempting pull-ups and trying to fit running into our crazy, daily routine.

I began to see a trend forming. If we were just a few moms having this conversation, how many other moms were having the same conversation? That's where comes in. I want this to be a place where moms -- and non-moms -- in NJ and beyond can get inspired, find a workout buddy, learn about a new class and occassionally meet up for a much-needed drink.

Please let me know what you're interested in learning. I'm hoping to review some products, diets and try to get us some deals on classes and gyms.

Stay tuned, keep in touch and keep working out!