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Motivation Monday: Beach Edition


I can’t believe how quickly the 4th of July weekend fun flew by. Hopefully, you all got to enjoy a little downtime and beat the heat with family and friends.

I am happy to report I got some great workouts in not only inside the gloriously air-conditioned gym, but I also broke an extra sweat at my favorite place on the planet: the beach. So on this Motivation Monday, I offer a simple idea for the next time you spend some time on the sand to take a typical beach walk to the next level.

Walk at a brisk pace and then 10 minutes in, try a sprint Tabata. Any of you repeat readers will know the Tabata is my favorite four-minute express workout with a very simple formula:

*20 seconds of work
*10 seconds of rest
Total= 8 rounds

So, run at a high speed for 20 seconds, then slow down to a walk for 10 and pick it up again. I use my UltraTimer Tabata interval app to keep me in track.

When you’re done with that Tabata, you can go back to walking and then after a minute, why not try a squat, tricep dip or plank Tabata, too? Just remember, if you do more than one Tabata, be sure to rest for 60 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

The bonus of my beach workout is that spending time listening to the crashing waves and feeling the sea breeze fill my lungs gives me time to clear my head and focus on my mental fitness, too. With the summer season in full swing, I hope you find lots of ways to mix up your routine and find new ways to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

The Last Hoorah!

Here’s to a sun-and-fun-filled Labor Day weekend!


For lots of people, including me, it’s getaway day for the last long holiday weekend of the summer of 2012.

Like many other summer weekends, we can look forward to kicking back at the beach or pool, maybe packing a picnic for the park or heading to a backyard barbecue. Whatever’s on your agenda this weekend, be sure to make make the most of every minute and enjoy the downtime!

Wherever you’re headed, I thought I’d offer some timely reminders on how to fit some fitness into the holiday weekend and make some smart food choices.

Click on these links for:

  1. Some beach workout ideas
  2. Other exercises you can get done outdoors
  3. A barbecue game plan
  4. Alternatives to high-calorie cocktails

Here’s to a Happy Labor Day weekend filled with plenty of reasons to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous! See you in September!

Another Workout Wednesday – Beach Edition

Chilling out after a beach sprint Tabata

Still riding a high from my Montauk vacation, I thought I’d use this Workout Wednesday to remind everyone to soak up what’s left of summer by getting some exercise outside!

I know I’ve written a lot about my new obsession with Tabata training. Well, here’s another chapter in that love affair! (In case you forgot, the idea behind this four-minute high-intensity formula is eight continuous intervals of 20 seconds of maximum intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest.)

Here are two Tabatas I banged out four out of the five days during my recent beach getaway. There’s nothing particularly fancy about either of them. They just happened to be extra rewarding with the feel of the sun on my skin and the sand under my feet. Of course, let’s not forget the ultimate reward: being able to cool off in the ocean when the hard work was done!

  • Plank Tabata: I got my mom to use my iPhone to capture me doing one. Enjoy!

  • Beach Sprint Tabata. I know, I’m not a runner, but I actually motivated myself to use the beach as a distraction from an activity I  normally don’t like to do. So, in true Tabata fashion, here’s how I worked it: For the 20-second max intensity portion of the interval, I simply ran as close to a sprint as possible while keeping good form on the uneven surface of the sand. Then for the 10-second “rest” period of the interval, I simply slowed to a walk. On the last two days of the trip, I managed to pull off a mini “Tabata Derby” by doing three sprint Tabatas in a row (with a minute of rest in between).

The kicker was that I got my “regular” elliptical and weight training workouts in at the fitness center each morning before 8:30. Then, usually just before or after lunch, I would use the beach for the Tabatas. Getting two workouts in on a day was another huge treat during my vacation!

Even if you’re not a beach lover, you can still do exercises like squats, lunges, side planks and crunches in a park or in your own backyard! Whatever the season, there are plenty of ways to take your favorite exercises to new places and find exciting ways to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Mental Health Monday

‘Tis the Season to Find Your Happy Place!

As we kick off yet another work week, I’m doing all I can to hold on to the feeling of calm I managed to capture by extending the 4th of July into a mini-vacation.

I hope someday someone will be able to put a scientific rationale behind that old saying “time flies when you’re having fun.” Until that happens, I offer an important reminder about a crucial component to keeping your health and fitness routine in check: don’t underestimate the importance of taking care of your mind. 

With the dog days of summer upon us, there’s no time like the present to take a look at your schedule and figure out how to pencil in some time to re-charge and re-boot. For me, it meant extending the holiday into a few extra days away from the office and escaping to one of my favorite places on the planet: Jones Beach.

Armed with my sunscreen, an umbrella, a beach blanket, a chair and plenty of water and healthy snacks, I claimed a small piece of waterfront property for myself and tuned out the world by listening to the most soothing sound I know. I captured 60-seconds worth of that sound on my iPhone so I could sneak a listen whenever the world gets a bit overwhelming. I’m sharing it here in the hopes of helping others do the same:

I admit, I didn’t use these precious beach days as an excuse to be a total slug. Instead, I used the sun-soaked backdrop as a different venue for my workouts. I traded my 30-minute elliptical session for 50-minute power walks and followed those steps with plank, squat and/or push-up Tabatas on the sand. (Other no-gym-equipment-required exercises for beach Tabatas include burpees, squat thrusts or mountain climbers.) After breaking a sweat, I was more than happy to cool off in the crisp Atlantic Ocean.

I realize a true getaway may not be in the cards for everyone this summer. However, whatever time you can take for yourself – whether it’s an afternoon, morning or evening of tuning out – do it! Whatever you do, make sure you totally disconnect at some point during the week. I mean get off the iPhone or Blackberry, don’t worry about uploading a photo to Facebook or tweeting about the healthy snack you just ate. Just chill! Use the longer days as a reason to enjoy some time outside in the evening with family or friends. Take a walk, have dinner out on your deck or bring a picnic to the park.

So, while I’m constantly motivating people to move more, I’m now challenging you to find a way to slow down a bit. Then let me know how you sneak some down time into your schedule. If we don’t take advantage of these “lazy days of summer,” we may miss the perfect opportunity to make mental health breaks part of our everyday journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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