Life Lessons From 2013: “The Year Of Yes”

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As a health and wellness coach, Im sure it comes as no surprise to you that New Years is one of my favorite holidays. Dreaming, defining, and discovering life goals is  a passion of mine and a new year brings so much positive potential it’s beyond exciting. I’m like a kid on Christmas come January first.

As some of you know I am a fan of creating a “theme” for a New Year. I believe this sets a strong, powerful intention for a desired outcome and allows you to stay consistent in taking action towards a year congruent with that theme. For example, 2012 for me was the “year of self love”  where I dedicated time, energy, and effort towards loving myself first. It was an incredible year (highly recommend the theme!) full of health, happiness, and getting strong in every area of my life. At the end of the year I was a completely different woman, self-love had allowed me to spread my wings and start flying.  I felt more alive than ever and was ready to explore everything life had to offer. It seemed only appropriate that the following year, 2013, should be the year of discovery with a brand new set of eyes. It was then the theme “Year of Yes” was born.

My challenge for the Year was this:

  1. Define my priorities, values, goals, and dreams for 2013.
  2. Think of one thing to say yes to everyday that would contribute to the growth and potential of those goals. “Do one thing a day that scares you” in the best possible way.
  3. Use the year of yes as an opportunity to stretch in areas where in the past saying no  created limits.
  4. Use YES as a way past fears and into fearless living.
  5. Discover the outcome of what happens by being open to the infinite possibilities of life by saying “YES”.
Year of YES vision board January 2013

Year of YES vision board January 2013

Quick clarifications on the “Year of Yes” theme:

  • There is a big difference between being a “doormat” and saying yes to your life. Doormats say yes to everyone else’s needs first. Successfully living in the year of yes to me means knowing yourself and evaluating requests to see if they are in line with what you want and need first.  When you’re crystal clear about your goals, you can painlessly arrange new activities and opportunities in the right order and turn down the ones that do not support the outcomes you want for your year. Often times the thing keeping you from reaching your dreams is simply sitting down and knowing what exactly is important to you and what you WANT. If you don’t know yourself it makes it harder to say yes to things inline with that doesn’t it??
  • If you are a people pleaser the year of yes will challenge you to truly get to know yourself,  your desires,  and to learn to prioritize those without feeling guilty. It will also challenge you to set boundaries so that you can enjoy the things you say yes to fully.
  • Of course there are appropriate times to say no and you must honor your intuition and respect those times. This is also a great opportunity to learn to trust your gut (and to learn what happens when you don’t 🙂
At the center of your being you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.

At the center of your being you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.

Without further ado, here are a few valuable lessons I learned in 2013,

“The Year of Yes”

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Life Lessons From My “Year Of Yes”

  • Life really does begin outside your comfort zone. That feeling you get when you try something for the first time. When you learn something new. When you don’t know what to expect. When you surprise yourself. Wonder, awe, excitement – those feelings fuel your “aliveness”. And while we all love a saturday night in watching movies, living in the comfort zone too often eventually leads to boredom, ruts, depression, and feeling “stuck”. After all, “If You Do What You’ve Always Done You’ll Get What You’ve Always gotten.” In order to live freely and happily, you must sacrifice the comfort zone, and this is not always an easy sacrifice. Making the conscious effort to continually challenge yourself, be a lifetime learner, and be uncomfortable when experiencing something new is the fuel that will keep you feeling alive. You will get a rush of life when you jump in… and not with a single toe, but with your whole self. Get your hair wet!970862_10151657477265100_341081919_n
  • Your fears are really so much bigger in your head. Have you ever done something you were afraid of and realized, “wow that totally wasn’t bad at all??”. Yea I thought so. Thats because the things you feel scared or uncomfortable by are much bigger in your mind. Taking action is the best way to overcome the over thinking or dramatizing the mind likes to create. If conquering the fear and saying YES will help you grow towards your goals,  ask yourself, “whats the worst that can happen?” and then feel the fear and DO IT ANYWAY. You’ll find the things you thought were scary are actually not all that bad in reality. And once you start facing fears it gets SO much easier to face more.

    feel the fear and JUMP anyway!!

    feel the fear and JUMP anyway!!

  • Sometimes you dont know what you need. Think you always know what’s best for you? Think again. People and experiences can teach you something about yourself you never knew if you give them a chance.
  • Flexibility is a muscle that if you workout will help your life be stronger. Have you ever heard the saying, “blessed are the flexible for they will never be bent out of shape”? Well it’s true. The more flexible you are with life, the easier life is for you. Change is the only constant, yet most of us resist it. Learning to let go, accept, adapt, and go with the flow is vital to our happiness and general success. Saying yes to new experiences challenges you to exercise your flexibility muscle allowing you to grow and begin to see a world you never knew was possible.
  • You are stronger than you think and braver than you believe. When you start to test your limits you uncover you don’t have as many as you once thought. Remember, FEAR stands for “False Evidence Appearing Real” . Challenge your fears.  You owe it to yourself to try and find out just how limitless you are.
  • Sometimes you might not like what you said yes to. And that’s totally ok. This is really the only way to learn and grow vs staying stuck in the world of no.
  • Saying YES means you have to be willing to let yourself be vulnerable. Staying vulnerable is a risk we have to take if we want to experience fully living life. If you play it too safe you miss all the good parts. Allowing yourself to feel scared, to learn, to experience, to grow is one of the gifts saying yes will bring you.532502_10101877009330083_538977864_n
  • Saying yes to life is actually a practice in self-care and self-love. Defining what you want in YOUR life is the first step – going after it is the hard part. The experience of saying yes as an act of self-nurturing can be transformative. For me the year was about saying YES to myself, yes to my life, and yes to what excites my spirit. And that is self-love. And let me tell you – saying YES to living a life I love feels great.

So the question you have is this: after ALL of this, has the year of YES helped me reach the New Years resolution outcomes I had hoped for?? YES, YES, YES a million times over. There is a lot of power in using this one little word intentionally to reach your goals. And even though the year is over I continue to trust, love, and respect myself by saying YES to living my life to the fullest. And so far, life has been responding with an overwhelming YES to me. At the end of this year, there is one thing I know for sure:

The best things in life don’t happen when you say no. They happen when you have the guts to say yes.

With love and lots of YES to you,

Caroline

“Find a way to say yes to things. Say yes to invitations to a new country, say yes to meet new friends, say yes to learn something new. Yes is how you get your first job, and your next job, and your spouse, and even your kids. Even if it’s a bit edgy, a bit out of your comfort zone, saying yes means that you will do something new, meet someone new, and make a difference. Yes lets you stand out in a crowd, be the optimist, see the glass full, be the one everyone comes to. Yes is what keeps us all young.” Eric Schmidt

These words are my own and were written from my heart to yours. Copyright Caroline Jordan Fitness <3

Merry and Bright! Happy Holiday Video from my heart to Yours :)

I filmed this quick 30 second video to express my gratitude to you and for you this holiday season. Take a moment to watch and please know how fortunate I feel to have you in my world. Special thanks to my 2014 Production Team: Larry Wong and Myriah Johnson for helping me put this little video together, cant wait to work with you in the New Year!

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even be touched. They must be felt with the heart.  Wishing you happiness you can feel with your body, mind, and soul. Very Merry EVERYTHING to you!

With love and gratitude from my heart to yours,

Caroline

How will you be spending your holidays this year? Any big plans or goals for 2014? Leave me a comment below and let me know how you will be celebrating! I have big plans to share with you come January 1st, stay posted!

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Holiday Hangover Cure. Detox your Body, Renew Your Energy, and Be Merry!

579742_10101735117093263_1032103710_nWe’ve all been there. You went to a holiday party last night, had a few too many cocktails, and woke up this morning without any energy and feeling completely dysfunctional. Your head hurts, your digestion is off, and you feel drained from a late night out. You need a remedy ASAP. How can you cure that holiday hang over and return to your normal energetic self?

If you are feeling not-too-proud about splurging on holiday treats and endless merry drinks, here’s my TEN TIPS on what I typically do to detox my body (and mind) from overindulgence.

Caroline’s Holiday Hangover Cure. Detox Your Body, Renew Your Energy, and Be Merry! 

1. Dont Starve. A lot of people don’t eat the day following a ‘cheat meal’ or holiday party because of guilt. Starving yourself is self sabotage, it causes your metabolism to slow and can lead to yo-yo dieting or weight fluctuations. Instead, get right back on track and do the next best thing. Continue eating your healthy meals balanced in lean protein, complex carbohydrates and unsaturated fats. No yo-yoing!

2. Don’t guilt trip! Don’t overanalyze what you ate in the past or beat yourself up for it. Everything that has happened has happened. Let go, move forward, and do the next best thing. Wallowing in guilt does nothing positive for you. If you need more support letting go, heres my “snap out of it” strategy to help you  break free from guilt, make peace with yourself, and accomplish your wellness goals.

3. Drink lots of water with lemon. I always bring a water bottle everywhere I go and ensure I’m staying hydrated and to keep my digestive system happy. If you are drinking enough, your urine should look like lemon juice. If it looks like apple juice you are dehydrated! Getting enough fluids will help you properly digest,  help restore body balance.

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4. Workout. Do something to active to promote circulation, restore your energy, and a sweat the tiredness (or hangover) out of your system. This is one of the best ways to beat the belly bloat, headache, and fatigue that often comes with eating heavy foods or drinking. Remember, When you aren’t moving, nothing else is either!  Any movement is better than none and will go a long way in helping you recover and restore your energy to normal. Even a walk can prove beneficial, do whatever allows your stomach to feel its best. When I am feeling fatigued I like to do easy aerobic cardio or bodyweight strength combined with and a nice soothing yoga inspired flow. This at home bodyweight strength routine and yoga inspired flow series is the perfect remedy after a late night out. Combine it with an easy walk outside and you should be feeling back to normal in no time!

5. Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (usually I dilute it in 8oz water). The acidity cleanses your body. Here’s my recipe for a morning apple cider vinegar detox drink. I swear by this drink! Hangover or not, its totally worth drinking daily.

6. Eat Raw Foods. Raw (uncooked) foods have a higher nutrition content and has roughage to help expel the unhealthy foods out of your system.

7. Hide the extra candy, treats, and leftovers! Its a good idea to keep the post holiday treats out of sight and out of reach. This will help you manage temptation and avoid eating holiday treats at every meal. Note: I didn’t say throw it away. You can always use it for baking or the occasional treat. Sugar in general is very toxic to your body.

8. If you feel extra heavy from your holiday intake, limit your carbohydrates in some of your meals today. Note: do not cut your calories, just get your calories more from lean protein or unsaturated fats (for me I eat a lot of nuts).

9. Make a plan to not over-indulge for the next few days. You want to balance out your ‘cheat meals’ of overeating 1-2 times a week (that’s my normal). So if you splurge on  Friday, be more aware to not over-indulge over the weekend.

10. Remember ‘Thoughts Become Things’. Don’t tell yourself you’re fat, lazy or weak-minded. Don’t define yourself based on what you eat or how much weigh. Affirm positive words and follow through with positive actions. Keep your thoughts positive, supportive, and constructive. Powerful, purposeful thinking will help you move forward!

Whats one way you help your body feel better from the holiday season of parites, traveling, and merry making? Here are some other helpful holiday posts to check out:

Seasonal Stress Reduction:

Cooking Light and Eating Right:

Feel Good Fitness:

Inspiration/Motivation

Wishing you a happy holiday – Merry EVERYTHING everybody!

Caroline

 

Don’t Let What Is Urgent Distract from What Is Important. Inspiring Life Reminder From My Heart To Yours.

Don’t Let What Is Urgent Distract from What Is Important. Inspiring Life Reminder From My Heart To Yours.

Don't Let What Is Urgent Distract from What Is Important. Inspiring Life Reminder From My Heart To Yours. “Don’t let what is urgent distract from whats important” How will you live with intention and purpose? Here’s what I’ve learned…

It was the week of Thanksgiving and I was planning to go home to see my family for the holiday. I just had a few work projects. And laundry. And cleaning. And meetings. The to-do list kept growing and my plans to visit home kept shortening. “Ill be there for Thanksgiving mom, just need to take care of a few things.”

And then Monday night I got a phone call. Grandma is in the hospital. Stroke. It’s not looking to good. I stopped in shock mid email. Tears. Fears. Reality check.

Have you ever noticed that what  is “urgent” in your life and what is important to your life are two very different things?  Too often we let the to-do’s and the life tasks distract us from what we really value. Time with family, enjoying hobbies, travel, love, living intentionally. Clearly I’m guilty of forgetting  and need regular reminding. It’s all to easy to be summoned by the sharp *PING* of  texts, phone calls, or emails, and forget what truly matters.

It doesn’t need to take a dramatic life event for us to wake up to the important things in our lives. It just takes regular check-ins. Truth is: It’s all to easy to lose sight of our values in our fast paced world of ambition, distraction, and responsibilities. If you are anything like me, you need to slow down, pull off the freeway, and re-evaluate your directions regularly. All of us must change course from time to time because what is surrounding us is constantly changing and we are growing and changing with it. If you don’t stop to reflect and direct you could run over your life. You have to make time to design your directions you could get lost and end up off-roading it.

Id like to invite you to take a moment to slow down and pull out your map. Silence the phone, turn off the email, sit still with yourself. Are you driving in the direction YOU want? Or do you always feel like you are operating in auto-pilot and putting your life off?

Deep down inside, what is important to you? What do you want your life to stand for? What sort of qualities do you want to cultivate as a person? How do you want to be in your relationships with others? The important (aka our values), are our heart’s deepest desires for the way we want to interact with and relate to the world, other people, and ourselves. They are leading principles that can guide us and motivate us as we drive through life.

Values are not the same as goals. Values are directions we keep moving in, whereas goals are what we want to achieve along the way. A value is like heading North; a goal is like the river or mountain or valley we aim to cross whilst traveling in that direction. Goals can be achieved or ‘crossed off’, whereas values are an ongoing process. For example, if you want to be a loving, caring, supportive partner, that is a value – an ongoing process. If you stop being loving, caring and supportive, then you are no longer a loving, caring, supportive partner; you are no longer living by that value. In contrast, if you want to get married, that’s a goal – it can be ‘crossed off’ or achieved. Once you’re married, you’re married – even if you start treating your partner very badly. If you want a better job, that’s a goal. Once you’ve got it – goal achieved. But if you want to fully apply yourself at work, that’s a value – an ongoing process.

Here are some questions to help you dive in and re-discover your important value directions to keep driving your life forward with intention:

  • Family. What sort of brother/sister, son/daughter, uncle/auntie do you want to be? What personal qualities would you like to bring to those relationships? What sort of relationships would you like to build? How would you interact with others if you were the ideal you in these relationships?
  • Marriage/couples/intimate relations. What sort of partner would you like to be in an intimate relationship? What personal qualities would you like to develop? What sort of relationship would you like to build? How would you interact with your partner if you were the ‘ideal you’ in this relationship?
  • Parenting. What sort of parent would you like to be? What sort of qualities would you like to have? What sort of relationships would you like to build with your children? How would you behave if you were the ‘ideal you’?
  • Friendships/social life. What sort of qualities would you like to bring to your friendships? If you could be the best friend possible, how would you behave towards your friends? What sort of friendships would you like to build?
  • Career/employment. What do you value in your work? What would make it more meaningful? What kind of worker would you like to be? If you were living up to your own ideal standards, what personal qualities would you like to bring to your work? What sort of work relations would you like to build?
  • Education/personal growth and development. What do you value about learning, education, training, or personal growth? What new skills would you like to learn? What knowledge would you like to gain? What further education appeals to you? What sort of student would you like to be? What personal qualities would you like to apply?
  • Recreation/fun/leisure. What sorts of hobbies, sports, or leisure activities do you enjoy? How do you relax and unwind? How do you have fun? What sorts of activities would you like to do?
  • Spirituality. Whatever spirituality means to you is fine. It may be as simple as communing with nature, or as formal as participation in an organized religious group. What is important to you in this area of your life?
  • Citizenship/ environment/ community life. How would you like to contribute to your community or environment, e.g.through volunteering, or recycling, or supporting a group/ charity/ political party? What sort of environments would you like to create at home, and at work? What environments would you like to spend more time in?
  • Health/physical well-being. What are your values related to maintaining your physical well-being? How do you want to look after your health, with regard to sleep, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol, etc? Why is this important?

Remember: everyone’s driving directions are different. Not everyone has the same values, and this is not a test to see whether you have the “correct” values. Think about each area in terms of general life directions, rather than in terms of specific goals. There may be certain areas that you don’t value much; you may skip them if you wish. There may be areas that overlap – e.g. if you value hiking in the mountains, that may come under both physical health and recreation. It is also important that you consider what you would value if there were nothing in your way. What’s important? What do you care about? And what you would like to work towards?

Your life is waiting for you to take an opportunity to choose what’s right for you, even when other people (or the “urgent” sound of emails) are telling you that their own code-red needs should take priority over yours.

To follow your life’s values, you may have to reassign some seemingly important things to “un-important.” If you believe that pleasing your boss or having a spotless house is a higher priority than playing with your children or taking care of your health with enjoyable exercise, be prepared for a long and strenuous battle against destiny. Also, be prepared to lose. And after you’ve lost, go online and watch Randy Pausch’s last lecture. In Pausch, who died on July 25, you’ll see the clarity and joy of a man who chose all along to do what really mattered. That’s no consolation prize; that’s true victory.

As you focus more on what’s important to your soul, filling your schedule with the kinds of things that are vital though maybe not due this minute, every day will bring more enjoyment and refreshment to your life.

Urgent whats important

I am thankful to report that my Grandma has returned to good health and I was able to share a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday with her. It was one of the best Thanksgivings I have ever had and I am beyond grateful I had the opportunity to fully experience it. Life moves fast, if you don’t slow down and look around every once in a while you might miss it. I plan on regularly pulling off-road and checking in with my life values map to intentionally drive forward with purpose.

“Don’t let what is urgent distract from whats important” How will you live with intention and purpose?

With love and gratitude,

Caroline

My mission is to empower feel good fitness inside and out. I am here to be of service in your wellness and help you get your mind, body, and spirit in shape so you can love your life. Lets work together and live well. Contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

Other Things To Check Out:

 

Burn Fat Faster With Creative Cardio Intervals!

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Have you reached a weight loss plateau? Do you find yourself bored with your cardio workouts? Are you running around on gym auto-piliot? Sounds like its time to think outside the box and MIX.IT.UP. Cardiovascular training has many health benefits but if your goal is to burn fat, beat boredom, or overcome plateaus you need to constantly add variety to your workouts. One of the best ways to do that is through interval training. Interval training is a training technique that alternates between speed and recovery intervals to increase the intensity and quality of your workout.

This type of training means pushing outside your comfort zone so you can grow stronger, better, faster from your time in the gym.

Interval training benefits include increases in strength, stamina, endurance and fat burning.  During high intensity intervals, a person consumes more oxygen than in slower, distance exercise, which can increase post-exercise metabolism. The real advantage of interval versus distance training is that you can get the same benefits –  fat loss, improved muscle cell function, increased oxygen consumption and improved anaerobic capacity – but you don’t have to exercise as long. In fact, according to Tremblay et al, interval training can burn up to 3 times more fat in 1/3 less the time. This is great news for all of us who don’t have hours to spend at the gym but still want results.

You can be as creative as you want with interval combinations. Typically intervals are can performed anywhere from 10 seconds to 2 minutes. You just want to make sure your intensity remains high and your form stays clean to prevent injuries. Remember quality over quantity – here are a few fun interval workout ideas to get you out of a cardio rut:

Creative Cardio Interval Examples: Make sure to include a 5-10 minute warm up and a cooldown before and after each interval set. 

30 seconds work interval: 30 seconds rest interval – repeat 8 times

15 seconds work interval: 15 seconds rest interval – repeat 10 times

20 seconds work interval: 10 second rest interval – repeat 8 times

60 second work interval: 60 second rest interval – repeat 12 times

1:40 second work interval: 20 second rest interval – repeat 8 times

30 second work interval: 10 second rest interval – repeat 8 times

You can use intervals in any form of exercise you enjoy, but I highly recommend stepping out of your cardio comfort zone if you have plateaued and want to see results. If you run, try swimming. If you spin try boxing. Here are some other great ways to get your cardio and use intervals:

1. Jumping Rope: Get a jump rope and you have a simple, cost-effective way to add high-intensity interval training your workout routine. Done right, jumping rope can improve cardiovascular fitness, balance, agility, and strength. And you dont need much time to see results – jumping rope is tough!

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2. Stair Running or Stair Climbing: Stairs provide an excellent interval workout without much time or equipment. Simply find a set of stairs or a step machine and you are off! I typically do a 1/2 mile warm up jog and then 2-6 stair repeats. My favorite stair courses are the Lyon Street Stairs in San Francisco and the convention center stairs in San Diego!

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3. Shuttle Sprints: Shuttle sprints are a standard agility and speed drill used by athletes who play stop-and-go sports such as soccer, hockey, basketball, and tennis. To do shuttle sprints, simply set up two markers about 25 yards apart. Sprint from one marker to the other and back. That’s one repetition. Try for 10 sprints at a time. You can do shuttle sprints forward, forward and backward or side-to-side.

4. Spinning: Join a spin class and you’ll probably do some high intensity spin intervals. But you can use your home bike trainer or head to the spin room during the off hours and create your own interval workout. Using a stationary or spinning bike is one of the most popular forms of indoor exercise that provides a low-impact, high intensity cardiovascular workout and builds both strength and endurance. To get you started cycling strong, check out my “Cycling 101” post – great tips on getting the most out of your spin workout!

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5. Hills. In San Francisco we have LOTS of these. Hills are a great way to challenge your heart and legs with a quality cardio workout. You can do intervals as hill repeats: run or walk up the hill and cruise down (then repeat as many sets as you have time for!) Here is my Caroline Jordan Fitness “I left my heart in San Francisco Hill Workout” to give you an idea of a great way to exercise intervals on hills 🙂

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6. Aerobics. Jumping jacks, high knees, speed skaters – all of these high impact, high intensity moves are great interval training ideas. You can choose one exercise (ie:high knees) and perform it tabata style (8 rounds of 20 seconds on 10 rest) or combine aerobic moves in an interval format (one exercise at a high intensity interval, rest, new exercise at high intensity). This allows you to really get creative with your workouts and the options for high intensity drills are ENDLESS. Check out my youtube fitness 5 minute lean legs circuit video for a sample of how you can combine these moves for an intense and effective workout.

7. Burpees: Burpees are my all time favorite exercise. This tough, simple exercise works the total body and cardiovascular system quickly. Start by standing tall, then squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Quickly kick your feet back to a push up position. While here, you can perform a push if you want a really tough exercise, or just jump your feet back to start position, jump high in the air and repeat. Check out this burpee video to learn some tips on burpees.

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8. Swimming. Take your workouts into the pool for a non-impact and challenging wet workout. My favorite pool intervals combine strength drills (pulling with the bouy or kicking) with freestyle swimming. Check out swimplan.com or swimmingworldmagazine.com for sample workout plans customized to ability level and goals.

9. Elliptical. Many gym enthusiasts enjoy the elliptical machine. I can totally see why – its low impact and can be a good option for a cardio workout. Just make sure you amp up the intensity as the machine’s caloric output numbers can often be incorrect (the average woman burns enough calories in 30 minutes on the elliptical machine for ONE Reses peanut butter cup – sigh***) Heres an example of a tough way to work intervals on the elliptical machine to help you reach your fitness goals…. and hopefully burn enough calories for more than just one reses peanut butter cup 😉 

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10. Running. This is one of my favorite ways to work with intervals. Intervals are an incredible way to become a faster, stronger runner. Here are SEVEN Kick BUTT Treadmill interval workouts to get you started.

Its a good idea to mix up your workout routine every 2-3 weeks to avoid plateaus, injuries, or burnout. Be sure to include strength training and flexibility training in your weekly workout regimen. Remember, always check with your doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. Your workouts should feel challenging and strong, but NOT cause any pain. Modify or intensify the above intervals to meet YOUR needs, challenge yourself, and most importantly, have FUN with it!! Sample one of the interval combinations above next time you run, bike, swim, walk, or jump rope and mix things up with new high intensity cardio workout. You’ll sweat like a pig, sleep like a baby, and look like a fox when you get in the gym and get AFTER it with quality cardio workouts. Be safe, have fun, and Go for it!

Yours in health (and burpees),

Caroline