Author: Angie Miske

Favorite Short Utah Hikes

Favorite Short Utah Hikes

Spring is upon us which means it’s the ideal time to hit Utah National Parks. What a play ground for hikers, campers, rock climbing, Jeeping and mountain biking.  Our state simply rocks.

Here are a few beautiful hikes you can enjoy.


MANY POOLS- Zion National Park
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This is a beautiful, “easy” hike that is great for families and beginner hikers.
This is a good hike to take in the spring before the weather gets too hot. There isn’t much shade here.  Take a picnic and enjoy sitting on the slick rocks.

Directions: The Salt Lake Tribune gave these great directions.
The trailhead is not marked. There is a pullout on the southeast side of State Road 9, about 0.9 mile east of the small tunnel that is east of the big Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel. The road goes over the drainage, which you can access two ways. You can follow footpaths down to the east and walk through a tunnel that passes under the road, or you can walk just 0.1 mile north on the road and drop into the drainage at the north.

skeeze / Pixabay

BALANCED ROCK -Arches National Park.

This hike is super easy (like sidewalk easy so to speak) but beautiful and so interesting. The upper rock that is being balanced is bigger than two school busses!  Your kids will go nuts checking it out.  Look for cactus, wild flowers and even lizards as you explore the area. Remember to obey National Park Rules.

Directions:  Balanced Rock is easy to find because A: you’ll see it! And B: it’s well marked. Follow the main park road.  Balanced Rock is located on the east side of the junction with the Willow Springs Trail.

ROADSIDE RUIN -Canyonlands Needles District

Roadside is a short hike, easy for families and very educational. Built of stone and dried mud, hikers can see an Puebloan granery.

Directions: Trailed is located along the main access road (Route 211) just past the visitor’s center.

20 things to start doing RIGHT NOW!

20 things to start doing RIGHT NOW!

Have you been feeling stuck in your office?? Life bringing you down?? Can’t get out to do? the things you really enjoy? Slave to “the man” so to speak?

Try doing some of these and watch as your mood get lifted!

1. drink more water!
2. eat a big breakfast, medium lunch and a smaller dinner (Breakfast like a King!)
3. eat more fruits and veggies. Even more than you are eating now!
4. go for a walk, bike ride or swim
5. read a book. seriously!? Put down the phone and pick up a real book!
6. stop thinking negative thoughts about yourself. (AND OTHERS!)
7. don’t dwell on the past
8. go to bed earlier.? Come on! Stop acting like a college kid. Go to bed at 10. See what happens after a week of a full 8 hours of sleep!
9. focus on the simple, little things
10. STOP COMPLAINING. Seriously! Just stop complaining about work, about your lame neighbors, about your commute, about your family.? Just STOP IT!
11. don’t judge yourself or others. don’t compare your size or success to someone else.
12. meditate. Read the scriptures. Kneel in prayer. Go somewhere quiet.
13. avoid processed foods
14. stretch daily
15. listen to quiet music.? Turn off the latest hits. Put away the rap music. And turn on something classical and quiet.? Your brain will thank you.
16. UN PLUG FOR A FULL DAY! I know this is? soooo hard so start with something smaller.? Plug your phone in somewhere you can’t just reach for it. Hide your phone deep in your bag in the car- so you can’t just reach for it at every stop light. Leave your phone upstairs for an hour.
17. declutter and live with less. You don’t really need to update your curtains. You don’t need new dishes just because they look cute at Target. This is an on going struggle for many. Take baby steps and begin to see how nice it is to donate and get rid of things.
18. wear clothes that make you happy.? Simple but profound!
19. remember that all the efforts you are making daily will be worth it in the end. Don’t give up. Keep pushing. Keep going!
20.? GO OUTSIDE!!

Getting back to Fitness

Getting back to Fitness

We all know the feeling. Month one of your new way of eating or working out and you are ON FIRE!? Nothing gets in your way. You stick to your work outs. You are eating clean. You are seeing results. And then you go to your cousin Bob’s BBQ and you go crazy. Then the next day, Mary at work brings her famous fudge and you can’t help yourself- you eat half the platter (while hiding in your office). Shamed, you declare “It’s only salads for the rest of the week” and hence…you fall off the wagon.? Pizza, fast food, Midnight run for ice cream, sleeping in, ditching your weight workouts.? Ugh!

We have all been there. Guess what! It happens. It’s nothing be ashamed about.? You CAN get back on the fitness wagon.

Do you have your goals written down? Are you checking in with your goals daily?? If not, start now! Writing down your goals is shown to improve the likelihood you will accomplish them. Put a post it on your fridge or mirror.? And tell a trusted friend. An accountability partner is so important.

Please DON’T make unrealistic goals. Example: I will lose 20 lbs in 4 weeks.? WHOA!? That’s like a suffer fest. Not to mention totally unhealthy. A realistic version: I will lose 20 lbs in 9 month.

Other examples:

I will never eat sugar again vs? I will detox for 10 days to break the sugar habit. (after detoxing, you won’t be craving the sugar as much so you can have a slice of birthday cake without then indulging in the whole cake)

I will run for 2 hours every day vs I will run for 20 minutes 3 times this week (adjust it as needed as you progress. If you haven’t exercised in a while, set a? short-term goal: walk 10 minutes a day five days a week. Then move into a goal like: walk 30 minutes five days a week. And finally: participate in the town 5K.)

Another thing you can do to get back on the Fitness Wagon is FIND THE FUN!? Going to the gym and doing the same old thing, every single day, actually won’t give your the results you want AND it’s boring!? Knock it off, k?? Here are some ideas to help you have fun:

*New Spin Class
*Run stairs at the local HS football field (you can even play the ROCKY theme song!)
*Pick up a new sport- Ice Skating, Tennis, Rowing.? I’m pretty sure there is some sport out there that you haven’t tried. Why not? You are never too old for a new sport. (Hey I know a 60 year old who decided one day she wanted to learn to Figure Skate. I met her a competition and she was fierce! No experience prior to age 60!)
*Take a class with your spouse- cardio dance, Power lifting, rock climbing.? Make it into a date night!
*Go with the season- if it’s winter, go snow shoeing or cross country skiing. If it’s summer, try Stand Up Paddle boarding, cycling, Hiking or swimming.
*Look to the pros for example.? I love watching Olympic caliber athletes. They don’t just train their sport. They work out all parts of their body. Find out what other things, besides passing the football, your favorite NHL star does. What about that cool new soccer player that is all the rage? Did you know that figure skaters are known for running stairs and doing box jumps on top of ballet and pilates? Look for new inspiration from the idols of your sport.
*Be a kid. Go jump on the trampoline with you 10 year old. Go on a ride around the neighborhood with your daughter. Or simply-? think? about to when YOU were a kid. What active thing did you like doing? Go do it now as an adult. Climb a tree. Run around at the park. Be a kid!
*Take a dance class. Yup! There was once an adult Tap dancing class I took. It was such a blast and although I’m pretty sure I was horrible, I worked up a good sweat during those classes.

By setting realistic and attainable goals and making your workouts fun (and something you actually look forward to), you will have an easier time staying motivated to workout.

Check back tomorrow for more tips on becoming the best you can be!

Hiking for beginners

Hiking for beginners

Does the idea of hiking sound exciting to you? You like the idea of getting out in nature, seeing the beauty of the wilderness, but you haven’t hiked in years and you are nervous?? That’s okay! We applaud you for wanting to get out there. That’s? awesome.

First– pick an area to hike that is family friendly. Even if you are going alone, a family friendly area will be basic then, let’s say, something with a steep trail? of unstable gravel. There is NO SHAME, I repeat, there is no shame in hitting up a completely flat trail that circles around a pond.? The point of hiking is not “I’m so strong, I can do this super hard and scary trail”. The point of hiking is to get outside, see something pretty and enjoy the outdoors. Don’t make it harder then it needs to be.

Second– you don’t need to go to an outdoor store and buy $200 hiking boots.? Do you have a pair of running/walking shoes? Something you use for running errands, doing yard work, dancing to zumba?? You can use these shoes. They may get muddy or dusty, so keep that in mind, but you will not need something with a high ankle when you are starting off. I am not an expert hiker like my husband, but even so, I just wear my cross training shoes when I hike, unless I’m on a big mountain like Rainier or Elbrus where a boot was needed because of temperature and snow. I climbed Mt. Olympus in Salt Lake City and Mt. Fuji in Japan in a lower cut hiking shoe. It wasn’t above the ankle.? Breaking in new boots can be painful, so when you are just starting out, keep it simple. Don’t buy expensive boots.

Third- you don’t need to be a speed demon. Yes, you may be in last place on Strava, but who cares! This isn’t a competition. Are you a competitive person by nature? I am!? That’s okay. Just know that in the beginning you will not be the fastest, and that’s OK.? If being on top of the list on Strava is important to you, then use this as a goal. Join the Hikercize program and we can help you get faster. Don’t go fast!

Fourth- Reward yourself!? I know that may sound silly but you need to reward yourself when you are starting a new program. It can be something as simple as a new pair of socks, or your favorite iced tea drink. Don’t reward yourself with a donut or chocolate cake.? Do reward yourself with a nice soak in the tub. Pick up your favorite magazine at the grocery store. Buy that new trail mix you’ve had your eye on.? Spoil Yourself!

Congratulations on taking the first step to get healthy through hiking. Hiking is something you can do your entire life and can truly lead to youthful exuberance.?

Get MORE results

Get MORE results

“I don’t understand why I’m not seeing results!”? It’s something we’ve heard over and over again.? One of my favorite quotes is: If you want change, you have to do something you haven’t done before.
If you want change, if you want MORE results, you need to step it up. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. Keep a Fitness journal. Do you know how many miles your shoes have ran? You would if you kept track of your runs. The Association for Applied Sport Psychology strongly recommends Fitness Journals. Not only will you keep track of your workouts but you can go back in time- what was I doing in 2013 that allowed me to be so strong on that mountain trip? You can also avoid overloading your body and find the patterns that will point to adding more weights or reps.

2. Set Goals! You can’t simply let this go by the way side. Even if you aren’t training to win first place, you need goals. Use ?SMART Goals?: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
I’ve always been taught- if you goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.
WRITE THEM DOWN! (yes, I’m writing in all caps. It’s THAT important).? The best athletes and the most successful business men have something in common. They all write down their goals and have them in a place they can see them and see them often.? On your mirror. On your fridge. On your dashboard of the car. As the wall paper of your phone. Life gets busy and it’s easy to lose sight of your goals. Put them out there. Remind yourself often of your goals.

3. Mix it Up! If your daily workout is the same, every single day, your body won’t keep changing. That workout will become the norm for your mind and body.? It’s important that you cross train for your sport. Are you hiking?? Make sure you do more then just walk. You need weights and other forms of cardio. Try a spin class. A family bike ride. Cardio dance.? Running. Ice skating. Fast and slow days are important too.

Try these three things THIS week and let’s see some results. I know you can do it!

Fitting in Fitness as a Mom- 4

Fitting in Fitness as a Mom- 4

Are you ready for a few more small changes you can make that will truly influence your ability to fit in fitness?? I strongly believe we all can accomplish more with just small gentle changes.

6. Schedule it! I’ve talked about this before and for good reason.? Quick question for you all.? If you schedule a massage, do you cancel it or not show?? If you have a dentist appointment, do you just not go? If you have a meeting with your boss, do you skip it?? NO!? Of course not. Same with your fitness schedule. You need to get it on the calendar. Make a date with yourself and KEEP IT!

7. Keep it Interesting.? One reason so many people fall off the exercise wagon is they get bored.? So mix it up. Run a different route. Take a different spin class. Add new weights. Increase your plank time. Go running with a different group of friends.? We all like routine but for fitness, you gotta mix things up.

8. Pace During the Game. How many of you? sit on the sidelines of soccer practice? What about attending an hour (or more!) of gymnastics practice.? Instead of surfing Pinterest (GUILTY!), get up and move.? Walk around the field. Find an excuse to go up and down the stairs (multiple times). Stand in the corner of the lobby and do calf raises. Make it a game- set a goal for how many steps you want to achieve during your kid’s practice.? Can you get other moms involved?? You’d be surprised how many other parents would love to move a bit instead of sitting on their phones.

9. PLAY!? I get it. I really do.? It can be exhausting to play all day every day with your kiddos.? How about if you turn Play Time into fitness time? Playing Frisbee in the yard with your kids can be great exercise.?? Walk to the neighborhood park together.? Jump in the pool and play Marco Polo with them. Make a family climbing night at the rock gym. Rent a canoe and go out on the lake. There are so many ways to get more connected with your kids and still fit in fitness. Plus, how happy will your kids be when Mom joins in?? Be THAT Mom who plays!

10. Walk with Friends.? Do you love meeting your friends for lunch, coffee, donuts?? Why not flip the switch and instead meet for a walk or a hike.? With or without your kids and strollers, You know you love your girl friend time.? Invite a friend to “run” errands with you. Even taking your kids to a museum and meeting friends there, you’ll likely have a better conversation with friends then you would sitting around eating tacos.

Make a commitment to incorporate one of these into your day TODAY. I know you can do it. Let’s become experts at fitting fitness into our lives. We deserve it!

Fitting in Fitness as a Mom- 3

Fitting in Fitness as a Mom- 3

Are you ready for 3 more tips? These aren’t earth shattering tips but they can make a difference in your life. We all know how busy and crazy life as a mom can be. I bet you can start today with one of these tips. Tips 1-3 are found here.

4. Run Errands. No really. Run them! Or Power walk!? Let’s say you need to? go to the grocery store, drug store and florist all in the same general area of town. Why not park and jog, run or walk fast to each of them. Not only is this a great way to get in some fitness, but think about how fun.? Less parking lot and traffic stress. More time to enjoy the outdoors. Sight see.? When I lived in Germany, we hardly drove anywhere. Walking was what we did. So go ahead, pretend you live in Paris!

5. Go take a Hike- literally!? When was the last time you dropped everything and went for a little hike. In the woods near your home, at a ski resort or even just in the big city park a few blocks away. Don’t be fooled by TV adds- you don’t have to have huge hiking boots and special trekker poles and pants.? A good pair of running shoes is perfect.? Focus on getting your heart rate up but also focus on enjoying the beautiful outdoors. Is there a water fall near by?? What about walking on the beach?? Use this as a time to not only get your blood flowing but use it to clear your mind. Our society is all about fast and furious, loud music, more more more. Take advantage of this hike to chill out a bit.

6. Exercise between Commercials. Yes, there are times when we really do what to just lounge at home. We all have our favorite reality shows, why not enjoy them but during the breaks, do a hand full of Burpees, crunches and squats.? Get the whole family in on the game.? Who can do the most jumping jacks? Are you binge watching an entire season of Survivor (GUILTY!), then set the goal to do 8 full minutes between seasons.

Fitting in Fitness as a mom- 2

Fitting in Fitness as a mom- 2

So we talked in the first article that you need to kind of reboot your thinking. You need to think- EVERYTHING COUNTS and REWARDS are good! Hopefully you let that digest over night and now you are ready to move forward in your fitness journey.

I’m gonna break down 20 tips into a few different articles.? Here are the first 3

1. Get a fitness tracker. I know, I know… “but it’s so trendy” or “I only wear my bangle bracelets”– trust me. I felt that way for a long time. But you will see more results if you are tracking those steps. Give it a try for a month? You WILL see changes and you will see results. Imagine- after losing 5 lbs, maybe you can reward yourself with a new bangle bracelet. Just saying.

One thing I love about my fitness tracker (I use the Garmin ) is that IT gives me a daily goal. I did a poll on FB asking my friends how many steps they take daily. Most of them (because they are athletes) gave me high numbers. Comparing my newbie first week steps with those of a “professional” who has been tracking their steps for a year is completely unfair. So I like that my fitness tracker provides me with daily goals. It will adjust these goals and make them harder. It’s so nice to compete against my watch instead of competing against my friend who does over 20k in steps…all before noon!

2. Convenience.? Remember how I said EVERYTHING COUNTS? Well, this tip is exactly that! Throw convenience out the window!
*Gotta run errands? Park at the far end of the parking lot. – Imagine how many MORE steps you can get if you have to trek farther into the store!
*At the grocery store? Carry a basket instead of pushing a cart.? Bicep curls in the produce department? Sure! Why not!
*Cleaning your house? Exaggerate it. Push your furniture entirely out of the way to vacuum or sweep. Make multiple trips up stairs instead of hauling an IKEA bag full of every piece of folded laundry.
*Run your stairs. Since you gotta take the laundry upstairs, why not turn it into a workout.? Running not your thing? How about stair jumping? Hey! If it’s good enough for the US Olympic Speed Skating team, its good enough for you!
*Make multiple trips to your car and back when bringing in the groceries

3.MultiTask. Okay, usually I’m strictly against multitasking. But in these instances, it really does work!
*calf raises while waiting for your tea kettle to heat up.
*crunches, planks and pushups during a commercial break
*use a stability ball instead of a chair at your home office
*keep 5 lb dumb bells in the kitchen- use them while cooking
*jog while walking the dog
*jog while you are out and about while your kids ride their big wheels.

See if you can incorporate any of these TODAY and see just how easy it is to fit fitness into your life.

Fitting in Fitness as a mom- 1

Fitting in Fitness as a mom- 1

I just turned 40.

I remember when I was 34, my good friend Monica told me, “Angie watch out! When you turn 40, your whole body will change!”? Oh man! She was so right.? Not only is my weight harder to manage but stress too.? And the more stressed out I feel, the more I am susceptible to illness. I know I’m not alone here. The more stressed out we feel, the more crummy we feel.

So what’s the answer? Exercise!? Don’t you hate it when exercise is the answer?

Even if weight loss isn’t on your list of things you need or want to do, getting into an exercise routine will help you think more fit and thus make healthier choices. It’s a win win! Move more = less stress = healthier you.

But HOW do we fit in fitness when we are so busy? Here are some simple tips that truly can transform your life and make exercise apart of your life.? BUT FIRST— you need clear your mind and adopt some new ways of thinking.

EVERYTHING COUNTS and YOU NEED TO REWARD YOURSELF

Everything counts-? I used to think that in figure skating, if I wasn’t skating 2 hours, it was worthless. Now I realize I can get in all my skills and get a great workout if I make every minute in a 30 minute session count.? 30 minutes is easier to fit in then 2 hours. Put away the phone and just WORK OUT.? The same can be applied if you are a runner, jogger, cyclist, cardio dancer etc.? Something is better then nothing, right? Time to get in the mind set- I am in a different place in my life then I was 5 years ago, 10 years ago. I no longer have the “time” to do a big long workout. I have kids. I have responsibilities. So train your brain- Everything I do Counts.

Rewards. Remember when you potty trained your child? The idea of going potty all week and having no accidents and then getting the dolly made sense to your adult brain but your child needed instant rewards. Waiting a week is too big for them to understand and comprehend. Thus, getting 4 skittles each time they went potty worked! Go Potty, get 4 skittles.? Yes. They can understand this. This works. This makes sense.

Hopefully you are past this point in your life. You CAN wait for that dolly at the end of the week but you still enjoy getting those 4 skittles.? OK Angie…what does this have to do with my workouts?? Simple.? IF YOU AREN’T ENJOYING YOUR WORK OUTS, YOU WON’T DO THEM! Your reward for working out is being happy, feeling good and having that glow.? If you aren’t a runner, and you are forcing yourself to run, you may end up very miserable. Your knees kill. You feel like you are gonna die. THIS is not a reward. This is torture. On the flip side- you take a cardio dance class with some friends and you leave feeling uplifted, sweaty, happy, sparkly, and GOOD.? That’s a reward. We aren’t in 7th grade gym class anymore. You DO NOT have to do what everyone else around you is doing. Example: I have no friends in my whole town who figure skate. They run. They do marathons. They do cardio dance classes. Those are great options and I’m sure they feel rewarded. But I feel rewarded when I am at the ice rink. It may take a few weeks (or more) for you to figure out what makes you feel rewarded. Is it powering up a 5.10 at the rock gym? Is it hauling tires at your local Cross Fit gym? Is it early morning runs with the neighbor girls? Is it a freestyle session at the rink with some girls, who although they are 18, are so inspiring?? There is nothing wrong with seeking that reward. So if attending a Barre class taught by Jessica is better then attending a yoga class with Mary, DO IT! Life is short. Reward yourself with what makes you happy.

If you are HAPPY, you will continue to workout.

Check back tomorrow when I’ll break this down more and give you tips to fit fitness into your already crowded life as a mom.

Get ready for a multi day trip!

Get ready for a multi day trip!

Do you dream of doing a multi day back packing trip? I remember my first one, with my dad back in the 90s.? I spent a few days walking around my yard with my new boots on and carrying an empty pack. Obviously when we hit the trail, I was not prepared. In fact, my dad ended up carrying my pack half the way.

At Hikercize, we can help you to avoid such a situation. Here are some top tips. For more tips and personal training, join our team!
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* Cardio 3-5 days a week. Running, walking, bike. Anything is better than sitting on the couch, right? I love me some treadmill time.

* Give yourself some time. At Hikercize we have a 4 week introduction and then a 12 week plan. This is standard. Even the big recreation stores recommend this time frame. Why reinvent the wheel? Go with what the pros say.

* Resistance Training. Learn to FALL IN LOVE with resistance training. You don’t need to own a fancy home gym, or even belong to the rec center. There are so many ways you can do simple resistance training at home. word-image

*As your big day approaches, go for a day hike! You need some experience outside, on dirt (or snow!).? 20141124_090321