Hiking to Silver Lake with the Boy Scouts

Hiking to Silver Lake with the Boy Scouts

One of my favorite opportunities to provide service to my community is to work with my local Boy Scout Troop. I’m always happy to go out on hikes, backpacking and camping?with them. My 15 year old son is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Order of the Arrow. My 12 year old is working his way up through the ranks. I have lots of opportunities to serve.

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go up with 9 boys and 2 other adults to Silver Lake. It’s 2.2 miles and 1300′ above Silver Lake Reservoir. We camped for the night near the shore of the lake. Fish were hitting the surface but none were caught. It was a beautiful night and I slept quite well after my very long day. I’ll tell you more about that in another article.

The next morning we got up and had a leisurely breakfast. We broke down camp, stowed our backpacks, then took off for the upper lake. It was a steep and rocky trail most of the way about .9 miles and 900′ of elevation gain. The last quarter mile was on snow and the lake was frozen over. The boys played on the ice for a while then we returned to camp. We had lunch at the lake and descended the 2 miles back to the trailhead and cars.

Everyone had a really great time and I highly recommend working with youth as an amazingly satisfying opportunity to give back to the community and help develop future outdoor recreation participants. Let me know in a comment below if you are ready to help your community.

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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-? 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.

Quick stormy hike to Silver Lake

Quick stormy hike to Silver Lake

Next week our local Boy Scout group is heading up to Silver Lake, and there is still quite a bit of snow that high so I thought I would run up quick the weekend before to check it out myself. I’ll most likely be going with on the back packing overnight so it’s also good to check out what the trail might look like if we get to running a little bit late and hike in the dusk.

It was overall a really good hike lots of fun 12 and a half mile round trip from where I parked down at Tibble Fork Reservoir. There was one sketchy creek crossing where the snow melt run off was really deep and cold. At the lake itself the far edge has snow coming all the way down to the water (see pic below) but there were plenty of places to camp.

On the way down there was thunder and lightning on the surrounding hills and it started pouring rain by the buckets. I had a rain jacket with me but it was warm enough I chose to just wait till I got to the car.









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!
* 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

Simple Summer Workouts for Moms

Simple Summer Workouts for Moms

During the school year, I have a very nice schedule of dropping the kids off at school and then heading to do my workout. It just fits. Then the last day of school happens and I realize- OH CRAP! I don’t have my schedule anymore.

Is this you? Are you driving your kids to practice and games, friend’s houses and of course, they all want to see movies, hit museums, the zoo and the pool. How are you going to fit your workout in when your babysitter (SCHOOL!) isn’t around?

Here are some quick tips on making summer workouts WORK!

EXERCISE VIDEOS– chances are good that your kids run the neighborhood (or take naps) at some point during the day. Don’t give in and just sit on the couch catching up with whatever reality show is unwatched on your DVR. Pop in a cardio dance DVD. I found one I loved at Target but there are so many out there.? Just push all the laundry and toys to the side and get ready to sweat.

SET THE ALARM– what if you woke up an hour before your kids? Could you roll out of bed, into those new running shoes and hit the pavement while your spouse and kids are still snoring? Sure you can! I know you can!? And by getting up early, you will have extra endorphins all day long to help you keep up with your summer schedule.

DAY CARE- So many gyms now a days offer day care. Are your kids young enough they can go? This is a win win for both of you. They get to meet and mingle with other kids and fun adults (possibly doing crafts and learning new games) and you can hit that new spin class you’ve been eyeing.

NEIGHBOR KIDS- Look around your neighborhood or church group. Are there teens? Probably! Guess what… teens get bored during the summer (just ask their moms!) and they ALWAYS want some cash.? Talk to the moms and teens. Is there a deal you can make? I know my teens would be thrilled to babysit for $5 a few times a week while mom works out. And as their mom, I would LOVE for them to have this opportunity to make some money. Just ask around.

VISITORS– Once upon a time when my kids were too young to leave at home by themselves, I would invite another mom to bring her equally young kiddos over. We would set them up with a DVD and some snacks while we worked out together in the other room. Yes, occasionally the kiddos would need help or get curious and come “bug” us, but often, we were able to fit in a great CORE work out together while the kids enjoyed a movie.

TAKE A CLASS– I LOVE to Ice Skate. So when my kids are younger, I enrolled them in skating lessons so *I* could skate while they had lessons.? It was great! We both were getting exercise, learning new skills, meeting people and spending time together, BUT I did have MY time all by myself. Later when my kids didn’t care much for skating anymore, I continued to skate. They would happily come to the rink, bring their toys, legos, coloring books, tablets, kindles, card games etc. I would skate while they kept themselves busy in the hockey box.? I did this with my daughter when she was as young as 3 years old. She was fine and actually has great memories of sitting in the stands watching me skate.

FIT BIT– Where your fitness tracker (I actually use the Garmin). When you are running errands with your kids, take a parking spot far away from the store, take the stairs, do laps in the lobby while you wait for ballet or karate to finish.? There are so many ways to fit in your steps…even just walking in place. And guess what- you may get some strange looks but most people will know exactly what you are doing and they might even join in!

Don’t let Summer take over and ruin your routine. The key is to be flexible and go with the flow.? Cherish this time with your kiddos– they grow up way to fast!

Hiking as a Family- Washington State

Hiking as a Family- Washington State

Summer is here! School’s out. Vacations are in the works.

Here are some amazing hikes you can take as a family in Washington State.

*Leavenworth- Icicle Gorge. This is a great 4 mile loop. You hike along the river, so it’s a bit cooler and damper. Sounds good on a hot day.? There is a camp ground along this trail too and many people wade in the river.

*Thunder Knob- North Cascades Highway. 3.8 miles. 650 feet in elevation gain. This trail is across the street from Colonial Creek Campground. Enjoy nature in the Cascades. About a mile in the sound of birds will over power the sounds of the highway. Lots of over looks along the way.? The best view awaits at the top- the blue green water of Diablo Lake. Stunning!

*Deception Pass– Up to 5 miles, this is one I remember doing as a young child.? Tide pools, beaches forever, skipping rocks and tons of moss covered trees! 4,000 acres including old growth forests and shoreline.? Camp at the campground or just make it a long day trip from Seattle.

*Boulder River Waterfall- near Darrington.? Only 2.5 miles (with the option to continue on for 4).? Beautiful, classic, Pacific Northwest.

*Paradise Valley- near Woodinville.? This is perfect for those busy Seattlites or East Siders who don’t have a lot of time to drive somewhere but still want to get out and enjoy nature. 1-5 miles on mostly level trails. Wetlands and the headwaters for Bear Creek (shout out to those who love Bear Creek!), this Snohomish County park is great for ages 2 and up!

*Fort Worden State Park- near Port Townsend.? A beautiful light house (Point Wilson) and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Sandy beach. Views of Mt. Baker, San Jaun Island, the Olympics and even Vancouver Island. This is such a beautiful place. 2.5 miles one way, this is great for kids of all ages. Side note- I went to camp here once as a teen!

*Ancient Lake- near Quincy.? A waterfall in the desert is what draws people to this simple but beautiful hike. 4 miles and no elevation gain. Wetlands, birds, paradise!

*Riverside State Park- Spokane. One hiker says “Start your hike by crossing the swinging bridge at Bowl & Pitcher. “- doesn’t that just sound fun?

*Catherine Creek- Columbia River Gorge. This is a stroller and wheelchair friendly hike. Up to 3 miles long, and more wild flowers then you can count! Stay on the trail- Poison Oak is nasty here.

*Denny Creek Campground- by Snoqualmie Pass. Another great memory from my teen years. This camp ground is abundant with trails going in all directions! I particularly like the that heads to the Denny Creek Water Slides! Natural slides carved into the river rocks. Yes, it’s freezing but WHO CARES! So much fun.

*Mount Rainier- Paradise Trail to Pebble Creek.? This is beautiful but all UP HILL trail.? Wild flowers, Views for days and even snarling Marmots! Take lots of water and wear your sunscreen. Enjoy the changing landscape as you make your way from Forest to Tundra. Turn around at Pebble Creek for safety reasons.

*Steamboat Rock State Park- Grand Coulee. There are two great hikes at this camp ground. Steamboat Rock and Lenore Lake Caves.? Steamboat Rock is 4 miles and about 600 feet in elevation gain. Lenore Lake caves takes you along the Grand Coulee to a bunch of cool basalt caves. Only 1.5 miles and 200 feet of elevation gain. A great place to explore.

washington state


Slim down at work

Slim down at work

You’ve heard of the FRESHMAN 15?? Well, nearly 40% of adults admit to gaining weight at their office job too. Is that you?? It certainly happened to me. I’m sure the number is higher- people just don’t want to admit it. It’s kind of a hush hush subject.

How do you stop this cycle of work weightgain?
Here are some top tips!

** Ditch the Drinks!? Stop drinking your calories.? Just say NO to soda. Even Diet soda is so bad for you. And swap out your Lattes for tea
Solution- sip plain water, sparkling water and tea during the day. You’ll feel refreshed without all the sugar.

**Pack a Lunch!? Stop going out for lunch. Make it a special treat- maybe once a week make it a special outing with your coworkers. But the other times, save your pennies and pack fruit, veggies and healthy proteins from home.

**Don’t stay seated.? Set a timer and make yourself get up and walk. Wear a fitness tracker so you are held accountable to getting more steps. Take the stairs.? If you need to go to a meeting, take a long route to get there. Instead of calling or sending an instant message, get up and walk to another office to ask a question. Get out of your seat!

**Do you feel sluggish in the afternoon?? Before you reach for that candy bar, try a green drink. We like this one from IT WORKS. Not only does it give you your veggies and fruits, but it also gives you an energizing boost that helps you crush the rest of your work day.? These come in easy to use individual packets too. green drink
** Skip the freebies! A lot of work places will have a kitchen area with special snacks, free donuts, popcorn etc.? Just because something is free and just because it’s THERE, doesn’t mean you should chow down on it.? Drink some water, grab some veggies and stay clear of the temptation.

Your office job isn’t a life sentence to gaining weight. Following these simple tips can help you slim down while at work.