Maya Fit Girl

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How to Avoid Getting Cooties at the Gym March 17, 2015

Filed under: Exercise,Fitness,Health — Maya Fit Girl @ 10:00 am
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It never fails.  I always hear stories from friends about how they may have caught a cold, foot fungus or some other germ at the gym.  If you have been a victim or would like to prevent becoming a victim of the gym cooties, here are a few ways to keep the germs at bay.

There are areas within the gym that have been shown to be the worst at hoarding germs.  Those areas are free weights, weight machines and the exercise ball. Which pretty much sums up the whole gym, right?  Well, don’t fret, most gyms have those handy anti-bacterials wipes available, if not, you should bring your own personal pack.  Wipe those areas down where they will touch your exposed skin and you are good to go.

Be careful in the locker room. It may look clean and it may even be cleaned several times per day, but what about those times in between.  Never sit naked on the benches because others may have been naked there as well. Vaginal yeast, fecal matter, and lots of other grossness has been found, so be cautious and use a dry towel (you brought from home) to sit on.  Also, be sure to wear your flip flops or shower shoes if you decide to go in the sauna, steam room and shower.  The floors in those areas are sure to harbor fungus and bacteria that causes ringworm and athlete’s foot.

You know that treadmill, bike, or elliptical you love? Well, it may get wiped down throughout the day, but to be safe, wipe it down before and after each use on the areas where it touches your exposed skin. Be sure to include the seat area on the bike and any buttons.

Check out this quick checklist of things you should do to prevent getting any germs at the gym:

  • Cover any cuts or broken skin with a bandage.
  • Wash hands before and after your workout.
  • Wipe down machines before and after use.
  • Bring your own water bottle, towels, and exercise mat.
  • Don’t sit on the locker-room bench naked.
  • Always wear flip-flops or shower shoes in the locker room and shower.
  • Don’t shave at the gym or immediately before going there.
  • Whenever possible, shower at home after your workout.
  • Keep dirty clothes and shoes in separate gym bag compartments or place  in a plastic bag.
  • Wash gym clothes after each use.
  • Examine your skin weekly. If you find a painful red spot or a bump, see your doctor.

Practice these tips each time you go to the gym. You want to keep  yourself safe and also prevent spreading any infections to the kids.

Be sure to check out the Fit Girl by Maya website for recipes, workouts, videos, apparel and more!



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Sometimes It’s Just You vs. You March 10, 2015

Filed under: Exercise,Health — Maya Fit Girl @ 8:57 am
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While in school, I used to be an athlete.  I had coaches who helped me become better and better through daily practice and showing me that I can overcome any challenge.  I had teammates who would push me to be the best I could be. And I had those athletes with whom I competed against, testing my limits on a weekly basis.

But what happens when high school and college are over and you have no one to challenge you to word hard everyday to be the best, fit you you can be?  The coaches are gone, your teammates aren’t there, and there is no competitor waiting for you at the end of week. At this point in our adult lives, we must become all of those things. You must get yourself to your workouts and eating healthy foods, everyday you must be determined to live a healthy life, and you must compete against yourself to be better and better each day, week, month, and year.

No one should want you to be healthy and fit more than you.  And Ladies, don’t get confused, fit does NOT mean wearing a size zero. Fit is working hard to get and stay healthy, not only for yourself, but for your little ones and your family.  The only person standing in your way is you…so MOVE!

Be sure to check out my Fit Girl by Maya website for more recipes, workouts, videos, apparel and more!



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Moms, Try These Healthy Kid-Friendly Lunch Alternatives February 16, 2015

Filed under: Fitness,Food,Health — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:30 am
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Colourful healthy salad sandwich

I always talk about being more creative when keeping with a  more healthier meal plan for both moms and kids.  For kids, creativity is key, but being creative while not being too different from what they are used to, is the hard part. Here are three standard lunch favorites made healthier.

1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

You can’t get anymore standard than the ol’ PB&J. While we usually use peanut butter high in sugar content, why not use an all-natural peanut butter (or any other all-natural nut butter)? All-natural peanut butters have no added sugars and are made with only peanuts and an oil, usually flaxseed or palm oil. For your jelly, use a one that contains 100% fruit and no high-fructose corn syrup. Two easy changes that will go virtually unnoticed.

2. Turkey Sandwich

Using lean, low or no-fat turkey meat with mustard, which contains zero sugars and zero fats with whole grain bread, makes this sandwich a great option for a lunch time main item.

3. Kid-Approved Chicken Salad

Using chunky bits of leftover chicken mixed with Greek yogurt, raisins or dried cranberries, shredded carrots and sliced almonds mixed together and served  in a whole grain pita-bread pocket is a great alternative to chicken or tuna salad with crackers.

Don’t be afraid to take chances and have fun with food. The kids will love it and love you for making delicious and nutritious meals for them everyday.




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Don’t Starve Yourself, Lose Weight the Right Way November 16, 2014

Filed under: Exercise,Health — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:34 am
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Empty plate

[As originally contributed to on August 24, 2014]

No matter how tempted you are to do it, please don’t skip meals with hopes of losing weight. That is the most unhealthiest way to shed some pounds. Sure, you’ll lose a few pounds, but not for long and not as much as you could by eating right. So what actually happens when you miss a few meals or skip whole days of eating?

 Loss of Nutrients

When you take away vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function, it has to get it from somewhere else. The first place your body will get what it needs is from your muscles. The protein in your muscles becomes the only energy source your body has when you deprive it of foods. The body will break down the muscle cells to get the protein and convert it to energy. Water, which makes up about 70% of your muscles, is released and excreted into your system. This loss of water is the weight loss you experience. In other words, you lose weight at the expense of your muscle.

You Look Fatter

You would think that the body would at least do you the favor of burning your fat when you decide to starve it. Not at all. While your muscles are being eaten away, the fat remains, not only increasing your body fat percentage, but even making you look bigger. One pound of muscle takes up much less space than one pound of fat, so when you muscle is gone, the fat has more room to spread, thus making you look bigger than you did before you decided to starve yourself.

Your Metabolism Decreases

Muscle is a metabolically active tissue, which means it keeps your metabolism elevated. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you burn (even at rest). So, while starving yourself, you lose muscle, which decreases your metabolism and your ability to effectively burn calories.

So what’s the lesson? You need to eat in order to lose weight. Starving yourself is the worst way to lose weight and be healthy. You deserve to have the body you want, but you also deserve to get it the right way. Love yourself enough know that.


Squatting Does a Body Good October 27, 2014

Filed under: Exercise,Health — Maya Fit Girl @ 9:00 am
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[As originally contributed to on Sept. 4, 2014]

I know you hear it all of the time, “To get your butt back into pre-pregnancy shape, you have to do squats.”  So, blindly we start doing squats without really knowing the true benefits of how they can change our bodies. Yes, our glutes will get nice and tight, but what else?

There are 5 key benefits of doing squats:

1. Increased Strength

Squats work your Quads, Glutes, Calves, Hamstrings along with other upper body and core muscle groups.

2. Increased Core Strength

Squats force you to carefully maintain balance between your legs, lower back, abdominal muscles, obliques and everything in between.  If you are using proper squatting form, you will feel the burn for the next two days deep in your core muscles.

3. Improves Balance

Squats work and strengthen your core, which helps build balance through the rest of your body.  Doing squats consistently will help you add balance through your entire workout routine.

4. Reduces Injury

Most people have a hard time getting through their weight training due to an underdeveloped core. Squats help you build up your balance and core/leg strength, which should theoretically reduce your risk for other injuries.

And everybody’s fave…

5. Build Glutes

Squats are the best exercise to help you build a killer backside.  Strength training with squats will help you build powerful glutes which will help your explosiveness playing sports and help you look great as you build a balanced lower body.

So, Ladies, the next time you start doing squats, know that your booty is not the only thing benefiting from your workout, your whole body will.



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Don’t Get Discouraged…You Can Do It September 22, 2014

Filed under: Exercise,Family,Fitness,Health,Woman — Maya Fit Girl @ 12:04 pm
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Living a healthy lifestyle is not easy, especially if you are a mom. We have about 10,000 things on our daily to do list and we are usually very close to the bottom. With so much to do and so much to keep up with, how can we keep aligned with our fitness goals.

Taking time to prepare our weekly meals, plan our workout routines, and then actually carry them out is hard, but we must not get overwhelmed. That feeling of being overwhelmed is what ultimately makes us keep quitting and starting over. We get so excited to start a new plan and reach new goals, but when we see how much work it will take, how much temptation we are faced with, and how little time we have, we give up…until we get tired of unhealthy ways and start the cycle all over again.

Here are five ways I keep myself from getting stressed out and overwhelmed.

1. Take it one day at a time

Try not to think about how many days it is going to take to reach your fitness goals. Just know it won’t happen over night. Period. Each day is a new opportunity to stick to your plan, don’t worry that you may have to eat the same lunch for three or four weeks. Concentrate on today.

2. Talk to yourself

There are times when I am faced with life-changing dilemmas (well, maybe not that dramatic)- should I take a bite of this muffin my son left on the counter or can I wait til my next meal? This is where I have to have a conversation with myself—sometimes out loud. I say, “Will this bite of muffin get me closer to my goal of placing 1st in my next competition?” or “Are the added calories, fat, and sugar worth it to my body and what I am trying to accomplish?” Usually after I ask myself those questions, I’ll throw the muffin away (but not without inhaling the smell of it for about 30 seconds).

3. Find an alternative

When I get a craving for a chocolate bar, fries, or things like that, I have to become creative and figure out a healthy alternative. If suddenly I want a Reese’s peanut butter cup, I will pull out the blender and make a choco-peanut butter smoothie made with unsweetened almond milk, chocolate whey protein, a tablespoon of peanut butter and ice. Voila! Craving, satisfied.

For fries, I would slice a sweet potato long ways, drizzle a little olive oil over them and sprinkle on a little sea salt and bake them for about 25 minutes. Yum!

4. Get busy

The times where I am most likely to want unhealthy foods are when I am bored. I’m sitting on the couch watching some random, waste of time show and start wanting some potato chips with hot sauce on top. As soon as I get that feeling, I immediately turn off the television and head to the gym. If I have already worked out, I will start cleaning some area of the house, read a book or magazine or go outside with the kids. There’s always something to do other than stuffing your face with the wrong foods and then feeling bad about it later.

5. Get your own space

I found that when my food is mixed in with the family’s food in the cabinets and refrigerator, I am more likely to want the foods I am not supposed to have. If I see my son’s chocolate chip cookies next to my raw almonds, the almonds may get left on the shelf—not good. So, I decided to have my own cabinet in the kitchen allocated for all of my food items. I even have my own refrigerator in the garage. That way I won’t eat foods not on my plan and my family won’t eat up all my food, mistakenly. The key is out of sight out of mind.

No one said being healthy was easy, as long as you remember your goals, take things one day at a time, and be conscious of the decisions you make, you will make it through. Be patient with yourself and you will be successful.


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Don’t Be Afraid of the Weights September 16, 2014


[As originally contributed to on 8/5/14]

Recently, I hosted a fitness workshop and found that all of the women in attendance exclusively had cardio in their daily routine with Zumba being the favorite.  Zumba is fun and gets your heart pumping, running for miles and miles really improves your endurance, running on the elliptical and treadmill are great for the legs, but what about weight training?

There is a myth, among many women, that lifting weights is a man thing or that if you lift too much, you will end up with the physique like a man. Let me let you in on a little secret…both are false. Women have been lifting weights for just as long as men and the only way that you will end up with the body like that of a man is if you are taking steroids and/or lots of testosterone.

Incorporating strength training into you workout creates a great balance for the body.  Adding a little muscle to can help fill out the body and, depending on how heavy or light you lift, can really get you the curves you desire.  And just know that lifting weights doesn’t mean that you start with a 300 pound barbell. If you are not looking to achieve that ripped, super defined look, lift light, yet challenging weights for longer repetitions (reps). For instance, curl 10 pound dumbbells for 20 reps, instead of 35 pound dumbbells for 10 reps.

Aside from gaining muscle tone, here are five other reasons you should start lifting weights.

1. Lifting Burns that Baby Fat

High intensity lifting and metabolic training stimulates lipolysis or the fat breakdown and release and increases the body’s metabolism hours after your workout is complete. You not only burn calories during your weight training session, but you’ll continue to burn calories long afterwards.

Your body becomes strong, defined, and lean. No more will you feel ashamed or lack self-confidence when you are naked.  You will look and feel better than you did before you had your baby!

2. Post-Workout Burn

A high intensity lifting session burns approximately 500 calories per hour and boosts your basal metabolic rate (BMR). BMR is the minimum number of calories your body burns at rest, working out, or lying down.

What this means is that you not only burn calories while working out, you also continue to burn them up to 24 hours afterwards. The more intense you lift, the more you burn through your boosted metabolism.

This also means that the more muscle you gain, the less fat you’ll have. The less fat you have, the more calories you burn at rest. Gaining muscle gets you lean and keeps you lean.

3.  Prevents Your Metabolism From Declining

As we increase with age our metabolism typically decreases, starting around the age of 30.  To prevent this from happening, incorporate frequent weight training in your fitness life.

With your metabolic rate elevated, you will stay in shape well after the kids leave the house!

4.  Improves Posture

Lifting weights strengthens your muscles, including your back, neck, shoulders, and core (abdominal area).  Strength in these areas helps you to stand up taller, improve your posture, preserve the spine and reduces back pain.

Who wouldn’t want to look strong and confident on a daily basis?

5.  Reduces Stress and Improves Mood

Exercise and weight training release endorphins- neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and enhance pleasure.  Endorphins are released during long workouts where the intensity is moderate to high and breathing is difficult.

With all of that release going on, your stress levels decrease, along with any anxieties and depression. You begin to feel happy with each breathless set you complete! The kids love it when you smile, so should you.

Being strong is not a “man thing.” Being strong is what you are everyday and in everything you do. Believe that.

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