Feb 17, 2015

Inspirational Mother: Vicki from Ascent Fitness

Welcome back to my Inspirational Mothers series where we talk to some fabulously fit mamas who are successfully juggling their active lifestyles and family commitments.  This series is designed to give you some insight into how mothers from many different walks of life manage to stay active while raising their families.  

I'm really looking forward to sharing today's post by Vicki from Ascent Fitness.  Vicki is a personal trainer who runs her own business and specialises in women's fitness, and below she has shared some fantastic tips that will leave you feeling motivated and ready to get started on your own fitness journey...

1. Hi Vicki! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your fitness background.

Like most mums I have a list of "who I am" .. mum to 2, wife, daughter, sister, friend .. I am also a Personal Trainer and run my own small private studio at home where I train my clients.

I have always been involved and participated in some kind of sport. I participate because I enjoy it, I love the physical challenges and it will always be a big part of my life. I have participated in triathlons and loads of fun runs from 5km to half marathons .. never at a competitive level, however, only ever for the challenge and sense of achievement that you get from training for and finishing the event. I do understand that it's not everyone's cup of tea!

I haven't always been a Personal Trainer but my passion and enjoyment for health and fitness increased to the point where I wanted to learn more. I love helping people learn more about becoming fitter, stronger, healthier and it is so exciting when I see my clients reach their goals and achieve things that they never even thought possible!

2. Have you always been able to successfully find the time to stay fit/active while being a mother?

Exercise and fitness has always been a part of my life so I have always made the time and effort to fit in a workout.

Sometimes it hasn't been as easy as others. After the kids were born there was always a period of adjusting to new routines and lack of sleep but I find it's more about making the effort even though you might not always feel like it.

3. How often do you manage to exercise during the week, and how does this fit in with your family's schedule?

I would love to say that I exercise every day, but that's just not true. Some days turn out to be more hectic than others! Generally, though I do some form of exercise 4 - 5 days per week.

My husband also likes to keep fit ( he also works long hours and travels ) and we have always supported each other, which means that we need to plan our training schedules to a certain extent. I work early mornings with my clients 3 - 4 days per week so this is usually his training time. If I'm not working early, then we alternate morning runs so that someone is home to get the kids moving in the mornings!

With both of my kids now at school ( my daughter is 13 and my son is 9 ) my workouts happen either first thing in the morning or during school hours, however I do have to schedule my workouts in between my clients! So, yes, my workouts appear in my diary as an appointment with myself! I have also been known to squeeze in a run while the kids are occupied at cricket training, soccer training or dancing.

4. What is your favourite type of fitness/exercise, has this changed at different stages of your children's lives?

My favourite type of exercise would be the one that gets me the results I am after! Running and weight training are always in my schedule, with HIIT ( high intensity interval training ) thrown in to change things up.
Being a PT and working from home now I do have access to all the equipment I need for a great workout, but this hasn't always been the case. When the kids were younger they spent time at the crèche at the gym while I did my workouts.

Alternating running schedules with hubby has been our go to way of fitting in a workout as the kids have grown up. As my daughter got older and was able to ride a bike, we sometimes ran together taking turns pushing the pram with my son ( great workout by the way! ).
Now the kids are older, we do some long training runs with both the kids on their bikes. Sometimes we even go for family runs .. not too far and there is some walking and some whinging! I love running with my daughter now, when I can get her out of bed early enough to go!

5. So, tell us what your average day looks like?

I usually start training clients at 5:30am. Then it's breakfast, lunches and school runs.

I then come home to train clients again, or work on my business, researching and planning sessions for my clients. It's usually between this time and lunch that I fit in my workout.

After lunch, I usually get prepped for dinner, do baking if we need snacks, then head out if I need groceries or to run errands.

School pick up is like the change of shift ... on to afternoon tea, homework and getting the kids ready for their training sessions. Dinner sometimes coincides with training so on these days I have packed takeaway containers with the kids dinners.

By the time we get home it could be anywhere from 7pm until 8:30pm so there's usually only time for cleaning up, showers and bed for the kids. It depends on how organised I have been during the day whether I have any little bits of work to do, but usually it's planning for the next day, a little bit of trashy TV and a catch up with hubby.

I aim for bed around 9:30pm. One of my goals for this year .. get to bed by 9:30pm every night!

6. What is your philosophy/goals when it comes to family nutrition?

My healthy eating philosophy for my family and also that which I recommend to my clients is everything in moderation, eating fresh, whole foods from all the food groups. I try to keep processed foods to a minimum.

At the age my kids are, they seem to want to eat everything they can lay their hands on, so I am very conscious of making sure that they have great healthy choices and enough to sustain their activity levels. This is why I do quite a bit of baking and prepping of healthy snacks.

I like to plan a menu each week so that I know what we are having when ( no, it doesn't always go to plan ) and that I have all the groceries on hand. As a family we eat a range of fruit, veg, protein and carbs each day so we are always getting a variety of food and nutrients.

7. Do you have any fitness/exercise goals for the future?

My goal is to stay fit and strong for life. I know it sounds cliché but I have seen how lack of movement and mobility can affect a person as they get older and I would like to stay on top of it as much as I can. I have also had an 80 year old female client and I want to be just like her when I grow up! For me it is about consistency and doing what I am enjoying.

I have also been talked into playing netball again after 20 years, so I'm currently getting myself fit enough to get back on the court!

8. What is your best advice to mamas that would like to be able to be more active, but are having trouble finding the time?

Every little bit counts! If your kids are young and you can find 5 minutes or 10 minutes, you can do a mini workout ... do that twice a day and you are on your way to feeling great. As the kids get older, include them in the workout .. my kids were timers and rep counters.

Consistency. That really explains it, you will find that the more you do the more you will want to do! And, it becomes a habit that you will miss when you skip a session.

Make the time. We all have the same amount of hours in the day, it's how you use them that will keep you heading to your goal. Get up 20 minutes earlier and do a quick home workout. I have quite a few that I have prepared for my clients so they have no excuses if they have no time or equipment! If your kids are around school age, your first job after school drop off is a workout. Once your workout is done you will feel more organised and ready for the rest of the day!

Starting an exercise routine or eating healthy doesn't need to be overwhelming .. you don't have to overhaul your whole routine in one day, baby steps will make the changes much more manageable and easier to fit into your already hectic schedule! Make the commitment to yourself that you are worth the extra effort and you and your family will be rewarded!

Thanks so much for sharing with us today Vicki.  I can see that we share the same passion for women's health and fitness.  If you are interested in learning more about Vicki and what she does, be sure to head over to her website or Facebook page and say hello.