Happy New Year!  I cannot believe it is 2014 already!  I am pretty sure I say that every year, but it seems like time flies by and I never know where it goes.  2013, like most years, had its up an downs, but I am happy to say that it was a pretty good year for us.  We had lots of wonderful things happen intermingled with challenges that make us learn and grow.  It will be an adventure to see what the next year brings!

Before I forget (distracted by the rest of the post) I did another post on See Kate Sew yesterday.  You can just follow the blue link to check it out.  We did a great little give-away-gift idea if you have anyone you missed over the holidays or there is just someone you want to take something to.  Kate made a perfect printout to go with it and the recipe is so easy: gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies.  Go check it out!  Okay now we can get back to today’s business.

So I don’t know about you, but by the end of the year my body is screaming for some attention.  It has been lazier over the holidays than it usually is, It has indulged in more food than it usually does and it hasn’t quite gotten the workouts it needs.  Now I don’t think I did horribly, but I can feel my body asking a return to normalcy so I thought I would start out the year with a great new fitness post to help us transition back into healthy routines:-) The rest of this week will bring us two new recipes; one is an old family recipe and the other I discovered from a sister-in-law over the holidays… both are amazing!  Then next week will bring us a new theme.   I will tell you more about it later… but I am sooo excited for it:-)images

Today’s fitness post is about Tabata, my dear friend.  I do Tabata about once a week — it is always a good idea to mix up your workouts and vary what you do throughout the week.  Part of the new movement HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Tabata involves high intensity exercises that will help develop muscle and tone your body.

For those of you who are new to the Tabata realm — Welcome!  I’ll give you a basic run down of how Tabata works and then some of my favorite moves.images-2

Tabata is comprised of individual drills (or exercises). Each drill is four minutes long and you may do as many drills as you would like.  Now don’t worry, you are not performing each move for four solid minutes.  You will give it everything you have for 20 seconds and then rest for 10 seconds.  Repeat eight times to complete the drill (and to complete the four minutes).

The ideology behind these drills is that when you are doing long low intensity workouts, such as a long run, your natural tendency is to hold back some of your energy in reserve.  We do this because if we tried sprinting ten miles we wouldn’t last very long, but if we reserve our energy we can make it through all ten miles.  However, if we only have to sprint for 20 seconds we can afford to give those 20 seconds every ounce of energy we have.  The high intensity allows you to get a complete (and exhausting) workout in less time than traditional cardio.  So if you are pressed for time, Tabata is your new best friend. images-1

Here are some sample drills:


Jumping squats

Jumping Lunges


Tricep dips with medicine ball (these kill me!)

Sprints (run, bike, swim, ect)

Running man/Mountain climbers

Jumping jacks

Russian twist/Medicine ball side to side


High knees

Super planks

Front kicks

Toe reaches

Anything that involves jumping works well

**Sometimes there are moves I like doing but I can’t quite do them for an entire drill.  You can definitely split a drill between two moves — 20 seconds work 10 seconds rest repeated four times for one move and four times for another.

You don’t have to do all of these, in fact if this is your first time doing Tabata I would only pick a few or just start doing one drill after your normal workout to get the feel for it.  You can really tailor this to your needs and abilities so have fun with it!

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