Moms, Daughters Become Closer As Workout Partners

NORMAL Nancy focused on her form as she did a set of flies, a strength training exercise to work her upper body. Her workout partner, Heather, looked on.

Thats good, mom, Heather said as Nancy completed the set and the two women moved on to their next exercise.

Yes, Nancy Gilbert, 50, and Heather Gilbert, 21, are mother and daughter and are among Bloomington-Normal mothers who exercise including doing strength training with their teenage or young-adult daughters.

Its nice to know that someone is always there to understand what youre doing, Heather said after a workout at The Workout Co. in Normal on Oct. 8.

Its actually easier that were mother and daughter, Heather said. Were good friends,  too.

Carl Clover who co-owns Workout Co. with his wife, Carol has noticed more mothers and daughters strength training together. The Gilberts illustrate the benefits.

They look healthy and vibrant and theyre spending time together, working toward a goal of fitness, Clover said.

Actually, three generations of women in Nancys family support each other with exercise and healthful eating. Her mother, 68-year-old Elsie Deatrick of Bloomington, also exercises and was inspired by her daughter and granddaughter to ramp up her weightlifting and cardio workouts at Four Seasons Association beginning last summer.

I admire them a lot, Deatrick said. Im not capable of doing it (exercising) to their extent. But I want to keep my muscles strong, be healthy and look good.

Nancy is a business analyst at State Farm Insurance Cos. and Heather, of Normal, is a senior sociology major at Illinois State University.

Nancy has been running most of her life and progressed to triathlons several years ago.

Ive worked out my whole life, she said. But I didnt feel like I looked fit. I wanted to look like I worked out. I wanted toned arms and a toned body and I couldnt get that from cardio alone.

Two years ago, she attended her first bodybuilding competition. I saw the figure category. That was interesting to see. I wondered what I could do with my body.

Nancy explained that bodybuilding (sometimes called physique bodybuilding) results in a very muscular, manly look. Figure bodybuilding results in a lean, toned, muscular look that is more feminine. Bikini bodybuilding is a leaner and less muscular look.

Motivated, Nancy began weightlifting more and doing cardio less. She learned exercises to target certain body parts. To build muscle and reduce fat, she adjusted her diet so that she began eating five meals a day, with each meal being high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat.

I always ate whatever I wanted because I ran, she said. Now she had to think about what she put into her mouth.

The dieting is the hardest part for me, Nancy said. I loved sweets.

Nancy did her first figure bodybuilding show in May 2011. She did well enough to want to compete again.

Heather played volleyball in high school but gained 15 pounds in college. Needing to make a change, she got into healthy eating with her roommate and began 30 minutes of cardio a day, which increased to two hours a day.

Last year, she watched her mom compete in the figure bodybuilding show.

She inspired me, Heather said of her mother. I realized that my body has more potential.

I love to work out. Its my thing. But its nice to have family that supports you, Heather said.

Mother and daughter cook healthy meals together, focusing on lean meats, vegetables and complex carbs, such as sweet potatoes and brown rice.

While Bob Pagoria is their trainer, the women give each other workout tips and help each other with correct form.

Sometimes mother and daughter work out together and sometimes they work out separately.

Heather generally works out five evenings a week at Four Seasons Association. Her workouts currently range from 1 to two hours, with 45 minutes of cardio time and the rest weightlifting. Each lifting day, she focuses on different body parts.

Nancy works out seven mornings a week at The Workout Co. Three days a week, she works out for an hour and 15 minutes (45 minutes lifting weights and 30 minutes cardio), and four days a week, she does cardio for 45 minutes.

On Sunday mornings, mother and daughter train together at Workout Co. to learn poses for their upcoming figure bodybuilding competitions. Heather will compete in a show Oct. 20 in Bradley and they will compete together for the first time Nov. 17 in DeKalb.

As Nancy, Heather and Elsie have worked out and eaten healthfully, each woman has lost 20 pounds (Heather weighs 121 pounds, Nancy weighs 125 pounds and Elsie declined to give her weight), Nancys and Elsies cholesterol numbers have dropped and all three women have more energy.

Working out makes you feel good about yourself in every aspect of your life, Heather said.

Getting started

Here are tips from mothers and daughters to other mothers and daughters considering working out together. The tips also apply to fathers and sons:

Choose an exercise you both enjoy.

Select a time of day that works for both of you.

Be flexible. When something gets in the way of your workout, reschedule it.

Agree that this is a lifestyle change.

Start slowly. Set realistic goals. Small changes lead to bigger ones.

Consult a personal trainer for weight training so you dont get injured.

Gradually increase the intensity of your workout.

Improve your eating habits. Plan meals together. Read nutrition labels. Start with little changes, such as switching to lighter ingredients and foods.

Become aware of portion sizes.

Encourage each other. Enjoy your time together.

SOURCES: Nancy and Heather Gilbert, Rae Ann and Allie Ploense, Elsie Deatrick

Original Story Here


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  1. Reply

    Is There An Online Site That Gives Free Workout Tips? I’m looking for a site that gives free workout tips and tips on getting abs. I don’t need a so-called “quick trick” that will supposedly get me a six-pack in 2 days. I just want tips on how to work out and what to eat to get in shape.

      • HealthNut
      • October 21, 2012

      If you want to stay in shape, you need to adopt healthy eating habits and make exercise a part of your daily life.

      How to start?

      Choose exercises you enjoy according to your fitness level. Aerobics exercises move the muscles fairly continuously and strengthen the heart and lungs. Examples of such activities are brisk walking, jogging, aerobic dancing, swimming, badminton, cycling and football.

      If you have not exercised for a long time or just started, start slowly and increase gradually over a period of 3 to 6 weeks.

      For those who are above 35 years old, overweight, or have medical problems, you need to check with a medical doctor before you embark on an exercise programme.

      Frequency or How often?

      Exercise for at least 20 minutes, 3 times a week or more

      Intensity and duration?

      Do exercise until you perspire and breathe deeply without getting breathless. You should be able to talk or whistle while exercising.

      Do warm up and stretch for at least 5 minutes before exercise. Also not to forget to cool down and stretch after exercise.

    • XP
    • October 21, 2012

    Can I Have Some Good Workout Tips? Hey could I get some good workout tips. I’m medium built but i want to be lean and fit. I also want to tone and shape my legs a lot. Please tell me if you have any good tips!

      • HealthNut
      • October 21, 2012

      Yes,visit the following sites for fitness.You may not need a full-fledged diet right now, but you can still incorporate some slim-down strategies into your daily life.

      Eat breakfast. Studies show that eating breakfast is associated with keeping weight off once you’ve lost it.

      Fill up on low-cal foods. Start every meal with the items on your plate that are lowest in calories. By the time you get to the other foods, you won’t be so hungry, possibly decreasing your total intake.

      Begin with soup. Starting lunch or dinner with a broth-based, vegetable-filled soup will curb hunger so you’ll be less tempted to eat higher-calorie foods.

      Arrive fashionably late. Without as much time near the buffet table at parties, you’ll eat less.

      Divide your lunch. Afternoon snacker? Cut your lunch in half: have part at mealtime and the other half later in the afternoon.

      Swap mustard for mayo. A tablespoon of mayonnaise has 100 calories, compared with 10 calories for a tablespoon of yellow mustard.

      Duration of Exercise
      You may not be exercising long enough. The rule of thumb is cardio for 30 minutes, three times per week. If you really want to reach your goal, try five 45-minute cardio workouts per week. That sounds like a lot of exercise, but remember this is in order to meet your goal, not necessarily maintain it.

  2. Reply

    What Are Some Good Teen Workout Tips? I live in a small town with no gym. And my don’t have a soccer team. Im trying to workout. Get more muscule and lose weight. I do that every once and awhile but i don’t know if im doing it right. Anyone have any tips what to do?
    About the soccer team i meant that there isnt one this year!!

      • HealthNut
      • October 21, 2012

      This website has good things to help you lose weight and tone up your body, it helps me lose 2 pounds per week.



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