RECOVER YOUR FEET

Exercises to warm-up and recover

Check out this new video in my warm-up/ recovery series. This one is for FEET… a highly neglected, yet extremely important area of the body. You can repair and avoid common feet and ankle problems with a pair of MINIS™ and these simple exercises.

I did a product review last fall and have NOT STOPPED using them!!, PLUS my clients testimonies after prepping the feet before workout/ running or after long days on their feet are insane! I’ll share the testimonies soon, but for now you can trust me and get your hands on a set of MINIS™ $24

ORDER HERE ←

…don’t forget to use promo code ‘ASHLEY’ at checkout for a discount!

Check out the trailer below and then find the full video on my VHX channel!

LOVE YOUR FEET!!

PILATES 5 MINUTE WORKOUT VIDEO

five minutes, five exercises, five times

NEW PILATES WORKOUT.  THIS IS SO EASY!

5 MINUTES 5 EXERCISES 5 REPS

We can all squeeze in 5 minutes to care for our body. Pilates builds long, strong muscle and focuses on the abdominal wrap.  Use a TYE4 harness to speed up results.

Visit Pilates PhysicalMind Institute to purchase TYE4.

Use coupon code:  ‘Tye4withAshley’ and get $5 off!

   

If you don’t know much about Pilates, check out this fun video!

NOVEMBER BINGO CHALLENGE!!!

In my years of training, I have found that NOVEMBER is NOT a fun time to focus on healthy ways.  And there seems to be an incredible amount of guilt surrounding the holiday season.  This just must be the way it has to be.  FALSE.  I believe we CAN have fun being healthy AND enjoy the yumminess of the season at the same time during these special months!

NOVEMBER SOLUTION

We are playing a HEALTHY BINGO CHALLENGE the entire month of November and YOU should join in on the fun!!!

You set your goal:  how many rows can you complete?  Or are you BOSS and want to fill the board??  There will be a drawing and prizes for you champs who do every square!!

For the price of 2 Pumpkin Spice Lattes ↓

  • 1 month membership to the 840WEST private coaching group
  • November Bingo Game instructions & details
  • Video workouts
  • Fitness Tutorials
  • Access to the 840WEST coaches
  • Motivation and resourses
  • Fun social group who have the same goals

Email me and reserve your spot!!!  Invite your friends —» the more the merrier!!

ashley@ashleybensonfitness.com

NOVbingo

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BIG BALL LEG WORKOUT

NEW WORKOUT has now been added to the coaching group!! This one is a fantastic leg workout you can hit at home or at the gym. Subscribe to the group [$10/mo] and get all my full workouts, access to the coaches and fitness tutorials. We like fun so we’ll be playing FITNESS BINGO In November! Hope you can join!… Details on that coming soon. For info on the Online Coaching Group go to —> 840west.org

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doTERRA OILS IN MY GYM BAG!!!

 

A few week ago I published the GYM BAG ESSENTIALS video on Youtube → see it here!  showing some staple items I love having with me to enhance my workouts.  Now I’ll be going into more detail about some of my favorites!

LET’S SEE HOW ESSENTIAL OILS CAN ADD VALUE TO OUR GYM LIFE…

First favorite gym bag essential:  DEODORANT!!! We should ALWAYS have it in our bag 🙂 hehe. I use to buy a travel size store brand to keep in my bag ‘just in case’, but why ever settle for that? Our DIY deodorant has coconut oil, and that can be scary to travel with so we just add more cocoa butter to thicken it up!!  I really love this product.  The ingredients we used were aluminum-free baking soda, arrowroot (or cornstarch), coconut oil, cocoa butter and desired essential oils.  We used Lavender.  For suggestions on other oils you can use, full recipe and video tutorial —» check this out!   »»BUY NOW««

I’m also never far from my LIP BALM.  I like to have this with me all the time and you absolutely will find it in my GYM BAG!  Ingredients: beeswax, cocoa butter, coconut oil, peppermint and lavender essential oils.  See full recipe and video tutorial here.  »»BUY NOW««

deodorantLIPBALM

Next, you will find me with doTERRA DEEP BLUE RUB to sooth those achey and tired joints and muscles.  This topical cream is formulated with a proprietary blend of natural plant extracts and other powerful ingredients, including Deep Blue essential oil blend of wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, German chamomile, helichrysum, and osmanthus. For more information, click here.

Anyone who knows me knows I would have a good HAND SANITIZER close!  We all know how dirty gyms can be.  Even in a well maintained facility, blood, sweat and tears happen!!!  In most gyms, hand sanitizer is readily available, but we know that these options are not always the best idea – read 5 Hidden Dangers of Hand Sanitizer here.  By removing the ethyl alcohol (active ingredient in most brands) and the triclosan and replacing them with powerful antibacterial essential oils, we are able to destroy the yucky germs and protect the important good bacteria that helps build our immune system!  So I love having my DIY Hand Sanitizer close!  A simple mixture of Aloe Vera Juice, Witch Hazel, Vitamin E Oil and doTERRA’s On Guard essential oil blend makes for a safe, powerful and effective germ-killer!  Check out the full recipe and video tutorial here!  »»BUY NOW««

 Ladies, how about a nice BODY SPRAY to use after the workout!! Simply add Distilled Water, Witch Hazel and Oil of choice (my favorite —» Lavender) to a small spray bottle and you’ve got yourself a long-lasting, chemical-free fragrance!

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When we need to grab a quick shower in the locker room after the workout, have these shower essentials packed up and ready to use   ↓  ↓  ↓

  • doTERRA PROTECTING SHAMPOO —» It smells amazing and is GOOD for colored hair (there is no ingredient that strips the color!  Yay!!!)
  • doTERRA SMOOTHING CONDITIONER —» Truly leaves the hair feeling soft and thick
  • DIY BODY WASH —» Castille Soap, Vitamin E Oil, Jojoba Oil, Essential Oil of choice – Citrus Bliss is amazing and Vegetable Glycerin. We add all of this to a container with a foam pump. »»BUY NOW««
  • doTERRA HAND AND BODY LOTION —» This is a fragrance-free lotion that you can add in your own favorite essential oils.  Our top pick at the moment is Lavender for healing the skin in the sunny summer months.

SHAMPOO

 

The point of the “gym life” is to make it a lifestyle, right?

Well, what is the lifestyle we are creating?? For us, a cleaner, healthier life ♥

I partnered with Suzanna Underwood and my daughter’s online boutique ♥Of Eden♥ to create the Youtube video tutorials to share the method in which we create our products.  Click the links below, check out our videos and share with your friends ♥

HAND SANITIZER

DEODERANT

LIP BALM

STAY HEALTHY AND FIT MY FRIENDS! 

 

SMOOTHIE SHOPPING LIST

Smoothies are an easy way to add a lot of nutrition into your day.  I like to keep foods from this list in my kitchen and make it easy to pull out and toss in the blender.  Kids love to make their own, so encourage them to be creative and have fun with it!

BEING HEALTHY AS A FAMILY

[repost from Feb 2013]

When our kids are young, we teach them to eat, walk and to not touch to the stove. As they grow, we educate them about animals and the sounds they make, we show them how to dress themselves and warn them to not run out into the street. We pass along these skills to protect them and to empower our children to succeed in the world. We should also teach family fitness and health habits.

I want to talk about another area we, as parents, are responsible for: the HEALTH and FITNESS of our kiddos.

We need to be teaching our kids how to take care of their bodies early on. They need to know the real reason we eat food (so our body can grow and repair)! It’s ironic to me that we make sure they take good care of their teeth because, “These grown up teeth are the only ones you will get!” Welllllll… what about our body?

Let’s talk, for a second, about my iPhone.

  • I love it! It’s super useful to me in my work, for my family, and in my social life. It is personal to me.
  • I am the only one who has this screen saver! I change it out depending on my mood or the season.

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  • I have all the apps I need and have them organized the way I want them… until my 7 year old gets hold of it!
  • It lets me know when I need to update it. I seem to be improving it all the time. I don’t think I will ever stop improving and updating it.
  • It tells me when it’s low on “energy” and needs more fuel, so then I recharge it.
  • I know it so well. I am aware when something isn’t quite right. Do I really need to get it repaired by an expert? Or do I have the power to fix this myself. If this is the case, it usually requires some research.
  • My phone is personal to me and I try to use it to its full potential!

Now, if only we held our own body with the same regard that we hold our phones!

Now I want to talk about my body:

  • I am thankful for my body! It is super useful to me. I use it for my work, my family and my social life.
  • I am the only me in this world! No one else walks around in this body but me. I get the choice of how I dress my body and it reflects me!
  • I have everything I need to function: a respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous, and musculoskeletal system. I want to keep all of my “apps” updated so they function properly and I get the most out of them.
  • If I listen, my body will tell me when I need to update it. I may be deficient in something, dehydrated or stressed.
  • My body tells me when I’m low on energy: I need to know how to recharge.
  • Sometimes I get a fever or sore throat. I might need a doctor to take a look and medicine to get me past it, but I just might be able to take care of this on my own with the right care.
  • My body is special and I want to utilize it to its full potential!

Ok, now back to our kids. We can encourage this mentality in them early, it’s possible! Parents, let’s start seeing ourselves as health teachers and paying the same attention to our bodies as we do to our iPhones. This may mean that you have to gain some knowledge for yourself first. The good news is there is health and fitness information everywhere! Yes, it seems to contradict itself, but use common sense and do the best you can! Invite your kids in on the journey and learn together. After all, the home can be the most effective hands on class room!

You might be saying, “Well that’s easy for you to say, you’re a trainer!” Yes my kids live with a personal trainer and are exposed to the health and fitness world daily, but it’s me, “Mom”, who teaches them to care for their body because I love them so much and want the best for them! We are all learners, and I love inviting them in on the process.

Here are a few examples of how my family pursues a healthy lifestyle together…

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Subject: Iver, age 7 currently, began teaching at age 4

Goal: For Iver to not only eat the healthy food I give him, but to welcome it!

Method: Teach anatomy to my 4-year-old boy, on his level.

Strategy: Early on I started teaching Iver about his immune system. I explained that his immune system isa system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. I wanted him to understand white blood cells.

Although my kids are super smart, I simplified this information a bit: “Did you know that you have an army that lives inside your body? Your army is made up of thousands of soldiers! These soldiers protect you from bad guys that sneak into your body and make you sick! Did you know that every time you get sick it’s because a bad guy has attacked? When they come and invade, your soldiers go into battle! Now we need to make sure they have all the best weapons to fight with. Every time you eat this healthy food, you are making your soldiers strong and giving them the best weapons to fight with!” I tap into his imagination and we continue talking about little people running around inside his body! My son is 7 now, and I get NO resistance when it comes to feeding his soldiers.

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Subject: My whole family. My husband, Taylor age 11, Iver age 7, and myself.

Goal: For us to add more vegetables into our day… without a fight

Method: Tap into our competitive side.

Strategy: A few weeks ago I started a contest: Whoever eats the most servings of vegetables in a week gets to eat a donut or cupcake in front of the others. Honestly, I can’t believe how successful this is! I keep a chart in the kitchen and we make tally marks to keep up with our points. It has been one of my favorite joys to watch my 7-year-old boy open the fridge at 7:00 pm and say, “Are there any other veggies I can eat tonight?” or my 11-year-old daughter pack her lunch for school adding veggies without any input from me!

When I cook a meal, I tell them how many veggie points they will get if they finish their plate. It’s just fun to watch my son finish his food, and the amount of snacking has decreased since we began this. He LOVES having the power to make a difference!

Well, I won the first week, but I was so proud of how my kids kept up with me! I took myself out of the race week 2 (I can’t win 2 weeks in a row). Week 2, my kids tied with 24 points each! I’m really proud of them and we will continue getting points for the veggies we eat! It’s fun and bonding to cheer each other on and celebrate victories with one another.

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They have learned that health is a choice.

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Subject: Me and my kids

Goal: To spend quality time with my kids and grab a workout at the same time.

Method: Play games that will challenge us physically using SandBells. The SandBells provide a fun, safe resistance for our workout.

Strategy: I came up with a few games that would give us varying levels of complexity and skill. For my 7-year-old, Iver, I kept the movements simple like throwing and catching. This worked his hand/eye coordination and kept him entertained. I set up Taylor (age 11) with more complex moves, like tricep presses, jump squats and lateral rotation that would challenge her coordination, but also build her strength and endurance.

In creating these games, I made sure that my position would provide a great workout for myself as well. My workout consisted of sit-ups, push-ups, squat jumps, chest presses, overhead tricep extensions, and core work, all with the SandBells!

At the end of our playtime, I realized I did a lot more repetitions playing with the kids than I would have done if I were just getting in a workout. We had a blast together. The kids are asking when we are getting out to play again… I better start creating more games!

7-Day Brown Rice Cleanse

In my house, we make food choices that will strengthen our bodies and we keep our portions in control (more on that soon!)  You better believe, though, when I get invited to a wedding, I enjoy delicious slice of wedding cake (is there anything better???)  And when it’s girls night, I eat my pizza and enjoy a yummy drink.  And when it’s Christmas time, I celebrate with my kids homemade decorated sugar cookies, salted caramel mocha’s from Starbucks(however I only get 2 pumps of syrup… that’s plenty!), and my favorite chocolate covered cherries that my Granda gives every year as long as I can remember.  There are so many memories tied up in those little chocolate candies and the child within me awakens every time I unwrap my box.
image… and these cherries were homemade by Kerry from buddingbaketress

So I’d be missing a sweet part of life if I rejected these treats.  Now, I say all that to say I’m feeling a bit sluggish from all the memories I’ve partaken in over the month of December. Blaaaa.

It’s time to clean house and rid myself of the toxin that have built up in my intestines. Fancy. 
Cleansing is controversial and can be dangerous.  For me, I found the 7-day brown rice cleanse to be very good.  I’ve done it a few times fully and a number of times I’ve gone on it for 4-5 days.  

WHY I’M DOING IT:
1.  To Boost my immune system – don’t have time to get sick
2.  To Clear the fog and cobwebs from my brain and get better brain focus  
3.  To Press the reset button on what my body is craving.  Then making good food choices is much easier.  

So here are the details of the 7-DAY BROWN RICE CLEANS.  My hubby will be joining me this time 🙂  and my kids will do a modified version.  They will drink one glass of veggie juice a day a long with a serving of brown rice and steamed veggies.  I don’t care if they like it… it’s only a few days and we have to break the habit of eating candy and treats everyday!

7-DAY BROWN RICE CLEANS 
THE NIGHT BEFORE… eat a green leafy salad to sweep your bowels
DAY 1

First thing in the morning, drink 2 fresh squeezed lemons, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 8 oz of pure water.  
Breakfast green energy drink: juice 6 carrots, 1 beet, 8 spinach leaves, 1/4 cup fresh parsley
Mid-Morning drink a cup of cleansing & purifying tea or burdock tea
Lunch have a veggie juice like Super V-7: 2 carrots, 2 tomatoes, handful of spinach leaves and parsley, 2 celery ribs, 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 green bell pepper, add 1 Tbsp of green super food
Mid-Afternoon glass of carrot juice
Dinner cooked brown rice and steamed vegetables, sprinkled with sea veggies, add 1 Tbsp of flax or olive oil and 1 Tbsp of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Before bed cup of herbal tea like peppermint, spearmint, or chamomile 

THE NEXT 6 DAYS 

have 2-3 glasses of mixed veggie juice throughout the day.  Don’t eat any solid foods during the day.  Have brown rice and steamed veggies as an early dinner.  

IF YOU DO THIS CLEANS

Drink water and herbal tea throughout the day.  Have V-8 on hand if you aren’t able to juice yourself.  You can also have miso soup.  Use filtered water and organic whenever possible.  You will need a juicer as well.  If you need caffein, drink green tea but no coffee.            Here’s a shopping list – hope it helps.
Resources
If you are out and need to grab a veggie juice, find a place like my local JUICE BAR or YOUR BURGER.  Ask them to leave out any fruit… just for the 7 days!  
 
I bought my “weird foods” and some regular food from swansonvitamins.com 
Here are their prices so you can compare.
flax oil  $7.79
organic brown rice  $3.85
100% pure organic maple syrup (16 oz)  $11.29
Maine Coast dulse flakes (sea veggies) $8.72
Wellements Daily Detox tea  $5.99
(gentle enough to take everyday)
organic spearmint tea $3.49
spearmint/peppermint medley tea 2.79
organic raw superfood $19.99
and you will receive a $5 coupon if you are a new Swansons customer!
 
I know some of these items are expensive, but remember
1.  This is all your food for 7 days.  NO EATING OUT!
2.  The stuff like superfoods and sea veggies last a lot longer than this 7 day period!
3.  You are getting SUPER NUTRIENTS with these items!