FITNESS RETREAT 2014

MEET MY PARTNER IN CRIME FOR 
HEALTH & FITNESS VACATIONS
LAURA LEA OF LLBALANCED.COM
 
SHE IS AN AWESOME HOLISTIC CHEF FROM NASHVILLE.  
SHE IS CERTIFIED AS A NATURAL FOODS AND HEALTH SUPPORTIVE CHEF AND CONSULTS AND LEADS WORKSHOPS AROUND TOWN TO TEACH AND ENCOURAGE US TO LIVE INTENTIONALLY.  READ MORE ABOUT HER SERVICES AND CLASSES HERE.

I ATTENDED ONE OF LAURA LEA’S FOOD WORKSHOPS IN BRENTWOOD- IT WAS GREAT!  SHE TALKED ABOUT FITNESS FOODS AND HAD SOME OF THE YUMMIEST SAMPLES FOR US TO TRY.  AFTER SPENDING A FEW MINUTES TOGETHER, WE QUICKLY REALIZED WE HAVE THE SAME VISION AND GOALS FOR OUR CLIENTS. WE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT SETTING YOU UP WITH TOOLS TO SUCCEED IN ACHIEVING YOUR FULL POTENTIAL.  WE LIKE PEOPLE AND WANT TO SEE A HEALTHIER AMERICA.  

FAST FORWARD TO NOW AND WE LEAD HEALTH & FITNESS RETREATS!   

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BOOK A TRIP, EMAIL
ashley@ashleybensonfitness.com

I KNOW, RIGHT???
SO HERE ARE A FEW DETAILS ABOUT THIS LIFE-CHANGING WEEK:
 
FITNESS:  WE WILL HAVE APPROXIMATELY 9 WORKOUTS.  I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING:  “WHAT KIND OF VACATION IS THAT!?!?!”  WELL LET ME TELL YOU- EVERY WORKOUT WILL NOT BE A KILLER.  YOU WILL LEARN TO WORKOUT SMARTER AND YOU WILL LEAVE ENJOYING EXERCISE IF YOU DON’T ALREADY.   SOME OF THE WORKOUTS WILL AIM AT BUILDING STRENGTH, SOME WILL PUSH ENDURANCE AND COORDINATION, AND MANY WILL PROMOTE HEALING AND RECOVERY.  YOU WILL LEARN A LOT AND BE ABLE TO APPLY IT TO YOUR ROUTINE WHEN YOU RETURN HOME.  
 

I AM VERY EXCITED TO INTRODUCE THE GROUP TO THE NEW TYE4® FROM TheMethod Pilates – WEARABLE RESISTANCE!!!  WE WILL USE IT IN OUR FITNESS SESSIONS… AND YOU WILL BE TAKING IT HOME!!!

IN THE KITCHEN:  LAURA LEA WILL BE COACHING US.  SHE WILL ANSWER QUESTIONS LIKE, “SHOULD I EAT BEFORE I EXERCISE?”  AND “WHAT AND WHEN SHOULD I EAT AFTER I WORKOUT? ”  SHE WILL ALSO BE TEACHING US PRACTICAL MEALS WE CAN MAKE DURING A NORMAL WEEK TO FUEL OUR ENERGY AND PRODUCTIVITY.  YES THIS IS A HEALTHY VACATION… AND YES THERE WILL BE REAL DESSERT!  CHECK OUT LAURA LEA’S BLOG TO GET EXCITED ABOUT HER RECIPES. 
 
WE WILL COME HOME FROM THIS TRIP REFRESHED, INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED! 
FOR MORE INFORMATION  
EMAIL

“This was the MOST AWESOME VACATION.  I would encourage anyone debating to sign up! It was like vacations should be:  fun and relaxing and inspiring and you get to come home with new energy and outlook instead of the usual needing a vacation after your vacation!”                                                          Kay Walker – Nov. 2012 trip

Click HERE  to see the NOVEMBER 2012 trip.

FITNESS RETREAT… EARN A FREE TRIP!

To book a Fitness Vacation

Email 
and I will send you all the details.
Check THIS out to see what the St. Augustine trip was like in November.
 
If you get a group of 10
 – including yourself – 
signed up for a trip,
THEN YOUR TRIP WILL BE FREE!!!
The house we will stay in!  
 
 
 The roof top where we will do all sorts of workouts!  
Oh, we will also enjoy the stars at night from up there as well.  Don’t worry, there is plenty of vacation to be had 🙂
   Pilates on the beach.
 You will learn how to feed your body properly with your exercise…
 pre-and post workout nutrition to support your body as it strengthens and repairs.

Jumpstart your health with a week of inspiration,motivation, teaching and fun workouts!

 

SKATEBOARD WORKOUT VIDEO

The skateboards can provide an awesome workout! 
KILLER CORE WORKOUT
LARGE MUSCLE GROUPS
and
STABILIZER MUSCLES
 
will be worked!!!

Filmed and Edited by CHRIS UPTON
  • Warmup and stretch before the skateboard workout
  • begin by modifying the exercises until you are comfortable on the skateboard
  • these exercises require strong and healthy joints and stabilizer muscles

Fitness Vacation Recap 5: Sand Bag Workout & Seashells

I’m finally finishing the Fitness Vacation recap.  I took last week off to rest and enjoy Thanksgiving with my family.  We had a great week- hope you did too!



theWORKOUT
As I planned for this trip, I tried to incorporate as much variety for our workouts as possible.  I absolutely love the resistance training up on the roof top with my gym equipment…


 but what about out on the beach?  
Well I wasn’t about to take my precious dumbbells out to the sand and sea, 
so I had to be creative!  
theSAND BAG
It only took a few minutes to put them together.
Here are some of the exercises we did:

SAND BAG SWINGS

Like the kettlebell, the SAND BAG provides uneven weight distribution:
  1. The muscles have to work together as one unit. 
  2. The stabilizers muscles must do their job in order to control the bag.
  3. The CORE must be engaged in every move. 
All good stuff!  
We could feel it after the workout!
 Now for a JOG ON THE BEACH.
So what’s next…
No question about it:  LUNGES!!!  
Oh, and why not?  
Now we are just having fun.

Thank you, Kay, for taking this picture at the very second I look like I have it all under control!  LOL
theSHELLS
I love shells and always have – I still have my shell box full of beach memories from my childhood!  I’m fascinated with the fact that each shell has a history.  Every single one has its own unique story!  What a miracle!  I also feel a need to know what each one is.  I realize that’s a big undertaking for me, but I found some help from iloveshelling.com 
Being this was my first time to this area, I didn’t know what to expect, but I was really happy with our treasures!  I think we may have found some extra special beach bling on the count of HURRICANE SANDY.
 We found a whole sand dollar EVERY DAY we were there!

 We also found the most beautiful Pin Shells!  I couldn’t stop collecting them.

Ok, I think these are shark teeth or something????  
If you know, PLEEEEASE tell me!
 And what in the world is this???????
 A local on the beach told me this was a dolphin vertebra.  I saw an image online of a shark vertebra that looked like this. 
What do you think?

The rest of my collection…

If you know about any of these shells, PLEASE share! 
 What did I find?  
They are all so unique and beautiful.
theEND
This was the end of this awesome week, 
but THE BEGINNING of a 
NEW outlook. imagination. skill
motivation 
towards a healthy life.

 Thank you 
– KAY – 
for documenting and sharing the wonderful memories made on this trip 🙂
If you have a group interested in coming on a 
Health & Fitness Vacation, 
contact me and WE WILL TALK!


Fitness Vacation Recap 4: THURSDAY

the BEACH
Thursday morning we headed out to the beach… thinking it was warmer than it really was!  
But that didn’t stop us from the workout! HEHEHE… Seriously, my peeps were awesome!

OK, I was really cold!  I forgot my jacket!

the FISHERMAN
So this fisherman put out his line, and within minutes he was reeling something in…

 

It was very exciting to us!  I’m embarrassed to say that I clapped for him once he had the fish in his hand.  He looked over at us and said “Hi” with a head nod.
We then felt that we should go over to him to see the fish he caught.  

The Fisherman was really nice:  He showed us the fish and told us about it.  We learned that he works for a fishing magazine and gets paid to go up and down the Florida Coast fishing… “The Best Job!”  He was in this particular location because of the migrating fish.  We thought that was so cool!

Well, it became cooler a few hours later when we saw – from our balcony -what we think to be schools of fish migrating!  It was really hard to believe what we were seeing.  There were no clouds making shadows and the dark forms changed constantly!  
If anyone has any info on what we were seeing,  PLEASE share!  I would love to know more about this!

Oh and by the way, this is what that exact spot normally looks like- plus some surfers!
 Here is one more picture of this spot, plus me holding a really cool surfboard pretending to know what I am doing with it!  LOL
The dark shadows kept moving south for the next few hours, and then we never saw them again.  

the SNACK
This is me eating delicious Roasted Sweet Corn from MELISSA’S.  They are good as a salad topping, in trail mix and salsas, but we just ate them alone!  They make for a great SWEET TREAT, and we all agreed!
 Kay and Carolyn were eating a HEALTHY SNACK of chicken salad, veggies and hummus.

the MEAL
We had a LOT of wonderful zucchini from MELISSA’S to eat, and this is how we used them:

1) ZUCCHINI CHIPS
slice
toss in COCONUT OIL
add seasoning
sprinkle with parmesan cheese
350 degrees – cook 30 minutes
2) ZUCCHINI LASAGNA
Layer 
spaghetti sauce – diced zucchini – ricatta cheese 
Top with Parmesan Cheese

Here I did 3 layers. 
Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes
 

3) ZUCCHINI PIZZA
We didn’t make this on our trip, but it is a great healthy way to eat zucchini.  
Find the recipe HERE.

Tomorrow I will let you in on our final day, FRIDAY.
SAND BAG WORKOUT
and
BEACH BLING

If you are interested in your own
 HEALTH & FITNESS VACATION
 e-mail me at
and we will talk!

Fitness Vacation Recap 2: MONDAY/TUESDAY

MONDAY & TUESDAY:  Each group I bring to this retreat will be different, and I learned very quickly that this particular group was not a 
“morning person”!  LOL 
For those of you who never saw the sunrise, here it is!   

theWORKOUT

Kay was up early with me, 
so we took advantage of that beautiful time of day.  
I did Kay’s a.m. session downstairs in the basement.  Most mornings we were out on the patio working out, but this particular morning it was a bit chilly so we stayed inside, opened up the doors, and enjoyed the view and ambiance of the ocean.

After the session we headed up-stairs for breakfast.  
Kay was eating a post-workout meal, 
while the others 
– just getting out of bed – 

After breakfast I took the rest of the group out to the 
beach for a morning pilates session.

This is me LOVING teaching pilates!  
THE BEST GYM EVER!!!

forLUNCH
We had the option of mixing a 
Protein Meal-Replacement Smoothie
or
Chicken Salad Lettuce Wrap with Hummus & Avocado
(I think everyone chose this!)

theVACATION
For those of you wondering… YES!  This is a vacation!  
FIRST::  It’s SO awesome to be able to PAUSE all of life’s responsibilities and focus on nothing but 
HEALTHY EATING & EXERCISE!  
Here it becomes enjoyable… Its the perfect environment to focus and learn!  If we can find a way to enjoy these important responsibilities, we will be able to make them a lifestyle! 

SECOND::  From lunch until about 4:00 is all about YOU time.  It was a time to enjoy the beach, 
hang out by the pool, or explore 
HISTORIC ST. AUGUSTINE!  
There is so much to do and see in this unique place. 
 Check this out for more info on St. Augustine.

the SUNSET ROOF-TOP SESSION

Ok, so besides the beach, THIS is my favorite place to workout!  
Just imagine all the FUN we had!  LOL
forDINNER
Grilled Chicken and Fish
 Roasted Potatoes
Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad

We roasted potatoes, onion, and garlic together
and added fresh rosemary from my friend’s garden.  
the EVENING
  • enjoy the stars on the ROOF TOP DECK
  • play Xbox 360 or pingpong
  • watch TV or put on a movie
  • play cards or board games
  • go to the beach for night-time shell hunting  🙂
We were serious SHELL HUNTERS.
We went out about 11:30 pm because it was 
LOW LOW TIDE!  
We were treasure hunting 🙂

Chis is standing in a place that was completely under water during high-tide.  

This guy had a bad night.
Soon after we saw him, I found a few shark teeth! 
OOOOOOOOOOOO
I’ll post pictures of them in a later post when I show off 
ALL of my BEACH BLING I found.

The next post I will let you in on our 
SKATEBOARD workouts 
and 
SKIM-SURFING!  


20 Days Until Florida!

20 Day Countdown!

ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA
I can’t wait to be on the beach!

I will be blogging during the trip- talking about 

the EXERCISE
the HEALTHY EATING
and
the VACATION!

Be sure to check in and see what we are up to.

SAND WORKOUTS

Now that winter is coming to an end this year  🙂 – we need to ditch those winter blues and get outside!  Being creative with your workouts and changing up your location is rewarding both mentally and physically.
Let’s talk about SAND.  
The benefits from working out in the sand are HUGE!!!  
        During a sand workout, your…
 
 
The unstable surface…
  • burns more calories
  • makes exercises more challenging
  • creates less impact on joints
  • works the stabilizer muscles

 

If you aren’t convinced yet, let me put it this way:
Sand training will improve cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, strength, balance, ability, reaction time and coordination!

 

So go find a beach, a lake (with a sandy beach), or a sand volleyball court and get moving!!!
Yup- I get my kids moving with me. 

Taylor’s face!!!  She must be loving the burn!
Exercises to do in the sand:
  • squats
  • lunges
  • plyometric jumps
  • walking
  • jogging
  • pushups
These are just a few ideas!

Caution:  
Because of the unstable surface, the ankles, achilles, and knees are susceptible to injury-
so a good warm-up and stretch is essential!