Shape-Up Shortcuts: Score a Hotter, Healthier Body in Half the Time!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA As a new mom with hardly any free moments to do much of anything for myself, let alone exercise, I was super excited to get a copy of Jen Ator’s new book, “Shape-Up Shortcuts: Score a Hotter, Healthier Body in Half the Time”Jen is the fitness editor at Women’s Health magazine and I’ve always loved her articles and perspective on exercise and fitness. A college athlete, Jen knows what it’s like to work out hard core for long intense hours. As a busy New Yorker, she realized keeping that kind of schedule is not only impossible, but also unnecessary.

Shape-Up Shortcuts is by no means a way to cheat on your workout or healthy eating plan. Jen has designed the book so all of us, no matter how hectic our lives, can still make diet and exercise a part of our life style. Jen and I share the same philosophy when it comes to being healthy and looking and feeling our best, it has to be integrated in to our life. Healthy eating and exercise are second nature for me. I enjoy a home cooked meal and I love to workout. Since having Timothy Grayson, I definitely have my hands full. My workouts have changed to stroller walks and mommy and me push-ups when I have 5 minutes; but I haven’t neglected my body. 

Shape-Up Shortcuts Exercise and healthy eating should be as routine as brushing your teeth. It feels icky to go to bed with food stuck in your molars and bad breath. It also doesn’t feel good to go to bed with a full belly and a stiff, out of shape body. Jen’s book helps everyone find ways to make time to always “brush your teeth” so to speak. The book contains very doable advice that helps people keep slim such as cooking more meals at home and healthy food swaps for snacks and meals. She mentions how important it is to stand up throughout the day and take the stairs when possible. She shows how to overhaul your meals one step at a time. Her recipes are easy and she explains what a healthy kitchen should contain. 

Jen knows nothing happens over night and it takes patience and practice; but it’s all totally feasible without spending tons of time. Many people take an all or nothing approach when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. Jen outlines why any time spent towards becoming healthier is never wasted. I personally love all the different workouts included (over 20) that can be done in 30 minutes or less. I agree with her strength training philosophy (hit the weights!); and also enjoy that there are so many workout routine options from dumbbells to kettle bells to the TRX to a foam roller to just your own body weight. 

shape-up Cardio is still important as well, and Jen explains how interval training can be so effective and why often times less is more. She also reminds us to have a game plan and focus when we are doing any type of exercise. Many of us just need to come back to the basics, get an idea of a healthy portion size, eat fresh, whole foods, cook at home when we can, order wisely when we are out to eat, and move our body on a daily basis. Shape-Up Shortcuts is an amazing manual with a collection full of fitness and diet tips that can really transform your body and your outlook on being successful at staying or getting in to the best shape of your life. 

Jen says, “I’m so excited about the message and philosophy behind the book: In a nutshell, that it’s not about being perfect 100 percent of the time or maintaining a strict diet or exercise routine; but rather doing the little things each day (like finding 20 minutes to exercise efficiently, making healthier choices even at just one meal per day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator) that can help keep you fit and healthy for life.”

I couldn’t agree more! I hope you have a chance to check out her new book. Also, send me ideas on how you maintain your healthy lifestyle and what changes you’ve made for the better that’s helped you stay strong and slim. 

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