Workout Wednesday: Cardio Circuit

I did this circuit last week as a finisher after sprints on the treadmill and it kicked my butt! You can do it on it’s own and repeat multiple times- or use it as a warm up or workout finisher. The best part is no equipment is needed so you can do it in your living room or when traveling whenever/wherever!

Cardio Circuit Workout

Happy Hump Day!

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Workout Wednesday: Don’t Punish Yourself!

All too often I see people in the gym chugging away on their cardio equipment looking MISERABLE. Not to say cardio is bad (I do it regularly, and I also don’t love it), but my point is, working out doesn’t have to be a horrible chore. You shouldn’t workout because you hate your body, or you think you ate too much. It’s not a punishment that has to be endured 3 or 4 or 5 times per week.

Motivation

 

Workout Wednesday

There are SOOO many options…

  • classes: spin, yoga, pilates, barre, zumba, TRX, bootcamp, BodyPump…..
  • videos: bootcamp, pilates, yoga, circuits
  • traditional weightlifting/bodybuilding, powerlifting
  • crossfit
  • running (indoor, outdoor, distance, sprints, HIIT)
  • cycling
  • skiing/snowboarding
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • hiking
  • walking, jogging, jump-roping…

Ok my point is there are a lot of options. Exercising should be part of a healthy lifestyle- something that enhances your life, gives you a little endorphin rush, and heck- maybe something FUN. I realize that not everyone enjoys working out, but it’s so much more easy to incorporate into your life if it’s something you don’t hate….Just some food for thought on this Wednesday.

I never would have imagined I’d fall in love with weight lifting, but I am sure glad I tried it. You never know until you try. 😉

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Motivation Monday: keeping up healthy habits during the holidays

Happy Monday!  A brand new week, and another week closer to Christmas. Tis the season for parties and tasty treats. While I’m all for enjoying your favorites desserts and enjoying time off relaxing with family, I think we can agree that the feeling of over indulging is less than delightful. Here are a couple tips for staying on track (so you don’t feel the need for an “overhaul” come January 1)

holiday health

  • Keep up with your workouts. Put those extra calories to work and gain some strength! I have surprisingly good strength training workouts after eating a big meal. (although it shouldn’t be surprising, because your body wants that fuel!)
  • Water water water- all those yummy holiday drinks are filled with calories! Drink your fave every now and then, but don’t fill up on a days worth of calories on liquid alone (this includes Starbucks drinks, sodas, and fancy cocktails).
  • Family fun! Try and plan family activities that don’t just revolve around big meals. Skiing & sledding are great if you’re in a snowy climate. If not, family walks, jogs, beach time, or if you’re feeling ambitious, a family 5k or 10k. My personal favorite is walking the mall 😉
  • Trial gym pass. I plan on trying this out during my vacation this Christmas. Most big gyms will do a free week pass (24 hour fitness for sure). Since I’ll be gone for 2 weeks, I’d like to get a least a couple workouts in. This is a great way to get gym access. If you’re in a hotel try hitting the pool or the treadmill for a quick workout. [Of course family time is valuable, so if it’s a short trip- don’t sweat it! Enjoy your vacay]

Check out my post from last year about navigating the food table at holiday parties.

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Workout Wednesday: Cardio Pyramid

Happy Workout Wednesday! I definitely go through love/hate phases with cardio, but something I like to incorporate is incline walking. It’s kind of a pain in the ass (literally), but it burns so good. The pyramid workout isn’t a true HIIT (high intensity interval training), but it keeps the heart pumping for sure. Feel free to rest a minute or 2 between the pyramids though, or modify if you’re used to running at a faster pace. 😉    Enjoy! Treadmill Workout

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My Gym Bag Essentials: baby it’s cold…

Cold weather has officially hit SLC, and man it’s chilly out there! Especially in the mornings. I’ve had to revamp my workout gear, because a little jacket isn’t enough to run through the gym parking lot without freezing my tush off. I haven’t done a gym bag post in a while, so I thought I’d share what I’m loving.

Winter Essentials

Half-zip: Layers are key. I’ll usually layer a light jacket like this under my gigantic Lands End Parka….

Favorite sports bra: I LOVE this gap sports bra. I definitely plan on picking up some more come Black Friday 😉

Favorite head phones: I have the Beats Solos and I love them. They honestly get me super pumped when I’m working out. I actually got these for my hubby for Christmas last year, but they were too small for his ears so they are mine now 😉 So FYI- if you’re shopping for a man, they might need the bigger ones. [another Black Friday note, per Target’s BF preview, they’ll have these for $99 I believe]

Leggings: I got these lined leggings on a whim at Costco for $16.99 and I am in LOVE. So freaking warm. I usually wear these full length fleece lined leggings into the gym, then change into my normal lulus or gap or whatever leggings. Keeps my legs warm, but I don’t want them dripping in sweat while I workout. Then I can change back if I need to after. Proof that leggings less that $100 can be awesome! (I’m looking at you Lululemon) But For some reason I still want these damn wunder unders….

Uggs: yes, you read that right. I wear uggs into the gym and change when I get there. 20 degrees is no joke.

Gym Bag: I’m still using the one from this post, but I reealllly want this lulu bag. 😉

facial wipes– these Costco ones are my new fave.

What are your gym bag must-haves? Anything you can’t live without?
Happy Hump Day!!

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Motivation Monday: A new program

Happy Monday! Sometimes all it takes to get excited is something new.

Socrates

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A change of scenery and new workout clothes always work for me 😉 But today I’m starting a new workout program by Krissy Mae Cagney aka @kmaecags. I’m starting PowerShred which is a 6 week, 6 day/wk program. I figured this would probably be the last 6 consecutive weeks before the end of the year without any travel for holidays, etc. I’m so pumped! Have a great week!

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Fitness Resources: Workouts and Flexible Dieting

I thought I would share a few of my favorite (and what I think are reputable) sources for fitness info. I have linked to blogs before, but I really wanted to focus on good quality, well-researched information to either start working out, new workout programs, and info about flexible dieting aka IIFYM [which I have found very beneficial to my overall well-being].Since I was compiling my own list of resources, I figured others may be interested as well.

fitness&flexible dieting

 

  •  Girls Gone Strong: A motivational and very helpful website with alllll kinds of info about health topics pertaining specifically to women. Lots of good workout how-tos.
  •  Precision Nutrition: Very well-known and well-respected company with a wealth of knowledge on their site. The authors are all very well educated. I’m SO excited to start my Nutrition Coaching certification through them next week!
  • Bodybuilding.com: The classic go-to for fitness info. It can be intimidating since there is SO much, but the workout programs are great. There is info for people at all fitness levels. Check out this article on female strength training for beginners.
  • BioLayne: I couldn’t mention Flexible Dieting without mentioning Dr. Layne Nortion. He’s a PhD in Nutritional Sciences so he really knows his stuff. He has a great youtube channel as well where he busts a lot of myths and misconceptions about nutrition and fitness.
  • Kyle Hunt Fitness: he has a great ebook on flexible dieting, and his blog has great info about reverse dieting, nutrition misnomers, etc.
  • Krissy Mae Cagney: aka kmaecags on social media…She also has a great ebook on FD (and ebook weight lifting programs as well) The flexible dieting book teaches you how to calculate macros for yourself based on your goals, which is essential!
  • Healthy Living Heavy Lifting: From the title of the site, this obviously has fitness info too, but I really love the perspective on nutrition.

Do you have any go-to sites for health and fitness? Happy Thursday!

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Motivation Monday: Benefits of Strength Training Part 2

Happy Monday! Last week I shared some of the health benefits of strength training, but I wanted to share why I personally lift weights and the benefits I have seen for myself. This isn’t an extensive list ,but just a few reasons I continue to hit the gym every week….

reasons for lifting

  • Physical strength brings me a feeling of inner strength. I know I am mentally strong and I can do hard things. I can also use my mind to push myself further.
  • Anti-Anxiety. I saw these benefits from cardio, but it’s even better with lifting. Because I have to stay focused on form, reps, sets, etc., it puts my mind at ease simply because I’m not thinking about anything other than my workout. And then of course there is the endorphin high 🙂
  • Self Love. In the past I was so critical of my body (and still can be, but getting so much better) I now see myself as strong, and am no longer with trying to get smaller, smaller, smaller….which is not  a good mindset to have.
  • Self-discipline breeds self-discipline…the more focused I am in scheduling and completing my workouts, the more I want to take care of myself– make sure I’m eating well, schedule my check-ups at the doctor, get enough sleep, etc. etc. It’s a snowball effect.
  • I’ve learned to love exercise. I enjoy being active, which in the past I never would have expected from myself.
  • A common hobby with my husband- It’s nice to be able to text him when I hit a PR at the gym. He gets it and supports me.

So obviously there are alllll kinds of reasons to workout…tell me what keeps you going back for more…

Have a great week!

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Benefits of Strength Training

[this was supposed to go up yesterday for W.O.W…but that didn’t happen…so Happy Thursday!]

I started incorporating strength training into my workout routine about 2 years ago, and switched to almost exclusively strength training about a year ago. I’ve seen a lot of changes, and I am still learning a lot. What I have learned -interestingly enough- is the long term health benefits  are HUGE.

strength-train

 

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  • As you get older your body naturally begins to lose muscle mass. By building a foundation of muscle when you’re younger- you will maintain more muscle mass over time, which means more strength as you get older.
  • Higher metabolism- the more muscle mass on your body, the more calories your body will burn with out doing A THING! [Muscle cells naturally use more energy to keep functioning than fat cells]
  • Stronger muscles= easier to do daily tasks (lift babies, carry in groceries, etc)
  • Muscle is more dense than fat (takes up less space). Therefore, with more muscle- at the same weight- you look smaller. [although it is a misnomer that muscle weighs less than fat. 1 lb = 1 lb]
  • Corollary evidence says more muscle = better bone/skeletal strength (Mayo Clinic Study)
  • The best way to get that tight and “toned” look! Doing only cardio leads to a “skinny-fat” body composition. By adding in strength training (weights or body weight) you can still shed fat, while also building muscle, which leads to that tight look.
  • Bonus: endless cardio is not fun! More variety = less boredom

While the physical/asthetic benefits keep me working out, I really love knowing that my hard work now is leading to a longer, healthier life (and more importantly- a good quality of life, free of chronic disease).

Now tell me…why do YOU work out?! What keeps you  going back for more?

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