Category Archives: Physical

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 5!)

So excited to report that I completed this 5-week challenge!!!

Before embarking on this journey, I was feeling a little bit in a workout rut. I was doing my nightly exercise but they were nothing to write home about…or frankly, get excited about. I’m happy to say switching it up and trying out lots of different videos, styles, instructors, and channels was exactly what I needed.

If you’re feeling similarly, why not give it a try! You now have 35 workouts queued up and ready to go. OR you could create your own playlist with the videos that suit you best.

Tuesday:

A little back hygiene in the first few days of ANY work week is always a good thing for me.

Wednesday:

That kneel to squat with knee drive!? A doozy!

Thursday:

Ok, I will be returning to this channel. Usually overly motivational instructors annoy me but I was really feeling this guy.

Friday:

A quick but effective booty and thigh barre routine.

Saturday:

Couldn’t help myself with this one. So dorky but so fun. And if you REALLY commit you can feel like you’re in a scene from Mamma Mia!

Sunday:

And one more dance power walk for good measure. LOL!

Monday:

And to round things out, some Yin Yoga! My favorite way to really get in there with the stretches!

And that’s a wrap!

I’ll start slowly adding videos to a new playlist for a future challenge, but for now I’ve settled on a workout schedule going forward that looks a little something like this —
Monday – Yoga, Tuesday – any video from my playlist, Wednesday – Fitness Blender, Thursday – Yoga, Friday – a sweat set on Fitness Marshall, Saturday – Yoga, and Sunday – Walk + FemFusion

Do you have a favorite workout channel on YouTube?

Advertisements

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 4!)

workout wk4

What’s that you say? You’re ready for another week of at-home workouts courtesy of the interwebs? Well, I’ve got just the thing for you!

It is STILL super hot where I’m at, and I’m trying not to get down on myself so much for not getting outside much. It is just. so. stifling. (and humid and bright and BUGGY!) It’s weird that I used to think of these types of workouts as being a good resource to bust out in the dead of winter. But now that I’ve clocked quite a few years in the southern reaches of the U.S., I can say they are, without a doubt, my SUMMER WORKOUTS. Especially for the dog days we’re in right now.

Tuesday:

You may or may not know this about me, but Keaira LaShae is my workout QUEEN. I’ve discussed my favorite of her workouts HERE.

Wednesday:

Ok, indulge me for a moment. THIS is why I love YouTube so much. This is a great workout…and it was just hanging out on YouTube on this channel for Hennepin Healthcare. A channel with 4k subscribers and 9 workout videos randomly posted 3 years ago for some sort of weight loss program they were doing. No idea how I stumbled upon it but so glad I did! There are literally all sorts of gems like this just waiting to be found!!!

Thursday:

This is the third in a nice little trio of tough workouts this week…

Friday:

And this is the much needed relief! Also a nice way to end the week after a somewhat stressful work week.

Saturday:

Wow, amazing how easy this feels after the beginning of the week. Again, this instructor’s videos are so low-key…this time I realized it might be the houseplants?

Sunday:

Have I mentioned how much I hate bouncy cardio? And there’s been a lot more of it this week than I care for. But HALLELUJAH we have powered through!

Monday:

And one more appearance from our queen! Truly amazing how worked my abs felt after this and I GOT TO STAND THE WHOLE TIME (not a crunch in sight!).

Oh my goodness, I only have one more week to go!

P.S. Week 1 and Week 2 and Week 3 – in case ya wanna start from the beginning and catch up!

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 3!)

workout wk2 (1)

Hi guys! Another week of working out at home has come and gone. I gotta say, I’m really glad I had all these workouts in the pipeline. Totally eliminates any need to think once workout time rolls around. (Have I mentioned how much I hate making decisions?) I am a compulsive list maker (and list FOLLOWER — I derive great satisfaction from doing things in order) and a lot of that comes from my need to batch make decisions.

Even if these specific workouts aren’t your jam, I really recommend giving THAT part of this process a try. Spend some time mapping out a workout plan for the month (or whatever time-frame suits ya best). I think you’ll be surprised how freeing it feels in the day to day when that one itty-bitty decision is already done and dusted.

Ok — *steps off decision fatigue soap box* On to this week’s workouts!!!

Tuesday:

I knocked this out on an evening my husband was out of town and it was the perfect way to kick off a chill evening at home while solo. #SelfCare

Wednesday:

Yep, you guessed it! More “no jumping” HIIT workouts. Can you guess one of my fave workout search terms?

Thursday:

Another Yoga With Adriene video this week because I love her. This sequence, especially, is a favorite because I sit a lot throughout the week.

Friday:

This workout kicked my ASS in that 35 minutes! I’ll definitely be returning to this channel to try more of Coach Kel’s videos when this challenge is over. 🙂

Saturday:

Was a bit sore after that barre workout so this was perfect. Plus, lazy weekend vibes.

Sunday:

This is a fairly rigorous ab workout, but I love how chill it still feels. IDK if it’s the vibe of the instructor or the way the exercises are arranged or what!

Monday:

Welp, I’m pretty terrible at belly dancing. Still fun though, lol.

And there you have it, ladies and germs! Week 3 is in the books!! Only 2 more weeks left.

P.S. Week 1 and Week 2 – in case ya missed ’em!

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 2!)

workout wk2

I survived another week of my home workout challenge! *thunderous applause*

Now for the full disclosure part… I took three days off. One day I had horrible shoulder pain and spent the day wrapped in a heat wrap. One day I had horrible knee pain and spent the day with an ice pack. And one day I was at a state park and spent the day swimming in a lake.

But here’s the thing, I listened to my body and cooled my jets. And ya know what? My workouts were ready for me to pick back up after each of those days off. So, even though they weren’t done in consecutive days, I’m gonna call this week’s worth of workouts a win!

Wanna know what they were?

Tuesday:

Pulses of death? Challenge accepted.

Wednesday:

Honestly, this is low-key a workout for your eyeballs. And if you work at a computer all day, I can’t recommend it enough.

Thursday:

Sweet little gentle workout. She prefaces at the beginning that she’ll be giving minimal verbal cues so that the music can be enjoyed…but I would have preferred the verbal cues.

Friday:

You’ll learn over the course of this challenge that I’m not a fan of jumping.

Saturday:

I am, in fact, a person who gets bored easily! No repeat exercises in this one.

Sunday:

Hurts so good. Not doing this enough is probably what caused that previously mentioned knee flare up. *face-palm* It’s feeling right as rain now!

Monday:

A simple dumbbell workout gets the job done every time.

That’s it for Week 2! I’ll post again when I’ve made it through Week 3. ‘Til then! xoxo

P.S. 30 Days of Ballet Training and The All You Need is a Clock Workout

5-Week Home Workout Challenge (Week 1!)

Teal and White Minimalist Photo Grid Recipe Pinterest Graphic.png

I love finding workouts on YouTube and I’ve been building a playlist of favorites over the past few months. Once the playlist hit 45 videos, I thought, “LET’S DO THIS!”

Now that I’ve completed Week 1 of this Home Workout Challenge, I thought I’d share here. Just in case anyone wants to give it a go! No gym membership, class pass, or leaving the house necessary. Just you showing up for yourself (oh, and an internet connection)! Feel like accepting the challenge? Do one workout a day, whatever time suits you best. (I’m a 7:30 pm girl, myself.) And start on a Tuesday — Mondays have enough going on as it is!

Tuesday:

Starting off simple with ten minutes and some light hand-weights.

Wednesday:

Admittedly not a huge fan of the terms “fat-frying” or “bikini-body”…but this is a good workout nonetheless. If you can get past the weird interactions between the instructor and her sidekicks.

Thursday:

YouTube workout pro-tip: If there’s an instructor you like, travel back in their archives. This Blogilates throwback is from 2011!

Friday:

My quads were saying HELLOOOO! the morning after this one.

Saturday:

Really just a glorified rest day if you’re already pretty into yoga. But a great excuse to roll out the mat and stretch!

Sunday:

Looks easy. Is, in fact, NOT EASY. You will likely flail around.

Monday:

Before there was YouTube I totally was one of those people who had cardio dance DVDs. You too? Then this workout should feel familiar.

That’s it for Week 1! I’ll post again when I’ve made it through Week 2. ‘Til then! xoxo

P.S. How to ditch your gym membership and arguably the greatest YouTube workout of ALL TIME! 

The “All You Need is a Clock” Workout

the "all you need is a clock" workout

So, I’ve been getting more and more into HIIT and kickboxing workouts…

…I know, I know — WHO AM I?

But, 20 – 30 minute blasts have been fitting the bill for me in a lot of ways. (Especially on Mondays and Fridays. Getting all my aggression out with a sweat sesh is a nice way to bookend the work week, ya know.)I try to incorporate these workouts a few times a week and reserve the rest of my fitness energy for yoga and long walks.

And because you KNOW I like to keep things as simple as poss (and eliminate decision fatigue, hello?!), when I stumbled upon this idea it was too good to pass up.

All you need is a digital clock (HI! there’s one on your cell phone!) and a list of 10 exercises.

So, let’s start with the list. This can include anything from push-ups and crunches…to pistons and burpees (if you’re feeling that CrossFit vibe)…to cross-jabs and front kicks (if you wanna get out aggression a la kickboxing).

Jot down 10 moves from 1 to 0, like this:

1 – Jumping jacks
2 – Squats
3 – Cross, jab
4 – Kettle bell swings
5 – Crunches
6 – Side-to-side leg raises
7 – Overhead presses
8 – Front kicks
9 – Hook, elbow strike
0 – Bicep curls

Next, let’s look at that clock! If the time is 07:45, take the first 3 digits to get the number of reps, and the last number to get the exercise. So in this case you would do 74 crunches. 12:22 is 122 squats, 2:19 is 21 hook, elbow strikes. You get it?

Then, all you have to do is determine how long you want your rest time to be in between moves and how long you want the overall workout to last.

Get some music pumping…and BINGO, BANGO — “All You Need is a Clock” Workout achieved!

What are your favorite ways to exercise? Would you try this workout?

P.S. The “It’s Britney, Bitch” Workout.
P.P.S. Tried this workout and loved it? Consider buying me a coffee!

A 12 Day Workout Challenge (Inspired by Social Media Favorites!!)

–> This is your daily reminder that you don’t have to spend a fortune on fitness to come up with fun and challenging workouts. You just have to know where to look, make plans and show up for yourself! <–

Here's the deal, I'm a set it and forget it kinda girl. (As you'll know if you've been around these parts for a bit…decision fatigue, BE GONE!) So, the first time I found a 30 day yoga challenge on YouTube it was like angels circled up around my yoga mat to sing an Alleluia chorus. For 30 days, I didn't have to think about my workouts. I just unrolled my mat and hit play!

For me, yoga challenges have a lot of appeal. I love batch decision making. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel once I've hit the last day. AND I LOVE THAT THEY'RE FREE! #ballinonabudget I decided it wouldn't be so hard to create them for myself! With all types of workouts!

[BALLET CHALLENGES I’VE DONE — HERE and HERE!] 

And since I just finished one such challenge, I thought I’d share the details here with y’all!

12 day workout inspired by social media favorites

For this challenge, I thought about who had killer fitness #GOALS on my feeds. I settled on Madeleine Shaw and Britney Spears.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Britney Spears’ Instagram is one of the most amazing gifts bestowed upon us. I knew I wanted to include one of her workout posts. I CHOSE THIS ONE.

I’m obsessed with Madeleine Shaw’s cookbooks and her healthy lifestyle videos on YouTube. But she’s also a badass yogi and I’d never done one of her yoga videos. Her voice is the most calming thing on the planet so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. And lucky for me, she had just put out 7 days worth of yoga! 

Creating this challenge was shaping up to be easier than anticipated. A whole 7 days already sorted! But now I needed to convert Britney’s post into a workout:


IT’S BRITNEY, BITCH
~25 Minute Workout~

Equipment:
2 sets of dumbbells (one lighter, one heavier)
and 1 kettlebell (or heaviest dumbbell)

30 Seconds Active, 15 Seconds Rest

Overhead shoulder presses
(w/ lighter dumbbells)

Plank rows

Hold wheel pose
or modify:
bridge pose or camel pose

Warrior III w/ weighted row
left leg extended

Warrior III w/ weighted row
right leg extended

Overhead shoulder presses
(w/ heavier dumbbells)

Kettlebell overhead press
left arm

Kettlebell overhead press
right arm

Hold splits on the left side
or modify:
pigeon pose or half splits

REPEAT 2 MORE TIMES

Cool down stretch!


Now that we’ve got the Britney workout figured out, let’s lay out the 12 day plan!

Day 1 It’s Britney, Bitch
Day 2 Yoga 1
Day 3 It’s Britney, Bitch
Day 4 Yoga 2
Day 5 IBB
Day 6 Yoga 3
Day 7 IBB
Day 8 Yoga 4
Day 9 Yoga 5
Day 10 IBB
Day 11 Yoga 6
Day 12 Yoga 7

Congratulations! You made it!


This workout challenge was awesome! A daily commitment of 25 minutes that, combined with nice long walks, felt like the perfect dose of fitness. Each workout made me feel strong, energized, and flush with endorphins. The “lower weight-more reps” approach in the IBB workouts made for a fast-paced session that I paired with pump up jams. While Madeleine’s yoga was calming and grounding. A perfect pair!

What do you think? Let me know if you give it a try! xoxo
And do you have any ideas for future challenges I could put together. I love a challenge CHALLENGE! And I’d be sure to share it here. ❤

30 Days of Ballet Training

I don’t know if this will be interesting to anyone but, for the sake of accountability, I’m gonna blog about my current fitness challenge! You might know from this post and this one, that a) I love creating my own fitness challenges and b) I love pretending I’m a ballerina.

I love creating my own fitness challenges because I’m a self-proclaimed decisionphobe. Now what does that have to do with working out? Well, I LOVE exercising. The brain break it gives me during and those sweet, sweet endorphins after. But without a clear plan in place…I’ll often just skip exercising entirely. Making the decision about what to do and when to do it leaves me at an impasse. Because I know this about myself, I plan ahead and make all the decisions in one big batch!

I love pretending I’m a ballerina because ballet is something I’ve done since I was itty-bitty. In my experience, finding delight as an adult is often as easy as reflecting on what brought you joy as a child and doing THAT.

So with all that out of the way, let’s chat about my 30 days of ballet training!

The challenge is made up of 5 types of work-outs:

STRETCH – That’s an obvious one. Stretching.
STRENGTH – Less ballet inspired, more building strength in key areas NEEDED for ballet.
TRAIN – Ballet-inspired workout to train a specific body part or aspect of ballet.
CARDIO – Center work without breaks to get the heart-rate up.
BARRE – Also an obvious one. Barre work.

Here’s what the work-outs look like over the 30 days:

Week One

1 – STRETCH: Flexibility
2 – STRENGTH: Legs and Abs
3 – STRETCH & STRENGTH: Back
4 – STRENGTH: Back
5 – STRETCH: Total Body
6 – STRENGTH: Knees
7 – BARRE: Classical Ballet

Week Two

8 – TRAIN: Posture
9 – BARRE: Fitness (in athletic shoes)
10 – TRAIN: Extension
11 – CARDIO: Stamina Work
12 – STRENGTH: Arms
13 – STRETCH: Adagio Inspired
14 – BARRE: Floor

Week Three

15 – STRENGTH: Legs and Bum
16 – TRAIN: Arches
17 – BARRE: Classical and Fitness Combo
18 – TRAIN: Splits
19 – STRENGTH: Arms and Core
20 – TRAIN: Core
21 – BARRE: Fitness (in athletic shoes)

Week Four

22 – STRETCH: Yoga Inspired
23 – STRENGTH: Legs and Abs
24 – TRAIN: Neck and Arms
25 – STRETCH: Active Stretching
26 – TRAIN: Arms
27 – TRAIN: Abs
28 – STRETCH: Active Stretching

Bonus Days

29 – STRENGTH: Back
30 – CARDIO: Classical Center

I’m currently on Day 13 (and yes, my arms are sore from yesterday!) and am loving the training schedule so far. I’m already feeling stronger and more flexible. Shall I report back after Day 30?

If you’re interested in taking on a similar training schedule, I put together this 10-Day Ballet Challenge (using free online work-outs). Let me know if you try it out!

And if you suffer from decision fatigue, I can not recommend making your own fitness challenge enough. It works for all types of exercise and fitness levels! Need help getting started? Shoot me an email! I would LOVE to help you put one together. 🙂

What’s your favorite way to exercise? Have you ever tried a fitness challenge (either one that was already made or something you put together yourself)? 

8 Necessities For Long Hiking Trips

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

No matter how much you love hiking, there’s no denying it demands a lot of your body and mind. Still, I really love hiking. However, I’ve been in some sticky situations over the years. So I thought it might be fun to use these past experiences and share my tips about what to bring along on your future hikes – J.I.C. (just in case!) Take it from me, if you’re planning a long-duration hike, your preparation has to be on point.

You need to carefully examine the supplies you are taking with you to ensure you truly have everything you need for a long hike. If you’re hiking for an entire day — or longer — your supply needs are very different to the supplies you need for a quick jaunt. By preparing ahead of time, you can focus on enjoying yourself, safe in the knowledge your trusty backpack contains everything you could possibly want.

So, what should be in that trusty backpack of yours?

#1 – Medication

If you’re going to be hiking for a day or more, you need to consider your medication needs. If you take prescribed medication, then that needs to find a place in your backpack– use a small pillbox if you don’t want to bring along your entire supply.

You’re also going to need a supply of over-the-counter medicines, especially if your hike will take you awau from civilization. Standard pain medication and antacids are a necessity, as is high-SPF sunblock.

You may also want to consider taking along some water purification tablets. There’s always a risk that you’ll get lost when hiking for a long period of time; in such a scenario, you’re going to need to drink water, and water purification tablets are a light and inexpensive way to make sure you’re drinking clean water.

#2 – Foot supplies

Anyone who has ever been hiking will know that foot sweat (ew!) is a real concern. It’s not a particularly pleasant concern to discuss, but it’s an issue many hikers face, so yep — we’re gonna go there.

You should take along a foot balm, preferably something cooling, to help soothe your feet after a long time walking. You may also want to take an anti-chafing powder, especially if your hiking boots are not the best fit. A spare pair of compression socks is vital, too; you’ll likely need a change of socks for any long-duration hike, so shop today to nab a backup pair. I’m a very recent adopter of the compression sock life and I can tell you from experience, they are a GAME.CHANGER.

Finally, it’s always helpful to take blister treatments along with you on a hike. I’ve been super susceptible to blisters my whole life so this is always front of my mind. While compression socks and good hiking boots can lessen the chances of blisters, they are still possible, and nothing will make you feel miserable faster than experiencing a jolt of pain with every step. Blister Band-Aids and medical tape are an essential in my hiking bag. 

#3 – A flashlight

Even if you’re hiking in the height of summer and plan to be back well before dark, a flashlight in your bag won’t hurt. If something goes wrong, a flashlight will make all the difference, allowing you to keep moving through the night rather than being stuck sitting while you wait for dawn.

The best choice for a hiking flashlight is a wind-up one. These might be somewhat irritating to use but they are safer than batteries, which can run out. If you’re thinking you could just take spare batteries along in your rucksack, a) um, heavy, and b) batteries can cause fires when stored together at close quarters. It’s far safer to opt for a wind-up version, and spend a little time winding it up with a decent charge prior to departure.

#4 – A knife or multi-tool

A small knife or a multi-tool, like a Swiss Army Knife, is an essential component of your long hike planning. You can use this for cutting food you have bought, preparing firewood, and a variety of other tasks you may need to perform in an emergency situation. Knives are light and can be slipped into a spare pocket of your rucksack, so there’s no reason not to take them.

#5 – A compass

Even if you tend to hike with apps and GPS rather than maps, a compass is another essential emergency item you’re not going to want to be without. Take the time to learn how to use the compass, then tuck it away in a pocket of your rucksack. Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but if a situation does arise, you’ll be glad you’ve got it on hand.

#6 – A waterproof map

A compass alone can be beneficial when you’re out on a trail for a long period, but to really make the most of it, you’re going to need a map to work with it. Ideally, you want your map to be waterproof– you can either buy a pre-waterproofed map of the area you’re visiting, or laminate a standard map for yourself.

It’s wise to take a map for a wider area than you’re planning to hike. If you get lost, you could get off course, so you might wander into wider areas. A map that shows both the area you’re intending to hike to and an extra ten miles in each direction is ideal.

#7 – Protein food

It’s unlikely you’d set off on a hike without food, but it’s important to find protein-rich food to help sustain energy during a hike. While I always crave salty chips, high-protein food can keep delivering the nutrients you need and help to satiate hunger. There are plenty of super packable protein bars on the market, or you could opt for something homemade by following these protein snack recipes.

#8 – A quickly-assembled tent

Even if you’re not planning on camping, you might want to take a tent along with you. As most of this list has made clear, hiking is unpredictable, and much of your backpack needs to be dedicated to supplies that can keep you safe and comfortable if something goes wrong. A simple, quickly-assembled tent is the best way to ensure your safety and prepare you for any eventuality. Ya know, J.I.C. 

Do you enjoy hiking? What are YOUR must-pack necessities? I’d love to hear! xoxo

P.S. Prefer to read about hiking? I have a 4 part book club series exploring Wild by Cheryl Strayed!

(em)POWER(ment) WALKING

My current fitness line-up involves a healthy mix of yoga, body-weight strength and flexibility training, ballet, and pilates. But my favorite way to get in a little movement has, and will always be, a good ol’ fashioned walk.

Lately, I’ve been thinking of my walks as EMPOWERMENT sessions. Here’s how:

For about the first two-thirds of my outing I listen to a podcast that gets me fired up. It could be about politics, business, or holistic health. (Call Your Girlfriend is one of my faves and I totally recommend it as an empowering walking companion!) Then, for the last third, I pump up the jams and my pace and just STRUT. IT. OUT. Think: Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Fergie feat. Nicki Minaj. (Go wild, do you, etc.)

What streams through your earbuds when you go for a walk (or jog)? Do you like to get in a little learning with a podcast or do you prefer carefully curated playlists? Leave some recommendations of favorites below!! 

P.S. How to ditch your gym membership and how to make your own fitness challenge (for totally free).