Tag Archives: exercise

3 Tips For Cultivating Calm In A Crazy World

*This post may contain affiliate links.

So it’s been a year of coronavirus. This has been one of the hardest things our world has faced in many years, and it isn’t going away just yet – so on a personal level, it is totally understandable if you feel stressed, anxious or downright frustrated. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down, and has at times prevented us from completing the goals we wanted to achieve in 2020 and 2021. It has also stopped us from spending precious time with our loved ones. In short, it sucks, right?

When it comes to staying calm, this past year has pushed that ability to the limit. Even certified “chilled” people have struggled to keep it together. 

In this post, we will take a look at 3 tips for cultivating calm in a crazy world. Let’s get started!

  1. Start practising meditation

Meditation is a practise that most people brush over, assuming it’s something they could never do, or that it wouldn’t work for them. Although meditation does require work and dedication – it won’t be effective without perseverance – it is an ancient practice that has benefited people around the world for thousands of years

Luckily, thanks to the internet, starting to practice meditation has never been easier. You don’t need to sit in a physical class to try it out, you can download apps or watch YouTube videos instead, trying meditation in the comfort of your own home.

  1. Exercise more

Exercise has been clinically proven to reduce anxiety and create balance in a person’s mental wellbeing. Although it might not feel like it when you start out, soon you will find that having exercise as part of your routine is hugely beneficial to your mental health.

Exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals produced by your brain that reduce feelings of stress, as well as pain. If you find yourself cooped up at home, stressing about the pandemic and worrying about the future, try incorporating an exercise regime into your week’s routine. 

You don’t need to look or feel like an athlete for the mental benefits of exercise to have an effect on you! It’s not about outward appearance, but about internal stress relief. 

  1. Use natural anxiety relief supplements

Anxiety relief medications are a good way to relieve anxiety in the short term. You can see your doctor to have them prescribed, if your stress levels are acutely high.

However, natural anxiety relief supplements are a great way to feel calmer on a day to day basis. Products such as CBD are perfect for this; natural and without negative side effects, daily administering of CBD can be life-changing for many.

If you are interested in taking CBD, try 600mg CBD oil to get you started on your anti-anxiety journey. Always check with your doctor before taking anything new, to ensure it won’t react with any current medication you take.

If you are feeling the burn of the pandemic on your mental health, use these tips to help you cultivate calm in this crazy world.

5 Ideas To Improve Your Health In 2021

*This post may contain affiliate links.

As we make our way into 2021 it’s a great time to set some health goals that help us work towards a healthier lifestyle. It’s not always easy to put your health first, what with the distractions and stresses that come with modern life. But to give you some inspiration, consider these five ideas to achieve a healthier lifestyle.

1 . Spend more time outdoors

Looking for a really simple way to improve your health this year? Spend more time outside! The great outdoors can help us to reconnect with nature, raise endorphin levels, relax and destress, plus get more exercise. There are lots of ways to connect with nature, whether you try hiking, freshwater swimming, or foraging workshops.

2. Try a sleep app

Many of us have trouble sleeping, and over time this can start to have a negative impact on health. If you’re looking to improve your sleep this year, why not check out a sleep app, like one of these:

  • Calm: This application provides a range of sleep stories and sleep meditations, to help you drift off, and improve your quality of sleep. You’ll also find background ambiance tracks and mindfulness exercises.
  • Headspace: The Headspace app offers sleep audio guides and meditations to help you deal with stress and anxiety. The app also includes some great content to help users learn about mindfulness.

3. Take herbal supplements

To give your health a boost this year why not try adding a few herbal supplements to your diet? To reduce stress symptoms and improve sleep there are plenty of options like passionflower, chamomile, Ashwagandha, or CBD. To learn more about CBD products, from tinctures to vapes, take a look at bloomfarmscbd.com.

4. Learn new recipes

What better way to boost your health this year than by teaching yourself some brand new recipes. Focus on nutritious foods that prevent oxidative stress, boost your mood, and raise your immune system. Treat yourself to a few new cook books and apps, and experiment with some new dishes. For a few healthy eating apps to get you started try Green Kitchen, Superfoods, or Epicurious.

5. Take up Yoga

Yoga is a fantastic exercise activity that can help to improve your health in many different ways. With a regular yoga practice, you can improve your posture, increase your flexibility, and build up the strength in your muscles. Yoga is also a great activity to improve your mental health; it can help you to relax and practice mindfulness. Yoga can be practiced in many ways, whether it’s in the studio, using an online class, or YouTube video. Whatever way you practice, it’s important to get yourself a good quality yoga mat.


When setting health goals it can help to write them down, and track your progress. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, de-stress, or start a new sport, there are plenty of ways to supercharge your health this year.

Making Fitness More Fun

Many of us think of exercise as a chore. While there may be days when the couch seems more appealing than the gym, it’s hugely beneficial to shift your mindset and embrace an active lifestyle. There are ways to make fitness fun. If you’re looking to get into exercise, or it’s been a while since you did a workout, here are some tips to bear in mind…

Explore different activities

All too often, we associate being physically fit and active with having a gym membership or spending hours jogging around a park every week. Many people enjoy these types of workouts, but there are so many other ways to work up a sweat. If you don’t fancy doing crunches and sit-ups or hitting the treadmill, or you tend to get bored easily, explore different activities. Join a local intramural sports team, go swimming, start playing tennis or golf on a regular basis, sign up for dance classes or get out into the great outdoors and try hiking, mountain biking or kayaking. You could also start getting fit at home. If you don’t feel confident exercising in front of others, or you have a busy schedule, you can invest in home gym equipment or take advantage of virtual personal training sessions and online exercise classes. Varying your workouts and trying new activities can help to increase motivation levels and ensure that exercise is more fun. 

Boost your confidence with new workout clothes

Sometimes the right outfit is just the motivation one needs to make a drab fitness routine into a fab fitness routine! If you’re looking to get back into the swing of going to the gym, you’re preparing for your first Pilates class, or you’ve started going to a running club, it can help boost your confidence to look the part. Activewear is a booming industry and there are some incredible styles and outfits available for all kinds of activities. From curves fitness clothing and reflective ensembles for nighttime bike riding to squat-proof leggings and comfortable outfits for yoga, it’s worth browsing the virtual aisles, getting inspiration from magazines and social media feeds and treating yourself to some pieces that will make you feel empowered and excited for your next workout. 

Get social

Sometimes it’s wonderful to enjoy a little time alone, but often exercise is more fun when you’re with friends, a partner or a group of people. It may not be possible to get involved in mass gatherings at the moment, but you can go for a socially-distanced run or take part in virtual classes or group sessions outdoors. Get friends involved in your mission to be more active and make the most of your free time. If you have hours to kill on the weekend, go for a walk, try fun activities like cycling, rock climbing and swimming with the kids or set up a circuit in the backyard. Being around others can make the time pass faster and it can also spur you on to put in more effort and give you the push your need when energy levels are low. Most of us respond well to healthy competition. 

Do you roll your eyes when people talk about working out? Being active has an array of benefits for physical and mental health, so it’s important to try and embrace exercise. If you can start having fun while you’re working up a sweat, you’ll reap the rewards!

P.S. Try this full week of FREE workouts!

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?

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!

For Your Enjoyment

What are the things you do purely for your own enjoyment? Not the things you are supposed to do, or should, but things you do just because you can?

Here are a few of mine — 

1. Reading fiction

I’m currently reading The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant.

2. Taking walks in my neighborhood

I walk to the library to pick up and return books. I walk whenever I’m on the phone. I walk when I want to listen to podcasts or music or my thoughts.

3. Doing face masks

Do you have a favorite I should check out? Always looking for new ones to try!

4. Photographing my cat

My camera roll is literally 98% pictures of Wink. (Only a fraction end up on Instagram.)

5. Watching YouTube videos

Here are a few channels I’ve written about (and still love!): Latasha James, Kara and Nate, and SuperHolly.

Share yours below! xoxo

P.S. If listening to podcasts is something you do for enjoyment, I’d love if you’d check out mine! RIGHT THIS WAY. 🙂

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. For anyone thinking they need to work through the pain, this won’t always work in your favor! No pain, no gain? Well, when the pain is bad, you can leave the gains for a couple of days! Listening to your body is so important (especially every time you hit a new zero in your age)! Sure, there are meds that can stop aches and pains (check out this list from Shape.com) and plenty of advice out there, but the best medicine is sometimes a good rest! 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!