Tag Archives: exercise

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. ❤

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mid-week round-up

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I hope you all are having a love-filled day! How are you celebrating the holiday? Of course today is the middle of the week so must of us are spending the day working. But do you have anything special planned? Chet and I are having a nice dinner at home and will exchange a few surprises. (Eeee!) But for now, here are some links you may want to peruse…

How much an out gay Olympian could mean to a kid now—or to a 34-year-old who’s been waiting for it his whole life.

Related: Winter Olympics Netflix Marathon

A glimpse at Appalachia’s feminist protest music.

This bedroom wall is so magical!

The easiest crusty bread recipe ever. Yum!

My trusty (and super cheap) mini backpack has about had it. Should I upgrade?

Related: Backpacks make for happy backs. ❤

A new report finds that slavery is mistaught and often sentimentalized—and students are alarmingly misinformed as a result.

Small wonder that films about female friendships have traditionally fared so poorly with critics. Look who’s writing the reviews.

Related: Rules for Female Friendship

More and more Americans experience eviction, and gentrification is partly to blame.

Related: Slum Lords aka The Hell of Renting

A brief history of how women got tricked into shaving.

Should I do 100 squats every day for 30 days?

Related: How to Make Your Own Fitness Challenge

Are Busy Phillip’s IG stories making anyone else want to get a rebounder?

Finally, if you have Le Tote, they are having an AMAZING end of season sale. (And if you don’t have Le Tote, you should sign up. <-use that link and get your first tote on me. Seriously!)

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Weekend Uniforms and The Reading Habits Tag.

(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).

mid-week round-up

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!!! Did you BBQ? Pop fireworks? Sing patriotic songs while you packed for upcoming travel?! *raises hand for that last one* I’m on my way to Kentucky today! I’ll be hanging out with my Mom for the next couple days and I can’t wait. (I have an embarrassingly long list of food you can only get in Lexington that I want to consume during my short visit.) Hope everyone’s day is peachy and here are a few links for your amusement…

Central Americans, scared of what’s happening in the U.S., stay put.

The U.S. already has a high quality, universal childcare program — in the military.

The problem with writing about Florida.

9 fun activities that also happen to be exercise.

Related: Ballin’ on a Budget — Ditch the Gym Membership

Monthly art projects sent to your door!

35 cheap recipes that will help you stick to your budget.

Related: How to Eat on a Shoestring Budget

Um, a 40 of ROSÉ? Yes, please!

Make the bread, buy the butter.

Ghostwriting for social media stars is the secret new Millennial It-career.

Long absent from discussions about employment, the retail workforce is taking matters into their own hands.

How to think about Bill Cosby and The Cosby Show.

Q&A: WTF is gut health? 

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — My Top 4 Healthy Lifestyle Intentions and TV Recommendation: Westworld.

My 10-Day Ballet Challenge

10 day FREE ballet challenge

I’m so excited to share this workout challenge with you guys! As I’ve talked about before on this blog, I’ve LOVED participating in various 30-day yoga challenges over the last couple years. I thought it might be fun to make a challenge of my own (using free online workouts of course) for another type of exercise I quite enjoy — BALLET!

It might sound strange, but those yoga challenges bring me a lot of joy. a) I don’t have to think about what workout  to complete on any given day. Anti-decision fatigue SCORE! b) Committing to something for a specified period of time, even to myself, means I’m way more likely to follow through. c) The results are usually pretty nice. 🙂 d) I love that yummy feeling you get after completing a challenge you set for yourself.

With those 4 joy-inducing items in mind, I added a 10-day ballet challenge to my FIND MORE DELIGHT LIST. And Monday I’m kicking things off! Here’s how things will shake down if you’re interested (or if you feel like tackling a ballet challenge of your own!!! plz dooo!)…

Day One

Adult Ballet Barre by Ballerinas by Night

Day Two

15min BALLET WORKOUT by Sarahs DayArms Exercises With Theraband by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Three

Pre Ballet Class Feet Strengthening Routine  Easy Ballet Barre Workout both by Kathryn Morgan

Day Four

Classical Ballet Barre with Centre by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Five

New York City Ballet Workout I designed by Peter Martins

Day Six

Arms Exercises with Theraband Relax & Stretch both by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Seven

Ballet Barre for Balance & Core by Kathryn Morgan

Day Eight

Beginners Ballet by PsycheTruth

Day Nine

Classical Full Ballet Barre by Lazy Dancer Tips

Day Ten

New York City Ballet Workout II designed by Peter Martins

And there you have it! I’ll definitely let you know how it goes…Until then, WISH ME LUCK!

Have you ever done a workout challenge like this one (or the Yoga with Adriene 30 day challenges)? Love ’em or hate ’em? How do you stay motivated to exercise? Let me know! 

P.S. More Finding Delight posts on working out – Ballin’ on a Budget – Ditch the Gym Membership and Found! The Greatest Exercise Video Ever

Great YouTube Channel for Lifelong Ballerinas (LIKE YOURS TRULY!)

I stumbled upon a new-to-me YouTube channel the other day. Lazy Dancer Tips was created by Alessia to share the beauty, tips, and tricks of the ballet world. I’m planning to incorporate her videos into my workout repertoire in anticipation of my forthcoming 10-day Ballet Challenge (item #2 on my Find More Delight List). What do you think? Any former ballerinas out there wanting to get back to the barre? This could be a great place to start!

P.S. Wanna ditch your gym membership and still get fit? HERE’S HOW! 

Four Things

happy-halloween-pring

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a spook-tacular Halloween!! Here are four fun things I’ve been thinkin’ about today…

audrey-hepburn-yoga

What’s your go-to exercise routine this Fall? I’ve been really into long walks (the breeze in South Florida lately is a game changer!) followed by this stretching routine. I’ve also been itching for a new 30 day yoga challenge. Yoga with Adriene and Bad Yogi both have a couple, and I’d highly recommend them if you’re craving a daily practice.

june stitch fix box

I’m also anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new box from Stitch Fix! Living for over a year in a climate that doesn’t really change from season to season means…I’m kinda sick of all my clothes. Stitch Fix is an amazing service if you’re looking for a wardrobe refresh. Once you sign up, you fill out an extensive style profile with your preferences and sizes, and your own personal stylist will pick out 5 pieces and ship them to your doorstep. You keep what you love and send back the rest! I requested some dressy tees since short-sleeved shirts that can either be dressed up or dressed down is pretty much all I wear. Let me know if you’d like to see a post detailing what I receive in my box!

lauren-hutton-with-camera

My mom gifted me access to a self-paced photography class for my birthday. (Thanks Mom!!!) It is fascinating, inspirational, and informative, and I’m really enjoying the opportunity to learn more about the technical side of photography. (I also love the homework assignments at the end of each lesson!)

rosemarys-baby

Finally, I’d love to know, what’s your favorite horror film? Halloween on a Monday night seems the perfect excuse for cozying up on the couch with a classic, creepy movie. (All the party’s are out of the way after the weekend.) Rosemary’s Baby tops my list for Halloween fright-night films. What’s on your list?

2nd Photo: Audrey Hepburn practicing yoga on the set of ‘Green Mansions’, 1958. 4th Photo: Lauren Hutton, 1968. 

April favorites.

April Favorites collage

With the turning of the calendar page from April to May, it’s time to bundle together the best products, places, media and everything in between from the last month. Here are 9 things I found myself loving in April…

1. Pocket Letters

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know I’ve been going a little Pocket Letter crazy this month. I just can’t get enough. For those curious, Pocket Letters are a genius way to send someone (pen pal, friend, stranger, etc.) a little mailbox surprise! Essentially, you take a 3×3 baseball card holder, decorate it to your heart’s content, tuck in some stationery goodies for your pal, and mail it off. Here’s a TUTORIAL if you’d like to learn more. I’ve been making these for a little while now, but I only recently hopped on PocketLetterPals.com to start arranging swaps with peeps from across the country. The resulting deliveries have made mail time a giddy experience. (If you’re interested in swapping leave a comment below!) 

2. Ballet

While I’m hopelessly devoted to my yoga practice, the month of April saw me dusting off my ballet shoes for a bit of barre work. I turned to YouTube (of course!) and was able to rustle up a few videos of actual ballet classes. I then got to work and have been trying to incorporate ballet into my workout routine on a weekly basis. For me no other exercise ever seems as effective yet effortless as ballet. I can have sweat dripping down my neck all with a smile on my face. Maybe because it has been a part of my life for so long? *cue that scene in Center Stage where Juliette Simone/Julie Simon talks about the barre being home.*

3. Graze snacks

If you wanna up your snacking game, you GOTTA check out Graze. Graze is a snack subscription service that sends you 4 or 8 individually packaged snacks weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. I’ve gotten two boxes so far and I gotta tell ya…I am HOOKED. Each snack I’ve tried has been delicious and perfectly portioned. And you can’t beat the convenience! My favorite snack so far has gotta go to the Honeycomb Flapjack which Graze describes as a “rustic rolled oat flapjack with honeycomb and chocolate drizzle.” It’s legit better than a candy bar. YUM!

4. Homestead Town Hall Museum

On a recent #AdventureSaturday, Chet and I decided to explore Historic Downtown Homestead. Normally when we spend a Saturday in Homestead it’s at the beach. But this time around we decided to stay on dry land and see what else the city had to offer. Downtown Homestead is definitely a blink and you’ll miss it stretch of road but it does offer some quaint places — an old theater with a retro marquis, a park with an amphitheater, and the Homestead Town Hall Museum. After chowing down on some amazing Cuban food at a little hole-in-the-wall attached to the local bus station, we headed to the museum. Admission is free and was totally time well spent just for the eccentric docent who showed us around. (Although she did try to convince us to sit down in a couple of folding chairs to watch an HOUR long documentary about Homestead on a rinky-dink TV. Not gonna happen, lady.)

5. Free printables

One of the joys of wedding planning on a budget has been scouring the internet for ways to cut corners. My favorite way so far? Free printables. They are so fun to tinker around with. Pictured above is one I found for a Thumbprint Guestbook. It is so simple and fun! I love the idea of having it out at our reception with some ink pads and asking guests to create the leaves. Wouldn’t it be lovely to frame that as a keepsake? What a beautiful reminder of all our “people” and the special family tree we’ve created for ourselves, both with our actual family and the folks who’ve become our family.

6. Washi tape

I LOVE washi tape. This month I’ve been using it a ton to decorate pocket letters (see above) and my planner (see below). Last week we stumbled upon an office supply store that was going out of business and I stocked up. My other favorite places to find washi? Target, Dollar Tree, and Ikea. Ikea sells packs of four for FIFTY CENTS. Hello!?! Need I say more.

7. Target Dollar Spot planner

I started using my Target Dollar Spot planner on April 1st and the obsession is still going strong. In case you’re wondering, I call it the Target Dollar Spot planner because it was created from 3 components purchased at Target in the $1-$3 section. A mini binder, dividers/weekly inserts, and folders/monthly inserts. Each of these “kits” was $3. While I utilize this planner for weekly and monthly planning, I’ve also been trying my hand at planner decorating. (Inspired by CheapCraftyGirl on YouTube.) It’s a fun activity to sit down on a Sunday night and decorate the next week’s spread! And it’s also a cool way to use some of the stationery goodies I receive in my pocket letters. Paper crafting for the win!

8. The Brain Candy Podcast

Confession: I’m a LONG time viewer of The Real World, Road Rules, and The Challenge. I have never “out grown” these shows and continue to enjoy, especially The Challenge, to this day. The advent of social media has taken my interest in reality TV in a different direction. I love keeping up with cast members on Twitter and Instagram because seeing what D-List celebs do in their day to day is just as interesting (if not more) to me than watching them on a show. Anyways, that’s all to say, I follow the two ladies responsible for this podcast on social media. So when they started promoting this endeavor I was totally into it. It’s hosted by Susie Meister (RR: Down Under) and Sarah Rice (RW: Brooklyn) and is billed as “candy for your left brain and your right brain.” While some episodes are about The Challenge (both Susie and Sarah have competed multiple times on the show), many are not. They cover everything from cults to travel to DIY. It is super easy listening…kind of like you’re eavesdropping on two intelligent girlfriends having a chat. Oh, and usually wine is involved!

9. Uncovered by Leah Lax

If women and religion, and how the two intersect, is of interest to you, then this memoir is a must-read. I love learning about different religions and recently realized I didn’t know too much about the lives of Hasidic Jews. I picked up this memoir at my local library and couldn’t put it down. It tells the story of Leah Lax who left her liberal, secular home as a teenager for a life as a Hasidic Jew. Lax recounts her experiences with arranged marriage, fundamentalist faith, and motherhood during her time with the Hasidim, and exposes how her creative, sexual, and spiritual longings existed beneath the surface throughout her time there. This book taught me a lot about this particular faith through the eyes of a woman who lived it and then left it.

 

Rebounding–Would you try it?

rebounding

Vertically bouncing up and down first became an exercise for physical health in 1938 when an inventor produced the first miniature trampoline. While it’s not an exercise regimen you see a lot of folks flocking to (it may bring to mind an aerobics-wear clad woman of the ‘80s, scrunchied ponytail bouncing with a fervor) REBOUNDING has a lot of documented health benefits. Most notably, it’s ability to stimulate lymph circulation. Because the force of gravity actually increases each time you land you get a strong flow of lymph fluid running throughout the lymph channels and nodes as opposed to the trickling flow that happens during regular day activities.

CJ Puotinen explains in the Jan/Feb 2014 Well Being Journal, “On the rebounder, it takes about two minutes to pump lymph fluid from the feet all the way up into the thoracic duct area.” But, you may be wondering, why is lymph circulation so important? Well, the lymph system is an important aspect of the immune system–it removes waste from cells throughout the body. You may be more familiar with the concept of lymph nodes (especially when they’re swollen) but the lymph is a clearish-yellowish fluid that hangs out inside those nodes and contains your immune system’s infection fighting lymphocytes.

The main organ of your lymph system is the spleen which acts as a regeneration center for blood. Your spleen breaks down old red blood cells and uses their iron for new hemoglobin. AND it makes more lymphocytes which in turn flow through your tissues and knock out most infections before they can enter your bloodstream. Fairly important stuff! Toxins can get all up in your business and if your lymph drainage is impaired or the flow is constricted they collect, pool and lead to trouble.

You may have insufficient lymph circulation and not even realize. Some common warning signs include edema, dark circles, swollen ankles or legs and cellulite. So rebounding seems like a fun way to keep the lymph flowing nicely! I would love to invest in one of these…

from Target,

from Carter Fitness,

or from Amazon.

and maybe start bouncing with one of these routines…

What do you think? Would you try it?