Tag Archives: Youtube

How to Make Your Own Fitness Challenge

Today marks DAY 5 of my 10-Day Ballet Challenge and I’m LOVING it! Ballet is exercise that I enjoy, and although it’s a work-out it doesn’t feel like work in the same way that some exercise does. And as someone who easily succumbs to decision fatigue, I love waking up and knowing my work-out for the day is already sorted.

So, maybe you’re not so keen on living out your ballerina dreams but still find the idea of an at-home fitness challenge a little bit alluring. I’m here to help! (TBH, planning is half the fun of these things!) Below are the steps I followed to make my very own fitness challenge and YOU CAN TOO…

Decide on the length of your challenge.

I love yoga too much to spend too many days away from my mat. I decided on 10 days sort of at random. If you get bored easily or are just looking for a way to mix up your routine, a week or two is a great time-frame. Of course, I LOVE the 30 day yoga challenges I’ve completed so you could always just go for it!

Choose the type(s) of work-outs and exercise you’d like to include.

I chose ballet because it’s a work-out I love but I only incorporate it into my normal work-out regimen a few times a month. I wanted to challenge myself to more. Maybe you have something similar in mind. If not, think about the types of work-outs you enjoy. Pilates, HIIT, Hip-Hop, Cross Fit? And you could totally go for more than one type! Perhaps you want to cook up a Tabata/Theraband Challenge. Go for it!

Head to the internet for free resources.

Jump on YouTube, Pinterest, or your favorite fitness blogs for work-outs and inspiration. Watch entire videos to make sure they’re a good fit for your fitness level and preferences. Save your favorites! When else can you watch a ton of fitness videos without feeling guilty for not following along?

Create a list of all your work-outs.

Combine everything you found with any existing favorites and make a master list of all the work-outs you want to complete on your challenge! Note: You don’t have to have a work-out video for every day of the challenge. One day might include a 5-mile jog or a circuit of body-weight exercises. Just make sure to include those on the master list too!

Arrange the work-outs within your designated time frame.

This part is like a puzzle! For my 10-day challenge, I took my 2 longest work-outs and put them on Days 5 and 10. Spread out your harder challenges–placing them at the end of the week or every 5 days or however you see fit! Then arrange your other work-outs as a lead up to the more challenging days. Make sure you take note if the work-out is focusing on one part of the body. You might not want to work out arms three days in a row! If your challenge is longer than 10 days, consider incorporating a rest day or an active rest day. (Exp. 21-Day Aerobics Challenge might include “go for a walk” on days 7, 14, and 21.)

Announce your intentions.

Accountability! I feel like I’m way more likely to finish out my ballet challenge because I blogged about it. You might be the same. Let some people know what you’re up to, either IRL or on social media, so you follow through.

Keep a Fitness Challenge Diary.

This is a new aspect I’m trying out and so far I’ve found it helpful. You can record your progress, how you got on with certain work-outs, and what’s working and what’s not. Great to have on hand when you create your NEXT fitness challenge. 😉

Celebrate your success!!!

Completing a goal you set for yourself is the best feeling! Why not reward yourself? Need some inspiration? I love this list — 23 Ways to Treat Yo’Self Without Buying or Eating Anything.

Have you ever completed a fitness challenge? Would you consider creating your own? What types of exercise and work-outs would you include? I’d love to know!!!

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7 YouTube Channels to Check Out For Capsule Wardrobe Inspiration

Thinking of starting a capsule wardrobe? Might be a fun weekend activity if you’re in the spring-cleaning mood or have recently been bit by the minimalism bug. These YouTube channels have videos which may provide some inspiration…

1. My Green Closet – Capsule Wardrobes | Project 333 playlist

2. Mademoiselle – The Minimal Wardrobe playlist

3. The Anna Edit – Style/Capsule Wardrobe playlist

4. Light by Coco – Capsule Wardrobe playlist

5. Miss Louie – Lookbooks playlist

6. Jenn Rogers – My Capsule Collection playlist

7. Bookish & Belle – Fashion & Style playlist

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Thinking of starting one? Where do you find minimalist fashion inspiration? I’d love to know!!

P.S. My 50 Piece All-Season Capsule Wardrobe.

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! 

mid-week round-up

Hello my beautiful friends! Today marks my THIRD day in a row of waking up at 5 am. (How do you every-day early-risers DO IT?) These early rise times have been to facilitate a pretty mind-numbing project so maybe it’s less about 5 am and more about all the work in the hours that follow. But either way, I’m totally zonked. Wednesday tho, amirite!? WE GOT THIS! Here are some links to help keep your eyes pried open ’til the weekend…

The surprisingly interesting story behind the filet-o-fish sandwich. (<–You know it is Lent when…)

Here’s what a food blogger actually eats in a day.

Photographer Omar Robles’ portraits capture dancers en pointe in San Juan.

This Kentucky Forecast t-shirt made me laugh.

SOOOO relateable re: small(er) town living has perks and big cities can be a sorta nightmare.
“i can’t deal with traffic anymore. or people. or pretty much anything that takes longer than five minutes and doesn’t move its mindlessly texting ass out of the way. i thought i was committed to being a city person but i’ve been in both new york and los angeles for work (LOL) over the past few months and rather than being like “hooray! look at all of the expensive juice options laid before me!” i’ve instead found myself thinking “shit, have there always been this many people on earth?”

A purse with TWO pom-poms so it can be your personal cheerleader.

Related: Gift ideas for  sisters, girlfriends, best friends, wives and any other lady loves!

The next scientific breakthrough could come from the history books.

Researchers uncover a regional distinction in American Sign Language, and seek to preserve it.

Once hunted to near extinction, Europe’s great egrets take refuge along the Danube.

101 small ways you can improve your city.

I always end up sleeping in gym shorts and t-shirts but I’m considering an upgrade.

Pumping iron with Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s personal trainer is no joke.
“Asked earlier this month about the most important person in her life, Ginsburg, who was widowed in 2010 and lost a close friend with the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, responded, “My personal trainer.” That would be Bryant Johnson, 52. You could think of Johnson’s sturdy limbs as a fourth branch of government, grafted onto the judiciary, keeping it aloft.”

P.S. A few Finding Delight posts you may have missed — Found! The Greatest Exercise Video Ever and Must-Haves for Sleeping in the Heat.

These Videos Are Guaranteed To Make You Smile

the-cut-maddox

Have you seen the “Kids Try” series on YouTube? Created by Cut, a channel that specializes in creating viral video content (see also: Grandmas Smoking Weed for the First Time), these videos never fail to make me smile. How freaking adorable are these kids?

Though I do find it a little unsettling how suspicious they are of foods they’re unaccustomed to, (Do American kids just eat pre-packaged, Trader Joe’s freezer meals these days or what?) I love the moments when they just go for it and dive in. Watch for yourself…

Maddox is obvi my favorite (#spiritchild) and if I could adopt him I totally would. Though it seems he already has some awesome parents…here they are explaining the birds and the bees to him! (“There’s a hole down there like an igloo.”)

P.S. Other YouTube videos you might enjoy — The Greatest Exercise Video Ever, Costume Makeup Masterpieces, and Miniature Food Videos.

mid-week round-up

horsehead

What’s going on this week, guys? I hope you’re enjoying the book-themed week here on the blog. It seems fitting, given all the rain we’ve been getting, I just want to curl up on the couch and read novel after novel. Are you reading anything good right now? Hope your day is great wherever you are, and below are a few reads of a different variety (back to all-things books tomorrow though!)…

Voyages: Visual journeys by 6 photographers.

10 New Orleans musts for under $10.

Stop taking pride in not knowing how to do basic shit.

This ballerina starts her day with a corn-dog as a PRE-breakfast. (#spiritanimal)

Confessions of workplace masturbators.

I’m saving this podcast for a rainy day…or road trip.

Female debaters everywhere feel ya Hillz!

How to decorate a large wall.

30-minute sheet pan potatoes and chicken sausage.

Investments that will save you money in the long run.

Hugo Lucitante’s tribe sent him into the outside world so he could return and save their village.

Typecast as a terrorist.

Found! The Greatest Exercise Video Ever

In my early to mid 20’s working out was pretty much an afterthought. But so was putting gas in my old boat of a car so I walked everywhere I needed to go. (Including up a steep incline to get to work every morning.) Cable and internet were an afterthought, too. So I recruited friends to go on long, ambling walks even when we didn’t have anywhere to go. Just to pass the time. This seemed like plenty enough fitness. When the weather turned sour, I’d maybe dust off my tiny collection of workout DVD’s if I was feeling especially cooped up and needing to sweat.

Fast forward to now and I’m busting out workout videos all the time. (Luckily I learned to start springing for the internet because YouTube is a GOLD MINE.) I still love to walk as much as possible but I also love yoga and ballet and body-weight strength training. For now, gyms and classes sort of bore me. Maybe someday I’ll change my tune on that but until then, I’m saving my money.

Anyways, this is all to say…I found the workout video above a few months ago and I LOVE IT. If you’re looking for a low intensity (no jumping around) workout that will have you dripping with sweat all in under an hour…GIVE IT A GO! Can Keaira Leshae be my spirit animal???? She cracks me up. And while normally I bounce around to new videos to keep my workouts interesting and new, I keep coming back to this one every week. (I even enlisted my sister to do it with me the week of my wedding!) I sort of love how low-budget it is. Like I stumbled into this random living room workout sesh and “welp, while I’m here…may as well join in the fun!”

Ok, let me know if you try this video out. I’d love to hear your thoughts! 

If you’re looking for other FREE workouts, I also recommend:

Yoga with Adriene

Fitness Blender

PsycheTruth

Scola Dondo

and I’ve also been working my way through the search results for “10 minute stretch routine” as a new evening ritual.

What are YOUR favorite exercise videos? Link ’em below. I’d love to give them a whirl. 

P.S. Ballet inspiration. Soccer inspiration. 

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mid-week round-up

baby ducks

How’s it hanging, love-bugs? This time next week I’ll be in Lexington! I’m flying up a couple weeks before our wedding to finish out all the preparations while Chet stays behind to teach. The final count-down is upon us! Flying with my wedding dress makes me a tad anxious, I’ll be honest. But I’m SO excited to be back in Lexington for the first time in almost a year. In the meantime, there’s plenty of prep left to do here in SoFlo. And we’ll also be taking it easy just enjoying each other and quiet nights at home before the madness ensues! Hope your week is extra fun-filled, and here are a few links for your enjoyment…

No one is building the suburban homes Millennial buyers want.

10 ways to give your kids a 1970’s summer.

An inside look at Bulgaria’s controversial bride market.

Instagram hashtags to organically grow your following.

Kim Kardashian West: “Settling down allowed her to turn up.”

The polyamorous christian socialist utopia that made silverware for proper Americans.

How YouTube videos can help people cope with mental illness.

Licking intensified. (Reminds me of Wink.)

The mysterious vlogger who changed the internet.

A former crisis pregnancy center volunteer tells all.

Audrey Hepburn’s newly discovered love letters.

The 38 essential Miami restaurants.

mid-week round-up

yellow flowers

What are y’all up to this week? We scooped up our dear friends Carrie and Ganer from the airport yesterday evening and are so excited to have them staying with us for the rest of the week! I really hope the weather holds so we can show off the finer points of Miami (read: beach, pools, tropical gardens). Either way, I know anything we do will be ten times more fun with those two in tow! Hope you have a great week, and here are some links for your enjoyment…

How fun would it be to go on vacations in this tiny camper?

I’d love to take The Productivity Planner for a test drive.

Can you pass the Southern Slang Challenge?

Jamie Oliver’s 10 Food Revolution recipes.

A fine-dining empire in the wild, wild west.

Bourbon has feminine roots but is still considered a man’s industry.

How Blac Chyna beat the Kardashians at their own game.

A false bottom in a mug held a Holocaust victim’s treasure for more than 70 years.

Men are sabotaging  online reviews of TV shows aimed at women.

The secret poems found on Boston’s streets.

A female chief breaks up 850 child marriages in Malawi.

Compete. Empower.

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Ballin’ on a Budget–Ditch the Gym Membership

Today, I’d like to continue a new series on the blog! One that highlights easy strategies for BALLIN’ ON A BUDGET. Each month, I’m going to propose something for all of us to ditch in order to free up some line items on our budgets with values that can go to more practical expenditures like paying down on debt and saving for special occasions. (You can catch up on last month’s suggestions HERE.) Whether you’re actively pinching pennies or simply want to re-direct some of those pennies to better serve you, this series is for you! So, let’s get started…

ditch the gym membership 2

Just because you’re ballin’ on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health, mobility, and all those sweet, sweet endorphins that come from working out. Tons of alternatives exist for making that monthly membership payment at the gym. But if we’ve learned anything in this series so far it’s that you’ve gotta do a little research. Once you identify ways to get movin’ that don’t involve taking out your wallet, you may actually find a new form of exercise you like way better than the costly options.

One of the easiest ways to fall into the trap of spending money you don’t have is boredom. Movement and exercise can be a great antidote in this regard. I’ve definitely been there. Saturday seems to stretch on foooooreeeeeverrrrr when you don’t have money to spend on an elaborate brunch followed by a trip to the movie theater or mall followed by a night out on the town. The urge to spend just for some small modicum of entertainment starts creeping in. My bank account would survive the weekend a bit more unscathed when I would round up a few friends and go “exploring” (long walks through town to discover hidden gems and new-to-us parks) or when I would pop on a dance dvd in the midst of a stir crazy, dark by 4 pm, Winter meltdown.

I agree there’s a level of camaraderie at the gym and a sense of community in group classes. If exercising with others is important to you then find a buddy, start a Facebook group, recruit class-mates or co-workers or family members. There are more than likely a fair few folk who wouldn’t mind getting their sweat on for free.

Either way, it’s time to get moving! Your body will thank you. Your wallet will thank you. Your mood will thank you.

Here are 4 easy steps to follow. Let’s do this…

Week 1. Think about your favorite ways to move.

Take this first week to reflect, brainstorm, and experiment. What do you like and dislike about ways you’ve exercised in the past or the workout routine you currently keep? What sort of movement did you enjoy as a child? Organized sports, gymnastics, riding your bike through the neighborhood, or just running around on the playground? What are your fitness goals? Staying active, gaining muscle, losing weight, self-care?

Take notes on your answers. Use them to start identifying trends. Are you leaning towards slow, mindful movement to help with flexibility? Do you need to pound the pavement? Or start a weekly pick-up basketball game? Do you value creative expression when you move? Or would you rather beef up those muscles?

Once you’ve isolated the trends and what sorts of movement they necessitate, brainstorm ways to achieve on the cheap. Consider the limitations of space, equipment, and instructor. We’ll deal with how to handle those limitations later in the month. For now, just think about the type of movement itself. Yoga, body-weight exercise, running, dance, basketball, cross fit, biking, hiking, plyometrics, pilates? You tell me! How would YOU like to move?

Week 2. Look for creative ways to add more movement during every-day life. 

Another way you can fit fitness into a low-cost existence? Choose the more active approach whenever possible. Look for sneaky ways to add more movement throughout your daily life. Small changes DO add up.

Are there places you go on a regular basis that you could walk to instead of driving or taking public transit? Can you swear off elevators? Choose to park further away from the store. Take breaks at work that involve getting up instead of just opening a new tab to scroll through your social media. Meet your friends at the park instead of the bar and play frisbee or lawn games or just run around like the weirdos you are. Can you walk the dog for just a little bit longer? Stretch while you’re waiting in line? Do squats while you’re brushing your teeth? Heel raises while you’re on hold? And what about chores? Vacuuming, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, and washing your car by hand aren’t necessarily fun but they’ll definitely burn some calories. So don’t put them off!

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Week 3. Go on a hunt for resources.

Ok so you’ve identified ways to move more, now we have to get around the fact that you don’t have a  gym, a plethora of expensive equipment, or a bunch of expert instructors at your disposal. While I’ll list a few of my favorite resources below, we all have different preferences and goals so go on a hunt! A great place to start is YouTube. There’s tons of awesome, free content right at your fingertips for any number of work-out styles.

Another thrifty resource is your local public library. You can check out all sorts of fitness DVDs and books to help you nail down some great routines. My library even offers a FREE yoga class once a week. Sign up for email updates; you never know what sort of programming may fit your needs and schedule perfectly! (Same goes for your university, local parks & rec, etc.)

If running or walking is more your style, a simple pedometer could go a long way. You can find these for fairly cheap or you could download a pedometer app onto your phone. And speaking of apps…why not try a running app that tracks your goals or helps you monitor pace. I’ve heard high praise for the free versions of the Couch to 5k/10k apps.

Tons of fitness entrepreneurs offer great free content. Find a few that fit your genre and follow their blogs and social media accounts. You might find an Instagram account that posts a body-weight work-out of the day or a blogger who shares a printable calendar with a 30 day push up challenge. Keep your eye out and snatch up those freebies!

Finally, for team sports you’ll want to find a resource that helps you stay organized and disseminate information to interested parties. This could be a Facebook group, a Google calendar event invite, or just a good ol’ fashioned group text. If you’re rallying a group of co-workers, consider talking to H.R. to offset the cost of joining a league. They often times will have money set aside in their budgets for such things as long as you make the opportunity available to everyone.

Week 4. Map out a feasible routine and STICK TO IT. 

I’ll admit–this is definitely the hardest step. Without a cost investment looming over your head you miss out on a level of accountability. There’s no internal monologue whispering, “You paid $50 to go to the gym this month so you better get your ass in gear and GO!” or “I have to go to dance class every Thursday because I can’t get my money back if I skip a week or two.” Hopefully by identifying exercise you actually enjoy you’ll have offset this a little. Nonetheless, examine your schedule and find the best times. Repeat. And start letting those habits sink in.

Everyone is different. I would much rather squeeze in 20-30 minutes of exercise every single day then commit a full hour or more a couple times a week. Your schedule might not shake down to allow for that.

Just do your best, show up for yourself, and then do it again. You’re well on your way. No gym membership needed!

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Resources:

Week 1 — 

Physical Activity: Choosing the One For You

Best Workouts For Your Body Type // Training Tips For Every Body Type

The 8 Colors of Fitness: A Fitness Personality Quiz ( <— Take this quiz! It’s actually really neat and enlightening!)

Week 2 —

9 Easy Ways to Sneak Fitness into Your Day

I Lost 84 Pounds Without a Gym Membership! ( <— INSPIRATION!)

Moves App Tracks Your Movement

Week 3 —

Yoga with Adriene

Fitness Blender

Men’s Health

Scola Dondo ( <— This girl is my new obsession.)

Week 4 —

5 Scientific Ways to Build Habits that Stick

3 Psychology Tricks to Make Your Workout Plan Stick

Print a Workout Calendar

Do you have your own tips or resources for staying fit without a gym membership? Is this an area of your “spending diet” that you struggle with? Do you think following these weekly steps could help? Let’s chat in the comments below!

And tune in next month when we tackle “here and there” purchasing!