Workout Wednesday – Traveling Tabata

The holiday season is full of wonderful things like parties, seeing family, buying presents, making cookies, Christmas plays, and more. While all of these festivities are super fun, they also add in a lot of extra to-do’s to our schedules! I find myself getting stressed out and exhausted from all the busyness. Make sure you take time to find PEACE this season with a little self-care! Below is a body weight Tabata workout that you can do anywhere. It can be fast if you need to squeeze a workout in, or you can do a few more rounds if you can take more time for some self-care. This is designed to be done in a small space, so that, whether you’re waiting 15 minutes for your cookies to bake in the kitchen, or you’re visiting your grandparents and have only 6 sq ft of floor space in the bedroom you’re sharing with your whole family (can you tell I know this situation well??) you can make time for yourself.

No matter where you are, or how long you have to do your workout, take an extra minute at the end to breathe, restore, and refocus yourself for the rest of the day.

Lower Body Tabata Workout: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, for each exercise

  • Complete the pairs 2-4 times before moving on to the next pair of exercises.
  • If you do each pair four times, it will be a 20-minute workout.

Set One:  Sumo squat to releve AND pop squats

Set Two:  Reverse lunges to front kick AND jumping lunges

Lateral lunge to single leg balance AND lateral jumping (Lateral lunges to balance: do a lateral lunge, push off the floor with your lunging leg to center, bringing your knee up past your waist. Catch your balance for a second before setting your foot back down.)

Set Three:  Calf raises AND power skips

(Calf raises can be done on the floor, elevated, or single-leg for an added challenge. Power skips are skips where you focus on getting as high as you can–they can be done in place.)

Set Four:  Bench squats AND jump squats

(Bench squats can be single-leg for extra challenge)

The Best Gift Ideas for Exercise Enthusiasts

Need gift ideas for yourself or a fellow exercise enthusiast? Look no further! Nothing gets me jazzed up more than getting new exercise gear. It motivates and inspires me to workout, and it makes workouts more fun! Here are some ideas for you to add to your list. I’ve added links to each item to give you some more specific ideas, but the links are just suggestions, not endorsements! If you want to search the internet for the best of the best, go crazy.

Sweat proof headphones (around $15)
I mean, who doesn’t sweat a lot when they work out? These won’t get broken or damaged just because you like to push hard through your plyo. If you like jamming to some beats while you throw iron, this is a perfect idea for you! They come with noise canceling capacity to reduce the gym/treadmill/crazy kid noises around you so you can focus. They also come with extra long and strong cords, so you can move and groove without worrying about breaking them.

Here’s a good, highly-rated, not-too-expensive pair 

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The Award Winning Cookies

Last December, we were all ready for my daughter’s debut as an angel in our church’s Christmas play. She had gone to the dress rehearsal, she had her costume laid out, and cookies were made for the cookie reception that follows the play. We had a relaxing morning to counterbalance that evening’s festivities, but as the day went, my daughter’s eyes got redder and redder, she kept tearing up, and her eyes got goopy. So, rather than going to the Christmas play, we took her to urgent care to get her some drops for her first-ever case of pink-eye.

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Outdoor Activities for Late Fall

As it gets chillier, we all want to cozy up under a blanket with our coffee and cookies to watch Netflix. While you should absolutely make time to be warm and snuggly this season, there are still plenty of things you can do to stay active and outdoors all year! Get some fresh air, soak up what little vitamin D you can, and burn a few calories; it’s good for the soul!

Here are some ideas of things you can do outside even now to refresh both your mind and body: Continue Reading →

Six Workout Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

Our personal trainer and group exercise leader Hannah (in Maryland!) gets serious with us about how we can get the most from our workouts! Check out her suggestions below!  I know I struggle with #5 (and therefore so do all of my classes) but I do TRY.  I am making a more committed effort for sure! Thanks Hannah for these awesome tips.

1. Skipping Warm-up

If you’re running short on time, (as most of us feel we are,) or if you’re just eager to get to the “real” work of working out, it’s awfully tempting to skip a warm up. There are so many benefits to warm-ups, though, this isn’t something you want to miss out on!

The purpose of a warm-up is multifaceted. It increases your body temperature, which leads to improved performance. Better performance = better results! A warm-up increases blood supply to your muscles, which means they are ready to respond more quickly; they’re more flexible and more agile. Depending on the type of warm-up you do, it can also prepare your body for the specific movements you’ll be doing later on in your workout. This reminds your body of proper movement patterns so that, when you add weights or increase your speed, it’s already prepped; this reduces the risk of injury, and allows you to lift heavier and push yourself harder.

A good warm-up should last 5-10 minutes. It can include a basic low-level cardio exercises to increase heart-rate and blood flow. It should definitely include some exercise-specific warm-ups as well. If you’ll be doing burpees, try low-impact burpees. If you’ll be doing deadlifts, try good mornings. If you’ll be doing push ups, try a few, or do some walkouts. If you’ll be running stairs, do some high knees or walk the stairs a few times. Get the idea? Continue Reading →

Confessions of Pregnant FITness Instructor

Confession: I love pushing myself to the max during workouts.

Fact: This is no longer something I can do while pregnant.

The arrival of the second trimester brought a huge sense of relief. While I never got that second trimester burst of energy I had so desperately hope for, I began to feel more like myself and less like a robot going through the motions of daily life. However, my workouts in the gym have started needing modifications to work around my growing belly and changes in balance. I stopped all abdominal work around 16 weeks. Many people have strong feelings on both sides of the Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) issue regarding any type of abdominal work during pregnancy and for how long it is appropriate —but this is an issue where I had to trust what my body was telling me. I started feeling extremely sore anytime I worked my abdominals so I decided to stop training them entirely. Continue Reading →

Interval Workout – RPE Based

Fall is the perfect time of year to move your workouts outside! Enjoy the crisp, cool weather. Soak up as much vitamin D as you can before you’re covered head-to-toe all the time. Take in the puffy white clouds and fun house decorations. So get your shoes on, head out your door, and get in some great outdoor workouts this month!

This is a running-based interval workout. When you are doing your runs, your RPE should be at level 8 the whole time. That means your rate of perceived exertion should be pretty high on a scale from 1 (chillin’ on your couch) to 10 (working so hard you feel like you’ll collapse if you push it any harder). So it should be more sustainable than a flat out sprint, but pretty darn close to one!

Here’s your workout: Continue Reading →

Savory Pumpkin Sauce

Thanks to inspiration from a friend, I came up with this scrumptious, fast, and easy sauce that has become a regular part of our dinner schedule this Fall. I like serving it over spaghetti squash with turkey meatballs.

To make the sauce, you need:

  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 can of pumpkin
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • salt, and pepper
  • vegetable broth is optional

Here’s what you do:

  1. Heat some olive oil in a skillet and add your onion.
  2. Saute until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  4. Pour in ⅔ of your can of coconut milk and all of the pumpkin.
  5. Stir until well combined and let simmer on low for 5 minutes.

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FIT and FESTIVE – Halloween Quick Tip

Ok let’s get FOR REAL. Here comes Halloween!  What do I do so that my holiday indulgences don’t start with the trick or treaters and end with new years? Even though Halloween to New Years is a holiday season – it isn’t a holiday EVERY DAY. Halloween is 10/31. Do not buy your candy on 10/20 and start celebrating then. Have some candy with your kiddos on Halloween. Then, it is over. Done. Don’t start spreading it out. Same goes for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving is Thanksgiving. Enjoy it. Indulge and be done with it. These are DAYS that are not going to throw you off course at all if your splurge. It is when we throw in the towel from 10/31 to New Year’s Day that we struggle.

One more tip for Halloween that I find helps me….BUY CANDY YOU DO NOT LIKE. I do not like fruity taffy chewy candies. So that is exactly what I hand out. I am not tempted to pop open extra Nerds or Laffy Taffy. But chocolate? Hello friend!

Ok friends. Summary? ENJOY the holidays with your family. Enjoy a treat. Then get right back to your normal. That is how we find that balance. Don’t snowball and say “well, I had candy so I might as well have XYZ all the way until the weekend etc.” Nope. Enjoy the candy and move on with life! Find that balance that works for you and embrace it. And if you need to talk more about what that balance looks like – message me! I’m always here to chat!

Think Twice Thursday – Starbucks Edition

Each Thursday in October our PowerFull Fitness group “thought twice” about those yummy drinks we love to have for Fall. Do I think you should go get yourself a pumpkin spice latte and live it up? YES. Do I think you need to do it everyday…well….no.

So for those days you wanna fight the urge with something a bit more FIT – Think Twice with me! Continue Reading →