Weekly Workouts

Sunday Rest day.

Workout

Monday I did the upper body workout from One on One Training with Jackie DVD (affiliate link). I’ve had this DVD forever, but I keep coming back to it. Jackie manages to pack in a pretty good workout in about 20 minutes. It’s short but leaves me feeling sweaty.

Tuesday Rest day because I didn’t sleep very well the night before and I pushed the snooze button on my alarm clock one too many times, so I didn’t have enough time before going to school.

Wednesday I got up extra early this morning to take my dad out for a belated Father’s Day breakfast, so I skipped my workout.

Workout

Thursday I did a HIIT workout on Grokker (affiliate link). It was another short one that clocked in at just over 20 minutes, but it definitely felt longer than that. It was made up of two circuits, each of which was made up of two alternating exercises. Both circuits started at 10 reps for both exercises and then decreased by 1 rep until we hit 1. It was kind of a neat way to do it. I actually added this video to my favorites because I liked it so much.

Workout

Friday I was feeling in more of a cardio mood, so I went with a Latin dance video on Grokker (affiliate link). I guess I was expecting something similar to a Zumba class, but it was pretty different. On the up side it was super easy to follow along even though I’m not the most coordinated person. I’ve done dance workouts in the past where I’ve been completely and utterly lost five minutes into the workout and I ended up turning it off and finding a different workout to do. That definitely wasn’t the case with this one though.

Saturday Since I typically write these posts Friday night, I’m planning on a morning walk in my favorite park. I’m going to be spending a big chunk of my day sitting at my desk studying for finals, so I know I want to get some activity in there.

Now that you know what my weekly workouts have been, leave a comment below with one of your workout this week.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog, I appreciate it! 

Fun Facts Friday

Happy Friday! Is it just me or has this week flown by for anyone else too?

This was the last week of classes. This semester has gone by so fast, but at the same time I feel like I’ve learned so much. Both of my classes were super applicable to personal training (exercise physiology and bio mechanics), so it was kind of cool to be able to apply concepts in class to clients at my internship site right away.

Speaking of my internship, I completed my last hour on Wednesday night. I’ve submitted my hours and I’m not officially done! I’ve learned a ton being in a gym setting and getting to see how other trainers work with clients, as well as getting some hands on experience myself. While you can learn a lot from textbooks and profs in class, there’s some things that I think you can only really understand from actually doing it.

Now that my classes are over and my internship is done, I’m in hardcore study mode for my finals next week. I’m very grateful that my exercise physiology final is only going to be on content that we’ve covered since the midterm. That makes studying a bit more manageable.

The weather here in Calgary has been pretty great lately with lots of sunshine and enough heat to be warm but not too hot. Needless to say that I’m itching for school to be over. Spending time inside studying at my desk is tough sometimes when I’d much rather be enjoying the outdoors or on a hike in the mountains. Less than a week to go though!

I also registered for classes for the fall this week. Mondays and Wednesdays are going to be super busy as I have 4 classes those days. I only have 1 class Tuesdays and Thursday though, and no classes on Fridays, which is awesome.

Enough about school, on to other things!

Phil and Sebastian Coffee

Wednesday morning I took my dad out for a belated Father’s Day breakfast. I took him to Gruman’s (it’s a deli/restaurant that specializes in smoked meat, which he loves). We timed our arrival to get there between the breakfast and lunch rushes, which was perfect as it wasn’t too busy. Afterwards we walked around downtown to a few other places that likes (a Belgian pastry shop, Village Ice Cream, Phil and Sebastian Coffee, and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery).

My trip to Vancouver to see Adele is now less than a month away! I still can’t believe that it’s so close now. I bought the Adele ticket back in December and it felt like it would be forever til the concert actually happened. Over the last few weeks I’ve been nailing down some of the things I want to do while I’m there. I’ve booked a day trip to Victoria with Landsea Tours. While I’ve been to Vancouver a few times now, I have yet to check out Victoria. I’m pretty excited that I’ll get there this trip. I’ve also booked a walking tour called Lost Souls of Gastown that sounds like it’ll be fun.

And because there’s so many pretty things blooming in the garden right now, I’ll leave you with a few photos.

Ratibita

Yellow Rose

Full Body Workout

Happy Wednesday! Last week I made a new full body workout cause I needed some more motivation to get workouts in. Somehow new ones are always exciting and more fun to do than workouts that I’ve done before. I thought I’d share it here in case anyone else is in need of extra motivation too.

Full Body Workout

In case you’re not familiar with any of the exercises I’ve added a description of them below.

Pushups Starting on your toes and hands, make sure your body is a straight line from your heels to your knees, hips, shoulders, and neck. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself to the ground. Try to get at low as possible, and then push yourself back up, all the while maintaining that straight line. An easier modification is instead of being on your toes, lower to your knees.

Crunches Lie on your back with your knees bent and feel flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Slowly lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Make sure your neck stays in a neutral position. The upper back should be moving, not the neck. Slowly lay back down on the floor.

Squats With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Bicep curls Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

Plank The plank is very similar to the starting position of a pushup. Your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width, and your body is a straight line from your head, through your shoulders, hips, and knees, to your heels. Just like with the pushup, if you need an easier modification, use your knees instead of your toes.

Alternating lunges Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 60 seconds.

Tricep dips Using a chair, place hands on the edge with fingers pointing towards the back while stepping out your feet so that they’re hip width apart and your hips are above the floor. Slowly bend at the elbows to lower yourself and then use your triceps to move yourself back up to the starting position. Your knees can be bent (easier) or left straight (harder).

Bicycle crunches Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head and elbows out to the side, bring your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring your shoulder blades off the floor and alternate bringing your left elbow towards your right knee, and your right elbow towards your left knee. Your feet should look like they’re pedaling a bike.

Mountain climbers Start in a plank position. Jump one foot up as close to the hips as possible while bending at the knee and hip. Then jump that foot back while bringing the other foot up.  An easier modification is to use a chair to put your hands on.

Wall sit Stand with your back to a wall and slowly slide your back down while stepping out your feet until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your feet should be about hip width apart. This is an isometric hold, so you’re staying in this position for the entire time.

As always, check with a doctor before beginning a new workout program. Honor your body and modify as needed. 

Weekend Recap and June Playlist

I hope you all had a great weekend! Before I get to today’s workout playlist I thought I’d do a bit of a weekend recap. Spoiler: it was a great weekend!

Friday morning I didn’t have classes so I was able to attend Social Media Breakfast at the Calgary Zoo. Every month it’s at a different venue (we’ve been at a spin studio, the University of Calgary, and pubs/restaurants). Along with the different venues there’s also different speakers. Sometimes it’ll be one speaker, other times panels. I love going to meet the other people who attend. There’s the obvious people who are in PR/marketing who work with social media all day, but there’s also bloggers like me, along with web developers. There’s always a great mix of people and it’s fun to meet them.

Giraffes are infinitely cuter when they're babies. #giraffe #zoo #capturecalgary

A photo posted by Fiona (@getfitfiona) on

 

After the breakfast was over we were able to check out the zoo. A baby giraffe was born in the fall, so I really wanted to see him. He was absolutely adorable! The zoo was super busy so I ended up leaving afterwards. Crowds just weren’t my thing on Friday.

Postmark Raspberry Beer

Friday night my boyfriend and I got together for dinner. We made pizzas and had a couple beers. This one was particularly good. When he found out I’d never seen Clerks or Clerks 2 he was shocked so we ended up watching both of them.

Exercise Physiology Homework

Saturday was devoted to homework and laundry. Exciting, I know. I worked on my very last exercise physiology assignment of the semester. We had to apply what we’ve been learning over the last couple months to 6 case studies. Going through the assignment makes me realize how much I’ve learned this semester. While it’s really dense and scientific material, I know I’ll be using things from this class with my clients when I’m training them after I’m done school.

The dumpling hero food truck

Sunday afternoon I decided to go downtown to check out the food trucks at #picnicinvicpark. There were a ton of trucks to pick from, so my boyfriend and I decided to do a lap and check out all the menus of the food trucks. I decided to go with the dumpling sampler from The Dumpling Hero.

The Dumpling Hero

It was a lot of food, but I would definitely get it again. There were three different kinds of dumplings along with some noodles. Once I got home I spent some time getting ready for the week and finishing up laundry.

All in all it was a great weekend with a good mix of work and fun. Now on to today’s workout playlist! There are so many great summer songs on the radio right now, so I had to make sure that I included a few of them in this playlist. My current favorite is Selena Gomez’s Kill Em With Kindness. And like usual, I added a throwback song (London Bridge).

Workout Playlist

Now that you know what I’m listening to at the gym, leave a comment below with a song from your current workout playlist. 

Day in the Life – June 2016

Since I did my last DITL post back in March, I thought it was time to do another one. It’s a new semester with a different class schedule. I love reading about other people’s days, so I hope you like reading about mine.

Breakfast

I started off my day by waking up to my alarm clock. A few minutes later I was downstairs in the kitchen putting together breakfast. This time I went with corn flakes, vanilla yogurt, and an orange. While I ate I watched the morning news. I need some time in the morning to wake up completely, so watching the news is a good way for me to do that. I then got dressed for the day and quickly checked my email and printed off some PowerPoint slides for class before leaving for school. For the last few months I’ve started listening to podcasts in the car. Today I listened to the latest Black Tapes podcast. It’s a must if you like the creepy and the strange. It’s currently in it’s second season and I always look forward to new episodes.

Class

In my bio mechanics class we were talking about good posture and injuries that can lead to bad posture. I know I’m definitely guilty of having bad posture sometimes – it’s so much more easier (and less work) than making sure I’m sitting up straight or walking with my shoulder back instead of hunched forward. Since it’s a three hour class we get a break halfway through. One of my classmates recently got back from the UK, and he brought us all back his favorite British candy.

Curry

On my way back home from school I finished up the Black Tapes podcast I’d started earlier in the day and then got started making lunch. I decided to heat up some curry that I’d gotten at the farmer’s market on the weekend. The guy I buy it from knows that I like the mild chicken curry, so when he sees me coming he pulls one out for me. Besides heating the curry up all I had to do was cook up some brown rice to go with it. Super easy but tasty lunch!

Homework

After lunch I got started on an assignment that’s due at the end of the week. I had to put together six weeks of workouts for a made up person who has back and shoulder injuries. It was a ton of work, but I learned a lot doing it. You have to be pretty careful prescribing exercises when there’s a back injury so I had to make sure that the program I put together could be done safely without causing any further back problems.

Wild Blue Flax

After a few hours I needed a break from homework so I spent some time in the backyard doing a bit of weeding and enjoying the pretty flowers that are blooming right now. I think my favorite at the moment are these wild blue flax. They’re so delicate looking and blow in the wind because they’re fairly tall – just so beautiful.

Raspberries

I started feeling hungry so I went inside and had a snack of raspberries. I saw them at the grocery store the day before and debated about if I wanted to get them or not. I ended up deciding to, and I’m so glad I did because they’re delicious! Afterwards I spent some time answering emails and getting some blog stuff done.

Dinner

For dinner I made sauteed chicken, veggies, and brown rice. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it hit the spot. There were lots of leftovers so I’ll have lunches ready to go for the next few days. After cleaning up the kitchen I spent some time on the couch watching TV. Before I knew it I was yawning so I decided to go to bed. After changing into my PJ’s I got into bed, set my alarm for the next morning, and turned off the light.

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Although it’s not totally related to this post, I wanted to make sure I shared this deal from yogadownload.com (affiliate link). The Yearly Elite Yoga Membership is regularly $90, but is currently $60 with code YEARLYELITE60. Make sure you check it out if you’re interested.

This post contains an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting my blog, I really appreciate it! 

My Favorite Hiking Gear

Since I went on my first hike of the summer last week (Big Hill Springs), I thought I’d put together a list of some of my favorite hiking gear. I actually have a backpack that I keep some of this stuff in year round. It’s super easy to get ready to go for a hike then, since I only have to add a few things to it.

My Favorite Hiking Gear June 13 2016

Guide book Having a good guide book with lots of details about the hike you want to go on is essential. Knowing details about the trail head (I’ve driven past lots of them while looking for them!), the difficulty, and how long it is makes all the difference when planning for a hike that you’ll enjoy rather than be in over your head. I really like the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide (affiliate link) for hikes in Alberta and British Columbia.

Map If you’re planning on spending any amount of time hiking in the same area, I’d suggest getting a topographical map. It’s pretty cool to unfold it at the top of a mountain and be able to identify the other mountains around you. They’re also useful for planning which hikes to do, as they give you a good idea of how much elevation is covered. I like Gem Trek maps for the Canadian Rockies.

First aid kit You never know when something is going to happen, so being prepared is key. Having even a little first aid kit like this one (affiliate link) is helpful – even if it’s just to deal with blisters or a scraped knee.

Cascade Ponds Banff

Waterproof jacket Going into the mountains means that you have to be prepared for the weather to change quickly. Even though it might not look like it’ll rain when you start out from the parking lot, the sky can look very different in as little as 30 minutes. I always make sure I have a waterproof jacket in my backpack. I recently bought this one for my trip to Vancouver in July. Vancouver is notoriously rainy, and since it’s packable it takes up minimal room so that I can pop it into my bag and not have to worry.

Hiking boots If you’ll be doing any amount of hiking it’ll be worth it to invest in a pair of good hiking boots. They’re so much better than runners if you’re on rocky paths or hiking in the mountains. I like ones that are a bit higher and go around my ankle for an added bit of support. Before you go on your first hike, make sure to wear them in first. If you don’t, I can practically guarantee you’ll come back with blisters.

Sunscreen Since I have such fair skin, sunscreen is a must for me if I’m spending any amount of time outside. This spring I bought this sunscreen from Ombrelle. Now that I’ve been using it for a few months I can say that I really like it.

Hiking

Bug spray Bugs can make a hike miserable. Plus dealing with bug bites for the days after a hike aren’t very fun either. I always go with this one (affiliate link).

Water bottle with plenty of water As with any sort of physical activity, it’s important to stay hydrated. I like water bottles better than water bladders for the most part. I’ve been using this one  (affiliate link) from Thermos and I’ve really been liking it. It has a latch that ensures that it won’t open up by accident while it’s in my backpack.

Food Lastly, make sure you bring enough food with you. You can burn through a ton of calories if you’re hiking up the side of a mountain, so make sure to bring a bit extra over and above what you think you’ll need. One of my favorite things to bring with me is trail mix. It’s calorie dense and easy to eat, and doesn’t create any trash. Click here for my trail mix recipe.

Where did you go for your last hike? 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog, I appreciate it! 

Fun Facts Friday on Saturday

I meant to have this post up yesterday, but by the time I got home from school and did some homework I didn’t feel like sitting at the computer anymore. So here’s Fun Facts Friday a day late.

1.  I’ve been slowly but surely updating some of the older graphics here on GFF. Let’s just say that my skills have gotten a ton better since I first started the blog, so I thought it would be a good idea to make some new ones. There’s such a big difference in the ones I’ve in Canva versus what I used to use.

2.  Speaking of graphics, I’ve added an opt-in bonus when you sign up for my newsletter. It’s an at home tabata workout, so if you’re looking for a new workout to try, make sure you sign up.

Tamales

3.  My mom had a craving for tamales a few days ago. I had no idea where to get tamales in Calgary, so with a few suggestions from my boyfriend I came up with a few places to try. Luckily the first one had them, so we got tamales along with some guacamole, chips, fajitas, and a few other things. The tamales turned out amazing and I’m sure we’ll be back to get more soon. If you’re in Calgary and wondering where we got them, it was at Salsita right on the corner of 14th Street and Northmount Drive. The owner was telling me that they have cooking classes starting back up in the fall and I’m seriously considering signing up for one.

4. I finally got a new bed! I knew that I needed to get one for awhile. Then this week I discovered a spring that would dig into my knee when I was laying in the left side. The new bed was delivered Thursday morning (a day ahead of schedule – yay). Even though I’ve only slept on it for two nights, it’s infinitely more comfortable than my old one. Now that I think about it, I’ve had my old bed since my second year of university, 14 years ago! It was definitely time for a new one.

5. I think I’m starting to get the hang of Snapchat (my username is getfitfiona if you want to add me). It was recently updated so the layout changed a bit, and I like it better than how it used to be. It definitely took some time and practice using it before I felt comfortable with it.

6. There’s only two and a half weeks left in the semester. Although I knew this semester was going to speed by because it’s only two months long, it’s going by a lot faster than I was expecting. Although there’s some more assignments, internship hours, and two finals to go, I’m really looking forward to summer and getting a break from school.

If you’re on Snapchat leave your username in the comments, I’d love to follow some more people.

Summer Beach Body Workout

It’s been scorching hot here in Calgary for the last few days. Although I prefer slightly cooler temperatures, it has me realizing the summer is officially here. I thought that for today’s workout I’d go with summer theme, so I designed one that would get you ready to spend time on the beach.

Each mini circuit has two strength exercises along with two minutes of cardio. Do twelve sets three times of each strength move (resting 30 seconds between each set) before moving on to the next one. When you get to the cardio, do it for two minute before taking another thirty second rest. Then move to the next mini circuit. The circuits alternate between upper body and lower body, so you get a full body workout by the time you’re done the workout.

As usual, make sure you do a proper warm up and cool down for five to ten minutes each. Although they might be tempting to skip, they’re so important to get your body ready to work and then letting it recover after the workout is done. I’m all about quick workouts (really, who wants to spend more time than they have to in the gym), so that’s how I like to design them too.

The only equipment you need are dumbbells, a bench, and a wall. For the weight of the dumbbells, pick something that it heavy enough that you can only do 12 reps, but light enough that you can recover relatively quickly. It might take some trial and error to figure out the right weight for each move, but that’s okay.

Summer beach body workout

In case you’re unsure of any of the exercises, here are links for how to do them:

As always, be sure to check with a doctor before beginning to exercise. In addition, always listen to your body and modify as needed.

Are you going to be spending any time on a beach this summer? Leave a comment below telling me where.

A Hike in Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Friday morning I went for a hike in Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. I didn’t have any classes, so I wanted to make sure I took advantage of the beautiful weather and spend some time outdoors. If you follow me on Instagram (getfitfiona), you’ll have already seen a few photos from the hike. It’s such a pretty spot (and so close to the city – it only took me 25 minutes to drive there), so I wanted to devote an entire blog post to it. We arrived at around 10 am on Friday morning to find only one other car in the parking lot at the trail head. By the time we left an hour later there were probably 10 or 12 other cars there. We only came across two other groups on the trail though, so it didn’t feel crowded.

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park Map

This info was posted in the parking lot. It also had a map of the trail which was handy.

Big Hill Springs Waterfall

The first half of the hike was pretty flat and stayed pretty close to the water. The waterfalls were created by tufa (deposits of limestone). Tufa is found all over the world, from the UK to Australia. Although the waterfalls weren’t very big, they look like they belong in a fairy tale. I think this would be a great hike if you have kids – it’s not too tough (or long) and there’s lots to see along the way.

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

This tree was growing out of a huge rock on the very, very end. It looked like all it would take to make it fall over was a big gust of wind. I was amazed that it would grow there for so long.

Big Hill Springs Waterfall

It felt like everywhere I looked there was something else pretty to see. I feel very lucky that there’s such a pretty hike so close to the city that feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere.

Tufa Big Hill Springs

The huge rock on the left was actually part of what looked like a rock wall. The water ran around the end of it.

Big Hill Springs

Because the water comes from an underground spring and it looked like most of it was sheltered by trees, it was pretty cold.

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

 

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

Apparently there used to be an old hatchery and creamery here. These were the only remains of any buildings that I saw.

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

I wish we could have kept following the water, but we came to the border of Big Hill Springs Provincial Park. We ended up following the trail up the side of hill where we came to this view when there was a break in the trees. We had a great view of the valley to the hills on the other side.

 

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park

The second half of the loop back towards the trail head was mostly switchbacks through the trees headed back downhill.

We managed to do the roughly 2.5 km trail in about an hour with lots of stops to take photos. It’s a great hike if you’re looking something close to Calgary. In addition it’s not too strenuous – perfect for a relaxing hike to take in nature, as the elevation gain isn’t too much. Now that I’ve discovered it I want to come back at different times of the year and check out how the plants change. While we did see some wildflowers (anemone, wild rose, and geum), I’m sure there will be different ones blooming in six or eight weeks, not to mention in a few months. I think it would be beautiful in the fall with the leaves changing colors as well.

June 2016 Goals

June 2016 Goals

It’s hard to believe it’s already June. I’m not complaining though, I’ve been enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. Since it’s been awhile since I last wrote a monthly goals post, I wanted to make sure I got one done for June. These posts really help to keep me accountable and on track throughout the month, knowing that I’ve shared my goals with you guys.

My first goal is to take more of my workouts outside. Some of my favorite yoga practices were done in the backyard to at a park here in Calgary. I haven’t been going on as many walks in my favorite park as I would like, so I also want to do those more often. Although I haven’t been to soccer in a week or two because school has been so busy, it’s great to be playing games outside. Given how cold and snowy the winters are here I want to make sure I get out and appreciate the nice weather as much as I can. I’d like to do two workouts per week outside.

For my second goal this month I want to track 3 days per week of my food on My Fitness Pal. I find that I end up eating quite a bit better and make healthier decisions when I know I’m going to put it into the app. While I know no one but me will be seeing it, it’s a good way to keep myself accountable.

Since the semester ends the last week of June, and I have four assignments and two finals, I’ve decided to go with just two goals this time around. School is going to keep me busy and I don’t want to over commit myself. It’s going to be stressful enough as it is.

Now that you know my goals for this month, share one of yours in the comments below.