April Workout Playlist

I’m pretty pumped this morning because last night was my very first soccer game of the season! I think it’s been two years since I last played in this league, but it was so much fun to be back. I requested to be put on the same team I was before, and there were even a few people I remembered, so it was great to catch up. Needless to say I was a bit rusty, but I’m sure I’ll get back in the swing of things before I know it. Games are played twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but with a semester of summer classes and an internship, I’m hoping to get to at least one game per week.

It’s time for another workout playlist here on Get Fit Fiona. Not only is it fun putting together these playlists for you guys, but it also gets me out of my music ruts that I get in more often than I’d like to admit.

I can’t get enough of My House and Never Forget You, which is a good thing because they’re on the radio non-stop here in Calgary. I also included some older favorites like Kelly Clarkson’s Since U Been Gone and Timber by Pitbull. For some reason I still confuse Ellie Goulding with Lights (a Canadian artist). I have no idea how I started mixing them up in the first place as they look nothing like each other.

April Workout Playlist

By the way, am I the only one who thinks of Jimmy Fallon now when I hear Zayn’s Pillowtalk? If you haven’t seen the lip sync battle, take a look at the video below (Pillowtalk starts about 4 minutes in if you want to skip right to it).

I love hearing what other people are currently listening to, so leave a comment below with a favorite song on your workout playlist. 

Zumba Certification – Basic Steps 1

Zumba Basic Steps 1 Certification

A few weeks ago I took the Zumba Basic Steps 1 certification. I’d been checking the Zumba website periodically to see when they were having a training near me. I tried to find info on what to expect with the Basic Steps 1 certification, but unfortunately I couldn’t find much. I thought the topic would be a great blog post for others who are also looking into getting certified in Zumba.

Luckily I found out about one early enough that I could get the early bird price when I signed up. You can’t go wrong with saving money. I was talking to one of the other ladies during the training, and unfortunately she didn’t realize that even though she was registering for a training in Canada, the fee was in US dollars. Needless to say with the current state of the Canadian dollar she had a bit of a surprise when she got her credit card bill. Make sure you check out the exchange rate if you’re Canadian when you register so you know what to expect when your credit card bill arrives.

The instructor for the full day training was Andrea Sandhu (check out her site here). Right away it was obvious that she had a lot of energy and that she was going to keep us on our toes. We started off the day with a preview Zumba class, where we went through a warm up, a few songs for the meat of the class, and then a cool down. It was great to go through a class looking at it as an instructor instead of as a participant.

Zumba Basic Steps 1 DVD

Afterwards we spent some time with out instructor manuals while Andrea explained everything from how Zumba was created and it’s founder to how songs are made up. We then got back on our feet and dived into learning the merengue. We spent the most amount of time on the merengue, because it was the first of four that we learned that day. With each successive dance (salsa, cumbia, and lastly raggaeton), we spent less and less time on it. I really liked that approach because the more we moved the easier the different steps were to pick up.

We broke for about a thirty minute lunch. While a few people left to go buy something, most of the people brought a lunch from home, which is what I did. It was great to have a bit of time to talk to the other people taking the class. Honestly there wasn’t a lot of time otherwise to do it because it was such a jam packed day. I actually ended up chatting with a lady I’d done the group fitness certification with back in February. Sometimes Calgary seems like such a big city, and other days it feels so small.

Once Lunch was over we once again alternated between learning the steps and listening to Andrea go through the manual. I thought she had a lot of great tips and ideas as far as leading your first class. She definitely had a lot to add to the manual. She also spend time going over ZIN, which is the Zumba Instructor Network. For a monthly fee of $34.95 (USD again, so check the exchange rate if you’re Canadian) per month you get access to a new playlist along with choreography. I can see how it would save your a ton of time because you don’t have to come up with your own choreography, plus you can download the music to your phone or ipod and use it during classes. I didn’t sign up for it, as I’m not taking my group fitness certification exams until August, so I can’t teach until then.

Zumba Basic Steps 1 Certificate

So what am I qualified to do now? I can teach a Zumba class, and I have the certificate to prove that I can! I’m certified for a year. If I let it expire I’ll need to take Basic Steps again or I can join ZIN, and I’ll be certified for as long as I’m a member. I’d love to teach Zumba once I’m group fitness certified. I think it’s a really fun workout with great music. Like Andrea mentioned during the training, “Zumba is exercise in disguise”. I’ve always had fun at every class I’ve been to, though I end up leaving a sweaty mess too.

I also left the training with a 4 DVD/CD set with music and choreography. I have yet to go through it all quite yet, but I did check out part of it and it looks like it’s going to be really helpful when it comes time to put together my first class. It’s also nice to be able to take something home to review what I’ve learned. As helpful as the manual is, when it comes to dancing, being able to watch something comes in pretty handy.

To be entirely honest the only thing I didn’t like about the Zumba certification was how much ZIN was pushed. I wished we’d spent more time going over the steps instead of hearing about the benefits of ZIN and why we should sign up.

Have you ever taken a Zumba class? Do you teach any fitness classes? 

5 Reasons To Grow a Garden

5 Reasons to Grow a Garden

If you’ve been reading Get Fit Fiona for any length of time you’ll know that I’m a gardener and plant person. I’m surrounded by native plants at work. During the summer I grow a garden. Plants and flowers are my thing. Today I thought I’d share 5 reasons to grow a garden.

1 It’s environmentally friendly. 

If you don’t use pesticides or fertilizers, growing your own food in incredibly environmentally friendly. Plant the vegetables that do best in your part of the world. Find out how long your growing season is and plant things that will grow in that time period. When the growing season is over, make sure you put the plants (minus the seeds of course) into your compost pile to create compost for the next year to nourish your garden.

2 It gets you being active outside. 

Anyone who’s spent time gardening will tell you that even though it looks deceptively easy, it can get tiring. Just preparing the garden for planting can be a lot of work before you even get one seed into the ground. It also gives you a good excuse to spend time outside. Plus there’s something therapeutic about digging around in the dirt and caring for plants.

3 It doesn’t get any fresher. 

There’s nothing better than picking basil five minutes before you use it in your spaghetti sauce for dinner. Tomatoes are the absolute juiciest the day after it rains. Although you can get fresh produce from the farmer’s market, there’s something about growing it yourself that just makes it taste better.

Zucchini August 30 2012

4 Your vegetables are bigger and taste amazing. 

The zucchinis I grew last summer were two or three times the size of the ones that were at the grocery store at the same time. Grocery store tomatoes can sometimes have no flavor, but the ones from my garden were delicious. My peas are incredibly sweet, and once I start eating them straight from the pod I can’t stop.

5 It’s affordable

Since I had so many seeds leftover from previous years, I only spent $20 on seeds last year. I would have spent that much just on the tomatoes I grew if I’d bought them at the grocery store, not to mention the zucchinis, beans, peas, carrots, radishes, and greens that I also grew. This year I’m not planning on buying any seeds because I still have so many leftover. Don’t let the seed companies tell you otherwise, seeds from previous years are still good. You just might have to plant a few more to get the same germination rate.

Do you grow a garden? 

Lower Body Gym Workout

I hope everyone had a good weekend. Mine was spent relaxing and learning. Friday night I went to a friend’s restorative yoga class. I love her restorative classes, though she doesn’t do them on a regular basis. When I saw her name on the schedule I knew I had to go. Needless to say, it was exactly what I needed after a stressful week and I left after 75 minutes feeling incredibly relaxed.

My Saturday was spent at a Zumba certification. It was a long day, but one filled with lots of good music and learning. I’m planning on writing a post about it for others who might be interested in taking the certification too.

I started off Sunday with brunch at a vegetarian restaurant with some friends from Twitter. I’d never been there before, but the food turned out pretty good.

Today I thought I’d share a workout. This one is for your lower body and requires a gym because there are squats and deadlifts involved. Although I know that the weight room can be an intimidating place sometimes (I know it was for me), I really encourage you to just get in there. The first workout or two might be a bit scary, but the more you do it, the less intimidating it gets. And to be honest, everyone else is too busy thinking about their own workouts to worry about yours.

Lower Body Workout

A few tips for this workout:

  • Warmups and cooldowns are so, so important, so I decided to add them into this workout. They’re a pretty important part, so while it might be tempting to skip one of both of them, don’t!
  • I didn’t include any weights. How much you lift is up to you. How do you figure out how much you should be lifting? It might take a little bit of trial and error, but pick a weight that you can lift 12 times. If you can do 15, it’s too light. If you can only do 9, it’s too heavy. Be honest with yourself too. If it’s too light, challenge yourself and add 5 or 10 pounds. It’s also not worth having bad form, so take a little weight off if you’re really struggling with the last few reps.
  • Take up to 30 seconds of rest between each set.

If you do this workout, let me know how you liked it. Creating workout is probably one of my favorite kinds of posts to write. I’m pretty excited to be putting what I’m learning at school into practice.

Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Leave a comment below telling me about it. 

Remember to check with your doctor before starting to workout. Honor your body and modify as needed. 

I’m Done Finals!

I’m very glad to say that after a very intense week of 4 finals in 4 days, I’m officially done!

Whiteboard Studying

I feel like the end of this semester was a lot busier than the end of the fall semester. I had three assignments due within the last two weeks of classes, which meant that I had to be more creative when it came to finding time to study for finals. Once classes ended on Thursday though I was in final studying mode. I had a list of all the powerpoints and chapters I had to study and crossed them off as I slowly got through them. I’m one of those people who has to write things over and over again for them to stick in my brain, so I made sure to write lists of things I had to memorize over and over again. While I don’t have all my marks back yet from the finals, I’m feeling pretty good about all of them.

Ciders Radlers

Yesterday afternoon on my way home from school after my last final I stopped by the liquor store to pick up a few radlers and ciders to enjoy throughout April now that I don’t have to be back at school until the first week of May.

Now that I have absolutely nothing to do today (no homework or work), it feels a bit weird after weeks of feeling like I never had enough time in a day. I can sit in the sun in the backyard and read a book for fun. I can watch trashy reality TV without feeling guilty. I can take a nap if I want to! I plan on doing some blogging as well as spending some time updating some post graphics with my extra time over the next few weeks. I already did this post about yoga terms for beginners and I think it turned out great. There’s also a few posts that I’ve been meaning to write but I just haven’t gotten around to it, including a post about taking the AFLCA Group Exercise course.

On a related note, I’m taking a Zumba certification on Saturday! While I’m relatively new to Zumba (my first class was back in September), I instantly fell in love and knew that I wanted to teach it one day. Although I won’t be certified to do any group fitness until August after I take the AFLCA exams, I couldn’t pass up doing the Zumba course this weekend. You really can’t go wrong with a workout that feels like more fun than it should be.

Now that you know what I’ll be up to this weekend, leave a comment below with something fun you have planned.

Day in the Life

Since it’s been a few months since I’ve done my last Day in the Life post, I thought I’d do another one today (check out my last one here).

Since I have to be at school early today I have my alarm set for 6:00 am. I’m one of those people who needs time to wake up in the morning before I start going, so I always add in a little bit of buffer time. Once I’ve showered, eaten, and gotten by books and assignment together for school, I dead off.

There was next to no traffic on the way there, so I’m early. I end up finding some classmates who are also a bit early for class and we end up talking about finals. None of us can believe that they’re already happening next week. During class I hand in my last assignment of the semester (it feels go good!), and take in everything the prof has to say during our review class. I’m so grateful when we get review classes at the end of the semester.

studying

After getting home from school and reheating some leftovers for lunch, I spend some time studying for my nutrition final. I’m very grateful it’s only covering content since the midterm, though there’s still a lot to know. After about an hour I decided to take a quick 10 minute break and then start back studying, but this time for my strength training class.

spring plants

I decided to take a break from sitting at my desk and studying so I spent some time in the backyard. We’ve had a really warm an dry spring this year, so the plants are starting to grow earlier than they would normally. I bought these plants from work last summer, so since they’re perennials they’re really going to get big this year. The three in the front are forget-me-nots. They’re so pretty with their blue petals and yellow centres. The three in the back are old man’s whiskers or prairie smoke (click here if you want to see a photo of them blooming to see why they have the name they do). They’re both native plants to Alberta, so they’ll survive even if we get cold and snowy weather before the spring is done.

citrus tofu

For dinner I cooked up some citrus tofu from my favorite vegan Vietnamese restaurant in Calgary (Hearts Choices) along with some frozen veggies and rice. It’s a meal that’s pretty easy to make and always makes leftovers, so it’s great for days when I need to take a lunch with me to school.

Girl Guide Cookies March 30 2016

After dinner I get some more studying done (this time it’s for my program design class). After an hour and a half I decide that I can’t fit anymore information in my head for the day and eat a couple girl guide cookies while relaxing on the couch watching TV. I was in guiding for ten years as kid and I’m sure I sold hundreds of boxes of cookies during that time. Whenever the girls come to the door wanting to know if I want to buy any I always get a box or two.

Rebels of Ireland book

Since I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open I figure it’s time to head to bed. After washing my face and changing into my PJ’s I get into bed and read The Rebels of Ireland (affiliate link) for about half an hour. It’s the second book of two about Ireland. Now that I know a bit about the history of Ireland, it’s on my list of places to travel to. Just about every place that’s described in the book sounds beautiful, particularly Glendalough – I’d love to go hiking there.

Once I’m done reading I turn off the light and I’m off to dreamland.

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

Workout Playlist

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had a good long weekend. It was great to have Friday off from work and school. Although I didn’t do anything fun and exciting, I did get some homework done. While I do have to go into work today, I don’t have any classes. My plan to finish up an assignment this afternoon. It’s hard to believe that this is the last week of classes and finals start on Monday.

Snapchat Profile March 28 2016

Before I get into this month’s playlist I wanted to share that I’m now on Snapchat. I’ve been fighting getting on another form of social media, but I finally took the plunge. Although it took some getting used to (I didn’t find it very user friendly at first), I think I have the hang of it now. If you want to add me my username is getfitfiona. It feels a little less formal to me compared to other forms of social media. I think it might be because of how short lived snaps are. Before you know it, they’re gone!

Usually I create a new workout playlist every month or so (click here if you want to check out previous ones). It keeps me from getting bored of the same music when I’m at the gym. I figure one more thing getting me motivated to work hard is always a good thing! Although I didn’t really like Meghan Trainor’s first single, I’m really enjoying No. I know I had Hotline Bling on a playlist a couple months ago, but I just can’ get enough of that song. You can’t go wrong with Drake. I also added a few older songs by Madonna and Fatboy Slim. I remember Right Here, Right Now was released when I was in junior high or high school.

Workout Playlist Small March 28 2016

What’s one song that’s on your current workout playlist?

Week in Review

Studying March 25 2016

The last two weeks have been super busy, hence the radio silence here on Get Fit Fiona. The end of the semester always seems to get like that even when I stay on top of school work. Needless to say I’m very grateful it’s a long weekend with both Friday and Monday off. That means I’ll have more time to wrap up my last few assignments and start studying for finals. I only have three more classes next week before finals start the first week of April. While it feels like I have a ton of work to fit in between now and then, there’s also a light at the end of the tunnel.

Last weekend one of my teeth started to hurt. I couldn’t chew on my left side, which meant I was eating soup and yogurt – anything soft that didn’t require chewing. Monday morning I called my dentist to make an appointment even though my tooth had started to feel better. They were able to get me in the next day. My tooth was feeling completely normal by then. Of course. They took an x-ray and the dentist did an exam, but couldn’t find anything wrong. They think I either bit down on something hard (which I don’t remember doing), or I’ve been clenching my jaw more than usual, causing the tooth to hurt.

Tuesday night I had a massage booked. Like I usually do, I asked him to work on my shoulders and back as that’s usually where I carry my stress. Needless to say I’ve been more stressed than I thought because I could feel every single knot when he found them. I didn’t realize how tight my shoulders were until they were relaxed. He mentioned at the end that I was really tight and gave me some stretches to do at home.

Clearly my body is telling me that my current stress levels aren’t sustainable, if I’m clenching my jaw hard enough to cause tooth aches and my shoulders are up to my ears. While there’s not a lot I can do about school stress (there’s no way to make finals not stressful), I’ve decided I’m going to do my best to take care of myself. I have another massage booked in April after finals are done. I have a couple fun things planned before the next semester starts in May. I’m doing my shoulder stretches to keep them from getting as tight as they were. I used to go to a restorative yoga class Friday nights. I’ve decided to try to make that class a habit again, starting tonight.

Strawberry Beer March 2016

It hasn’t all been bad though. Last Saturday was date night and my boyfriend had this strawberry beer waiting for me in his fridge. He always manages to find the beers that I end up loving. It was delicious and the foam ended up having a slightly pink tinge to it from the strawberries.

Reflector Article March 25 2016

I also wrote my last article for the school newspaper. It came out on Friday, and even though I’ve written 5 or 6 this year, it’s always exciting to see it in print. This article was how to be active outside during the spring. I’ve really enjoyed writing for the paper this year, so I’m planning on doing it again next year.

A couple weekends ago I volunteered at the Calgary Flames Health Training Camp. It was a one day event where families could come to WinSport (where the 1988 Winter Olympics were held) to get some info on making healthier choices. There were a bunch of different exercise stations set up, which is where I helped out. I ended up leading my very first mini fitness class. I was super nervous about it because there could have been up to twenty people in it, but it ended up just being a dad and his two sons. I had a lot of fun leading them through the workout and it went a lot better than I was expecting.

Fun Facts Friday

This week has been busy! It started on Sunday when I took my physiology unit test. It covered the heart, blood, blood vessels, and the digestive system. Needless to day it was a lot of information that I had to know. Luckily all my studying paid off and I aced it. Yesterday I did a Bosu ball presentation with a friend for our strength training class. I had been stressing about it, trying to make sure I could answer any and all questions that we might be asked. I think it went relatively well. I’m definitely feeling relieved that it’s finally done!

Workouts

We’ve also been training partners in the gym for an assignment. It’s been a real eye opener for what it’s going to be like when I graduate. The hour we have flies by! The first workout I did we didn’t even have time for the cool down. While I had profs tell me that there’s a lot of small talk involved while your client is doing the work, I didn’t realize exactly how much. Even when I’m explaining the exercise that I want my partner to do has been a learning experience. I think I’m being clear, but then she’ll have questions about the details “Is it single arm or both arms? How much weight do you want me to use? How does my form look?” I’m really glad we’ve been doing this because it gives me a better feel for what I’ll be doing in the real world.

Flames Health Training Camp

This coming Sunday I’ll be helping out at the Flames Health Training Camp at WinSport. It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun, so if you’re in Calgary you should come down. There will be everything from health screenings to workouts, to ideas for meal planning, so there’s something for everyone. I’m really looking forward to it – I’m sure I’m going to learn a lot.

Today the plan is to get as much homework done as I can. I have some reading to do for my nutrition class, an assignment to finish for my program design class, and an article to finish for the school newspaper. This will be my fifth and final piece for the newspaper this year. It’s amazing how fast the year has gone by. So even though I don’t have any classes today, I’ll still be busy getting lots of work done.

This weekend won’t all be work though. I have plans with friends to see 10 Cloverfield Lane on Saturday night. It looks like a scary movie, which is perfect for the group of friends who are going. Then on Sunday I’ll be having dinner with some friends who will be in Calgary from out of town. It’s been awhile since I’ve last seen them so I’m sure there will be lots of catching up happening.

Leave a comment with one thing you’re looking forward to this weekend. 

February Workout Playlist

It’s Monday! I hope everyone had a fun weekend. Unfortunately mine wasn’t all that great because I started getting sick on Saturday. I had to cancel dinner plans with my boyfriend on Sunday because I was feeling worse and I didn’t want to get him sick too. I emailed my boss yesterday that I didn’t think I’d be up for working this morning. I’m hoping to head to school this afternoon for a class. I’m just hoping it doesn’t turn into an ear infection. I used to get them a lot as a kid, and I’ve even had a few as an adult. Those are completely miserable. My plan is lots of rest, hydration, and meds.

Cold Meds February 2016

Now onto the subject of today’s post . . . . a new workout playlist!

I want to share them more often in 2016, so I’ve been wanting to post one every month. It’s a good thing 2016 is a leap year, because it means I can get in February’s workout playlist just in time! I included a lot of songs that I’ve been hearing on the radio lately as well as a couple favorites from a few years ago by Madonna and Justin Timberlake. Lately I’ve really been enjoying Ellie Goulding and Flo Rida, so I’ve included both of them in this playlist as well.

February Workout Playlist

If you want to check out all of my workout playlists for some more music ideas, you can find them all here. I love finding out what other people are listening to when they’re working out, so I figure others have to be interested in them too! I find that music can make the difference between a so so workout and a great one. The right combinations of songs can get my going and putting more energy into my workouts.

What’s a favorite song on one of your current playlists? Where do you get playlist ideas from?