40 Minute Cardio Workout

Happy Wednesday! This week feels like it's flying by due to the day off on Monday thanks to Victoria Day. Long weekends always seem to come right when you need them. This weekend I'm attending WordCamp (two days of all things WordPress, which I use to blog) so I'm looking forward to that. It starts on Friday so it's coming up.

Today I thought I'd share a cardio workout. You can pick the variable that is changed in this workout. Speed, incline, or resistance can be manipulated – though you should only pick one. Trying to do more than one will be too tough.

 

40 Minute Cardio Workout

How do you know how hard to work? That's where Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) comes in. RPE is based on a scale of 1 to 10 – 1 be very light activity and 10 being working as hard as you possibly can. The warm up and cool downs will have the lowest RPE. The hardest that you'll be working at during this workout is an 8. You should be able to work at a 1 indefinitely, while a 10 should only be sustainable for a short period of time. Below is a chart indicating how hard you should be working at each RPE.

  • 1 – very light
  • 2 – light
  • 3
  • 4 – moderate
  • 5
  • 6 – somewhat hard
  • 7
  • 8 – very hard
  • 9 – extremely hard
  • 10 – max exertion

This scale should give you an idea of how hard you should be working at each stage of the workout. As mentioned above, manipulate one of the variables (speed, incline, or resistance) to get to the required RPE. It might take some practice at first to figure out how much to change the variable to get the required RPE, but you'll get the hang of it before you know it.

This 40 minute long one can be done on any piece of cardio equipment at the gym that you'd like – the treadmill, bike, or elliptical. The piece of equipment that you'll use will in part determine the variable that you'll change. For instance, you can't change the inline on a bike, but you can change the speed and resistance.

Interested in doing another workout? You can find all of my workouts on my workouts page here. Let me know if you do this workout and how you like it!

As always, talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Modify this workout as needed for you.

What was your workout today?

Weekend in Review May 22 2018

In case you're wondering why I'm recapping my weekend a day later than usual, we had a long weekend here in Canada. Yesterday was Victoria Day (which is a stat), so I had the day off from work. Woohoo! The May long weekend is always the unofficial start of summer. Long weekends always seem to come right when I need them. I know one day really isn't a big deal, but having that day off when I'd usually be at work makes it seem extra good, know what I mean? I definitely took advantage of my long weekend.

Friday

Groceries

My internet was down Friday evening, which meant that instead of watching Netflix on the couch, I ended up being productive instead. After eating dinner I get a couple loads of laundry done and planned my meals for the coming week. I then headed out to get groceries. Such an exciting Friday night, I know. But at least I got my laundry and groceries done and I didn't have to worry about them for the rest of the weekend.

Saturday

Saturday morning I actually slept in! I made it until 7:30 and then I got up. I'm usually not a person who can sleep in, so sleeping until 7:30 felt pretty luxurious.

Since I had gotten my groceries for the week the night before, I got to work making chicken fajitas for lunch. I used the spice mix from this recipe (Budget Bytes has some of my favorite recipes – Beth is awesome). I then sauteed up some chicken, added the spices, and then added some sliced green pepper and onion. It turned out delicious!

Picnic in the Park Food Trucks

Saturday night was date night. It started with walking over to Picnic in the Park – an empty parking lot with a bunch of food trucks in it. It was tough to make a decision about what I wanted to get with so many choices, but I finally decided on the chili chicken tacos from Taiko Taco. My boyfriend decided on donair egg rolls from Mighty Halifax. Since our choices were shareable we both got to try what the other person got. Both the chili chicken tacos and the donair egg rolls were delicious. I'd get both of them again. They also had some live music while we were there.

Picnic in the Park Food Trucks

Since we've both been watching Westworld and we're a few episodes behind, we decided to watch some of that after walking back to his place. We watched episodes three and four of season two. I don't want to give away any spoilers for anyone who hasn't seen season 2 yet, but the last few words of episode four made me ask a ton of questions. It's amazing how just a few little words can change things so dramatically. We were both trying to come up with theories that could explain everything that's happened so far. I think we got 2 or 3 good ones, but I'm not sure if any of them are the theory. I can't wait to watch more!

Sunday

I started off my Sunday with a walk in one of my favorite parks in Calgary, Bowmont. I hadn't been in a really long time (months maybe?), and I thought I'd test out my foot walking on uneven ground. So far I've only been to the gym since it started hurting, and both the elliptical and the treadmill are flat. While it was a bit achy when I got home, that was it so I'm calling it a win. I iced it for a bit and it felt better after that.

Bowmont

It was an absolutely beautiful morning for a walk – the sun was out, there weren't many clouds in the sky, and there was a breeze. Other people must have thought the same thing because there were a ton of other people and dogs out too. One of the things that I love about Bowmont is that because it's so big and there are so many trails, even when there's lots of people out, it doesn't feel crowded like some other parks can feel. With the warm weather and rain we've gotten lately things are starting to green up and bloom. While most of the Crocus had already gone to seed, I came across two that were still blooming. And there were bright yellow Buffalo Bean blooming everywhere. It was so pretty.

Bowmont

If you follow me on Instagram you'll have seen the stories I posted on Sunday morning on my walk at Bowmont. If you're not following me, you can check out my profile here.

I decided to pick up some coffee for my parents at Tim Horton's once I had finished my walk in Bowmont. I may have achieved favorite child status.

I cooked up some honey mustard pork chops for lunches this week. If they sound familiar, it's because they are. I also made them last week for the first time and fell in love with the recipe. It's super easy to make and so flavorful. If you're looking for a new recipe to put into your rotation, try out this one.

I spent the rest of the day getting some blog stuff done and watching The Good Fight. I recently saw that it was available on Amazon Prime, and since I was such a huge fan of The Good Wife, I figured it was a pretty safe bet that I would like it. I was right and I think Christine Baranski is even better in The Good Fight than she was in The Good Wife. I didn't think that was possible, but it is. They also brought back a bunch of character from The Good Wife which I thought was really fun.

Monday

I spent Monday morning at the gym getting in a quick workout.

Elliptical Workout

My foot was still feeling a bit achy from the day before, so I figured that I would keep my workout short and sweet, I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical doing some steady state cardio and then walked the track for 10 minutes for my cooldown. For some reason my heart rate took forever to come back down (longer than usual), so I just went with it and did a few extra laps of the track.

Gym Selfie

Despite the fact that it was a short workout, I was sufficiently sweaty and red faced by the time I was done. It definitely shouldn't have been a tough workout, but for some reason it felt like it.

I spent most of the rest of the day doing some behind the scenes blog stuff that I had been putting off. I enjoy writing posts, editing photos, and creating graphics, but the maintenance stuff isn't nearly as much fun for me, hence the putting it off.

What was the highlight of your weekend? Did you have Monday off too? 

90’s Dance Playlist 2

Today I'm sharing a brand new workout playlist featuring some of my favorite 90's dance music.

For anyone in their mid to late thirties like me, I'm willing to be that you grew up with some epic (both good and bad) dance music during the 90's. I was born in the early 80's, so by the time the dance music craze happened in the 90's, I was all about it. Whenever I hear a song from that era it makes me think of grades six through eight. I have lots of memories from elementary school and junior high of these songs. It's it crazy how many memories a song can bring back? I danced (not very well) to a lot of these songs at my very first dances.

I made this playlist a month or two ago and have been listening to it while I'm doing my cardio on the elliptical. There's just something about listening to music that you used to love – no matter how long ago that was – that will always stay with you. I'm pretty sure I'll always remember the words to Ice Ice Baby and Another Night. To check out all of my workout playlists, click here.

90's Dance Playlist 2

If you're Canadian, you'll remember the Much Music Dance Mix tapes and CD's that they would release each year. They always had the hottest songs on them. I remember being so excited whenever I'd buy a new one. My absolute favorite one was Dance Mix '95. I can't be the only one who listened to those non-stop, can I?

Saturday Night is probably my favorite song on this playlist. I remember listening to it on repeat endlessly as a tween. C&C Music Factory performed Gonna Make You Sweat on a TV performance, and I remember thinking that it was such a great song. I even tried re-creating their dance from the performance with a few friends.

What's your favorite 90's dance song? Do you like listening to this kind of music while working out?

Weekend in Review May 14 2018

How is another weekend already done and gone? It flew by and I can't believe that it's already Monday morning. I guess that's the case with most weekends though – over too soon. Although it wasn't very exciting, this was just the weekend that I needed. It was low key and I was able to relax which was great. I hope this weekend was a good one for you too.

Wild Rose Brewery Wraspberry Ale

I started my weekend on Friday with date night with my boyfriend. He was craving a burger from Naina's, which I had never been to, so we walked over once I got to his place. I had walked past Naina's a few times before without giving it a second look. It's located in a very unassuming building. I'd never eaten there before, so I was looking forward to checking it out.

They had a ton of local things on the menu including their alcohol, so I decided on a Wraspberry ale from Wild Rose Brewery from right here in Calgary. I remember liking it the last time I had it, and it didn't disappoint on Friday. There wasn't a whole lot of raspberry flavor to it, just just enough to give it a hint of fruitiness.

Mac and Cheese Burger Naina's

Their thing at  Naina's is stuffed hamburgers. They have a whole bunch of things that you can pick from to put inside (think mushrooms, tomato, cheese, pulled pork). I went with the bacon mac and cheese burger. It's hard to go wrong with bacon, mac and cheese, and a burger, so I figured it would all work together. And it did – in the most delicious way possible. It was definitely a bit messy to eat, but so worth it. I'm looking forward to going back and trying a different kind of stuffed burger.

We took a bit of a walk downtown (that burger was huge so it felt good to move a bit afterwards), and when we got back to my boyfriend's place, we watched the second episode of this season of Westworld. I keep thinking that each episode will answer all the questions that I have, but I always end up with more by the time the credits come on the screen at the end of the episode. How is that possible? I think I'm now two episodes behind, so I can't even see what other people are saying about it online because I don't want to read any spoilers. I guess I'll have to wait til I'm all caught up. For those of you who haven't jumped on the Westworld bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for?!?! Definitely start with season 1 before you dive into season 2. I don't think much will make sense of season 2 otherwise. There's only 8 or 10 episodes from season 1 so it's not like you're committing to 20 or 22 episodes.

Grocery Shopping

Saturday morning I spent meal planning and grocery shopping. I ended up having to go to two different grocery stores because the first one had zero buns out, which I needed for the sloppy joes. They're not sloppy joes without the buns, right? I did pick up something kind of fun though. I found an Asian salad kit that looked really good, so I thought I'd give it a try. I've had that same brands Southwest salad which was pretty tasty, so I'm hoping that this one is just as good. I was also craving Kraft Dinner, so that's why the blue box is in my cart. Sometimes you just can't help it.

Meal Plan

I'm making the balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts again this week, because they were so good last week. I made sloppy joes when I got home from grocery shopping on Saturday. On Sunday I made the honey mustard pork chops (recipe here) and they turned out amazing! If you're looking for an easy to make recipe for pork chops, I highly recommend that you give this recipe a try. It was relatively quick to make. I switched it up a bit from the recipe and used boneless pork chops instead of bone in ones.

Sunday morning my dad made some french toast for my mom for Mother's Day and she opened her cards. He went all out with fancy strawberries and whipped cream. My gift to her this year was three baked by me things. She doesn't really bake anymore, so I figured it would be a nice thing for her to be able to ask me to bake whatever she wants. The first one that she's requested already is Rice Krispy Squares, so I'll be making them for her either today or tomorrow. It wasn't a big over the top celebration of my mom, but I think it was just the way that she wanted it. The Slight Edge

I started a new book on Saturday, The Slight Edge (affiliate link). I'm about a third of the way through the book, and I'm enjoying it so far. While I haven't read anything earth shattering yet, I like the point that the author is making about how all of those little things that you do can really add up over time. Everything from putting a little bit of money from each paycheque into your savings to choosing to go to the gym even when you don't see results right away. Over time those small actions can make a huge difference. Once I'm done I'll share my final thoughts about The Slight Edge.

I feel like I've been on a huge reading roll in 2018. Usually I end up reading (or at least starting) a dud of a book every few months, but it's definitely been longer than that since I last read one that I didn't enjoy. I'm thinking of sharing a list of books that I've read so far in 2018. Would anyone be interested in hearing about what I've been reading? So far it's been a mix of fiction and personal development books.

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

What was the highlight of your weekend? Did you celebrate Mother's Day?

Weekly Workouts and Recipes May 6 to 12 2018

Workouts

Once again this week, I've been taking it easy on the workout front. Today is 14 days since I saw the doctor who told me to rest my foot for 2 weeks, so this morning I'll be heading to the gym to try out the elliptical and see how my food feels. (If you're not up to speed, you can check out the details on my foot in this post.) The most activity I've done are walks, so I'm hoping my food feels okay after using the elliptical. I'm hoping it turns out okay and I can get back to my normal workouts. Wish me luck! If all goes well this morning at the gym I'm going to start back with my cardio workouts this week.

While I knew that workouts were a part of keeping my stress levels down, these past two weeks have really shown me that. It's been tough trying to keep the stress in check without being able to workout. I'll definitely appreciate my workouts more once I can start doing them again!

Recipes

Creamy sun dried tomato pasta

I once again made this creamy sun dried tomato pasta from Budget Bytes. I tried doubling it this time, and unfortunately it didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. It was a bit too soupy, though it still tasted good. If you try making this pasta recipe, learn from me and don't try to double it!

Stir Fry

Chicken, broccoli, onion, and peanut sauce stir fry

I had some of my absolute favorite peanut sauce in the freezer that I thought I'd use this week. I decided to make a stir fry, so I bought some chicken, broccoli, and an onion to add to the peanut sauce. I also made some brown rice to serve as the base. It turned out really good – definitely something that I would make again. It was also really easy to make, so that was a nice bonus.

Chocolate chip cookies

While it's technically not a meal, I wanted to share that I also made a batch of my all time favorite chocolate chip cookies this week. Both Thursday and Friday were cold and rainy days, and I felt like I wanted to do some baking after work. I used my usual recipe, and they turned out great like usual.

What was your toughest workout from the past week? Favorite meal?