Fall Fashion

While I know that some people have started back to school already, I don’t go back until September 6th, after Labor Day. I’m not going to lie, I’m actually looking forward to going back. I’m currently working on campus right now, and it’s kind of fun to see people start to get back into the swing of things – buying books, making changes to their class schedules, and seeing first years checking out the campus.

Of course along with a new school year comes some new clothes. I put together a typical outfit that I would wear to school. Keep in mind that since I’m doing a kinesiology diploma we regularly have classes in the gym. That means that I tend to be a bit more casual with my clothes. If I have to put clothes in a locker while I’m working out, they’re most likely going to come out a bit wrinkly. Not the best look for fancy clothes.

I find the campus tends to be cold. Walking from the parkade to my locker, classrooms, and the food court usually means that I get there cold. I don’t know what it is, but if I’m on the move I’m cold. That’s why I made sure to add a jacket to the list – it’ll keep me warm. On the flip side, the classroom that most of our classes are in gets extremely hot and stuffy. There’s next to no air movement, even if the door stays open. That’s why I always like to make sure that I’m wearing layers so that I can take one or two pieces off part way through class.

I think accessories can make or break an outfit, so I always try to wear at least one or two everyday. For this outfit I picked out two gold pieces – a butterfly necklace and an arrow bracelet. I think the necklace is pretty without being too obvious. I have big hands, so trying to get bangles across my knuckles never happens. I always go with bracelets that have hinges or clasps, which is why I decided on this arrow one.

I’ve been a huge fan of boot cut jeans since I was in high school. I’ll be very sad if they ever go out of style. Can I admit something? I’ve never owned a pair of skinny jeans. I’ve tried them on a few times in stores, but for some reason they just look funny on me. I love these boot cut jeans from The Gap because of the light wash.

My style is definitely a bit more classic, so when I found the blue backpack I instantly fell in love. I usually have a textbook or two plus a binder that I have to bring to school everyday, in addition to workout clothes if we’re in the gym, and a lunch, so while a tote would definitely be cute, it’s just not practical. I can fit a lot more into a backpack plus it’s easier to carry around campus.

Home Gym Essentials

I hope everyone had a good weekend! This morning I’m going to be sharing what I think are home gym essentials. Getting in good workouts at home doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money on equipment. With a few pieces of well thought out equipment you can get in a gym quality workout without leaving the house.

Home Gym Essentials

Exercise ball // The first item on my list is an exercise ball because it’s so versatile – you can do so much with it. First off, it can be used as a stand in for a bench for everything from chest flyes to chest press. Although you can also do these exercises on the floor, I think using an exercise ball instead gives you a slightly larger range of motion as well as having to keep your core engaged. Exercise balls are also great for stretching. There’s several different sizes of exercise balls, so make sure you check out the manufacturer’s recommendations for which size to get (it usually goes according to height). This one (affiliate link) on Amazon is similar to the ones at the university gym.

Dumbbells

A set of light, medium, and heavy dumbbells // You definitely don’t need an entire rack of dumbbells like you see at the gym to get in a great workout at home. As long as you have a few weight options for different exercises, you’re good. I personally like neoprene coated dumbbells (affiliate link) because I feel like I get a better grip even when my hands get sweaty.

 Yoga Mat

Yoga mat // If you’re going to be working out on a hard surface (wood or tile), I’d recommend a good yoga mat. It takes the edge off how hard the floor can be. In addition I find that I get better traction – especially when I’m on carpet and I start to get a bit sweaty. When you’re done with your workout it’s easy enough to roll up the mat and store it. The next yoga mat I get will be this one (affiliate link) from Manduka.

Resistance Bands August 17 2016

Resistance bands // If you’re short on space and can’t have dumbbells, resistance bands are a great alternative. They can vary from light to heavy resistance with lots of options between. They’re great for doing all kinds of exercises, and I’m always learning new ways of using them. They’re also great if you travel, as they’re easy to put into a suitcase and don’t weigh much or take up a lot of room. Because they’re elastic and stretchy, be sure to check them every once in awhile to make sure they’re in good shape. If they become dry or have tears in them it’s not worth the risk of using them – buy another one. These ones (affiliate link) are similar to the ones I have.

The internet // Of course if you’re working out at home it can get boring quick if you do the same workouts all the time. Luckily there’s lots of workouts on blogs, Pinterest (check out my workout board), and Youtube. No matter what you like to do – from strength training to yoga – you can find workouts online.

What do you use at home to workout that you consider an essential piece of equipment?

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The Canadian Women’s Soccer Team

I think everyone has their favorite Olympic events to watch. For me it’s soccer. Women’s soccer specifically.

Canada Women's Olympic Soccer Team source

The Olympics

Going into the Olympics Canada was ranked 10th. So far they’ve beat the 2nd ranked Germany, 3rd ranked France, and 5th ranked Australia. Needless to say that Canada was definitely the underdog going into all of those games, yet they managed to pull out a win. They also played Zimbabwe in group play, and although they’re ranked in the 90’s, you definitely learn something from every team that you play.

Canada came out on top of group play by winning every single game (they played Australia, Zimbabwe, and Germany), and then went on to beat France in the quarterfinals. On Tuesday they play Germany again in the semi-finals. Unfortuately Canada won’t take on the number one ranked US because they were eliminated by Sweden in the quarterfinals. It’s always an exciting game when Canada and the US meet.

The Team

The heart and soul of the team is the captain, Christine Sinclair. Even though she’s in her early thirties she’s still going strong and is a great leader on and off the team. She plays the striker position and always manages to score a goal right when it’s needed. This is her third time representing Canada at the Olympics.

Another veteran of the team is Diana Matheson. While she may be little, she’s full of speed and can get to the ball when she has to. She was coming back from an injury last summer and unfortunately wasn’t able to play during the Women’s World Cup, but I’m glad she’s recovered and able to represent Canada at the Olympics.

Although she’s not playing at the Olympics because of a knee injury, Erin McLeod is usually the starting keeper. If you’ve ever seen her play it’s amazing. It’s almost like she’s flying when she jumps for the ball. She’s played in over 100 games for Canada, and is another veteran on the team.

Stephanie Labbe is our starting keeper for the Olympics. Last summer during the World Cup she was the third string keeper behind McLeod and Katrina LeBlanc (Katrina retired after the World Cup last summer). Needless to say Stephanie has some big shoes to fill. She’s been awesome at the Olympics though. She hasn’t hesitated at all and has been great at being right where she has to be when the ball is coming towards her.

One of the younger players on the team, Kadeisha Buchanan played her first game representing Canada at just 17 years old. She’s now 20, and is arguably one of the best defenders in the world – she has that much talent. Last summer at the World Cup she won the Young Player Award. She’s definitely someone you should keep you eye on. She’s going to do great things.

Deanne Rose is another young, up and coming soccer player. This is her first time representing Canada at the Olympics, as she’s just 17.

I think the team has a great combination of veteran players along with young ones who will be the future of the team in five or ten years. The younger ones will learn from the veterans, which will make them even better down the road. Canadian support for women’s soccer has been slowly (but steadily) growing over the last few years. Having the Women’s World Cup played in Canada last summer was a huge boost.

Do you watch women’s soccer? Who’s your favorite player (even if they’re not on the Canadian team)? 

Weekly Workouts August 7 to 13 2016

It’s been a few weeks since I last shared a weekly workouts post with you, so I thought I’d keep track of my workouts over the week and put one together for you today.

Sunday // Rest day.
Weekly Workouts August 7 to 13 2016

Monday // I decided to go for a walk in a park.  It’s a beautiful park with a pond in the middle, which means that there are lots of ducks there. I came across this mama duck and her babies. They were sleeping on the side of the pond right by the path. I was surprised how comfortable they were with people walking so close to them while they slept. I spent about 30 minutes walking there. It was a good thing that I got outside because I spent a good chunk of the rest of the day studying at my desk.

Weekly Workouts August 7 to 13 2016

Tuesday // I wanted to get in a more intense workout so I went with the 30 Day Shred (affiliate link). The 25 minute workout was exactly what I needed. I used to use this DVD all the time, but it’s been quite awhile since I last did it. It seemed like a brand new workout to me. I’d forgotten how simple the different moves are, but at the same time it made me work hard.

Wednesday // Rest day.

Thursday // I wasn’t sure what workout I wanted to do, but I decided on this at home workout from Julie over at PB Fingers. I ended up losing track of how many times I went through it, but by the time I ended I’d been sweating for 30 minutes. While it might not look tough, it was a killer workout.

Friday // Rest day. It turns out I might have done a few too many squats in Thursday’s workout and now my left hamstring is sore. Whoops. I decided taking it easy today would be the best plan.

Saturday // The plan is to go for a walk this afternoon. My hamstring still isn’t 100% yet, but I still wanted to get moving a bit.

What was your favorite workout this week?

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

Upper Body Strength Workout

Today I’m sharing another workout with you – this time it’s an upper body workout. Lower body ones are my favorite to create for some reason, so I thought I’d add another upper body workout to my collection.

 Upper Body Strength Workout

Triceps 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).

Front shoulder raises // With a dumbbell in each hand, stand straight with your feet shoulder width apart. Slowly lift your hands in front of you so that they’re at shoulder height, with a micro bend in your elbows. Slowly lower your hands back to your sides.

Upright rows // Stand with your feet hip width apart, a dumbbell in each hand just in front of your thigh, palm facing your thigh. With a neutral spine slide your hands up your body until your hands are almost at your armpit. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position.

Burpees // From a standing position crouch down with your hands in front of your feet on the floor. Jump your feet back behind you so you’re in a plank position. Jump your feet back in towards your hands and then jump up while clapping your hands above your head.

Hammer curls // Similar to regular biceps curls, hammer curls differ only in hand position. Stand with your feet hip width apart with dumbbells in your hands. Position your hands at your sides so that your palms are facing your legs. Keeping your hands in this position the entire time, bend at the elbow and bring the dumbbells up as far as possible. Lower yours hands back down to the starting position. Make sure you keep your spine in a neutral position the entire time.

Overhead press// Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position.

Chest flyes // With a dumbbell in each hand, lie on a bench or the floor with your elbows slightly bent. Move the dumbbells in a semi circular motion above you until they meet directly above your chest. Return to the starting position by moving the dumbbells with control so that your arms are extended again.

Jumping jacks // Stand with feet together and arms at your sides. Jump both feet apart from each other while raising your hands above your head with straight arms. Jump your feet back together and lower your arms to the starting position.

Chest press // With a dumbbell in each hand, lay down on a bench or the floor. Your upper arm should be at a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly over your elbows. Move the dumbbells up while they come above your chest. With control move them back down to the starting position.

Bent over rows // With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing each other) bend forward slightly at the hips so that your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, letting your arms hang straight down and keeping your back in a neutral position. Bring both dumbbells up towards your armpits while contracting your shoulder blades towards each other (kind of like pinching your shoulder blades together). Move dumbbells back towards starting position.

Push ups // 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.

Skaters // With your knees slightly bent, jump to the right and land on your right leg with your left leg bent behind you with your foot just off the ground. Keep your left foot off the ground. Pushing off with your right foot, jump to the left and land on your left foot, keeping your right leg bent and right foot off the ground behind you.

Looking for more workouts? Have a look at my Workouts page or my Workout board on Pinterest for more options.

What’s your favorite upper body move? 

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

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