Weekly Workouts February 19 to 25 2017

Since it’s been a few weeks since I last did a Weekly Workouts post I wanted to make sure that I got one in today. I love hearing what other people’s workouts are so I figure there has to be other people like me out there.

Weekly Workouts

Sunday // I volunteered so I got to do some soccer drills and a game afterwards. The kids are so fast so I’m definitely moving to try to keep up with them. I was a sweaty mess by the time I left.

Wednesday's Workout

Monday // I hadn’t done a Jessica Smith workout on YouTube for awhile, so I decided on a body weight strength HIIT workout. It was a short workout at only 25 minutes, but I worked hard.

Tuesday // I had to be at my internship site early today so I took a rest day.

Wednesday // I had another early day so I planned to get up extra early to be able to fit in a workout before I had to leave the house. When my alarm went off though I ended up snoozing one too many times so I didn’t have enough time to get in a workout.

Thursday // I knew we were getting snow in the next few days so I went for a walk to enjoy the outdoors a bit. I decided to hit up my favorite park to take in the views of the river. It was just what I needed.

Friday // I did another YouTube workout but I forgot to bookmark it, and of course now that I’m writing this post I can’t remember which one I did. Whoops.

Beginner Workout

Saturday // I did one of my own workouts this morning, which is something I hardly ever do for some reason. I should do them more often though cause even though I was done in 20 minutes, I was huffing and puffing by the time I was done, so don’t let the name fool you. You can find the post about this workout here.

What was your favorite workout this week? 

Friday Favorites – February 24 2017

 Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn

Boom Chicka Pop // So it turns out that this popcorn is delicious. I’d heard from others that it was amazing, but for some reason I doubted how tasty it actually was. I can now confirm that it is indeed as good as everyone says  that it is. Unfortunately it’s not safe in the house with me, as this entire bag was gone in 48 hours. As a result I haven’t bought anymore. I think it’ll be more of a special occasion treat.

Love in the Dark by Adele // This is still one of my favorite songs from Adele’s 25 album. It’s so sad and moody, and Adele’s voice is just perfect for it. I’ve been listening to it on repeat quite a bit this week. It makes me think back to the concert last summer.

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Mediterranean Salad with Chickpeas // I was browsing Pinterest this week when I found this recipe for a delicious sounding salad. It turned out being delicious. I’m planning on making it again with a few tweaks. It’s hard to go wrong with a colorful salad that has chickpeas for some added protein and texture.

Spark by John Ratey

Spark by John Ratey // This book kept being recommended to me. I got it a few months ago and finally started reading it this week. While I’m not very far yet, I’m really enjoying it. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re at all interested in how exercise affects the brain. Spoiler: it’s good for you on so many levels!

Rekorderlig Apple Cider

Rekorderlig Spiced Apple Cider // I’m a huge fan of apple cider. I discovered this one a few months ago, and it’s quickly become my favorite. I’ve tried other Rekorderlig ciders (they’re all delicious), but there’s something about this one that tastes better. Maybe it’s the added spices?

What’s one of your favorites from the past week? Share it with me in the comments. 

7 Tips for Getting in 10,000 Steps Every Day

Today I thought I’d share 7 tips for getting in 10,000 steps every day.

7 Tips For Getting in 10,000 Steps Every Day

Go for a walk during your lunch break // While it might be tempting to keep sitting at your desk and browse Facebook and Twitter over lunch, consider going for a walk instead. Even 10 or 15 minutes being active is good for your body.

Take the stairs instead of the elevator // It’s those little decisions that you make throughout the day that make the steps really add up. Simple changes like taking the stairs instead of the elevator will add steps to your total every day.

Incorporate walking/running into your workouts // Add walking or running warm ups and cool downs to your workouts. Even though you might not be doing a cardio workout, those five minutes on either end of your workout will help get your total up to 10,000.

Park further away // I used to be one of those people who would hunt down the parking spot closest to the store entrance. That’s slowly changed over the years though and I now purposely park further away from everyone else to get in a few extra steps.

Do your errands walking, not driving // To build on the last point, if you have a walk-able neighborhood, or all your errands are close to each other, why not walk? Although the community I live in isn’t very pedestrian friendly, the bank, grocery store, and a few other places I go to often are all fairly close to each other and easily accessible on foot.

Get on the treadmill while watching TV // If you’re anything like me and like to watch How To Get Away With Murder, make your time count and do double duty. I’m lucky enough to have a treadmill in the same room as the TV, so I’ve walked while watching TV before. You can even bring your tablet to the gym and watch shows that you’ve downloaded while on the treadmill.

Go for a walk with a friend // Get in your social time while being active. Meet up with a friend at a park and walk while you catch up with each other. Schedule a play date at the park and get everyone moving, including the kids.

Just in case you need some more motivation to get walking, I think the below video highlights a lot of the good health benefits of walking. If you think about it, it’s pretty cool that something so easy can make such a big difference in so many things.

What’s your favorite way to get steps in each day?

Upper Body Circuit Workout

I’m going to share an upper body circuit workout today, but I thought that I’d first give you a recap of my long weekend so far.

Friday night I was ready for some time alone so I stayed in and watched an episode of Dateline while drinking a Fruli strawberry beer. I love them, but I haven’t had one in awhile so it tasted extra good. I ended up getting into bed early and sleep really well for the first time in a week. It felt so good!

Saturday morning I went to the farmer’s market with my dad. Since the Symon’s Valley Farmer’s Market burnt down, we went to another one to check out some vendors who have multiple locations. It was nice to see some of the owners of stalls that I haven’t seen in awhile, though I think they were all a little more somber than usual, and understandably so. I was able to stock up on some mild chicken curry, which I like to take to school with me for lunches. We also picked up some vegetables and half a dozen Montreal bagels.

Sunday morning was pretty low key. Before I knew it, it was time to leave for volunteering. Since we do soccer drills and then a short game afterwards, it felt really good to add some movement to my weekend. As usual it was a lot of fun. I then headed over to my boyfriend’s place for dinner. We heated up a pepperoni pizza that turned out to be pretty tasty.

Since today is a holiday here in Canada my plan is to get some behind the scenes blogging stuff done that I’ve been putting off, doing some studying for my NASM exam, and working on my business plan for when I graduate in a few months. It’s hard to believe that I’m almost done school!

Today’s workout is all about the upper body. You’ll need a medicine ball, a pair of dumbbells, and a bench for this workout. The workout is broken down into three circuits, with 90 seconds of cardio in between. Once you’ve done the three exercises in the first circuit, do your choice of cardio for 90 seconds (this could be anything from mountain climbers to high knees, it’s up to you). Then move onto the next circuit. Once you’ve completed all three complete the workout an additional 2 more times through. Rest as needed throughout the workout to make sure your form stays good. I’ve listed descriptions of all the exercises below in case you’re unfamiliar with anything.

Upper Body and Cardio Workout

Medicine ball slams // With your feet shoulder width apart and a medicine ball in your hands, lift it over your head and slam it into the ground just in front of your feet. Pick it up quickly and repeat.

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.

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. 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.

Tricep kickbacks // With a dumbbell in each hand, flex at the ankles, knees, and hips so that your torso is leaning forward slightly. Bring your arms close to your body with your elbows back slightly. Start with your forearm in a 90 degree angle to your upper arm and slowly extend your forearm until your  entire arm is straight and your triceps muscles are contracted. Slowly reverse the movement so that your arm is once again at a 90 degree angle.

Bench press // With a pair of dumbbells, lay back on a bench with your feet on the floor and your hips, shoulders, and back of your head pressing into the bench. Lift the dumbbells straight up so there’s only a micro bend at the elbow. Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest before pushing them back up again. The dumbbells should cone down to your chest, not your shoulders.

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.

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.

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.

Lateral shoulder raises // With your arms down at your sides with a dumbbell in each hand, slowly raise your hands away from your body to the side, keeping your arm straight at the elbow. Once your hands reach shoulder level, slowly lower them back down to your sides.

As always, you can find more workouts on my Workouts page.

Check with your doctor before beginning to workout. As always, listen to your body and modify as needed. 

What’s your favorite upper body exercise? 

55 Minute Workout Playlist

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was low key, but productive. I got a bunch of homework done on Friday and Saturday (I have a midterm and two assignments due this week).  I also did some volunteering which involved soccer drills and then a game afterwards. It was a lot of fun and the kids gave me a much needed boost of energy.  Plus it was nice to be active after spending so much time at my desk on Friday and Saturday.

This is my last week of classes before I get a week off for reading week. I have to admit that I’m very much looking forward to a bit of a break. I feel like I hit the ground running when school started the first week of January and it hasn’t let up since. While I’ll still be doing some homework and studying for my NASM certification over reading week, it’ll be nice to have a bit of downtime too.

Today I’m sharing another workout playlist. Most of my workouts are about an hour long, so it’s the perfect length.

55 Minute Workout Playlist

There’s quite a few older songs on this playlist, but they’re also favorites of mine – Dirrty, Moves Like Jagger, and Whataya Want From Me. I’m pretty sure I’ll never get tired of those three songs. And because I don’t hear them very often on the radio anymore it’s always fun when they come on my playlist while I’m at the gym. It gives me a little extra oomph to work hard. You can check out my playlist below on Spotify.

Be sure to check out my Workout Playlist page for a full list of all the playlists I’ve created if you’re looking for some more workout playlist ideas.