Lower Body Workout

Today I’m sharing a new lower body workout.

I’m writing this post on Tuesday and I’m sitting at my desk bundled up under a blanket. It may have take until November for winter to arrive to Calgary, but it has definitely arrived. It’s been cold and very snowy lately – pretty much since November 1st. We were very spoiled during October with mild weather, so I think it’s an even tougher transition to the colder weather.

Today’s workout is one that’s focused on the lower body. You’ll perform each exercise for 30 seconds. Rest for 30 seconds before transitioning to the next exercise on the list. After the donkey kicks rest as needed and then start again from the top. Complete four times through for a full workout. Here are the exercises:

  • Dumbbell squat
  • Skaters
  • Alternating lunges
  • Wall sit
  • Donkey kicks

All of the moves I’ve included in this workout should be pretty straight forward – I think they’re common enough that anyone who’s been working out for awhile will know how to do them. For the squats and lunges be sure to pick a dumbbell weight that makes you work hard but also allows you to maintain good form right up until the last rep. Sacrificing form for weight is never a good thing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going with a lower weight mid set. It’s not worth it to risk getting injured.

Looking for another type of workout? Be sure to check out my workout page. If you’re in the market for some home workout equipment, one of the first things I would suggest you invest in is a couple pairs of dumbbells. Heavier ones are great for lower body exercises, and lighter ones are perfect for upper body workouts. I like these dumbbells (affiliate link) from Amazon.

As always, check with your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

This post contains affiliate links. Than you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it!

Kananaskis Hikes

Today I’m sharing some of my all time favorite hikes in Kananaskis, Alberta.

It’s going to be awhile before I’m back out hiking (I’m not a fan of winter hiking), but I wanted to share some of my favorite Kananaskis Hikes. I’m so lucky to have Kananaskis so close to home. It’s about an hours drive west of Calgary and feels about a million miles away from the city. Interested in some of the other hikes I’ve done in Alberta and British Columbia? Check out my hiking page. Alltrails.com is also a great resource for all things hiking.

Rawson Lake

Out of all the hikes I’m sharing in this post, Rawson Lake is probably the longest and steepest hike, which makes it most likely the toughest one. It’s all worth it though once you make it to Rawson lake at the end of the hike. It’s an absolutely beautiful view to take in. I took my lunch with me and ate it looking over the lake. Of course I had lots of curious chipmunks and ground squirrels coming over to see if I was sharing my food.

Troll Falls

If you’re looking for an easy hike with a minimal amount of elevation, Troll Falls is your hike. I’ve only ever done this hike in the summer, but apparently it’s just as pretty in the winter when the waterfall is frozen. Towards the end of the hike you can hear the waterfall before you actually see it. I was surprised at how loud the water was at the base of the waterfall. For more details on this hike, check out my Troll Falls post.

Grassi Lakes

The Grassi Lakes hike is probably my favorite hike on this list. The lakes at the end of this trail are gorgeous! It’s well worth the more moderate hike up to them. I’ve only ever taken the old fire road up, though there is another trail to get there. While the first road isn’t very scenic, it’s not a complicated trail. I believe the other route requires a but more technical skill.

Grotto Canyon

I’ve done this hike a few times – most recently with a few friends a couple summers ago. This was a busier hike than some of the others that I’ve shared in this post. I think it’s because of the fact that it’s considered an easy hike. Despite the fact that it’s easy, you’re still rewarded with some really pretty views. It’s an out and back hike so you know exactly what to expect on the way back out.

Heart Creek Trail

This was probably one of the first hiking trips I did when I first moved to Calgary back in the mid 90’s. I was in Girl Guides and we did a two night camp. It was easy enough for a group of teens to be able to backpack all of their stuff to the campsite. It rained the last day and all I remember is how miserable it was trying to pack everything up at the end of the weekend. The trailhead is easily accessible from the highway which is nice.

If you’re local, what are a few of your favorite Kananaskis hikes? Share them in the comments below.

Friday Favorites: A Book + A Promo Code

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite things from the past week.

Hello and welcome to the weekend! I’m so happy that this week is over and done with. It’s felt like it’s gone on forever. Unfortunately my week started off on the wrong foot. I woke up on Monday feeling less than 100% with a scratchy throat. It wasn’t necessarily sore, it just felt like I’d talked too much the day before. It turns out that I was getting sick. I’ve spent the last week curling up in bed reading and watching Prime and Netflix. My fingers are crossed that I’ll be feeling better soon. After more than two and a half years of not being sick, I had kind of forgotten how miserable it is.

No Offense

I started reading No Offense (affiliate link) earlier this week. I’ve just about finished it and it’s been such a fun book to read. It’s a typical Meg Cabot book, which means that it’s easy to read and hard to put down. It’s been so nice to have something fun to read that doesn’t require much thought to read. Looking for more book recommendations? Be sure to check out my book page. I haven’t updated it in a year or so, but there’s lots of great books that I’ve enjoyed over there.

Nuun friends and family discount

If you’ve been reading Get Fit Fiona for awhile, you’ll know that I’m a Nuun ambassador. I wanted to make sure that I shared a friends and family discount code with all of you. Head over to the Nuun site and use promo code FriendsOfTeamNuun2022 for 25% off until November 7th. Nuun is my go to way to get in electrolytes when I’m working out.

Law and Order

I’ve been watching old (mid 90’s) episodes of Law and Order on Prime. I forgot how much I liked that show. I haven’t had cable in a few years, but I definitely remember watching it when it was on TV back then. I’m not sure if I’ll ever forget the music for the intro – it’s so iconic. I think my favorite of the Law and Order’s is Special Victims Unit, but this one is pretty entertaining to watch too.

Branches of Yoga

In today’s post I’m sharing a bit about yoga philosophy – specifically about the eight branches of yoga.

I learned so much during the time I spend doing yoga teacher training. While I learned tons about anatomy, yoga poses, and how to lead a class, I also learned a lot about yoga philosophy. I thought it would be fun to share a bit about the branches of yoga, also known as the eight limbs yoga. The branches of yoga are the yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi.

A woman in child's pose on a blue yoga mat on a wood floor. In top are the words branches of yoga.

Yamas

The yamas and niyamas are both about things you should and shouldn’t do. They each have five actions (niyamas) and non-actions (yamas). The five yamas are ahimsa (non-violence), satya (not lying), asteya (non-stealing), brahmacharya (sexual restraint), and aparigraha (non-possessiveness).

Niyamas

The five niyamas are shaucha (purity), santosha (acceptance), tapas (persistance), svadhyaya (self study), and ishvarapranidhana (contemplation of God). Yamas and Niyamas (affiliate link) by Deborah Adele is a great resource for the first two limbs of yoga.

Asana

Asana is the part of yoga that most people are familiar with. The yoga poses that you do during a class are asanas. I was surprised to learn during yoga teacher training that there was so to yoga besides the physical practice.

Pramayama

Pranayama is breath control. It’s about staying in control of your breath while doing yoga. Poses can sometimes be tough (hello downward facing dog), and it’s easy to let control of your breath go. Slow, steady, and deep breaths can be tough when your muscles are burning and you’re trying to balance.

Pratyahara

Pratyahara is bringing the awareness from the outside world to the inside world. It’s about focusing on the inner self instead of the outer one.

Dharana

Dharana the toughest of the eight limbs of yoga for me. It’s about focusing on a single thing, without getting distracted by other thoughts. For example, focusing on a mantra or your breath or a body part without thinking about what you’ll be making for dinner or that email you need to send.

Dhyana

Dhyana is meditation. The hardest part of it for me is when I’m mid-meditation and get distracted. Instead of getting frustrated myself like I usually do, dhyana is all about letting the distraction go and focus again on the meditation. It’s about letting distractions go and then returning to the mantra or thing you’re meditating on.

Samadhi

Samadhi is a state of bliss or almost being in a trance. It’s when you’re most in tune with yourself and letting go of the outside world.

Obviously I’ve only just touched the surface of the eight branches of yoga. There’s so much much more about all of them than what I’ve shared here. Interested in learning more about the eight branches of yoga? There are lots of books that are great at explaining yoga philosophy. I’ve shared some of them here.

Are there any other parts of yoga philosophy that you’d like me to post about?

Thanksgiving Weekend 2022

For fellow Canadians I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving long weekend! My weekend was a pretty good one, full of relaxing and eating delicious food.

Saturday was all about Thanksgiving prep. We decided to have an Italian Thanksgiving instead of making the traditional turkey dinner with stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Instead we had antipasto, lasagna, and dessert. My brother and I headed over to The Italian Store to get everything we needed.

For appetizers we went capicola, mortadella, smoked provolone (so good!), mozzarella, garlic stuffed olives, and kalamata olives. We figured we’d make Thanksgiving prep as easy as possible so we got a frozen lasagna. All we had to do was pop it in the oven and in an hour and a half it was done. For dessert we picked some pastry. It had some sort of liqueur in it, along with whipped cream.

Sunday afternoon I spent some time prepping for dinner, including setting the table and getting everything set out. Everything turned out delicious, despite how little time and effort it took to actually cook and put together. It was definitely a nice change from having to spend the majority of the day in the kitchen getting a traditional turkey meal on the table.

Monday was a stat holiday so I met up with a friend and her three kids to go for a walk. She’s been a really good friend for years now (I just realized it’s been over 20 years that we’ve been friends! That makes me feel so old.) and despite multiple moves and going months without seeing each other, we’re always able to pick right back up where we left off. Being in the same city again means that we get to see each other a couple times a month which I’m so grateful for.

It was a gorgeous day for a walk. The weather was perfect – I was comfortable in jeans and a t shirt. We ended up covering just over 4 km. If it’s just my and my friend we can usually cover that distance in an hour, but with kids it always takes significantly longer. There are two parks along the route that we took, so we had to stop at both of them.

On Monday afternoon my boyfriend and I got together. I brought him some leftovers from our Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy. We decided to watch Hocus Pocus cause neither of us had seen it before. I’d heard about it a ton so my expectations must have been high because I found it a bit disappointing. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but I was just thought it would be better. We ordered pizza from a new to us place called Pizza Face YYC. The French onion pizza was amazing! While it might sound a bit weird, it turned out to be so delicious. If you’re in downtown Calgary and looking for a different pizza to try, I highly recommend this one.

If you celebrated Thanksgiving this weekend, what did you make to eat?

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