Weekly Workouts

Today I’m sharing a recap of my workouts this week.

It’s been a hot one here this week so that’s meant that all my workouts have been done in the morning and I’ve kept them short. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t worked hard though. I think HIIT workouts are some of the toughest ones for me, and I did a few of them over the past week. A big part of it is mental for me. I can do the exercises, but it’s tough for me to believe that I can do it when I’m feeling tired or just ready to be done.

All of my workouts this week were done on the Peloton app. I’m still really loving it. I thought that I may get bored with the workouts by now, but I have yet to do the same workout twice. There are just so many for my to pick from – even despite the fact that I don’t have a bike. If you’re on the fence about signing up, check out their free trial. I got to try it out for a month before paying for it, so I got a really good idea of what to expect.

Sunday

I started off my week with a 20 minute arms and shoulders workout on the Peloton app. I followed it up with a quick 5 minute chest and back stretch. Both were with my favorite trainer on the app, Andy Speer.

Monday

I took my first rest day of the week on Monday.

Tuesday

My workout on Tuesday morning with a 20 minute HIIT cardio workout, once again on the Peloton app. I followed it up with a 10 minute full body stretch. I was going to be help my brother move later on in the day, so I figured it would be worth it to spend a bit more time stretching. Moving is always so much work!

Wednesday

I took my second rest day on Wednesday, post move. I definitely needed it with all the boxes I helped carry!

Thursday

I did another arms and shoulders strength workout on the Peloton app. This one was another 20 minute workout. I was all about using the different weights, so I ended up having two sets of dumbbells and two plates! I thought for sure that my triceps would be sore after this workout, but I was surprised that they weren’t. There was a lot of triceps focused work during this one.

Friday

This workout was definitely my favorite one from the week. It was split into three sections – sprinting, boxing, and basketball. The exercises in each section were themed to that sport. For example, the sprinting had a lot of quick movements, the boxing had punching and shuffling, and the basketball section had a lot of jumping. I thought it was a really creative way to put together a workout. I definitely see myself doing this workout again – that’s now much I liked it!

Saturday

My plan for today is to do a lower body workout. While I have worked my legs in the HIIT workouts that I did this week, I haven’t done one solely dedicated to my lower body. I’ll share on Instagram what I end up doing, so be sure to follow me there.

What was your favorite workout from this week? Share about it in the comments below.

Friday Favorites

Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite things.

It feels like this week has flown by! Time has felt so weird the last few months, with it going by either really slowly or super fast. It’s hard to believe that it’s already the end of July. It feels like summer is half over already! School usually starts back up here at the beginning of September, so that really only leaves August for summer before fall unofficially arrives.

Celebrating my dad’s birthday

My dad, brother and I got together this weekend to celebrate my dad’s birthday. It was a big one because he turned 70! It was really nice to be able to spend time together and make sure that my dad knows how much my brother and I love and appreciate him. He’s been a great dad and done so much for both of us.

We started off the day with my dad’s requested breakfast – croissants from a little Belgian bakery downtown. I actually picked up frozen dough, popped them into the fridge on Saturday night so that they’d be defrosted, and baked them up on Sunday morning. The whole kitchen smelled amazing! And of course they tasted delicious too.

We did a lunch/dinner combo meal mid afternoon. My dad requested barbecued hamburgers with all the fixings – lettuce, onions, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayo. As for sides we had pasta and potato salads, a couple different kinds of melon, chips, and beer. It was a really good meal and the perfect way to celebrate a summer time birthday. And of course we had to have some birthday cake for dessert. I baked up a boxed vanilla cake for him and topped it with his requested vanilla frosting.

The perfect striped summer top

I ordered this striped v neck tee from Old Navy (affiliate link) last week. I should have waited because it just went on sale. Oh well, if I couldn’t get a great deal on it, at least you can. It looks like the perfect summer shirt for those hot days. Mine should be arriving later today. You know who’ll be checking the front door to see if it’s been delivered yet. This week has been hot weather wise, so I’ve been all about the shorts and t shirts to try to stay cool. It’s definitely a challenge here in Calgary because most houses don’t have air conditioning.

Getting into nail polish again

In an attempt to deal with some anxiety that I’ve been experiencing, I’ve been trying to come up with things I can do to distract myself or take my mind off of what I’m worrying about. It’s been a struggle to find those things, but I may have come up with one this week! It’s been ages since I last spent time doing my nails, but I thought I would see if it would help the anxiety.

I used to paint my nails all the time in high school. I almost always had nail polish on them. I still did them, though less frequently in university. Since then though, I haven’t done them all that often. I thought it would be worth a try to do my nails more regularly again. I bought two colors from Essie. I opted for the transparent shade (affiliate link) to test first because I’m so rusty at doing them. I got nail polish all over my fingers. I hope it come back to me pretty quick because I also bought a pretty pink shade that I want to put on next. I tried the Expressie line because it’s quick dry. I always had a hard time waiting for nail polish to dry, so I was excited to try it. So far it’s lived up to my expectations and I’m impressed!

I also bought some Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil (affiliate link). I’m still dealing with super dry hands from all of the hand washing that has become the new normal. I knew that if I was going to be doing my nails with any regularity I might as well work on my cuticles at the same time. They were/are in rough shape. I’ve been using it daily for the last few days and I think I’m seeing a difference already.

I’ve also been trying to work on some counted cross stitch projects too. I haven’t touched them in a really long time either, but it seems to be helping to have something to focus and concentrate on when I’m having a tough time turning off the anxious thoughts. We’ll see how that goes! If you have anything activities that have been a good distraction for you when dealing with anxiety I would love to hear about them. It’s surprising hard for me to come up with ideas.

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Dumbbell Leg Workout

Today I’m sharing a brand new dumbbell leg workout that only requires two pieces of equipment. It’s perfect for an at home workout.

Yesterday was a hot one here in Calgary! So much so that a heat warning was issued. The rest of the week is supposed to be in the high 20’s C (low 80’s for my American friends) so not much will change on that front. It definitely feels like summer here now . . . . at the end of July. I’m hoping that the nice weather sticks around.

My workout yesterday morning was a great one. I got up early (instead of hitting snooze a few times like I usually do) and got my workout in right away. Knowing that it was going to be hot was a really good motivator for me to get it done early! I did a quick 20 minute HIIT workout on the Peloton app with Andy Speer. I followed it up with 10 minutes on stretching, also on the Peloton app. I’m so grateful that the Peloton app is a thing right now. I cancelled my gym membership because I don’t feel comfortable being there, considering I live with someone who has some health issues. Being able to get in great workouts at home with a minimal amount of equipment is perfect. Be sure to follow me on Instagram to find out what workouts I’m doing. I always share them on there.

Speaking of my workouts, the GapFit High Rise Blackout Full Length Leggings (affiliate link) that I love are currently on sale for under $45. I have more than one pair of them so I can honestly say that I love them. If you’re looking for a pair of leggings that you don’t have to constantly be pulling up and are super comfortable, be sure to check these ones out. I’ve been wearing them for workouts since January or February and I have yet to find something that I dislike about them.

I’m pretty excited to be able to share a new dumbbell leg workout today. You only need two pieces of equipment for this one. A pair of dumbbells – I like these ones (affiliate link) from Amazon and something sturdy to step up onto for the step ups. Think of a low chair or step stool. If you’re not feeling the lower body workout today, check out my workouts page. That’s where I’ve collected all of the workouts that I’ve shared on the blog over the years.

This workout is pretty straight forward – everything is done in 30 second increments. You’ll be doing each exercise for 30 seconds followed by a 30 second rest. Once you’ve done each exercise on the list one, rest for as long as you need before starting again at the top with the squats. Complete 4 or 5 times through for a full workout. I’ve listed descriptions of each exercise included in this dumbbell leg workout below the graphic just in case you’re unfamiliar with any of them.

Squat

With feet hip width apart and dumbbells in your hands at your sides, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees and ankles. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, again using your glutes to propel yourself.

Step up

Find something that when you put your foot on it, your knee is at a 90 degree angle. This could be a chair or bench. Step up with your left foot, and pushing off that heel step your right foot off the floor and onto the bench. Immediately step back down with your left foot, followed by your right foot.

Deadlift

With feet hip width apart and the barbell in front of you on the floor, grasp the barbell with whatever grip is most comfortable for you. Using your glutes, lift it so that you’re standing straight up. Lower it back to the floor and then up again. 

Alternating lunges

Stand with feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one foot so that the front leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground. The back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 30 seconds.

Thrusters

Similar to a dumbbell front squat, at the top of the squat while standing, do an overhead press with the dumbbells. When they come back to shoulder height, do another squat.

What’s your favorite type of workout to do? HIIT? Yoga? Strength? Let me know in the comments below.

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

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Vinyasa Yoga

Today I’m sharing a post all about vinyasa yoga.

When I was new to yoga the lists of classes at my local yoga studios seemed overwhelming. I had no idea what the difference was between vinyasa, yin, and restorative classes. I had no idea what the names of the classes meant and there fore had no idea what class would be right for me as someone new to yoga. Today I’m sharing the details on vinyasa yoga – everything from what to expect from a vinyasa class to what style of yoga it is.

The basics

Vinyasa yoga is yoga with poses that flow from one to the next. Poses flow from one another with no pauses or rests in between. Movements feel like to connected to each other. vinyasa yoga is also sometimes called flow yoga, which I think is a good way to visualize vinyasa yoga. You may stay in poses for just one breath or several, though the transition between poses happens during just one breath.

The breath

Just like in other kinds of yoga like ashtanga, the breath or pranayama is important in vinyasa yoga. The movements in vinyasa yoga are connected to the breath. Moving from one pose to another is done during an inhale/exhale cycle. The first priority in vinyasa is always the breath and keeping it smooth and even. If you start holding your breath and breathing too fast, it’s a reminder to come back to basics and maybe even pull back on the pose to be able to get your breath back to being smooth and even.

Sequences

In terms of the poses that are done in class, each vinyasa yoga class will be different. There’s no set order of poses, so when a teacher puts together a vinyasa class, it’s up to their discretion and creativity for how and what poses to include. In that sense it’s very different from an ashtanga class that goes through the same series of classes in the same order every single class. Ashtanga doesn’t vary based on the teacher or the location of the class. Teachers are able to get really creative with vinyasa classes.

Kind of yoga

I think vinyasa is the type of yoga that people generally think of when it comes to yoga. It’s a more vigorous class than a yin or restorative. I’m generally sweating within just a few minutes of starting a vinyasa class. Generally you’re moving from start to finish when you get into savasana. Unless your focusing on a specific body part during a vinyasa class like (hips or chest opening), you’ll typically go through a range of poses that will be a balanced class. Think everything from standing to twisting to forward folds to sitting.

Finding a great vinyasa class

Because vinyasa classes vary so much, especially depending on who’s teaching them, it’s important to find a yoga teacher than you feel like you can connect with and enjoy their sequencing. That may mean that it takes a few classes with different teachers to find one that you love. To get started on finding a great vnyasa class, ask your friends who their favorite teachers are. Call up a new studio and ask whoever answers the phone their favorite vinyasa classes to take there. Check out reviews online.

Do you like taking vinyasa yoga classes? What’s your favorite kind of yoga?

Cute Summer Outfits

Since it’s finally starting to feel like summer here in Calgary, I thought I’d put together a post of some of the things I’ve had my eye on. I’m all about the cute casual summer outfits right now. As I was putting some of the pieces together I realized that I’m all about the blues, whites, corals, and golds right now. Does anyone else go through phases of loving a few different colors too? I can’t be the only one. You can find all of my fashion posts here. Be sure to follow my on Instagram – I share what I’m wearing every once in awhile over there.

anchor tee / necklace / striped shirt

shorts / flats / dress

lobster tee / bracelet / sandals

Coral anchor tee

Tees are my go to top during the summer, so it’s no surprise that two of them made it into this post. I thought that this one was so cute with the little white anchors and the coral color. It’s an affordable piece to add to your closet this summer that I’m sure will get a lot of use.

Necklace

I definitely prefer more simply necklaces, so this one fits the bill. I think it would be really cute with the bracelet that I also included.

Striped shirt

I feel like striped shirts are a basic just about any time of year. This one feels particularly summery to me with the white and navy blue stripes. It would be cute with a pair of white shorts or under a denim jacket too.

Shorts

Like with the tee shirt above, I’m really feeling these striped shorts. I love the button detail by the pockets too. Pair these with a strappy pair of sandals and a nice top and you’d have a really cute look for date night.

Flats

Flats are definitely my go to shoe. I don’t have a lot of patience for uncomfortable shoes, so I almost always go with some that are sensible. I think that that the chambray on them gives them a laid back feel.

Dress

On some of those hot summer days it feels like the only thing that will keep you nice and cool is a dress. This sleeveless one looks like it would do just that while also having a put together look to it. I think it would be really cute paired with the white sandals I’ve included.

Lobster tee

While there definitely aren’t any lobsters in land locked Alberta, I think this red lobster tee is too cute to pass up. I would add a pair of denim shirts or capris. The perfect low key look for getting some errands done.

Bracelet

This bracelet has that classic feel to it that I love. I could see myself wearing it year round, not just during the summer. You could even pair it with another bracelet or two.

Sandals

Once again, I’m all about the comfortable shoes, and these heelless sandals look like they would hit the mark. They would be perfect for a walk on the beach or to run out to get groceries.

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What are some of your favorite pieces to include in cute summer outfits? What colors are you finding yourself wearing a lot right now?

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