Tag Archives: fun

Workout Wednesday: Total Body #4

This past Saturday was the last class of the first ever session of my boot camp. Luckily I found some great friends to be my guinea pigs and they were perfect. So enthusiastic and responsive. It was really fun to teach them every week and I learned a ton. Unfortunately (but really very fortunately) I got a second job and won’t have much time to nurture this fun gathering I call my bootcamp. The jury is still out until I can see how this new routine settles in. I’m really crossing my fingers that I will be able to muster the energy to do more.

But until I figure that out, I’ll keep doing (and posting) workouts. So here’s this gem from the last week of class. Get sweaty and enjoy!20 minute total body 4

Also, if anyone has any questions about form, pain, awkwardness, etc, feel free to comment and ask! I usually answer within 12 hours. Hope you’re all having happy days 🙂

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Workout Wednesday: Don’t Stop Now!

Yes yes, I know, “It’s the holidays, I spend all my time Christmas shopping, I don’t have the energy to think about myself, there’s too much bad food around, blah blah blah.” THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. If you read this blog, you probably interact at least a little bit with other health conscious people and, right now, they’re all giving you some wonderful information. It is possible to still enjoy the food, just load up your plate with vegetables before you add anything else. Plan your gifting so you can knock it all out in one day. Focus on yourself for a half hour a day, that’s all it takes!

I don’t care what life situation you’re in, it is ALWAYS better to care for your own health before that of others. You know in the airplane, how you’re supposed to “secure your own oxygen mask BEFORE assisting others?” I know it’s hard but it makes sense. If you’re unhealthy/can’t breathe, you’re unfit, unenergized, or dead before you can even help one other person.

Good thing I’m here for you huh? Because there are these awesome 12 or 16 minute workouts I talk about a lot. Maybe you’ve heard me once or twice? They’re all you need during the holidays. Just do this a few times a week, load up on those veggies, and TA DA! You emerge in January looking and feeling just as svelte as you did in August.

Today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

LowJacks1 LowJacks2

1) Beginner/Intermediate- side to side step/ jumping jacks, Advanced- low jacks

PlieSquat

2) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- plie squat

ToeTaps(High)

3) Beginner/Intermediate- floor toe taps, Advanced- high toe taps

GoodMornings(hands behind head, no weight)

4) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- good mornings

WindshieldWipers

5) Beginner/Intermediate- bent-leg windshield wipers, Advanced- straight-leg windshield wipers

MountainClimber

6) Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced- mountain climbers

plank

Bonus) Beginner/Intermediate- elbow and knee plank Advanced- hand and toe plank

Let me know how it went!

Ps. We’re getting SO close to the weekend/holiday/sleep in time. Hope you’re all having happy Wednesdays 🙂

 

Fun Times Friday: Date Night Creativity

If you’ve been following this blog for a bit, you know that Mike and I go on a date every Saturday night. Each week we switch off planning and paying for them and, if possible, we make it a surprise. So last week was mine and, considering I’m on a VERY tight budget I’ve had to get pretty creative with what we do. My budget most weeks is about $25 for both of us. How the heck do I figure that out??

Well if you keep an eye out for free events going on in your town, you never know what you’ll find! There’s a nice, upper class area called Peoria Heights that I drive through every once in a while and I saw a sign for “Chocolate in the Heights.” You know those signs that you tend to ignore because you’re just too busy going about your day? This was one of those. But since I’ve come to realize my not awesome financial state, I’ve started actually looking at those signs! There was no description of what it was, just that it was the next Saturday (yes!) from 10am-5pm. I did a little searching and found a slightly more detailed poster for the event.

chocmap2012brochure

Using my deductive reasoning, I assumed that each boutique and shop on the main street would have some kind of deal on chocolate and/or something free to offer. Done and done!

As usual, I planned to take him to this event and then bring him home and cook a nice, sit-down meal for us both.

I kept it a surprise until we parked in the Heights and let’s just say Mike looked less than excited. However! I kept the energy going. I gave us $15 to spend on chocolate and whatever else we wanted and, because I had to work late, we had an hour to do it.

It ended up being REALLY fun. Of course we only took one picture because I was too excited to remember to take more. But we discovered a whole street of awesome shops we didn’t know were there: an oil and vinegar shop with about 30 different types of gourmet vinegar (cool!) and a few more specialty shops with random but also really unusual knick-knacks. We got some great gift ideas for Christmas.

photo-3

^ Yep, I look like I’ve just discovered gold.

We used this as our food vacation day and got lots of delectable treats. Free stuff we indulged in: chocolate fountain (see above), chocolate pretzel clusters, oil and vinegar samples, cheese, wine, beer, and chocolate cupcakes. With our $15 we bought an amazing triangle of cheese, a bar of specialty chocolate, and some Pear Balsamic Vinegar. And we had such a good time scoping out the options and then going back to the shops to purchase what we wanted.

So it’s possible! To have a few hours of fun and still stick to your budget. You just have to keep an eye out for free things around your town.

Happy Friday everyone! 🙂

Fun Times Friday: Pottery Painting

As I mentioned in this post. Last week was my turn to organize our date and I took Mike pottery painting. Hahaha. I kept it a surprise because I knew he wouldn’t look forward to it, in fact I was sure he would dread it. So we drove up to the place (Fired Up in Peoria, IL) and I told him what we were doing. I asked if he was excited and, being the wonderful man he is, he answered, “Yeah.” No smile, no kiss, no jumping up and down in his seat. He was dreading it. I told him to keep an open mind and that I would still love him if we walked out and he still hated it. Just in case, I had steak marinating in the fridge to perk up his spirits.

Spoiler alert: he LOVED it. The painting part was really fun. He messed up on his beer mug a few times (thank goodness for the owner because she fixed it for him) but finally got the hang of it. I painted a bowl to use as our centerpiece on the dining table (practical as ever). But when we left, he still didn’t love it. HOWEVER, when we went back to pick up our goods a week later, he realized how awesome it was that we had actually painted a useable piece of pottery. Victory!

I will say that because we picked such practical (see: expensive) pieces, it ended up being a very costly date. But it was worth it because now we have something around the house to remember it!

Of course, I forgot to take photos while we were actually in the studio so see below for the three-picture montage. I love my man 🙂

photo 1

 

^ He didn’t want to take a picture. It may have been the manly side of him. The same side that resisted the pottery painting.

photo 2

^ Yep, that would be an swirly bowl and a dinosaur mug.

photo 3

 

^ Finally a smile! He’s so handsome 🙂

photo-1

 

^ And my bowl in place on our dining table.

Have you ever done something like this? What would/did you paint?

Happy Friday!!!! 🙂

 

Friday Fun Times: Ice Skating!

Our lives were becoming stale. Wake up groggy and still tired, go to work, come home and eat dinner, watch tv, go to bed, repeat. It’s even boring writing it! So Mike and I decided to institute date night. For those of you that know us, you know that we didn’t go on our first date until we were 4 months into our relationship and living together. The whole graduation/moving to Illinois thing meant that we did things kind of backwards. SO, we have no idea how to date each other!

Of course, we are very short on money, so we have been exploring Peoria in a frugal way. Last Friday we went out to dinner (ordered only appetizers because they’re cheaper) then went ice skating! I told Mike that he had to arrange this one and, considering that he’s the romantically challenged of the two of us, he did a fantastic job.

There’s a rink right around the corner from us and it cost $6 each for ice time AND rentals. WOOHOO!

 

^ As far as I’m concerned, humans were not meant to have blades on their feet so I stumbled across the ice like a dancing baboon. Mike, however, is one of those people who is good at everything and he jumped on the ice and started skating backwards and doing turns and hockey stops and blah blah blah. I was slightly envious but also very proud of my man 🙂

‘Twas a great way to spend a Friday night. Cheap, cheerful, and sweat-inducing.

What do you do for a cheap date night?

Wednesday Workout: Let’s Walk Down This Path

I led another awesome workout session last night. We’ve been running them for 3 weeks and I’ve seen people come once and not again, but I’ve also seen people come back, and that’s what I love. Mike comes to the workouts and I grill him for criticism and advice every Tuesday night. This week I realized how nervous I am that not everyone is getting sucked into the atmosphere of exercise. He grabbed me by the shoulders and injected this little wisdom nugget into my head:

I can’t force people to change, I can only give them the knowledge and lead them down the right path. In the end, they have to move their own two legs to walk that path.

Isn’t he smart 🙂 It’s so true. There is a certain switch that has to trigger for someone to truly educate themselves and make the gargantuan effort to stay healthy. Because it is NOT EASY. Compared to unhealthy living, it’s expensive, time-consuming, and takes some major will-power but it’s so worth it.

So here I am, leading you to the path. Keep following me and I’ll try to make it less expensive, less time-consuming, and maybe a little more fun.

Today I challenge you to actually do this workout! I have a feeling that you just scroll through these Wednesday posts without a second glance. JUST TRY IT. It’s 12 minutes. What do you have to lose?

– 20 seconds on/20 seconds rest

– each exercise 3 times

– total of 12 minutes

– if you don’t push yourself, this doesn’t work. if you do, holy cow it’s amazing!

1) high knees

2) russian twist – use weight and/or lift your legs off the ground.

3) calf raises – use weight or not! hold on to a chair if you need to.

4) plié squat – if it’s easy, do it faster and/or use weight.

5) tri dip – if it’s easy, lift one leg up or stretch both out in front.

6) mountain climber – fast or slow

photo credit: 1 2 3 4 5 6

So how did it go??

 

 

Workout Wednesday: 12 minutes and done! I swear.

Last night I led my first workout in front of more than 5 people! It was so flipping fun. We had very fit people as well as people who haven’t worked out in a while. We had kids there (seriously, 3 year olds) as well as ladies in their fifties. And every single person was sweating. Again, it was so fun!

Here’s the workout:

– SIX exercises

– do each exercise THREE times

– do it for TWENTY seconds, then rest for TWENTY, then do it for another 20, and on…

– it’s VERY important to do as many of each exercise in 20 seconds

Exercises:

1) low jacks

2) toe taps – tap on the ground or find a stair

3) burpees – follow the image and put a push up in the middle

4) speed squats – squats, as fast as you can while keeping form

5) tricep dips

6) high knees

Best part is, the workout only takes TWELVE MINUTES!!

Who’s gonna try this? Tell me if you do!

Whatever your workout today, I hope it is wonderful! 🙂