What my workouts look like these days

My workouts have really evolved and changed over the last couple of years. I never thought I would say this, but I’m not running anymore. My last real run was in November! In some ways that feels crazy to me, but in other ways it also feels right. I just have not had the urge to run. I know I’ll get back into it one day, but until then I’m trying not to sweat it too much (he he!) and focusing on doing other activities I enjoy.

So what am I doing?

Spin

I teach two spin classes per week from 6 – 6:45am. Monday’s is just a regular 45 minute spin class and Wednesdays is a spin bootcamp class where we get on and off the bike. When I’m teaching I definitely don’t push as hard as I would if I was actually taking the class, but I’m certainly still getting in a killer cardio workout!

Yoga

As mentioned a couple of times on the blog I have an unlimited yoga membership to the local vinyasa yoga studio. I try to go 3x per week but lately it’s been more like 2x per week. I am trying to get that number back up to 3 or even 4 though!

Fitness Blender 

I am so so glad I discovered fitnessblender.com several months ago. This website is amazing! It is packed chock full of free workouts ranging from 10 minutes to over an hour and they are all strength or cardio-strength (HIIT or Tabata style) workouts. I personally do best when I follow an actual program. In the fall I purchased the 8-week FB30 Round 3 program, where all the workouts are under 30 minutes long and I followed it twice back to back. Then just this last week I purchased the Bored Easy program and have started following it. My goal is to get in all 5 workouts per week for the next four weeks! Also my favourite part about Fitness Blender is that the workout programs are sooo inexpensive, like $15 – $25 CAD ($10 – $15 USD) for a 4-8 week program. Amazing!

Walking 

Walking has still been a huge way for me to move my body, especially as it’s been getting warmer outside. And ever since I got my FitBit Alta for my birthday last year (thanks husband!) I have been inspired to walk more and more. In December I managed to get in 12,000 steps every single day but one and I’m attempting to do so again this week. After a few very cold and very busy weeks at the end of January / beginning of February I haven’t been walking as much. I’m also so lucky that we have an incredible FREE indoor walking track here and it’s only a couple of blocks from my house. That has helped a lot for getting in my steps when the weather isn’t great.

Cross country skiing 

I only go once per week, but it’s still a super fun way to move my body and stay active during the winter months. Plus I love getting outside and getting fresh air 🙂

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Sometimes when you live in a winter climate you have to get very creative. Especially since March 1 will mark exactly 5 months since our first snowfall! That’s a lottttt of winter!

What ways have you been moving your body this winter?? 

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Home Hacks: How to get stuff done around the house

In January I participated in The January Cure through Apartment Therapy. I admit I did not do every single one of the challenges they sent, but I did a few of them, and one of my favourites that I will definitely start using more often is to set a timer for 30 minutes and do as much as you can in those 30 minutes, whether that’s cleaning, purging, organizing. Whatever! Knowing you only have to do it for 30 minutes makes it much easier to get started and you would be seriously surprised how much you can get done in 30 minutes.

I was recently sent an article for “Home Hacks” and thought I’d share a few here. Some of them I already try to use in my own home organization and some I will be adopting going forward.

Have A System

If you ever want to get a good grip on your home and the jobs that come with it, requires working on organizational habits. It can help to come up with some kind of cleaning schedule or cleaning chart. When you have a system in place it can be easier to manage all the “to do’s”. This is NOT something I do right now, but I would like to try it! I guess I kind of do it in some ways, for example I only ever grocery shop, meal prep and do laundry on the weekends and I usually do the dishes on weekday evenings. 

Declutter

In recent years I’ve really noticed how much I hate clutter and “stuff”. I am really trying to have less stuff. A chaotic environment can lead to a chaotic mind and that is certainly the case for me. I am starting to feel a really strong urge to declutter and purge but it feels overwhelming!! I think I need to apply the 30 minute strategy and do it in 30 minutes at a time… And to hold myself accountable, I will start this weekend and report back next week 🙂

Sell your Stuff!

Now-a-days between Facebook Buy & Sell groups, Kijiji, Craigslist and consignment stores it’s pretty easy to sell your unwanted stuff and make a bit of money. Before we left Kamloops I sold the majority of our furniture and made almost $1,000, which I then put towards our new furniture from Ikea once we moved!

Shop Smart

When you do have to buy ‘stuff’ then you’ll want to shop smart. My grandma has led me to become obsessed with coupon clipping for groceries!! When you do, you can use them to buy some of the items you’ve had your eye on and save a lot of money – sometimes up to 70%. And, you can even find that some websites like to run incentives like Invite a friend and receive a discount, which will give you an even better deal.

Outsource

So recently, and for the first time ever, Eric and I have hired someone to clean our house. She comes every 2nd week for 2 hours and scrubs the floors & the bathrooms, changes our bedding, just generally cleans our house. It has made my life so much better and less stressful during this busy time – both of us work a lot more hours than we ever have before and we also both have a 20 – 25 minute commute one way to work, so spend almost an hour a day commuting. Man, that eats up a lot of time! So if it’s possibly in your budget I recommend working out what chores or cleaning you do that you can cut out or outsource! I have one friend who just gets a deep clean of her house done every 6 weeks, so that would be an option too! 

Other favourite ‘home hacks’ I learned from the January Cure: Organize a drawer – if you’re feeling overwhelmed by cleaning/organizing just pick ONE thing, it can even just be one drawer! A drawer will take you 10 minutes to clean out or organize and help build momentum. Buy flowers – they really spruce up the house! I love to buy them every second week right after the cleaner comes, a spotless house and fresh flowers? Perfection.

What are your favourite home cleaning & organization hacks?? 

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Should you start weight training

I used to strength train regularly when I was in High School. Then around 2009 I got into running and weight training completely fell off my radar. I did a small stint with crossfit for about 4 months in 2012 to prepare for my wedding and then really brought weight training back into my life in 2013 in the form of at-home workouts like the shred I blogged about here.

Interestingly enough, now in 2016, running is the activity that has completely fallen by the wayside as I focus more on strength training, yoga and walking! I definitely think full body cardio / strength workouts are the best for my body. I notice a huge difference in my body definition when I am regularly strength training. Right now I’m doing the Fitness Blender 30 – Round 3 program for the second time through. I love that the workouts combine HIIT, strength and cardio and I love love that they are all under 30 minutes long!

I do think if you’re looking to lose weight and tone up, regular strength training is the way to go! Here are more few reasons I love strength training and encourage you try it.

Confidence

I definitely feel more confident and strong when I am doing regular strength training workouts. Research has shown that you’ll have much more energy, vitality and ability to endure longer days from weight training, it’ll also help insomnia, decrease stress and anxiety and even increase your brain function. Another really good reason to take up weight training is that it helps to improve the body’s posture, which I desperately need. I have terrible posture from my desk job.

Anyone Can Do It

You might feel like you’re the wrong shape for strength training but the opposite is true. Through a good program, often at a local gym, anyone can learn to lift safely, appropriately and efficiently. I would recommend a personal training session – or two – if you can afford it. I credit working with a personal trainer, crossfit and the group fitness instructor training I did last year for helping me with my form. It isn’t too costly, many gyms have full weight sets available, you can strength train in standard workout gear such as a t-shirt, leggings, and grippy trainers and feel comfortable, have freedom of movement and know that you won’t fall flat on your face. However, there are specialist footwear out there such as weight lifting shoes for power lifters that are sturdier and offer extra support where needed. I personally just wear regular old running shoes when I strength train 🙂

Endless Health Benefits

Where do we start? Weight and strength training combats obesity, strengthens muscle tone, corrects poor posture and reduces your risk of diabetes. It also lowers high blood pressure, reduces depression and anxiety and makes you feel tons better about yourself. The strength you gain is even transferable to other activities. I definitely found strength training helped me with my running and I know it helped me in yoga – I didn’t truly nail my form in chatarunga until I added regular strength training into my routine.

One Day Your Body Will Thank You (Again)

As we get older, our bones tend to become weaker, brittle and highly susceptible to breaking. If you take up weight, or strength training now research shows that it can help to preserve all important bone density, keep muscle mass, it can slowly waste away, and even improve your balance. Another bonus is that weight training can reduce the risks of back pain, falls and arthritis something which many older people worry about. By training while you’re young, or even not so young, you’re giving yourself a gift that will let you reap the rewards for years to come.

So tell me, do you strength train regularly? If so, do you go to classes (like body pump), workout at home or do your own routines?

I tried to get into strength training on my own at the gym this summer, but I just couldn’t get into it. Home workouts and group fitness classes seem to be the best for me when it comes to getting my strength training in!

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