If there is one thing I have learned since starting this post baby weight loss journey, consistency is the key all of it, both eating and working out. But, what do you do when your daily schedule varies day-to-day and can even be a bit chaotic? Read More
5 Pre/Post Workout Stretches
Happy workout Wednesday, everybody! I have been hitting the gym pretty hard lately, especially lifting, and have had some pretty sore days because of it. However, as most of us already know, stretching is not only amazing, it helps prevent injury while working out. I have perfected and found my 5 favorite pre/post workout stretches that are most effective for me. I wanted to share these stretches with all of you in case they will help with your aches and pains in any way.
Opposite Leg Toe Touch:
This stretch is pretty self explanatory. I touch each toe for 10 seconds and do this 2-3 times depending on how stiff I feel. You should feel you muscles loosen up with each toe touch and hold.
Foot Grab Squat:
Squatting is a huge part of my workout routine so stretching the exact muscles I use for squatting before and after is key. You will hold this position for 10-15 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. You should feel your body loosen up enough to go into a deeper squat position each time.
Sitting Leg Extension Toe Touch:
This is a wonderful stretch for the hamstrings. Hold for 15-20 seconds and repeat 2-3 times. Grab you toe and pull back a little more with each count and set. You can even add some arm movement in as you do this stretch.
Butterfly Floor Touch:
This stretch works the areas for squats as well but adds in more stretching of the groin. When you get into this position lean forward on your arms, which push your legs further apart, and feel the stretch in your groin. Do this same pressure and stretch for 10-15 seconds and repeat 2-3 times.
Sitting Butterfly Flutters:
You will sit with the bottom of your feet touching each other and bounce your knees up and down. You should feel the stretch in your groin as you flutter your knees up and down. Flutter 10 times on each side and repeat 2-3 more times.
These exercises always leave me feeling either ready to start my workout or ready to go home after a good stretch. What are some of your favorite pre/post workout stretches? Feel free to share below.
Happy Wednesday, everybody! 🙂
Weekly Workout Schedule
Happy Motivation Monday, everybody!
I’ve been working out consistently enough the last few months and because of this I have finally perfected my daily workout schedule. I have attempted multiple workout schedules and none of them ever really seem to fit me exactly. Instead, I decided to take the workouts from the multiple workout plans that were beneficial to me, as well as, add in a few challenging and effective exercises I have used in past experiences. After doing this schedule for a while I’m positive I will stick to this workout plan because, I love it! As I get more lean and strong I will adjust the reps and weight. However, I am not trying to get “bulky” from the lifting so instead of lifting extremely heavy for shorter reps, I will increase the reps in addition to the weight, but at a slower pace. Here is a day by day breakdown of the exercises I have been using:
30+ minutes cardio
Jumping Jacks – 10
Push-ups – 10
Mountain Climbers – 10
Burpees – 10
*Repeat 3x with 2 minute break in between*
-cool down stretch-
15 minutes cardio warm-up
Squats – 3×10
Dumbbell Lunge-Curl – 3×10
Jump Squats – 3×10
Deadlift – 3×10
Kettlebell Sumo Squat – 3×10
Russian Twists – 3×15
Lying Leg Raise – 3×15
10 minutes elliptical cool down
-cool down stretch-
30+ minutes cardio
Tricep Dips – 3×10
Lateral Pull Downs – 3×10
Dumbbell Curls – 3×10
Dumbbell Flys – 3×10
Tricep Push Backs – 3×10
-cool down stretch-
Thursday (machines day):
15 minutes cardio warm up
Leg Press – 3×10
Leg Curls – 3×10
Leg Extensions – 3×10
Calf Extension – 3×10
Hip Abductor – 3×10
Hip Adductor – 3×10
Rotary Torso – 3×15
Weighted Abdominal Crunch – 3×15
-cool down stretch-
1 hour cardio
-cool down stretch-
20+ minutes HIIT (can use Monday’s workout by adding 2-3 more rounds)
7 minute abs (look up 7 different crunch positions if you don’t know seven)
-be sure to do plenty of stretching-
Most of these workouts require lifting weights, and I advise starting off light, and increasing to your desired weight. Your body will let you know what is too much and what is too light. Also, feel free to alter these workouts to your liking. You may want to concentrate on a different part of your body and decide to switch things around or completely swap them out all together. Either way, make it fun, so that you want to return to the gym each day!
Have a great evening! 🙂
16 Goals For 2016
Now that we’re in the year 2016 I wanted to make a list consisting of 16 goals to accomplish this year. I chose sixteen goals because who’s really going to write out two thousand and sixteen goals? Exactly. But in all seriousness I like to brainstorm things I would like to accomplish or improve, write them down, and hold myself accountable to these goals. I refuse to call them resolutions because goals that are taken seriously and strategically planned out tend to drive me more than the cliche new year resolutions ever will.
These are the sixteen goals I wish to accomplish in 2016:
1) Bi-Monthly Food Box
Now that I am getting into couponing I want to be able to bless others as well. I would like to put together a food box at the very least every other month to donate to a local family in need. It’s not major, but it’s a step in the right direction towards helping others beyond volunteer work in 2016.
2) Potty Train Jordyn
I’m pretty sure this is pretty understandable to those who have and don’t have children. However, we would like to talk about another child in 2017 (yes a whole year from now) but the conversation won’t even begin until Jordyn is fully potty trained.
3) Pay Off (A) Major Debt
As your average millennial buried in wonderful college loans, I would like to eliminate some, if not all, debt unrelated to my college loans. I’m aiming for financial freedom as soon as possible.
4) Visit 3 States BESIDES Illinois
My husband and I both are from the surrounding Chicago suburbs. Which means we always to IL for vacations to see family. However, in 2016 I want to explore and travel more than around/to IL.
5) Squat 150+ lbs
Because we all know strong is the new skinny. 2015 has shown us being fit and in shape is more important than being skinny. I plan to work on conditioning and strength this year.
6) More Base Activities
Now that pretty much all of my close friends have moved to new bases and states I need to find more friends. Haha j/k (sort of) I want to be more involved in base activities in general because I believe as a military community it’s important to be an important part of the community.
7) Visit 1 New Montana City
I’ve lived in Montana for almost 4 years and there are many large/popular cities I have never been to yet. Since we live here we need to take advantage of the places around us this year.
8) Visit The White House
We are planning another trip to Washington D.C. to see friends this year since we did not make it there last year. I want to reschedule a White House tour because this is the last year President Obama will be in office.
9) Spend <$100 On Grocery Trip
I’m officially one of those crazy coupon people trying to learn the ways of the couponing professionals. A major goal of mine is to spend less than $100 on a usual two week grocery shopping trip. I believe in me!
10) Take A Cooking Class
I’ve always wanted to take a cooking class. It has always looked like so much fun and would be a perfect date night idea. The husband and I have to make this happen this year.
11) Grow Blog Subscribers By 100+
I currently have 75 subscribers to my blog and would like to grow this list by at least 100 more this year. This is a huge challenge, but it’s one I am up for!
12) Do More Volunteer Work
As most of you know I am a (now level 1 certified) basketball coach for Special Olympics Montana. However, I would like to spend more of my down time helping others vs. doing things selfishly for myself. Selfless vs. selfish is the motto.
13) Eat Cleaner
This goes right back to fit being the new skinny. I want to eat cleaner for my health and my appearance. 70% of losing weight and getting in shape is what we put in our bodies so I need to do better this year.
14) Monetize Blog
I haven’t gotten a lot more serious about blogging. Writing is something I love to do and I would love to merge my passion with my purpose and create a job from it. Who doesn’t want to make money doing what they love?
15) Take A Dance Class
I’m not just talking about any dance class, I want to take a professional ballroom dance class. Learn to salsa, foxtrot, merengue, swing dance…anything!
16) Go To A Concert
Unfortunately living in Montana means we don’t have many diverse, main stream artists come here to perform. This year I would love to go to a popular artist’s concert even if it means traveling to a bordering state to do so. Especially if the artist is worth the hype.
You have officially read my goals (and reasoning) for 2016. I will try my hardest to accomplish all of them this year. What are your personal goals this year? Share in the comments below!
My Go To Clean Eating & Workout Resources
It has almost been a year since I have seriously started working on living a healthier lifestyle. I am by no means anywhere NEAR my health and fitness goals, but I am A LOT closer than I have been in years. I have tried the “healthy” lifestyle on multiple occasions prior to last year, but I was not as dedicated and educated on living a healthier lifestyle until I did the 28 Day Fit Girl Jumpstart Challenge in October of 2014. Since then, I have slowly been taking baby steps to teach myself the difference between diet fads and unnatural weight loss schemes, to the actual act of changing my lifestyle, and making cleaner eating choices and committing to working out regularly.
Clean eating is not a diet. I actually have learned to despise the word “diet”, and understand changing how I eat has to be a lifelong commitment. The changes will not happen overnight, but it will definitely start to show in the long run. The biggest fact I’ve learned about clean eating is, at no time should you starve yourself. When you’re hungry, you’re supposed to eat. You’re just supposed to eat healthier food vs. junk food, or not eating any food at all (leads to bingeing on unhealthy foods). In terms of working out, I learned any activity is better than no activity. You also don’t need an expensive membership to a fancy gym to stay fit either. There are so many at home or outdoor workouts available these days, which makes getting fit a lot easier.
Below I will share my favorite websites and social media people who got me started on my journey, kept me motivated on my journey, and continue to teach me how to do better along the way.
Jersey Girl Talk is a website I discovered through Pinterest while searching for lifting routines. I had been reading up on the benefits of lifting for women, and wanted to jump into it. I had lifted all through high school while running track, but it has been quite some time since I’ve lifted weights and wanted to find a beginners program of some sort. I stumbled upon Adrienne’s (the website owner) lifting for beginners pin, and really liked the sound of it. I’ve loved it ever since. I also follow her on Instagram and Twitter, where she is extremely personable, and responds to your tweets and posts if she is mentioned in them. I haven’t tried any of her recipes yet, but will be giving them a try sometime soon!
I found Fit with Curves through a friend’s post on Instagram. She had re-posted one of the exercises Tatiana (the blog owner) had shared on her own Instagram page. I’m all about seeing people doing healthy things so I clicked on her name to check out her page. I instantly loved the page, and not only because of the workouts. I loved seeing her acknowledge being fit means different things for different people. A woman with curves who is fit will not look like a woman who is fit without curves, and that is okay. Embrace it, and focus on how to become healthy in your own body. I enjoy some of her mini workout videos, and have occasionally added a workout here or there to my routine at the gym. She also has clean eating recipes on her blog I have not tried yet, but plan to in the near future. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter as well.
I’m actually not too sure how I found out about Get Fit with Nic, but I’m happy I did! I do know it was through Instagram somehow. Either way, if you’re looking for great at home and/or outdoor workouts, she is the person to follow. Gym memberships and/or finding the time to go to the gym can often be unattainable for some people. Her works are perfect for those of you who run into these issues. She often posts mini-videos of her workouts, which are perfect for those of us needing the extra “umph” to get our butts off of the couch in general. She has recently started a traveling workout session in major cities for a low fee of $10 which is pretty awesome. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
This is my FAVORITE meal prepping website at the moment. I found this gem of a website while searching for clean eating meals on, Pinterest. My Body My Kitchen, has SO many delicious recipes, broken down into separate categories, to make it easier to search for the type of food you want to eat. What makes this website the best for meal prepping is the amount of food options (so you never get bored), the amount of flavor used in the dishes (to keep you coming back), and how much he loves to make food spicy. If you aren’t a huge spicy food fan, just omit the use of the cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes in your recipes. My husband HATES spicy food, so I modify his meals, and he still loves them. You can follow this page on Instagram as well.
This is my number one go to resource for clean eating and working out, because this is what got me started on the correct path to making healthier life choices. My friend Charelle told me about it back in September of 2014, and her, my Grandmother and I did the month-long challenge. The results were unbelievable for it to have only been a month. For anyone else looking for a great jumpstart to their healthier life goals, I suggest you start with the Fit Girls Guide. The major take back I got from this challenge was how to measure my food and calorie intake, correctly. Did I mention not only is the food really good, the exercises are extremely easy, and can be done at home. You can find the Fit Girls support groups on Instagram and Twitter as well.
If you decide to give any of these resources a try, I hope they are beneficial, enjoyable, and fun to do! Also, let me know what you think about them and what you like and didn’t like. Good luck on your journey and I hope these resources are helpful to someone out there. 🙂
This picture shows my results of the 28 Day Jumpstart Challenge last year.