I love monthly workout challenges. It is a GREAT way to get in more physical activity on a regular basis and kick start any other workout you are doing regularly. For January, I developed a quick and easy cardio challenge to get that heart pumping.
The challenge is below. Do each exercise for 90 seconds without stopping (should take 7 1/2 minutes). Aim for doing this challenge at least 5 times per week during the month of January. If you do not have time for an additional workout one day, repeat the circuit 2 times for a 15 minute workout burst.
Most of the exercises you probably already recognize, but below is a brief rundown in case you need a refresher:
- Jumping Jacks: Stand upright with arms by your side. As you jump your legs out, wider than your hips, swing your arms overhead (keeping your arms straight). Jump back to your starting position. Keep going for 90 minutes! If jumping is too hard on your joints, just step out your feet instead.
- Invisible Jump Ropes: This one is simple. Act like you have a jump rope in your hand and move your hands as you jump over the invisible rope. You can mix this one up if you get bored by taking one leg at a time and then switching legs. You can do a double jump or even jump side to side. Your call!
- Jump Squats: First, choose between a regular squat (if you want to target the quads mostly) or a sumo squat (if you also want to target those inner thighs). Start with a squat, making sure your knees do not go past your toes, and as you come back up to your starting position- add a jump. Repeat and continue for the 90 second duration.
- Ski Jumps: Stand up straight with your arms bent in front of you like you are holding onto ski poles. Make a slight bend in your knees as you pull your arms in even more (to prepare) and jump to the right with your legs glued together the whole time. Repeat and jump to the left. You should feel like you are on the slopes!
- Star Jumps: This exercise is like a jumping jack in the air. You will prepare with both legs together and slightly bend your knees. As you jump, make an X with your body. Your legs will be kicked out to the side and your arms up in a V. These can get tough so if you cannot keep up the full 90 second duration, take a quick break and jump back in or step instead of jump.
2014 will be our fittest year yet!
Every Sunday, I do a link up with A Complete Waste of Makeup called Sunday Social. It’s super fun and gets us all SOCIAL! Feel free to join in on the fun…
What is the best New Year’s Eve you’ve ever had? I love spending New Year’s Eve at home with close family and friends. I fear all the drunk drivers on I-30 after the clock strikes midnight so I avoid driving at all costs. The most memorable New Year’s Eve was definitely for Y2K. Everyone was afraid the world was about to end so me and my friend Hailee grabbed a pot, a big spoon, and made lots of racket down her street while singing and dancing. Oh to be a kid again!
Are you doing anything for New Year’s Eve this year and if so, what? I have a feeling we will stay at home this year, but I have been invited to Southern Junction in Rockwall. There will be live music (Wade Bowen) and dancing! May have to at least make a stop there for dinner.
Name a book we should all read come January. I did not have any fresh ideas off the top of my head so had to do a google search. I found this one, “We Need New Names,” by Noviolet Bulawayo, that I am adding to my January reading list.
What are your New Year’s resolutions? I am not a big fan of resolutions per se, but instead create a healthy habit to start in January. Even though I am a dietitian and lover of all things health, my nutrition has not been very colorful lately. My healthy habit will be to put more color into my nutrition. I got a juicer for Christmas and it’s so easy to get fruits and veggies in with a juicer! I will also try to cook more colorful side dishes (like the one below).
Matt is sick with the flu and even though I had a flu shot this year, we both thought it would be wise for me to stay at my parent’s place. I decided to spend most of my Saturday night gettin’ crafty!
As most of you know, I LOVE making cards. Here are 5 that I made tonight:
The “I love travel” card.
The “Wonderful” card.
The “Sky is the Limit” card.
The “Love” Valentine’s Day card.
The “Heart” Valentine’s Day card.
Which one is your favorite?
This week has been full of joy and delight with the holiday and all. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays and I love all the time spent with friends and family. Here are a few of my Simple Delights of the Week:
Juice. I am incredibly excited about my new juicer and I cannot wait to make my first juice. I found a yummy recipe on Pinterest and will start with that. I plan to make it tomorrow after I head to the store for some of the ingredients. We can all use more color in our diets so this will help me bump up the veggies on a regular basis. Can I get a hell yeah?!?
Haim. No, not ham.. although, ham isn’t so bad either. Haim is a band Matt and I recently discovered this Fall. They were at Austin City Limits and even though we missed their show, we caught some of their tunes on the ACL website in the week leading up to the fest. They are an Indie rock group with such a great sound. These girls are on the up and up… just sayin’!
This positive quote. I was in need of a positive quote this week and found this gem on Pinterest. Are you noticing a trend? Pinterest is my new facebook and apparently I am late to the game. Anyway, this quote needs no introduction. Hopefully it will instill some positive thoughts in your life too.
Smiling. Just like Buddy the Elf, it’s my favorite. I enjoy smiling myself (because that usually means I am in laughter or state of joy), but I REALLY love seeing someone else smile. This week, I loved seeing so many smiles and one smile in particular warmed my heart- the smile from my dad. He is a wonderful dad… one that I do not deserve, but am VERY thankful for. I put some thought into his gift and he was really excited after opening it. His smile made me smile. Smiling is contagious after all!
James Avery jewelry. My mom and dad picked out this lovely necklace for me. When I love a brand, I LOVE the brand and am loyal to it. For some reason, I have always loved James Avery jewelry. I think it is because I got my first nice ring from there as a gift from my confirmation sponsor in middle school. I loved it so much that I wore it until I lost it when I was 24 years old (that’s about 10 yrs of the same ring). I bought a replacement that year and have been wearing that one ever since. Now, I have a cross necklace to add to my collection. I love it!
I have decided to start posting What to Eat Wednesday on my new blog- Simple Delights. Please send feedback. If the other blog was easier to follow, please let me know and I will just keep them separate.
Anyway, so it is CHRISTMAS. First things first, from Texas to you, Merry Christmas! I live with a reindeer so he says Merry Christmas too…
As most of you know, I am a dietitian who does not believe in restriction or being a “food police.” Since today is Christmas, instead of worrying about what to eat and what not to eat, focus on joy. Enjoy the loved ones all around you. Be thankful for the food on your plate and even give a thought to where it came from. We get into a habit of eating food and scarfing it down before realizing the work that went into it. Pick a few treats that you absolutely love and savor the flavor. Don’t worry about if your clothes will fit tomorrow. They will. Don’t worry about skipping a day of working out. You will be able to kill it ten times harder tomorrow.
So with that, I leave you with some rhyming words…
White Christmas! Anyone else? Except here in Texas, the only white Christmas I will be getting is the one I received yesterday at Dallas Summer Musicals. My mom and I went to see the musical version of White Christmas. At the end, the audience was snowed on. It was magical! Thank you, snow blowers.
Have you seen the original White Christmas? For some reason, I thought I had, but I was confused. I had seen other old Christmas movies, but not that one. Now I will definitely have to watch it sometime. I had this preconceived notion that the show was about a family at Christmas time (much like A Christmas Story and other Christmas favorites). It wasn’t. It was more about show business, old army buddies, falling in love, and helping out an Army general. The musical version provided a great platform for plenty of dancing. And you all know how much I love dancing.. or if you don’t, you do now.
Every time I leave a musical, I think to myself how much fun that would be. I would absolutely love to be in a musical someday. Granted, I have been in one when I lived in Houston, but I was the oldest cast member and felt out of place so want to be in another one. Not to mention, it was High School Musical and I was already out of college. Go ahead, laugh a little. So back to my plan, let’s just put “dance in a musical” on my ongoing bucket list.
No matter where you are this Christmas, I hope you have time for family and enjoy your loved ones. My mom and I love seeing shows and it is something we have done together ever since I can remember. I was very young when I went to my first show and it is delightful even now. The time we spent together yesterday was priceless.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and perhaps a white Christmas if you are up North!
Every Sunday, I do a link up with A Complete Waste of Makeup called Sunday Social. It’s super fun and gets us all SOCIAL! Feel free to join in on the fun…
What is your favorite holiday season tradition? My mom and I just started one last year. We see a Christmas play the week of Christmas. Last year we saw the Radio Music Christmas Spectacular by the Rockettes and this year we saw the musical, White Christmas. I loved it!
Do you have a certain holiday movie you watch more than others? If so, what is it? Most of the time it is a tie between Elf and Home Alone. Surprisingly, I haven not watched either one yet this year, but I own them both. I will for sure have to bust them out ASAP.
Show us your favorite decoration or Pinterest decoration you wish you could have. The lights inside my house make me more excited than any lights outside the house. I kinda want to leave these up all year long. But don’t worry, I won’t. I will refrain from being the crazy Christmas-all-year-long lady!
What is your favorite holiday song? The Christmas song. “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…. Jack Frost nipping at your nose…”
What is your favorite holiday dessert? Anything with ginger. So gingerbread cookies, ginger snaps, gingerbread itself. Oh yum, yum, yum!!
What is on your wish list this year? A juicer. And I just thought of something else, but I guess it is too late.. an Ipad. Maybe I will gift myself one in 2014. I keep hearing all about how I need one. But, for now, I will keep diggin’ my laptop!
Getting on a horse.
Sometimes you get a tall horse and cannot seem to get on. It takes try after try. But you don’t give up.
Sometimes you get a small one and you can jump right on, but the horse moves before you are ready.
Sometimes you don’t have problems with getting on the horse, but it’s the ride that gets a little bumpy.
Sometimes you want to take a jump, but the horse isn’t ready for it.
Sometimes the horse wants to take a jump, but you aren’t ready for it.
Sometimes you are afraid to go for a ride, but you enjoy the ride once you face that fear.
Sometimes you worry the ride will get bumpy, but letting go of the worry helps you take in the experience.
Every week I will share with you some of my delights of the week. Please feel free to share yours in the comment section, on Facebook, or via your blog and post the link below. I would love to hear from you!
Shops at Legacy- The Shops at Legacy in Plano are gorgeous this time of the year. The whole complex is lit up for Christmas and it keeps the Christmas spirit alive I have to say. Not to mention, I had GREAT company while I stopped in at the Cru wine bar. I do not frequent Plano often, but may have to make a stop here more often.
Meditation Series- Meditation is difficult for me. I need to ease into it. I know how GREAT it is for you and whenever I am doing yoga regularly, I feel better than ever and meditate way more often. Nowadays since my workouts are full of running, pilates, and pure barre I rarely, if ever, do yoga or meditate. Perhaps I see a 2014 goal forming… and to kick start this goal I purchased a meditation series from Deepak Chopra & Oprah. It’s titled Desire and Destiny. I had a gift card to use and since I downloaded directly to my computer, I can use this for years to come whenever I need/want a guided meditation.
A Good Laugh- Can I just tell you how excited I am about going to a comedy club tonight??? I absolutely LOVE to LAUGH. I mean, who doesn’t?! Laughing boosts happiness. So I am looking forward to laughing tonight at the Improv. I also recently found a great show on Comedy Central that keeps me laughing- Adam Devine’s House Party. I have been a fan of Adam Devine ever since I saw my first episode of Workaholics. He has killer facial expressions! I am laughing just thinking about them.
Queens of the Stone Age– For Christmas I got a really cute Queens of the Stone Age t-shirt. I LOVE this band! I like bands I can really connect with and lately I have seen the lead singer in videos and his sarcastic personality is killer. I love it! And, of course, it goes without saying that their music is fabulous! Check them out for real, yo!
If you were to ask me to run 3 miles with you 6 months ago, I would have laughed. I did not consider myself a runner. I still loved to workout, but running was not in the mix.
Back in July, all of that changed. My co-workers and I were developing a “Couch to 5K and 10K program”. We needed to test it out before taking to our clients so I was one of the guinea pigs. I signed up for a 10K in October and spent 10 weeks training for it. Before I started I could only run about 1.5 miles consistently before my knee hurt like hell. By the end, I was eager to sign up for another race and continue the training. I signed up for the Turkey Trot- 8 miler.
I also should mention that I utilized my resources and realized the whole knee issue could be from my shoes. I did not own a pair of running shoes so quickly changed that. I bought running shoes (pic below) before starting the plan.
Turns out that training and having a plan are key. I didn’t have to “go big” right off the bat so I eased into it and somehow that helped me find joy in running. The runs quickly became my creative time, clear my head time, and kick major butt time. I started getting excited about breaking another running record for myself. I used my Ipod and Nike+ to keep track of my mileage.
I am BIG into music and think it is a great motivator to any workout so you better believe creating playlists on my Ipod is a very regular “to do” as well.
My longest run has been 8 miles now. I am going to train for ONE more race- a half marathon in March- and then I will tone it down again. I find I REALLY like running about 4 to 6 miles. Any more than that and it starts to feel like a chore.
So yes, I can honestly say I love to run. Never thought I would say that, but I can say it with confidence now. It is amazing what the human body can do when the mind is in sync with it.