My Saturday Morning Workout

Lately, I have been killing it at the gym and in my classes.  I have been expanding my horizons and trying all sorts of different exercises and techniques and really working on improving my form and overall fitness level.  I have totally upped the ante.

I’m a huge fan and supporter of body-weight exercises.  In fact, it’s what my boot camp classes are based on.  No equipment.  100% body weight.  My family fitness classes are similar, but often we will bring out some equipment to keep the younger participants keen (although, let me just say that the kids are LOVING this program, and if you don’t think your kids would be interested in fitness and exercises, try working out with them!).  In my family fitness classes I have used jump ropes, hula hoops, and a few balls.  And aside from gliders (which are TOTALLY body-weight exercises) that’s the only equipment I’ve ever used in any of my classes.

My gym workouts and my at-home workouts, however, are an entirely different story. I try and utilize as much equipment as I can at the gym – things I can’t use at home, like the rowing machine, the Smith machine (be still my beating heart), heavier weights, even a Bosu ball (for burpees – again, a body-weight exercise).

Until recently, a lot of my home workouts were body-weight based: doing some of my boot camp classes, or videos like any of the Insanity series, P90-X, Jillian Michaels, etc.  But since I got my dream boxing bag for Christmas, I’ve been using that a lot as part of my home exercise, and often incorporating weight-lifting, and running the stairs into the routine.

Today was a gorgeous day in Nova Scotia; it has been sunny and warm and it truly feels like the start of an early spring (we’re gearing up for some snow tomorrow though.  Bummer.), so I took advantage of the sunshine this morning and moved part of my workout outside – coming back inside for other parts of the workout that I wasn’t able to access in the fresh air.

A few years ago I found a bombdiggity weighted jump rope at a local store.  I loved it so much that I went back and bought the remaining ropes.  Seriously.  I have a small stock, just in case.  I also bought one for my boyfriend so that we can both take advantage of the awesomeness.

weighted-jump-rope

For my warm up I brought the rope outside and skipped away.  It was so wonderful to be able to warm up outside.

Oustide jump rope

This was basically me this morning. (via Yahoo)

Once warmed up I moved back inside so that I could do a boxing workout.  I boxed my butt off to some upbeat music, while doing burpees and squats in between.

boxingbag

Just call me Rocky Balboa

I also took advantage of my resistance bands and my newest obsession, my suspension training system.

Squat Row

Resistance bands are really just as good as weights – and certainly more mobile. (via Google)

I did a bunch of variations using the resistance bands – from squat rows to bicep curls to overhead extensions.  I did it all.

I took my suspension training system outside and channeled my inner Candace and inner Norman and performed different variations of exercises, such as: mountain climbers, chest press and fly, to the full body row (below), planks with a leg extension.

Suspension Candace

Candace Cameron Bure (and Kira Stokes) via Instragram

Norman Reedus Suspension

Norman Reedus via Men’s Fitness

I did circuits of all of these exercises, moving from inside to outside and enjoying every bit of it.

You don’t need a lot of money or a gym membership or even a lot of equipment to get in shape.  If you’re not into body-weight training – or want to move outside that realm for some of your workouts, invest in a few small pieces of fitness gear: resistance bands usually run between $10 and $30, smaller weights can be purchased fairly cheap at places like Canadian Tire and Walmart, weighted jump ropes can be picked up pretty much anywhere, including some discount and dollar stores.  Suspension Training Systems can be pricey.  Mine was an investment that I decided to go ahead with since I can use it personally and for my clients and, well, because #obsessed.  My boxing bag was a Christmas gift and something I’ve been wanting for many years.  It too was an investment (gifted to me), but you don’t necessarily need a boxing bag to enjoy a boxing workout.  There’s nothing wrong with shadow boxing or cardio boxing <- those will definitely get your heart pumping.

And all of the above (minus an actual boxing bag) are mobile items.  So you can move your workouts outside, or pack your gear when you’re vacationing, or even take with you to a friend’s house so that you can exercise together.

The ultimate goal would be to take advantage of both body-weight training and inexpensive workout gear.

~FB

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Staying Fit While Travelling

#TravelFit2014

#TravelFit2014


I love to travel. And over the last several years I’ve been increasingly travelling. Being a fitness fanatic, I, at first, worried about exercising while away but, I discovered that it’s pretty easy to stay fit while on the road.
Most hotels these days have a fitness room and/or a pool – and these are always great options when you’ve got a hankering for a good workout. But what about for those times when a fitness room isn’t available? Or if you are looking for something not-so-routine?

Fear not! I have some tips and ideas.
Obviously, if you’re a runner, there is always that option. Running on a trail (just be safe!), through a new city, or at the beach are wonderful ways to stay active when travelling. (And fun ways to explore.). And hey, while you’re at the beach, take advantage of a great swim to get/keep your heart pumping.

A friend of mine recently went to Mexico for a mini vacation. The hotel did not have a fitness room and she wasn’t keen on exploring the area on her own. She did, however, have her tablet with her and I linked her to some great workout videos. That’s one of the beauties of technology…if you have a tablet or smart phone you can view thousands of workouts online (via YouTube or other sites) and can exercise right there in your hotel room. (I’ve done yoga in my hotel room several times.) My friend loved the videos and was satisfied with the routines she was able to do. Printable workouts you find online – or even ones you make up yourself – are another option to help you keep fit. Again, these workouts can be done in the hotel room, at the beach, or in a nearby park. You might even want to grab other vacationers to participate and run your own mini boot camp.

Take advantage of what’s being offered: If you’re at a resort or campground that offers boating – kayaking, canoeing, paddle boats – definitely try it out. You can get great arm, core or leg workouts. If there is a playground in the area that’s another way to keep active. You’d have to use your imagination a bit but chin ups on the monkey bars, stair climbing up the slide, reverse crunches down the slide – these are some ideas. If there are organized hikes or other form of fitness “classes” being offered through your accommodations they are always worth a look (especially if they’re complimentary!).

Playground Fitness - every little bit counts

Playground Fitness – every little bit counts

A lot of gyms offer first-time freebies or a cheap drop-in rate for visitors. As well, local community centres are another great option for keeping fit on the fly as many of them offer fitness classes. (Schools, colleges and universities often have fitness centres, inside running trails, and activities available.) Most towns and cities have a webpage these days and you can search recreation options there. Or, you can search “fitness instructors” in that particular area or even pinpoint a specific class in the area (zumba, yoga, crossfit, kickboxing, rock climbing, etc.). Again, Most instructors offer drop in rates for classes. You can also look for local events in the area you’ll be visiting – organized races (5-10ks or fun runs.), relays, dances, hikes, etc. are fantastic ways to stay active.

Group Therapy

Group Therapy

Planning a scavenger hunt with your travel mate (or even just on your own) is a fun way to stay active. Write up a list of objects required and race around the City or resort to locate everything.

This post was inspired by the “Hotel Hike” at the Aria Las Vegas (http://www.vegas.com/resorts/aria/). “With exercises intended to build the same muscles you would target on an actual hike, be prepared to walk up a whole lot of stairs during the 60-minute Indoor Hike at Aria at CityCenter. Escalators are off limits!” It’s such a unique way to get some exercise in (in such a swanky environment) that I hope other hotels and resorts are inspired to incorporate these types of events into their attractions.

The best way to stay fit and active while on vacation or when travelling is to be prepared. Pack your gym gear and keep an open mind. If you can, do your homework before hand (by researching the area and the event options as I mentioned above) and possibly make a schedule so that you ensure you maintain your fitness goals. Continue to eat healthy. Treats are okay but your whole day or vacation can’t be a treat. AND, as always, HAVE FUN!

#TravelFit2014
~Fit Bitch