Fitness Friday 4/24

Happy Friday!  I'm glad the day is here and the workweek is almost over.  How about you?  If you need a boost to get through this last workday, try these exercises on your lunch break, or for an afternoon pick-me-up.  If you're new to the Fitness Friday series on the blog, each Friday I'll give you a set of body weight exercises easily doable in an office or work setting (or at home).  The goal isn't so much to make you sweat or get in a full workout, but rather to make you conscious of getting up and moving around throughout your day.  (Awesome bonus: the images are pinnable and downloadable, so pin 'em to that fitness Pinterest board and refer back to them when you need a boost!)   Ready to get started?  Keep reading for the details!

 

Fitness Friday 4/24

3 x 3 (3 times through, 3 times today)

Tuck Jumps - time yourself for 10 seconds and see how many jumps you can get!  Tuck your knees to your chest as you jump up, and land softly on the feet.  Jump quick!

Wide-Arm Push Ups - bring the arms out wider than shoulder width.  Do these either from your feet, or from the knees, and remember to keep your spine aligned (that includes your neck!) and core engaged throughout.

Lying Toe Touches - lie down on your back, legs straight in the air so your body forms an 'L' as best you can.  From here, reach your hands to your toes, using your abs to raise your shoulder blades off the floor.

Readers: chat with me!  How'd that mini workout go for you?   What are you up to this weekend and how are you staying healthy and active?

My Adventures Around Australia - Part 1: Adelaide

As most of you know...

AustraliaHeadingPart1-01.png

... I traveled to Australia a few weeks ago for my full-time job, and boy it was a BLAST!  I have so much to share that I'm breaking this up into 3 different posts.  I'm not too sure where to begin the first one except at the very start, so here it goes.  (Warning: LONG post ahead!)

I traveled to Adelaide, South Australia for some training we were doing at the University of South Australia Centre for Sleep Research.  It was such a privilege to be able to travel halfway across the world for work!  I was nervous to go overseas because I'd never done so before - I wasn't sure how customs/immigration worked, nor did I know what the heck I was getting into with the time difference!  (It all worked out, though.)

1} WHAT TO PACK?

The first thing that crossed my mind was what to pack (of course - what girl doesn't think that??)!  It was challenging since I was going from below freezing temps to the dead of summer and back again.  I was also concerned about getting my workouts in while I was away (more on that later).  So here's what I packed in my carry-on to help:

   DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with any of the brands listed here.  I am not compensated for this post - This is just a compilation of products that I use on a regular basis purchased by myself.

 

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way affiliated with any of the brands listed here.  I am not compensated for this post - This is just a compilation of products that I use on a regular basis purchased by myself.

1 | Lululemon Post-Practice Cardi - one of the best for traveling! A warm, cozy, cotton cardigan that's roomy, has pockets, and covers your butt.  Perfect.

2 | Resistance Band Set - I brought these with every intention of using them (and didn't), but still glad I had them in case a hotel room workout was in the cards (it wasn't).

3 | Nike Flyknit Lunar 2 running sneakers - sneakers are a must-have for walking around the airport.  These ones support my feet nicely and are quite colorful, which I'm all about.

4 | Thermos water bottle - I like to bring a reusable water bottle on my trips so I can stay hydrated and save money.

5 | Lululemon Vinyasa Scarf - this scarf is amazing!  You can wear it SO many ways, and it also serves as a blanket for those chilly airplane flights.

2} GETTING THERE AND EXPLORING:

Okay, now for the good parts.  The flights took FOREVER, but once I made it to Adelaide, it was beautiful.  It's summertime there, and the skies were bright blue with the sun sparkling down on the sidewalks.  I was there for work mostly, so that took up a lot of the weekdays, but on the weekends we went to some beautiful wineries, toured gorgeous gardens, and saw what the city had to offer.  The University campus was absolutely beautiful and the walk to and from was nice.  They had a gym that I fully intended on using often, but only did once at the very end of the trip (oops).  I'm not beating myself up over it though (more details below).  We played pub trivia one night and won second place (and went back the next week only to get fourth -- bummer); we took a stroll through the botanical gardens on our way to the National Wine Center; tasted some Australian spirits (can you sense a theme here?); and just had a great time being in a different country halfway across the world.

3} MY FITNESS UPKEEP (or lack thereof) & MEAL PLANNING:

Alright.  I'll be honest with you.  I didn't really keep up with my workouts as much as I intended to while I was away.  You know those bands that I packed in my suitcase?  Didn't pull them out once.  Thought about it, but thinking about working out doesn't count.  Those sneakers?  Only got worn in the airports and once more when I went to the University gym.  Speaking of that gym, I fully intended on going at least a few times a week, you know, for maintenance workouts.  Well, I went once.  At the end of the trip.  Oops.  It DID feel great, and for that reason I wish I'd gone more, but I'm not beating myself up over it at all.  I can work out at home anytime I want - when am I ever in Australia?!  That's right - never.  

So, what did I do about the fact that I wasn't working out?  I tried to eat as healthy as I could.  Sure, there were the occasional burgers and fries (or as they call them, "chips"), but overall I tried to stick to low-fat foods full of protein.  Salads were a rare sight unless you made your own, so leafy greens weren't exactly eaten as much as they are when I'm home.  What did I have?  I bought bananas, apples, greek yogurts (luckily I had a mini fridge in my hotel room), some bread and peanut butter, eggs to cook in the microwave, and some prepackaged meals with the least amount of sodium possible.  When we went out to eat, I tried to choose dishes with chicken or fish for some protein and got a side salad with almost everything.  It certainly wasn't my ideal diet by any means, but that's okay.

Let this serve as a reminder to you as well - don't beat yourself up over not being perfectly on track.  No one can maintain a perfect diet or workout regimen 100% of the time.  So now that I'm back, I'm eating healthy again, cooking my own meals, and getting back on track with my workouts (and teaching classes!).  I do notice a change in my endurance and strength, but I know I'll get that back eventually.  You will too!

4} PICTURES!

Okay, I'll shut up now and let you look at the pictures!  There will be lots more where these came from in parts 2 & 3 of this series, along with some other awesome adventures that I'm counting toward staying active while on the trip.  Enjoy! 

5} HAVE YOU EVER TRAVELED TO AUSTRALIA OR SOMEWHERE ELSE ABROAD?

Where?  How did you stay healthy while traveling?  I'd love to hear your adventure stories too!  Leave a comment and tell me all about it!  Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of this series - my adventures around Kangaroo Island!  Until then, have a happy and healthy week ahead.

12 Days of Fitness Challenge: Day 3 - In & Outs

First off, Merry Christmas Eve!  I hope you're enjoying some much needed time off with friends and family.  Second, Happy Day 3 of the challenge, everyone!  Congrats on finishing the first 2 days strong!  Since we've targeted our arms and our legs so far, it's time to move onto our abs.  Today's challenge exercise has many names, but I like to call them in & outs.  Here's what you're doing:

  • Start lying on the ground, face up, with your forearms flat on the floor.  Elbows are in line with your shoulders, and palms flat.  Keeping your legs as straight as you can, lift your legs off the floor slightly (pictured below, A).
  • From this position, bring your chest up and knees in using your abdominals to do the work (not your hands).  Your hands remain on the floor for balance, if needed.
  • Breathe OUT as you come up; and inhale on the way back down.
  • Continue this pattern for as many reps as you can. 

If you're getting upwards of 25-30 reps and you don't feel tired yet, you probably could stand to increase your intensity slightly.  To increase the amount of work your abdominals do in this exercise, get rid of the hand brace.  Instead, take your arms off the floor completely, and bring them out to the side (or overhead) to start (pictured below, C).  Then bring them in front of you on the way up (pictured below, D), continuing the same in & out motion as above. 

The same rules apply with today's challenge - check in on social media or on this blog with your progress, and get through your sets twice today.  Let me know how you do!

Be sure to enjoy your time with family and friends today, and make sure to keep yourself accountable for these exercises (I'll be checking in with you)!  Remember, it's not too late to join, so tell your friends and family, get them involved, and let's stay active today!