workout

Recent Workout Roundup #1

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After my recent move across the Greater Toronto Area I made the decision to cancel my gym membership. When it comes to working out, it has to be easy and convenient. No longer was the gym in a convenient location, no longer were my favourite classes offered at convenient times, and I was wasting my money on something that I wasn’t using. But with forgoing the gym membership I knew I had to find something new to get myself into shape. So welcome to the first edition of my Recent Workout Roundup, sharing with you all my favourite workout activities lately and how they’ve been working for me.

(First, let me ask you to be kind. My body is not workout picture worthy and I always struggle with my image. So it did take a lot for me to take photos of myself for any sort of  “workout” related topic. I’m working on it)

Again, when it comes to any sort of workout or physical activity, it has to be easy and convenient. So as someone who doesn’t own any gym equipment besides a yoga mat I knew I had to find some help. That’s where YouTube comes in handy of course. Blogs, tutorials, and videos upon videos of different workout routines that I can do at home without any equipment! And even videos specifically for beginners and noobs like me! I spent a few days going through a few videos and trying out a few different things before finding what I liked. And that’s what I’m talking about in today’s Workout Roundup: Pilates; specifically Blogilates with Cassey Ho!

If you don’t know Cassey Ho, then you need to change that right now. Not only does she create awesome videos that are easy to follow even for beginners but she is a huge inspiration for all. She creates amazing videos that show us how to be healthy and fit but also stresses the importance of being who you are and not changing yourself to fit into societal expectations or pressures. One person who can do all that? I know, amazing right? No wonder she has over 2.7 million subscribers!

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So for the past month I’ve been browsing through Blogilates videos daily to find new workouts to do right at home! The start was a struggle, having been out of the gym and out of any sort of physical activity for about a month and a half. But the more I did it and the more I practiced, the easier it got. I’ve actually started a 30 Day Beginners Challenge that you can find here. And I absolutely love it. I’m feeling amazing. And I’m doing it more than I ever stepped foot in the gym! That’s the benefit of doing it right at home!

I can’t wait to share more of my Recent Workout Roundups with you! Hopefully it’s a new series of posts that you enjoy and can help me through! What are your favourite workout’s at home?

 

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How to Combat the Winter Woes

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This past Monday (the third Monday of the year) has come to be known as “Blue Monday”, the most depressing day of the year. Winter gets everyone down, long dark days of bitter cold and very little sun. Obviously jetting off to sunny destinations is an instant mood booster in the winter, and I highly suggest doing so, but not everyone has the time or money for vacations at the last minute. So how do you find mood boosters right here and right now? What can you do to smile in the nasty, icky, snowy days?

A quick Google search will show you advice from psychologist claiming that decreased serotonin levels cause the winter blues. I have no idea what any of that means, so I’m not basing all of these tips on that stuff – it’s all me baby!

 

  1. Embrace the Cozy – Winter is going to get you down if you dwell on the dark and the cold. Constant complaints are not only creating a constant negative impact on yourself, but also for all those around you. So my number one advice is to embrace the wonderful parts of winter, such as snuggling in for cozy nights. Steaming mugs of hot chocolate, thick flannel blankets, and the fuzziest socks imaginable. That’s happy, isn’t it? Embrace those cozy days!
  2. Eat Right – I’m not telling you to diet – hell no! But eating junk when you’re stuck in the winter woes isn’t going to help anyone. Add some greens to your diet and cut back the carbs. Feeling a little healthier and lighter is certainly going to boost your mood, without even realizing it.
  3. Sweat it Out – Again, I’m not telling you to join and gym and get into a full-time workout routine (although I whole heartedly support that as well), but getting the blood flowing and the sweat sweating boosts all those serotonins I claim to know nothing about and will certainly boost your mood! It can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking short distances instead of driving, or taking a little jog around the block. Trust me, it’ll help!
  4. Sleep Smart – Get used to the fact that it’s still going to be dark when you wake up, so don’t sleep in too late. Unfortunately that’s a part of winter – more dark hours than sun. So if you’re already feeling pretty sluggish, don’t sleep too much. It’ll just make it worse.
  5. Keep the Parties Going – don’t make the cold weather an excuse! Keep going out with your friends on Friday nights, keep going on dates, and keep planning those fun events! You may just have to re-think certain outfits, but just because the weather is a little cold doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun! Stay connected!

 

What do you do to fight those winter blues?

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My Favourite Post-Workout Smoothie

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Is so incredibly easy it’s ridiculous. I’m not one for big blenders or juicers or adding ‘infusion of this’ or ‘seed of that’. Give me something tasty in, like, four ingredients or less please. The easiest part of it all is I use my ‘Magic Bullet’. You make it and drink it all in the same cup! Easy cleanup.

I start with a big handful of spinach – not really any specific measurement. Some like more some like less. Then I add one frozen banana. Then two tablespoons of peanut butter (you can use regular or all natural. I prefer all natural for smoothies because it’s runny – smoothies thicken up with the banana and thick regular pb is too thick in the end for me). Now depending on my workout and the intensity/what I’ve eaten for the day, I usually like to add a scoop of protein powder to turn my smoothie into a post-workout meal. I use Poliquin ‘Whey Stronger 2.0’ Natural Vanilla. Then I fill the cup with vanilla almond milk (and/or milk, water, etc). Don’t be alarmed by the bright green colour! Give it a taste.

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