body weight exercises

Fall Into Fitness

I love Fall! I skip the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (gross) and the Pumpkin Beer (even grosser) but I love Halloween and Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie and cooler weather. I love the fall leaves and crisp air. And I love getting re-focused on my fitness goals.

For me, I tend to gain weight in the summer time and lose weight in the winter time (kind of the opposite for most people). Part of that is summer BBQs and vacations and indulging. And part of that is that in the summer time my fitness switches to the outdoors–hiking, biking, running. So lots of cardio and less weight lifting. Once the weather turns bad, I move my workouts indoors and focus on weight lifting.

Maybe you are the same. Or maybe you are ready to make a change in your life and want to kick start the plan before the mad-rush of January 1st!

So no more excuses! Here are some ideas on how to get started (or restarted) on your path to fitness!

Schedule It

If you are new to fitness or trying to get back on the bandwagon after a break, I think the best way to get into the habit of working out is to schedule it. I’ve done this since the beginning. I schedule my workouts in my Google Calendar like appointments that can’t be missed! It makes it a lot harder to skip the workout!

I know a lot of people say “never miss a Monday” because it sets the mood and motivation for the week. I kind of agree with that. But if it’s not your thing, maybe Mondays are the hardest day of the week for you, make your workout week start on Tuesday. Maybe you aren’t a morning person–schedule your workouts during lunch time, or go after work if you can. Figure out what works for you and what you will stick with, and do it!

Fit It In When You Can

Sometimes you just don’t have time for an hour long sweat session. In the past, I would have tried to make it happen no matter what, but since I had my son and went back to work full time, I am finding it harder to make that happen. Weekends are my long workout times because I do have more time. But during the week I just don’t anymore. I work long hours and when I get home I have about an hour or so to spend with my baby before he goes to bed. So I fit in my week day workouts during my lunch break at work. It’s not the same as before, but it’s better than nothing! And if you are really short on time, try interval/HIIT training or kettle bell training.

I have access to a shower at work, so that makes it easier. I have a bag of toiletries that I keep at work (travel sized) and mini hair dryer. I keep some towels at work, too. All of that makes it easier to workout at lunch. If you don’t have access to a shower, my tip: BABY WIPES! You can clean up and freshen up before going back to the office.

Favorite Lower Body Workouts

I is for Intervals

Too Busy to Exercise

There are actually a lot of weight and body weight exercises you can do without belonging to a gym!

Injuries

I was talking to a friend recently who is dealing with an injury that is lingering. I suggested that she try and find something she can do, if nothing else, for her mental health. I’ve been through too many injuries to count. I remember the worst, when I couldn’t run at all for months, I still had to find some kind of exercise I could do. That was when I started lifting weights. I needed some activity to maintain my fitness level and to help stave off depression from lack of activity. I focused on upper body weights and core and it made a huge difference!

8 Mistakes I Made While Injured

W is for Walking

Try Something New

If I lived in a place where the weather was a little more predictable, I would totally sign up for a Turkey Trot type of race. I think it’s a great idea! Signing up for a 5k in the Fall is a great way to give you something to focus on, a goal to work towards.

Couch to 5k

It’s even better if you can get a friend your partner to sign up with you! Doing something like a Halloween costume 5k or Turkey Trot with a buddy makes it more fun. Even better if you can get that person to train with you. Having an accountability partner can do wonders to staying on track.

If running isn’t your thing but you are lacking motivation to do fitness on your own, sign up for a fitness class you’ve been curious about!

Food

Another way to get back on track for Fall is that clean up the diet. This is especially important this time of year before the holiday “eat everything bad” season starts! Here are a few of my favorite recipes for fall:

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro

Crockpot Cranberry Chicken

Garlicky Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash

West African Cashew Soup

Pecan and Wild Rice-Stuffed Squash

Enjoy!

QUESTION: What are your favorite ways to get fit in the Fall?

When You Only Have 30 Minutes

Not all workouts need to be an hour long. Sometimes you just don’t have the time. Sometimes life gets crazy and you don’t have time to drive to the gym, change your clothes, get in the pool and swim…but you want to do SOMETHING. There are definitely ways to get in a workout without having to sacrifice a ton of time.

This post is about a few things you can do when you only have 30 minutes to get your sweat on!

Kettlebells

Kettlebells are by far the #1 option when you need a good work out with a giant calorie burn in a very short period of time. If you don’t want to pay for a gym membership, or won’t have the opportunity to GO to a gym, owning a few kettlebells of various weights can make getting fit at home easy. Trust me! Michael has invested in about 6 different kettlebells and his workouts at home are either running, kettlebells or biking to work. He’s been working really hard the last few months preparing for our little guy’s arrival by getting fit and his kettlebell workouts rarely last longer than 30 minutes. It’s doable.

I definitely miss going to the Warrior Room. It was a cool community and a fantastic workout. I am looking forward to returning after the baby is here! Here are a few posts that included some kettlebell workouts you can try:

Warrior Room Part 2

Two Classes

photo-2-e1409614333986

I definitely recommend taking a class or two somewhere, or hiring a personal trainer, to teach you the proper form. There’s a bit of a learning curve but once you get the form down, you can do it on your own and you don’t need a class. You can find videos online for different routines and it’s easy to do it at home by yourself.

wr

Using kettlebells is pretty easy and it’s such a good calorie burn! Trust me when I say you’ll burn those calories in 30 minutes.

Battle Ropes

Battle Ropes are FUN and hard. So hard. Your shoulders will burn. You will burn so many calories. You’ll be drenched in sweat and it really doesn’t take more than a few minutes to get to that point! What I love about doing this exercise is that it’s fun and different.

photo-3

There’s a podcast I listen to that was pretty eye-opening when it came to fitness. Joe Rogan’s podcast is really diverse–he talks about everything. Psychedelics, politics, feminism, sports, comedy, history…But fitness is a big part of it. I remember one episode where he described something called “functional strength” and he said he preferred that kind of workout to your typical weight lifting routine. Basically, doing something “functional” like flipping giant tires, pulling and pushing heavy loads, and doing things like the Battle Ropes made him stronger in a more functional way. Instead of being a big meat head with no neck, his muscles WORKED for him, instead of being “pretty.”

tires

An article I read, Getting Outside the Box: The Definition of Functional Strength, says:

Functional strength is the strength that gets us through life and daily survival. Manual labor typically involved walking, running, pushing, pulling, and grasping.”

I really liked the idea of that and then I got the exposure when I was going to the Warrior Room. They had battle ropes and giant tires and it was SO hard and challenging but I noticed immediate differences in my strength levels and core strength after only a few weeks of doing functional exercises like this! I am a big fan! And these types of workouts don’t take a big chunk of your time.

 

Body Weight Exercises

Similar to the above functional exercises you can do. These don’t require equipment. These are simple things that can get your heart pumping, burn a lot of calories and you can do them in your living room if you need to!

Squat Jumps

We did squat jumps a lot at the Warrior Room and they ALWAYS got me. I loved doing them because I saw results, but dang I’d be sore. It didn’t take much to get my heart pounding. This is a great thing to do when you are short on time.

 

Jump-Squat
Burpees and Mountain Climbers 

Like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with burpees. They are efficient and effective but damn they kind of suck! 🙂 burpee

Mountain Climbers:

no-crunch-10_0_0

An example:

Sometimes if I had limited time and needed to get in and get out in terms of the gym, I would do something like this:

quick warm up

jumping jacks

push-ups

squat jumps

squats

burpees

mountain climbers

Effective calorie burn without taking a long time.

Running

Running is a really efficient way to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Obviously you should have a base of some running before just going outside and doing an epic 5 miles. That would hurt. So if you are already a runner, or a sometimes runner, running is a GREAT way to get in a workout when you only have 3o minutes.

When I used to run at lunch time at work I had 1 hour. That meant I had to change, run, then take a quickie shower, get dressed and be back at my desk within that hour. It was definitely a challenge, but a good one. One of the things I miss most about doing that was having my evenings free. Instead of my work day being really long and not getting home until after 7pm because of gym time, I got off work and had my evening free to do things with friends, go out for happy hour, basically enjoy some downtime! Plus, it got me out of the office, improved my mood and broke up the long day.

Repost: Why I Run the Waterfront

What a Great Workout!

Finding a Workout Buddy

I got pretty good at running during my lunch hour. I got good at changing quickly, then I’d run for about 40-45 minutes, and it would take me 10 minutes to shower and get dressed, grab my food and be back at my desk.

If you only have 30 minutes to workout, go for a run. Sprints and intervals would be your best bet for maximum calorie burn, but just running works too.

I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think once I am back running after the baby is here and after maternity leave is done, I will try and go back to running during my lunch hour. I don’t foresee a ton of extra time in my future to go to the gym after work and some things are going to have to change. I think running during my lunch hour might be the best way to do that!

What are your favorite ways to workout in the shortest amount of time?