Category Archives: Exercise – Cardio and Strength

Bootcamp Pyramid

I am a fan of pyramids (see thigh pyramid workout). If you played any sports in high school you might remember them (fondly or maybe not so fondly) as ladders. Basically, you start with a short interval (for this workout it’s 20 seconds), and work your way up (climb) to the longest interval (50 seconds) and then you step easily back down to the short interval again (20 seconds).

All the intervals here are less than a minute. This makes the time fly and boosts your motivation as you see the intervals get shorter as the end of the workout gets closer. No equipment is necessary for this workout except an open space in which to do it. Turn on some good music and you’ll get a full body cardio/toning interval workout!

You can get your printable version of the workout here. Don’t know how to do these moves? Check out my workout glossary.

5-Song Workout

Workout Wednesday is the day that is today. So here’s a thing to print out and do.

It’s necessary for me to go to ab classes most of the time because it’s a struggle to keep myself motivated when doing ab workouts when I’m home alone. Having someone telling you how many moves to do makes me actually believe that I “can do 3 more.” But sometimes (always) I’m lazy so I like staying home better. That’s where this workout comes in. Pick five of your favorite songs of the moment (Bitin’ the Bullet by Grouplove, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Pharrell, Addicted to You by Avicii, Glory and Gore by Lorde, and Mission Bells by Matt Nathanson do it for me).

Find more printable workouts here and a glossary of workout moves here. Download the printable version here.

The Sssshhh!-We’re-trying-to-sleep Workout

We’ve all gotten the urge to workout in awkward situations. You don’t want to wake a sleeping baby with your grunts of motivation. You’re roommate is studying for a big test and can’t stand your heavy breathing. It’s 1 o’clock in the morning and your downstairs neighbors are pounding on your floor because of your incessant jumping on their ceiling. Now you are equipped with this little beauty. It’s a total-body workout which can be done in almost perfect silence.

You can download the printable pdf here.

Below is a description of how to do these workout moves. For a full list you can check out my glossary here. You can also find more printable workouts by clicking here.

Front Kicks
Start in a standing position. Lift your right leg straight out in front of your body until it is as close to parallel with the ground as you can lift it. Alternate legs.

Uppercut
Stand with feet hip-width distance apart. With a quick upward motion, scoop your right fist through the air to just in front of your face. Repeat on the other side.

Lunge Kick
Do a lunge then when you’re standing do a front kick.

Lunge
Take a big step forward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.

Front Kicks
Start in a standing position. Lift your right leg straight out in front of your body until it is as close to parallel with the ground as you can lift it. Alternate legs.

Squat
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Immediately rise out of squat, returning to standing with arms by side.

Pushup
Lay on your belly with hand flat on the floor on either side, forearms perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen body and literally push yourself away from the ground, hinging at the knees. When arms are straight hold and with control release your body, hover above the ground and repeat.

Russian Twist
Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell with both hands. Stand with feet hip-width distance apart and your arms straight out. Take a big step forward with your left foot and, engaging your abs twist your torso to the left as you bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Twist back to center, push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.

Crunch
Lay flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head, and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your shoulders away from the mat. Make sure you don’t pull your head forward with your arms but rather keep your gaze upward and use your hand for neck support only. Lower yourself back to the mat.

Calf Raise
Stand with feet hip-width distance apart. Lift up onto your toes, hold and release.

Tricep Dip
Find an elevated surface such as a step, a coffee table over a chair. Place your palms on the surface directly behind your body. Hold yourself up and gently lower yourself down using your arms. When your arms make a 90-degree angle behind you lift yourself back up to the starting position.

Glute Kickback
Standing facing the back of a chair, hold onto the top of the back rest. Lift your right leg straight behind you as far as you can, hold and return to the floor. Repeat on left side.

Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

Vertical Leg Crunches
Do crunches but instead of positioning your feet on the floor press them straight up as if trying to press them into the ceiling.

Side Plank
Lie on your side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your hand directly below your shoulder (or on your forearm with your elbow directly below your shoulder). Your body should form a diagonal line with your feet stacked on top of each other. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: be sure your hips and knees stay of the floor.

Short Bridge
Lay on your back with arms by your side and feet flat against the floor, hip-width distance apart. Lift your hips from the mat until your body forms a straight line from shoulder to knee.

Bird Dogs
Postion yourself like a table top, knees flat on floor, hip-width distance apart directly below hips, hand shoulder-width apart, directly below shoulders. Lift your right arm and left left so they form a line parallel to the floor, hold then return to table-top. Switch sides.

Jack-Knife Sit-Up
Lay flat on the ground, arms extended over your head legs straight. Raise your arms and body off the ground at the same time as you lift your legs straight up so that you meet in a fold balanced on your lower back.

Your Best Butt Forward

Everyone should include a butt exercise in their routine and here’s why: strong glutes can enhance athletic performance, prevent injury, improve posture and result in a nice shape.
All women gain muscle differently, but all women can benefit from strengthening their butt. This is a workout that will help you put your best butt forward. Have a happy Workout Wednesday and as always, drink plenty of water and rest whenever you feel you need to.
You can download the printable pdf of this workout here.
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Below is a description of how to do these workout moves. For a full list you can check out my glossary here. You can also find more printable workouts by clicking here.
Jumping Jacks
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 Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.

Lunge
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Take a big step forward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg. 

Squat
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Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, bend your knees slowly until your upper legs are parallel with the floor and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Your chest should be slightly forward and your knees should not extend past your toes. Immediately return to standing with arms by side. 

Plie Squat
With hand on your hips, stand with feet facing toward opposite walls in a wide stance. bend you knees to a 90 degree angle keeping your back straight and your entire body in a single plane. Don’t let your knees extend over your toes; if they do, make your stance wider. Straighten your legs to the starting position and repeat.
Side Lunge
Stand with feet together and hands on hips. Take one large step to the right and keeping the left leg straight bend the right leg, lowering yourself toward the ground. Stand back up and bring your right foot back to touch the left. Then repeat on the left side.

Butt Kickers
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Start in a standing position. Start jogging in place kicking your foot as close to your butt as you can with each step.


Short Bridge
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Lay on your back with arms by your side and feet flat against the floor, hip-width distance apart. Lift your hips from the mat until your body forms a straight line from shoulder to knee.

Side Leg Circles
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Lie down on your side, hip on the floor, and prop yourself up on your forearm. Lift your top leg in a circle toward the front, up, back then down. Do the required number of reps then switch to your other side.

15 Minute Fat Burning Circuit

Does everybody know what time is it (and it’s not Tool Time)? That’s right it’s time for another free printable workout on Workout Wednesday. Are you ready feel the burn?

This workout can be done everyday if you dare to try. Do each move for the duration of a minute. Do them quickly, maximizing the number of actions you can fit in each minute. Try to minimize the number of breaks you take between moves but be sure to take them when you need them. And as always drink water!

Download this free printable workout.

Check out my glossary of these workout terms and many more. The following list is those found just in this workout:

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Burpees
Begin in a standing position. Drop into a squat position with your hand on the ground. Extend your feet back in one quick motion to assume the plank position. Return to the squat position in one quick motion. Jump straight into the air as high as possible. That’s one rep.

Butt Kickers
Start in a standing position. Start jogging in place kicking your foot as close to your butt as you can with each step.
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Front Kicks
Start in a standing position. Lift your right leg straight out in front of your body until it is as close to parallel with the ground as you can lift it. Alternate legs.

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High Knees
Start standing and begin jogging in place lifting your knees as high as possible.

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Jog-in-place
Pretty self explanatory, jog… but do it in place.

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Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.

Mountain Climbers
Begin in a pushup position on the hands and toes. Bring the right knee in towards the chest, resting the foot on the floor. Jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and the right foot back. Switch back, that’s one rep.
Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.
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Plie Jump
Starting from a wide stance turn your toes to face out. Bend your knees then pressing up from your toes jump straight up. As you land bend your knees again.
Pushup
Lay on your belly with hand flat on the floor on either side, forearms perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen body and literally push yourself away from the ground, hinging at the toes. When arms are straight hold and with control release your body, hover above the ground and repeat.
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Ski Jumps
Starting in a standing position with knees slightly bent and chest forward, quickly jump from side to side over an imaginary line. Land each time with feet hip-width distance apart. When you land where you began (2 jumps) that’s one rep.
Squat Jumps
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Jump straight up as high as you can landing back in a squat.
Star Jumps
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Squat down and jump up as high as you can. In midair spread your arms and legs wide. As you land in the starting position bend your knees.
Static Lunge
Begin with right leg one large step in front of the left leg. Lower your body until both knees from a 90-degree angle. Don’t touch your back knee to the ground. Lift yourself out of the lunge. Do reps then switch to left leg.
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Living Room Tabata Workout

Guess what… it’s Workout Wednesday again and with it comes a printable Tabata workout that you can do in the comfort of your own living room. A little background in Tabata training: Tabata was founded in Japan by Izumi Tabata. In two groups of athletes, he compared moderate intensity training with high intensity interval training. 
He found that the athletes training in high intensity interval training improved their aerobic systems as well as their anaerobic system. The athletes who did the moderate intensity training only improved their aerobic system, with little or no change to their anaerobic system.

With this in mind, this workout is meant to push you. You should try to keep your heart rate up for each set and for the strength bursts you should give it your all (especially with the gorging holiday tomorrow). Good luck!
Download this free printable workout.
The following are terms used for this workout. For a full list check out my workout terms glossary
Burpees
Begin in a standing position. Drop into a squat position with your hand on the ground. Extend your feet back in one quick motion to assume the plank position. Return to the squat position in one quick motion. Jump straight into the air as high as possible. That’s one rep.

Dead Lift Toe Touches
Stand with feet a bit closer together than shoulder-width. Bend forward at the waist with a straight back, arms hanging straight down from the shoulder. Bend through your knees, then lift your chest by pulling your shoulders back and down, head in line with the rest of your body. Then straighten your legs and lift up on your tippy-toes.

Mountain Climbers
Begin in a pushup position on the hands and toes. Bring the right knee in towards the chest, resting the foot on the floor. Jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and the right foot back. Switch back, that’s one rep.

Pushup
Lay on your belly with hand flat on the floor on either side, forearms perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen body and literally push yourself away from the ground, hinging at the toes. When arms are straight hold and with control release your body, hover above the ground and repeat.

Rear Lunge
Take a big step backward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.

Sit-ups
Start by lying on your back on the floor, cross your arms over your chest or place hands behind head or neck. With feet flat against the floor and knees bent, lift upper and lower vertebrae from the floor. Lower back to the floor with control. That’s one rep.
Ski Moguls
Starting in a standing position with knees slightly bent and chest forward, quickly jump from side to side over an imaginary line. Land each time with feet hip-width distance apart. When you land where you began (2 jumps) that’s one rep.

Squat Jumps
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Jump straight up as high as you can landing back in a squat.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

The Green Belt [dot] blogspot [dot] com
 What are you thankful for this year?

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It’s All About the . . . Heart

Today, not only is it Workout Wednesday but it’s Halloween! And as if your heart’s not pounding enough from fright fests, scary movies, ghouls, goblins, and ghosts, and other Halloween fun, I’m adding another post to my “It’s All About the…” series: cardio.

glitters 123 [dot] com

The difference between cardio exercises and the other five focused-workouts (arms, legs, buns, abs, and girls) is that cardio workouts do not require you to rest the muscles 48 hours between workouts. In fact, most trainer’s encourage at least 20 minutes of elevated heart rate activities every day.

If you’re a runner, or want to become one (my beginner’s guide to running), running is a great cardio exercise. Walking is another (although you must walk quickly enough to keep your heart rate up). On days you just can’t bring yourself to leave the house, there’s “It’s All About the Heart”.

It’s a great series of exercises you can do at home. It’s also great for the park, the office, your dorm room, between classes, the supermarket… well maybe not the supermarket, but you get my point. Now get up, turn on The Monster Mash and get that heart pounding!

Download the free printable workout.

View my workout terms glossary. The following are workout moves you’ll see in this sequence:

High Knees
Start standing and begin jogging in place lifting your knees as high as possible.

Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.

Star Jumps
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Squat down and jump up as high as you can. In midair spread your arms and legs wide. As you land in the starting position bend your knees.

Happy Halloween 2012 [dot] com



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It’s All About the . . . Abs

Another post in my “It’s all about the…” series prepared for you and delivered on Workout Wednesday. This one focuses on your abdominal muscles and guess what! You will not see a single crunch in this entire post. After mentioning it just then, I will not even say the dirty word again. What a great day!


These ab workouts are designed to boost your metabolism to help get rid of belly fat. However, it’s important to remember that exercising your abs will not get rid of belly fat (flat stomachs are about 90% what you eat) but a strong core is important to help protect your spine.

Make sure you focus on this muscle group three times a week on non-consecutive days. Muscle groups need a 48-hour resting period between workouts.


Download this free printable workout.

For clarification on what to do for each of these sets here are descriptions of the action (full glossary):

Glute Bridge March
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor at should level, with palms facing up. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Engage your abs and lift your knee toward your chest, hold then lower. Repeat on other leg.

Hip-Thigh Raise
The same as a Leg Bridge. Lie on back with knees bent. Rest your arms on the floor at should level, with palms facing up. As you lift your hips from the form to form a straight line from shoulders to hips, extend on leg in the air. Hold, then lower foot flat to floor and switch to the opposite leg.

Lunge with Rotation
Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell with both hands. Stand with feet hip-width distance apart and your arms straight out. Take a big step forward with your left foot and, engaging your abs twist your torso to the left as you bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Twist back to center, push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.

Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

Plank with Arm Lift
Get in plank position, with your body in a straight line. Engage your abs and shift weight into one arm. Extend the opposite arm in front of you and hold.

Reverse Lunge with Single-Arm Press
Grab a 5- to 15-pound dumbbell in left hand and hold it next to your left shoulder, palm facing in. Step backward with your left foot and lower your body until your knees are bent 90 degrees while pressing the dumbbell directly over your shoulder without bending or leaning at the waist. Lower the weight back to the starting position and you push back into standing. Do reps then repeat on the right side.

Side Plank
Lie on your side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your hand directly below your shoulder (or on your forearm with your elbow directly below your shoulder). Your body should form a diagonal line with your feet stacked on top of each other. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: be sure your hips and knees stay of the floor.

Side Plank with Rotation
In the side plank position, engage your abs and reach your hand toward the ceiling. Slowly tuck this arm under your body and twist forward until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Return to side plank.


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Let me know how it goes!

It’s All About the . . . Buns

It’s Workout Wednesday on Maggie’s Mind Mumbles: Here’s a free printable workout, made especially for you…

If you are looking to tone your cheeks and the mighty squats challenge didn’t work for you this workout might be more up your alley. It’s another workout in my “It’s all about the…” series, this time focused on your buns.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: It's all about the buns Workout

Just 5 moves, 1-5 times per day, 3 times per week and your on your way to a nice round boot-ay. Just make sure you do it on three non-consecutive days each week, as muscles groups need 48-hours of rest between exercising.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: It's all about the buns Workout

Download this free printable workout.

Don’t forget to check out my workout terms glossary.

These are the moves in this workout:

Elevated Bridge Lift
Lie on back with legs extended and heel resting on an elevated surface (stair step, chair, step, low table). Lift right leg straight over hip, foot flexed. Slowly lift hips off floor until body forms a straight line from left heel to shoulders. Lower body back down to floor. Do reps then switch to other leg.
Extended Squats
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Immediately rise out of squat, lift heels off floor, rising onto tiptoes, and raise arms straight overhead. Hold then release returning to squat position.
Squat Dip
Stand two feet from front of chair or other elevated surface, facing away, feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Lift leg and place top of foot on surface behind you. Lower into a single-leg squat, keeping right knee behind right toes and dipping left knee toward the floor, straighten right leg to stand. Do reps then switch legs.

Step Kick-back
Stand facing an elevated stable surface (chair, stair step, step low table) feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Step onto surface with right foot and lift bent knee to hip level in front of you. Hinge forward slightly from waist and kick left leg behind you. Bring knee back to hip level as you straighten up. Lower left foot to floor and lunge right leg behind you. That’s one rep, repeat reps then switch legs.

Tree Twist
Stand on tiptoes, feet together, a couple of feet behind a chair or other belly button level stable item you can hold onto. Place hands on chair (or other item) and keeping back flat, hinge forward from waist and lift bent left knee to hip level in front of you, left foot by right knee. Keeping upper body still and left foot by right knee, slowly bring left knee directly out to side, slowly return knee to center. Do reps on tiptoes then switch legs.

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It’s All About the . . . Girls

It’s Workout Wednesday: YAY! Here’s a printable workout for you…

This post in my “It’s All About the…” series (see Arms and Legs) is about a problem all women face: gravity. You see gravity is a very strong force that causes certain… things to sag as time goes on. The good news is we can fight gravity and prevent these consequences of aging with simple and effective workouts like this one.

I actually got this workout from Self.com so you can thank them for the clever names. You can view the slideshow by following the link. All you need is medium resistance bands to do this workout on 3 non-consecutive days each week to stop the sag and add perk up the girls.

Description of workout (full glossary):

Breast-in-Show Row
Stand on left leg, loop band around right foot and hold an end in each hand. Extend right leg and arms out in front of you to start. Bend arms and draw elbows straight back. Be careful not to hunch forward; keep back straight and shoulders down and back. Slowly release arms, keeping leg extended. Do reps and switch legs.
Bust a Move
Stand in a side lunge, right leg bent and right foot turned out at an angle. Place one end of a band under right foot. Bend at waist so chest points over right thigh toward floor and hold arms extended out to sides to start. In one fluid motion, pull the brand up and back, diagonally across body, as you raise torso and rotate it open. Slowly return to start. Do reps then repeat on opposite side.
Cleavage Kickback
Stand on an exercise band, feet hip-width apart, holding an end in each hand. With arms down at sides, squat and bend slightly at waist, keeping back flat. Draw the band behind you, keeping arms straight, squeezing shoulder blades together and feeling chest stretch open. Slowly release arms for one rep.
Full Circle
Start in a push-up position on knees or toes with hands set wide. In one fluid, circular motion, shift weight to right arm, lower yourself to the floor, the shift weight across body to left arms and push yourself back to start. Do reps then change direction.
Glute Bridge March
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms on the floor at should level, with palms facing up. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Engage your abs and lift your knee toward your chest, hold then lower. Repeat on other leg.

Perky Pike
Start in an inverted-V pike position, hands and feet on floor, butt lifted high, to start. Lower left forearm to floor, then lower right forearm to floor. Straighten left elbow the right elbow, to return to start for one rep. Do reps then reverse order.

Sag Stopper
Start in a lunge with a band looped under back foot. Hold an end in each hand buy shoulders, arms bent and parallel to the floor, elbows behind you. Press arms straight out to front, level with shoulders. Slowly and with control, bring arms back to start so you feel chest stretch open. Do reps then repeat on opposite side.
Superwoman Slide
Start in a push-up position, hands directly under shoulders, resting on paper or plastic plates (for carpet) or washcloths (on wood or linoleum) as gliders. Keeping arms straight, slowly slide them out in front of you in a V shape to lower chest toward floor. Hover above floor if possible, and then rest on floor. Bend arms to slide hands under shoulders and push up to start.
X-Raise
Stand with feet hip-with distance apart, the end of a band under each foot. Hold the other end in the opposite hand so band crisscross in front of you, hands at sides. Bend knees and squat extending arms out slightly to sides. As you straighten legs to stand, simultaneously reach up and out. Return to squat.


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It’s All About the . . . Legs

Hello! It’s Workout Wednesday and guess what, I have another free printable workout for your fitness pleasure!

Did you know that leg exercises burn more calories than any other muscle groups? This is because your legs are the largest muscle group in your body, which means it takes more energy to move them.

Another workout sequence to add to the “It’s all about the…” series: legs. These moves are designed to tone and strengthen your upper and lower legs muscles. The secret to exercising your legs is slow, controlled movements. For stronger, leaner legs the goal isn’t to get your heart rate up (see It’s All About the Heart: coming soon!), the goal is to use motion to purposefully fatigue the muscle.

On three non-consecutive days each week, do this workout. All muscle groups need a 48-hr resting period between training. To make the workout more intense, hold weights in hands during lunges or attach ankle weights during any of these moves.

Download the free printable workout.

View my workout terms glossary. Exercises in this workout sequence:

Forward Lunge
Take a big step forward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.


Leg Bridge
Lie on back with knees bent. Rest your arms on the floor at should level, with palms facing up. As you lift your hips from the form to form a straight line from shoulders to hips, extend on leg in the air. Hold, then lower foot flat to floor and switch to the opposite leg.
Leg Lift
Lay down on your side, hip on the floor, and prop yourself up on your forearm. Lift your top leg straight up into the air. Lower it back down without touching your bottom leg. Repeat.

Plie Jump

Starting from a wide stance turn your toes to face out. Bend your knees then pressing up from your toes jump straight up. As you land bend your knees again.


Reverse Lunge
Take a big step backward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.

Wall Sit
Press your back against a wall. Keep back flat against the wall slide down until knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Hold.

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It’s All About the . . . Arms

“It’s all about the…” is a series of workouts I have created that focus on specific areas. Todays workout is about arms. This is for no particular reason except that I needed an arm workout. The other day I raised my hand in class and noticed a jiggly-wobbly bit hanging down. I said to my arm, “This is unacceptable behavior, I didn’t expect it from you of all body parts. Now get back in line!”

Yeah… we’re working on that.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: It's All About the Arms Workout


Here’s my workout. I do it on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; the key is to do it on three non-consecutive days every week. You only need to do it one time through due to the repetitive nature of the actions.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: It's All About the Arms Workout

Download this free printable workout.

I have also created a glossary for workout terms in case they are obscure or I use different names than what other people call things. Feel free to check that out. 

These are the terms used in this workout:
Back Row
Standing with legs hip-width distance apart bend your knees slightly. Lean your upper body forward. Hold a weight in each hand, arms at side and palms facing in. Pull your elbows up behind your body until your arms are at a 90-degree angle at the elbow. Release to starting.
Bicep Curl
Hold a weight in each hand, arms down, and palms forward. Bending at the elbow lift the weight to your shoulders. Release weight back to starting position.

Half-Bicep Curl
Similra to bicep curls but instead of lifting the weights all the way to your shoulders stop when your forearms are parallel to the floor and release to starting.
Pushup
Lay on your belly with hand flat on the floor on either side, forearms perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen body and literally push yourself away from the ground, hinging at the toes. When arms are straight hold and with control release your body, hover above the ground and repeat.

Shoulder Press
Hold a weight in each hand above your shoulders, next to your ears. With palms facing in life the weights straight up until your arms are straight directly over your shoulders. release to starting position.
Tricep Dip
Find an elevated surface such as a step, a coffee table over a chair. Place your palms on the surface directly behind your body. Hold yourself up and gently lower yourself down using your arms. When your arms make a 90-degree angle behind you lift yourself back up to the starting position.
V-Lift
Hold a weight in each hand, arms at your side with palms facing in. Lift with straight arms and open them into a v-shape until arms are parallel with the floor.  Hold then carefully release to starting position.

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Enjoy.

Running 101

I have tried adopting running off and about once every month for the last 6 years. There were times when I had my schedule down pat and I even got to the point where I actually started enjoying it. Every time I have tried running program I stop for some reason. Sometimes I would get too busy, sometimes it was that I became a wimp in the winter, sometimes it was that I became a wimp in the summer, sometimes I was just a wimp, and sometimes I plain forgot that I was trying to start running. Needless to say I am not a runner.


I want to be though. I love running culture and I generally enjoy the activity (except when I first start out after not doing it for a long time and the wheezing begins). So I’m sticking to it this time. And I’m posting it to my blog because this way someone out there knows if I fail. I just don’t think I can take that kind of disappointment from you.

One thing I discovered about my past attempts is that everyone who has tried to teach me about running, (friends, trainers, coaches, blogs, vlogs, etc.) have all been very athletic. Because of this, and my consistent gung-ho attitude about all things in general (Anything you can do I can do better, I can do anything better than you), I would always jump in with both feet and no net. I would think to myself, “I’m going to run five miles today,” and then I would feel like a failure when I couldn’t accomplish these impossible goals. 

But the truth is, most of the plans that were presented to me were made for athletic people, by athletic people. I am not an athletic people. I need to start small and take baby steps.

Since this is the real deal, I’m trying something new. I’m going to sneak running in to my daily routine and the change will be so gradual I won’t even know that I’m being so sneaky (shhh, don’t tell Maggie!)

Soooooo, here’s the game plan. I am on week two and going strong. Every week I amp up the running time or tone down the walking time until suddenly I can run twenty minutes straight, no sweat (pun intended?). Or at least that’s the plan.

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: Running 101: A Beginner's Guide to Running
If you want to follow my running plan too, you can download the pdf here.
(I am still getting used to using blogger: Google Docs displays the preview without some of the detail but they tell me it will be restored in printing. If you have problems with this feel free to shoot me an email: maggiesmingmumbles@gmail.com or leave a comment with your email address and I will send you the pdf directly)


4×4 Workout

This workout (originally created over at Fit Fab Cities) is another designed to be done in whatever amount of time you have available for it. There are FOUR sets with FOUR individual exercise per set (hence the title).

Enjoy!

Beginners should take breaks whenever needed. Intermediates should take short breaks between exercises and longer breaks between sets. Advanced exercisers should limit breaks to only between sets. and again… DRINK WATER!

Printable version, click here.

(***Update 09/05/12: Although I loved my time at WordPress, I found it was my time to move on. I am now at Blogger; I believe it to be a better fit for me personally. If you subscribe, or want to subscribe, to this blog, please be sure to subscribe to the new one. Here’s the link.)

4×4 Workout

This workout (originally created over at Fit Fab Cities) is another designed to be done in whatever amount of time you have available for it. There are FOUR sets with FOUR individual exercise per set (hence the title).

Enjoy!


Beginners should take breaks whenever needed. Intermediates should take short breaks between exercises and longer breaks between sets. Advanced exercisers should limit breaks to only between sets. and again… DRINK WATER!

Free printable version: click here.

*Update: My glossary for these, and many more, workout terms is here. The following is a shortened list of only those terms found in this workout:

Bicycle Crunch
Lay flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head, lift your left leg straight up about 2 inches from the ground and bring your right knee up to form a 90-degree angle. As you do this pull your left shoulder away from the mat bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Make sure you don’t pull your head forward with your arms but rather keep your gaze upward and use your hand for neck support only. Now switch, pull your right elbow to your 90-degree-bent left knee and straighten your right leg to hover above the floor.

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Butt Kickers
Start in a standing position. Start jogging in place kicking your foot as close to your butt as you can with each step.

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Front Kicks
Start in a standing position. Lift your right leg straight out in front of your body until it is as close to parallel with the ground as you can lift it. Alternate legs.

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Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.

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Lunge
Take a big step forward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.
Mountain Climbers
Begin in a pushup position on the hands and toes. Bring the right knee in towards the chest, resting the foot on the floor. Jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and the right foot back. Switch back, that’s one rep.

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Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

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Pushup
Lay on your belly with hand flat on the floor on either side, forearms perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen body and literally push yourself away from the ground, hinging at the toes. When arms are straight hold and with control release your body, hover above the ground and repeat.
Quad Lift
Sit with leg straight out in front of you, back straight. Place your hand on either side of your hips. Keeping your leg straight lift your right leg, lower it back to the floor, then lift your left leg, lower it. That’s one rep.

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Reverse Crunches
Lay flat on your back, with your arms at your side. Use your arms to support your body, curve your back as you lift your legs, butt and lower back into the air. Pull your legs close to your chest, then using your ab muscles lift them straight into the air again.


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Shoulder Press
Hold a weight in each hand above your shoulders, next to your ears. With palms facing in life the weights straight up until your arms are straight directly over your shoulders. release to starting position.

Ski Jumps
Starting in a standing position with knees slightly bent and chest forward, quickly jump from side to side over an imaginary line. Land each time with feet hip-width distance apart. When you land where you began (2 jumps) that’s one rep.
Squat Press
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Immediately rise out of squat, returning to standing with arms by side.
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Tricep Dip
Find an elevated surface such as a step, a coffee table over a chair. Place your palms on the surface directly behind your body. Hold yourself up and gently lower yourself down using your arms. When your arms make a 90-degree angle behind you lift yourself back up to the starting position.
V-Lift
Hold a weight in each hand, arms at your side with palms facing in. Lift with straight arms and open them into a v-shape until arms are parallel with the floor.  Hold then carefully release to starting position.
V-Sit
Start by sitting with your legs extended in front of you, toes pointed, hands resting by your hips. Slowly hinge your body backward by lifting your legs off the ground, keeping them straight and toes pointed. Lift your arms so they are parallel to the ground.  You should be balanced on your butt, with your body forming a “V” from your toes to your head.

Mighty Squats Challenge

Squats… it’s a horrible word, but a wonderful workout especially if you want a nice round butt (yoga pants can help with this as well). Surprisingly, I watch this video (and do the workout, I swear) every other day. Cassey Ho is super (impossibly) peppy and also inspirational.  I’ve watched (and done, I swear) her other videos available on YouTube and her blog.

If you like the song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen (or at least think it’s catchy like I do) then this squats challenge is strangely quite enjoyable. AND it only takes about six minutes, BUT if you want to skip to the workout it starts at 31 seconds and ends at about four minutes, SO the workout is actually only about three minutes and 30 seconds long… NO BREAKS!

Now…

(***Update 09/05/12: Although I loved my time at WordPress, I found it was my time to move on. I am now at Blogger; I believe it to be a better fit for me personally. If you subscribe, or want to subscribe, to this blog, please be sure to subscribe to the new one. Here’s the link.)

Do you enjoy squats? How do you tone your butt and thighs?

Mighty Squats Challenge

Squats… it’s a horrible word, but a wonderful workout especially if you want a nice round butt (yoga pants can help with this as well). Surprisingly, I watch this video (and do the workout, I swear) every other day. Cassey Ho is super (impossibly) peppy and also inspirational.  I’ve watched (and done, I swear) her other videos available on YouTube and her blog.

If you like the song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen (or at least think it’s catchy like I do) then this squats challenge is strangely quite enjoyable. AND it only takes about six minutes, BUT if you want to skip to the workout it starts at 31 seconds and ends at about four minutes, SO the workout is actually only about three minutes and 30 seconds long… NO BREAKS!

Now…







Do you enjoy squats? How do you tone your butt and thighs?

1-Hour Total Body Workout

I am not one of those people who really love to work out. I wish I were, because my life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to force myself to do things to keep in shape. I do what I have to in order to keep active but mostly I enjoy activities that are exercise plus something else, like yoga for relaxation and stretching, riding a bike to a friends house, walking the long way to the grocery store, hiking and backpacking, or running to the ice cream shop.  These activities have another purpose, and yet I still get some exercise out of it. I do have a few workout plans that I like to fit each in once a week (5-4-3-2-1 workout for one) and this one.

I developed this plan for myself based on some Women’s Health Magazine workouts and an app I have for my Kindle Fire (as well as from my limited knowledge of what a good workout is). It takes an hour as is, but can easily be cut down to 45, 30 or even 15 minutes just by cutting out reps.

 
1-Hour Total Body Workout


For a printable version click the link below
1-Hour Total Body Workout




Check out my workout terms glossary. These terms are used in this workout:

Butt Kickers
Start in a standing position. Start jogging in place kicking your foot as close to your butt as you can with each step.

Clamshell
Lay on your side with both knees bent at 90 degrees. Keeping your knee bent and feet together, hinge your top leg open. Lower your knee back to starting for one rep.

Crescent Lunge with Row
Stand in crescent lunge position, one foot a large step in from of the other, the front foot flat against the floor and the knee bent 90 degrees and the back foot on tip-toes with the leg straight. Lean your chest forward slightly and with a weight in both hand, palms facing in, pull the weight straight up, elbows bending behind your body.

Dog Lifts
Start in a tabletop position, hands directly below the shoulder and knees directly below the hips, tops of feet against the floor. Keeping your right knee bent lift it from the ground up to the side until it is parallel with the floor. Slowly lower it to hover above the floor. That’s one rep, do all reps then repeat on the opposite leg.
Donkey Kicks
Start in a tabletop position, hands directly below the shoulder and knees directly below the hips, tops of feet against the floor. Keeping your knee bent lift your right foot up toward the sky, lower it back to hover over the floor with control. That’s one rep, do all reps then switch legs.

Flutter
Lay flat on your stomach. Lift your legs and arms from the mat, keep your forehead against the floor. Quickly alternate lifting your right arm with your left leg, then your left arm with your right leg.
Froggy Lifts
Lay face down on your mat with your forehead to the floor. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and flex your feet. Turn your toes out slightly keeping your heels together, lift your feet straight up removing your knees from the mat.

Hamstring Curl
Lay flat on you stomach, prop your upper body up onto your forearms. Attach ankle weights to your ankles or hold a hand weight between your feet. Slowly bend your knees, lifting the weight into the air. Carefully lower the weight toward the floor, hover above the floor, for one rep.

Hip Bridge
Lay on your back with arms by your side and feet flat against the floor, hip-width distance apart. Lift your hips from the mat until your body forms a straight line from shoulder to knee.

Inner Thigh Raise
Lying on your side pull your top leg forward into a 90-degree angle with knee resting on the floor. Lift the bottom leg a couple of inches and then lower it back to hover just above the floor. That’s one rep.
Jog-in-place
Pretty self explanatory, jog… but do it in place.
Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.
Knee Ups
Start standing and begin jogging in place lifting your knees as high as possible.
Leg Extension
Lie on back with knees bent. Rest your arms on the floor at should level, with palms facing up. As you lift your hips from the form to form a straight line from shoulders to hips, extend on leg in the air. Hold, then lower foot flat to floor and switch to the opposite leg.
Leg Raise
Lay down on your side, hip on the floor, and prop yourself up on your forearm. Lift your top leg straight up into the air. Lower it back down without touching your bottom leg. Repeat.


Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

Quad Lift
Sit with leg straight out in front of you, back straight. Place your hand on either side of your hips. Keeping your leg straight lift your right leg, lower it back to the floor, then lift your left leg, lower it. That’s one rep.

Shoulder Press
Hold a weight in each hand above your shoulders, next to your ears. With palms facing in life the weights straight up until your arms are straight directly over your shoulders. release to starting position.
Side Kick
Start in a tabletop position, hands directly below the shoulder and knees directly below the hips, tops of feet against the floor. Lift your right leg so it is extended straight back from your body. Slowly bring it around so that it is perpendicular to your body and parallel to the floor. Return it to straight behind you for one rep. Do reps then repeat on opposite leg.
Side Plank
Lie on your side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your hand directly below your shoulder (or on your forearm with your elbow directly below your shoulder). Your body should form a diagonal line with your feet stacked on top of each other. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: be sure your hips and knees stay of the floor.

Ski Hops
Starting in a standing position with knees slightly bent and chest forward, quickly jump from side to side over an imaginary line. Land each time with feet hip-width distance apart. When you land where you began (2 jumps) that’s one rep.
Squat
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Immediately rise out of squat, returning to standing with arms by side.

Static Lunge
Begin with right leg one large step in front of the left leg. Lower your body until both knees from a 90-degree angle. Don’t touch your back knee to the ground. Lift yourself out of the lunge. Do reps then switch to left leg.

 

Triangle Pushup
Do a pushup but instead of placing hand outside of your body, move them in under your chest with index finger and thumb touching to form a triangle.
Tricep Dip
Find an elevated surface such as a step, a coffee table over a chair. Place your palms on the surface directly behind your body. Hold yourself up and gently lower yourself down using your arms. When your arms make a 90-degree angle behind you lift yourself back up to the starting position.
Tricep Extension
Hold one 10- to 15- pound weight in both hands. Place it behind your head and with control lift it over your head.
V-Lift
Hold a weight in each hand, arms at your side with palms facing in. Lift with straight arms and open them into a v-shape until arms are parallel with the floor.  Hold then carefully release to starting position.

Whether you enjoy working out or not, how do you keep in shape? Try the workout, tell me what you think; I appreciate constructive criticism.

1-Hour Total Body Workout

I am not one of those people who really love to work out. I wish I were, because my life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to force myself to do things to keep in shape. I do what I have to in order to keep active but mostly I enjoy activities that are exercise plus something else, like yoga for relaxation and stretching, riding a bike to a friends house, walking the long way to the grocery store, hiking and backpacking, or running to the ice cream shop.  These activities have another purpose, and yet I still get some exercise out of it. I do have a few workout plans that I like to fit each in once a week (5-4-3-2-1 workout for one) and this one.

I developed this plan for myself based on some Women’s Health Magazine workouts and an app I have for my Kindle Fire (as well as from my limited knowledge of what a good workout is). It takes an hour as is, but can easily be cut down to 45, 30 or even 15 minutes just by cutting out reps.

1-Hour Total Body Workout

For a printable version click the link below
1-Hour Total Body Workout

(***Update 09/05/12: Although I loved my time at WordPress, I found it was my time to move on. I am now at Blogger; I believe it to be a better fit for me personally. If you subscribe, or want to subscribe, to this blog, please be sure to subscribe to the new one. Here’s the link.)

Whether you enjoy working out or not, how do you keep in shape? Try the workout, tell me what you think; I appreciate constructive criticism.

Backpacking for Dummies: A Dummy’s Guide to Backpacking

This past weekend my family and I went on a backpacking trip.  The members of our travel party would include, myself, my father Charles, my boyfriend Reid, my sister Erica, my brother-in-law Dustin, Dustin’s brother AJ, and my Australian cousin Steven, all of us at varying levels of expertise.

My dad has been backpacking passionately for as long as I can remember and plays a bit of a game with his buddy Tim: they try to pack the lightest pack with only the necessities. Erica, Dustin and AJ had never been backpacking before, but were interested in trying it out, Steven has gone a number of times both in the U.S. and in Australia, Reid, whose dad is also a passionate backpacker, has gone backpacking since he was very young, and I have gone a few of times, always with my dad, inheriting the gear he replaced with a lighter option. This is our story.

From left to right: Dustin, Erica, AJ, Reid, Maggie, Steven
Missing: Charles the photographer

Backpacking for Dummies: A Dummy’s Guide to Backpacking

Preparation:

As any backpacker would know, a backpacking trip doesn’t start at the trailhead. It begins at home with the preparation.

Choosing a date for a backpacking trip can be a very complicated process. Factors to consider:

  • Is there a wedding?
  • When will your cousin be visiting from Australia?
  • Will your uncle be celebrating his 70th birthday?
  • Do you have work or school?
  • Are you also planning a trip along the Continental Divide?
  • What will you have to reschedule?

In addition to scheduling conflicts, especially when travelling in a large group, backpacking is a sport best enjoyed in warm, dry conditions. It is important to follow the weather reports and choose dates that will ensure a happy company.

The weather in Colorado has been consistently dry and hot for the entire summer thus far, hence the wildfires up and down the state and the creation of this photo. Source: Facebook friend’s wall

However, sometimes you will find that the warm and dry dates fall during conflicting events and you are left with the single cold and wet weekend for probably the entire summer.

After deciding on a date you must gather all of your gear.

  • Tent
  • Backpack
  • Stove and fuel
  • Lighter
  • Cooking pot and skillet (depending on what you plan to cook)
  • Utensils (don’t use your hands, we aren’t barbarians)
  • Bowl and/or plate (again… barbarians)
  • Mug (hot things are hot)
  • Water filter (unless you enjoy the effects of giardia)
  • Water holding device (bottle or bladder)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camp chair (much nicer than the ground)
  • Sleeping pad (cuz the ground is hard and rocks are lumpy)
  • Hiking socks (prevent blisters)
  • Underwear (I really shouldn’t have to explaint this one)
  • Lightweight hiking shorts (move easily)
  • Non-cotton lightweight shirts (cotton tends to stay wet once it gets wet from sweat or rain)
  • Long underwear pants and shirt (cozy pajamas)
  • Fleece (for warmth, dries quickly)
  • Rain coat and pants (keeps you dry)
  • Hiking boots (broken in)
  • Lightweight camp shoes (to relax your feet in after hiking all day)
  • Hat (1 to protect against sun, another against cold)
  • Headlamp (it gets DARK at night and when nature calls you don’t want to stumble into the lake)
  • Trekking poles (nice for steep slopes)
  • Toothbrush and paste (for fresh minty breath)
  • Hair bands (to tie back your wild tresses)
  • Chapstick (cuz chapped lips sucks)
  • Sanitation wipes (such as Wet Ones)
  • Toilet paper (again with the explaining)
  • Sunscreen (sun burns and sleeping outside don’t mix)
  • Deep woods bugspray (bugs are annoying)
  • First-aid kit (in case of the worst happening)
  • Fishing pole and license (cuz it’s fun to catch your own dinner, but don’t count on it)
  • Camera with a charged battery (it sucks to get to 11,000 feet carrying your camera the whole way just to find that you can’t take any pictures of the beautiful wildflowers)
  • Rope and caribiner (for hanging food in the trees away from camp: bears)

Some things you might already have, you might have to borrow things from friends and family. The important thing is to make sure you have your basic needs covered, shelter and warmth. Sustenance, of course, is another basic need. You have everything you need to store water and to filter it for safe drinking. You also have food preparation and consuming equipment. Now you must decide what food items to bring.

This depends on how many days you will be backpacking, weight and comfort. It is best to go for light items that are filling for their weight. Some good options that I like to bring include:

  • Instant oatmeal packets
  • Applesauce
  • Granola bars
  • Ramen, macaroni and cheese, cous cous (anything with a dry grain that you just add water and flavoring)
  • Cashews, almonds, pistachios, etc.
  • Dried fruit such as raisins, or craisins
  • Dehydrated veggies
  • Candy bars especially chocolate
  • Trail mix
  • Instant coffee
  • Tea bags
  • Chicken or tuna in a foil pouch
  • Tortillas can be used to make PB&J roll-ups or quesadillas
  • Alcohol

There are many things you can bring and it takes practice to decide what you like best. These are just my personal favorites.

Communication:

It is very important to stay in contact with those who will be travelling with you. They are your support system and prior to the trip everyone should be on the same page as to where you are going, for how long, the hike distance, elevation etc. This can easily be done through email so long as you send emails to the correct address.

Finally all your preparation will be rewarded; the day of the trek has arrived. Have a big breakfast at IHOP and drive to your trailhead, because things are about to get real.

“Up up up up the stairs we go, until we come to the tunnel. And when they go in, there’s no coming out… all she gets is filthy orcses and they doesn’t taste very nice does they precious? No, not very nice at all my love.”
(Not really sure what’s with all the LOTR references, just go with it)
Source: http://www.councilofelrond.com/imagegallery/stairs-of-cirith-ungol/

The Climb:

It’s been said that your brain will quit a hundred times before your body will have to. The thing to remember with backpacking is that you must trick your brain. Encouraging it with phrases like, “We’re almost to the top,” or “You can carry yourself and 40 extra pounds up this steep section,” will help. Another thing to remember is that you can’t stop too often or for too long, your muscles will have to warm up every time you stop and it’s best to just keep going.

Finding Nemo reference, instead of LOTR, 🙂
Source: http://howimetyourfatherblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/keep-calm-and.html

I find that after about 20 minutes I get into the zone: the weight and constant pounding of my feet keeps me centered. Other may experience different findings. Whatever works for you, channel it. (Also make sure to eat snacks and drink LOTS of water)

A quick rest

Camping:

When you find an area that looks nice to camp (with a water source nearby), it’s best to set-up camp before doing anything else (except maybe following nature’s call, which I will not be getting into in this post. If you would like information on using the world as your toilet and leaving no trace please read the 5th subheading in this article.

Our campsite, set up just before the rain fell, lucky we brought that big heavy tarpaulin

To set up camp first, set up your tent (and a rain tarp, since the clouds will be rolling in at this point). After setting up the tent, pull out your sleeping pad and bag inside the tent to get fluffy and cozy before bed. Then as the first drops begin to fall on your head, put on your raincoat and pants and set up your camp chair. Duck under your rain tarp, hunker down, and try to laugh away the misfortune: play games, drink alcohol, DON’T check the time, and hope for some sun.

When the rain calms a bit and it’s safe to walk around in the tall wet grass snap a few pictures of the beauty that surrounds you.

It’s good to have some activities prepared between meals, to pass the time: day hikes, reading, drawing, photography, fishing, writing, talking, laughing, card playing, and sledding are all good ideas.

As the sun sets, find a good place to hike up to (careful of the slippery wet rocks) and enjoy the view.

When the tarp begins to collect water, engineering must come into play.

The Moose Destroyer

When all else fails and you are feeling lost in the wetness, make new friends.

Hemingway the Caterpillar (if he can survive the cold and wet, so can you)

After cooking and eating dinner, playing a few silly games about what you can take to the moon, and passing around a few communal beers it’s time for bed. Brush your teeth (with a bottle of Jack), strip off your wet clothing and snuggle into your sleeping bag as you listen to the creeks flowing all around you (don’t forget to use the natural toilet before getting in bed, it is the absolute worst thing to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night on a camping trip, especially when there are streams flowing in every directions and marshes just beyond the streams and tall wet grass everywhere you step).

In the morning you will wake up to the babbling brooks and songs of the birds (and your urgent need to urinate). You will hope that the sun is shining and poke your head out of the tent warily. You see that it is and your heart will flood with joy. You get dressed and let yourself fully out of the tent, joining your party under the big blue tarp. You start preparing your breakfast just as the sun shyly hides its face again behind the clouds.

You resign yourself to another chilly and cloudy day and the company decides to finish breakfast, pack up and head back down the mountain.

Hiking down:

Hopefully you remembered to clip your toenails before the trip because the constant jamming of your toenails into the front of your boots can be quite painful. Just ask those who have decided to have their toenails removed completely. Lacing your boots tightly around your ankles can help with the downhill hike.

Some people say hiking down is the hardest part, yes hiking up is more strenuous and breathing is much harder, but hiking down takes finesse and concentration. Constantly trying to stop your body’s potential energy from turning into kinetic energy is tough work, but still usually takes less time.

Then the whole trip is over. You can load your gear into the car, get in yourself and drive home (or to get some bagels and Taco Bell).

That is, of course, unless your boyfriend is chased down the mountain by a mountain line, which he fights off by punching it in the face, which is seen by pirates who think he is bad ass and want him in their troop, but first they have to initiate him by locking him in a mine in Idaho Springs, which he only escapes because Gandalf (LOTR reference again) shows up blinding them with his staff, and he crawls to safety through a tunnel which leads to the basement of Beaujo’s where he is picked up by his girlfriend and her dad, or so the story has been told.

Further (more practical) information on backpacking:

(***Update 09/05/12: Although I loved my time at WordPress, I found it was my time to move on. I am now at Blogger; I believe it to be a better fit for me personally. If you subscribe, or want to subscribe, to this blog, please be sure to subscribe to the new one. Here’s the link.)

What do you think of our experience? Do you like to backpack? Tell me about your past trips.

Backpacking for Dummies: A Dummy’s Guide to Backpacking

This past weekend my family and I went on a backpacking trip.  The members of our travel party would include, myself, my father Charles, my boyfriend Reid, my sister Erica, my brother-in-law Dustin, Dustin’s brother AJ, and my Australian cousin Steven, all of us at varying levels of expertise.

My dad has been backpacking passionately for as long as I can remember and plays a bit of a game with his buddy Tim: they try to pack the lightest pack with only the necessities. Erica, Dustin and AJ had never been backpacking before, but were interested in trying it out, Steven has gone a number of times both in the U.S. and in Australia, Reid, whose dad is also a passionate backpacker, has gone backpacking since he was very young, and I have gone a few of times, always with my dad, inheriting the gear he replaced with a lighter option. This is our story.



From left to right: Dustin, Erica, AJ, Reid, Maggie, Steven
Missing: Charles the photographer


Backpacking for Dummies: A Dummy’s Guide to Backpacking

Preparation:

As any backpacker would know, a backpacking trip doesn’t start at the trailhead. It begins at home with the preparation.

Choosing a date for a backpacking trip can be a very complicated process. Factors to consider:

  • Is there a wedding?
  • When will your cousin be visiting from Australia?
  • Will your uncle be celebrating his 70th birthday?
  • Do you have work or school?
  • Are you also planning a trip along the Continental Divide?
  • What will you have to reschedule?

In addition to scheduling conflicts, especially when travelling in a large group, backpacking is a sport best enjoyed in warm, dry conditions. It is important to follow the weather reports and choose dates that will ensure a happy company.

The weather in Colorado has been consistently dry and hot for the entire summer thus far, hence the wildfires up and down the state and the creation of this photo. Source: Facebook friend’s wall

However, sometimes you will find that the warm and dry dates fall during conflicting events and you are left with the single cold and wet weekend for probably the entire summer.

After deciding on a date you must gather all of your gear.

  • Tent
  • Backpack
  • Stove and fuel
  • Lighter
  • Cooking pot and skillet (depending on what you plan to cook)
  • Utensils (don’t use your hands, we aren’t barbarians)
  • Bowl and/or plate (again… barbarians)
  • Mug (hot things are hot)
  • Water filter (unless you enjoy the effects of giardia)
  • Water holding device (bottle or bladder)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camp chair (much nicer than the ground)
  • Sleeping pad (cuz the ground is hard and rocks are lumpy)
  • Hiking socks (prevent blisters)
  • Underwear (I really shouldn’t have to explaint this one)
  • Lightweight hiking shorts (move easily)
  • Non-cotton lightweight shirts (cotton tends to stay wet once it gets wet from sweat or rain)
  • Long underwear pants and shirt (cozy pajamas)
  • Fleece (for warmth, dries quickly)
  • Rain coat and pants (keeps you dry)
  • Hiking boots (broken in)
  • Lightweight camp shoes (to relax your feet in after hiking all day)
  • Hat (1 to protect against sun, another against cold)
  • Headlamp (it gets DARK at night and when nature calls you don’t want to stumble into the lake)
  • Trekking poles (nice for steep slopes)
  • Toothbrush and paste (for fresh minty breath)
  • Hair bands (to tie back your wild tresses)
  • Chapstick (cuz chapped lips sucks)
  • Sanitation wipes (such as Wet Ones)
  • Toilet paper (again with the explaining)
  • Sunscreen (sun burns and sleeping outside don’t mix)
  • Deep woods bugspray (bugs are annoying)
  • First-aid kit (in case of the worst happening)
  • Fishing pole and license (cuz it’s fun to catch your own dinner, but don’t count on it)
  • Camera with a charged battery (it sucks to get to 11,000 feet carrying your camera the whole way just to find that you can’t take any pictures of the beautiful wildflowers)
  • Rope and caribiner (for hanging food in the trees away from camp: bears)

Some things you might already have, you might have to borrow things from friends and family. The important thing is to make sure you have your basic needs covered, shelter and warmth. Sustenance, of course, is another basic need. You have everything you need to store water and to filter it for safe drinking. You also have food preparation and consuming equipment. Now you must decide what food items to bring.

This depends on how many days you will be backpacking, weight and comfort. It is best to go for light items that are filling for their weight. Some good options that I like to bring include:

  • Instant oatmeal packets
  • Applesauce
  • Granola bars
  • Ramen, macaroni and cheese, cous cous (anything with a dry grain that you just add water and flavoring)
  • Cashews, almonds, pistachios, etc.
  • Dried fruit such as raisins, or craisins
  • Dehydrated veggies
  • Candy bars especially chocolate
  • Trail mix
  • Instant coffee
  • Tea bags
  • Chicken or tuna in a foil pouch
  • Tortillas can be used to make PB&J roll-ups or quesadillas
  • Alcohol

There are many things you can bring and it takes practice to decide what you like best. These are just my personal favorites.

Communication:

It is very important to stay in contact with those who will be travelling with you. They are your support system and prior to the trip everyone should be on the same page as to where you are going, for how long, the hike distance, elevation etc. This can easily be done through email so long as you send emails to the correct address.

Finally all your preparation will be rewarded; the day of the trek has arrived. Have a big breakfast at IHOP and drive to your trailhead, because things are about to get real.

“Up up up up the stairs we go, until we come to the tunnel. And when they go in, there’s no coming out… all she gets is filthy orcses and they doesn’t taste very nice does they precious? No, not very nice at all my love.”
(Not really sure what’s with all the LOTR references, just go with it)
Source: http://www.councilofelrond.com/imagegallery/stairs-of-cirith-ungol/

The Climb:

It’s been said that your brain will quit a hundred times before your body will have to. The thing to remember with backpacking is that you must trick your brain. Encouraging it with phrases like, “We’re almost to the top,” or “You can carry yourself and 40 extra pounds up this steep section,” will help. Another thing to remember is that you can’t stop too often or for too long, your muscles will have to warm up every time you stop and it’s best to just keep going.

Finding Nemo reference, instead of LOTR, 🙂
Source: http://howimetyourfatherblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/keep-calm-and.html

I find that after about 20 minutes I get into the zone: the weight and constant pounding of my feet keeps me centered. Other may experience different findings. Whatever works for you, channel it. (Also make sure to eat snacks and drink LOTS of water)

A quick rest

Camping:

When you find an area that looks nice to camp (with a water source nearby), it’s best to set-up camp before doing anything else (except maybe following nature’s call, which I will not be getting into in this post. If you would like information on using the world as your toilet and leaving no trace please read the 5th subheading in this article.

Our campsite, set up just before the rain fell, lucky we brought that big heavy tarpaulin

To set up camp first, set up your tent (and a rain tarp, since the clouds will be rolling in at this point). After setting up the tent, pull out your sleeping pad and bag inside the tent to get fluffy and cozy before bed. Then as the first drops begin to fall on your head, put on your raincoat and pants and set up your camp chair. Duck under your rain tarp, hunker down, and try to laugh away the misfortune: play games, drink alcohol, DON’T check the time, and hope for some sun.

When the rain calms a bit and it’s safe to walk around in the tall wet grass snap a few pictures of the beauty that surrounds you.















It’s good to have some activities prepared between meals, to pass the time: day hikes, reading, drawing, photography, fishing, writing, talking, laughing, card playing, and sledding are all good ideas.





As the sun sets, find a good place to hike up to (careful of the slippery wet rocks) and enjoy the view.





When the tarp begins to collect water, engineering must come into play.

The Moose Destroyer

When all else fails and you are feeling lost in the wetness, make new friends.

Hemingway the Caterpillar (if he can survive the cold and wet, so can you)

After cooking and eating dinner, playing a few silly games about what you can take to the moon, and passing around a few communal beers it’s time for bed. Brush your teeth (with a bottle of Jack), strip off your wet clothing and snuggle into your sleeping bag as you listen to the creeks flowing all around you (don’t forget to use the natural toilet before getting in bed, it is the absolute worst thing to have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night on a camping trip, especially when there are streams flowing in every directions and marshes just beyond the streams and tall wet grass everywhere you step).

In the morning you will wake up to the babbling brooks and songs of the birds (and your urgent need to urinate). You will hope that the sun is shining and poke your head out of the tent warily. You see that it is and your heart will flood with joy. You get dressed and let yourself fully out of the tent, joining your party under the big blue tarp. You start preparing your breakfast just as the sun shyly hides its face again behind the clouds.

You resign yourself to another chilly and cloudy day and the company decides to finish breakfast, pack up and head back down the mountain.

Hiking down:

Hopefully you remembered to clip your toenails before the trip because the constant jamming of your toenails into the front of your boots can be quite painful. Just ask those who have decided to have their toenails removed completely. Lacing your boots tightly around your ankles can help with the downhill hike.

Some people say hiking down is the hardest part, yes hiking up is more strenuous and breathing is much harder, but hiking down takes finesse and concentration. Constantly trying to stop your body’s potential energy from turning into kinetic energy is tough work, but still usually takes less time.





Then the whole trip is over. You can load your gear into the car, get in yourself and drive home (or to get some bagels and Taco Bell).

That is, of course, unless your boyfriend is chased down the mountain by a mountain line, which he fights off by punching it in the face, which is seen by pirates who think he is bad ass and want him in their troop, but first they have to initiate him by locking him in a mine in Idaho Springs, which he only escapes because Gandalf (LOTR reference again) shows up blinding them with his staff, and he crawls to safety through a tunnel which leads to the basement of Beaujo’s where he is picked up by his girlfriend and her dad, or so the story has been told.

Further (more practical) information on backpacking:

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What do you think of our experience? Do you like to backpack? Tell me about your past trips.

What in the world are bike lanes for?

With the nice weather and the onset of spring I have been enjoying riding my bike around town rather than driving. It has been lovely to fill my lungs with the sweet smell of blooming flowers and listen to the bird songs, while exercising my body on my way to and from class and running errands.

Unfortunately, today a woman in an SUV yelled at me.

Image

For some reason I really hate these stickers, and SUV lady had one.
Image credit: http://www.mr-miata.net/2010/12/family-car-stickers/

The following is my artistic rendition of the encounter:

Image

Stopped at a stoplight next to SUV lady on Howes St. heading north.
(don’t worry mom; I was actually wearing a helmet, It just looked funny in the drawing)

Image

Lady leaning over to the passenger seat and totally not looking at the road to yell at me.

Image

I see your point.

I have compiled a list of possible uses for that bit of road bordered by two white lines found between the car lane and the sidewalk.

  1. Extra space for driving while texting. (Saw that happen once: young girl was texting and nearly hit a biker. But that’s a story for another day.)
  2. Parked vehicle door opening space.
  3. Alien spaceship landing zones.
  4. Area for delivery trucks to stop in order to not block car traffic.
  5. Saved road in case of future lane expansion.

But enough of that. I know SUV lady probably doesn’t read my blog. For other readers I have including the list of basic rules for bicycles according to the Fort Collins Government website:

  • In the state of Colorado a bicycle is a vehicle, you have the same rules and responsibilities as a motor vehicle
  • Ride in a designated bike lane if one is present, otherwise ride as far to the right hand side of the road as practicable
  • Don’t weave in and out of parked vehicles – hold a straight line of travel
  • Ride with traffic
  • Ride single file
  • Don’t cling to other vehicles
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Use a light at night
  • Yield to Pedestrians and give an audible signal when passing
Further information and reading:
  • You can find a complete list of laws for Fort Collins bicyclists here.
  • For bicycle laws in the state of Colorado, click here.
  • And a link to the Complete Colorado Cycling Manual.

For your state these laws may be different. I believe everyone should read up on their biking laws before they go around yelling at bicyclists who are indeed following the rules.

(***Update 09/05/12: Although I loved my time at WordPress, I found it was my time to move on. I am now at Blogger; I believe it to be a better fit for me personally. If you subscribe, or want to subscribe, to this blog, please be sure to subscribe to the new one. Here’s the link.)

Thanks for reading, leave a comment about your encounters with people not following traffic laws.

What in the world are bike lanes for?

With the nice weather and the onset of spring I have been enjoying riding my bike around town rather than driving. It has been lovely to fill my lungs with the sweet smell of blooming flowers and listen to the bird songs, while exercising my body on my way to and from class and running errands.

Unfortunately, today a woman in an SUV yelled at me.

Image
For some reason I really hate these stickers, and SUV lady had one.

The following is my artistic rendition of the encounter:

Image
Stopped at a stoplight next to SUV lady on Howes St. heading north.
(don’t worry mom; I was actually wearing a helmet, It just looked funny in the drawing)
Image
Lady leaning over to the passenger seat and totally not looking at the road to yell at me.
Image
Lady leaning over to the passenger seat and totally not looking at the road to yell at me.

I have compiled a list of possible uses for that bit of road bordered by two white lines found between the car lane and the sidewalk.

  1. Extra space for driving while texting. (Saw that happen once: young girl was texting and nearly hit a biker. But that’s a story for another day.)
  2. Parked vehicle door opening space.
  3. Alien spaceship landing zones.
  4. Area for delivery trucks to stop in order to not block car traffic.
  5. Saved road in case of future lane expansion.


But enough of that. I know SUV lady probably doesn’t read my blog. For other readers I have including the list of basic rules for bicycles according to the Fort Collins Government website:

  • In the state of Colorado a bicycle is a vehicle, you have the same rules and responsibilities as a motor vehicle
  • Ride in a designated bike lane if one is present, otherwise ride as far to the right hand side of the road as practicable
  • Don’t weave in and out of parked vehicles – hold a straight line of travel
  • Ride with traffic
  • Ride single file
  • Don’t cling to other vehicles
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals
  • Use a light at night
  • Yield to Pedestrians and give an audible signal when passing
Further information and reading:
  • You can find a complete list of laws for Fort Collins bicyclists here.
  • For bicycle laws in the state of Colorado, click here.
  • And a link to the Complete Colorado Cycling Manual.

For your state these laws may be different. I believe everyone should read up on their biking laws before they go around yelling at bicyclists who are indeed following the rules.

Thanks for reading, leave a comment about your encounters with people not following traffic laws.

The 5-4-3-2-1 Workout (my version)

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: 5-4-3-2-1 Workout

One of my latest obsessions is the website Pinterest (if you want to follow me, my username is: maghaseman).  I spend way too much time there pinning things to plan the wedding that is non-existent, the house I’ll never be able to afford and the vacation of my dreams.  There are a few things I do pin that I actually use though, including workouts.  I came across this wonderful routine about a month ago and have tried it a few times.  I love Caitlin’s Blog Fit Fab Cities and have tried a lot of her ideas.

This particular routine, The 5-4-3-2-1 Workout, is such a great idea, it’s quick and, as Caitlin says in her blog, easy to fit into a busy schedule, and I love the formatting (bright colors).  However, as I was doing the exercise I found that I lost track of the workout.  I have always struggled with workouts that have too much variety, some people enjoy the variety because it keeps it interesting but for me personally it doesn’t work.  The other thing I didn’t like was that it was missing ab exercises.  So I revamped it a little to suit my own needs:

54321 workout, schedule, busy, fitness nuts
You can download the printable version by clicking this link: 5-4-3-2-1 workout.


I kept Caitlin’s cutesy rainbow formatting and a lot of her content.  I replaced her 4 minute section with ab exercises.  Hope you enjoy it!

**Update: Check out my workout terms glossary.

These are the terms used in this workout:

Bicycle Crunch
Lay flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head, lift your left leg straight up about 2 inches from the ground and bring your right knee up to form a 90-degree angle. As you do this pull your left shoulder away from the mat bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Make sure you don’t pull your head forward with your arms but rather keep your gaze upward and use your hand for neck support only. Now switch, pull your right elbow to your 90-degree-bent left knee and straighten your right leg to hover above the floor.


Crunch
Lay flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head, and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your shoulders away from the mat. Make sure you don’t pull your head forward with your arms but rather keep your gaze upward and use your hand for neck support only. Lower yourself back to the mat.

High Knees
Start standing and begin jogging in place lifting your knees as high as possible.


Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.

Lunge
Take a big step forward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.


Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

Pushup
Lay on your belly with hand flat on the floor on either side, forearms perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen body and literally push yourself away from the ground, hinging at the toes. When arms are straight hold and with control release your body, hover above the ground and repeat.

Squat
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Immediately rise out of squat, returning to standing with arms by side.

Tricep Dip
Find an elevated surface such as a step, a coffee table over a chair. Place your palms on the surface directly behind your body. Hold yourself up and gently lower yourself down using your arms. When your arms make a 90-degree angle behind you lift yourself back up to the starting position.

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Leave a comment: What kind of exercises do you enjoy?  How do you fit workouts into your busy schedule?

The 5-4-3-2-1 Workout (my version)

One of my latest obsessions is the website Pinterest (if you want to follow me, my username is: maghaseman).  I spend way too much time there pinning things to plan the wedding that is non-existent, the house I’ll never be able to afford and the vacation of my dreams.  There are a few things I do pin that I actually use though, including workouts.  I came across this wonderful routine about a month ago and have tried it a few times.  I love Caitlin’s Blog Fit Fab Cities and have tried a lot of her ideas.

This particular routine, The 5-4-3-2-1 Workout, is such a great idea, it’s quick and, as Caitlin says in her blog, easy to fit into a busy schedule, and I love the formatting (bright colors).  However, as I was doing the exercise I found that I lost track of the workout.  I have always struggled with workouts that have too much variety, some people enjoy the variety because it keeps it interesting but for me personally it doesn’t work.  The other thing I didn’t like was that it was missing ab exercises.  So I revamped it a little to suit my own needs:

ImageYou can download the printable version by clicking this link: 5-4-3-2-1 workout.

I kept Caitlin’s cutesy rainbow formatting and a lot of her content.  I replaced her 4 minute section with ab exercises.  Hope you enjoy it!

(***Update 09/05/12: Although I loved my time at WordPress, I found it was my time to move on. I am now at Blogger; I believe it to be a better fit for me personally. If you subscribe, or want to subscribe, to this blog, please be sure to subscribe to the new one. Here’s the link.)

Leave a comment: What kind of exercises do you enjoy?  How do you fit workouts into your busy schedule?