Tag Archives: exercise

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.)

50 (or so) Date Ideas

We are BORED! Bored out of our minds. Bored with ourselves, bored with our stuff, bored with our house, bored with our day-to-day lives. Just plain bored. It’s about time to spice things up around here. We want more time with each other, more time without stuff, more time away from the house, more excitement and creativity. I found an idea on Pinterest (regretfully I forgot to pin it and have no link) to fill a jar with popsicles sticks each with a date idea written on it. We went ahead and gave it a try.

First we gathered our supplies:

Image

multi-colored popsicle sticks, thin point Sharpies, two plastic bags (one for new ideas and one for used ideas), and sustenance

We assigned the colors of the popsicle sticks as follows:

  • Red = Things to do at home
  • Yellow = Free things
  • Green = $
  • Blue = $$$

We then started brainstorming ideas and writing them down, some examples are listed here:

  • Go to the local art museum
  • Take a brewery tour
  • Write a novel
  • Buy coloring books and color in them
  • Make a home video
  • Rent a hotel room for the night
  • etc.

Originally we were going to use bags but I found this jar in my cabinet so the new ideas were placed in it when completed (used ideas still go in a little bag).

Image

We didn’t fill in all of the popsicle sticks so we made one that says simple “Make new popsicle sticks.”

For ideas for your own popsicle stick dates follow the links below.

(***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 are some of your great date-night ideas?

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?

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.

How to Yoga: and Other Life Lessons

I have been practicing yoga routinely since I started college, four years ago. Before that it was an occasional activity that I enjoyed but was never too attached too. Now, I find it hard to sleep, and my muscles feel stiff if I miss even a day. I feel that every person has a different experience when practicing yoga, and I don’t claim to be an expert, or even that good at it, but I do think that I have learned a few thing in my four years.

Stay Present
My life is full of distractions: what are we having for dinner, I need to check my email, how much homework do I have, etc. Yoga is my escape from all of that.  The only problem is letting myself escape.  Most of the time my mind wanders away from quality breathing and properly setting-up poses to these other thoughts that seem so urgent. When I DO get my thoughts focused in, not only does this helps with my yoga practice, but also helps de-clutter my life.

Wear Yoga Pants


‘nough said

Breathe
If there is one thing I know, it’s that breathing is the best medicine, both inside and outside the yoga practice. Breathing is something that’s taken years of practice for me to learn especially with tough poses. The same way a sigh can relieve tension during a stressful argument, the proper exhale or inhale of breathe can relieve tension in muscles.

Don’t Give Up
There are hundreds of poses that are too difficult for me to even fathom at this point in my yoga practice. I know it will take time and practice to get there, but I won’t get there if I give up.

Laugh at Yourself
Every sport and activity on the planet has a few nuts who take it too seriously. I always take time to laugh at the nut I see in myself. I wrote this song to Tik-Tok by Ke$ha once.

Wake up in the morning feeling like Siddhartha, grab my mat it’s on the floor this isn’t Sparta, start chlid’s pose, downward dog, sun salutations holmes, ‘Cause when I do lotus pose, I can be like “om.” 😉

Also, Yoga: the complete and balanced parts of breakfast.

(***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.)

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.

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?