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Posts Tagged ‘fitness’

December 15, 2014

Holiday Jump & Jack Circuit Workout

Hello! Today I (finally) have that holiday inspired workout I promised last week. I noticed my server went out again Friday. Sheesh. Sorry, guys!

Since the Internet Gods are on my side today, I’ll go ahead and get to the good stuff. Are you ready for a total body cardio circuit workout you can complete at home in under 30 minutes?

This workout was inspired by a killer small group training class at my new home gym last week. I changed up the reps, exercises, and added the jumping jacks, but the original structure was anything but easy.

This circuit workout is a two-for-one and is designed to get your heart rate up while hitting all of your major muscle groups. It’s a great one to complete at home when you’re just not into going to the gym. And believe me… it happens to all of us, especially in the dead of winter.

Get ready for a sweat fest, my friends!

Holiday Jump & Jack (Cardio) Circuit Workout

holiday jump and jack cardio and circuit workout

All you need to complete this one is a set of dumbbells (preferably a light and medium weight) and a rockin’ playlist.

holiday at-home workout with dumbbells

If you have access and space to a jump rope, by all means use it. If not, you can pretend and jump without one.

There is an asterisk (*) at the end of the exercises that require or suggest using dumbbells. Obviously the curls and extensions require them, but the added weight is completely optional on moves like lunges and twists.

I love using dumbbells for lunges, but please make sure that you have the proper lunging technique down before you add anything to it.

lateral (side) lunges with dumbbells

(lateral lunge)

If you are new to some of these exercises or are in need of form cues, please see the video references below to give you a visual. I wrote out form tips for the first exercise since I couldn’t find a credible video for the exact move with voiceover tips. Hopefully this helps!

Video References:

reverse lunges

Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them with straight arms next to your sides. (<- optional) Your palms should be facing each other.

Step backward with your right leg, and lower your body until your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees and your right knee nearly touches the floor. Push yourself back to the starting position by pressing into the floor.

reverse lunges with dumbbells

(reverse lunge)

You can repeat the same side and then switch half way through or alternate sides for your reps. Aim to keep your front heel under your knee and avoid leaning forward or back.

If you decide not to use dumbbells for either set of lunges, place your hands on your hips and concentrate on your form!

shoulder presses


triceps extensions

lateral (side) lunges

Russian twists


 I completed this circuit two times through in just under 25 minutes.

after workout fat and calorie burn

Please listen to your body, modify exercises, and rest as needed!

I hope you enjoyed the workout and have a wonderful rest of your Monday.


Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routines. <3

December 3, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Fitness Goodies

Another late hello! It might take a few weeks for me to get into the working (away from home) groove again, but I am confident that I will eventually get onto a normal blogging schedule again. Not to worry!

Jumping right into it, let’s continue on with the 2014 edition of Holiday Gift Guides. I have received great feedback from the two I’ve previously posted:

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For Her

2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For Him

I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying this series!

This one highlights items anyone interested in active living might enjoy. From group fitness enthusiasts and runners to yogis and CrossFitters, this list should be broad enough to cover them all.

Do you have a great gift idea I’m missing?

Feel free to share at the bottom!

Holiday Gift Guide Fitness Goodies 2014

• FlipBelt

FlipBelt is an easy and extremely lightweight belt that allows you to be equipped with things you might need during a workout or long run, completely hands-free. I got one a couple months ago and I’m obsessed.

FlipBelt inside


I purchased the pink one specifically for running, but this could easily come in handy for anyone taking their workouts outside, or even those who don’t want to carry a bag into the gym!

• pullovers or layering tops

Anyone active or interested in any kind of workout or fitness activity could use a comfy and practical pullover to layer with. My personal collection of them range from lightweight and 1/4 zip to shirts to thicker and full zip.

activewear cover ups

I have especially been loving comfortable hoodies with drooping necklines like the PUMA French Terry Sweatshirt and Reebok YO-GA Hoodie lately. Also, zip-ups with thumbholes are always a bonus in my book! I just bought the New Balance “Impact” Hooded Half Zip and wear it every chance I get.

Popular/Personal Favorite brands include:

Lorna Jane, Reebok, PUMA, lululemon, lucy, Fabletics

• foam roller

Foam rollers are an essential part of stretching and workout recovery. Using them frequently can have the same effect as a deep tissue massage!

Foam rolling, also called self-myofascial release, uses deep compression to literally roll out fixed knots or muscle pains that develop in deep tissue. The hard cylinders come in all different sizes and intensities. There are even gridded ones to trigger pressure points.

foam rollers

I have this high density roller on my Christmas list and can’t stress the importance of anyone working their body having one to use at home enough.

• athletic or running socks

Any gym goer can never have too many athletic, running and/or compression socks… especially when the dryer likes to steal half of them. Am I right?

puma running socks

(PUMA Pro-Tech Microfiber low socks)

My favorite kinds are no show with the tabs on the end to prevent rubbing and blistering. For running, my go to brand for socks is Brooks.

• quality water bottle

Those living a healthy and fit lifestyle would appreciate a good water bottle. I mentioned this Tervis water bottle in my recent Holiday Gift Guide For Her and am sharing it again here.

It’s seriously the best.

fitness water bottles

I have also been eying the Groove Insulated CamelBak Water Bottle that has a built-in filter. It would be nice to have a water bottle with a filter, or even a bottle made specifically for fruit infused water as well!

• FitClips/FitBuds

I have been using these Koss FitClips for over a year and haven’t put another earbud in my ear for a long run or workout ever since. They’re awesome and don’t leave the exact area you put them!

(I don’t know about you, but I’ve previously had issues with my earbuds staying in my ears.)

fitness earbuds

They are smaller than your typical earbud and are made for women by women. Koss Fit Series came out with two different versions of an earbud for active women: FitBuds or FitClips. Both versions come in a variety of adorable colors with three different ear cushions to ensure the perfect fit for your ear size. They are sweat resistant, extremely lightweight, and are covered under a lifetime warranty.

• stability ball

You can do so many things with a stability ball! Beyond using them for workouts at home, it’s good for you to use a stability ball as a chair if you are sitting for any length of time. I purchased a cheap one a couple years ago, but really need to invest in a quality ball.

stability ball

I’m not a stability ball expert, but I have my eye on this, this, or this one. They’re especially great for stretching, wall sits, crunches, planks, and lower body exercises!

• activity tracker/fitness watch

I have yet to own an activity tracker, but it’s been on my wish list for years. From what I’ve heard, the Fitbit Flex, Polar Loop, and the Jawbone UP would all be great options to track steps, calories, activity, and even sleep levels!

jawbone up activity tracker

I have the Polar FT60 heart rate monitor and love it for group fitness classes and workouts. For running, however, I would prefer one that tracked pace and distance as well.

• leggings/capris

You really can’t go wrong with a traditional black, bright, or even fun printed pair of leggings. Just like I mentioned in a previous holiday gift guide, you want to stick to a pair of leggings with material that won’t go see-through during your squats and stretches.

Good pairs of fitness leggings usually run on the expensive side, and I’ve heard nothing but great things about lululemon Wunder Unders.

fun leggings

(Fabletics Salar Capri, lululemon Wunder UndersReebok Dance Capri)

Popular/Personal Favorite brands include:

Lorna Jane, Reeboklululemon, lucy, Fabletics

• Lorna Jane 2015 MNB Diary/Planner

I was blown away at the response I got to this giveaway!

I absolutely adore this active living diary and can’t wait to crack it open and put it to use after the New Year. Inside, you will find workouts (move), recipes and healthy eating tips (nourish), and inspirational quotes (believe) to get you through your days.

lorna jane mnb 2015 diary planner

There’s numerous writing prompts and places to take notes throughout it! I recommend getting this planner for anyone who currently lives or wants to get into living a happy, healthy, active lifestyle.

Additional ideas worth checking out:

>> giftcards to a sporting goods store, fitness apparel store, or iTunes

(hook up their playlist!)

>> giftcards towards a massage and/or pedicure (<- the best after a race!)

>> race medal hanger… just ordered one for both me and my mom! Check out Etsy for tons of adorable options. (Love this one!)

>> cover a month of their gym/studio membership (<- I would have loved this when I paid for my Lifetime Fitness membership!)

>> a quality yoga mat, because even if they aren’t a yogi, they still might use it for workouts at home

>> Reebok Skyscapes: my all-time favorite runaround shoe!

>> massage stick roller (great to have at home and use with foam rolling)


Fitness lovers: I invite you to share some of your favorite fitness gift ideas in the comments section too. Happy Shopping!

*Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. The Holiday Gift Guide series features items I genuinely want to share with you, and have possibly purchased myself. Please understand, however, that affiliate links are included, and this post in particular includes affiliate links that help donate to the Red Cross. As always, I really appreciate your support! <3

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Although I am a certified personal trainer, the workouts I post are what work best for me and might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I am not a registered dietician and do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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