Blog Archives

Fitness in the Yard

I love to exercise and want to make sure that I have the time everyday by incorporating small fitness routines into the things that I also need to get done around the house.  I really wanted an elliptical machine, HAD to have one in my house!  I saved up some money and did a lot of shopping around.  I didn’t need the fanciest, biggest one that there is to offer. I just needed one that would fit in my price range, fit in the area of my house that I wanted it andone that would fit my exercise needs.  I found this little trooper!

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When I am doing a cardio workout in the house I can see out of the front window and my grass definitely needs to mowed.  So I will do 20 minutes on the elliptical on a high resistance setting, run out and edge the lawn, mow the front yard at the fastest pace possible and come back in to do 20 more minutes on the elliptical keeping at high resistance.  When that time is up, run out and mow the back lawn just as fast just making sure that it looks great and that you don’t have any mohawks in the lawn.  Mohawks? You know the strip that you accidentally miss! Ends up looking like mohawks!  I am a bit on the crazy side of making sure the yard looks as perfect as I possibly can!  The idea is keeping your heart rate up and burning calories at the highest level that you can while getting your workout in. We call this cross yard training!  I love yard work, when you’re done and your yard looks wonderful, excellent feeling!  If you can incorporate your workout while getting your house chores done, it’s a bonus! I am not one to hang out at the gym, I am not comfortable there and I feel I can workout just as much if not more, at home.

When you have flowers to plant, weeds to pull or any bending over that needs to be done, just squat instead.  Get your full squats in instead of bending over.  If you are only bending over you are not incorporating all of the muscles that you could have.  Do your squats, do your lunges, incorporate as many muscles as possible while getting everything done!  You may feel silly, but have fun in your yard!  I am sure that my neighbors laugh as I totally move fast, almost running while mowing.  Squating, lunging, running to the front yard or backyard, but I don’t care.  I purposely have an older mower, a push mower instead of the newer automatic mowers.  Push mowers means more muscles used, heart rate up and just plain harder which is why I love the push mower! I have a great time and a great yard and my calves are looking amazing, not to mention the glutes and the suntan!! Enjoy yourself 🙂 Here are a few pics of the backyard! Yes, I know, I know, I need a new shed! But, I will keep the old one until I have money saved or until it totally falls apart!

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I definitely get a whole lot of squats in while cleaning out my pond in the back! I keep a couple of small turtles in the pond for fun!

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And now pics of the front yard:

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Shameless post to show off my yard?!? Yeah, maybe! But, mostly wanted to say that whatever you enjoy most, you can incorporate it into a workout! If you look at it a bit differently, and make your movements count, it is a total workout! Do what you enjoy most and it turns from work-out to just plain fun with the benefits of working your muscles out while getting everything done. Multi-tasking!  Look at anything you do to making it a workout, any movements can be modified to getting the most out of your activity.

 

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Food Prep Day

Sunday fun day, it’s food prep day.  In the past I would always have good intentions while at the grocery store and buy a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy natural foods.  Mornings are so busy trying to get everything ready for work and it would take too much time to get a lunch packed, washing, chopping and bagging after taking too much time getting ready to get to work early in the a.m..  Now I take some time on Sunday and get all lunches, breakfasts and a few dinners ready for the entire week.  It takes a little planning, but the money that I save making sure everything is ready and portioned out for everyone to grab and go instead of letting it sit in the fridge and spoil is totally worth it! My only complaint….tripping over my dogs while they follow me around the kitchen!  Poor guys smell everything cooking and are waiting for one tiny morsel to drop! Ha, ha!

I plan what meats I will cook for the particular week’s lunches and I put that in crock pot Saturday night before going to bed so they are cooked and ready for portioning Sunday morning. This week was chicken and salsa.  Place 5 frozen chicken breasts in the cock pot, cover them with a half to 3/4 jar of salsa just making sure the breasts are covered.  In the morning, after coffee of course, shred them and portion into containers.  You can heat and eat them with veggies, use with chips or make a shredded chicken salad.

These pics don’t include dinners that I made as well, just an example as
I was putting them in the fridge.

While the chicken is cooling, I boil 18 eggs and begin chopping. Wash, cut and portion into baggies or containers your cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots, celery, watermelon, cantaloupe and/or any others.  I switch it up weekly for variety.

I like to make salads in a jar, they stay good and crispy for about 4-5 days. Wet ingredients on bottom, I use cottage cheese instead of dressing and finishing with lettuce on top so that when you empty it out on a plate it ends up being with lettuce on bottom and finishing with your wet ingredients on top.  You can do this with fruits or pasta, any kind of salad that you’d like, get creative!

While you are chopping all of your veggies also chop up some sweet potatoes and place in a large freezer storage bag.  Add some meat, I used chopped pork, and some low sodium stock.  Freeze for a crock pot dinner later in the week.
I baked super yummy clean biscuits from a wonderful recipe on The Gracious Pantry, which I then made egg sandwiches for breakfasts, wrapped in saran wrap and froze to reheat one daily. I then baked up some nom, nom cinnamon rolls from another fab recipe at Paleomg for our daily snacks for the week
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If you want to try something yummy and have some apples, squeeze the juice from one full lemon and one full orange into a container.  Core and slice an apple and place in the container of juice.  Make sure the apple is fully covered and soak overnight.  The citrus keeps the apple from browning and it soaks into the apple for a wonderful fresh taste! Let those soak in the container overnight and bag the morning that you take them. Also portion some cottage cheese to have with whatever you like to eat cottage cheese with. I chop tomatoes with my cottage cheese.
While you are chopping you can cook some extra lean ground beef or ground turkey that you can fridge-rate for taco dinner during the week.  I cook 2-3 pounds so that I also have some for spaghetti or other meals if you’re cooking it you may as well make what you need for the week right?!  Make sure during the week you are also using any leftovers for lunches as well. I also used some ground beef for these great italian pies that I found from The Gracious Pantry and got 3 dinner meals out of all of that meat.
With a little planning and a set aside time for meals it makes it so much easier to know your calories, and know that you are eating healthy.  Total prep time this Sunday only took 3 and 1/2 hours.  Once you get a system down and already have it planned it goes much faster.

If your eating on a budget, the planning and eating all that you have really helps! Not to mention you won’t be spending the extra dollars going out to lunch.  Happy Sunday Prep Day!

No Gym? Who Needs a Gym!

No Gym? Who needs a Gym?  Work it at Work!

Move it if you want to lose it!  I work a full time job at a desk the entire day and want to get some exercise in throughout my workday.  My office on the 13th floor (who has a 13th floor???) downtown Salt Lake City, Utah and I had thought about joining the gym down the street from work.  But I am not a gym rat, I don’t like going to the gym, I don’t like the idea that I can only go during lunch break and I don’t like the fact that I would only be getting a half an hour workout taking into account the time walking to get there, walking back, changing clothes, dry off/shower and then back to work.  That is all time wasted. I began looking around for alternatives exercise opportunities while at work, and you know what I realized??  13th floor = 260 stairs baby!!

I started taking the stairs every time I needed to go to another floor.  I go to the main floor and use the stairs back up to the floor I need to go to and then back up to the 13th floor. 3-5 times a day I use these little gems! I know, they are super ugly, dreary and not very motivational looking.  I wish they could be colored bright cheerful colors with dancing bears running up and down, but this is what I have and I count them just to make sure the number hasn’t changed since I did them last!

I run up them, I run down them, I do calf lifts on every other stair, pretty much anything and everything you can do on all 260 stairs to the 13th floor.  I also make my friend Brenda come with, they are a lot more fun with a buddy and she just loves/hates it.  I feel like I force her but that’s okay because she works for me and I tell her she has to and so she does!  For our breaks we go downstairs and do a lap or two around the block, fast walking. Like speed walking but not ridiculously looking, normal looking, just super fast! Sometimes there are quite a few crazies outside yelling at themselves (imaginary friends in their heads!) that we run from, or the construction workers around the corner, or it’s just plain cold so we hurry, almost run and then back up our wonderful stairs! Lunch breaks we put on our tennis shoes and go walking up the hills to the capital, then over to the park and up the mountain.  All in all our lunch walks are roughly 5 miles and we make it an adventure every time.

The printer by my office is broken so I have to go to the other side of the building to pick up any printings which are quite a few.  I walk a full lap over to the printer and a full one back.  Wow I really don’t like desk jobs, you know it’s too much sitting if you are excited to go to the printer! So many ways to get more exercise working a desk job. If there are chairs you can do planks, push ups, squats, jumping jacks, burpees, you can fit most any exercises into your breaks. Look around and get creative, most furniture, walls, stairs can become your gym and work it for free! Who needs a gym? Go outside, nature and your surroundings are refreshing and invigorating.  Not to mention a great break up in the day and a wonderful time away from the desk and the phone!  Move it if you want to lose it!
View from my office window is amazing, however it was a rainy day when I took the picture. One of my employees bought me a wonderful banana tree for my birthday that we wanted to see if it would grow.  The first picture is in January, next picture is April.  It’s flourishing!! Will it sprout out some bananas?  Probably not but hey, you gotta try right?? Look what I’ve done with it so far 🙂

I also have this monster plant! It started as a small plant in a basket on the corner of my desk only about 2 ft tall, now it is taller than me with ginormous leaves! Beautiful!
Plants also make my office and my work day much lighter, it’s all about surrounding yourself with things that you love and incorporating everything into your everyday workday to make it the most and to get you to the weekends!  Try one new thing everyday!
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