Health & Fitness

Workout Wednesday: Recipe for a Good Playlist

To be brutally honest, I haven’t posted a Workout Wednesday in a long time because my life has greatly lacked working out. A side from my weekly Piyo class, my workouts have been very routine and not very frequent.

I really hope this changes, not only for my own health and wellbeing, but for your interests as well. I haven’t given up, I promise.

This Workout Wednesday will not be a workout but a playlist. Yeah, yeah, call it a copout, call it what you want, but without a good playlist a good workout routine could be boring and unmotivating.

Sometimes I find my mind tired and stressed which actually causes me to not have the willpower to push through the workout I need after a long day. From my own experience, I found that a good playlist is key to stay focused.

For girls the best playlist is pretty much anything you can dance to, but honestly it all depends on the mood. Sometimes I’d rather punch someone than dance and twirl. So a good playlist needs variety. Here’s some of my favorites:

Mix some in the dance tunes.
A pinch of girl power, Lady Gaga, and Beyonce will do.
A splash of some mellow tunes for stretching and a change in pace.
One old jam that brings back memories and makes you laugh during your workout. “All I Do is Win”
A large dose of your inner rock star.
A small dash of rap that makes you believe you are thug for one song.
Sprinkle some hipster tunes that getting you singing and staying positive.
Lastly, one very ripe live jam session to get you over your peak.

Altogether you have the recipe of a good workout playlist.
Keep your head held high.

Workout Wednesday: Buff-tastic Arm Workout

Happy Hump Day! Call me Captain Obvious but it is officially tank top season. Shocker I know,  but ready or not its time to show off those arms. Here is a little arm workout that I find extremely helpful for toning arms and all you need are some 5 to 15 lb dumbbells to get the job done.


armworkout
Cardio:

  • Use this first 15 minutes as a warm up and a way to loosen your muscles. This can include brisk walking, jump roping, jogging, etc.

Skull Crushers:

  •  Lay on a workout bench (flat/declined) or flat on your back on the floor, with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Using a barbell with the appropriate weight for yourself,  I would suggest trying 10 to 20 lbs, have your arms straight up above your shoulders.
  • Bend your arms at the elbows bringing the bar back towards your forehead and then back to the starting position.

Classic pushups:

  • Even though these are very traditional they still do the trick. Remember to keep your abs tight and booty down.

Two Point Rows:

  • Begin with your knees slightly bent and legs staggered with the right foot in front of the left.
  • Bend slightly forward at your hips keeping your back straight, place your right hand on a bench or surface that is roughly the same height as your knee.
  • Hold a 5 to 12 lb dumbbell in your left hand. Start with you left arm straight, hand below your shoulder, palm facing inward to your right leg.
  • Squeeze the weight up bringing your left hand to your rib cage and keeping your arm close to your body. Imagine there is a string connected to your elbow which is pulling it up to the sky.
  • Bring your arm straight down to the starting position.
  • Rotate your wrist so that your palm is facing back toward your left leg.
  • Lift the weight straight up imagining that the string is still connected to your elbow. Your arm will create 90 degree angle
  • Bring the weight down to the starting position. Alternate exercises between the two different forms. Then switch legs and feet putting your left leg in front, left hand on the bench and right hand holding the dumbbell.

Tricep Pushups:

  • Very similar to the classic pushups, begin in a plank position with your hands shoulder width apart. 
  • Lower your chest to the floor while keeping your elbows pointing straight back  and close to your body.
  • Push back up to the starting plank position.

Shoulder Raises:

  •  Hold 5 to 10 lb dumbbells in your hands and stand with your legs shoulder width apart. 
  • Keeping your palms down, bring your left arm straight out in front of you while you bring your right arm out to the side, making the letter ‘L’ with your arms. Be sure that your hands do not go past the height of your shoulders.
  • At the same time that you are lift your arms forward and to the side, lift up onto your toes. Be sure to keep your abs and butt tight while you do these calf raises.
  • Then bring your arms back down to your sides.
  • Switch arms and repeat the exercise, bring your left arm out to the side and your right are straight out in front of your while lifting onto your toes.

Hammer Curls:

  • Begin standing with your legs shoulder width apart while holding 5 to 15 lb dumbbells down by your side. Palms facing in.
  • Raise one dumbbell up so that your thumb meets your shoulder, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Bring the dumbbell back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat the exercise with the alternative arm.

Cardio:

  • End the workout strong with about 10 to 15 minutes of cardio. Maybe try the 10 minute living room cardio routine. 
  • Use the remaining 5 to 10 minutes bringing down your heart rate and cooling down.

And now you’re one step closer to tone tank top arms. Remember to always listen to your body, drink enough water and of course keep your head held high.

Workout Wednesday: Sweat Every Day 10 Minute Workout

We’ve all had those days or even weeks where life gets so hectic that we simply don’t have the time to exercise. We get so consumed in our work, school, chores and social life that we sacrifice our hard work, dedication, and health. But just because you can’t squeeze in an hour workout class doesn’t mean you have to opt out of working out completely.

Just think a short workout is better than no workout.

I am totally guilty of this. I would tell myself “you don’t have time to work out for an hour and a half, you won’t get a good workout in.” But I ended up paying for that in the long run. Trust me setting aside 10 minutes can really make a difference.

If you have time to listen to your three favorite songs then you have time to complete this workout. If this means waking up 10 minutes earlier for going to bed 10 minutes later, either way you’ll end up feeling better. Trust me.

10minuteworkout

Keep your head held high, listen to your body, and sweat every day.

Workout Wednesday: With Mother Nature

It’s Wednesday and we are finally half way through the week. The weather lately has been bea-u-ti-ful, but then again it’s California so we are pretty much spoiled. So why not enjoy the sunshine by working out with good old mother nature.

Lately, Kenny and I have been on a hiking frenzy. We seem to not be getting enough of the sweet outdoors. So I am going do this Workout Wednesday a little differently. Instead of providing an actual routine, how about some tips instead? Because you know what they say, hiking is good for the mind, body, and booty….and by they I mean me.

hike

And isn’t it rewarding to see this after pushing yourself instead of a sweaty old guy at the gym?

hike2

Hiking Tips 101:

1. Don’t go alone: Pretty self-explanatory especially if you are going somewhere that you have never been before. Just use common sense and always go with someone, please. It can be used as a social outing too but be sure to always grab your workout buddy.

2. Know the area and trail: Most nature trails have maps at the beginning of the trail that tell you the distance, plant life and animal life. Don’t be worried about looking like a snooty tourist. Make sure you read these signs to know what you are getting yourself into. You may not realize a trail is 3 miles long one way. So reading and preparing yourself for your own pace is a must for prepping for a hike.

3. Stay hydrated: A person who spends hours at the gym cranking out a strenuous workout may only need one bottle of water, but when taking your workout outside doubling your water intake is extremely necessary. Even if the hike is not as long or intense as a workout at the gym, still consider that you will be in the sun which can be more draining than an extra mile on a treadmill in an air-conditioned room. You could never pack too much water and maybe even keep an extra bottle in your car for after your hike.

4. Know your plants: Unless you are an extreme outdoorsman or woman who can hang with Bear Grylls, be sure to always stay on the designated path. Venturing off the trails can put you in the same situation as the two CSUF students who were lost and luckily found 4 days after they had gone off trail. Plus you can run into very undesirable plants like poison oak. Kenny and his friends brushed though this plant and he never wishes this rash on anyone. It was pretty bad. Stay away from poison oak:

5. Ways to challenge yourself: If you need to make a hike or walk more challenging, hold two water bottles in your hands and pump your arms up and down as you walk. Yeah, you’ll look like an old lady doing aerobics but you will tone your arms at the same time. Also, using phone apps such as Lorna Jane can help you track your pace and distance. Try upping the pace each hike or even running the last quarter-mile of the hike.

I hope these tips are helpful for your next outdoor excursion. Remember to listen to your body and keep your head held high.

Workout Wednesday: Hello Spring, Hello Six-Pack Abs

Happy First Day of Spring!

Can I just start off this beautiful Wednesday by saying that I wish I never tried on Victoria’s Secret VSX workout clothes. I think I may have a problem. Hi. My name is Jenna and I am a VSXholic.

Now that I got that off my chest, it’s been long overdue for a Workout Wednesday and with bikini season almost here what was I thinking? Well the truth is, I have been struggling to keep up with my own fitness so I didn’t want to post a workout and not be working out. Gotta practice what you preach.

reasons to be fit

So since you all know I’ve been crazy busy with work and birthday celebrations this reason to be fit couldn’t be more accurate.

Spring is finally here, which means summer is creeping up behind us, so I am going to try to be consistent with these 3 ab workouts to get me ready for summa- summa- summatime!!

Elbow to Knee Cross:

I did this exercise in my Piyo class night and let me tell you, I am feeling it this morning.

  •  Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Bend your knees slightly and keep only your heels on the floor. Lean your torso back slightly so your body forms a ‘V’
  • Lift both arms into the air. Elbows should be parallel with your shoulders and your hands by your ears in a goalpost position
  • Twist your torso to the left. Lift your right heel off the ground and bring your left elbow to your right knee. Do not bring your chest forward. Keep good posture while twisting. Place left heel on the floor and return to the starting position.
  • Twist your torso to the right bringing your right elbow to your left knee.
  • Alternating opposite knee and elbow for 8 reps slowly. Then do 8 more reps at a faster pace. Rest and repeat 3 more times.

Sitting Leg Lifts:

  • Begin sitting on the floor with your lower back flat up against a wall. Bend your knees and open your legs so your feet a wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your feet on the ground. 
  • Place your fingertips on the floor between your legs, keep your lower back against the wall.
  • Squeeze your abs and lift your legs off the floor while pressing your fingertips to the floor. Try doing 15 to 20 reps of lifting your legs off the ground. Rest and repeat 3 more times.

Cross Legged Sit-ups 

  • Sit with your legs crisscrossed and lay on your back. Place your right hand behind your head and left arm straight up to the ceiling. 
  • Keeping your left arm straight sit up crossing your left arm to touch the floor past your right knee.
  • Lay back down and switch arms placing your left hand behind your head and right arm straight up. Sit up crossing your right arm over to the floor beyond your left knee.
  • Alternate touching the floor from right to left keeping your legs in the crisscrossed position. Try doing 15 to 20 reps. Rest and repeat 3 more times.

Check out these posts below for more ab workouts:

Workout Wednesday: All I want for Christmas are some rock hard abs

Workout Wednesday: Abs, Med-Balls, and Workout Buddies

Workout Wednesday: Some Motivation and Abs

Listen to your body, stay positive, and keep your head held high.