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I’ve been on a quest the last 8 weeks to work on my abs. Last summer I had done incredibly well, but with the many changes and unexpected 1000 mile move, I let a lot of my workouts slide and really only did the bare minimum. Now that I am back to a place where I can focus on my workouts again I’m sharing my current ab routine with you all. Finding in home ab exercises that work all muscles was easier than I thought.
I decided I would stop with the excuses and just do it. In just 8 weeks I’ve made a ton of progress, the most fundamental piece of ab development you ask? To see them.
No matter how many squats, crunches, V-ups you do if you aren’t incorporating a healthy lifestyle into your workout, you want to see your progress. If you want to reach 6-pack levels, increase the amount of cardio in your workout and start a healthier lean diet.
Once you get your diet in check and body fat percentage starts to drop-what next? Most people immediately start with crunches for their workouts. And why not? Crunches are the popular go-to workout for anyone beginning their fitness journey. But if you really want to target all of those muscles, not just the superficial ones, you need to do a little more than just your standard crunch.
Recently, crunches are discovered to be one of the least effective ab exercises out there. So go ahead and take them out of your repertoire. I’m given you a ton of exercises that you can do at home with minimal to no equipment. Not only will these exercises help improve your core you’ll also be 100% energized and ready to kick ass throughout the rest of your day.
Most human beings know the struggle of finding even a short amount of time for themselves throughout the day. Staying on a busy schedule is almost impossible to do when you have a to-do list longer than a number of hours in the day. Whether you’re working multiple jobs, small business owner, children, a family we all have responsibilities that seemingly take over our lives on a daily basis. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home but I also have my four-year-old here with me as well, so needless to say I don’t really get much work done.
When I started my fitness journey a few years ago, I was trying to think of ways to incorporate a few workouts into my daily routine. There many types of exercises that you can do. Obviously, before starting any strenuous exercise routine you should consult your doctor. I love activities with controlled movement. I frequently participate in HIIT and Barre classes on top of regular strength training.
Apps are a great way to get in short workouts if you have a packed schedule or while you’re on vacation. Many apps include routines and videos you can download and take with you. Which is perfect if you plan on going somewhere with spotty reception. If you want to stay fit on a busy schedule you just need to think outside the box with a few things.
I did this post on Grokker last week, but just in case you wanted a few more options, I have provided a list of some excellent apps for you to try out. They are currently offering a 14-day free trial, go on and give it a try!
Strength training workouts for kids, when done correctly, offers many benefits to young children and adolescents. Like yoga, strength training has become another one of my favorite non-competitive activities for my children to complete.
Strength training can add:
- Increased muscle strength and endurance.
- Sports performance improvement.
- Better cardiorespiratory function.
- Helps to protect the child’s muscles and joints from injury associated with other activities.
- Stronger bones.
Like adults, the importance of developing early healthy habits can not be overemphasized. The most important aspect of any youth fitness and sports program is improved attitude regarding physical fitness. When starting early, strength training workouts for kids can help improve their outlook on youth sports activities and can help improve their own self-confidence when completing physical activities.
It’s the weekend, hopefully, you are spending your time doing something you love and spending time with people you love. For this weekend’s edition of Self-Care Sunday (on Friday) I wanted to share my activities for the week, as it has been super busy!
This week the children are away visiting family, so I decided to have a self-care week instead of just waiting until the weekend. It has been very relaxing over the last few days, I miss my children dearly, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t enjoying this much needed break.
If you live in a community/city/town with a lake check out your local recreation commission. We are fortunate to have one that rents kayaks/canoes, so for those of us who lack the space, this is a great option. It’s also cheaper as most places are operated by your county/city the rental fees will be a little cheaper compared to specialty rental stores.
If you are local check out these local businesses Columbia, South Carolina canoe/kayak rentals:
Better Boat Rental
Irmo Recreation Commission
South Carolina Kayak Tours:
Carolina Outdoor Adventures
Edisto River Adventures
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If you are a parent it’s no secret sometimes children can be a little hyper. We all become restless and it’s perfectly acceptable to take some time and get your ‘wiggles’ out if necessary. So what are the benefits of kids yoga? Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration and sense of calmness and relaxation improve.
Yoga helps create awareness in the body through deep breathing and movement. It gives kids a way to express themselves, build a strong connection between what they hear and what they do. Children that have healthy body awareness are more confident and strong, have better posture, breathe better and have a sense of quiet strength.
A major part of my self-care this year is unplugging and get away a lot more than what I had in the past. Since I’ve been more diligent in getting some ‘me time’ I’ve found myself to be way more patience, understanding and intuitive in my life. Allowing adequate time to recharge after stressful weeks has been very beneficial to me over the last 25 weeks. As we hit the halfway point of the year I wanted to take some time out and share a few of my favorite solo outdoor activities.
When you’re looking to really get away from it all I highly recommend hiking. I’ve discovered some pretty amazing places when I go out for walks, but our state parks have offered some of the most beautiful backdrops for me to sit back and meditate in quiet.
Taking time for yourself is very important. Without proper self-care, your relationships can suffer. I can attest to the fact that as a work from home mom I had/have very little time for myself. In fact, from October 2015-January 2017, I can count on one hand how many times I had the opportunity to sneak away just for myself. Whether it be a drive to the store or a nap at home alone. Usually, when you mention self-care most people will envision mom running off to the spa for a day or time at a winery with the girls. That sounds nice and I would love to be able to do that..but I work on a budget. Self-Care on a budget doesn’t have to be the pits, finding a few things that you really enjoy (free or low-cost) is a wonderful way to save money and relax at the same time. Who knows with the money you save you can buy yourself a new pair of shoes!
Taking time away from the phone and computer are the easy things you can do to recharge your batteries. In fact, it should make you feel good knowing you can put those things away and not stress over incoming messages. Even if it’s just for a few hours, time away from your devices is important.
Allowing time for yourself shows you know how to set boundaries. When you create boundaries, it lessens the chance of you being taken advantage of or overworking yourself. When you can show others you care about your well-being they will have no choice but to abide by your wishes.
This TED talk on the importance of self-care was one of the motivating factors in my decision to take time out for myself.
Guy Winch describes self-care as emotional hygiene. He states we should be “Taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.”
- Home manicure/pedicure
- Quiet bath
- Binge watch television
- Adult coloring book
- Glass of wine outside
I love the outdoors. I find myself needing to disconnect from technology at least twice a month in order to totally recharge. Spending time outside with the kids hiking and camping is the perfect the way to do this. South Carolina has so many outdoor trails it was hard to choose which ones are best. I curated a list of my favorite South Carolina hiking trails from novice to advanced. There are a few you can enjoy as a family, while others are suitable for older more experienced hikers.
Click the links to find out more information about these trails.
Pushing through a workout when you don’t quite feel it is rough. It all comes down to your mental stamina. This is where having a great workout partner can come in handy, but if you don’t have one or if they are taking the day off these three tips can help you get through those workouts yourself.
Embrace the pain
Unless it’s a medical emergency, chances are you hit your wall and just need a little extra push to get yourself through the rest of the workout. It happens to the best of us, just remember you’ll feel better if you complete the workout. Visualize the end of your workout, that’s your goal for the day.
Positive thinking is really the only way to get through the tough workouts. Pick a mantra (or make one up) and repeat it over and over if you have to.
Know When It’s Time To Quit
If you have truly run out of gas there is nothing wrong with quitting. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself, so when all else fails and you just can’t go on, call it a day and pick it back up tomorrow.
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast every morning helps start your day off on the right foot. Here are the top four reasons you should eat breakfast every morning.
- Boost Metabolism
- Energy Boost
- Improved Concentration
- Sets Healthy Example