My Favourite YouTube Workouts

fav youtube workouts

Its not a secret that I love to workout at home. Getting dressed and going out into the cold just seems to derail me from my workout goals. If I can get a workout in at home I am more likely to do it. While I know I work harder in a group fitness class or with other people, sometimes that just isn’t possible. Any workout is better than no workout.

My love of working out at home has led me to discover many different workouts on the internet. YouTube is an amazing thing. I can have access to a cardio workout, strength, yoga, Pilates workout or try something totally new. Today have I have put together a few of my favorite YouTube workouts. Check them out. You never know, you might discover something new and gain some motivation to get your sweat on!

I actually own this on DVD but I have watched it on YouTube when I am away from home or missing my copy. Jillian Micheals isn’t always my go-to fitness instructor. I am not into the drill Sargent type of motivation. However, she has some killer workouts and this one is a good old simple workout. This workout has three levels of difficulty so you can pick your level. I love the circuit style, it goes by super quick.

Class Fit Sugar is AMAZING!! If you haven’t discovered these yet, you may live under a rock. They are all over Pinterest and the rest of the internet. Even still they are worth saving. Most of the workouts are 10 minutes long, which is all well and good, but if you are looking for something more this one is something to try. I love this workout it kicks my but and works muscles I can sometimes forget.

This is an oldie but a goodie. This burn and firm Pilates workouts will kill you bum. In a good way of course. I discovered this workout at my local library on DVD many years ago. It definitely contributed to my love of Pilates. Years later I was excited to find it on YouTube. I love the cardio and standing portion, it makes for a balanced and challenging workout.

Denise Austin is a staple. You can’t go wrong. I haven’t done many dance inspired workouts in a while but every once in a while I get the desire to dance! I am a sucker for dance aerobics.

Class Fit Sugar for the win again! This workout is broken up into chunks that focus on specific muscle groups. Its great when I want a full body workout with very little equipment.

Thanks for reading my favorite YouTube workouts. I hoped it motivated you to get active. And thanks for the great Linkup Heather!

 

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WIAW: Running on Oats

Happy WIAW! I am starting to really like these posts. Sharing what I have been eating encourages me to get more creative with my meals and stay accountable with my eating. As part of my November Goals I am counting calories again with My Fitness Pal. I am trying to stay within my calorie count but am also focusing on staying (mostly) dairy free and eating veggies and fruits every day. So far I have been doing pretty well. Here are my eats from yesterday.

Breakfast:

WIAW nov 7

The easiest way for me to eat a healthy breakfast with lots of fruit in it is a fruit smoothie. Right now I am alternating between smoothies and baked oatmeal for breakfast. I am keeping it dairy free by using vegan protein powder and Silk Almond Coconut Blend Milk. I like it much better than straight almond or straight coconut milk. Nothing is as good as cow’s milk though, sigh.

Pre-Run Snack

granola bar nov 7

Yesterday I didn’t work so I made the most of my extra time by going for a morning run. I won’t say it was my best run ever, but I had great weather and felt good about myself afterwards. To fuel my run I ate some oats. That is, I ate a homemade pumpkin chocolate chip granola bar. These are becoming a staple in our house. They are so good!

running selfie nov 7

Well, apparently I have still not figured out how to take a good running selfie. I look evil in this picture. In reality I am actually just very sweaty and short for breath. Thank goodness I can throw a filter on my pictures and save you from the real flaming freckled face in this picture.

Lunch:

nov 7 collage

After my run I got super cold and spent my afternoon snuggled up on the couch working on my computer and catching up on some day time TV. For lunch I made myself some bean and ham soup and I couldn’t resist throwing some sweet potato fries in the over. They are so good! The soup warmed me right up and it was a tasty lunch.

Afternoon Snack

bannana choc muffin

These are so good! This is a basic muffin recipe that I have molded and molded enough that I think I can call it my own. I will be sharing it later on. These are fairly healthy banana chocolate chip muffins. While I was enjoying a day off I thought I would take care of some of the brown bananas I had thrown in our freezer. I always have good intentions of eating the bananas bu then they go bad. Luckily I finally was able to make some muffins and I was so glad because they made an awesome snack.

Dinner

sheppards pie

One of my all time favourites is Sheppard’s Pie. I make it all the time. If you have been reading my posts for a while you probably already know about my love of Sheppard’s Pie. Well, we are eating from our stock pile this week and I had veggies and ground turkey in the freezer. What does that equal? Sheppard’s Pie! I was so excited to have something warm and nutritious ready and waiting for dinner. It was quick and fueled me up for boot camp.

Yesterday was such a great day. I loved fitting in two workouts and doing some lounging and baking. If only everyday could be that way. Back to work today! Good thing we still have lots of left overs in the fridge. Make sure to check our Jenn and the WIAW Linkup!

Friday Favourite Workouts

TGIF!!!!! And Happy Halloween! Oh my goodness I have never been so happy to see a Friday in my life. This week has just drawn on and on forever. It has been a  stressful one and I am happy to see it go. Luckily the weekend is on its way and its going to be a good one. Of course there’s Halloween if your into things like that lol, and I am headed to Kingston on Saturday to visit my brother and maybe do a bit of shopping. I can’t wait I love ktown and my brother of course!

This week I have been thinking a lot about my favorite workouts. I am starting really having a hard time committing myself to more than a run or two a week and am looking for more in my workouts. I also think my body needs different conditioning that running just can’t provide. There is just too much out there to move in only one way.

fridays favorite things

Today I am going to share my top 5 favourite workouts. I like all sorts of things and it really does depend on my mood. I am a Gemini and I have that whole multiple personality thing going for me. I have a short attention span and get bored easily. I need to mix things up.

1. Running!

Running is still one of my favourite fitness activities. Even though I seem to be in a running slump right now, I still love running. Nothing else gives me that full body feeling of “I’ve worked hard.” I still love the runner’s high. And I still love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I run. Its so amazing to get outside at any time of year and push my body to its limit.

This month I have signed up for Run, Eat, Repeat’s Pile on the Miles. I have made the goal to run at least 10k a week. I think this is a manageable goal. Especially because I am still playing with the idea of half marathon training. I have pulled out the winter running gear and I am ready to get moving.

fallrun5

2. Boot Camp Group Classes

This is a somewhat new discovery for me. I have been neglecting strength training for too long. Boot camp reminds me how amazing it is to train to be strong. I have stronger arms, legs and abs since starting a weekly boot camp class. In the next couple of months I plan on taking on 2 boot camp classes a week. I love group fitness classes. It is fun to make new friends and have support while you workout.

3. Piloxing

This is one I haven’t been able to do since we moved. I haven’t been able to find a Piloxing class in my town. This makes me really sad and I am still looking. Piloxing is a mix of Pilates, Cardio Boxing and Dance. It is an amazing, high paced, intense workout. I love it! I used to do it twice a week and I miss it sooo much! I am ordering the DVD and going to try doing it on my own every once in a while. I know it won’t be the same as taking a class with a qualified instructor but it might help me get in my fix.

4. Tabatta’s and Circuit Workouts

Whats better than working out in front of your favourite TV show? Nothing as far as I’m concerned. I love to get out of bed put on my workout gear, roll out my mat, get it done and get in the shower without putting on a coat or shoes. Getting out and working out outside and with other people is great and all but sometimes I just don’t feel too sociable. I want to get it done super fast and with as little interruption as possible. Circuit workouts or tabattas are awesome. I can get sweaty and build strength with little equipment or a gym.

5. Pilates

I love Pilates, it kicks my butt whenever I  go to a class. Pilates makes me feel strong and lean. It is also really easy to do at home with the help of a DVD or YouTube. I find my flexibility slipping farther and farther away these days. Actually, lets me serious, I was never flexible. I failed the flexibility test in high school (but really that shouldn’t even be a test.)

Thanks so much for the link-up Heather!

Housewife Glamour

 

 

 

My Most Productive Day: My 5 Essentials for Productivity

Five Essentials foR Productivity

Recently I was contacted my Kabbage.com asking me to put together a post answering the question, what are my five essentials for productivity? Kabbage is a community that helps entrepreneurs succeed with their goals. You should check out their site if you are interested.

This idea of my five essential tools for productivity got me thinking. What tools do I use to stay focused and on task? What does my most productive day look like? To answer these questions I went through my most productive day and pin pointed my five essentials for productivity.

My Day Starts

My most productive day starts with an early wake up call. I am the poster child for the early bird. I rarely sleep past 8am, (maybe on New Years Day). When I do sleep in past my normal 7am wake up time I feel like I am missing out. You can get SO MUCH done before noon if you commit yourself. Those early morning hours are always my most productive and set the tone for my whole day. The house is quiet, its cool and there is lots of light. I can workout and clean and have everything in working order before my morning shower. Mornings make me feel happy and inspire me to do the best in my day.

at the lake

Essential Tool for Productivity #1: Morning Workout

Right along with getting my butt out of bed bright and early is literally getting my butt moving. Nothing gets me more energized and ready to go than an awesome sweat session. Plus, getting a workout into my day is being productive. I am most likely to workout in the morning, that’s when I have the most energy and motivation. If I can get that run/strength session/Pilates in bright and early, I am set on the healthy and productive path for the rest of the day.

going to bootcamp

Essential Tool for Productivity #2: Good Food and Lots of Water

To get lots done in a day you need lots of fuel. Putting good food and lots of water in my body makes me feel good. When I feel good I do more. If I have a sugary breakfast or skip lunch and eat too many treats I start to feel like a slug. I end up getting stuck to the couch and the day seems to slip into nothingness. Before I know it nothing has been accomplished and I have wasted my time. I hate wasting time!

The second part to this combination is water or tea. Having a big cup of water or tea beside me not only refreshes and hydrates me, it gives me a sneaky break from my work. When I am home working away on a project I often need time to process. This can mean getting up and moving around. Sometimes when I am processing I will get distracted by the TV or something else and abandon what I need to get done. Making a cup of tea is a short task that gets me out of my chair, with a purpose, and gives me just enough of a break to feel good and recharge before getting back to work.

all you need is tea

Moving Into the Afternoon

During my most productive day, I have worked out, cleaned the house, eaten breakfast, done the dishes, showered and am working on my to-do list well before noon. This is exactly the way I like it. I have a lot of energy bouncing around inside of me. When I have a lot of sit down jobs to get done, like school work, emails, job applications, blog posts or anything else, I need to get some of that energy out before I can get started. All of that morning stuff was important, productive work but it also tires me out. Being slightly tired helps settle my brain and lets me focus in on my other tasks.

Essential for Productivity #3: Lists and Calendars

This is a big one. I am a list person. I like to make long lists with very specific things on them. That way, even if I do a small part of a larger task, I can scratch something off of my list. I write lists on my computer, in my day planner, in my notebook and on sticky notes EVERYWHERE. When I am stressed out about a large task or a busy week I write a list. Having a list of everything I need to accomplish puts me at ease and lets me digest everything I need to do. I also put all of my personal and professional tasks on one list. That way, by the time I sit down at my desk around noon, I can scratch off a few things that I got done in the morning. There`s nothing more motivating than scratching something off my list!

lists and sticky notes

When you got shopping with me for a new day planner, count on it taking a while and possibly drive you to crave wine or hard liquor. Or at least that is what Josh says. I am very particular about my day planner. It has to have large spots for writing lists on each day. It also needs to have monthly calendars for the entire year all together in one spot. That way I can look at my whole year at once. This is something I picked up in University. Say you were looking at October and all of the assignments and tests you had for October. Then the end of October came on a Tuesday and all of a sudden its November, but you haven’t looked at your November calendar and didn’t think about that essay that was due on Thursday. Perhaps you are an organized person that can remember to flip through a few pages to check out November, but I am not. I need to see every month right next to each other so I can take in everything with no surprises.

calendars and lists

Fighting The Afternoon Slump

When the afternoon comes along I have hopefully gotten quite a few things off of that to-do list and am starting to slow my productivity speed. I usually get a sleepy slump around 2. If taking a nap is out of the question I have to find ways to wake up and get back to work. This sometimes looks like reaching into the cookie jar or scouring for something salty. Since I try my hardest to steer myself towards the healthier option that tea or a healthy snack really comes in handy here. Another option might be my essential tool for productivity #4.

 Essential Tool for Productivity #4: Songza

I am not always a music person. I usually choose the house to be nice and quiet when I am trying to work. But there are times when a little music motivates me to keep going, get that dusting done or pump out a few more reps. I love to use Songza when I am working around the house, need an energy boost or am just hanging out. I love that you can pick your activity and the site will give you different options of playlists. This lets me discover music I might not have otherwise heard of. Hearing new and different music motivates me and makes my work fun.

Winding Down in the Evening

As the day wears on I definitely take time to relax and unwind. By evening time I have crossed everything off of my list for the day and I am done. My body and mind are tired and its time to relax and have some fun. If there is anything left to do it will probably get put on a list for another day. If I have had my most productive day I am feeling accomplished and proud of what I have done. Its okay to leave things for another time.

Essential for Productivity #5: A Clean Space

There is one more thing that I need in order to be productive. If there is one thing I might spend time during my evening getting done it is this, cleaning up. I can’t feel comfortable in my space if it is not clean. I don’t mean sterile clean, I just need neat and tidy. Clean counter tops, sinks a made bed are musts. I always take time before doing any other task to make sure I am in a neat environment. This sometimes means cleaning up the night before to make sure that everything I need is done.

Thanks for sharing in my most productive day! I hope my tools and ideas have inspired you to build your most productive day. Get motivated, get moving and get things done. And at the end of it all make sure to get a good nights sleep.

Thursday Thoughts: Crazy Dreams and Thanksgiving Plans

Happy Thursday! I am taking the day to rest up and hopefully get over this cold. I am one of those unfortunate people who get hit hard with illness and have a hard time getting over it. 😦 I’m a work in progress.

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Once again this Thursday I am linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for Thinking out loud Thursdays. I am all over the place this week with work, being sick and getting ready for Canadian Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays so I am really excited for the festivities this weekend. Hopefully you enjoy my random Thursday thoughts!

1. Crazy reoccurring dreams!

Over the past few months I have been having the same dream a few times every once in a while. In this dream I find out that I have signed up to take a course but have not gone or done any of the work for the course until the end of the semester. The dream is always a bit different, sometimes its a high school math course, the other night I had signed up for a whole semester of English courses and hadn’t read a single book. This always results in utter panic as I try and catch up for the exam. Then I wake up thinking I have homework I need to do, when I know this isn’t possible.

These dreams have been driving me crazy. They are the type of dream that feels real and sticks with you for a long time. So I finally did some research to try and figure out why I might be having these dreams. I wouldn’t say I am the type of person to buy into things like horoscopes or dream analysis, but the added information is nice to have. Even if I might not agree with it. After searching the internet for a bit I found out that to dream about forgetting a class indicates that you have a fear of failing. You might have a lack of self-confidence in your ability to deal with responsibilities. This hit the mark pretty close with me. Right now I have a lot of stress going on, trying to pay bills on a smaller income, trying to get closer to our wedding dreams, finding a better job, loosing weight. There are a lot of responsibilities and part of me is probably afraid I can’t live up to expectations. There really isn’t anything I can do about this, I just hope acknowledging these things will stop the dreams.

2. Thanksgiving Plans

IMG00022-20111009-1545

Thanksgiving is always a nice warm, cozy time of year. I love my big extended family and I always enjoy seeing everyone and spending time eating good food and enjoying the season. Canadian Thanksgiving is in October and this is something I am truly thankful for. I can’t imagine celebrating so close to Christmas or seeing snow on the ground while we eat our turkey. It just wouldn’t be the same.

During Thanksgiving weekend we visit a local craft show, take a drive to see the fall colours and visit a family cottage for our big dinner. This picture was taken a few years ago on a walk at the cottage. I can’t wait!

3. Who has seen/read Gone Girl?

Do not spoil anything for me! I haven’t read the book or seen the movie YET. I do plan on these things very soon, but I am having a problem. Don’t freak out but I like to see the movie before I read the book. I know, this is different than most of the world. When I worked in a library I got all sorts of crazy looks and comments about this. But I have a theory about this that works for me, take it or leave it. I think reading the book after seeing the movie is the way to go. This is because I often find the movie a let down compared to the book. When you read a book first you have expectations that usually are let down by a sub-par movie. This leaves you not liking the movie. I find that when I see the movie without having read the book I like the movie on its own, having a positive experience. And then when I read the book afterwards it will be better, another positive experience. That way nothing is ruined and I am happy with both the book and movie for different reasons.

With Gone Girl I am really not sure whether I should read the book or see the movie first. This is a pretty intense story with lots of surprises. I am not sure if I want to be surprised by the movie or book. Any help with this would be much appreciated.

Gone Girl

4. Workout Rescue

I need some help. This cold has knocked me on my butt and I have missed all of my planned workouts for this week. This is making me really sad. I know I need to listen to my body and not workout right now. My chest is tight and sore and my body needs rest. But this doesn’t stop my head from worrying about what tole this is taking on my weight or fitness level.

To help combat this I have been looking for some new and exciting workouts to try out when I feel better. I love seeing what other people are doing to keep fit. If you have any workout ideas to share let me know. I am focusing on collecting short and intense workouts to try out after work. Fitting in longer workouts is getting harder but I think short and hard workouts will be easier.

Tabata Workout: Four different tabatas that will leave you dripping in sweat!

 

5. Happy Anniversary Josh!

Last night Josh and I were in the kitchen getting ready for dinner with he looked at me and said “Happy Anniversary Honey.” I looked at him and felt like an idiot. I had totally forgotten that yesterday was our 7 year anniversary. Luckily Josh had also forgotten until that exact moment. We both laughed about how sad that was. We had previously discussed not celebrating in any big way this year, but not to remember at all seemed sad. Luckily we at least had a nice home cooked meal to enjoy together and a special dessert we had picked up without realizing the occasion.

Josh and I got together at the end of high school and have had many years or fun and love together. We got engaged in February and are very excited to start our lives as married people in the near future. Forgetting our anniversary was maybe not the high point in our relationship but we love each other very much. He is truly my best friend and favourite person. We will plan a nice date night in the near future and do a little celebration.

After Josh Proposed! On out favorite ice rink after an around town scavenger hunt!

After Josh Proposed! On out favorite ice rink after an around town scavenger hunt!

Happy anniversary handsome man!!

 

Pilates and Pumpkin Cookies

Hi friends!

I hope everyone is having a good Friday and excited for the weekend, I know I am. Today was an awesome day full of fun and some awesome pumpkin baking. Today we got some true fall weather. The sun was shining and there was a crispness in the air. Although I am still grieving the very short and cold summer we just had, I love the fall. It is my favourite season and I am very grateful to be able to enjoy it.

Perhaps I should have gotten up and taken advantage of the awesome weather to go for a run outside, but for some reason that didn’t occur to me until right now. I think that’s because I got it in my head that I wanted to hit up a step and Pilates class this morning. I haven’t been to a step class in years. I used to really like step aerobics. It has gone out of style in the fitness world though and I have moved on to other things.

I love Pilates but I haven’t had the chance to go to a class in three years. I don’t have a gym membership so I would have to find a class to sign up for that works in my schedule. I am also VERY picky when it comes to Pilates. I used to take a class a few years ago with an AMAZING instructor. Her classes always killed me and were so much fun. She had every move perfectly matched to the music and made the time go by super fast even when you bum felt like it was on fire. I really miss it, she doesn’t teach anymore and since then no Pilates class has lived up. Maybe I’m a snob? But common, if I’m paying for something I want to enjoy myself.

This morning’s classes kicked my butt. Seriously. I am so sore right now I am seriously considering a bubble bath. I work out, like all the time. I do tons of squats and bur-pees and tons of stuff. I run for an hour at a time and still go on with my day like no big deal. How can Pilates be so hard? Well it can. If you are not a regular Pilates doer, your first class kills. Apparently I am neglecting millions of tiny mean muscles all over my body that are retaliating on me right now. Its pretty awesome, I’m embracing the burn and using this feeling to remind myself to start searching for a new Pilates class. I think this needs to be in my regular routine.

After my workout adventures I got down to some serious business. Baking cookies. I have a wedding shower to attend tomorrow and was asked to bring a desert. Does anyone get super nervous when they have to attend a pot-luck? I do. Probably because it is a joke in my family that I can’t cook. Plus I never know what to make, I hate having to by tons of ingredients, and I usually forget about it until half an hour before the event and end up being the guest who brings something lame and store bought. Ugh. Not this time though! I will have something wonderful, tasty and homemade to contribute. I decided to bake these delicious pumpkin-oat chocolate chip cookies.  I had a pretty cute baking partner today.

finnick collage

Apparently Finnick loves baking. I swear he got a bit creepy by the end of the day. Every time I turned around he was staring at me. He also seems to love pumpkin. Actually both my cats are little mooches and I have too keep a close eye whenever I a baking. I have caught Marley sitting in the sink licking dirty dishes before. I swear we are not crazy cat people, we just have crazy cats. Finnick’s company did make the cookie adventure more fun. Making cookies is a lot of work. I think its the numerous batches. You end up baby-sitting the cookies all afternoon, setting timers scooping batter and all sorts of stuff. Good thing the cookies were worth it!

pumpkin oat chocolate chip cookies

They might not look like the pictures on Cooking Classy but I can honestly say they might be my new favourite cookie recipe. Or at least Josh’s new favourite cookie recipe. He loves pumpkin and instantly requested these every week for the rest of eternity after trying one. I think they are going to be a crowd pleaser!

They taste like fall and I think the best part was I succeeded in trying two then putting the rest away in their container and have no desire to binge of them at all. That’s awesome for me. I like to bake but know I can’t make goodies without eating them all. And making them to share always back fires because I usually eat too many to share them and then end up eating them all. Wow that sounds terrible. Let’s just say I have been trying to avoid baking in order to stay balanced and on track. not diving into these cookies is a big step and very promising.

Well I am off to that bubble bath, happy weekend!

This Week’s Workouts

this weeks workouts

This week I challenged myself to workout every day from Sunday to Thursday. I had a very gluttonous weekend last week and am headed for a cottage weekend with friends (and treats) this weekend. So as part of my stay on track plan, I wanted to workout everyday for five days straight. I did really well! Some of my workouts were longer and more difficult than others, but I mixed it up and even tried something new.

Sunday: 40 Minute Living-Room Circuit

Sunday night I felt like the couch, not just the couch potato. I decided the only way to feel better was to pump out a killer workout. I sent Josh out and got down to business. Of course with a furry friend or two. The workout included cardio and a full body strength workout. I felt better when I was done.

 

photo (7)

Monday: Boot Camp

Monday’s boot camp was a really tough one! I loved it of course! My shoulders and arms were soar the next day but it was worth it.

Tuesday: Scary Gym Workout

Tuesday Josh and I took on his scary 24 hour gym for a workout. You can read more about it here.

Wednesday: 6k Run

Wednesday night it was drizzling out and Josh came home very grumpy. Despite these things, we got dressed and headed to run club. The 10k group had a 4k planned with a 6k option. Josh and I missed our long run this Sunday so we took the 6k option. I was really happy we did because it was an awesome run!

The route was full of hills and was pretty tough. I was a bit worried about it but it turned out fine. I felt super strong and got up all of the hills with no issues. I also picked up my pace and maintained it for the whole run. My stomach was a bit upset near the end of the run but that didn’t stop me. I seriously felt like I could have run the extra kms home after our run. The weather was windy and cool and the drizzle didn’t bother me at all. I felt great and wish every run could be like that.

practice session

Thursday: Fitsugar Workout

Thursday morning I wanted to do something a bit different. My body was feeling tired and I wasn’t interested in a run, and I also wanted to make sure to include some ab work. I decided to try this workout from Fitsugar. I have done a bunch of their workouts before and some have been great and some not so great. This one is pretty killer. It reminds me of the Piloxing classes I used to take. The workout included cardio and lots of strength training with light weights. It got me really sweaty and burned a lot. Its definitely worth a try if you are looking for an intense but somewhat quick workout.

This week I challenged myself to workout everyday for five days straight. I succeeded! I worked out everyday this week. Even though not all of those workouts were super long they were all challenging in their own way. I feel strong and healthy and I know that moving my body has made me feel this way. Next week I would like to get another five workouts in but focus more on running. Our next race will be here before we know it and its time to train!

What was your favourite workout of the week?