5 At-Home Workouts that Don’t Require a Gym Membership

5 At Home Workouts that don't Require a Gym Membership

Keeping up with New Year’s resolutions can be tough, especially any workout-related ones that require going outside in crummy Winter weather. In Seattle, it’s been chilly every morning with a mix of downpour and harsh winds. I haven’t been able to muster up courage to brave the winds for any outdoor running, but I have been keeping up with my workout goals. By clearing out a dedicated space at home to workout in, and finding a mixture of programs online to keep things interesting, here are the programs and apps that I’m using to keep up with my fitness goals:

100 Push Up Challenge (iOS app download, website tracker)
This is a program that I started in late 2017. The goal is to be able to do 100 consecutive push ups. When I started, I could only do 6 or 8 in a single go. After a couple weeks of the program, I was able to get up to 18! It’s really impressive to think how fast my body was able to build up the endurance and strength. The app is great for tracking your weekly progress and timing for each rep. The website is also another great option if you’re looking to go at your own pace.

The 30 Day, 100 Squat Challenge (link to program)
Squats have always been one of my favourite exercises. I did the squats version of the 100 Push Up Challenge a few years ago while training for the Seattle to Portland bike ride and loved it! There’s a new variation of this workout that has 3 different types of squats (instead of a single, basic squat) that helps build up the ability to do 100 squats in a single rep in 30 days (including rest days).

7 Minute Workout (iOS app download)
The 7 Minute Workout is one of my all-time favourite workout apps! My usual excuse to get out of working out is that the sessions “take to long”. With this app, 7 minutes feels like nothing in a 24 hour day. With minimal equipment and setup, you can get through these sessions really quickly and feel like you’ve had a well rounded workout. The only downside of this program is that it does feel repetitive with the same set of exercises and reps to be completed each session. However, mixing the 7 Minute Workout with something like the Squat Challenge of Push Up Challenge brings easy variation.

3 Minute Arm Workout (Beginner and Intermediate options)
Similarly to the 7 Minute Workout, the 3 Minute Arm Workout is a small time commitment focused on toning the arms. I like to do these exercises when watching TV or listening to Podcasts. As someone who suffers from “bingo wings”, I’ve been loving these exercises. Each set is only 30 seconds and the workouts don’t require any extra equipment. I do have a light set of hand weights that I’ll sometimes add in for an extra challenge.

12-Pose Yoga Sequence (Pose instructions and flow sequence)
This sequence is such a lovely way to start the day! A simple, 12-pose flow to wake the body up and get energized for the day. Spending about 20 minutes to do this every other morning has been a great way to start off the day. Nothing compares to the calmness after clearing your mind and doing a short sequence to wake up the body!

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A Note on New Year’s Resolutions & Link Roundup

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Wishing you all a Happy New Year and welcome to 2018!! With the winter holidays always comes quality time with the family, laying low to re-energize, and digging deep to set intentions for the new year. The last couple of weeks were a much needed break and I’m more excited than ever to jump back into the thick of things.

No matter how big or small, I like to set a small number actionable goals for myself each year. Treating resolutions like a to-do list helps me to stay focused! At the start of every month, I look over my list of resolutions and make a mental note of how close I am to achieving each one. If something feels like “how hanging fruit”, I’ll try to get it done before the end of the first quarter. The act of checking each one off gives quite the feeling of accomplishment, too!

One of my goals for 2018 is to share more content from the community instead of constantly feeling like I have to pen my own unique content. There are so many other bloggers out there creating incredible content– why not share the love?

Nicole of Writes Like a Girl does a monthly series of small goals. Instead of one lofty list of resolutions to tackle year-round, she has a short list of actionable goals that get updated at the end of each month. Tackling something in piecemeal like this can be much easier to stomach.

Jenn of Hello Rigby shared a great guest post on “5 Things I’m Going to Stop Doing”, which I really enjoyed. This list contained small accomplishments that could be achieved on the daily, like not over apologizing or over committing.

Deb of The Broke Minimalist penned a thoughtful list of “5 Pieces of Advice While Enduring Life’s Challenges”. Included in this list, Deb shares an easy way to save $1000 every year by making a simple switch in her daily habits. Although I’m totally guilty of this bad habit, seeing the breakdown of how this routine is affecting my bank account helped me realize how unnecessary it is and how I can be better about controlling my spending.

How are your New Year’s resolutions writing/tracking going?

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5 Homemade Christmas gifts that don’t look handmade

5 Handmade Christmas gift ideas

We’re less than 2 weeks away from Christmas and the scramble for gifts and stocking stuffers is in full swing! I have a personal goal for always buying handmade or from independently owned businesses for at least 50% of gifts given. This year, I’m going a step further to augment this number by making some of the gifts myself.

One stereotype of handmade gifts is that they look like kitschy art class projects. That’s not always the case! Below are some homemade Christmas gift ideas that don’t look handmade. The final product of each can easily be mistaken for something store bought! If you’re still in a pinch for gifts, here are 5 of my favourite DIY projects which are perfect homemade Christmas gifts:

Dinosaur Succulent Planter by Maggie Overby Studios
The perfect gift for anyone who loves plants or is looking to be a new plant mom! I bought a giraffe-shaped succulent planter from a craft fair a few years ago, and there are a ton of them available on Etsy as well. In Maggie’s blog post, she shares how she got 50% off her dinosaur figures!

Clay Ring Dish by SAH-RAH
The toughest part of polymer clay projects is getting the finish right. This tutorial walks through using interesting materials for texture. It also shows how the right finishing polish can make polymer clay look like it has a ceramic finish!

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