Coffee Chat #1

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you may have noticed that I very rarely share information about my personal, day-to-day life. Most of my blog posts are focused on a specific topic. I do that on purpose because one, my life isn’t very interesting to write about and two, I personally prefer reading this type of blog compared to blogs that post daily recaps.

Sometimes, though, I have random tidbits I want to share with you that don’t really fit in with any of my scheduled posts. So I’m introducing a new series on the blog called Coffee Chat where I share things I would tell you about if we were on a coffee date.

(I kind of started doing this last summer with my Randomness Posts, here, here, and here, but I thought Coffee Chat sounded more fun. Plus it gives us both an excuse to drink coffee!)

So grab a cup of coffee (or your drink of choice) and let’s talk! I hope you’ll chat back with me in the comments so it’s like we’re really hanging out 🙂

Coffee Chat

Okay, first things first, please go watch this video and tell me you find it as funny as I do! I woke Chase up the first time I watched it because I was laughing so hard. It’s hard to pick a favorite part. Maybe when he’s going through the different types of bread? It’s hilarious to watch him poke fun at fad diets but also kind of scary because there are people who actually believe those things.

IMG_7092

I finally caved this week and bought myself some clothes that fit. Since I stay at home with Chase and we’re trying to save money, I hadn’t bought any post pregnancy clothes, instead relying on maternity leggings and Ryan’s race T-shirts to get me through this stage. However after having a mini-breakdown last weekend that we had people coming over and I didn’t have anything semi-cute to wear, I decided it was worth spending the money. Fortunately, we received Kohl’s gift cards for Christmas, so I used those to treat myself to a pair of jeans, sweater, and these super soft, flattering shirts. It’s amazing how much better I feel now when seeing people or leaving the house. And yes, Chase has one sock on in the picture. Real life here.

Any other This Is Us fans? I binged the show the first few weeks after Chase was born and am so excited that new episodes are on. Thoughts on Tuesday’s episode? I just want to know how Jack died already!

Also, I need a new Netflix or On Demand show to binge. Chase and I spend a lot of time nursing and cuddling while he’s asleep. I love it but I still need entertained while he’s snoozing. Any suggestions?

I start school again on the 22nd and I’m legitimately concerned that I might forget. Days don’t seem to matter as much when you’re hibernating at home with a new baby and it would be really easy to miss the start date. I’m eager to continue working on my degree but can’t say I’m excited to have to focus on something other than Chase.

Check this out-Jazzercise is finally getting recognized as a current workout! In the seven years that I’ve been a part of Jazzercise, I’ve heard so many 80’s and leg warmer jokes; sometimes I’ll say I’m a fitness instructor instead of a Jazzercise instructor because I don’t feel like following up with “it’s actually a great workout!” This makes me so happy to see it listed with current, popular workouts like Pure Barre and BeachBody. Have I convinced you to try a class yet? You can find one near you here. Let me know if you love it!

I think that’s all I have for this week. Tell me something from your week below! And because it’s a coffee date, I have to ask

What’s your favorite coffee drink? –At home, I drink coffee with a splash of whole milk and cinnamon. At a coffee shop, I like to treat myself to a vanilla latte.

 

 

 

Jazzercise Best of 2017

I have a post for you today from a very special guest-my mom! I wanted to put together a post with the best Jazzercise routines from 2017 but as I was looking through the songs, I realized there were several I hadn’t done or didn’t remember. When I realized I couldn’t write the post, my mom graciously stepped in.

IMG_0170

She’s been an instructor for almost 6 years now (we first certified together back in April 2012) and has the reputation at her center of being a kick-butt instructor. I can attest to this, as her classes always leave me sore! I’ll turn it over to her now. Enjoy! 

The Best Routines of 2017

Since Kaci was sidelined for much of 2017 taking care of herself and Baby Chase, she asked me to review the routines I liked best from 2017. Looking back through the playlists of R1-17 through R4-17, I found I had 34 routines that I considered go-to routines. Since no one wants a blog that long, I went through and picked out my top picks for the year – routines that I will definitely do over and over.

One of the differences in my and Kaci’s teaching styles, is that I love to sing with my class. I can’t necessarily carry a tune but that doesn’t stop me for belting out the tunes.  So sometimes my favorite routines are based on the song and interactions my class and I have. However, I am known as a bit of a tough instructor, so sometimes my choices are based on how hard the routine makes us work and if it keeps my heart rate up. And of course, the fun element always plays a part in determining a good routine.

Cardio routines that my classes and I enjoyed include:

Already All Ready: This upbeat routine has great lower body and core work highlighted by hip rolls – a unique move that was so fun. We like to pretend we were getting ready to take the stage in Vegas with this burlesque move.

Strip That Down is a high energy routine with booty shakes and hip circles that my classes asked to do week after week. Using this routine to end the cardio part of class always left me and my clients smiling.

Another routine that utilized booty shakes to add core and glute work during cardio was Perm. Have you figured out yet that I love a good booty shake? This Bruno Mars song could be used in Strike classes (a format based on kickboxing) because the jabs with plié step ups gave me a funky variation to break up that format from just the usual jabs.  Plus we loved singing this one, “Don’t be stingy with your big ole’ butt. Gotta be like WHOA!”

Ed Sheerhan’s Castle on the Hill was a pumping routine with strong moves.  Plus I could just listen to his voice all day. He made throwing up with his friends sound delightful! People in my class really appreciated me pointing out those lyrics. 😉

Routines that really got the heart rate up included Steppin’ and Insecure. Insecure was a surprise favorite for me because when I first heard the song and saw the routine, I thought, “Meh, this one might be okay.”  Holy Cow – this one gets the heart rate up and the sweat flowing!

My work out buddies and I really enjoyed Do Something Crazy. What can we say – it includes a shimmy, one of my very favorite moves!  “Got fireworks, got booze. Let’s blow something up!”

Feel It Still seemed to cause a little difference of opinion between generations. Those of us who could relate to the 60’s inspired walk with arms alternating overhead loved the move and the routine.

Finally Work by Lil Jon had a great beat, very apropos words and a chest pump, hip shake break that makes you forget how hard you are working.

Strength training is my favorite part of the workout, and my classes accuse me of “teri-cising” them [her name is Teri]. I think they exaggerate. LOL I tend to take my strength routines to the floor, so those I selected as my top choices are mostly based on the floor versions.

Upper body favorites are Rockabye, Call on Me, FIYAH, and Crying in the Club which all incorporate some lower body work also – why not get in as much muscle work as possible?

Believer is a rarity because I love it using the resistance tubes. The trap work at first seems relatively easy and then “PAIN” as you lift the arms overhead! Plus I really like the artist, Imagine Dragons.

However, my nemesis of the upper body routines is Swish Swish on the floor. This is a unique routine that works the muscle in a different way than they are used to working by doing flies while on all fours. OUCH! It is definitely a challenge to get through!

Ab routines are some of my favorites and 2017 brought some tough ones. Lyin’ to Myself really engages the lower abdominals with bicycle moves and leg crosses low to the floor. Double OUCH! Friends was a surprise for me. It doesn’t seem like it should be that challenging but I always feel my abs after I do it. Slumber Party is one of the few ab routines I really like standing. The side reaches really make you use the obliques.

Then there are the leg routines that make us groan: Surfin’ makes the inner thighs quiver. Most Girls has dead lifts! When done correctly, and it does take some instruction to help clients do it correctly, dead lifts let the glutes know that you’ve worked them for days. Human works both the abs and inner thighs and is actually versatile for me as I like it both standing and on the floor.

Finally to end class, my favorite stretch is Say You Won’t Let Go. This song has really positive lyrics and some long, full body stretches. On My Way has good core work incorporated in with the stretching. My classes are probably tired of Once a Day as I love the leg work in it and with the ball, it is KILLER!  Sun Comes Up has push up – one of my favorite and my classes’ least favorite moves! We do, however, always review the modified variations for push ups so that everyone can be successful.

Overall, I would say that 2017 gave me some routines that I will continue to incorporate into my sets for years to come!

Thanks Mom! Let us know what you thought of 2017 in the comments! 

P.S. I did my best with song links but some might not be the exact version used in the class. And please let me know ASAP if any explicit versions slipped past me.

Questions of the Day

What were your favorite 2017 routines?

What makes a “good” routine for you?

Weekly Workout Recap 1/1-1/7

Happy Monday friends! Ryan says he’s not sure he’s going to make it through the week because it’s been so long since he worked five days in a row. Anyone else feeling the same way after the holidays?

Before we dive into this week’s workouts, I want to take a minute to explain why I share a workout recap each week.

One is for selfish reasons. Writing down and sharing my workouts keeps me accountable and motivated. If you’re ever struggling to get moving, keep track of your workouts for a week; there’s nothing like seeing “rest day” written down three days in a row to get you in gear.

The second reason I share them is related to why I have this blog at all: to show that healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated or make you miserable. Maybe you’re hesitant to start exercising because you dread the idea of running or think the elliptical is boring. Maybe you’re discouraged because you see people on social media doing two or three workouts a day and you don’t have time for that. There’s not just one way to exercise. I strive to find balance and enjoyment in my workouts, and I hope this inspires you to find what’s right for you.

Anyway, moving on to the actual workouts.

My WeekinWorkouts

Monday 1/1- Jazzercise

fullsizeoutput_1fc2

New Year’s Day found me back on stage! It was just for two songs but still a lot of fun. We had a packed class and nine instructors teaching at our NOON Year’s class.

Tuesday 1/2- Jazzercise

I made it back to Jazzercise for a fun Dance Mixx class. I’m still doing primarily low impact but tried a couple of high impact moves. Mostly it felt good to dance.

Wednesday 1/3- 4 mile walk  

fullsizeoutput_1fc5

I needed to clear my head so I packed Chase up in the stroller for a long walk. He was a champ and slept pretty much the whole time. There’s nothing like being outside to give you time to think and my mood was much better by the time we got home. I’m craving a good run now.

Thursday 1/4- Rest day

Friday 1/5- Jazzercise

The instructor named this Flip Fusion class “Shake Yo’ Hips and Shape Yo’ Muscles” and that’s exactly what we did. Flip Fusion is mostly strength routines with a few cardio bursts. It’s designed to mix up your heart rate so I wasn’t able to do it while pregnant. It felt great to do intervals again with decent strength training and I left drenched in sweat.

Saturday 1/6- Postpartum recovery exercises

I kept it simple with some hip raises and pelvic tilts.

Sunday 1/7- 1.2 mile walk and Strength training

Bailey is too much to handle with the stroller so whenever the weather is nice during the weekend, I jump at the chance to take her out alone. Once home, I completed a quick upper body routine of bicep curls, hammer curls, overhead presses, bent over rows, overhead triceps, and tricep dips. Actually I didn’t quite complete it; I meant to do three rounds but ended at two when Chase was done playing on his activity mat.

I’ll say it-working out with a baby is HARD. Other mamas who work out, I admire you. I’m hoping Chase and I will get into more of a routine soon and I’ll be able to fit in more workouts during nap time and mat time. Leaving him to take a Jazzercise class is tough but I know it’s important to carve out me-time and take care of myself.

Questions of the Day

Do you keep track of your workouts using a journal or app? 

Mamas, how do you balance working out and caring for your kiddos?