Top 6 Body Weight Exercises – No Gym Required

top body weight exercises

Body weight exercises are hands down the most convenient exercises simply because they require only floor space rather than equipment. There are a wide variety of effective body weight exercises out there — simply google it and you will see what I’m talking about. Here I’ve listed my top 6 favorites. You can do all 6 in a sequence for an optimal workout, or simply choose one to do to kill time such as I do (see my IG post below – hehe).

Now, on to my favorite body weight exercises! In no particular order…

Push-Ups

You had to know that good ol’ fashioned push-ups would make this list. They work your arms. They also work your core, your quads, your booty, your back — who knew they were a full body move?!

Push-ups are effective regardless of whether you do them on your knees or up on your toes (on your finger-tips or with one arm, for that matter!) as long as you are doing them with the correct form. Speaking of correct form, here are some tips from one of my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors!

Squats

Here is another one that you knew would find on this list. Squats go back to ancient Greek wrestling days… Okay, I totally made that up, but they are one of the best lower body exercises there is. Again, proper form is a MUST to see results plus stay injury free. FitFluential gives a thorough description of what a squat should look like here.

Plank

Whether you do plank up on your hands or down on your elbows, it is one of The. Most. Effective. full-body exercises there is…once again, with proper form. I know, quit harping on us about form! Susie over at Suzlyfe, gives a detailed explanation of proper form in this post. I try and get in at least one minute every day and typically do it right after my run — sometimes even in the grass.

Bridge-Ups

I love to do these post run or post workout. At least in the first 15 seconds it feels like a cool down (almost like child’s pose). However, when held for 2 minutes, that sensation becomes much more painful than any cool down should be! Bridge pose works your hamstrings, calves, core, quads, glutes, shoulders, making it pretty much a full body exercise as well. My goal is 2 minutes per day. If you want to change it up and work more of the inner thigh (and who doesn’t?!) try adding a pillow or yoga block between your knees or one of these other variations from PopSugar Fitness!

Bridge Ups with PopSugar Fitness

Wall Sit

As seen above, I usually do 2 minutes of wall sitting each day — in my dress clothes — at my office. My routine is to do 1 minute while waiting for the Keurig to brew my cup of coffee then repeat for my second cup of coffee. Only once has someone walked into the breakroom to find me sitting on the wall!

Not sure how to do a proper wall sit? Let Tara from A Daily Dose of Fit explain!

Hand Stand

This on is really a bonus and not necessarily one of my favorite moves (mostly because I am not very good at it (case in point, my epic fail video below). That being said, I do enjoy a quick handstand post run, usually in my yard using a tree to help balence me initially (again, see below). In order to hold a good hand stand, you must stay tight all over and focused, which is what makes this such a good full body exercise. For tips, scorll through Cat Valdez’ IG feed.

What body weight exercises are your favorites? Have you ever been caught by one of your co-workers doing a wall sit while waiting for coffee? 🙂

Until Next Time,
Meg

Fall Running and The Ultimate Coffee Date Link-Up

the-ultimate-coffee-date2-1-600x600Hello, friends! I’m actually ahead of the game this month (even though the first Saturday of the month happened to fall on the first day of the month!) Super happy to be joining the Ultimate Coffee Date Link-up hosted by Coco at Running with Perseverance and Deborah at Confessions of A Mother Runner. Please stop by their blogs and thank them for hosting!

If we were having coffee….you’d ask me what is new? Since it has ben FOR.EVER. since we last chatted, I’d have a lot to tell you. I’ve been in my position for a year now and things are going well. I’m happy and content and really really busy! I’d also tell you that I’m still writing freelance for FashionWeek.com and love it. It doesn’t pay much at all, so I’m not in it for the money. It is just fun to keep up on the fashion and beauty scene and write super quick articles. Plus, my hope is that it will get my foot in the door for more opportunities. You can check out my stories here.

If we were having coffee….you’d want to know about my running. I’d tell you that this fall has been tough (actually, summer was tough too). My mileage is way down, but I’m still getting out there. Lately it’s been super dark in the mornings and I’m such a chicken! Twice now I’ve encountered a skunk. The first time I didn’t see it until I was almost on top of it. The good news is, that I scared it as much as it scared me, so we both jumped, one of us screamed, and we ran away from each other. This morning I saw him, but luckily I was about 10 yards from him and managed to run across the highway before getting too close.

If we were having coffee….You would likely ask about my kids. They are growing So. Fast. I cannot get over it. I already have a 7th grader?! What?! How did that happen? It’s been pretty fun for the most part. I’m enjoying junior high sports but not junior high drama. I’m sure it will end….

Great to catch up with you! Can’t wait until next month when we can sit down again over coffee and chat.

Tell me about any tips you have for running in the dark or any funny stories about encounters you’ve had on a dark run.

**Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my two giveaways going on right now: Enter to win 50 customized holiday cards from Basic Invite and sign up with Audible for a free 30-day trial!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Think Out Loud Thursday

Thinking-Out-Loud2Happy Thursday everyone! I’m stopping by to participate in the Thursdays are For Thinking Out Loud link-up hosted by Amanda!

My favorite part about this link-up is that it can be totally random thoughts and I’ve clearly proven over the last several months that I’m not capable of creating an organized blog post at this time in my life. So….here we go!

1. The Great Taper

I have been training for a Half Marathon since February and This. Is. My. Favorite. Week. I am finally to the taper! Some of you know that a full marathon is NOT on my list of things that I want to do before I die and I think the primary reasons for that is the training. I feel like the half marathon training takes up So. Much. Time. as it is that I cannot imagine training for a full. Don’t get me wrong, I commend all those that take on the commitment and I’m inspired by your will, I just don’t have a desire to do it.

sparklyrunnergirl.com

Ahhh, a week of easy mileage!

2. The Half

While we’re on the subject, I have to tell you how nervous I am for the race this Sunday. If you’ve kept up, you know that I suffer from long run anxiety (read my post here) and so I get a queasy feeling in my stomach every time I think about the run. I should also mention that the weather forecast isn’t helping with my anxiety. It is forecast to be raining, windy, and cold at the start. Oh, the joys of running!

sparklyrunnergirl.com

This was the day that I was “lucky” enough to run in both the rain and the wind. I guess I should be thankful for helping me be prepared!

sparklyrunnergirl.com

My girls look cuter than I do in the rain!

3. This crazy thing we call life

As you can tell from my sporadic postings in the last 6 months or so, my life has gotten a little crazy and I’m still trying to find balance. I had a career opportunity open up in late October that I couldn’t pass up, so I’m back to full time work in economic development plus marketing director. When I get home from work the last thing that I want to do is spend more time at the computer and more time away from my kids and husband to write a blog post. In time, I will get a better handle on my time and utilize scheduling tools more effectively, but for now….I’ll participate in things like Think Out Loud Thursday because it allows me flexibility on topics and organization.

4. Vacation anyone

It seems fitting that I follow up #3 with the topic of vacation! In spite of super crazy schedules, we are trying to schedule in some much needed family vacation time. We are hoping to combine it with a trip to see my mother-in-law, who moved to Washington last year. I’m pretty excited to see Seattle, Portland, maybe even the Redwood Forest!

That wraps up my random thoughts for today! I’d love to hear from you!

What are your recommendations for running a half marathon in the wind and rain?

Do you have any vacation plans this summer?

Until Next Time,
Meg

 

10 Minutes Is All You Need

I’m linking up today with Jill Conyers and Jessica Joy for the Fit Dish Link-Up. Today’s optional topic is: If you only have 10 minutes, how do you fit in something healthy?

I love this topic, because the most common excuse for people to skip exercise or don’t pack a healthy lunch (me included) is “I don’t have time.”  As a mom working a full time job outside of the home, I have just as many time suckers as the next person. Yet, my health is a priority and so I find ways to sneak fitness and healthy habits into each day.

That being said, I know that if I don’t get my workout done first thing in the morning before my kids get up and the craziness of the day begins, I know I’m in trouble. So my blog post will be this scenario: I slept through my alarm, my girls are up and hungry…I’m hungry too. So, I skip my morning run, promising myself that I’ll get it in later. Later comes and it is now 97 degrees outside and I know it won’t be cooling off until somewhere in the neighborhood of 3am at which point I will not be running! 

Rather than skip exercising completely and having that guilty feeling all day long, I enlist my girls to do a quick work out with me. They love doing work outs that we find online or we make up our own (see below). They have even created their own workout videos, see Ava’s here!

A couple of my favorite online resources are Amanda Russell and POPSugar Fitness. On both sites, you can find a variety of workouts whether you’re looking for a certain length of time or whether you’re looking to work a certain body part – they have a huge variety.

For today’s scenario, my girls and I came up with our own 10 minute, full body circuit. Here it is!

10 minute full body circuit

How do you fit in something healthy if all you have is 10 minutes? I’d love to hear what you think of our 10 minute circuit!

Until Next Time,
Meg

#1MillionMinutes with Puritan’s Pride

1 Million Minutes

We are one week into the #1MillionMinutes of activity with #SweatPink. The tally is already over 138,000 minutes! To keep things fresh, here is another ad lib in honor of #1MillionMinutes!

I’m so Pumped [adj] to fuel my #1MillionMinutes goals with Puritan’s Pride! All summer I plan to run, stretch, and play [verb] my way to a healthier, fitter me, and I’ll need help staying hydrated and fueled during all my awesome [adj] adventures!

I will make sure I stay on track and will rely on protein shakes [noun] to keep me well fueled before, during and after workouts, and my Favorite water bottle [noun] to keep me hydrated!

I’m most excited to try Whey Protein For Her in Chocolate (product) and Whey Protein Isolate (also in chocolate) (product) from Puritan’s Pride because they look amazingly delicious and effective! (adj).

One supplement I’ve never tried but am curious about is Essential Amino Energy Fruit Fusion [noun]. I think it might make me extra energized for my morning run. [adj].

Bring it, #1MillionMinutes! I’m ready to go!

Let’s hear yours! Simply copy and past the below ad lib for #1MillionMinutes and have some fun with it!  Come back and post your link to your ad lib here and I’ll be sure and share it!

I’m so ______ [adj] to fuel my #1MillionMinutes goals with Puritan’s Pride! All summer I plan to ___________ [verb] my way to a healthier, fitter me, and I’ll need help staying hydrated and fueled during all my ______[adj] adventures!

 

I will make sure I stay on track and will rely on ______________ [noun] to keep me well fueled before, during and after workouts, and my _______ [noun] to keep me hydrated!

I’m most excited to try _______(product) and ________ (product) from Puritan’s Pride because they look _________(adj).

One supplement I’ve never tried but am curious about is _______ [noun]. I think it might make me extra ______[adj].

Bring it, #1MillionMinutes! I’m ready to go!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Five Things Friday

Yay, it’s Friday!! You don’t hear that often from someone that is not working a typical M-F job (Note that I did not say unemployed), but there is still something exciting about a Friday. It just feels different. Of course, that could be because this Friday is the day before a holiday and we actually have plans for the weekend that include watching our nephew play baseball and then getting to hang out with extended family for a couple of days, large fireworks displays, backyard BBQ, and relaxation (hopefully)! So Happy Friday and happy Fourth of July!

Here are a few of the things I’m crushing on at the moment…..

ViewSport Sweat Activated tank top. I received this tank and shorts complimentary for review purposes. The cool thing about these tanks is that they have a hidden message that is displayed only after a sweaty workout (a really tough workout, I might add). Mine says Do It and then with sweat it is supposed to say Don’t Quit. As you can see below, I didn’t sweat enough to activate it (though this was an interval day, and I feel like I could not have sweated any more!). The back says work hard over and over and, as you can see below, I did manage to get that to show up. The shirts come with a variety of sayings and they are always running a sale. In fact, this weekend they are running a 4th of July sale offering 40% off the sale items! Use code 40BOOM at checkout.
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SkimmLife is a daily news brief. The claim: “we read, so you don’t have to, all you have to do is skim”. The great thing about this newsletter is that the writers have such a quick and witty sense of humor and writing style. I love to read it. It has a variety of news articles from US to World to sports to entertainment. Very fun to read. Sign up here.

Six Pack Fitness lunch bag. Mine is the Innovator Mini in PINK of course! My good friend Kiersten got me this lunch bag as a moving away gift (cue the sobs) and I. Love. it.

First of all, you all know how much I love bags of any kind.  I also always take my lunch with me wherever I go so this was the perfect gift for me. It has perfect portion control containers and ice packs (they are pink too!)

My new logo!

I have been wanting a logo for my site and also to use to make a media kit, which on my list for next week’s goals. I posted the question to my fellow SweatPink Ambassadors as well as to Fitfluential Ambassadors for recommendations of affordable and quick logo creaters. Over 70% recommended Fiverr. So I signed up and selected a designer. The designer was so accommodating as she developed over 15 different designs trying to incorpoate all the items and changes that I requested. In the end, she did not give me anything usable, but she did give me inspiration. So I took to photoshop and the internet (for Photoshop Help)

blog logo idea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fourth of July

July One — It’s Go Time

I’m still learning how to take a running selfie!

So not only did I wake up with intention today, but I had one of the most productive days that I’ve had in a while! Lying in bed last night, rather than feeling accomplished as stated in my previous post, I felt invigorated! I was planning out the following day from my daily run to this blog post to what house work I would get completed (or at least started). I woke up earlier than I have since leaving behind my 8-5 daily routine and I was rearing to get going!

Here are the highlights:
I got in a great 4 mile run for #1MillionMinutes plus 10 minutes of stretching with my two daughters for #JourneyToSplits. I also made pancakes with homemade blueberry syrup to celebrate (or maybe grieve) my husband’s official first day at the new job. Then, without delay, I began painting the kitchen. I did not get completely finished with it, but enough to pleasantly surprise my husband (which was my goal)! We topped off the day by doing festive manicures for the Fourth of July.

This is our “before” photo for the 30 day #JourneyToSplits

Sometimes all you need is a new perspective. At the end of last week, I was feeling lost and sorry for myself (to find out why, see my post here). By changing my perspective and living each day with purpose, I feel a great weight off my shoulders. I had an extraordinary and productive day in which I was able to tackle some major home renovation projects and I also got to spend priceless hours with my daughters. I know it’s early yet, but July is going to be a great month!

Bring it on July — It’s Go Time!

Until Next Time,
Meg

#1MillionMinutes — Let’s Do It!

1 million minutes

#SweatPink Ad Lib for #1MillionMinutes

I am so excited to join #1MillionMinutes with #sweatpink! This summer my goal is to do  1400 (number) minutes of Running/Cardio (activity), while wearing my favorite PINK (color) Sparkly Soul Headband! (noun).

I predict that we’ll Shatter (Verb) the goal of #1MillionMinutes – we’ll actually hit 2 million (number) of minutes this summer! I predict that Running (activity) will be the top-logged movement.

I’ll get extra minutes in by running (verb) to the mailbox (place)!

My favorite way to get extra minutes in is by playing backyard soccer (verb) with My girls and husband (person). My kids (person) are my BEST activity partners because they are so awesome! (adjective). Our favorite way to relax post-workout is to Watch old school Looney Toons!

I tag My SweatPink Sistas ( people) to help us reach #1MillionMInutes… or more!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Hooray For Thinking Out Loud Thursday!

Thinking-Out-Loud2I have so much to update you on, however it is all so random that it is perfect for me to compose this post to link-up with Amanda at Running With Spoons on Thursdays Are For Thinking Out Loud!

First things first: We are moving in less than a week! YIKES! Are you ready, you might ask. And I would tell you say, “ready or not…”

Our house is a disaster of boxes and loose items. I can’t find anything, but we are making progress. We did take a large load of furniture down to storage and hopefully we only have 2-3 trips left. The goal is to have an empty house at least one full day before the closing (so I can clean and not leave any embarrassing dust bunnies or unidentifiable substances behind the kitchen appliances).


Second: I just finished reading the most wonderful book with my 11 year old daughter. The book is called Wonder and was one that her teacher picked out. It is an amazing story about a 5th grade boy who has a facial deformity and how he goes to public school for the first time. Very inspiring and has an excellent message.

Third:  I have not been doing too well on my running lately. It has been cold, rainy, and just plain miserable the last few weeks. I have only made it out a few times each week. The highlight was last week when I ran with my daughter during her first 5K. She participated in Girls On The Run this year, which is a pretty cool program to get kids running without realizing they’re running. We finished our 5K in 25 minutes — BAM!

Fourth: Speaking of sporadic, I’ve been pretty sporadic with my blogging the last few weeks. In my defense, we are relocating, I am trying to wrap up my job (that I am super sad to be leaving), my parents’ 40th Anniversary is approaching and I’m trying to help plan for that, and… the list actually goes on, but I’ll stop making excuses. It will all be better soon….right?!

Fifth: Speaking of blogging – I got my first paid post the other day! Yay me! I also managed to pick up my first paid social share campaign too. I’m not going to quit my day-job or anything, but I did do the happy dance when the money showed up in my PayPal account!

That’s all the randomness I have in me at this late hour.

Until Next Time,
Meg

Friday Favorites – What’s in My Gym Bag

Welcome Friday! My weeks feel like they are in rapid-fire mode. I go to work on Monday morning and I look up and it’s Friday. While some would say this is a good thing – it is stressing me out BIG time. There is SO much to do and get done – ahhh!

So, rather than think about that for any longer, I’m going to do a stress free post about my favorite gym bag and what I always put in it for a trip to the gym.

Of course, I always include running shorts, sports bra, socks, running shoes — you know, the basics. But I also have a few other can’t-workout-without-it items.

My gym has free towel service, but I like to bring along my own. Mostly because it has this inspiring quote on it, “Put your heart into it” to push me through a tough interval workout. This towel is by Words to Sweat By.

My must-have accessories include my FlipBelt (I have this in pink too!), a Sparkly Soul headband — of which I have multiple colors because they are The. Best. Headbands. Ever. and are truly non slip and super fashionable. And finally, my old-school Classic iPod.I put audio books on this device and listen as I run. You would be amazed at how many extra miles I’ve put in just to find out “whodunit”.

If I am heading to the gym over my lunch break, I try and squeeze in a shower. Right now I’m trying to use the scents of summer — aka the beach mixed with sun lotion — so I’m loving this Beach Babe Texturizing Hair Bundle that includes shampoo, conditioner, and a sea salt spray that I use to try and mask that I-just-came-from-the-gym-and-am-going-back-to-work look.

And finally, my favorite part — THE BAG! I am a fan of bags, clutches, purses, totes, you get the idea. This is the Augusta Active bag that I won through the SweatPink #NoExcuses Challenge. You can see my winning video submission here. It is nylon, cute, compact but roomy, has a separate compartment for sweaty clothes or shoes, and is just plain fun!

So, what’s in your gym bag? Any essentials that you just can’t leave home without? Any favorite bags that you want to show me?

Until Next Time,
Meg

I’m joining the following link-ups today:

Fit-Fashionable-Friday-Link-Up fituful focus FitnessFriday Jill Conyers Linkup