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

Three Running Wishes for Tuesdays on the Run

SparklyRunnerGirl

I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight….

Oh what would I wish for if given three running wishes?!

  1. For it to be easy: I know, I know. There is nothing wrong with having to work hard and I know that running isn’t supposed to be easy. However, here is my reasoning: if it were easy, I would be less likely to dread my run, I would probably do more running, faster running, and be a better overall runner. (Yes, that was just one wish)
  2. To be feared fast: My husband is an elite runner and people at races always know his name and his records, etc. Just once, I’d like people to say that about me, “oh, Megan’s here, I don’t have a shot at winning now.” (this one might end up on the Runfessions post; it’s a little embarrassing!)
  3. To be a running coach: I wish I was a running coach and could do it as my career. I love helping people achieve their fitness goals. I’ve looked into certifications, but just haven’t put the time and money into moving that forward. Maybe writing it down for the world to see will help…

What would you wish for if you had three running wishes?

What are your 3 running wishes? Join the #TOTR #Linkup! #runchat Click To Tweet

Tuesdays on the run linkup

Join the linkup with PattyErika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run!

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

Refuel with Hemp

**I received these Hemp Heart Bars from Manitoba Harvest through my role as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. As always, all opinions are my own**

If you have not heard of hemp and all the amazing ways to use it, you should check out Manitoba Harvest’s website where they detail so many handy (and delicious) ways it can be used! You have heard of super foods, well this is a super plant! You can use the entire plant for things without any waste! It can be used for items such as clothing and building materials as well as food items.

Enter in: Hemp Heart Bars. These little bars pack 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas – plus they pack 4 grams of fiber! They are the perfect pre- or post-workout snack.

I received a sample of the chocolate and a sample of the apple cinnamon. Now, I’d love to tell you that they are a delightful snack and that I could eat an entire box in one sitting. My favorite part about the bars is that they are chewy and really satiating. My only gripe is that they kinda taste like birdseed (or at least what I imaging birdseed tasting like). Now, don’t get me wrong, because of the protein and omega benefits, I would still add them to my list for the perfect post workout re-fuel snack. I think the flavor will grow on me.

If you are curious to try them I have two ways that you can get your hands on some. The first is using this 15% off discount code hhbarlaunch1015 by March 31, 2016. The second is to enter Manitoba Harvest’s monthly photo contest. Simply post a photo on Instagram of how you’re fueled by Hemp (use hashtag #fuelledbyhemp (yes, with two ‘l’s) and tag @manitobaharvest. They pick a winner monthly!

This is not my first try at Hemp products. In fact, Manitoba Harvest sent me a sample of Hemp Hearts about a year ago. They were delicious! You can see my review here.  I’ve also tried the Hemp Protein (also from Manitoba Harvest) and it is by far my favorite hemp product to date.

Have you tried any Hemp products? What are your thoughts?

Until Next Time,
Meg

#BuluBox Review and Special Offer!

*I received a free Bulu Box from Sweat Pink through my participation in the Ambassador Program. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Fist of all, who knew that Bulu Box is located in Lincoln, NE?! As a fellow Nebraskan, I am extremely excited and honored to share my review of their service. Second, I LOVE the packaging — how motivational!

What it is: Bulu Box is a subscription service that offers monthly delivery of a box filled with 4-5 premium samples (and sometimes full-sized products) to your mailbox. The samples are geared towards wellness, fitness, health, and/or weight loss.

This is not a new concept, Birchbox (which I believe to be the first subscription box service) launched in 2010 and since then, the trend has taken off. There seems to be a subscription box service to meet all needs. The idea is to allow subscribers to sample products to determine if they want to purchase full sized products later, rather than wasting money on a full sized product only to discover it didn’t work/didn’t like it/etc. Enter Bulu Box in 2012 as the first subscription service to target health and health related items, such as vitamins.

What it costs: Most subscription box services range from $10-$40 monthly and Bulu Box does not deviate from that range, coming in at only $10 per month for a 1, 3, or 6 month subscription (and that includes shipping). It is slightly cheaper if you opt for a 12 month subscription. **Use code: SWEATPINK to save 50% on a 3 month subscription! 

What’s inside: Each box contains 4-5 samples of various products targeting general health and wellness. *Note: you can also subscribe to a weight loss box that is specifically targeted towards weight loss. The products sent are based on the subscriber’s profile so  boxes will vary among subscribers.

Here are the items that I received:

As promised, 4-5 sample-sized products (plus one full sized and one Lifestyle Bonus)

I tried these before a long run and was surprised that I didn’t get a side ache (you have to eat the entire package -11 gummies 20 minutes prior to exercise).

These are the tastiest vitamins EVER! But I wouldn’t expect less from Martha Stewart!

Have you tried Bulu Box? If so, what did you get in  your last box? Do you subscribe to any other monthly box services? I’m a sucker for them and have tried quite a variety. I’d love to hear your favorite services.

Don’t forget, you can save 50% on a 3 month subscription to Bulu Box by using code SWEATPINK at checkout!

Until Next Time,
Meg

#1MillionMinutes – Final Week

To kick off the final week of the #SweatPink #1MillionMinutes campaign, I am participating in a fun ad-lib featuring PrAna, one of the sponsors of this challenge.

Let the Fun Begin!

When the 1 million minutes challenge started, I set out to achieve _1400___ [goal minutes of activity]. And I will shatter [verb] that goal by running  [verb] and lifting  [verb] my way to over 1500 [# of minutes].

The best part of this challenge for me was the online community support. I probably spent the most time tracking my minutes while I was running  with my trusty iPod [person]

I was stoked [verb] to see so many Sweat Pink’ers joining in on the challenge and breaking a sweat running, yoga-ing, and more [type of activity]. Jamie King [person] was one of my favorite people to stalk follow during the challenge because he/she posts such inspiring poses [verb] it!

I’m sad that it’s the last week but also excited that prAna is our sponsor because I’m coveting my first pair of PrAna running shorts [item from prAna] and going to post [verb] my little heart out in hopes to win!

Plus, I’ll need The Maison Knicker capris in Indigo_______ [item from prAna website] to help me get through my Fall goals which are To keep my mileage up in spite of the dark mornings

How many minutes have you been active this summer? I bet it’s more than you think once you write it all out!

Want to join the fun? Copy the below blank ad lib for your own blog!

When the 1 million minutes challenge started, I set out to achieve ______ [goal minutes of activity]. And I ________ [verb] that goal by ________ [verb] and ______ [verb] my way to ______ [# of minutes].

 The best part of this challenge for me was ________. I probably spent the most time tracking my minutes while I was _______ with _______ [person]

 I was ________ [verb] to see so many Sweat Pink’ers joining in on the challenge and breaking a sweat ________ [type of activity]. _______ [person] was one of my favorite people to stalk follow during the challenge because he/she ________ [verb] it!

 I’m sad that it’s the last week but also excited that prAna is our sponsor because I’m coveting ______ [item from prAna] and going to _____ [verb] my little heart out in hopes to win!

 Plus, I’ll need _______ [item from prAna website] to help me get through my Fall goals which are _________. And now I tag _____ [person] and_____ [person] and ______ [person] to join in on the fun!

Get Your Freekeh On: Product Review and Giveaway!

I received a sample of Freekeh through my association with SweatPink and FitApproach. Other than free product, I was not compensated for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

By now I am sure you’re asking, “what the freekeh is Freekeh?” Well, according to their websiteFreekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and “Eureka!” Freekeh was created. 

Freekeh boasts 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving, so it is very filling. It is also non-GMO verified.

I tried Freekeh Original and Tamari. They also have Rosemary Sage (which I think sounds Uh-mazing!) The Tamari has only a subtle flavor and can be used a base in anything or eaten on it’s own. If you like rice and quinoa, you will love Freekeh! We used it as a side dish with salmon, as a salad topper, and also as a base in stir-fry.

I am already picturing using this instead of brown rice in my special recipe jambalaya that I make in the fall and winter! **Recipe coming soon**

Freekeh is very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. They have a handy cookbook (that you have a chance to win below) plus there are a lot of recipe ideas on their Pinterest boards as well.

As a side dish

 

as a base in shrimp and veggie stir fry

 

I even used it as a topping for my salad the next day!

Freekeh Foods was kind enough to allow me to give away a copy of their cookbook along with a package of Freekeh in your choice of flavor! Enter below and stay tuned!

Have you ever tried Freekeh? What recipe are you dying to try?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more giveaways? I’m adding my giveaway link to the  Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds Wednesday Giveaway Round-up

Favorite Workout Wear

Oh, I have so many favorites when it comes to the clothes and gear that I wear to work out! I promise to reign it in and only post a few pictures! By the way, I’m linking up today with Jessica Joy and Jill Conyers, who host The Fit Dish Link-Up every Tuesday! Today’s optional topic is to show “flat photos” of your favorite clothing and gear!

Let’s start with what I am loving now (meaning, what do I run in when it is sweltering hot and super humid?). Disclaimer: I should also mention that I’m somewhat of a chicken in terms of running with vehicle traffic and I recently moved away from my beloved running trail (that was just outside my front door) I now have to run on the highway until I can get to a lesser traveled gravel road (lesser traveled, but still traveled). That being said, I like to dress in super bright clothing to make sure I’m VISIBLE! These shorts are my favorite! They are North Face and are super lightweight. I typically pair them with either this plain white Under Armour sleeveless shirt or my #SweatPink burnout tank, my Garmin Forerunner 220 (of course – see my previous post!), a Sparkly Soul headband, a FlipBelt and my Brooks or Asics running shoes.

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When the weather starts to get that chill in the morning and I can no longer wear shorts, I turn to my Brooks Equilibrium Capri pants. These pants come just below my knee (I’m 5’6″) and don’t fall down or ride up. I. Love. Them. Outside of that first crisp breath you take on a fall morning, they are my favorite part of autumn running.

Last year was my first winter where I truly embraced the weather and continued to run through (almost) anything that mother nature threw at me. I got a pair of Saucony Nomad (wind resistant) running pants as a Christmas gift from my husband, I have a windbreaker pullover in a bright orange, this Brooks stocking hat, and a neck gator when it was really cold. I’m still in the market for a good pair of gloves or mittens if you have any suggestions!

For those in-between days when it’s cold, but not frigid, I like running tights. I have a great pair of G-Fast from Gap and then the pair shown below from Aeropostale, the hot pink pullover is also from Aeropostale, a VSX sport bra, FlipBelt and multiple Sparkly Soul headbands.

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I would also be remiss if I didn’t include my favorite Aspen Yoga Mat that reminds me to stay balanced (figuratively and literally).8c54c-img_07765b15d

As I said, I could go on and on with this post because it couples my two favorite things: fitness and fashion, but I will stop. I’d love to hear about some of your favorites!

Until Next Time,
Meg

What Inspires You?

Stimulate, motivate, encourage….Inspire

What inspires you to be your best self? For me, I am inspired by my daughters. I know that my daughters are always watching me and learning from me and I want to set a good example for them. That includes everything from leading a healthy and active lifestyle to having good manners, being polite, well spoken, and respectful of others. I can’t expect them to behave in a certain way if I contradict that behavior in my own actions.

For the next four weeks, I’m participating with Lorna Jane and Sweat Pink in an Instagram Challenge focused on all things inspired. See my ad lib below to kick off the campaign.

The new Inspired book by Lorna Jane made me feel Inspired (of course!) [adj] and super motivated [adj] and now I want to share my enthusiasm [noun] I feel with all of you which is why I’m hosting, along with #SweatPink and Lorna Jane, a 4 week #LJInspired Instagram Challenge.

I’ll be sharing everything – the who, what, where, when and why’s – of what inspires me to live a healthy [adj] life and hope you’ll join me. With this challenge, I am vowing to continue to live in the moment [adj] and strive [verb] towards my dream of inspiring others to be active and healthy as well [your dream].

Yes, my biggest dream is to inspire others [your dream] and I’ll get there by sharing my path – both successes and failures [verb] and of course leaning on others who inspire me like my fellow Sweat Pink Ambassadors [person] and [person].

Did you get your copy of Lorna Jane Inspired yet? Order yours today: http://www.lornajane.com/INSPIRED/Inspired.

I’d love to know what/who inspires you!

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