Wednesday Workout: Tips for getting out of bed before work to workout

Hey, friends! As I am away for work, and likely getting up before the conference starts to get my workout in, I thought it would be helpful for me to share my tips that help me get out of bed and not hit snooze. Even when we go to bed with the best intentions to workout before work or an event or trip the next day, it’s pretty common for our nice, comfy bed and good dreams to prevail, thus causing you to hit snooze and skip the workout. Trust me, I have been there many, many times, but at this point, there are a good handful of things I do to make this NOT happen.

Pick out your workout clothes the night before

Seems easy enough, right? For me, though, if I have my clothes laid out, it’s almost like they are looking at me, telling me NOT to skip my workout. Plus, saving those extra few minutes it might take to pick out something to wear while you’re still half asleep really does add up! For me, once I am up and out, I end up wishing I had more time to workout; therefore, if I don’t dilly-dally when I get out of bed figuring out what I am going to wear, looking for my head band or watch or socks, I have more time to work out! Sometimes, I even sleep with my running or workout socks ON, so that it’s one less thing to put on when I wake up!

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Plan your workout or running route the night before

Getting up with no idea what I want to do for a workout is the absolute worst! I have found that if I go to bed, thinking about what I am going to do when I wake up, it’s that much easier to get up and just do it. Whether it’s running, kickboxing, Nike Training Club, On Demand, Deck of Cards or any other type of workout, go to bed knowing exactly what one you’re going to do- have it written out if need be and place it right next to your clothes and shoes- is key.  Morning time is so precious to me, that I don’t want to waste any time figuring out what to do. I want to get up and just do it.

Bribe yourself

Sometimes if I tell myself that I can have a treat if I get up and workout before work, it makes a huge difference!  This could be something as simple as going to a coffee shop to get an iced coffee or buying lunch out. Just giving yourself some type of reward for committing to your morning workout really does help!

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Start Small

Your first morning workouts don’t have to be big or long. It’s a totally different workout for me when I workout in the morning vs. the night, but as I workout in the morning more often, it does become easier! Your body will get used to it and adapt better and better the more frequently you do it.  And as far as length, you don’t have to be out there for an hour doing something. Start small- say you’re going to run a mile and then stretch and do abs. Then the next time, do more. Pick 20-30 minute at-home workouts that will still leave you sweaty and feeling like you got a great workout in. My sister, for instance, works out before work about 3-4 days a week. It might just be a few mile run or a 10-15 minute On Demand video, but you know what? She is getting up and committing herself to SOMETHING, and that’s really what it’s all about. Something is better than nothing; ALWAYS.

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Remind yourself of how good you’ll feel AFTER your workout vs. how you’ll feel knowing you willingly skipped out

This is probably the number one thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. It’s really as simple as that: if I workout before work, I feel GREAT all day. Seriously, there is nothing better than knowing your workout is DONE throughout the whole day and knowing that you have the evening to do whatever you want. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders, right? When/if I simply skip out on a morning workout in favor of sleep, I feel awful all day and I’m so mad at myself. Yeah, it may suck to pull yourself out of bed an hour earlier than usual, but within 5 minutes, that feeling is usually gone. However, if you skip out, that feeling of regret stays allll day.

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Questions for you: Do you prefer working out in the morning or at night? What did I miss? What’s the number one thing that gets you out of bed in the morning to get a workout in?

Weekend Catch-Up: Babysitting, Lunch at Cafeteria, Lulu Shopping, Sushi, Beach

All last week I kept looking ahead to my weekend and felt great that it was literally wide open! However, by the time Friday rolled around, pretty much my entire weekend was booked; does this happen to anyone else? Since I am a planner, this isn’t uncommon for me, but it still made me laugh to see how quickly I turned an open, no plan weekend into a relatively busy weekend!

After I taught on Friday, I headed to Newton to babysit Trent and Lila. I met their mom, Renee, back when we used to take yoga every Monday together. I have been babysitting for them for over 3 years at this point; crazy to think it’s been that long! I always have a blast babysitting because the kids are great, it’s fun to catch up with Renee, and because they always have the best snacks and trashy mags for me to read after the kids go to bed 😉

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Not a bad way to spend the night! Plus, babysitting money is my Lulu money, so you wanna know shopping was on the agenda for Saturday.

I let myself stay in bed until 9am on Saturday since I didn’t get home until 1am. I originally had plans to go to BodyPump, but realized that my body was exhausted and could use the rest. After I got up, I went to the Christmas Tree Shop and then Target to stock up on things for my trip this week. While I was at Target, I ended up getting a bathing suit for $22!! Love a good deal!

After errands, I showered and then my sister and my friend Lauren and I went into the city and had lunch at Cafeteria. Weekend lunches out require cocktails, right? And, it’s only fitting for me to have a glass of bubbly 😉

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To eat, we ordered 3 sandwiches and shared amongst ourselves.

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I got the black bean burger, but I’ll spare you the picture since it wasn’t very pretty. Everything tasted great, though!

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After lunch, we walked over to the Lululemon. I went with the mission to get a colored pair of spandex shorts, but they only had black ones in my size. Boring 😦 I ended up finding a pair of HOT PINK capris (on sale!) and a bright lime green top instead. I can’t say I was disappointed about my purchases.

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Don’t worry, I won’t wear them together 😉

In addition to my new outfit (I am SO excited to workout and wear them now- such a great motivator!), I finally got a new gym bag. I have been on a hunt for a new gym bag for MONTHS, so I’m stoked that I finally found one that I like. It’s really big so it’s perfect for my “work to gym” days (aka, every day).

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I love it so much already!!

After shopping, Lauren and I got much-needed pedicures. It’s the little things!

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Once we got home, I was absolutely beat and did something I NEVER do: napped! I had dinner plans at 7, but knew I had about an hour that I could allot to napping, or at the very least, resting. It felt great!!

Dinner was at Yoki, which I’ve blogged about on here once or twice before! The sushi is amazing and the Celtics roll is literally the best roll I have ever had!!

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Mmmm 🙂

We were finally graced with a really sunny day on Sunday, so Lauren and Danielle and I decided to go to the beach! We went to Nahant, and it was already jam packed at 10am. Even though it was a beautiful sunny beach day, it was almost TOO hot.

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Nonetheless, we lasted about 3 hours and then grabbed lunch at Tides, which is right at the start of the beach.

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I got a Teriyaki Grilled Chicken Wrap on a whole wheat tortilla with a side of steamed broccoli. I loved that they had healthy, yet yummy, food options!

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To counteract my healthy meal, I enjoyed a Blueberry beer!

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There’s just something about an ice cold beer that quenches thirst unlike no other. Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way!

Once we got home from the beach, I did some pre-blogging for the week (have a few guest blogs for you- get excited!), cleaned up the apartment, did laundry and went to the grocery store. Since I will be away most of the week, I just grabbed some fruit and a salad to eat with the other half of my wrap that I got at Tides. Danielle and I did walk to get an ice cream. I was craving one bad! We ended up sharing one since they didn’t have kiddie sizes.

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Phew! That was a long weekend recap; if you made it this far, thank you!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite hot weather treat? What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Ever been to Nahant beach? What is a MA beach that I have to try?

PS!! Check out the size of this summer squash that I picked from my garden!!!

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what do you think I should make with it?!

Weekly Workouts: Totally Back At It

Hey there! How was your weekend? I was so happy the sun came out yesterday, as it made for the perfect beach day!

This past week, I had a 5 day string of really awesome workouts. After having been sick and having been in Maine, it felt awesome to be back into the full swing of workouts! I am traveling for work this week (Stowe, VT from Tuesday- Friday) so my workouts will be TBD for most days, but it will be nice to mix it up again.

Last Week’s Workouts:

  • Monday: I went to The Studio Empower, which was a really nice change-up from my normal workouts! During my lunch break, Jess and I filed for our 2nd Mommy’s Moves video. Check it out here. Also, Jess’s newsletter is worth a glance, too!

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  • Tuesday: I ran 30 minutes (3.34 miles) before work and then did some upper body strengthening since my legs had gotten quite the workout the day before.

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  • Wednesday: A fellow instructor asked me to sub her 5:30 Sports Conditioning class, so I ended up teaching a double. 3 people, between the two classes, said they almost threw up. Loved it!

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  • Thursday: 2nd double of the week! Numbers were a little low, which was a bummer since I was sill really amped up about being back!
  • Friday: I ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill before subbing my old SHRED class at the Allston BSC! Felt really great to be back 🙂
  • Saturday : Rest, besides walking around the city.
  • Sunday: I got up and did a 5 minute warm up (jogging in place, jumping jacks, high knees, squats, etc.) and then did 25 reps of lots of different moves (squats, lunges deadlifts, biceps curls, rows, skull crushers, leg lifts, etc.). After 3 or 4 moves, I would throw in 2 minutes of cardio. I was literally shocked at how sweaty I got!

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This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday: I will likely go to the gym after work and do cardio and weight training, big focus on the abs!
  • Tuesday: Pending on how hot it is, I’ll try to run outside before work. I am driving up to VT in the afternoon, so I want to get my workout done right away!
  • Wednesday/Thursday/Friday: I will be in Stowe, VT at a conference, but will absolutely be getting in some workouts! I’m traveling with Tim, who loves to workout, too, so it will be easier to make sure workouts happen! Likely runs outside and weights in the gym.
  • Saturday: Teaching kickboxing!! 🙂
  • Sunday: Pending on how my workouts went for the week will determine my Sunday workout, if any. I am traveling Mon-Wed of the following week, so I would like to get in solid workouts before that.

Questions for you: When it gets really hot, are you more likely to skip workouts? What days do you like to rest on? Did you try any new workouts last week?

Shopping, Girl Time, Celebrations, Workouts- Another Busy Week!

Hi friends! Happy Friday! For some reason, I have had an incredibly busy week. It’s been fun, but I’m beat! Doesn’t end today, either. I’ve got work until 4:30, then I am subbing my old Friday night class at the Allston BSC (all my old regulars, please come!!!) and then babysitting! Phew! Let me tell you that a well deserved trip to Lululemon will be happening 😉

Let’s catch up, shall we?! On Sunday, on my way back to MA, I decided to make a pit stop in Kittery since I was tired of sitting in massive amounts of traffic. I have a bunch of work trips this month and wanted another suit, so it was a great time to check that off my “to-do” list. 45 minutes later, I walked out of Banana Republic with a new suit and a new dress- for $72!!! Long story short, I had cash rewards from my BR card and then had to open another card for some reason so I got the 15% off, too. Definitely a great pit stop!

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I didn’t end up making a big meal on Sunday night since it was so hot, but I threw together a pretty tasty quesadilla! Shrimp, peppers, onions and feta- delicious!

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On Monday, I went to The Studio Empower for an awesome class and was greeted with a salmon dinner prepared by my roommate when I walked through the door! Love that.

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Tuesday was a really awesome day! I forced myself out of bed for an early run. It wasn’t fast, but I covered 3.4 miles in 30 minutes which I was very happy about. After that, I did 15 reps of biceps curls balancing on 1 leg, upright rows, triceps dips, pushups, and an ab ladder. Nothing like being finished a workout by 7:15am!

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After work I met up with someone for drinks at Legal Harborside Roofdeck. I couldn’t believe how packed it was for Tuesday. Apparently people have a life outside of the gym after work; who would have thought?!

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From there, I headed to Amy and Sheila’s for a girls dinner party! Instead of going out, they offered to cook for us which was a nice treat. It’s so hard to catch up with people while in a restaurant at a big table; I’d much prefer a casual setting at someone’s apartment. Our friend, Kelly, was also visiting from San Francisco so our group was even bigger than usual! Unfortunately, Kia couldn’t come because she had her puppy to tend to, but other than that we were all there!

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Amy grilled up chicken, steak, shrimp and veggies. Jess and I cooked rice and green beans and Sheila prepped the salad. Pair that with a big ol’ glass of vino and you’ve got a happy Monique 😉

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After dinner, we brought out the desserts for some birthday celebrations. If you remember, I severely cut back on eating desserts a few weeks ago, but I most certainly had desserts on Tuesday. I mean, funetti cake and peanut butter rice crispy treats with chocolate and homemade berry ice cream?! I was in sweet tooth heaven!

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And, throw some bubbly in there and you’ve pretty much got a perfect night!

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On top of all of that, just when we thought it couldn’t get any better than good food, good drinks, tasty desserts and long overdue girl time, Sheila surprised us with her recent engagement!!!!! Somehow, we had the whole ‘toasting to champagne’ thing on video and it’s literally the best video I’ve ever seen. All you hear in the background is “wait. WHAT?!” from me and screams from Lauren. It.was.awesome! We all couldn’t be more happy for Sheila and Bryan!

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Beautiful ring unlike anything I have ever seen!

Wednesday I ended up teaching a double to help a fellow instructor out- phew! I was on another level that night; that is what happens when I go too long without teaching 😉 My Thursday double was a little tough to get into, purely because my legs were tired! What made everything better, though, was coming home to pizza fresh out of the oven!

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Man did THAT hit the spot!

I hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

Questions for you: Tell me- what’s on the agenda for tonight? How have your workouts been? What’s was the best part of your week? Drinks on a weeknight- do you do that often?

The Studio Empower

Hey Burpees to Bubbly readers! We made it more than halfway through the week- woohoo! It’s been a pretty busy week back since my mini vacation in Maine for the 4th of July, but it’s been all fun things so I can’t really complain!

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by someone asking if I would like to try a class at The Studio Empower in Newton. After reading Athena’s review of the class she took at The Studio Empower and gchatting with her about it, I had been dying to get there to try a class. My only problem was that it was in Newton and I live in Somerville, aka, it was a bit of a hike to take a class (I know, just a stupid excuse). Well, when I was presented with the opportunity to take a class to review, I decided it was a sign that I needed to get there!

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Between my teaching schedule, traveling schedule and being really sick, it was hard to find a time that worked. Luckily, Monday worked for the studio and for me, so I attended the 6:30pm class with Fi, who was a super bubbly Irish lady. Since I was the first to get there and there was time before the class started, Fi walked me through the different moves and exercises that we would be doing during the class. She explained the machines and discussed the different progression levels and gave me the overall background of the class she was going to teach. Sebastien Lagree is an LA Celebrity trainer who designed the Lagree Fitness, which is basically a REALLY intense Pilates (for a lack of a better comparison) class that can be adapted to all levels. It’s high intensity, but low impact, which is perfect for someone like me who is constantly jumping and running during my classes.

Panaramic View of Studio

I was told that the machines used at The Studio Empower are called the Megaformer, M3 and I’ll be honest, I was totally intimidated by the machines at first! I mean, look at this thing!

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Straps, handles, springs, movable carriage. I was sure I was going to eat it at some point throughout the class, but I managed to survive injury and fall free! Since I teach and have been working out for years, I didn’t have much trouble with the form, but SLOWING DOWN and creeping through the exercises was definitely the hardest part. My legs were shaking and burning within the first 5 minutes of class and I think we can all agree that when this happens, we often want to rush to get through the moves, right? Well, in this class Fi was constantly reminding us to slow down and really visualize every muscle that was working to push the carriage out and control the carriage as it was coming back in. This helped me immensely and by the end, I found myself having an easier time working as slowly as I should be.

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Throughout the class we worked everything: legs, core, arms. And when I thought I couldn’t do another lunge, we did more. Oof. It was awesome! The 45 minutes flew by and I found myself wishing we had more time… I am a crazy person! I feel like I barely brushed the surface of the true Megaformer, 3 Lagree Fitness experience, so I am itching to get back and try more classes and learn more moves. It was so nice to slowww down and walk out feeling like a rubbery noodle without having done any crazy cardio or weight training. My poor joints need more classes like this!

As I mentioned, the classes, although high intensity and challenging, can be adapted to any level, so don’t fear that you’re not strong enough to do the exercises! Just in the class I took, there were 4 of us who were all at very different levels. Fi did a wonderful job of  walking around and giving each one of us personal comments/corrections and encouraging us to push ourselves, but also offering modifications for anyone needed it. If you’re bored with your current workouts and looking for something to spice things up and remind you that you have loads of muscles you likely have forgotten about, head over to The Studio Empower in Newton. I can promise you that you will NOT regret it.

Questions for you: Have you ever been to a class at The Studio Empower? What’s the most challenging part for you when you do a workout like this? Do you attend Pilates classes?