This Week: Workouts, Dallas Recap & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! Happy Monday, everyone! How are you? I hope you had a great weekend! Did you see the weather for this week?? Looks like we are finally going to have some mild temps… yes!

As I mentioned last week, I was in Dallas for Monday-Wednesday. We stayed in Grapevine at the Gaylord Texan, wch was a gorgeous resort! It was a really good trip filled with lots of networking, lots of Mexican food, some drinking and the chance to catch up with my friend JP! We hadn’t hung out since November, so it was so good to see him!

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I also got in a good hotel room, body weight tabata workout as well as a killer biceps and back workout with my friend Tim. I was literally sore for 4 days- no joke.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I got up before my early flight and did a 30 minute tabata workout including weighted squats, weighted lunges, bicep curls, triceps extension and core work. It was good!
  • Tuesday- I got up and did a 30 minute body weight tabata workout (I guess I was loving tabata workouts last week..) and then Tim and I went to the gym in the afternoon for a 45 minute strength workout. I was able to do 1 unassisted pull-up, which I was happy about! We did 3 or 4 different back exercises and then 3 bicep exercises and finally I lead us through some core exercises. It was a great workout.
  • Wednesday- I had all intentions of waking up to workout before the morning session, but I was seriously SO tired. I didn’t get drunk or crazy, but I was up late Monday and Tuesday so it caught up to me on Wednesday. I squeezed in 15 minutes of core work before the day started.
  • Thursday- I taught SHRED and Kickboxing. I felt so lethargic in both classes- 3 days of eating and drinking like crap, on top of not sleeping enough doesn’t mesh well with me.
  • Friday- I got up and went to Flywheel for a morning class, but sadly, it wasn’t great. The room was less than half full, I was physically tired and I wasn’t a fan of the instructor. She was very sweet, but she didn’t have the natural energy/teaching style that I like to see in instructors. She seemed shy or maybe she was just new and nervous? I rarely say this, but I wish I had skipped it. Oh well, can’t win them all!

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  • Saturday- I went to a 2 Spartan Workout with a bunch of gym friends. I was pretty beat by the end!

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  • Sunday- I taught a 9am UXF Burn class at the Allston BSC. I didn’t want to do the workout, but I ended up doing most of it. I just get excited when I teach so it’s hard for me to not do any of the workout.

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I am teaching Muscle work at 6am today and then going to 5:30pm Pilates Remix class at Boston Body Pilates using my ClassPass. My membership is up this week and I still had a few passes left that I didn’t want to lose, I needed to double up today!
  • Tuesday– I am training Kerri at 7am and then I am going to a Pilates Tower class at Studio J after work. I’m excited to try it!
  • Wednesday- I’ll probably run on the treadmill before teaching UXF Burn.
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and Kickboxing
  • Friday- Rest day 🙂
  • Saturday- Teaching kickboxing at the Oak Square YMCA
  • Sunday- I am going to a blogger ride at SoulCycle which I am SO excited about!!

Things I’m Looking Forward To

I’m excited to have a week where I don’t have a lot going on after work. It will be nice to have the flexibility and know I don’t have to pack for multiple events. I’m also looking forward to the weekend- SoulCycle AND a Red Sox game in the same day makes for a super fun Sunday 😉 A bunch of my college friends and significant others are going to a day game on Sunday… I just hope it’s relatively warm… and not raining!

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Did you try anything new? What are you looking forward to this week? Have you been to SoulCycle?

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Guest Post: Aqua Aerobics

Hi there! TGIF! I hope you’ve all had a great week. I’ve got a fun guest post for you today. I often get requests to do guest posts on my blog, but I usually don’t agree to them since they don’t fall in line with my interests or things I want to share on B2B. However, when Becky reached out to me with a request to write a post on Water/Aqua Aerobics, I happily agreed! I have gone to a number of water aerobics classes with my mom and as a former swimmer/swim instructor, I love the benefits of water workouts. I know they are often thought of as “old people” workouts, but they are really great for getting a low-impact workout in that still leaves you tired and feeling like you worked out. I hope you enjoy this post!

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Aqua Aerobics Can Help You Stay Fit & Healthy

What exactly is aqua aerobics? Basically, it is using the pool for workouts other than swimming. There are a surprising number of options and classes available. Aqua aerobics is a great way to exercise, with a huge upside– you quickly see how enjoyable the workout routines are, which will keep you enthusiastic, and coming back for more.

Amazing choices. Many people are surprised by the wide variety of classes available for aqua aerobics. If you want a robust and jazzy exercise workout which can also be a real challenge, there are kick boxing classes, or the sexy Zumba dance workout. Those classes will get your heart rate up for sure. If relaxation and quiet is the goal, try out water yoga or tai chi. These great articles give more information on workout options:

http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/18-water-workouts-to-splash-yourself-slim

http://blog.intheswim.com/water-aerobics-and-water-fitness-exercises/

http://www.lifescript.com/diet-fitness/articles/m/make_a_splash_8_pool_exercises_to_burn_fat_fast.aspx

If a group class doesn’t sound exciting, try aqua jogging or walking in the lap lanes at the pool. These are great cardio workouts that a lot of runners use to cross train because they are so gentle on the joints. Pushing through the water provides a great workout in a soothing atmosphere.

Great for all ages. Fit and young runners who are building their mileage while training for marathons find aqua jogging an excellent break from the pounding of the running trail. When backaches start to intrude later in life, seniors will find the low impact of water workouts a gentle way to exercise. Regardless of age, aqua aerobics has something to offer.

Wonderful benefits. The low impact aspect of aqua aerobics is a big plus. In the water, the buoyancy of the water means that the body only has to support 50 percent of its weight. This leads to a lightness that can be felt the first time a person works out in the water. Doing lunges on land means stress on the knees – in the water, the impact is so much more gentle that lunges aren’t an eye rolling grind. The resistance of pushing against the water provides one of the best benefits of aqua aerobics – a person can get a solid strength workout without having to go through a lot of stations at the gym, or trying to work with free weights, which can be awkward.

Prepare for fun! Yes, water exercise is a good work out. But people in classes just smile and laugh a lot. Remember being a kid, and when you jumped in the water it made you and your friends all start laughing and smiling? The water also brings that same pleasure to adults. Maybe it’s the soothing feel of being in water, or the reminder of childhood – but being in the water is a just fun place to work out.

What are some of the exercises? If you want to start with a workout in your home pool, you can try a few exercises that range from cardio, to strength training, and great core work:

• Start with aqua walking. Just walk back and forth in chest deep water, and you’ll soon get it – the resistance of the water makes a person work hard.

• For a fun exercise – try Spiderman. Stand next to the side of the pool, and begin a treading water motion with the arms. Then run your legs up the side of the pool and back down. Do that about 20 times and you’ll feel arms, shoulders and legs.

• For core work, try the plank. Take a foam noodle – a sturdy foam cylinder about 3 feet long – and put your hands on it shoulder width apart. Let yourself sink into the water (yes, your head will stay above water), and keeping your back straight, hold that pose for as long as possible. You’ll feel a burn in your abs, for sure.

To get hooked on aqua aerobics – just try it. You’ll get a solid workout that’s a lot more enjoyable than being on the treadmill at the gym. Because it’s so much fun you will keep doing it. Once you start doing aqua aerobics, you’ll get a big smile thinking about that next class.

Becky Flanigan has lived near the beach since she was a kid. She gave up on surfing a while back, but enjoys walking the beach just as much as ever. Working freelance, Becky always enjoys the challenge of a new writing assignment.

Thanks again, Becky! I hope you all enjoyed this- you tell me: have you ever done water aerobics? What’s something that you like about water workouts?

Quick and Easy Asian Stir Fry with a Spicy Almond Sauce

On Sunday’s where I don’t have a lot of time, but still want to make a healthy and tasty meal, I usually turn to stir fry’s. I like them because the only thing that takes any real time is cutting up the veggies and letting them cook. If you want to make it really quick, you can always buy a bag of frozen stir fry veggies 😉

Last week, a stir fry was just what I was craving, along with red meat, oddly enough. I decided to make a beef and veggie stir fry with a spicy almond butter sauce. Almond butter, you ask? I have been on a huge almond butter kick so I decided to see if I could make a peanut sauce with almond butter instead of peanut butter.  The verdict? It was great!

Asian Stir Fry w/ a Spicy Almond Sauce

Ingredients

Stir Fry

  • Sliced red pepper
  • Sliced green pepper
  • Sliced onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots- thinly sliced
  • Chopped broccoli
  • Steak- I don’t remember what kind I used, but I feel like it was a thin-sliced piece of meat that was good for stir fry’s
  • Asian noodles

Spicy Almond Butter Sauce

  • 1/4 cup almond butter- I used smooth, but crunchy would have been good!
  • 3-4 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • Few shakes of Red Hot
  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4-6 tbsp. hot water

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Directions

1. Cut up your veggies. Add them to a pan and cook until they have softened. I added garlic and other spices. Remove from pan and set aside.

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2. Bring a pot of water to boil. While the water is heating, cook your steak and make the sauce.

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3. Once the water is boiling, add in the noodles. When the steak is almost fully cooked, add back in the veggies and the almond butter sauce. Stir to combine.

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4. Serve yourself some noodles and top with the steak/veggie/almond butter mixture and enjoy!

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As you can see, I didn’t list out specific amounts for the veggies or steak. I cooked up a bunch of everything and saved some veggies to use later in the week without the sauce. Since I was cooking, I felt like I might as well make up a big enough batch  to use throughout the week!

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This meal turned out better than I had hoped! The sauce had just enough kick to heat me up and I loved all the other flavors and textures as well. This meal was enjoyed throughout the week and I even used the leftover steak and veggies in a quesadilla which was delicious.

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I hope you like this as much as I did!

Questions for you: Do you like Almond Butter? What’s your favorite easy meal? Do you like to use frozen veggies for stir fry’s or fresh veggies?

Wednesday Workout: BOSU Partner Workout

As I mentioned on Monday, I taught a really fun class in SHRED last Thursday. Since I thought it was so fun, I knew I had to share it with all of you! I know that there are a number of instructors who read, so hopefully you can try it in one of your classes, or at least take pieces from it to try. If you’re working out solo, no worries- the workout can be totally adaptable to that, too.

BOSU partner workout

As the directions state, if you’re doing this with a partner, partner “A” will do 12 reps of the strength move. While partner “A” is completing that, partner “B” will do the cardio move. You’ll do the cardio move until “A” finishes their part. After, you’ll switch and “B” will do the strength and “A” will do the cardio. When you’ve finished each exercise, you’ll do the core exercise, generally with a partner.

If you don’t have a partner, you can still complete this workout, just do the cardio move for 45 seconds after completing 12 reps of the strength move. Replace the partner core work with exercises that don’t require a partner.

Here are some explanations of the moves:

  • Plank jacks- 1 person holds a forearm plank while the other person jumps over the planker’s legs. Switch halfway through.
  • Sit ups w/ball pass– if you don’t have a partner, you can do this against a wall
  • Push-Ups w/2 knees on BOSU- With the ball side down, place your hands on the outer edge of the black base of the BOSU and do 1 push-up. When you finish, bring your right knee into your chest and then your left knee. Repeat.
  • Back to Back ball pass- stand back to back with your partner, about a foot away from each other. While keeping your hips still and core tight, you twist right and left passing the ball around you to your partner. Switch directions halfway through.
  • Plank w/partner high-five- Get into a high plank a few feet from your partner. Alternate right and left high fives. This adds extra work for your core in order to keep you balanced and keep your hips from lifting.

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I think that should cover it! I did this twice through in class, with the second round going for 10 reps instead of 12.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Questions for you: Do you like partner workouts? What’s your favorite BOSU exercise?

Weekending: Quiet night in, Spring Wine Fest, Girls day out

I love when I have weekends that are a mix of relaxation and fun events- they’re the best right? This past weekend was one of those weekends and it was just what I needed after a busy week, as well as what I needed to prepare for a busy week this week.

Friday night, I headed into the city after I finished work to go to Lindsay’s class at Recycle. I had never been to the studio on Newbury Street, but I was a huge fan!

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Working out on a Friday afternoon was a nice treat!

The rest of my Friday night included wine, a healthy dinner and serious couch lounging, which was exactly what I needed/wanted.

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Spring Wine Fest

A few months ago, my friend Jessi sent out an email telling us about a Spring Wine Fest that she has gone to for a number of years. The tickets at the time were only $19, so clearly that was a no-brainer on my part; sign me up! Drinking wine on a Saturday afternoon with my girlfriends (after teaching an awesome kickboxing class) is probably one of my favorite things do to.

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We had a blast walking around and trying lots of different wines from various wineries. Some of my favorites were Kim Crawford, Wild Horse, Estancia and Simi, although there were so many others that were great, too. I liked going during the day because even though it was still pretty busy (we basically would get a sample then drink it while waiting in another line), there was still room to move and mingle and hang out. They had lots of free food samples, which is key at a wine tasting event 😉

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The lighting in the Cyclorama was amazing- these photos came out so great! Doesn’t hurt that I have pretty friends, either 😉

After a few tastings we were feeling silly enough to jump over to the photo booth. I die a little every time I look at these pictures…

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Look at my head in that second one- it makes no sense!

Our tasting ended at 2:30, so we walked over to Gaslight for a much needed late lunch. I had a Bellini to start and then switched to wine after.

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My sister met us for lunch and she and I shared the Croque Madame and scrambled eggs with a Truffle Oil sauce. Holy yum!

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After lunch, our large group broke up and some went home and others went to The Playwright for a Boston Marathon fundraiser. I was so happy that my friend Meaghan was able to join us!

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Needless to say, after a day of drinking, I was happily home, fed and in bed by 9:30 😉

Sunday was a standard Sunday that consisted of laundry, grocery shopping, visiting my sister, packing and lots of blogging/workout planning. It’s always a little stressful right before I leave for a trip (even if it’s short) because I have to get my blog posts prepped for the time I’m going to be away and I have to make sure that I’m packed correctly (in other words, it takes time to pack smartly vs. just throwing stuff into a suitcase.). I have to say, though, one thing that was really nice was the fact that I didn’t need to cook a big meal or prep for the week. It’s sad how much easier my day felt without that task!

Here’s to a good week!

Questions for you: Do you like to workout on Fridays? What’s your ideal Saturday consist of? Have you ever been to the Wine Fest in the South End?