Fitness Friday: September 26, 2014

Recently one of my clients asked me for workouts he could do while traveling with little to no equipment.  Easy peasy!  The idea is to minimize time spent exercising and maximize the number of muscles you use, because most people don’t want to be as efficient as they can when traveling.  You want to see the sights, right?  Ideally,  I thought these suggestions might come in handy for you, my loyal blog readers, too.  So here they are:

Workouts for Travel

Warm-up Ideas:

  • Run stairs.
  • Perform air squats, jumping lunges and mountain climbers in a circuit.
  • March in place.
  • Kick it old school with jumping jacks!

Workout 1: No Equipment Needed

  • 25 squats
  • 10 push ups
  • 25 crunches
  • 10 dips

Repeat as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes.

Workout 2: Using Dumbbells

  • Curl with over-head press
  • Front squat with dumbbells (wider stance, weights resting on your collar bone)
  • Alternating lateral then front raises
  • Bent over rows, followed immediately by triceps kickbacks
  • Push ups

Complete each exercise for 10-12 reps.  Complete the circuit 3 times.

Cool Down Ideas:

  • Take a walk and enjoy the view.
  • Stretch.

As usual, if you have questions, hit me up!  Hope it’s a great weekend!

As usual, if you have questions, hit me up!  Hope it’s a great weekend!

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Fitness Friday: September 19, 2014

Welcome to another F Cubed: my First Fitness Friday!  My hope with these posts are to give you a glimpse into my other life; my life as a personal trainer.  Yes, I love food and I love to eat, but being active has been a part of my life since forever!  (Also, it goes without saying that I love the other F in my life, my family.  They support me in all of my F Cubed endeavors and I could not do it without them!!)

So here it is, my first Fitness Friday:

First Fitness Friday Workout

  • 100 lunges
  • 50 push-ups
  • 2:30 plank
  • 100 squats
  • max pull ups (if you don’t have a pull up bar, do dips instead)
  • run 1-2 miles
  • 2:30 plank

Notes:  This workout might look a little daunting at first, but remember these two things and you’ll be able to do it in no time.  First, all workouts can be scaled based on your level of fitness.  For example, if you are just starting your fitness journey, cut the workout in half.  Do 50 lunges, 25 push ups, 1:15 plank and so forth.  If running 1-2 miles seems crazy, do what you can; walk then run, or just walk.  Second, do not feel like you need to complete each exercise without stopping.  If you can do 15 lunges before needing a break, do 15.  Then take a second, catch your breath and do 15 more.  Do not over complicate it!

What muscles does plank work?

Ever wonder what muscles plank works?  I love this muscular visual.

As always, I welcome your feedback and I am happy to answer any questions you have!  I hope it’s a great weekend!

A Busy Summer

Dear Blog Followers,

You might have asked yourself: where did Aspen go?  What has she been up to?  Not keeping up with the blog to be certain!  Remember that post a while back when I wrote about all of the major life changes we were contemplating and the decisions we came upon?  One of the changes was me going back to work, back to working outside of the home at a Gold’s Gym near our home.  As a personal trainer my workload started off really light as I built up my client base.  But now that the base is growing and seems hard to control.  This is a good thing, and a fun thing and, oh my goodness I feel like I can really see the good I am working in the lives of my clients.  I’m happy to report that I’ve found a passion more than just a job!

So, in light of all of my rekindled interest in fitness I’ll be making some changes to the blog.  I’m hoping to return to my original F cubed focus: fitness, food and family.  As of late (always) the posts I write have been more food-centric, but that’s about to change.  So, please bear with me and know, blog followers, that I have not forgotten about you.  Stay tuned!

Love,

Aspen

Friday Lunch: Perfect Spinach Bowl

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for the weekend.  It as been a good week, a busy week, but a good one.  I was fortunate enough to find time to workout every day this week, counting my soreness as a blessing.  I was able to spend time with each of my boys, playing Chutes and Ladders, counting state quarters, sharing meals, spending time in their classrooms.  I met up with my Ragnar team last night for a post-race treat and was lucky enough to spend the evening with nine amazing, strong women.  Though my husband was out of town for the first part of the week, he is home now.  I am forever grateful for him.  I guess, I’m in a bit of a sentimental mood.  Could you tell?

But enough of that.  I have another spinach bowl idea for you.  It’s a caramelized red onion, apple sausage, apple, bacon and cranberry spinach bowl.  I’ve been eating this one for lunch almost every day this week.  I love it!  I cook the sausage and onions first for about five minute, then add the apples, bacon and cranberries.  After another minute or two I grab several handfuls of spinach and put them in the skillet.  Then I cover it with the lid.  I watch the spinach start to change color, turn off the heat, remove the lid and stir then serve.  What do you think?  Looks pretty and tastes great!

Paleo Lunch Idea

That’s all for now, I hope it’s a great weekend.

The End of a Year

Today is the last day of 2013, although, technically, some folks in other parts of the world have already rung in 2014.  The passing of another year is a cause for reflection and reminiscing.   I remember having a newborn crying in my arms, feeling frazzled as could be, being told to enjoy it because it goes by so fast.  There is truth in that.  For me, it seems each year passes at an ever increasing rate.  Flying by.

When I look back on the year I feel contentment.  The year started off bumpy, no doubt, but has ended pretty well.  I am happy in our new life in NOVA.  I am beyond grateful that I got to spend two weeks with my sister this year.  It had been almost four years since we had seen each other!  I am thrilled with the health our family has enjoyed, especially little Eli.  I loved our trip to Colorado this fall; seeing family and friends.  I cannot believe how many wonderful people have touched my life this year.  My stomach is happy with all the food it has eaten and my muscles are happy to be getting bigger.  2013 will go down in the books as a good year.

Colourful 2014 in fiery sparklersI hope the coming year provides many opportunities for improvement.  There are a few things specifically I’d like to work on.

I would like to become more of a “yes mom.”  I often find my first response when dealing with the boys is, “no.”  I will work on this; take a step back before responding.

I will strive to spend more one-on-one time with all of my boys.  That means finding a babysitter for date nights, and leaving Murry home with one of boys while I take out the other one.

I will continue to run and lift hard.

We will continue eating a clean diet, and I will continue to take pictures of my food so I can share with you!

I am excited to see what is in store for the new year and I wish you all a Happy New Year.  Stay safe!

Another F

The blog is all about three things I’m passionate about: family, fitness and food.  I’m going to let you know right now food is going to be my anchor.  It’s what I’ve got going right now.  I have always been one of those artistic types and while my “art” skills are terrible, I am able to express my creativity in my cooking and it’s fun and I love it.  I hope you do, too!

But today, today is about another f – FALL and… wait for it… I’ll weave a little fitness in here, too.  After living in season-less San Diego for the last six years I had convinced myself that I no longer needed seasons, that consistently good weather every day was my ideal.  So when we moved to the DC area last winter and it was cold and wet and cold, I was miserable.  Even when spring rolled around and the trees were in bloom I found myself missing season-less San Diego.  Summer passed by in a bit of a blur, but man oh man, fall has been a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Watching the leaves change color on my long weekend runs, noting the difference from one week to the next, catching leaves as the wind blows them down from trees.  I have felt like a little kid.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors 3

Today’s run was no different.  I was lucky to have perfect running weather, 60 F, light breeze and sunny.  I hit my usual trail and noticed how much the scenery had changed since the last time I ran.  So many of the leaves on the ground; the trees almost bare.  And, I’m not kidding when I tell you I only caught one out of three falling leaves that crossed my path (Wednesday’s run was better: I was three for five).  I said good morning to anyone I happened to pass, I even watched one man light up as he saw my leaf catching failure.  It was a good one and I’m sad to say there might not be a lot more runs like today, at least not this year.  It’s getting colder and the foliage is turning brown.  But, gosh, I’ve been so amazed by this wonderful fall.  And by how much more I enjoy running when there are pretty things to look at.

But truly the difference might have to do with the fact that I’ve started running only two days a week, between six and ten miles at a time, instead of five days a week at varied distance.  I guess the thinking on how much you should run is changing and many people believe less might just be more.  Nagging injuries I’ve had all summer have gone away. And, since incorporating a healthy dose of strength training into my routine I’ve felt stronger over the course of each run.  My times are slightly faster as well.  Perhaps, for now anyway, I’ve found a good balance.  I’m able to maintain my base and keep running the distance I want and I like doing it!