Motivation Monday! Let’s do this!

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2017-01-29-19-06-24.jpgEver thought that there just isn’t time in the day to exercise? Ever felt that you’re just too tired or comfortable at home to go to the gym? I can relate.  That’s why many years ago I invested in a few key things – exercise bands and free weights – and decided to fit in (just a few minutes at first) some strength training during t.v. time! So, what better way than to try it during commercial breaks?

Or, if you are like most people these days and have it PVR’d, try getting a timer and just doing 3, 5-minute intervals of exercises while your show is on? If you really want to start small, set an even easier goal for yourself, one that you are sure to accomplish.

Easy things to do?

2017-01-18-20-49-59.jpg1. Wall squats: Back against the wall, lower yourself to 90° hold for as long as you can, rest. Do this 5 -10 times.  Make sure you back is tight against the wall.  Bend your knees so they are at a 90 degree angle over your ankles.  Weight should be focused on your heels.

 

 

2. Butt squeezes.  Stand up, squeeze your butt cheeks together as hard as you can for 10 seconds, rest for 5, squeeze for 10. Repeat 10 times.

3.  Skipping.   Grab a skipping rope ($ store) and skip for 30 sec. Rest, repeat 10 times.

2017-01-18-20-52-10.jpg4.  Wide-legged squat.  (I know I’m a bit obsessed with the squat, but for good reason…..it’s an awesome way to keep that butt toned).  Hold squat for 10 sec., stand up, rest for 10 sec., repeat 10 times.

 

 

5. Grab a band and try these:

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Do 10 reps of each of these:  easy bicep curl, harder bicep curl (more tension on band), shoulder press, triceps extension (10 on each arm). Do 2 sets of these.

That’s it! Try one or all of these today!

I’d love some feedback to know what you’d like to hear about!

Your Simply Susan motivational tip of the day!

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Yowza, what is that smell???!!!😨

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2016-08-24-14.50.25.jpg.jpegNow, no one likes exercising around someone who stinks, but it’s sometimes unavoidable.  Now I exercise a lot, and therefore sweat a lot.  So, here are some tips to keep that nasty stench at bay!😆

First off, if vinegar and baking soda aren’t already a staple for your cleaning and laundry needs, you need to make them one.  Vinegar and baking soda have so many uses that I always have them accessible for all my cleaning,  disinfecting, and deodorizing needs.

Your workout clothes get sweat soaked, and therefore can get both mildewy and can grow bacteria.  I know, GROSS!  So, what you need to do is to soak them every once in a while in a vinegar and water mix.  I use about a 1:4 ratio of vinegar to water. I also add a 1/4 cup of Baking Soda in here. I suggest soaking for at least a few hours, but overnight is even better!  Then, launder in cold water.  The vinegar and baking soda will kill off all that nasty bacteria which causes that smell!

Always wash your workout clothes in cold water, then hang to dry.  Putting them in the dryer is not good for the fabric.

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Secondly, if you are a trail runner   like myself, my shoes get quite muddy after a run.  I prefer to just rinse them in cold water using a fairly stiff plastic brush to scrub away the dirt.  After this, squeeze out as much water as you can and leave them out to air dry.  Again, never put them in the dryer or the shoes will deteriorate,  and lose their integrity.  That’s right, running shoes have tons of integrity! ☺

2016-08-24-14.52.13.jpg.jpegAnother way you can wash your running shoes and hats is to put them in the dishwasher in the top section.  This may not get into the ground in dirt, but when the cycle is done you could give those areas a  light brush.  Again here, take them out before the hot air dry cycle, or leave it on a cool dry setting.

There you are my friends, your Simply Susan tip of the day! 😆

All Decked out!

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As you know, I love my running, but I also spend quite a bit of cross training as I truly believe that will make you better at any sport you do, and adds variety to your weekly exercise.  There are so many cross training options, but since I love the outdoors, one of my favourites is to do a workout on my backyard deck.

A fantastic workout outside, for 3 out of 4 seasons here in Canada, is skipping.

wpid-2015-11-08-17.49.22.png.pngSkipping is far more difficult than you think and it takes a while to get your rhythm.  It looks so easy, but trust me, it is very tiring!  It will get your heart rate up fast!

The plan here  is to break it up into a 20 minute workout, by mixing in some weights. Trust me,  just skipping will be hard!

First, start skipping and keep it up for 1 minute straight.   You will likely trip, so just restart regularly.   What I like to do is to keep count and start on one leg for, say 30 counts, then do the same on the other leg.

Once you have completed your 1 min., take a 30 sec. break.

wpid-2015-10-25-17.06.37.jpg.jpegNext, pick up your bands or weights and do 15 bicep curls on each arm.  The advantage to using bands is that you have resistance the entire way up and down so you are working your muscles the whole time.

Skip again for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds.

wpid-2015-10-25-17.09.38.jpg.jpegGrab your band/weights and work your triceps.  Step on the band and extend it behind your head. Pull up so your arm is straight, and close to your head. If you’re using a weight hold it above head, arm straight, and bend  arm down (reverse of band).  Do 15 on each arm.

Skip again for 1 minute.  Rest for 30 seconds.

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Superman. Lie face down extending arms and legs. Lift both arms and legs up holding neck level. Hold for 30 seconds. Then rotate, holding right arm and  left leg up for 3 counts, then repeat with left arm and right leg. Do these for 1 minute.

Repeat all 1 time!

You are done! Fun eh? 😆🍁  Now this is just one idea.  There are countless options you could do on your own deck!  Be creative and try one today.  If you need any more suggestions just comment below and I`ll help you out!

Your Simply Susan exercise motivation tip for the day!😆

Natural Love🍁🍃🍁🌳❤

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Have I ever told any of you just how much I love trail running?  To be out there with nature is one of my favourite things in the world to do.  I am also so fortunate to be blessed to live in a country where we get 4 different seasons and the incredible beauty that comes along with this!

2015-05-20_19.45.38Getting out there in the spring and watching the snow melt, and the trees budding their fresh leaves.  Seeing the trilliums bloom and bring the forest floor to life makes me smile.  Feeling the warm wind and the sun on your face.  Spring runs are gorgeous and invigorating.

wpid-wp-1445804446685.jpegThen there is summer, oh the warm and hot summer days on the trail.  The trail looks stunningly beautiful with all the different greens of the deciduous and coniferous trees, and all the various bushes and ground cover!  Beautiful!  You are forced to take more breaks, which is fine, because the heat can exhaust you!  Luckily the trails are in the forest, so you are likely to be cooler here in the shade  than doing a road run.

Then we have the beauty of the fall.  Sometimes the scenery is sowpid-wp-1445804840086.jpeg breath-taking that I find myself making lots of picture-taking stops! Fine with me!  Life is too short to not stop and admire the beauty in nature!   In the fall, it is the time of year when the trees are all changing into their fall colours, and if you are blessed to live in an environment where this happens every year you are very fortunate!    I just love the smell of the fallen leaves and the much-awaited cooler air. Fall runs are spectacular!

2016-01-17-15.41.59.jpg.jpegThen we have winter trail runs.  These are actually my most favourite which many people feel is very strange!!  I love getting all bundled up in layers and getting out there on a cold winter’s day.  The leafless trees allow you to see the beautiful rolling hills covered in snow.  The challenging trail takes you up and down those hills and you get warm with all that extra effort of running through snow and ice. I love the challenge!

I truly love my trail runs and even more-so because it is something I am blessed to be able to do with my loving husband!

Have I sparked interest in any of you to give trail running a try?
I sure hope so!

Your Simply Susan fitness inspiration  of the day!😆

15 minutes…

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Are you worth 15 minutes?  Yes, you are!  So, why not spend that time doing something to make you feel physically better?  Why not fit in a quick, intense, 15 minute workout that will not only leaving you feeling alive, but energized and happy!2016-05-15-15.30.32.jpg.jpeg

Let’s get this crazy idea out of your heads that to become healthy and fit means that you need to spend hours every week at the gym!  It absolutely doesn’t.  It makes me sad to hear people tell me that they just don’t have time to exercise; I hear this a lot!  Here’s the thing, exercise does take effort and you do actually have to put aside a bit of time on your own.  But, do you know what?  It is worth making this change and making it a habit.  We are ALL busy!  We all have 15 things going on at once!  It’s become normal to multitask and feel like you don’t have time to do anything for yourself.  I made a decision years ago that in order to be the person I want to be, I need to take care of my body inside and out.  I made a point to schedule in exercise every day and I am a better person, inside and out because of it!

So, you ask, what can I possibly do in 15 minutes that is worthwhile?  Tons of things; the list is endless actually!  In 15 minutes you could do an at-home skipping/upper body weight lifting sessions.  Or, 15 minutes of alternating between slow, low squats and lunges, and arm exercises.  Or 15 minutes of yoga stretches.  How about 15 minutes on a bike, stationary or road bike?  How about a 15 minute power walk outside.

2016-05-15-15.34.50.jpg.jpegDo you see what I mean about the list being endless?  I just spontaneously thought of 5 exercises without even really putting real time or thought into it.  I have so many more ideas too.  Just comment to me if you are interested in more ideas and I’m always happy to share.

Very importantly though, you need to want to make this change for the good of yourself.

Make a plan to start tomorrow and actually do it!  All you need are 15 minutes!  Let’s do this!

Your Simply Susan fitness tip of the day! 🙂

For the love of Reese pieces

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2015-01-22_21.52.32.jpgPeople don’t get why I love winter running, so I need to share it with you all and hope I can get some of you to give it a try!

First of all winter running and trail running are what I like to call “Nature’s obstacle courses”.  They provide attainable challenges and keep you on your toes the whole time. That is why I love them both so much! 😆
Things you need to know and things to make sure you have before trying this type of running:

Firstly, you need to be dressed warmly enough that you can get through the first 10 minutes of your run.  You don’t want to overdo it or you will overheat! I wear layers and use zippered clothing that can be zipped down if I am too warm. I have 2 types of running shoes for all of my running, my regular road shoes, and my trail/winter running shoes. These trail shoes have more tread, and a waterproof layer (sometimes) to protect your feet a little more.  You should have mittens/gloves that have a flip back top for when/if your hands get too hot.   Lastly, you should have a balaclava or a neck warmer to cover a good portion of your face and ears, and a good thin, yet warm hat.

When I run in the winter I feel so challenged, and so very satisfied when I am done.   I don’t worry about speed or distance, because the satisfaction of the battling the ice, snow, wind, and minus zero temperatures are an exhilarating challenge.

2016-01-17-15.41.59.jpg.jpegOne thing also is that winter running gives you an excuse to run slower and use shorter strides.  This is an important tip as this is what you need to focus on the whole time.  As you run, shorten your stride in the snow and ice and if you think you may slip just hop off onto the grass and/or walk.   You also need to do this as you approach corners.

Well, have I convinced any of you out there to give it a try??? I strongly encourage you to if you love running and like a challenge.  This is the main way I have learned to embrace winter.  I found an activity I thoroughly enjoy doing outside and I learned that the challenge and fun of it make me so very happy, which in turn makes me a better person.

img_20150120_210529.jpgThere are few things that satisfy me as much as coming in the door after a winter run with my icicled eyelashes!

Once you’ve embraced this, you can give my other favourite a try……snowshoe running😆 Now that’s another blog😄😄😄

Please, give it a try!  There are so many nice, clear winter days that are purely gorgeous and you could learn to embrace winter too.

Your Simply Susan motivational tip of the day.

Keep  sunny, and embrace winter running. 😆

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I’m a runner

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Okay, first of all everyone always assumes I have always been a runner.  But the truth is, I  didn’t  even start exercising until my mid 20’s!  Plus, I  didn’t start running until I was 30ish or start enjoying it until my mid 30’s!   🙂

Now I am a runner who runs 4-5 times a week then cross-trains 1-2 times a week.  For my cross training I do a variety of things depending on the season, the weather, and my mood!  I personally think it’s important to have variety in your workouts. It adds interest and curbs boredom! 

I vary my ruwpid-moldiv_1433715629490.jpgns from day-to-day, but have a basic goal in mind for the number of kilometres I want to run in a week.  I am generally not training for anything, just do it to keep myself fit and healthy; also because I firmly believe it is setting a very positive example for our 2 children.

When I cross train in the summer I will often do workouts at a local place that has 2 sets of stairs and 2 hill paths leading up to a large grassed area at the top.  During these workouts I will do a certain number of stair and hill interval runs (as fast as I feel), then I will do a variety of exercises at the top.  These exercises are push-ups, the superman, squats,lunges, running backward, and anything else I can think of that only requires myself and my strength!

When I cross train at home I will do cardio using either my stationary bike, or my elliptical machine.  After cardio I generally do a variety of weight exercises using dumbbells and/or a medicine ball.  I like to do 1 set of exercises covering each muscle group.  Then after a very short break I rewpid-2015-07-13-11.58.35.jpg.jpegpeat the set.  I vary the weight exercises I do every few months so my body doesn’t get too used to them, and also to keep it interesting!

Okay, so the reason I explained at the beginning how this is all relatively new to me was to show my readers that it is never to late to try something new! Who knows, give it a try, you may love it too!

Do any of my followers want to join me or need some motivation to get started?  Just ask! I already have one friend joining me on my cross-training days! Let me know, I love to help motivate others to get started😆.