Sweating it up at home and trimming the tree

Instead of waking up to frost on the windshield and crisp air that makes you want to stay in bed all day, yesterday morning the city of Boise woke up to 61° weather during December. For the first time in December, I wore my shorts, flip flops, and workout tank outside to take out the garbage, that’s how warm it was! Originally I had set my alarm to go to hot yoga but felt guilty passing up on such warm weather. That was until I went outside and realized it was windy and raining, not the most enjoyable running weather. At that point it was too late to make it to yoga so instead I did ,my grocery shopping, picked up ingredients to make chocolate peanut butter protein bars, and decided to put together an at home workout since the gym wasn’t open until later that day.

Being short for time, I did my best to multitask to have the protein bars done for the week while I was doing my workout. I also wanted to make sure I put my workout clothes on right away when I got back home otherwise I knew I had a greater chance of talking myself out of working out at home. At home workouts are nice because they are at your convenience and you can do them whenever you want. But at the same time, they’re at your convenience so it’s easier to come up with excuses not to do them whereas at a gym you’re already there so you might as well workout. At home you can come up with a million excuses to do something else around the house rather than workout. My tips?

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Working Out At Home

1. Just as you would typically schedule a time to workout at the gym, set aside a workout time at your home for the gym. Put it on the calendar or your phone as a reminder so you will feel more inclined to stick with it.

2. Lay out your workout clothes the night before if you are working out in the morning or lay them out for when you get home from work. This was you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear, you just do it! This helps for trying to get going to the gym as well.

3. Have a clear area for you to do you workout so you don’t end up kicking your cherished vase, knocking over a lamp, or bumping your head on a ceiling fan. Some of your workouts can be quite intense and require an open space.

4. Just as you would change up your workouts at the gym, change up your workouts at home. Try new workout videos, different routines you find online, or make up your own.

5. Try to remove all distractions. Silence your phone, shut off the computer, and inform anyone in the house what you’re doing and that you can’t be disrupted. I remember when I was little my mom would wake up before anyone else in the house so she could fit in her workout. Though there were times I couldn’t resist joining in her Jane Fonda aerobic workout videos!

6. Turn up the music and push yourself! At the gym it can be easier to push ourselves because we’re in an environment where others are doing the same thing we are, we have music playing, and the equipment we need. At home this can be more difficult because we feel like we have other things we need to be doing around the house and feel like we may need to vacuum the living room floor rather than working out on it. If it helps, get all your tasking done around the house before you workout. Otherwise shut it out of your mind and tell yourself you’ll do it when you are done.

Taking these tips into consideration, I preheated the oven while making a batch of chocolate peanut butter protein bars, turned my Pandora to my Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout station, and set out my equipment. This workout requires very little equipment and can even be done without these pieces, though for an extra challenge I like to add the hand weights and jump rope in.

Equipment

-2.5 lb wrist weights. The ones shown above are ankle weights because I couldn’t find my wrist weights.

-Jump rope. Any jump rope will do. Though depending on where you are working out and the height of the ceiling, you can just pretend like you’re jumping rope and still get the benefit without using an actual jump rope.

-Yoga mat. I use this as a base to do my workouts and lay on for abs.

workoutcollage2 copy 

Grab your water, a sweat towel (if you’re like me and a sweaty Betty by the end of your workouts!), and turn up the tunes!
Start by jogging in place but trying bringing your knees up in front of you to work your abs as well. You’ll do this for one minute.
You can keep the hand weights on for knee jumps as well. Stand with feet shoulder width and hands out in front of you. Jump and bring your knees up towards your hands as high as they will go. Try to land softly. Do 25 of these.
Next lay on your mat and do 100 crunches, remember to not use your neck or arms to help bring you up and make sure your shoulders and upper back are leaving the mat each time you come up. Keep your core tucked tight and exhale each time you come up.
For skier jumps, pretend like you have an invisible line between your feet. You will want to jump from side to side over that line. I like to wear the hand weights for this one and pretend like they are poles as I push them with each jump.
25 push ups. Quality over quantity during any workout. Remember you can modify so you are able to complete a workout or to intensify the workout. You can go on your knees for this one if need be.
Jump lunges are where you start out in a lunge position, then jump into a lunge with your other leg. This takes a bit to get used to and a little balancing. But it gets your heart rate up! Do 10 on each side.
Do 200 counts of jumping rope. At every 10 beats, jump and turn 180°.
Follow with 50 side crunches on each side.
Everyone’s favorite, burpees! This is a great link to a tutorial. Do 20, if you have to, leave out the push up at the end and squat to the ground then jump straight up.
Follow with 1:00 to 1:30 plank and take a 2:00 minute water break before following this circuit 2 more times.

I used my 2 water break to check on my protein bars and take them out of the oven. They smelt amazing but I had to finish my 3rd set before devouring one!

pbprotein

That evening, I went over to my parents to trim the tree. Each year our family decorates our tree together while enjoying egg nog and talking about the memories we have from the different ornaments. I wouldn’t call our tree the most, stylish tree. Though it makes up for it in flair and personality with homemade ornaments, an abundance of Barbie Holiday ornaments, and Charlie Brown Peanuts decorations. Every year my parents have given me the Holiday Barbie which has been interesting to see how the designs have changed over the years. This is always one of my favorite presents to this day. My sister and I were also able to pick out an ornament every year we went to the Nutcracker. She thinks it’s funny to take one of the fighting mice and attack one of the Holiday Barbies every year. I know once I went home she redecorated the tree so my Barbie ornaments are  under attack by her soliders!
These were some of my favorites out of our older ornaments.

arthur

baby's first

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sisters 

After we finally decorated the entire tree, we popped in one of our favorite holiday movies. Actually one of our favorite movies period. The Family Stone. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it for a good laugh and also a good cry. Especially if your family is a little crazy like mine! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. We enjoyed some pumpkin cheesecake that mom picked up from Whole Foods while we watched the movie and I had a little cuddle time with Sunni.

pumpkincheesecake

It was delicious and definitely put me to sleep as a happy camper!

What are some of your favorite holiday ornaments? I’ve heard of people putting up two trees now, one with all their family ornaments and another with a more decorative approach and stylish. Do you put up one tree or have many around the house?

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