Birthdays and Balls.

Happy Halloween!

I know today is a great day, but yesterday was extra special because it was my mom and bestie’s birthday.

Mamma collage..

mom

Bestie collage..

bestie

Three amigo’s

She is seriously going to kill me for the bottom right pic, but it’s just too funny. Sorry Sammy!

And this is how we celebrate birthday’s in the Murphy household..

cake

I have been getting pretty bored with my workouts lately, so I decided to create a fun circuit that would add some variety to my workouts and knock me out of the mundane routine I have been in.

I present to you..

balls circuit


I used all the balls I could find in the house.. Okay, not all of them, but I did use a stability ball and a medicine ball. This was fun and a killer.

*Do each exercise for 45 sec with a 15 sec break.

*Take a minute break after finishing all rounds of each circuit before moving on to the next

Circuit one

Walking lunges pass med ball under legs

Lower body jacks holding med ball

Med ball squats

High knees holding med ball

stability ball pikes

Mountain climbers on medicine ball

3x

Lying hamstring stretch (hold each side for 30- 30 sec)

Circuit 2

big circles + squat

butt kickers holding med ball

push-ups on stability ball

lower body jacks holding med ball

Russian twist with med ball

Jog in place holding med ball above head

3x

lying butt stretch (hold each side for 20- 30 sec)

Circuit 3

Burpee with med ball

Butt kickers holding med ball

Back extension on stability ball

Mountain climbers on medicine ball

Ball pass

Jog in place with med ball above head

3x

Quad stretch on all fours

*Some of the demonstrations do not have the ball in them, but just add it when you are doing the workout!

I know this is a vulgar name for a workout, but it seemed the most appropriate.

Have a great day!

My top five favorite workouts I have seen floating around the web.

Mornin’ friends!

Has your week started off right so far? Mine has been great, and I want to keep it going!

I have seen some pretty awesome workouts around the web lately and wanted to share with you some of my favorites.

top five


1. World Series Workout for Legs– This fun little workout was on Blonde Ponytail last week. It was a guest post from Alyssa. It’s a great way to spice up your routine and bust any boredom you might be feeling lately.

catchers squat

2. Body weight Ab Workout from Pumps & Iron. Nicole has amazing workouts and she cracks me up..

ab workout

3. Tina’s Top Ten from Best Body Fitness. We all know Tina is the bomb, and for a good reason! Not only is she extremely generous with sharing fun and intense workouts, but she always keeps it real and has a great heart. She share’s with us her top ten favorite workouts from Best Body Fitness.

top-ten-workouts_thumb

4. 30 Variations of Lunges from Lifting Revolution. This has probably been my favorite fitness post I have read in a long time. Lunges are one of the best exercises for working your lower body and there are so many variations, so you have no excuse not to put them in every single workout you do!

lunges (1)

5. The Desk Chair Workout from Freeing Imperfections. I love Melissa! She is a sweetheart and stays true to her beliefs and faith.  She shared this workout not too long ago and I thought it was brilliant! We need more workouts that can be incorporated into a desk job. Maybe it would motivate us to get off our booty when we are at work and get moving.

desk chair workout

I hope you guys enjoy these workouts, and make sure to head over to these lovely ladies websites because there is so much more where this came from!

What are some of the best workouts you have seen floating around the web lately?

New routines, the best cookies and a lower body circuit.

Happy Halloween week!

I hope you guys had a great weekend and were able to use Halloween as an excuse to dress up scandalously and shot gun beers. 😉 I didn’t, but in my defense we had a very low key weekend. I haven’t told you guys yet, but I am getting my group exercise certification, so I have been using all my spare time (which isn’t much!) to study.

adult

Guys, I am officially old…

I started a new morning routine and have been loving it so far. I’ve been waking up at the butt crack of dawn, before everyone else is awake, to get shit done! I have at least two hours of uninterrupted ‘me’ time, which I use working because I hate feeling like I am being unproductive. After all, I am not going to get up that early to lay around- I may as well be asleep..

I did try Heather’s Light and Healthy Turkey Chili on Sunday, and it was delicious! It was a bit spicy, but that’s how I like my Chili. I wish I would have made cornbread to enjoy on the side, but I am not consistent when I make it. Sometimes it turns our phenomenal, other times it is only barely edible.. I don’t know..

Mom and I made Peanut Butter Cup Cookies this weekend-  they were amazing! I was craving baked goods, but didn’t feel like baking. Of course Pinterest came through with this recipe from Sweet Little Details. 

peanut butter cup

It gives you the directions on how to make the cookies from scratch, but I just bought pre- made peanut butter ones.. I’m a lazy baker..

Okay, so here is a nice little leggie leg workout to burn, I would say, about half of the calories that are in ONE of those cookies.. 🙂 it’s a great workout, but I am guessing the nutritional facts on those bad boys are ridiculous and I wouldn’t dare look at them. Totally worth it, though!

peanut butter boots


The name of this workout is actually extremely appropriate because I am always trying to work off all the peanut butter I eat on a daily basis…

Below are links to the exercises:

Walking lunge with plate overhead 

jumping squats

plie squat pulses

jumping lunges 

medicine ball side lunge with touch

wall sit with ab twists

squat thrusters

burpees 

glute bridge march 

Have a great Monday, loves!

Friday Favorites!

TGIF!! I could not be more excited about the weekend!

Let’s get straight to the point.

FRIDAY FAVE’S

* Fall Candles

Specifically the one on the left. It is a WoodWick candle and sounds just like a fireplace. So relaxing.

008

*Empty gyms

I love getting to the gym early so I don’t have to deal with the grunters.

empty gym

*Jogging to the gym

I love being able to jog to the gym. Perfect warm up and gorgeous scenery.

neighborhood

*Flavored sparkling water 

This is the Fresh Market brand. So delicious. Even more delicious in a fancy glass.

pom water

*This mug

I need this mug. I found it on Etsy. I would never pay $18.00 for it myself, but a stocking stuffer, maybe? Click on the pic if you want to buy it for me. 🙂

wine

* Filling in my eyebrows

It’s crazy how big of a difference this makes! I am a blondie (obvi) and didn’t think I was supposed to do it because it would look funny, but Cara said it is totally cool and looks fab on blonde’s.

Are you doing anything fun this weekend? 

What are your Friday Favorites?

A common cause for knee pain and what you can do about it.

Many people have experienced some type of knee pain. They are the largest joints in the body and it carries all of our body weight every day, so it is important to keep them healthy and listen when they are telling you it feels uncomfortable.

There are many reasons for knee pain: injury, overuse and arthritis, just to name a few. But did you know that you could have knee pain from underuse?

Have you ever taken a break from working out, or started a routine for the first time and noticed the ‘front of your knee’ has a dull pain? This is most likely due to the inactivity, thus weak, tight muscles. It could also be due to improper form, probably a combination of both.

*Side note: I am NOT a doctor {hard to believe, I know ;)}; this is just what I have seen in many of my clients. Please see your physician for an evaluation and prognosis!

knee pain

KNEE PAIN DUE TO WEAK MUSCLES

If you are just starting to take your exercise routine seriously, you may experience knee pain due to weak muscles, and not just the quads (the muscles around the knee). The glutes, core and hamstrings play a role in knee stability as well.

Having weak glutes can cause the quads to overwork and put unnecessary strain on the knee.

A strong core allows your back to stay in a neutral position, thus allowing your knee to be in the best possible position for movement.

KNEE PAIN DUE TO TIGHT MUSCLES

It is no surprise that sitting at a desk all day can have a negative effect on your health because of inactivity, but it can also cause your muscles to tighten.

Your muscles also get tight when you exercise because they contract; if you do not stretch after they will stay in that position much longer.

Tight muscles pull on the knee, causing unwanted stress to the knee.

stretching

KNEE PAIN DUE TO IMPROPER FORM

If you are doing exercises with bad technique it can take a toll on your body.

When you do a squat incorrect, most of the time your knee will be too far forward over the foot, causing too much stress on the knee.

SOLUTIONS

RICE

Rest– Make sure you are taking sufficient time to rest your body after a workout. You might need 72 hours after a workout instead of 48 in the beginning. Listen to your body.

Ice– Try icing your knees/ quads for 10- 20 minutes after the workout. This will reduce inflammation.

Compression– This will reduce inflammation as well.

Elevation– Do this after you work out, as it will help reduce swelling.

STRENGTHEN THE MUSCLES

QUADRICEPS- Quads play a crucial role in supporting the knee, so it is crucial to take extra time to strengthen them if you are experiencing this type of pain.

GLUTES- Having strong glutes is important because they are responsible for internal and external rotation of the hips (i.e. walking). When you have weak glutes it can cause your knees to collapse inward when walking. This equals danger!

CORE- When you have a weak core your posture suffers, thus putting your body in all kinds of compromising positions and putting unwanted strain on joints.

STRETCH AND FOAM ROLL

Stretching the muscles will help prevent unnecessary force or pulling on the knee.

I have explained the importance of foam rolling in a previous post. It will help release pressure from the ‘knots’ that accumulate from exercise, in turn lengthening the muscles and helping to prevent injury and soreness.

CORRECT FORM

If you are just starting a strength training routine the best thing you can do for yourself is hire a personal trainer. They will educate you on correct technique, which will benefit you forever. Incorrect form can cause serious injuries that could leave you unable to do certain exercises the rest of your life.

Even if it is out of your budget to see one on a regular basis, it would be worth the money to invest in one for one or two sessions.

I hope this has help shed some light on that annoying knee pain you feel after your workouts.

Have a great day!

My top 5 tips for avoiding fall/ winter weight gain.

Weight gain sometimes seems inevitable when fall/ winter rolls around and for a good reason- the holidays are upon us and the weather is getting colder, so our bodies crave the coziness of the couch and warm creamy comfort foods.

It surprises me how many people accept the fact that they will gain weight and not do anything to avoid it. Let’s not be those people this winter, okay?

Here are some great tips for keeping that bod you have worked hard for all summer.

top tips

1. Stock up on workouts you can do at home. I know it can be extremely hard to make it to that spin class when it is 30 degrees outside and still dark, or how badly you want to go straight home after work for a relaxing glass of red wine instead of hitting the gym; that’s fine with me- just take your workout to the living room. You can get an amazing workout at home; it all depends on how hard you want to push yourself.

Look to YouTube, Pinterest, Google and your favorite healthy living blog for inspiration. Stock up on workouts you can do at your house, so when you come home from work you will have one ready to go and not have to sit on the internet for 30 minutes looking for one!

lower body collage

2. Don’t skimp on the meal prep and try to bring your lunch to work as often as possible. This one is a biggie. If you continue to prep your food for the week and plan your meals out, you’re way less likely to overdo it on holiday treats.

vacay donuts

 The office can quickly fill with goodies this time of year, so bring your lunch as much as you can to avoid eating three brownies for lunch instead of a kale salad.

3. Eat before hitting the holiday soirees.  Fill up on fruits and veggies before the party to avoid craving the sugar- filled holiday drinks and cookies.

One study suggests we eat 40% more when in a social setting, but a snack with carbs and some protein beforehand will greatly reduce the risk of this happening.

lindy heather

4. Ditch the leggings for skinny jeans.  It can be tempting to live in leggings and boots during the winter, but you may have a rude awakening come spring. Comfy clothes give you permission to be lazy and indulge more because you can’t tell when your clothes are fitting a little tighter. How my clothes fit is the number one factor in determining if I have lost or gained weight (I don’t weight myself). Trade the leggings out for skinny jeans- you can still rock your boots!

5. DO NOT get trapped in the all or nothing mindset.  I preach this all the time, but now is the worst possible time to have this mindset because let’s be honest, you are going to eat one too many servings of mac and cheese, and you will probably drink one too many glasses of wine catching up with friends and family, and that is okay! Enjoy yourself and the wonderful company you re in. The next day drink a tall glass of water and sweat it out in your living room!

sam and heather

Love you long time, Sammy.

We can avoid packing on the pounds, it just takes some effort, but it will be totally worth it when you can rock the New Year’s Eve dress you bought on sale last summer! (am I the only one who does this?)

Have a great day, friends!

Question of the day:

What are your secrets to avoid winter weight gain?

Unexpected inspiration from a stranger..

Hey guys!

I hope you all had a great weekend and it wasn’t too terribly sad waking up to a Monday.

We had a fun weekend in the Murphy household. I told you guys Friday  I was running a 5k for breast cancer awareness, well I had no idea I was going to run it until a couple days before. A lady that was running with my mom wasn’t feeling well and decided it would be best to sit this one out; mom knew I would enjoy it, so I took her place.

5k mom me

Mom and me before the race.

I felt really good when the race started and came up on mile one at 7:45. I noticed I was keeping the same pace as a guy in front of me, and although I could tell he was a stronger runner, I decided I was going to stay with him until we crossed the finish line. Holy moly, he was definitely a motivator.. I knew he could tell what I was doing and I think it made him push harder as well. Towards the end of the race I passed him, but knew he would come in strong at the very end. I got over my last hill and could see the finish line, but seriously thought I was going to throw up.  Around that time my buddy came running past me with encouraging words to push it, we were almost there! I ended up finishing at 22:20!

joe and mommy race

He found me afterwards to congratulate me and I told him that I would have never pushed myself that hard if it wasn’t for my decision to keep up with him in the beginning.

I ended up coming in 16th out of 1200 women!

I know it is only a 5k and that is like a sprint for all you serious runners, but running has not been a big part of my life in over a year; I only do it once or twice a week to warm up before my workout, so I was pretty excited about the outcome.

race

Charlie and I were going to go mountain biking Sunday but the grandparents couldn’t keep Joseph, so I ended up jogging to the gym for an upper body circuit. The jog was gorgeous and I couldn’t help but feel incredibly blessed to live in my neck of the woods.

neighborhood

We ended the weekend with a stroll in the park

joe mommy walking

 

Have a great day!

Questions of the day:

Have you ever been motivated by a stranger during a race?

Did you end up doing better because of it?