One of the things I love most about my "job" is making exercise fun.
To celebrate last week's Winter Solstice, our group HIIIT workout celebrated all things SUN. We focused our motions on rising, strengthening, and glowing!
The playlist included the following songs:
Soak Up the Sun - Sheryl Crow
Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield
Walking on Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves
Brighter Than the Sun - Colbie Caillat
We enjoyed a simple sun salutation practice to Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and then held a quiet mediation to the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun."
After our workout, I read this mediation. It focused on letting your deepest dreams and wishes be enveloped by the rising sun.
At the end of the class, we all felt rejuvenated and ready to welcome the longer days ahead.
Here's another great at-home workout that you can do in under 45 minutes! (Less, if you choose do complete one or two rounds instead of three.)
This is a great "do anywhere" workout since you don't need any equipment! Grab a timer and some water. Take breaks as needed, but be sure to go hard! Remember, the first two letters of HIIT stand for High Intensity!
You don't need a lot of time or space to get in an effective and fun workout.
Give this workout a try and comment below when you're done!
The lively and wonderful women in my Holiday Survival Camp are a spirited group of ladies who are dedicated to twice-weekly HIIT workouts, clean eating, and at-home workout assignments.
Starting today, we are also implementing my version of the 12 Days of Fitness. Today we will find one minute to hold a 1-minute plank. Tomorrow, we will do a 2-minute wall sit, followed by a one-minute plank. By Day 12, we've got a short and sweet HIIT-format workout on our hands!
Do you want to play along with us? Then start planking! Check in with me in Comments as you go!
You can find several versions of the 12 Days of Fitness online, like this one.
Make sure you always warm up with some light cardio like jogging, jumping jacks, and/or high knees; and cool down with some gentle stretches and breathing.
Remember to use proper form and remain focused in your movements. Modify as necessary, and no matter what - have fun!
I read this today from a daily calendar I have on my desk.
"Success is not about getting it done. It is about still dreaming and feeling positive in the unfolding. The standard of success in life is not the money or the stuff - rather, it is absolutely the amount of joy you feel."
What are your thoughts about this definition of success?
I have the best gift of all this holiday season: a 6-year-old. I love SIX. Six is wonder, and awe, and absolute BELIEF IN MAGIC. And wanting to talk about it all.
Six is the unequivocal knowledge that the Elf on the Shelf really does move every night, that Santa is 100% real, and that magic is everywhere. If I could grant someone a special Christmastime experience, I would give them a six-year-old to spend it with.
This is my first-grader's advent calendar this year:
I filled each little burlap pocket with a different activity to do each day. So far we've read a Christmas story, roasted marshmallows in our pajamas, and made hot chocolate ('tis the season for extra sugar.)
Today's activity was "make a craft" and we decided to follow through with making bath bombs. I've seen a few "kid-friendly" recipes online and I ended up combining a few of the ideas I saw with the ingredients that I could easily obtain. (Citric acid? Not at the corner store.)
To our delight, the bath bombs actually turned out! Fragrant, only slightly crumbly, and satisfyingly "fizzedy" when we gave one a test-run for an afternoon bath.
Here's how we did it.
First, we mixed together 2 cups of baking soda, 1 cup of cream of tartar, and our herbs in a big bowl. I didn't have quick access to dried lavender, so our "herbs" were actually 4 cut-open bags of Bedtime Yogi tea. (Whatever works.) Then, we cut in about 4 tablespoons of coconut oil. (I'm guesstimating; we cut in enough - with a pastry cutter - to give the mixture a crumbly consistency.)
Then we dashed in a few drops of essential oil. We made two batches - one eucalyptus and one lavender. My daughter's eyes got a bit watery from the eucalyptus explosion (from about 30 "shakes").
Next, we used a spray bottle to gradually add water. Since we wanted the bath bombs to have a little color (green for eucalyptus, purple for lavender), we added several squirts of food coloring to the water bottle. It was my daughter's job to spray it into the mixture about 4 squirts at a time, and I'd mix after each turn.
Eventually, we got it to the consistency that I'd call crumbly-dough; if I squeezed a handful of the stuff, it would keep the shape of my fingers.
Then, we pressed in really hard into silicon molds. Eucalyptus bombs got the snowmen. We let it sit all day long.
Voila! Six hours later, super cute and easy gifts for just about everybody. We are going to package them in little treat bags. My daughter is going to make the labels.
I did get a chance to try one this evening with a nice warm bath of my own. It certainly is satisfying to watch the fizzedy bubbles come up to the surface and to smell the relaxing herbal scents. The one downfall is that there is A LOT of herb residue left in the tub afterward! These could easily be made without the tea bag contents. Overall: a really fun, smelly, texturally stimulating activity that I'm thinking will become a yearly tradition. She won't be six forever but hopefully we can still maintain the sense of magic that comes from working together in a warm kitchen on a cold day.
Emily Nielsen, CPT, is the owner of Fit for Motherhood, LLC, mother of 2 little girls, and an optimist by nature.
All posts © Emily Nielsen