Abs Like Brit

Britney Spears that is. There was a time in my life, 2001-2002 to be exact, when I had a slight obsession with having abs like Britney Spears. Remember the “I’m a Slave 4 U” video? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

At the time, I remember reading somewhere that she did 700 crunches a day, so I decided that I should also be doing 700 crunches a day—and I did…for a while, until I realized that 700 crunches a day is only really worth it if you’re a celebrity and the entire world is seeing your midriff. Right…

But because this month is all about the home workout, I thought I’d see if I could find Britney’s “Slave 4 U” ab routine online, and low and behold, I did (because unlike in 2001, you can find everything on the internet now), and I’m thinking about giving it a shot to see if I can reach 18-year-old Danne’s dreams. Hopefully I’ll have more luck this time than the younger version of myself did (doubtful):

Britney Spears’ “Slave 4 U” Abs Routine

And if 750-1,000 reps becomes too intense, I found this video on YouTube that looks pretty legit (and slightly less insane):


And of course, I’ve been pinning little ab workouts to my “Workin’ It” Pinterest board all month long too.

Anyone have any favorite ab routines to share?

 

 

Yoga on the Cheap (Read: For Free)

While I’m more than happy to pay for yoga (it’s hard to find a more lovely community of people to support), I haven’t found a studio in Ann Arbor that I’ve totally jived with yet, so I’ve been primarily practicing at home. Luckily, I’m a certified yoga teacher so I’m able to lead myself through a sequence, but for days when I’m feeling like I need a little guidance, I turn to Yoga International.

Yoga International is run by the Himalayan Institute, which is “a non-profit, international organization dedicated to serving humanity through educational, spiritual, and humanitarian programs” (as quoted from their website). They’re a leader in the field of yoga, meditation, and spirituality, and they offer tons of FREE classes online—not to mention countless articles, digital courses, products, and a whole host of other wonderful offerings. In short, take classes from expert teacher for free (although I do opt for the $5 monthly membership—because why not?).

You can check out their extensive listing of online classes here, and below are a few links to practices that I’ve personally enjoyed recently:

Stretch and Breathe with Rolf Sovik
Twist and Flow with Kathryn Heagberg
Peak Pose: Eka Pada Rajakapotasana with Jen Stout
Build Ojas with Gentle Movement with Ginny Mazzei

Enjoy yogis!

One-Song Workouts

Who’s heard of these? So fun, right? Just as the name suggests, One-Song Workouts take a song and assign a little workout circuit for you to complete while listening to it. And yeah, if you only do one you probably aren’t burning enough calories for it to qualify as a “real” workout, but do a few of these back to back and you’ve got a nice little home routine lined up. Here’s where you can find some:

One-Song Workouts on Pinterest
5 One-Song Workouts from Buzzfeed (you can play the songs from here too)

And here’s one so you can see what I’m talking about:

jayz_onesongworkout

 

 

One, Fifteen, and Forty-Minute Workout Routines

So, a few months back I mysteriously started receiving Family Circle in the mail. Figuring it was either an accident or some sort of promotion, I tossed the first issue into the recycling bin and didn’t think much else about it. Then, when talking to my Dad a few nights later, he asked if I got “some magazine” in the mail, because Nana had got me a gift subscription and wanted to make sure I got it.

Now even if Family Circle might not normally be my jam, when your adorable 94 year-old Nana gets you a subscription, you read every issue cover to cover, no questions asked. Right after I got off the phone, I retrieved the issue from the recycling.

I have to say though, I’ve been enjoying the magazine a lot more than I thought I would. A lot of the stuff about families and kids doesn’t necessarily apply to me just yet, but they have some great articles and recipes, and when I was reading this month’s issue tonight, I found “3 Anywhere, Anytime Workouts” that I’m putting on my workout to-do list:

1-Minute Routine
Do 60 seconds of jumping jacks, with a squat in between each.

15-Minute Routine
2 minutes walk in place
2 minutes run or brisk march in place
2 minutes push-ups
2 minutes jumping jacks
2 minutes fast squats
2 minutes burpees
2 minutes lunges
1 minute plank

40-Minute Routine
5 minutes walk in place
5 minutes run/walk as fast as you can
5 minutes recovery
4 minutes go as hard as you can
4 minutes recovery
3 minutes go as hard as you can
3 minutes recovery
2 minutes go as hard as you can
2 minutes recovery
1 minute go as hard as you can
1 minute recovery
5 minutes cooldown

 

Diet > Exercise

Anyone remember that article from Time Magazine a ways back about Why Exercise Won’t Make You Thin? The whole thing is worth a read, but the main gist of it is that you can workout all you want, but if you’re eating too much then you’ll never lose weight. Oh, right…

That being said, it doesn’t make much sense to do a workout challenge with expectations of seeing results without at least somewhat monitoring my diet, right? So, in addition to getting my home workouts in, this month I’m also using the app FatSecret to keep track of what I’m eating. While part of me kind of hates counting calories, another part of me is finding it really useful to see how many calories I’m actually consuming vs. how many I thought I was.

Plus, it’s helping me to make some smart choices when it comes to selecting one food or beverage over another—like the time I assumed tonic water was calorie free, wrong! It has upwards of 80 calories a glass and 21 grams of sugar, as opposed to zero in soda water (checkout this slideshow from Shape that shows how certain drinks stack up against each other calorie-wise). The more you know…

Anyone out there an avid calorie counter? Any tips and tricks for me?

Home Fitness Find #1: Popsugar Fitness

This whole challenge started when I was creating a Pinterest “Fitspiration” board for one of my social media clients. I was looking for fitness motivation imagery and kept coming across all these fun little graphics for workouts to do at home. One of them linked me back to Popsugar Fitness, which has a TON of great workouts that you can do just about anywhere, including this Bikini Body Workout Plan that I’ve been focusing on for the past week.

Win! Let’s see what else I can find…

bikinibodychallenge

July’s Lent: The 21st Century Home Workout

Early on in high school, I discovered my mom’s treasure trove of workout VHS tapes from the 80s and early 90s. Exercising outside of gym class was a new and intriguing concept for me, so I spent a good chunk of time working my way through all the different types of workout tapes in her collection. Countless hours were spent doing sit-ups with Tony Little, belly dancing with Neena and Veena, kickboxing my way through Tao Bo with Billy Blanks, and learning sun salutations from Kathy Smith—just to name a few.

My interest in the home workout waned once I had free access to a gym in college though, and for the last few years I was lucky enough to work for a company that paid for any fitness class I wanted to take (pretty sweet benefit, right?), so I’ve been primarily getting my workout on outside of the home. Now that I don’t have the luxury of working out for free whenever I want though, I need to figure out an affordable way to stay in shape. Hello, home workout—21st century style.

This month my goal is to navigate my way through the internet’s plethora of free workouts, whether it be through fitness sites, blogs, YouTube, or Pinterest (I’ve surprisingly found a bunch of really good ones on there), and report back my best finds to you guys. Hopefully by the end of the month I’ll have a whole host of good options for getting in shape on the cheap.

Anyone have any favorite home workout resources to share with me?

vhsworkout

I plan to make my way through all of these while I’m home visiting my family on the Cape this week.

 

 

The Power of Time Off

Did I really let 14 whole days pass without writing? Whoops. You guys still there? Did you give up on me yet? You know it’s bad when Facebook starts sending you those little reminder messages encouraging you to post because you haven’t in so long…and I did so well last month! What happened?

Truth be told, I actually don’t have a challenge for June (gasp!). I had every intention of doing one, and well, life got the best of me. For the last few months I’ve been working 2 jobs with some freelance work thrown into the mix, and well—I’m pooped. Going from working 30 hours a week to 50 has been an adjustment, and while it’s all for the best (a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do), free time has been hard to come by and I just don’t have a challenge in me right now.

But things are about to shift in a better direction, and next week I’ll go back down to 1 job again (phew), finishing up my time at lululemon and heading back to doing graphic design and social media work. It’s been a wild ride with lulu over the past few years full of crazy-amazing experiences and some incredible people, but I feel complete with my time there, and something’s been telling me that it’s time to move on. It was nice—essential even, to have a break from my career and to take a breather (I’m all about Sagmeister‘s “time off” philosophy), but it’s time to get back to work, so that’s what I’m going to do.

So hang in there with me as this career transition takes center stage for the time being. My plan is to be back in blogging business for July though, so keep checking back. I may squeeze in a post here and there before then if I can too. I can’t stay away for too long…

A Short Run Is Better Than No Run

Guys…I did it! I ran every single day this month—woohoo! I think this might be the first time in 12MOL history that I fully completed a challenge without cheating (I hope that doesn’t change your opinion of me, but I usually cut myself a little slack here and there), and I have to say, I’m kind of proud of myself.

This morning’s final “Mile A Day May” treadmill session ended me at 32 miles for the month, which compared to last month’s zero miles, is a pretty big improvement, right?

For whatever reason, I used to operate under the assumption that it wasn’t worth going for a run if I didn’t do at least a few miles, but what happened more times than not was that this thought process prevented me from running at all (hence the zero miles I ran last month). What this challenge showed me though, is that running a mile might not seem like a lot at the time, but those miles add up, and a short run ends up being way better than no run at all.

That being said, I think I’m ready for a day off, so tomorrow you can find me taking a well-reserved rest day and lounging around in the sun at a Great Lake. Ahhh…

Thanks Mile A Day May, you were a good one.

ashortrun