Fit Friday: Easy at Home Circuit & Skinny Iced Coffee

Sometimes, even though I work in a gym, I just can’t get my workout in.  Let’s face it, after a day of working with  clients there are times I just want to get home.  I try to get something in everyday whether it be weight training or cardio, so easy at home workouts are always welcome.  I found this quick circuit to be quite effective and perfect for using I at home in the evening just so I know that I did something productive during the day.

Fitness at home in just 20 minutes (unsure of the graphic credit)

Doing this little circuit three to four times is honestly a great series of exercises that really targets your core area, as well as touching on your legs, chest and arms.  Even with several round of the exercises, you can knock out a productive workout in under 30 minutes.

There are times after a workout, I love to treat myself (with healthy options of course).

I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, but thanks to the many influences I have at work, Iced Coffee has become a most enjoyable treat for me.  Unfortunately with the syrups and additives in a commercial iced drink, they really aren’t that healthy, even if they are “light”.  While playing in the kitchen last weekend, I put together my own Iced Coffee drink that totally skips on the calories as well as the corn syrup additives, AND it tastes wonderful!

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Ingredients:

3 cups brewed coffee (I brew two K-cups on the largest setting), chilled

1 cup organic skim milk

2 Tablespoons Organic Vanilla Extract (make sure it is Corn Syrup free)

1-2 Tablespoons Stevia (depending on how sweet you like your drink)

Sugar-Free Whipped Cream

SImple ingredients .... You have to love simplicity!

SImple ingredients …. You have to love simplicity!

Making your coffee:

Whisk together the coffee, milk, vanilla and stevia. Pour over ice and top with the whipped cream.  You can garnish your drink with any flavor from cinnamon to grated dark chocolate (just a touch).  One thing I liked about making this at home is that you can change-up the vanilla flavoring with Caramel, Hazelnut, or Vanilla Butter & Nut extracts which is absolutely fabulous, or instead of plain coffee you can make it with scrumptious Godiva Chocolate laced coffee.

Yum!

Refreshing, Easy AND Healthy.... Oh how I love those words!

Refreshing, Easy AND Healthy…. Oh how I love those words!

I love these iced drinks as they make a wonderful dessert or serve up oh-so-pretty for company.

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This skinny iced coffee really does taste great, and with 55 calories, 1 gram fat, 0 sodium and o sugar you have a much better product than Starbuck’s version with 20 grams of sugar or  Dunkin Donuts version with 25 mg of sodium and laced with high-fructose corn syrup!

Skinny Iced Coffee

Fitness Friday

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Fit Friday: The Flywheel Experience

So many times I’m asked what all I do for my workouts.  It’s been awhile since I put together a Fitness Friday post that I thought I would share one of my favorite workouts today: Spinning.

Fitness Friday

While I lost almost all of my weight with weight training and diet, I have found myself rather bored in the gym lately.  Variety is one thing that can make or break a fitness routine, so I decided it was time to change things up a little and add a bit of cardio.  What I have discovered is that hidden inside this woman is a cardio junkie looking for the next adventure!

But, let me clarify, I still love to lift & weight train, just not everyday now.

Repping out Curtsy Lunges for leg day

Repping out Curtsy Lunges for leg day

Spinning or indoor cycling as it is also known is an exercise class that focuses on endurance, strength, intervals, high intensity, and recovery using a stationary bicycle with a weighted flywheel in a classroom setting.

There are spin classes and studios popping up everywhere (including the gym where I work and train), but Flywheel Sports has become mine and the Mister’s destination for a good workout.  The Flywheel concept was originally from New York and a break off from the ever popular Soul Cycle studio.  Now Flywheel Sports can be found in many areas from Atlanta to LA, with a studio in Charlotte.  We love to spend time in Charlotte on the weekends so working out there is a welcome break from the gym where I spend so much of my time.

Audley and I took out first spin class back in June and have been hooked ever since!

You buy credits and book your classes online either through the web or an app downloaded to your phone.  When you book you class you can choose your bike, so if you want to be in the front of the class (not me!) you can.  You can also hide out in the back of the class as you learn the basics of this new adventure.

It’s really simple to do.

When you enter the Flywheel Studio, you check in on the computers in the foyer and pick up your shoes from the cubby that is also your bike number (the first time you register on Flywheel you will give them your shoes size).

There are four computers set up for you to check-in on and your shoes for the class will be in the cubb below.

There are four computers set up for you to check-in on and your shoes for the class will be in the cubby below.

Shoes for spinning are absolutely necessary as they latch onto the bike pedal and keep your foot from slipping off as you are spinning 100 mph!

Shoes for spinning are absolutely necessary as they latch onto the bike pedal and keep your foot from slipping off as you are spinning 100 mph!

The spin room is set up in an arena atmosphere with all of the bikes facing the front of mirrored lined walls.  There is a bike for the instructor set up as well as all of the equipment to control the awesome tunes that will motivate, pump and carry you through your workout.  After everyone is set up with their bike (they have plenty of help to get you going), the lights are dimmed which will definitely help get you  in the zone for the intense hour ahead.

Arena style spin studio

Arena style spin studio

Each bike is set up for you to control as well as keep progress throughout the class.

The blue torque knob increases or decreases the intensity of the ride as if you were going up and down hills.  To the lest is the panel that lets you know how you are doing.

The blue torque knob increases or decreases the intensity of the ride as if you were going up and down hills. To the lest is the panel that lets you know how you are doing.

I love the intensity (without stupidity) and challenge of the workout.  Each class is 45-60 minutes and the intensity begins the moment you first turn the pedal.  The music for each class is pick to match the rhythm of each hill, sprint and decline of the ride.  Recently Flywheel Charlotte was doing rides to mimic the stages of the Tour de France.

Talk about challenging!

Le Tour de Fly chalkboard

Le Tour de Fly chalkboard

Throughout the class, the instructor will tell you how to adjust your bike for the maximum ride and workout.  As a beginner, you can lag a little behind until you are ready to tackle the class head on.  No one judges you as they are too involved in their own workout.

If you are competitive with yourself or even with others, this type of class is perfect for you.  You can keep your stats to yourself or you can have them published on a torque-board in the room using your nickname and see how you compare to others in the room.  I haven’t reached that stage yet, but I love seeing my results improve after each session.

Dressing for spin is easy.  You want comfortable, but tighter fitting clothes.  You don’t want to catch your attire on the bike during a ride!  I usually stick to Nike dri-fit crop pants and a tank top.

Here’s what you get in each class: a certified and totally energetic instructor, super awesome music with a beat to get your heart pumping, a high intensity ride, a light arm and shoulder workout, the opportunity to burn 800-1000 calories in one class, and the satisfaction of accomplishing something that two years ago was impossible.

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Flywheel is by far the sweatiest and most intense cardio workout I have ever been through.  If you do not like to sweat I wouldn’t recommend this for you at all, but if you are up for challenging yourself and competing with others this is the place for you!  It’s a blast to do alone or with a friend.

Check them out here for a location near you and get to spinning!

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Fit Friday: Greenville Color Vibe

A couple of months ago I created a bucket list of things to accomplish as I began to reach certain weight goals.  One  of those was to run a 5K.  Originally I had planned to do this in November, but my sweet Madeline discovered the super fun Color Vibe run was coming to the area in August and insisted that we do it together.

So, with just 3 1/2 weeks to prepare, I got ready to run my first 5K.
There are several programs out there to get ready for running events, but I didn’t use one.  I just went with my gut and started walking the hills and roads through our subdivision, then added jogging to the mix.  In three weeks time, there is really no way to be ready to run, but I was determined to be close.

Madeline & me just before the start of the race … we had already been dusted with a little color.
And, I was close.  I ran about 3/4 of the 5K race, mainly walking the hills that totally kicked my bum.  WOW!  I wasn’t out of breathe or exhausted from being out of shape, just from not training long.
Madeline ran off and left me, which was quite expected and alright (she is a distance runner for the high school track team).
I passed people who started before me and finished the entire thing in just under 45 minutes, which pleased me greatly.

My three super encouraging kiddos, as well as one of my reasons to be fit!

 

No matter how big or small, accomplishing a goal is always satisfying.

But that is the fun in a 5K like the Color Vibe.  Everyone is there to raise money for a local charity; in our case a local food bank.  Costumes and personality is encouraged, and you don’t necessarily have to run.

In fact there were several groups that participated that were there to walk the entire event and have fun!
That’s what is so awesome about living a fit life.  You can walk your journey, or you can run it, but you’ll always enjoy it!
I did enjoy having my biggest cheerleader present to encourage me along my route and waiting on me at the finish line.
2012 (on the left) & August 31, 2013 (on the right)…. And yes, I am wearing a tutu!
There is a 100 pounds less for him to love on, but I really don’t think he cares.

Find something that peaks your interest and motivate yourself this weekend to do something different!  You will be so glad that you did!