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    What Workout to Do When You Don't Know What to Do | My Top 3 Tips

    What Workout to Do When You Don't Know What to Do | My Top 3 Tips

    We all experience it, those days where we want to do a workout, but have no idea what body part to work on, and what exercises should be in the workout. We can't even blame this issue on a lack of planning, because I don't know about you, but I’ve had scheduled workouts I'd rather skip over.

    So, what do I suggest?

    Going Back to the Basics

    Often times we start to think of exercises as “the more complex the exercise, the more effective they will be”, and this is honestly not necessarily true!

    The basic exercises are the ones that are actually most effective; the ones that you build your foundation of your exercise repertoire off of.

    Don’t be afraid to take your complicated exercises back a bit to their simplest form. This will remind you of the importance of form, and will help you really focus in on the muscles being used for the exercise.

    Here is one of my favourite beginner (or basic) upper body workout with small dumbbells (3-5lbs).

    3 rounds of:

    1. Bicep curls- holding the small weights, keep your elbows pinned to the side of your ribcage and lift the weights up towards your shoulders. Do this with control, then slowly lower them down to starting position (repeat for 8 repetitions)
    2. Shoulder raises- holding the small weights, bring your hands together in front of you with your palms facing each other. Bring your arms up in unison until your arms reach just before your ears. Slowly lower them down. (repeat for 10 repetitions)
    3. Table Top Spine Twist- starting on all fours, with your hips stacked on top of your knees and shoulders on top of your hands, lift one hand and thread it through the hole your other arm makes with the ground. Lower yourself until your shoulder comes close to or touches the ground. Use your core muscles to bring you back to starting position (on all fours). (repeat for 10 repetitions per side)
    4. Shoulder Press- in a seated or standing position, holding the small weights, bring your arms up to 90 degrees to your body with your hands stacked on top of your elbows and hands facing forward. Slowly raise one arm so that is is straight up in the air, then slowly return back to starting position. Don't let your arms fall below 90 degrees (repeat for 8 repetitions per side)
    5. Tricep Press- in a seated or standing position, holding the small weights, bring your arms next to your ears and bend your elbows so the weights in your hands come behind your head. Keeping your elbows in that position, slowly raise and lower the weights in unison. (repeat for 10 repetitions)
    6. Inchworm- standing tall, with feet hip width apart, and only a slight bend in your knees, reach forward so that your finger tips hit the ground. Walk your fingers and eventually hands out until your body reaches a high plank position. Do your best to keep your legs straight with only a slight bend. Walk back up to standing position (repeat for 8 repetitions)

    Do a Follow Along Workout

    Now for those of you who aren't familiar with follow along workouts, don't turn your nose up to the idea just yet! Follow along workouts are fun because someone is with you engaging with you the entire workout, and it takes guessing for which exercise to next out of the game.

    Here is one of my favourite follow along workouts to do at home:

     

    Experience Fitness in a New Way

    Whoever said that fitness needs to be carried out inside or in a conventional manner, was wrong! Simply moving is a part of physical fitness. Maybe you want to bust out dancing to your fav songs for half an hour on a day where you don't know what to do. Perhaps you want to go for a run, or a hike, to enjoy nature. Or maybe you even want to play a game of soccer with friends. Whatever it is, if you’re moving, you are working on your fitness. As an added benefit, when you do things outside of conventional working out, that incorporates interaction with other human beings, your mental health will also improve.

    There you have it! The top 3 things I do when i have no idea what workout i should do. What’s you’re next workout?

    7 Ways to Stay Motivated to Exercise Regularly

    7 Ways to Stay Motivated to Exercise Regularly

    I’m not going to lie; despite being a “fitness influencer” and business owner in the fitness industry (where my job is literally to workout), I too have days where I just don’t want to get up and workout.

    Sometimes it’s because I am completely burnt out, but other times its pure laziness. You know the difference when you feel it; it's when you have that energy in you to workout, but you’d rather not. YES, I too experience that; no one is exempt from this feeling.

    Having said that, I wanted to share with you some of the ways I motivate myself to workout when I get this feeling of laziness, hoping that it will help you stop procrastinating, and start making movement a regular thing!

    1. CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE

    Often times, when we start a workout routine, it comes from a place of wanting to look better; to fit into that new dress or bikini (which, by the way, is totally not a bad thing). I have found that it helps to also focus on how exercise makes me feel. When I start thinking about how good I feel after a good sweat, or how strong I feel after completing a challenging set, I remember the deeper reasons for my workout routine. Shift your focus to how it makes you feel for a while and you may be more likely to get up off the couch.

     

    2. PLAN SHORTER WORKOUTS

    And keep them short! When you plan for shorter workouts, they don’t feel as daunting and it gets you into the habit of moving on a regular basis. A workout could be as short as doing 20 squats and 20 lunges. Keep it short until you re-gain motivation; at least you’re moving!

     

    3. CREATE A FUN PLAYLIST

    Sometimes getting to the gym, or getting to a place in your home where you’re ready to workout, just takes some good music! I like to create a personal playlist of all the bada** songs I know, and put it on a loop. When I especially lack motivation for a more than a couple days, I do this for every workout so that I’m listening to something fresh every time. Another thing you can do is get the playlist going even before you get to the workout- this way you are hyping yourself up! My current workout playlist is: https://open.spotify.com/user/b2s9nm37miq5y4nkvhswy3i24/playlist/5cMnKDbupynenima6WKaY0?si=t1XXjdt2Q8W7eKdB146X5Q

     

    4. SCHEDULING

    If your health is really important to you, treat it like other things that are important to you. You make and schedule time for those things. Schedule your workouts and post the schedule somewhere you can see when you wake up or somewhere in your workspace. In addition to this, set a time daily that is set aside as "workout time", and keep it consistent. This way, it will become a part of your body’s rhythm and your body will know when it’s time to move! I like to move first thing in the morning. I wake up ready to workout or dance or go for a run!

     

    5. ACCOUNTABILITY

    Find a buddy that will workout with you! If you’re someone who likes to workout solo, just find a friend that will keep you accountable. Perhaps a morning text, or get them to give you a little nudge once in a while. Ultimately, this journey is for you but I find that when I feel like I’m letting someone else down if I don’t workout, I am more likely to show up and complete the workout!

     

    6. GROUP FITNESS

    This one is actually one of my favourite tips as I am an avid fitness-class-goer. I love trying new classes and challenging my body in new ways. Not only does this motivate me to workout, it also challenges the body in a way that won’t let your body plateau. Try a new spin class, pilates, or weight training class! And if you want to stay at home, try doing follow along videos like the ones you can find on my youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZUUZFex6AaIU4QTopFudYA

     

    7. REMEMBER YOUR REASON

    Finally, remind yourself why you started working; and find the deep reason! Perhaps it is so that you can stay healthy so that you can conceive, or so you can stay healthy to take care of your parents, or to increase your confidence and challenge yourself even with other aspects of life. Whatever you personal journey is, it is important that you outline the reason you want to keep yourself healthy and fit. Write it down, and keep it in a place where you can always pull it out and look at it. This one always does the trick, even on the worst of days where I really don’t want to workout!

     

     

    At the end of the day, life is hectic. But if you are making time for the things that are important to you, like exercising, you’re doing it right. Don’t beat yourself up for missed days, but do your best to prevent going into a de-motivated downward spiral with these tips! I know you have it in you to stay consistent and reach your goals.

    Thanks for reading. Make sure you are subscribed to my newsletter for more tips, tricks, and free content.

     

    xoxo,

    Jo

    Stay Snatched This Summer With these LOW CALORIE Alcoholic Beverages| My Top 6 Picks

    Stay Snatched This Summer With these LOW CALORIE Alcoholic Beverages| My Top 6 Picks

    If you’re doing your best to lose those last few inches before bikini season, but still want to enjoy a patio drink here and there or a night out with friends, don’t fret! I have some cocktail suggestions that will help you keep the weight off and still enjoy time with friends

    Little disclaimer: I talk a lot about “calories” in this article, not to be calorie-phobic, rather to point out that eating nutrient dense calories is much much better than drinking sugary calories. These are just a few examples of options I would order at a restaurant for this reason!

    A Moscow mule (ordered differently).

    Moscow mules have easily made their way to the top of my favourites list as they are refreshing, but pack a little bite because of the ginger in it. Usually a Moscow mule is made up of ginger beer, vodka, lime and simple syrup. Ask to skip the simple syrup; this will bring the drink down to only about 80 cals. I even order just ginger beer and lime at times when I want to skip the alcohol.

    Vodka seltzer 

    skip the tonic and go for the seltzer. Tonic actually contains a lot of calories because of the sugar in it. Ask for a lemon or lime (or both) for your vodka seltzer and give them a little squeeze, and you’re set! This option is also great for the club scene!

    Glass of Champagne

    Feeling fancy? Pour yourself a glass of champagne. Champagne actually packs less calories than a standard glass of wine or cocktail. If you’re not a champagne gal, try pinot noir -this dry wine contains less calories because it has a low sugar count.

    Kombucha with vodka 

    While this may seem like its a “healthy drink”, the alcohol really brings it away from that category. The kombucha flavour however really brings it home (especially when it’s a floral or fruity one). Most kombuchas contain 80 calories or less; that a win in the low calorie drinks department

    Cesar (or Bloody Mary) Extra Spicy

    The Canadian in me says Cesar! Cesar! Cesar! Every time i hit up a patio or have a date night. If you don’t know what a Cesar is, it’s basically a Bloody Mary but with Clamato (vegetable juice) instead of tomato juice. One thing I will note about a Cesar is that they often fill me up before I even get the food I ordered. This can be good and bad. Good because I could potentially eat less because of it; bad because i was taught to eat everything on my plate (darn it). I shy away from them for this reason. BUT if you’re into that sort of thing, try the drink extra spicy this will remind you to slow down on the drink and sip water in between sips!

    A Scotch on the Rocks 

    If you want to skip the sugary drinks all together, a scotch on the rocks is a great option, and can often get you through an entire night if you sip it slowly

    Whatever your drink of choice, enjoy this beautiful sunny season! Don't worry too much about calories and do your best to make the 'healthier choice', and you'll be feeling good both inside and outside!

    30 Day HAPPINESS Challenge

    30 Day HAPPINESS Challenge

    Ive seen a lot of these types of posts on Pinterest and thought i would try my own, as i find that health and fitness is about so much more than working out and eating right. Living a fit and healthy life means that you are taking care of your inner self, your true feelings about yourself and your position in this world. If you are actively working on your self-care and creating a happy space in your mind, it will become a norm.
    If you go through this challenge (or any other for that matter), make sure not to get down on yourself if you miss a day, its counterintuitive to go through it and feel horrible if you missed one or two. Take it how you like it and these are just suggestions to make your days happier and more enjoyable!
    1. go for a walk outside- and take your time with it. Enjoy what the fresh air has for you, and try a new route than you have ever taken! (Remember also to walk safely, if not on the sidewalk, on the correct side of the road)
    2. tell someone a joke - if you cant think of one, look one up! Making someone else laugh always make me happy
    3. learn how to cook a new dish - perhaps browse through my Pinterest page for suggestions!  https://www.pinterest.ca/growwithjo/
    4. perform a selfless act - i feel that when i do something for someone else, and see their smile, it usually makes my day too!
    5. bake a yummy cake - or cookies, or whatever you prefer. Share it with someone, while you chill and vibe
    6. watch a favourite movie - mines UP or A Walk to Remember or The Great Gatsby or Wolf of Wall Street (LAWD i have so many favs)
    7. Journal your thoughts - its a super therapeutic activity; I hope you give this one a try at least once.
    8. Wear your favourite colours - i find that when i do this, either to the gym or while i work, it gives me a little more excitement to be doing whatever activity Im doing.
    9. Have a dance party - and dance as obnoxiously as possible. This helps me let out stress and just be silly in the comfort of my own space. My boyfriend usually either watches and laughs with me, or joins in with his own silly dance.
    10. Listen to a podcast - learn something new, your brain will be happy :)
    11. Get yourself some flowers - you can even pick a few outside and put them in a cup. That nice reminder of nature's intricacies will be sure to put a smile on your face.
    12. Practice yoga - or stretches at home or in a class!
    13. FaceTime a friend - i find that reconnecting with someone i haven't talked to in a while really gives me a new perspective on life and allows me to appreciate life for the way that it is. 
    14. Get a massage - relieve that stress girl, you deserve it
    15. Meditate for 10 mins - if you have trouble with this, try a meditation app- i like Calm or Headspace 
    16. Take a day trip - if time allows you. If not, just try going to a new place in town, taking a little detour as an adventure, you may be surprised with what you find!
    17. Take a long bath (or shower)
    18. Smile at as many people as possible - seeing that smile back will definitely make you smile even bigger
    19. Colour or paint - create your own picture or use a picture book. I like doing this while listening to lofi playlist on youtube.
    20. Treat yourself- food treat, online purchase, something you've been wanting for a while. 
    21. Try a new food cuisine - venture outside of your comfort zone and try a new dish from a cultures food you've never tried
    22. Get a manicure (or give yourself one)
    23. No social media day- i find this helps me stop thinking about other peoples lives and really live in the moment.
    24. Follow along yoga (youtube or online) - do it at home- maybe this will be a new routine for you?!
    25. Have a sleepover - either host one or get a few girlfriends together at a friends house. Bring out the snacks and therapeutic girly talk
    26. Share a quote- find an uplifting quote to share with your close circle or friend(s).
    27. 15 mins of cardio - this always helps me clear my mind and re-set
    28. Compliment someone -find something you genuinely love about someone and let them know. They will be surprised and you'll feel great for making someone else feel great about themselves
    29. Go to bed 30 mins early- you'd be surprised what that extra 30 mins can do
    30. Start a daily planner - keep yourself more organized, and perhaps add some of these activities into your daily routine to keep yourself actively happy and enjoying life!
    I really hope that you like this challenge, as it has been one that has helped me really keep a positive attitude! Make sure to pin this on Pinterest and share with a friend on Instagram or Facebook! Tag me so i can add you to my circle of friends and fam <3

    May 30 Day Morning Challenge by growwithjo

    May 30 Day Morning Challenge by growwithjo

    It took me a very long time to figure how to work out in the morning.

    But once i did, there was no turning back.

    Sure i have days where i workout later in the day due to a late night up, or when i plain just want to stay in bed for an extra hour, but most days i wake up quite early to get my work out on.


    There is something really gratifying about finishing an entire work out before the rest of (what seems like) the world wakes up.The simple fact that that is out of the way for the day may even put a little more pep in your step.


    Today, I want to challenge you to work out first thing in the morning, for the next 30 days (with the exception of rest days).

     

     


    Each day you will be sent a new email correlating with the day on the calendar including links to the workout videos as well as helpful tips to keep you motivated and informed!  I want to encourage you to complete the workout of the day (where it applies), and to implement the tools i give you along the way.

    If you are starting this challenge later in the month, no worries, still go through the 30 days; it can be done any time of the year! 

    I will also add that if you are unable to complete the workouts first thing in the morning, you are still welcome to join the challenge; you may do the workouts at your allotted time slot.

    There are thousands of women joining you for this challenge, so make sure to hashtag your social media posts with #GOmaymorningchallenge to share your progress with the women cheering for you worldwide!

    Before we begin, I want to go over a few points i found proved helpful when i decided to make morning workouts a part of my routine.


    Do all your prep the night before

    When you have everything you need for your morning workout laid out, and ready to go, you are more likely to haul butt out of bed first thing in the morning. I like to get my workout clothes, shoes, and pre workout out and place them where i can see them immediately first thing in the morning. Not only does this motivate me to get out of bed, it cuts down on the time it takes to make those trivial decisions first thing in the morning, maximizing the time you have to work out!


    Move Your Alarm Across the Bedroom

    This one may be tough as you may like to go to sleep surfing your fav social media platforms. However, in doing this, you will be killing 2 birds with one stone. Falling asleep with that blue light in your eyes may disrupt sleep patterns, and when your alarm is next to you when you wake up, it is THAT MUCH EASIER to hit snooze. Moving your alarm across the bedroom will force you to get out of bed to turn it off, and once you’re up you just have to decide to stay up!


    Turn Some Music On!

    Turning music on as soon as i get out of bed helps me get into a happy vibe and gets me hype for my workout. I keep the music on while i put on my gym clothes and make my preworkout drink. If you’re afraid of waking someone else up, simple, put on a set of headphones or earbuds and you can blast it as loud as you want! I like to start my playlist with a song i absolutely love. This usually helps me shake off the morning sleepies. (My current fav first song to listen to is ‘undecided’ by Chris Brown).


    Now that you have my top 3 secrets to working out first thing in the morning, all you have to do is JUST DO IT! Enter your email, download and print the calendar, and complete each of the workouts as you receive them in your email inbox!

    You got this!