Trading The Gym For The Outdoors

Lately, I find myself choosing the outdoors over the gym to get my daily workouts. As the seasons change I typically find this to be what happens, although this year it seems earlier than most for this to be happening.

I am not, by any means, a gym die hard. I do, however, like to keep a routine and try and make it there at least twice during week and twice on the weekends in the winter months. The remainder of the time I just find it more convenient to workout at home. When winter comes to an end, I still try and make it there twice during the week but weekends often are spent outside instead.

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That being said, I can’t help but struggle during the week with going to the gym when the sun is shining and there is so much to be offered outside to get in a great workout. Which means some weeks I don’t make it to the gym at all.

For one, I love to do yoga, weights, and stretching in nearby parks. Find a back corner where there is peace and quiet and you can really clear your mind and get in a good sweat.

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As a family we have come to love disc golf. It’s challenging, it’s often a nice walk through a wooded park, and offers fun while your exercising and you often don’t even realize it.

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You all know if I had to choose a great hike over a visit to the gym….the hike would win every time. Here in the midwest, hiking season is short so I take advantage of every chance I get to log trail miles. Granted, I don’t get to work every muscle group I could be working at the gym….however, hiking is one activity that’s truly brings me peace and let’s me know that I can literally walk away from life for a short amount of time. On the trail I can just let everything go.

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Once summer arrives in full force, our paddles come out, get dusted off, and the water calls my name every weekend and even some week nights. From kayaking to paddle boarding, I often struggle with which one to do on which weekend. I know right….what a hard decision to have to make. Believe me…..it really is sometimes.

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During the months of June,July, and August I will be very lucky to touch foot in the gym even once. Weekends are jam packed with summer fun and week days are also jammed packed with other types of summer fun while I work. Caring for children during the days in the summer months is twice as exhausting as in the winter months for me. Winter offers the same activities in rotation. Summer, however, leads to all sorts of summer fun….especially when my husband and son are also home to join in the action. Things such as water balloon fights and critter hunting always add to the fun of summer.

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Do you prefer to spend time exercising outdoors or inside?

What’s you favorite outdoor exercise?

A Great Ending To Finish Off The Week….Minus One Snake

Strange week for me for sure. All the stars aligned and left me with Friday off….super cool in every way possible. So what did I do, well, I do what I always do, I went and had the best sweat session ever in the wee morning hours at the gym Friday morning. You all know I LOVE to work out in the morning and it leaves me with SO MUCH ENERGY the rest of the day it’s crazy. After this I came home, showered, and surprised my husband by freeing up Friday night by going grocery shopping during the day instead of the evening as we always do. I even made a trip to Aldi’s here in Green Bay. Someplace I really need to visit more often but just never do and it’s a shame. I could save so much money I know, but I dislike their hours and I can’t get everything I need there either.  So to normally shop two grocery stores would be a huge hassle for me.

My knee is back to almost 100% so it was back to full workouts all week. It was a bit of a crazy week with my husbands birthday one day which meant we were gone out one evening.  One day we had gorgeous spring like weather which we spent all day outside enjoying, doing yard work and taking walks. Which then left me completely exhausted come evening time. Just how I love feeling after a great day outdoors.So my workouts were all over the place but I still fit it what I could.

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical and legs

Monday: home:1 mile walk with my kiddos, 30 minute recumbent bike, total body weights, 3 mile evening walk with my hubby

Tuesday: 2 mile walk and a lot of yard work

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike, arms and shoulder weights, stretching

Friday: gym: 45 minute elliptical, TRX suspension trainer, and stretching

Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical and stretching

outdoors: 3.1 mile hike

Ending the week with an nice spring mud hike through an area waterfowl preserve near us. I love this place, they have so many gorgeous hiking trails and its minutes from our home.

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The true sign for me that spring has arrived is these slithery creatures start making a comeback. Going into the hike I figured it was still way to early to see any….apparently I was wrong. We came across this one just off the trail….and he was not moving all that quickly since it was still cold so I actually calmed myself(and used my zoom) to capture my first ever living snake picture.

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Active Lifestyle+Age=Aches and Pains

You can eat right, exercise, and drink all the water you want but sometimes your body just says….ENOUGH! If you’ve been noticing on these weekly posts regarding what I have done for workouts each week I have been adding a lot more stretching to try an alleviate some aches and pains I have been having. Well, it’s not working and I came to the conclusion that maybe I just need to give my joints a break. More precisely, I need to give my knees and ankles a break. Yes, I know they have never been strong especially my ankles, but recently I have had a sore knee. It plagues me most when going up steps and seems very weak and unstable. So before I do real damage, which hopefully I have not already done, I made a deal that I would take it easy for a week and see what happens. I made this deal with myself Monday evening after my 3 mile walk when I was miserable after I finally arrived home. So here is a look at my easy exercise week….which was not so easy mentally but needed.

Sunday: 3 mile trail hike

Monday: home: 1 mile walk with my kiddos, full body weight workout and 3 mile evening walk

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: upper body weights in laying/sitting position and rowing

Thursday: upper body weights and rowing+ 1.5 mile slow walk on level ground since my knee seemed to be feeling better today I thought I would give a slow walk a try. No pain during or after so I am hoping that it’s on the mend

Friday: rest

Saturday: gym: 30 minute elliptical

Not a week I was hoping for but it is what it is. I am trying to learn to listen to my body but at the same time I also know moving helps my body feel better. So it’s a double edge sword at times. In my heart I know walking on pavement, black top, and cement gives me pain. However, dirt trails are not always close by or time prevents me from making the trip to one so I settle for this alternative. Lately, with the snow and ice gone, I have been spending much more time on hard surfaces and I am hoping this is what is causing my joint issues. Time will tell…

 

Moods and Tantrums!!!!

An hour of extra daylight every day was the bright spot of my work week, there is no doubt about that. Wow, how can children be so thrown off by one hour I will never know but they clearly are? This week has been a roller coaster ride of moods and tantrums!!!!

Which made exercising as a stress reliever almost impossible since no one was completely on schedule. Which then means my poor husband and son had to put up with a cranky wife and mother most evenings. Poor guys.So without making more out of it then it really is, here is what I did squeeze in this week for my health and well being.

Sunday: rest

Monday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike, total body weights, and a two mile mall lap walk since we had to go anyhow for a wedding gift.

Tuesday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, leg weights, and stretching

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike, full body weight workout, stretching and foam rolling

evening: 3 mile trail walk to watch the sunset

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Friday: home: full body weights workout

Saturday: 1.5 mile evening walk….since we left home at 5a.m. for a day of fun I just could not find it in my heart to get up any earlier and go to the gym before we left.

 

What??? 50 Degrees In February In Wisconsin….YeeeeHaaaa!!!!

How do I even try to explain how happy I was when I heard it was going to hit 50 degrees this week in Wisconsin. Explanation points, happy faces or just burst out with words like….yeeee haaaaa!!!!! This is completely a gift from up above and I will gladly except it with a big THANK YOU.

Something happens when it warms up over in our house. I become a happier human being, I find energy to cook, clean and make lists of things to cook and clean when I run out of time. Thoughts of vacations and places to visit start popping into my head and trails I want to hike become a date on the calendar and not just a thought. I send home reminders to all my daycare parents that we are headed outside FINALLY so prepare for muddy children. I go for walks outside instead of the local mall where we do laps…..so boring. All in all, things just become a bit brighter for everyone when I become a happier human being.

In my heart I know this is too good to be true, since it is Wisconsin and we could easily get one, if not more, snowstorms well into March, but for now I am taking it and loving every last minute. So take a look at what I did this week in the world of exercise. Not a single mall lap walk during the whole week and that I am so thankful for.

Sunday: gym: 30 minute elliptical and full body weights on the TRX suspension trainer

Monday: evening walk outside 3 miles

Tuesday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike

gym: 30 minute elliptical

Wednesday: evening walk outside 3 miles

Thursday: home: 30 minute recumbent bike and total body weight routine

Friday: rest

Saturday: trail hike of 2.5 miles…original plan was 3.1 miles but it was more like a skating rink so instead of falling and injuring myself, I cut it short and still had a wonderful time. Here are some pics from todays 50 degree hike in February.

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As for meals this week. I did not do very good at remembering to snap pictures but don’t think we did not eat…haha. I again tried two new recipes, this one which will be shared soon.

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and this one which turned out better than expected.

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And one night I rebounded to a family favorite of turkey fajita seasoned brats with veggies, and like always we enjoyed one dinner out on Friday evening.

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The highlight of my week next to the awesome weather we have had was when my son snagged some floor to ceiling mirrors from the gym he works at that they were going to toss out. One corner is a bit cracked and one is slightly chipped but hey, they will do just fine here at home. I have been wishing for mirrors for my workout area to keep an eye on my form when doing yoga and lifting weights but they cost a fortune to buy. Now we just need some time to install them….which until the temps turn back to freezing, this will not happen because WE WILL BE OUTSIDE……HURRRAAAYYYY!!!!

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Eating My Way Through A Stressful Week

We had some things going on this week that have led me back to my old go to of stress eating. Although, I am proud to say I still fit in exercise, however, I am not too proud to admit not nearly what I consumed in calories this week. Uggg, what do you do right? Sometimes you just have to face the facts and move forward and never look back.

Anyhow, here is what the week was like between my four walls (which are getting closer together as winter persists or so it seems).

Sunday: rest…I had every intention of going to the gym but I was not feeling great so I decided to stay home

Monday: home: upper body weight routine, 30 minute recumbent bike

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Tuesday: home: upper body weight routine, 30 minute recumbent bike and a 2 mile walk doing laps at the mall

Wednesday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, rowing and some work with the TRX suspension trainer

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Thursday: home: upper body weights and 30 minute recumbent bike

Friday: rest

Saturday: gym: 45 minute elliptical, rowing, and more of the TRX suspension trainer…which I am learning to LOVE!!!

Not the best week ever but I fit it in and felt good when I had accomplished what I accomplished. My only hope is that next week is a bit calmer and more on the normal, routine side of life instead of complete chaos.

One thing I am thankful for this week is that it is finally February….which means, even though we are suppose to be getting hit hard with a major snowstorm this coming week…..Spring is on the way. No one could be any happier about this than me:-)

 

Back On Track With Workouts And In The Kitchen

After needing three days to recover my very sore joints from mountain hiking without any training in the Smoky Mountains….I am finally back to a normal workout routine. I eased slowly back into it and now feel better for not pushing myself too soon. I was really sore when we returned home for this trip. Here’s what my week was like:

Sunday: gym:30 minute elliptical, stretching

Monday: home: total body weight routine, mall walk 3 miles

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Tuesday: gym: 45 minutes elliptical and stretching

Wednesday: yoga and upper body weights

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Thursday: gym: 30 minute elliptical, rowing, abdominal workout, and stretching

Friday: rest

Saturday: gym: 45 minutes elliptical, rowing, stretching

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One of the nicest things after being away from home is eating at our dining room table. I like eating out but not every meal, every day. This is why, when we do travel, we will often make a grocery store trip for dinner and enjoy it in our hotel room instead of a noisy restaurant.

After a quick trip to the grocery store when we returned home, this is what I came up with for the week in meals.

Pot roast(thank goodness for the crock pot the day after vacation). Super easy and basically cooks itself with little preparation needed.

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Chicken potpie with biscuit topping. I used this recipe but topped it with biscuits instead of corn bread.

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By mid week I was feeling good again so I tried a new recipe, tater tot chicken and spinach casserole. Everyone agreed…..success. It was so simple and so delicious. I also made roasted broccoli and roasted whole garlic cloves to go with it.

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And one evening we had shredded chicken salads. I love meal salads and try and have them at least once a week.

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Not too bad for throwing together the meal plan and grocery list on the plane ride home.