Pursuit of Healthy Happiness

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Booty Lifting Workout

It’s Hump Day!  Happy Wednesday, friends.  

The weather has mostly cooperated so far this week, with the exception of a few rain showers yesterday.  Just a few more days till the weekend.  Last weekend I spent boatloads of time outside.  It was such a nice change of pace from the super chilly weather we had been dealing with.  Here’s hoping the weather is nice so we can all enjoy our time outdoors.

This week’s Workout Wednesday is all about that booty! I love workouts that focus on the lower body, they’re always a challenge, a great workout, and make me feel super strong.  Plus, who wouldn’t want their caboose to be in tip top shape. 

Booty Liftin' Workout to get you ready those short-shorts!

 How to perform: Jump Squats | Single Leg Bridge | Curtsy Lunge | Sump Squats to Leg Raise | Glute Kickbacks

I especially love non-traditional exercises like curtsy lunges and glute kickbacks.  I always start out thinking that they’re way too easy and that it won’t be enough of a workout for me.  But by the end, my muscle are screaming!   If I’m feeling extra jazzy I’ll sometimes add a high knee at the end of the curtsy lunge movement.

I’ve been traveling more often now and always have my eyes peeled for workouts that can be done without weights or equipment.  This is one of those workouts!  While you can add the use of free weights if you like, this circuit is still a challenge only using your body weight.  I like to combine it with the 5 Minute Power Plank workout for a real challenge.

Let’s Chat!

What are your favorite lower body exercises?

Do you enjoy doing upper or lower body (or core!) more?

What new workouts have your tried lately?

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See the Good- Monday Motivation

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a fabulous weekend and were able to take some time to enjoy the beautiful weather.  Zak and I took the pup for a nice long hike on Saturday and went to a street food festival yesterday.  Although it was so crowded we were only able to get grub from one truck!  I was kinda bummed because there ahhhh-mazing food trucks lined up like one serving Egyptian food.  But, hey, I was just happy to be out in the sunshine.  That’s the thing, it didn’t work out exactly as we had planned, but we still had a good time.

motivation

 

This week’s motivation is all about positivity.  So for quite some time now.  Years probably… I have been working hard to see the positive end of things, to be a glass half full kinda girl.  Even when things are super sucky.  That’s no doubt when it is the most difficult to be positive, but I think that when you benefit the most from it.  I truly think that changing my outlook on tough situations has changed my life.  So you do have to work on it sometimes, when life gets ya down it may seem like it’s a glass half-empty kinda time, but if you teach yourself to see the good then you’ll always have enough.

Here’s to a great week and to seeing the good and positive in all situations!

Let’s chat:

What fun things did you do this weekend?

How are yo going to enjoy the beautiful weather this week?

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Hip Opening Yoga Sequence

Happy Wednesday all!

In the spirit of my last post about my 1st Experience at Hot Yoga, this week I bring you a little yoga sequence for your Workout Wednesday.  It’s great just for stretching at beginning or end of a workout.  For those of you with tight hips, this should really help open them up.  

You can move through each pose at your own pace, listening to what your body needs.  Do you get into Warrior 2 and feel that you need to hold that position and stretch it out longer? That’s fine!  Use your breath to guide you, taking deep slow breaths.  I know it may sound crazy but controlling your breath will really help! I promise!

If you want a bit more of a challenge, transition from pose to pose more quickly and repeat the entire sequence multiple times to really get a workout.  When you do the poses in proper form it is challenging…if you recall, my first time doing yoga I left dripping in sweat.  

Check out the links below to view proper form.  Listen to your body!  If a pose puts pressure on a joint the wrong way, double check that you have proper form, or just skip that pose.  That’s the beauty of yoga.  It’s for everyone!

Hip Opening Yoga Sequence

Proper Form: Upward Facing Dog | Downward Facing Dog | 3 Legged Dog | Warrior 1 open to Warrior 2 | Reverse WarriorSide Angle

Namaste, Friends!

Let’s chat!

Have you ever tried yoga before?

What’s your favorite pose? What’s your least?

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Think Happy Be Happy- Monday Motivation

Ahhh the start of a new week.  

Yesterday was my man’s birthday so after work and yoga we hit up the town.  We started out the night with cocktails at The Franklin & Mortgage Company.  Cocktails are a little pricier than most other places, but these are high-end, well-made, and ah-mazingly delicious.  Worth every penny.  We then got dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in the city, Bistro La Minette.  Their traditional french dishes are on point.  

We had a great night together celebrating his birthday together.  And it was actually kind of nice going out on a Monday.  Parking was easier to find, no wait at the bar, and a quiet dinner.  In all the excitement, my Monday Motivation has turned into an early Tuesday Motivation. Ehhh, ya win some ya lose some.  Amiright?

This week’s motivation is all about choices.  You can choose to be happy.  You can choose to look at a difficult situation with a positive perspective.  And these choices can change your entire day, week, heck, maybe even life!

Have an amazing day and week, friends!

Inspirational quote

 

Let’s chat!

What is your perspective?

What’s your favorite inspiring quote?

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My 1st Experience at Hot Yoga

Hola amigos!  

The more time I dedicate to yoga the more I grow, in many ways.  The style of yoga I practice is called hot power vinyasa yoga.  Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement”.  This style of practice moves you through the poses breath by breath.  Every class is different, there is no set routine.  This is part of the reason I think I enjoy it so much.  As a former athlete, I need something that pushes and challenges me and throws the occasional surprise my way.

I originally wrote the following post months ago, when I had just begun practicing.  I wanted to share this experience with you.

Tree Pose yoga

“Before I moved to Philly, I decided that I was going to try new things. That I would put myself out there and not be afraid to fail. Philly is a great city for a health-oriented soul. There are so many different things to do: beautiful running and bike paths, parks to hike and explore, CrossFit gyms, exercise groups that meet at the front steps of the Art museum (Cue Rocky! Music) the list goes on and on. I decided on yoga.

Though I had done some yoga in the comfort of my own home, I had never taken a class. I decided on a place called Hot Box Yoga, and signed up for a two-week trial.

Now, the owners were being up front when the named the place HOT Box Yoga. I really should have been prepared. They gave me fair warning. Yet, I was not. I brought my yoga mat, but foolishly forgot a water bottle. About ten minutes into class, after sweating what seemed like a gallon of liquid and slip-sliding all over my mat, I realized that I should have brought a towel. Two to be exact- one large one to lie on my mat, and a smaller one to help soak the ocean-amounts of water pouring off my face. 

Hot Box Yoga Studio My happy place-the studio I practice at.

Even with the unexpected slippage and my lack of water (horrible mistake people! HYDRATE! Always hydrate!) I finished my first hour and fifteen minute long hot yoga class. I didn’t fall. I wasn’t graceful by any means, but I didn’t fall over. That’s gotta count for something. I was pleasantly exhausted and full of energy all at the same time.

I showed up the next day with two towels and ice water in hand. These small additions to made all the difference in my practice that day. I was able to move from positions more quickly and more fluidly, I was able to get deeper stretches, and I also fatigued less quickly. I felt….strong….and fulfilled. I was hooked. 

I’ve continued taking classes there regularly and have improved every day. I feel great. My knees don’t hurt, which is pretty much a first with any type of exercise I’ve tried (I have bad injuries to both knees from years of cheer and playing catcher in softball). I plan to continue my practice, learning and improving along the way.

I guess I’m on a path to becoming a Yogi. I’m pretty happy with that.”

 

Namaste, Friends!

Discussion Time:

Have you practiced yoga before? What style?

When was the last time you tried something new?

Ab Burner Standing Workout

Yay! It’s Wednesday and the sun is shining…Finally!  

I feel like this year’s winter to spring transition has been extraordinarily long.  I’ve taken advantage of the nice weather went for a walk and just got finished with a great yoga class.  The thing I love about vinyasa yoga is that each class is something new, something you’re not used to.

Something that everyone is used to is ab exercises.  Probably the most famous are sit-ups and crunches.  I remember doing these back in grade school for the fitness test. Anyone else?  Now, the plank has become more popular.  And for good reason, it works your whole body and doesn’t strain your neck.

 

But yanno what? Sometimes I just do not feel like dragging my butt to the floor to do my ab work.  Sometimes you may have an injury that traditional ab exercises my trigger.  Or maybe you just got done with an insanely high-intensity workout like this Fat Blasting HIIT Workout and you know that the transition from standing to laying is gonna make you want to pass right out.

So here’s the solution. STANDING ABS! Yes, it’s true.  I said it.  a STANDING ab workout.  This entire workout can be done without weights or with a free weight or resistance band. Ab Burner Standing Workout from PursuitofHealthyHappiness.com

 

How to properly perform: Woodchoppers | Side Bend | Bow Extension | Double Arm Reach

Discussion Time!

How are you enjoying the spring weather?

What’s your favorite ab exercise

How did you get your blood pumping today?

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Monday Motivation

Happy Monday, Friends!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.  This weekend I met up with a local Philly blogger, Colleen.  She runs an amazingly beautiful, healthy lifestyle blog Keep It Real Clean, filled with tons of motivation.  We had a great time catching up, laughing, and talking about the blog life.

We got dinner at a sushi place, Umai Umai, which I’ve heard fab things about.  The sushi and miso soup were both delicious-I’m glad this place lived up to the hype!  I’ve been searching for a great spot to grab a spicy tuna roll.  Plus Umai Umai is BYOB.  Score!

At the beginning of each week, I look for a little inspiration to kick start that Monday morning blues excitement.  So many times people cringe at the start of Monday.  I like to look at it with fresh eyes and a heart filled with excitement.  So set your goals and live your life in a way that makes you leap out of bed….

Fitness inspiration motivation

Discussion Time:

How do you motivate yourself at the beginning of the week?

What are your goals this week?

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5 Minute Anywhere Workout

Happy Friday, friends!

I hope you’ve had a fabulous week.  Next week, Zak, the pup, and I will be traveling back to Cleveland to visit family and friends.  It’s a seven hour drive (ughhhh) but totally worth it to see everyone.  We’ll be there for one week, which I’m sure will sadly fly by.  

While we’re away, I plan to still practice yoga.  I’ve been searching for free yoga videos.  While I’ve found a couple decent 15-30 minute ones, I don’t think anything will compare to sweating and twisting for an hour straight in a 90-degree heated room with personal instruction. Oh man, I think I’m a yogi now. 

I will definitely miss class, but have thought of this great little 5 Minute Anywhere, full body workout that is sure to get your blood pumping and hit your major muscle groups.  If you’ll be in the car for hours like me, this would be a quick and simple way to squeeze in a little fitness at rest stops.  Sure, people may glance at you funny, but hey, that beats the cramped legs and sore butt you get by sitting for hours and hours in a cramped space, right?  ;)

You could also stack this mini-workout to be a complete, high-intensity workout.  Repeat it 3-5 times, resting 1-2 minutes between circuits.  That’s what’s awesome about this workout, it’s flexible to your lifestyle.  Plus, you don’t need any gym equipment!  Whether you use it as a 5-minute break from your work desk, do it in the morning with a little stretching session to wake up, stack it or combine it with the Slimming Inner Thigh or 5-minute Power Plank workouts for a complete, blood-pumping, challenging training session.

5 Minute Anywhere Workout

As always, make sure you do a little warm-up and cool-down to avoid any injuries and to get the most out of your workout!

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Let’s Chat!

What are your holiday plans?

How do you fit in time to workout when traveling?

Do you like doing physical activity in little bits throughout the day? Or in one planned full workout?

 

Motivation Monday Quote & Weekly Goals

Happy Monday, friends!  

Am I the only one who struggled to wake up this morning?  I mean my bed is just so cozy and warm, but it’s a new week and there is so much to do.  In case you haven’t been counting down like a little kid waiting for Santa to sneak in their house and leave them presents…there are only 10 days till Christmas. 10 days!!!!  So here’s this week’s Motivation Monday quote to help you get your week started, to keep you on your fitness track, and to tackle the rest of your holiday shopping.

Motivation Monday Quote

Since my time off from the blog, I’ve started a new habit.  At the beginning of each week, I sit down (usually with a very large and tasty cappuccino) and write out my weekly goals, errands, and tasks that need to be completed.  I’ve found it helps me get wayyyyy more accomplished when I actually right it down instead of just trying to keep track of each item by memory.  There is something that is just so oddly satisfying about checking a box once I run that errand or reach a goal.

I’ve actually designed a beautiful little Weekly Goals sheet to help me stay on track.  Check back next week to see what this little beaut looks like!

This week I’ll be decorating my Christmas tree, getting ready for my trip back to Cleveland, picking up a few last minute Christmas gifts, and going on a date with my main squeeze.

My weekly health goals are:

  • Practice yoga four days this week
  • Drink plenty of H20
  • Meal/snack plan for next week
  • Go to bed 15 minutes earlier
  • Find a free yoga video to do while I’m in Cleveland (Anyone have a fav?)

Have a fabulous week, amigos!

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Let’s chat:

What are your plans this week?

Do you plan weekly goals? What are some of them?

Any big, exciting news I’ve missed out on?

When Passion and Career Collide

Wow. Where do I even begin?

Let me start out by saying thank you to my family, friends, and boyfriend for their continuous support. You mean the world to me. 

Last you knew, I had quit my job at the restaurant and was nannying the most precious little babe.  I was struggling to find the job of my dreams and doing a lot, I mean A LOT, of soul searching.  Well, turns out I was right when I wrote this post about Redefining Winning.   Because I got a job!!!!!

The Biggest Step of Your Life

Yes, you read that right. I found a job.  And not just any job.  A job that I love, and a job that challenges me, and a job that lets me use my skills and passion that helps people.  If you asked me a year and a half ago when I graduated what I wanted to be doing, I would have told you that I want to be working with children in low-income areas providing health outreach and nutrition education.  And that’s exactly what I’m doing.  I’m now the Health Manager for a national non-profit that provides education and health care to low-income children and their families.  Whoa, that’s a mouthful.

Career and Passion

I started working at the new job right before the kids began school in the fall.  That meant that not only did I have a ton of job training to complete, but I also had to, yanno, do my job during this time.  I made the decision to set the blog aside for some time (as much as it pained me and I missed it and my fabulous readers).  I needed to focus on the task, errrr…many tasks at hand, learn as much as I could, and do the very best I knew how.

So with that, I’m back.  I feel like me again.  The past year and a half after graduation have been challenging, and difficult, and downright a pain in the butt sometimes.  But more importantly they have been wonderful, and wonderfully challenging, and exciting, and an adventure.  They have taught me to stay determined and that it’s okay to falter and be sad once in a while.  Most importantly, it taught be the power of perseverance and to continually pursue what I want out of life.

Keep going after what you want out of life, friends! 

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Let’s chat:

What have you struggled with? How did you stay positive?

How are you?!? What’s new with life? Fill me in!