Couples Workout – Marriage Maker or Breaker?

In this month of love, John and I tried something that we have never done before. While it took a bit of convincing, we finally decided to take the plunge. We tried – wait for it – a COUPLES BOOTCAMP class! If your read my bucket list post, you know that a goal of mine this year is healthy living and adventure. This class seemed to check both boxes…and what says love more than couples bootcamp??

John and I generally don’t workout together, besides the occasional tennis game or walk. So, I thought this would be a fun way to connect and get a good workout in! (Side note: He joined me for a couple of weeks during a P90X kick I was on, but after spending an uncomfortable amount of time and eventually getting stuck in frog pose, during the Yoga day, he was out.)

If you checked out the Acro Yoga or Aerial Yoga posts, you know that I am all “gung-ho” about signing up for new workouts, but when the rubber meets the road, I freak out! So, this time was no different, but I tried to put on a brave face for John. I’m not a total bootcamp class newbie (usually end up puking my guts out at minute 40) but this was John’s first time. I won’t say that I gave him ALL the facts about the workout we were about to do, but thought I prepared him enough to not be totally caught off guard. (John is one of those annoying people that doesn’t work out regularly, but can join in and outwork me, so I didn’t feel too bad.) When we got to the gym and he saw the set up below, John gave me one of his “looks”, followed by a characteristic *sigh*…he he.

We were divided into groups of three couples and circulated through several stations. Our trainer, Brittany, kept us “motivated” and on track. She and her training partner were super encouraging and took special care to make sure we had good form and knew what we were supposed to do (especially for those of us who probably had a “deer in the headlights” look).

I would totally recommend this bootcamp class! You can catch it every Saturday morning at the HIT center. Take your gal-pal, bestie, or significant other and have a fun, calorie torching workout before 10am!

XOXO,

Lauren

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V-Day Gift Guide: Super Unique Gifts You Can’t Miss!

Who doesn’t like getting a gift? I realize that there are other “love languages” out there, but let’s be real, no one is going to to turn down a present picked just for them!!¬† If you are looking for some unique options that will up your gift game from chocolate and flowers for your parents, sibling, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, and friends, keep reading!

Capitol Market

We stopped by this market on our way back from Aerial Yoga for some fruit and found a huge selection of tasty treats and drinks! There is something for everyone here. You will find everything from delicious candy, wine, coffee to cheese, meats and fruit. There is something for everyone here!

 

 

Birchbox Subscription

While this isn’t a new idea, Birchbox had evolved with the times and have started curating more personalized boxes of makeup, skincare, nail care, and fragrance options. I absolutely LOVED receiving these boxes each month with new beauty products to try. These start at just $10/month and now have them for the GQ men in your life. ūüėČ

 

UE Wonderboom

This little waterproof, super portable, bluetooth speaker will change your life. The sound quality is awesome. This is a must-have for anyone with kids.  You can easily carry this speaker from room to room for dance parties and sound machine noises. It is also especially good for traveling.

 

Packing Cubes

For your organized friends (or ones that need some organization in their lives), these packing cubes are AWESOME! They are totally worth the less than $25 price tag. I used these when packing my kids for Disney and it was super helpful.  They come in several different colors, which makes it easy to identify whose clothes are in the suitcase!

 

Mousepad

While this might not be the most romantic gift you’ve ever given, I can say that this is one of the best mousepads I’ve ever used! My husband, who spends the majority of his day at the computer, recommended this to me and I haven’t turned back. It is super responsive and under $10! Your techie friends/family will thank you!

 

Silicone Ring

In addition to our Acro Yoga and Aerial Yoga adventures that you’ve seen, these rings would definitely be great for weight training or crossfit workouts. I got my husband one and he says it is super comfortable and would totally recommend it. These are less than $25!

I hope these unique gift ideas will be a great paring with the fun/romantic/crazy night you have planned with your boo or gal-pals!

XOXO,

Lauren

P.S. Make sure to check out the Sushi Bar at Capitol Market – they have some of my favorite grab-n-go treats (even my kids approve!)

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Mom Approved Workout Gear – Affordable, Durable and Cute!

While we have all resolved to workout and improve our health this year, we also want to look good doing it! Here are some options that don’t break the bank, are durable and totally mom approved!

Yoga Pants:

Zella¬†– These aren’t called “Live In High Waist Leggings” for nothing! I got a pair of these for Christmas and are an item that I could wear from lounging at home, to the gym, to the grocery store! They really SUCK you in, so if you are between sizes, size up. Who doesn’t love a high waist?? If you’ve never tried it, it is a game changer. ūüôā

Victoria’s Secret – I’ve had several pairs of the Victoria Sport Anytime Yoga Pant since college! These are really thick and hide some of those bumps and rolls we are trying to work off. Ha. They are super durable and seems to keep their shape well after several washes.

Tops

Old Navy – I love this Go-Dry Racerback tank because it is breathable but provides a lot of coverage! I’ve had the black one for a couple of years and it still looks brand new.¬† The cut covers the front and the tush! Also, it’s not clinging but doesn’t balloon up. It’s a super cute and affordable option!

Nike – This Dry Training T-Shirt is a classic. It’s a littler longer than your average workout t-shirt which is great for those of us getting back on the workout train! The material is super soft and I love the color options.

Shoes

Adidas – My brother introduced me to the Ultra-Boosts. They are the most cushiony tennis shoes I’ve ever owned. If you want to feel like you are floating on clouds, this is the shoe for you. (I’d also recommend the NMDs…my husband swears by them.) Make sure you are wearing the right shoe for you, it can make all the difference in your workouts.

Sports Bra

Nike – This Classic Swoosh Support Bra is what I’ve been using forever. It is total wash and wear and has tons of color options.

If you’re looking to burn a few extra calories or intensify your workouts just a bit, I highly suggest this Gold’s Gym Neoprene Waist Trimmer.¬† I never workout without one!¬† This really warms up your core for a good healthy sweat.

If you’re looking to shed some pounds quickly or really step up your workout game, then you should try the Gold’s Gym Sauna Suit.¬† While I realize this contraption is anything but stylish, it really works.¬† You will absolutely pour the sweat!¬† I recommend wearing this during your home workouts.¬† Your workout buddies might be¬†slightly embarrassed if you show up at the gym sporting this rubber¬†made beauty.

If you’re like me and really enjoy the weight room (or even just the Nautilus Circuit) make sure to invest in a good pair of Gold’s Gym Wrist Wraps.¬† These will provide vital support when lifting heavy¬†– your wrists will thank you!

As you may have already noticed, we’re really focusing on living a fab, fit¬†and¬†fun¬†life in 2018.¬† Stay tuned for more workout¬†adventures – I wonder what we will¬†be up to next?!?

Make sure to like, comment and subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss anything!

XOXO

Jill & Lauren

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Flying High With Acro Yoga; We Thought We Were Going To Die!

 

How many times have you gotten into something that you weren’t really planning on doing, but your friend asked you¬†go, so there you are?!¬† Well, that’s exactly what happened last week.¬† Lauren sent a text that said “OMG, Acro Yoga popped up on my Facebook feed, it would be hilarious, any chance you want to try it??”¬† In Jill’s adventurous nature, she replied with “let’s do it”.¬† Before we knew it, we were booking an Acro Yoga workshop class on the MindBody App (we had absolutely no idea what we were getting into – neither of us even practice yoga regularly)¬†but the rest is history.

The next day we had the normal text conversations, you know, like “still on for tonight?” And, most importantly, “what are you going to wear?”¬† As if one of us was going to reply with a “sundress and wedges” (why do girls always do this?!?¬† I’m the worst for it.)¬† We made a plan and we were all set.¬† Lauren arrived at the yoga studio parking lot first and called Jill.¬† At this point, panic was setting in!¬† As Lauren was watching the yoga regulars walk in to class she started to feel as if we had made a HUGE mistake.¬† While we were on the phone Jill talked Lauren ‘off the ledge’ and arrived shortly after.¬† When we walked into the yoga studio, we both began to giggle nervously as we got ready for class.¬† The¬†lights were down low, soothing¬†music was playing in the background and the regulars were already warming up (mind you, we don’t even know¬†how to properly warm up for acro yoga.)¬† Sooo….in true blogger fashion, what did we do?!?¬† We found a better lit room and began to take¬†a few selfies (I’m not even kidding.)¬† About this time, Jill realized that she forgot to even bring a yoga mat (I mean, isn’t that like yoga 101?!?)¬† Luckily, the studio provided a mat but I’m pretty sure this was the first hint that we didn’t really know what we were doing.

 

After a few minutes of waiting¬†anxiously in the foyer (and deep breathing), we finally worked up the courage to walk into the studio.¬† To our surprise, the instructors and other classmates were overwhelmingly warm and inviting.¬† We quickly ousted ourselves as newbies, but luckily, that didn’t really seem to matter.¬† The instructors were amazing; so very patient, kind and encouraging.¬† They talked us, and the rest of the class, through every movement.¬† They kept us safe, and most importantly, they provided a really fun learning environment.

 

Thoughts from Jill:

I’m not really sure what I expected going into the class.¬† I vaguely knew what acro yoga was but I wasn’t sure what all we would do at the workshop.¬† I did a quick google search of acro yoga poses (isn’t that how we learn everything these days?!?)¬† I was equally nervous and excited as I browsed through all the photos of acro yoga.¬† As I looked through the poses, some of them made me think “I can do that.”¬† But some of the more complicated poses gave me heart palpitations.¬† I quickly told Lauren that I would be the base (person on the bottom; the lifter.)¬† Strength has always been my thing but my flexibility is not what it was 10 years ago.¬† As it turns out, Lauren was a much better base.¬† At first, I felt like my legs were just too short to get the flyer (the person being lifted) properly in the air.¬† Towards the end of the workshop I finally figured the base thing out, but surprisingly, I liked being the flyer.¬† There is something very freeing about hanging upside down, in the air, suspended by a stranger’s feet and totally trusting that they won’t drop you!

The workshop was roughly 2.5 hours long.¬† Going into it, that seemed like a really long, overwhelming amount of time.¬† But we enjoyed it so much that time literally flew by.¬† Before we knew it, it was time to leave and we didn’t want it to end!¬† Overall, Acro Yoga was much more about trust and team building and very little about skill.¬† Now, don’t get me wrong, the teachers have A LOT of skill and they’ve obviously worked very hard at their craft.¬† They’re amazing.¬† But they were able to give us the quick-n-dirty on acro yoga and within the first thirty minutes I was flying upside down.¬† I never in my wildest dreams imagined that would happen.¬† I figured we would mostly watch them and maybe do something really simple.¬† In the pictures below, you’ll see the crazy positions they had us in.¬† I’m still kind of shocked, but I can’t wait to do it again!

Sidenote:¬† When I told my BFF’s that I was taking this class, they had every joke in the book – including information for the Orthopedics Department¬†at the local emergency room.¬† I’m not even kidding – of course it was all in good fun.¬† But honestly, I think this would be a really cool girlfriends retreat experience.¬† Because we had no idea what we were doing, we laughed sooo hard (we didn’t really bring tranquility to the class, but we’ll work on that next time I swear.)¬† We also felt really great accomplishment when we landed a pose.¬† It was the most uplifting environment.¬† If you’re in good health, I would totally suggest giving this a try!

 

 

Thoughts from Lauren:

So, as you saw above, I was totally freaked out about this after I signed up and to be honest, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.¬† One of my facebook friends was “interested” in this class, and I thought it would be a fun, different kind of yoga class to try. I am not a full on yogi, but have taken my fair share of meditative/restorative/bikram/prenatal yoga classes. Once I started googling pics to see what I was in for, I totally lost it.¬† There was everything from 3 to 4 person pyramids to crazy bendy people in all kinds of unnatural positions. I immediately regretted my decision. For some unknown reason, I tried to get affirmation that I could do this from my husband and friends, but they immediately laughed me out of the room.

I was a basket case before I left the house; I was trying out poses with my 3 year old.¬† Soooo, just a little insight into me, I like my personal space…the thought of randos holding me up with their FEET and vice versa, had me basically needing a paper bag to breathe into (I really didn’t think this through did I?!?!).¬† Once Jill arrived and we made our way inside the yoga studio, everything was calm and serene. You know those times (like in school or church) where you aren’t supposed to laugh but you can’t control yourself?? Well, this was one of those times. It was laugh or cry – I was so out of my league.

As uncomfortable as I was going in, the instructors Angie and Nate, totally turned it around in the first five minutes. They were so knowledgeable and encouraging. It took an incredible amount of trust, focus and stability to take the first leap, but after that it was super fun. (My middle school cheerleading career didn’t hurt in helping me get up in some of these poses – I was definitely “pinching a penny”! Ha!) I hit my stride and the 2.5 hour workshop flew by. (I wasn’t even freaked out by the personal space issues!) I would totally recommend this class/workshop to anyone looking for something outside of the box. Here are some of the crazy/fun things we got into:

 

 

For more information on Acro Yoga check out Angie Edmunds at Yoga Power, LLC in Charleston, WV or her workshops at Studio 8 in Huntington, WV.

Namaste my friends.  Cheers to a peaceful, fun, uplifting week.

XOXO,

Jill & Lauren

 

 

 

 

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Get Fit With Jill; Everything You Need For A High Energy Home Workout

As most of you already know, exercise is my sanity.¬† It is the perfect stress reliever for me, and when I go a few days without getting a good sweat in, I become a total bear!¬† Like, woah! (sorry family.)¬† So many times in the past I’ve slacked on my exercise schedule because, well, life happened.¬† Like most of you, i’m crazy busy; everyone around here¬†has¬† a ‘schedule’, even the toddler.¬† There are always a million things to do and getting to the gym seems impossible at times.¬† 2017 has been a great year for me so far, and a huge part of that success can be attributed to the fact that momma’s been getting her workouts in!¬†¬† Not only do I look better, but I feel better; on the inside and outside.¬†¬†Exercise is not only good for you physically, but it’s also good for you mentally and emotionally.¬† I’m not going to lie though, it’s not been easy.¬† So many times I’ve thought about making excuses, but I’ve tried really hard to push myself and get in a good workout at least 3-4 times a week.¬† Here’s¬† the crazy thing – nearly all of these workouts have been in the privacy of my own home.¬† Don’t get me wrong, ¬†I AM a gym person and I love group classes.¬† I’ve had a Y membership for as long as I can remember¬†and CrossFit is one of my all time favorite workouts.¬† However, it’s not always easy to make it to a class.¬† Often times my workouts don’t even happen¬†until the kids are in bed, sometimes that may be 9 p.m. or later.¬† So I’ve found that home workouts are best for me at this stage in life.¬† I incorporate a lot of Crossfit style moves (body movement workouts)¬†into my regular routine along with some small mobile equipment.¬† Below is a review of my favorite moves and home equipment.

 

My Favorite Equipment:

1.¬†¬†Jump Rope – I start nearly every workout with jumping rope.¬† It’s great cardio and gets your blood pumping quickly!¬† Within just a few minutes you’ll be sweating and breathless.¬† For beginners, I would suggest the normal technique for jumping rope (jumping with both feet at one time with your knees slightly flexed.)¬† I love to change up my jumping¬†routine often.¬† Sometimes i’ll swivel my core and lower body from side-to-side, sometimes i’ll alternate jumping on only one foot, and sometimes i’ll do a jumping jack motion with my feet (feet going together then apart.)¬† This breaks up the monotony and makes it fun!¬† Here’s a tip – do NOT purchase a jump rope that is made of actual “rope.”¬† You’ll want a rope that is made of a plastic/rubber substance – one that is made for speed.

Rogue Fitness Jump Rope

 

2.¬† Kettlebell – The Kettlebell is a great full body workout.¬† The kettlebell swing, if done properly, can be felt in your back, core, shoulders, butt and thighs.¬† It can be used many ways: the traditional kettlebell swing, it can be lifted one handed, and¬†you can also¬†use it for weighted squats.¬† There are many sizes/weights of kettlebells available.¬† (If you’re new to using a kettlebell, I would suggest starting out light and working your way up – maybe start around 10-15 pounds.¬† The kettlebells I use are¬†20lbs and 35lbs.)¬† There are also many home workout videos that do a full kettlebell workout, and trust me, you’ll feel the burn.

Golds Gym Kettlebell

Iron Core Kettlebell Workout DVD

 

3.¬†Dumbbells – I have several different sizes of dumbbells that I use daily.¬† I use lighter weight dumbbells for high-rep exercises – usually to accompany some type of cardio move.¬† You can¬†also¬†use them¬†while taking a brisk walk.¬† Although 3 lbs sounds really light, I promise you’ll feel muscle fatigue¬†if you continuously¬†use them for an extended amount of time!¬† I save the heavier dumbbells for low-rep¬†movements that are targeting¬†a specific area.¬†¬† I¬†use 3 lb, 5 lb, 10lb, 15lb and 20lb dumbbells.¬† (For the men, and super strong ladies, you may want to go even heavier.)

Light Weight Dumbbells

Heavy Weight Dumbbells

 

4.¬† Stability Ball – The stability ball can be used in SO many ways.¬† Sit-ups, pushups, legwork, core work; you name it and the stability ball can probably aid with the movement.¬† The stability ball also relieves pressure while making most moves more challenging, yet comfortable.¬† Another favorite of mine is the medicine ball.¬† The medicine ball is a weighted ball that can be used for squats and the infamous “wall balls” exercise.¬† If you’re unfamiliar, google this movement.¬†¬†It’s the ultimate squat workout; however, you’ll either need very high ceilings or you’ll have to take this exercise outside!

Stability Ball

Medicine Ball

 

5.¬† Neoprene Waist Trimmer – My neoprene “sweat band” (as I so lovingly call it) is one of my most prized possessions!¬† Like a lot of people, my mid section is always my problem area.¬† Two c-sections later and momma will never have abs again.¬† During a normal workout, I don’t feel like my core sweats that much.¬† But when I wear my neoprene waist trimmer, ohh my lanta!¬† It’s on like Donkey Kong.¬† It maximizes the intensity of the workout dramatically; I never exercise without it.¬† (I will note, this product¬†will heat your body up quickly!¬† Make sure to stay hydrated and make sure that you are healthy enough to use this product.)¬† Now prepare for the water works!

Neoprene Waist Trimmer

 

6.¬† Insanity: Fast¬†And The Furious DVD – When I’m short on time but need to get a really good¬†workout in, my go-to is “Insanity Fast¬†And The Furious” DVD.¬† This¬†exercise video¬†is only 20 minutes, including the warm up and cool down, but it will kick your booty!¬† You will be dripping the sweat when you get done.¬† And best of all,¬†there is no equipment involved¬†and you really don’t even need that much room!¬† I highly suggest this product, and anything else Shaun T puts out.¬† He’s a beast!

 

Insanity Fast And The Furious DVD

 

My Favorite At Home Exercises:

  1. Squats
  2. Burpees
  3. Push Ups
  4. Lunges
  5. Kettlebell Swings
  6. Jump Rope
  7. Mountain Climbers
  8. Yoga/PiYo
  9. Planks
  10. Tuck Jump

I hope this information was helpful and I hope it gets you moving!¬† I’d love to hear about your favorite workout routines.¬† Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have.

XOXO

Jill

(Affiliate links included.)

Disclaimer: These are strictly my opinions.  I am NOT a personal trainer or fitness instructor.  These are simply exercises that have worked well for me.  Before starting a new workout routine you should consult with your physician.

 

 

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