10-Minute Gentle Workout for Holiday Travel + Other Tips for Staying (Mostly) Healthy

Sorry for the silence around here this week! I got hit with a nasty stomach bug and have spent the last couple days in the fetal position on my bathroom floor. Feeling much better today, but still don’t have much of an appetite and will probably need a nap soon. There’s a video to go along with this workout, but it’s taking forever to upload to YouTube so I’ll just add it in later. Subscribe to my channel to be notified when it’s live.

————

The holiday season can cause a bit of a disruption to your normal fitness routine, so it’s always nice to have quick, at-home workouts on hand that you can do if you’re unable to make it to your gym or go-to studio. Today I’m sharing a 10-minute workout that’s perfect if:

  • You need to be quiet. Sleeping relatives? Downstairs neighbors? There’s no loud thudding and jumping around with this one.
  • You need to go easy on your joints. No jumping! This workout is low-impact.
  • You’re short on space and/or time. Trying to squeeze in a workout in your grandparents’ spare bedroom on Christmas Eve? I gotchu.
  • You’re a beginner. As the title implies, If you’re looking for a heart-pumping, ass-kicking workout, this one might not be for you. Compared to the majority of workouts I post, this one is on the gentler side and definitely beginner-friendly.

10-Minute Gentle Workout (Beginner-Friendly!)


You’ll do each exercise for 30 seconds, performing them back-to-back without resting in between exercises. That’ll make for 3 minutes of continuous work. Once you’ve completed all six exercises, rest for 30 seconds. Repeat the circuit a total of three times (or more if you want a longer workout).

Air Squat with Pulse | Feet about hips-width apart, squat down, sending your hips and butt back and down (not the knees forward!). Keep your chest open, shoulders back—it’s natural to lean forward slightly as you lower down, but we don’t want to hunch forward. Bring your hands in front of you as you sink down to your lowest point, bodyweight staying in your heels. Hold at the bottom and do one pulse (up an inch and down an inch). From there, powerfully stand back up, straightening your legs and thrusting your hips forward (squeeze your bum at the top!) and driving your arms behind you. 

Single-Arm Plank to Lunge (RIGHT) | Start in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Place your right hand behind your back. Your left arm should reach up overhead. This is your starting position. From here, dive your torso forward in a bowing motion and plant the left hand on the ground next to your right foot. Keeping your other hand behind your back, step the right foot back into a single-arm plank. Reverse the movement by stepping your right foot forward back into a deep lunge and then sweeping your left arm and torso upright (stay low in the lunge).

Inchworm Push Ups | Start in a plank position. Do a push up. Next, walk your hands back towards your feet so that you’re in a forward-fold position. Walk the hands right back out to a plank and do your next push up.

Single-Arm Plank to Lunge (LEFT)

Stationary Side Lunge Slides | Start standing with feet wide apart, toes pointing forward. Your feet will stay where they are the whole time. From here, bend into your right knee, sliding your hips back and sinking low into a side lunge (left leg stays straight). Holding low, you’re going to slide across over to your left side, gradually straightening the right knee as you bend into the left. now you’re in a low left side lunge. Straighten the left knee to rise up to your starting position. Repeat, in the opposite direction (lunge to the left, slide to the right, stand up).

Bicycle Crunch Sit Ups | Start laying on your back with your hands lightly behind your head, elbows bent out to the sides and chest open. Engage your abs, pulling your bellybutton down to the floor as you lift your legs off the ground about six inches to a hover. This is your starting position. From here, bend your right knee in towards your chest as you crunch your left elbow across to meet it, lifting your shoulders off the floor like a twisting sit-up. Your left leg should remain outstretched in a hover as you do this. Slowly return back to the starting position and repeat to the opposite side. The goal is to keep the legs off the ground the whole time, but if you need to modify, your heel can quickly rest on the floor in between reps.

Gentle 10-Minute Bodyweight Workout (Beginner-Friendly)

WEARING | Pugs N’ Roses tank c/o Puppies Make Me Happy // Lululemon leggings (old – you can shop Lulu’s current selection of leggings or check out these ONZIE capris with a similar mesh cut-out look or these mesh stirrup leggings from alo yoga) // Free to Be Bra c/o Lululemon // grippy barre socks

If you want more of an advanced workout to take with you during holiday travel, I have a massive collection of bodyweight workouts in the archives. Browse them all HERE.

Tips for Staying (Mostly) Healthy during the Holidays

Treat Yourself the Same Way You’d Treat Your Loved Ones

This might sound corny, but any time I catch myself spiraling down with the negative self-talk, I just picture saying all those things to someone I love. That usually stops me dead in my tracks.

Why did I eat that second piece of pie?! I’m disgusting. Ugh I’m so fat. I look terrible in this dress now. I shouldn’t have eaten so much at that holiday party. I didn’t workout today so I don’t deserve to eat a Christmas cookie.

Replace the “I” with “you” and just imagine saying that to your best friend, your daughter, your nephew, your mother or anyone else you love. It’s sickening, isn’t it?! My eyes literally well with tears when I think of my little niece hearing those words from anyone. Never never NEVER.

Go easy on yourself during the holiday season. A few massive meals, a few too many cocktails, a few less workouts–IT’S OK. Yes, like a muscle, will power can be strengthened; but, also like a muscle, it becomes fatigued under constant, unrelenting stress. You’re not weak if you give in to the cookie tray at your fourth holiday office party of the week–you’re human. And you’re allowed to enjoy some damn cookies!

It may seem counterintuitive but I know for me personally, the less pressure I put on myself to maintain some perfect health and fitness routine, the easier it is for me to do just that. If I allow for the missteps, they become nothing more than a detour. If I stress about them and beat myself up, those missteps snowball into a complete derailing that has me stuck in my tracks or even moving backwards.

Ditch the All-or-Nothing Mentality

Throughout my college years, I struggled with moderation–everything was an extreme. If one little thing didn’t go as planned in my mission to eat rigidly “clean” and workout, I’d just completely throw in the towel on doing anything remotely healthy that day. It was perfection or complete gluttony and lethargy–there was no in between. Sometimes the holidays can bring out this mentality. I have my family’s holiday dinner tonight so today’s a wash. It’s absolutely fine to have days like that. ABSOLUTELY. But not so much if that’s your mentality for the entire month of December.

Instead of deeming each day an “all” or a “nothing,” I like to maintain some normalcy. Even if I know I’m going to drink several glasses of wine and help myself to seconds of dessert at a holiday party that night, I still treat the rest of the day like any other. I eat my typical breakfast, I go for a workout, I eat lunch as I normally would.

Supplement Your Holiday Diet to Fill in the Gaps

Going hand-in-hand with maintaining some normalcy in your daily schedule is maintaining some normalcy in your daily nutrition intake. Yes, I fill my holiday plate with roasted veggies and healthy side dishes, but let’s be real. I’m going HAM in the dairy, carbs and sugar departments as well. Larger-than-normal portion sizes, different foods than I normally eat, travel–it all can throw off my body a bit (bloating, irregularity and other such sexiness).

I take the following MegaFood supplements regularly, and find them especially important during the holidays.

  • Multi-Vitamin | MegaFood’s Multi for Women is my personal go-to, but they have a wide selection of formulations to choose from in the multi category (based on gender, age, preference for taking one or two tablets, etc.). Both MegaFood and I share the philosophy that food should always come first as your nutrient source. A multi-vitamin is there to the do the important job of then filling in the gaps. During the holidays, that gap might be a little larger than normal (Christmas salad? Never heard of it). 😉
  • Probiotics | I did a whole post on the benefits of probiotics but can summarize it with: gut health. In a normal week, I take MegaFlora two or three times, maybe every other day at most. However, during periods of abnormal eating (Thanksgiving feasts, back-to-back holiday parties, your grandma’s famous Christmas cookies as breakfast, etc.), I find that taking one daily helps ease any digestion issues and keeps me regular.* MegaFlora contains 20 billion active bacteria and has strains naturally found in the digestive system. I love it! If you’re traveling for the holidays, keep in mind that it needs to be refrigerated.
  • Turmeric Strength for Whole Body | I highlighted the Daily Turmeric Nutrient Booster Powder in a blog post this summer–it’s perfect for adding to smoothies or other beverages. During holiday travel though, I’m not likely to make myself a smoothie for breakfast and it’s much more convenient to pack my daily dose of turmeric in tablet form. Hello, Turmeric Strength for Whole Body! This tablet features a blend of FoodState (=made with whole foods) Kauai Organic Turmeric Root with a pure Turmeric Extract to deliver a full spectrum of curcuminoids, which support healthy inflammation regulation in the body.* It also includes berries and cherries to deliver antioxidants that support healthy aging.*

How do you stay healthy (ish) during the holidays? Any tips to add?

signature

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by MegaFood. While I am a paid ambassador, all opinions–as always!–are my own. I truly believe in this company and stand behind their products 100%. I know you all will love them as much as I do!

Some links to outfit details are affiliate.

The TomTom® Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch (My Review)

TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch Review
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of
TomTom®.  The opinions and texts are all mine.

The past couple weeks I’ve been testing out the TomTom® Spark 3 Cardio + Music watch, and hot damn can this thing do a lot! Even after two weeks of using it, I feel like I’m still discovering new features, each one cooler than the last. With a built-in heart rate monitor (no chest strap–yay!), GPS tracking and 24/7 activity tracking, this gadget pretty much meets all your fitness tech needs.

What I Love Most about the TomTom® Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch

So. Much. Data.

TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch Review

Heart rate, mileage, average pace, current pace, duration–you name it, the TomTom® Spark 3 will display it during your workout. And then it gets even more fun when you complete the workout and sync it to your phone or computer. Graphs and charts breakdown all the data you need to paint a full picture of your workout. I could geek out with this watch for hours.

Interval Training/HIIT Tracking

TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch ReviewI LOVE THIS FEATURE. When you’re setting up the watch to track your workout, you can set it up as an interval timer to guide you through your workout. You can designate the length of time for a warm up, work intervals, rest intervals, cool down and the number of sets. And best of all is that it gives you feedback about your recovery. One of the many measures of overall fitness is the rate at which your heart rate can recover from being elevated. The TomTom® Spark 3 monitors this and shows you how efficiently you were able to recover after each work interval. It’s a stat that we don’t always pay attention to, so I love that it’s measured.

Heart Rate Zone Breakdown during Workouts

TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch ReviewI love being able to look at the data following a workout and seeing when and for how long my heart rate was in each of the five zones (easy, fat burn, endure, speed and sprint). You can see your heart rate during a workout as well if you choose that display, but I just love the visual breakdown in the app (or on your desktop) of the entire thing.

As an instructor, I find this information particularly useful in thinking about class sequencing. I’ve been wearing my TomTom® Spark 3 during Btone classes that I take to not only push myself to keep my heart rate elevated but to give me ideas for planning classes I’ll teach. The watch’s multisport mode allows you to pick between running, outdoor cycle, indoor cycle, swimming, treadmill, freestyle, gym and stopwatch. For Btone classes, I just choose “gym” to track the workout, which acts as a type of catchall.

No Need for a Phone on Runs

TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch ReviewSince the marathon last year, I haven’t done much running. Once a week, if that, and no more than five miles. Having the will power and dedication to push your body beyond what you believed its limits to be is an incredible accomplishment, but you also have to listen to your body when it tells you to take a chill pill. Physically and mentally, I needed a break from running. It’s nice because now when I do choose to go for a run, the pressure and goals are out of the picture and I can appreciate the meditative aspect I used to love about running.

Running has always been one of my favorite forms of “me time” and unplugging from my appendage iPhone improves the quality of that tenfold. The Bluetooth headphones that come with the watch work great (they stay comfortably in my ears while running) and you can store music (500+ songs) on the watch to listen to without the need of bringing a phone along. True, this means I don’t get to take Instagram-worthy pictures of the Charles River as I run, but that’s probably a good thing. 😉 TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch Review

In addition to the music, the GPS tracking feature further allows you to leave the phone at home. With the route exploration feature you can upload a desired trail to the watch so that it’s easy to follow on your run or bike ride. You can also just head out and explore new routes and rely on the watch to get you back home if you’re lost. City living doesn’t make this a big necessity for me, but I can’t wait to use it next time I’m traveling or running on unfamiliar trails!

Everyday Necessities: Steps, Clock Face, Stopwatch & Vibrating Alarm

TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch ReviewWhen a gadget is as high-tech as the TomTom® Spark 3, it seems silly to gush over the stopwatch, but if a wearable doesn’t do a few basics I need for teaching then I simply won’t wear it every day. I need a quiet vibrating alarm to wake me up to teach in the morning without waking up Joe. Check! It’s a pretty serious vibration, too, and the face of the tracker flashes with a faint beep. I still always set a backup alarm on my phone but I don’t see myself sleeping through the TomTom® Spark 3. I also need a visible clock face and/or a stopwatch feature to time classes while teaching. Check and check!

The 24/7 activity tracking takes care of steps, miles, daily/weekly goals and sleep. TomTom Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch Review

I LOVE this watch and will continue to wear it daily.

Have you tried any TomTom® technology? What’s been your experience? If you’re thinking about purchasing this tracker and have any questions that weren’t answered in the post, ask away in the comments! 

You can find out about more features and shop TomTom® here as well as follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

signature

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TomTom®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Keeping Your Skin & Hair under Control: Tips for People Who Love Working Out

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

I mean, I’m just going to get sweaty again in the morning, is it really even worth showering tonight? – Me, every night before going to bed

The next MegaFood product I’m going to feature is their Skin, Nails & Hair tablet, so I figured we’d talk greasy hair and breakouts today! When I transitioned to working in the fitness industry full time, my hair and skin freaked out. I sound overly dramatic but I really did have to adjust my whole hygiene routine, and it was tricky because it’s not necessarily good for your skin and hair to wash them multiple times a day but it’s also not necessarily good to marinate in your sweat. It’d be one thing if I was just doing one workout each day like most people, but I’d do my own workout and then later that day teach workouts so it was just one nonstop sweatfest. What’s a girl to do??

I’ve found a rhythm with balancing daily (often twice daily with teaching) workouts with my hair/skincare routine and thought I’d share some tips. I’d love for you to share your own in the comments!

Skin & Haircare Tips for Fitness Fanatics

Go High, Go Low — Switch It Up!

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

wearing PUMA tank

I started to notice a lot of breakage in the spot where I’d tightly wind my elastic around my hair each day (I used to rock the high pony 24/7). I also noticed a cowlick type thing going on around the top of my head when I’d wear my hair down to go out at night. The high ponies had trained my hair to do this weird swirl thing–no bueno! Switching up my workout hairstyle has helped to fix this. One day I’ll wear a high bun, the next a pony at mid-scalp, the next a low bun at my neck. After binge-watching Kardashians, maybe even a couple boxer’s braids. 😉

Let Your Hair Breathe at Night

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

This goes along with the above tip. I hate having my hair in my face while I sleep but the nonstop hair tie situation was causing breakage. At night, I’ll swirl my hair into a loose bun and secure with a loose clip on top of my head. If a clip makes laying down uncomfortable, I’d recommend using a scrunchie instead of a tight hair tie. Not only does this help with breakage, but it ensures I don’t have a tie crease in my hair the next morning if I want to wear it down.

Water, Water, More Water

Have you ever woken up after a big night out consisting of several adult beverages and looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, “Holy Hell who is this elderly woman?!” *raises hand* That’s because you’re dehydrated AF–and it happens after healthy water-draining activities as well. If you’re working out a lot, you need to hydrate a lot.

Face Wipes FTW

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

I’m never without face wipes in my bag now. I used to teach a row class followed by two megaformer classes and my skin had never been worse. I’d sweat through the row class and then go on to teach two not-so-sweaty additional classes and the sweat would just sit on my face for those hours. I was constantly broken out. If you’re unable to wash your face or hop in the shower after your workout, use a face wipe! I love Ursa Major (but kinda pricey), Acure and the grapefruit ones from Burt’s Bees. All three are great because they clean without drying out your skin or leaving you with a film of soap over your face.

Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day

This is a hard one if you’re sweating heavily during workouts most days of the week but my hair is so much better now that I don’t shampoo it every day! I’ll probably never be one of those girls who can do a week in between washes (I have fine hair and naturally oily skin), but I go every other or every third day if I’m lucky and my hair is shinier and healthier because of it. Be patient with it–I felt like a greaseball for the first few weeks–eventually your hair’s natural oils will balance out a bit.

If my workouts aren’t too sweaty, my hair looks great going three days without a shampoo. Other weeks, well let’s just say top knots, braids and hats are my BFFs.

Monitor Your Hairline for Breakouts

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

Especially if you’re in the process of getting your hair to adjust to less frequent shampoos, breaking out along your hairline is common. It was for me anyway! The oil from my hair was wreaking havoc on my forehead. To help with this, I did a couple things. If my hair is on the greasy side, I scrub my face wash about a half inch into my scalp when I wash my face before bed. Sometimes I’ll even wear a loose fabric headband while I sleep to make sure my hair stays away from my face.

Still Having Issues? Look to Your Diet

Your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body. Your gut could be out of whack (check out the post I recently did on probiotics for more on this), hormonal imbalances could be at work, or you might need to cut back on or add more of something to your diet. A common dietary culprit behind breakouts is dairy. I did an experiment where I went completely dairy-free for a month and my skin has never been clearer. I’ve been eating a low-dairy diet ever since. I’ve heard of people solving their skin issues by quitting coffee as well but I’m just not ready to accept the negative side of my beloved morning cup of joe. 😉

Supplement a Healthy Diet with the Stuff Your Skin & Hair Wants

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

Ok let’s talk Skin, Nails & Hair! As with all MegaFood products, the quality of ingredients is topnotch and it’s easy to digest (you can take it on an empty stomach no problem). It’s a multivitamin and herbal blend formulated to strengthen and nourish hair and nails as well as balance hormones and promote clear skin.* Ingredients include:

  • Vitamin E, Folate, Biotin
  • MegaFood’s Skin, Nails + Hair Beautifying Blend (think organic herbs like dandelion root, red clover blossom and chamomile flower)
  • Healthy Aging Antioxidant Blend (organic ginger root, rosemary leaf, turmeric root, blueberry, cranberry)
  • FoodState Farm Fresh Fruit Blend (organic whole oranges, blueberries, cranberries)

Hair & skin tips for people who work out a lot

Ok guys, now I want to hear from you! How do you keep your skin and hair healthy? Any favorite products or routines? If you’re a fellow fitness professional, how do you balance the constant sweat with your skin and hair routine?

signature

* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

This post is sponsored by MegaFood. While I’m a paid ambassador for the brand, all opinions–as always!–are my own. I adore their products and truly think you will, too! 🙂