Movies, Workouts, Movies, Snow

I spent the majority of my early afternoon shoveling, but that’s okay because it’s not like I’ve been doing that all winter. Oh, wait. At least since the end of January, the Boston area has been a snowy mess, which is far worse than being a hot mess because at least when it’s overly warm, you don’t have to move.

Shoveling is an excellent form of exercise, used both as strength and cardio, due to all the movement and lifting heavy mounds of snow onto piles of snow that are now way over my head. I’m still unable to feel my face from dragging the snow off of the roof. Boston should really consider sharing the wealth with the rest of the North East/country. You’re welcome.

My friend Katie texted me a few days ago, asking if I could post some at-home workout ideas. I’m glad to help! I find that with enough imagination, you can fit in a day’s worth of strength training and cardio, with limited equipment. My go to body strength workout is in circuit form, which I run through 4-5 times, either 12 or 10 reps each move.

– Dips

– Calf Raises

– Squats

– Lunges

– Kickbacks

– Push Ups

– Mountain Climbers

– Mermaid Raises (or as some people call them, Supermans?)

– Hip Lifts

– Hundred Leg Lifts to V Ups

– Bicycle Crunches

– Russian Twists

When I finish through my circuit, I take a few minutes to do a Yoga flow sequence. Starting with a forearm plank, side planks, reverse plank, full bridge, shoulder stand, half pigeons, and warriors. While these moves can be difficult, especially when you hold them for 30-60 seconds, they are also useful for a good stretch to loosen up the muscles!

For cardio, I will sometimes just ride the mediocre stationary bike we have at home, maneuver my way over to my neighbor’s house to use the treadmill, or run through a cardio circuit downstairs in my basement. This has not proven to be an option this winter due to all the stuff that has been moved into disarray as we reorganize. When I have space, I warm up with some jumping jacks, box jumps, skater jumps, high knees, and jump roping- either with an actual rope or faking my way through the motions. I also will include some sprints, running as fast as I can without crashing into the wall and going back and forth a few times in a row. I also will throw in some side shuffles and those jazzy leg moves that I believe are called karaokes. Sometimes even walking or jogging in place can do the trick because it keeps you moving.

Note: I miss the Elliptical I used way back when during the days I was first starting on my health journey. I broke it from overuse, or so we’ll say…

After some heavy shoveling-I was ready to hop back into bed for a nap and I had only been up for a few hours at that point- I enjoyed lunch and another movie. I’m usually more of a TV show kind of girl because even if I end up watching hours worth of episodes, it feels like less of an initial commitment than a movie.

After the dreadfulness that was 50 Shades of Grey, I went with my parents to go see Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was very funny, entertaining, and silly. I adore Colin Firth and he can pull off anything, even a super secret agent.

When I got home, I was thrilled to discover that the movie based on one of my-if not number one- favorite musicals was offered on On Demand. The Last Five Years has one of the most beautiful Original Cast Recordings I’ve ever heard, mostly due to Norbert Leo Butz’s vocals. The movie version was excellent, starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. They were very good in their roles, though neither lived up to the originals. Note: I am extremely biased when it comes to Norbert Leo Butz because I am not sure there is a better actor/singer out there on Broadway. He is the best.

Had I not been familiar with the musical, I think it may have been confusing to follow the plot because there’s no explanation of how it doesn’t move in a regular sequence. Without going into spoilers, the film begins with the main woman’s perspective at the end of the relationship and the man’s perspective at the beginning. They meet in the middle and then end up on opposite ends of the spectrum. The musical was written by Jason Robert Brown and has been performed on Off-Broadway for a few runs. It is phenomenal. I cannot recommend the Original Cast Recording or the film enough.

I also just want to say that I like that the film did not forget that it was a musical. When I saw the Jersey Boys musical, the music in it was an afterthought, used in transitional moments. That makes no sense! The music tells the story! Seriously watch/listen/love The Last Five Years and then play it on repeat and sing it as loud as you can in your car by yourself. It will get you through some difficult moments and keep you sane. Guaranteed. Though I suppose, that is simply the significance of good music.

To recap food, I’ll start with the breakfast that made my tummy happy yesterday. Poached eggs over toast with a few strips of bacon and some fruit.

Lunch was an odd assortment. Before seeing Kingsman, I met my friend Nouha at the gym for a workout. I had higher hopes than it ended up being. Had the storm not been in the forecast to keep everyone locked inside on Sunday, I probably would have taken my rest day on Saturday because the week’s workouts left me sore! I tried to be a trooper and jumped on the treadmill, but after twenty minutes of consistent running, my legs were screaming. For the rest of the thirty-five minute cardio session, I alternated between running and walking, which was still fine, but not as smooth as I hoped. After, Nouha and I ran through a fairly painful ab workout.

photo 1

Before heading to the movie, I swirled a spoonful of peanut butter into a plain Greek yogurt along with some sweet grapes for a quick snack. I was still hungry, so on the way to the theater, I grabbed a slice of pizza to satiate my stomach. I will admit to having a few nibbles of popcorn as well!

Dinner last night was a tasty crockpot full of pulled barbecue chicken, macaroni and cheese, and broccoli. Mac- my dog- is apparently a huge fan of broccoli and was performing a number of tricks to get a bite!

The warmness of this dinner went well with the cold storm brewing outside!

photo 2

Life is good!

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