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Welcome to the life of a 6 foot tall runner living in Saskatchewan, Canada. This is where I document my adventures in food, fitness, and my life in general. My sarcasm hand is always raised and 90% of my iPhone photos are of my dog.

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DISCLAIMER

Please consult your medical professional before making any fitness and/or nutritional changes.

ALWAYS honour your body.

 FitFluential Is Fitness Found

Wednesday
Dec172014

Last Minute Gift Ideas

I HAVE EMERGED FROM FINALS HELL!

That was my life for the past week or so. Coffee and so much studying. I am BEYOND happy that this final is done and out of the way. Anatomy is tough, y’all. It’s a lot of information and memorization which is completely opposite of the business and social science finals I’m used to taking. I learned a lot of valuable information and feel like I have a better understanding of the human body that I can use and relate to personal training. As much as I hated the process of learning and memorizing all the muscles and their origins, insertions, and actions, that information is super valuable to me and what I want to do with my (eventual) Bachelor of Kinesiology.

Bring on physiology!

Now that my one final is over and done with, I can move in to more important things....like finishing my Christmas shopping.

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I have approximately 50% of my shopping done and will be (hopefully) completing the entire checklist by the end of this weekend! I have a bunch of stocking stuffers to buy plus a few bigger presents...and I chosen to finish my list on the busiest shopping weekend of the year. Yikes.

In case any of you are in the same boat, I’ve compiled a list of really awesome (according to me) stocking stuffers. These gifts have a fitness theme throughout but I’ve thrown in a few just plain awesome gifts that I’ve stumbled across in my research.

Hair Accessories

This will literally always be on my gift guide because all items related to taming my mane during physical activity are basically gold. Some specific ideas: headbands (I love Sparkly Soul), bobby pins and hair ties (forever getting lost), running hat (I have my eyes on this one), and any winter running accessories like ear warmers and touques.

Gym Bag

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I tend to get a new gym bag every 1-2 years since mine get ratty and destroyed from being dragged around all year. Also, Sadie occasionally has an emotional freak out when left by herself and my gym bags are sometimes innocent victims. I’ve been scoping out a new one for this year since my current one has had its handles chewed by The Pants and I’ve been loving oGorgeous and Fivesse bags.

Fitness Tracker

There are so many of these out in the market right now. Fitbit, Polar, Garmin, Jawbone....it really just depends what you or your giftee wants. Here’s a good comparison of specs of the most popular trackers.

Printed Leggings

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So fun and on trend. I love lululemon's wunder unders for quality, but you can find some great ones from Moving Comfort, Lorna Jane, and the Gap!

Retro Sweaters

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I personally love these types of sweaters to wear with jeans and leggings on the weekend, and to throw on going to and from the gym. If you know the person's alma matter or favorite sports team, this is a pretty easy gift! Some of my faves:

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Gift Cards

Gift cards always get a bad rep but honestly, who doesn’t like free money?! Lululemon, Starbucks, Sportschek, Etsy, or a local yoga or fitness studio are some good ideas for stocking stuffers.

Fun Coffee Mug

You can never have too many! Etsy has some amazing mugs for anything you can dream of. I have to give a shoutout to my amazing Feyonce mug (above) from The Little Vinylsaur. Other cute options:

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Happy shopping!

 

PS: Remember enter the FIT CHICKS giveaway for a 4 week bootcamp! Contest closes tomorrow at midnight. 

Thursday
Dec112014

FIT CHICKS Review and GIVEAWAY! {closed}

Merry FITmas!

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PUNS.

Stay tuned to the end of this post for an awesome giveaway! Tis this season!

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Tonight was my last FIT CHICKS class for 2014. The stars must have aligned because we got to do my favorite warm up

THE LADDER! I like to think I have Zumba to thank for keeping my coordination skills in tip top shape. I love racing through the ladder with quick feet!

It’s been over a week since I’ve had a decent, blood pumping, shaky muscles workout and man did I need it. With finals and some other stuff that’s been going on over here, I was in need a stress relieving workout!

As you guys know, FIT CHICKS generously let me try their Fierce in 8 bootcamp that’s relatively new to Regina in exchange for reviews. You can check out my other posts on my experience with FIT CHICKS here.

Now that my bootcamp session is over (sad face), let’s do a little wrap up!

What is the Fierce in 8 bootcamp?

From the class description:

FIT CHICKS “FIERCE in 8” Bootcamp is a fun, fabulous but FIRM program designed to give you RESULTS in as little as 4 weeks! Donʼt let the cute chicks fool you, this is not a “girlie” workout!

In my own words, the bootcamp is a tough but fun 1 hour class where you mix traditional strength moves (push-ups, burpees, planks, shoulder presses) with some compound full body strength moves (squats with overhead presses, push-ups with knee tucks) and some cardio (sprinting tabatas, plyometrics). Every class is different so you’re not doing the same sequence of moves every day. The class is structured in a AMRAP (as many reps as possible) format versus a targeted number of reps format so you can do your reps at your own pace.

I never got bored in any of the classes I attended. My “Chick Sergeant” aka the instructor was fantastic. She explained and demonstrated the moves, watched us for form, did some of the workout with us (which I love in an instructor), and motivated us when we needed it!

At your first and last class, the instructor takes your weight and body measurements so you can track your progress throughout the 4 weeks. You also do a fitness test at the first and last class so you can track your progress at that level.

I went over my progress in this post since I did the 8 classes over an extended period of time. I saw some great fitness gains and positive body changes while I was doing this program and I feel stronger! This class really made me push myself harder than I ever would have by myself. It also re-booted my workout creativity since I tend to get stuck in a “do a mixture of these basic 20 moves” rut when I do solo workouts.

Pros

Group fitness environment. You will always push yourself harder when you workout in a group vs on your own, plus you will feel accountable to actually show up and put in the work!

Great mix of strength and cardio. I feel like I got a strong balance of both strength and cardio during these bootcamps. Some group fitness classes are strictly cardio or strictly strength, but your best bet for overall fitness and weight loss is to do a combo of both.

Always changing. You do different moves in a different format each class. In my experience with the classes, we’ve done a pyramid style workout, tabatas, partner workouts, a deck of cards style workout, and themed workouts. It’s easy to stick with a workout and push yourself hard when it’s always changing. You’re never bored!

High intensity. I was always sweating like a mad woman during this class and it’s because the intensity is high! You do have moments where you’re focusing on lower heart rate moves (static squat, lunges) but you are doing a lot of high intensity periods of exercise.

Access to Members Only Website. The bootcamp fee includes a login to a members only area with some freaking awesome resources. You get access to a meal plan and recipes, a workout plan (so you know what do to on days you don’t have a bootcamp), workout videos, and playlists.

Cons

BYOE: Bring Your Own Equipment. You have to bring a yoga mat and a set of weights with you to the classes. My instructor did have a few extra set of weights in varying sizes (5lbs, 8lbs, 10lbs) but I’m not sure if this is standard. I found it slightly annoying to lug around my gym bag, yoga mat, and my 8lbs dumbbells to and from class.

High intensity. This could be a con for some so I put it in both categories ;) There’s a lot of jumping and moves that could be difficult to perform if you have knee, shoulder, or hip issues. It’s best if you know how to modify for your body so you can still get a great workout in.

 

And now for the GIVEAWAY!

FIT CHICKS is giving one Running Tall reader a free 4 week Fierce in 8 bootcamp!

Prizing Includes:

  • 8- 1hr High Intensity Interval Training bootcamp classes (value $298)
  • Pre & post measurements & fitness testing (value $29)
  • “Livin’ la vida FIT CHICK” E-book to set you up for success! (value $29)
  • Access to 2 FIT CHICKS 20 min Signature At Home Workout Video to take you to the next level (Value $39)
  • “FIERCE in 8” week Workout Map that plans your month inside & outside of class (value $19)
  • Chick approved nutrition support & sample meal plan to eat for max results (value $39)
  • Weekly nutrition, recipes, and fitness tips to get you RESULTS (value $39)
  • Access to Members only section including exercise library, nutrition info, music downloads & more (free!)
  • A FIERCE new you in 8 weeks! (value - PRICELESS)

 

Here’s how to enter:

-Leave a comment saying which location you would do you Fierce in 8 bootcamp (locations listed here).

-Extra entry: Follow FIT CHICKS on Instagram (@fitchicks) and leave an extra comment

-Extra entry: Follow me on Instagram (@runningtall) and leave an extra comment

 

Ready, set, GO!

 

FIT CHICKS is sponsoring this giveaway, however all opinions and reviews on the Fierce in 8 bootcamp are 100% my own. Giveaway closes next Thursday, December 18th, 2014 at midnight CST.

Thursday
Dec042014

Burning Out and Christmas DIY Ideas

My body is TIRED today. I’ve been pushing it pretty hard the past couple weeks with Zumba, FIT CHICKS, working and serving, plus I’ve been subbing volleyball games for my other teammates! While I LOVE all of the above, I’m happy volleyball is done for the year and that I don’t have to work another serving shift until the middle of December! I often take on too much because I never want to pass up on an activity that I know I love, but I think I should start to pass on some things because my body is feeling it today.

Too many hours spent on my feet running drinks with bad shoes combined with lots of Zumba twisting has left my left hip feeling iffy. I’m hoping that some regular stretching, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, and getting proper insoles take care of the issue! If not, I guess I’ll be paying the physio a visit.

Please grab a gift bag on the way out of my pity party.

On a more positive and less complain-y note...21 days until Christmas! Like I’ve mentioned before, Christmas is my favourite holiday and I can’t get enough of the magical feeling that seems to accompany this time of year. This weekend I will be getting el condo Christmas-fied and I have a few to-do craft projects on my list:

Sparkle Bulbs from DIY Playbook

Glitter Reindeer Canvas from Hey Lauren Rene

Adding Christmas themed greenery to the pot outside out front door. Picture source.

We have very limited space in our condo and not nearly enough surface space to handle all the Christmas knick-knacks I want to buy so we need to get creative! Lots of our Christmas stuff goes on the walls, outside, or in place of a decor item that’s usually there year-round. Plus, I like to break out the Christmas scented candles and Scentsy so the whole place smells like the holidays.

Did this just turn into a DIY/lifestyle blog? NOPE. At least not with my rookie non-existent DIY skills.

FIT CHICKS Day 6

I have 2 more FIT CHICKS bootcamps left and I am sad that they will be out of my life soon! They’ve truly been amazing and have pushed me harder than I’ve pushed myself in the past month or two. On Tuesday I had my 6th session and it was the hardest one yet. We did a HIIT style workout where we performed one exercise for 45 seconds, a second exercise for another 45 seconds, repeated that combo once, and then had a 30 second break. The combo of exercises were TOUGH! The hardest one for me was a hopping mountain climber combined with a plank with hamstring curls. My shoulders and abs were BURNING.

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The entire workout had cute snow-themed names to the exercises (ie: skaters, snowboarders, snowshoes) but I was not looking so cute after class. It was the first class I actually poured sweat. YUCK but isn’t that what you want from an HIIT workout?! 

Getting stronger and stronger yo!

 

Questions of the Day

Do you ever feel like you take on too much?

 

PS: Let’s be friends on Insta! I’m at the start of another yoga challenge over there and this one is called #justbepresent. It’s all about taking a few moments to be present and actually enjoy this time of year. I’m using it was a daily reminder to take a few moments to be stop, be still, and enjoy the moment.

With the Pants of course.

She loves to join me whenever I do some #kitchenyoga!

Sunday
Nov302014

Cyber Monday Deals for Fit Ladies

DECEMBER IS HERE! Christmas is my favorite holiday and I am so excited for this month. I thought the tree and Christmas decorations would go up in our house this past weekend, but we ran out of time. In case you missed my Saturday post, we had Mike’s niece and nephew at our place for a sleepover this weekend!

Crafting with the kids Saturday morning

We only have one bed at our place so we let the kids sleep in the bed while Mike and I slept on the floor downstairs. I was mega sore the next morning for my serving shift. This lady is way too old to be sleeping on floors!

Sunday was spent doing the usual house stuff and gearing up for the week. Typical, boring stuff. Later in the day, we headed over to Mike’s sister’s house to celebrate Mike’s dad’s birthday with the whole family while watching the Grey Cup! None of us were cheering for one side in particular but we were all happy it was an actual competitive game. Makes it entertaining!

Cyber Monday

Now that December has officially begun, it’s time to get cracking on getting everyone’s Christmas gifts! I still have a few people to shop for and I figured you guys might have some presents to check off your list so I’ve gathered a list of some awesome Cyber Monday deal that I’ve found. I tend to do a lot of my shopping online so I’m on a bunch of newsletter lists that I honestly just delete without opening the majority of the time. However, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails are must opens!

This list is generally fitness clothing and accessories plus some clothing so if you have someone on your list who’s a fitness junkie (or want to get a special something for yourself) you may want to check these out:

Tone It Up – 20-50% off nutrition plans, apparel, accessories, DVDs, and Perfect Fit plus special Cyber Monday bundles. I always highly recommend their nutrition plans if you’re interested in kick-starting a healthier lifestyle and eating clean. It has great basic information and guidelines plus a ton of amazing recipes. Tone It Up is what really propelled my journey into fitness and health!

Sparkly Soul Headbands – 15% off headbands with code CYBERMONDAY 2014 and free US shipping for orders over $50 with code FREESHIPPING2014. Best headbands EVER.

American Eagle - 40% off and free shipping with code GOBBLEUP. This one is not so much fitness related but it's where I get all my pants! They have an extra-long length which is a 36" inseam that you can only get online. I\ve stocked up on some more pants just now!

FIT CHICKS - $80 off a New Year Fierce in 8 Bootcamp with code NEWYEAR. I’ve got 3 more classes to go to round out the 8 bootcamp sessions and I’m loving the results of this program so far.

Manduka – 25% off storewide with code THOUGHTFULLY. These mats have fantastic reviews and are supposed to be some of the best mats on the market. One day I’d love to own one!

Lorna Jane - 20% off every on the site plus free shipping. I've never tried their workout gear but I always hear amazing things about Lorna Jane. So cute. 

Pro Compression - 40% off these items with code SNOW. I swear by their marathon compression socks when I'm half marathon training and notice a huge difference in muscle recovery whenever I wear them. 

Tiny Devotions - Free standard shipping to US and Canada plus a free Ibiza scarf with every purchase using code IBIZA. Tiny Devotions is a company I found about a year ago that absolutely I adore. Although I don't own any of their iems (yet...my pinterest board is teaming with their stuff!) I love the company and the message that they put out into the world. Their Sunday night newsletters are a must-read.  

Happy shopping!

 

Question of the Day

What’s the best Cyber Monday deal you’ve seen today? Leave the details in the comments to pass on the savings to others!

 

Saturday
Nov292014

FIT CHICKS Progress Report

What’s up Saturday blog post?! I totally meant for this to go up yesterday, but we’ve been a little pre-occupied over here

Mike and I are taking care of his niece and nephew this weekend! We had a jam packed day yesterday – coloring, taking in the Saskatchewan Science Centre, swimming, and watching kiddy Christmas movies. We also spent the morning doing a bit of Black Friday shopping for a dehumidifier because…

UGH. There’s so much moisture in our house that it gets in our locks and freezes, making it impossible to lock the door. Mike got locked out on Thursday and had to borrow my sister’s hair dryer to thaw out the lock.

We are definitely the classiest condo in the complex….I mean, we would have been if I had purchased these bad boys

Oh Canadian Tire. Never change.

FIT CHICKS Progress

So, remember when I was all super jazzed about my fifth bootcamp with FIT CHICKS because I thought we would be doing fitness testing? Well we DID and I beat my previous records!

The testing is done in an AMRAP (as many reps as possible) format for one minute. We did a dynamic warm up and then got right into the testing.

The results:

FYI "Feet" means push-ups done on my toes vs knees

I’m so happy I made improvements in every area! Burpees are still KILLER and probably always will be, but hey I got 1 rep more! My push-ups and squats each increased by 5+ reps and I had a feeling they would. The 4 FIT CHICKS bootcamps prior to this had lots of strength intermixed with cardio and abs so I knew I was getting stronger. My push-ups were happening easier and I felt more stable and strong when doing movements like squats, skaters, and lunges.

FIT CHICKS also has weigh-ins and measurements every 4 weeks so you can track your progress that way. Since I’m not actively trying to lose weight, I didn’t expect to see any big changes in those numbers but I did see a 1.5 inch decrease in my waist measurement and no increases in any other category! Gotta love getting a flatter stomach without actively trying ;)

This was the end of a 4 week session but I’ll be back at FIT CHICKS in the December session to make up 3 classes I unfortunately had to miss because of work commitments. I’m BEYOND pumped to keep these workouts in my life and see any further improvements in my strength!

I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress….also there’s something in it for you around the middle of December so keep your eyes peeled for that!

 

Time to enjoy more time with kids! I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend.