NEW ANNOUNCEMENT!

Good morning and happy Monday, everyone!

I’m just writing a quick post today to update you all on some new and exciting news that I’ll be going into more detail on next week.

As you can tell, I’d started this blog as a travel blog, to keep family, friends, and others updated on my journeys and adventures abroad throughout 2019. I continued posting travel-related content once I returned from my semester abroad, but as you can imagine this became quite difficult once travel restrictions were implemented due to the pandemic. I would still love to include travel content on this page, but that’s a part of my life that I can’t fully explore right now or in the near future.

While I began to transition this page toward more lifestyle, health, and fitness related content, as well as focusing on these topics in my daily life, I realized that this is truly what I am passionate about and would like to write about. I’ve mentioned before that I am a spin instructor, and am also now teaching various stretching, strength and conditioning, and HIIT workouts virtually from home – which I hope I can make a career out of in the future! I also love reading and learning about nutrition and healthy lifestyle changes. So, it only makes sense that I focus my energy in the health and fitness field right now, which is something I’m excited to commit to going forward.

I am excited to announce that next week I will be launching an entirely new blog page fully devoted to health and fitness! Because this page was started with a focus on travel, I want to keep it that way and hopefully return here occasionally when I do begin traveling again to update you all on my experiences. That being said, what I really want to do is expand my health and fitness content and career path, and I don’t think I can do that on this page without a fresh start. I have been working hard on creating this new page, and will be completing the finishing touches in this next week so that everything is ready to go for next Monday’s launch.

This new page will contain various work out routines and plans, nutrition tips, healthy recipes, and my personal thoughts and opinions on different fitness regimes. I want to create a clean and motivational space to share my passion for health and fitness with you all, and experience a journey toward a healthier and happier lifestyle alongside you!

I will be posting on this page again next Monday with specific information on my new page, how you can access it and subscribe, and to say a temporary goodbye to my travel followers. I want to separate the two spaces as they are two different passions in my life, and will therefore attract different followers and community members. I understand that those of you who signed up for this page to receive travel content might not be interested in health and fitness content, so this new page will be 100% focused in that realm.

I’m going to get back to work on my new page for now, but thank you all for understanding my switch and I hope to see many of you on the other side next week! Have a great holiday weekend, and as always, I’ll see you soon 🙂

xx,

Megan

Five 10-Minute Workouts to Boost Your Mood (& Muscles!)

Happy Monday and welcome back!

This week, as you can tell by the title of my post, I wanted to stick with the health & fitness theme – if you haven’t noticed, I’m very into this kind of thing, and even more so now that traveling is off limits!

I’ve been teaching online fitness classes while in quarantine, and after writing 4-5 different workout routines each week for my classes, I figured I might as well start sharing them on here. I want to disclaim that my only fitness certification is as a spin instructor, so these are simply recommendations of workouts I’ve been doing (and teaching) to get a quick hit of movement in throughout my day.

I wanted to stick with the 10 minute workouts for this week’s post, as this (in my opinion) is the easiest way to start implementing strength and conditioning into your day. Everyone can find 10 minutes to spare at some point during the day, and picking just one focus area for that 10 minutes can make a huge difference down the road!

I’m a proponent of switching things up every day, between muscle groups, activity level, and duration of exercise – this will help your muscles to recover between workouts, and also to get you excited and motivated to try new things, rather than sticking to the same ab workout everyday for a week. I also have noticed that even just 10 minutes of exercise can help clear your mindset and give you a refreshed outlook on the rest of your day, so even if you’re feeling stressed and exhausted and a workout seems like the last thing you want to do, I’m sure you’ll feel MUCH better afterwards. So, without too much of an introduction, here are five 10-minute workouts to get you started!


1. 10 Minute Core Crunch

This set contains 10 exercises, 1 minute each. You can decide how long you want to hold each exercise vs. how long you want to rest – you can start with 30-40 seconds on/20-30 seconds off, and then build up to 45-50 seconds on/10-15 seconds rest depending on your stamina. For an extra challenge, use ankle weights while you crunch!

  • Plank rockers (elbow plank while shifting your weight forward and backward)
  • Flutter kick
  • Boat to low boat (hands off the ground for a challenge!)
  • Leg lifts
  • Russian twists (hold a 5-10lb. weight to make it harder!)
  • Straight leg crunches
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Penguins (on back with feet on the ground/knees pointed up, reach for alternating ankles)
  • Hip lifts (legs straight in the air, lift your hips up using only core muscles)
  • Reverse crunches (hold a weight to make it harder!)

2. 10 Minute Leg & Glute Strength

For this exercise, I definitely recommend working up to using ankle weights eventually – if you don’t normally do leg exercises, you will benefit from just bodyweight, but adding weight definitely increases the intensity of this workout! Similar to the core crunch workout above, I am giving you 10 exercises, and you can choose how you want to build the intervals of working time vs. rest to reach 10 minutes!

  • Bodyweight squats, or hold a weight for higher intensity
  • Squat pulses (weight also optional)
  • Alternating right/left donkey kicks (from tabletop position)
  • Alternating right/left fire hydrants (from tabletop position)
  • Right side leg lifts (laying on left side)
  • Left inside leg lifts (laying on left side)
  • Left side leg lifts (laying on right side)
  • Right inside leg lifts (laying on right side)
  • Right straight-leg reverse leg lifts, straight up or side-to-side for challenge (from tabletop position)
  • Left straight-leg reverse leg lifts, straight up or side-to-side for challenge (from tabletop position)

3. 10 Minute Arm Toner

Choose an accurate weight for these workouts – I use 5lbs because I want to tone my arms rather than bulk up, while my brother, a college football player, uses 10-15lb weights to build muscle. Even starting off with 2-3lbs will make a difference, and if you don’t have weights at home, you can use any household object, like water bottles, soup cans, or shampoo bottles! Once again, this workout contains 10 exercises where you can choose your intervals – I recommend spending less rest time on these, though, as our stamina tends to last longer with arm exercises.

  • Bicep curls
  • Hammer curls
  • Overhead press
  • Chest fly
  • Tricep extensions OR tricep kickbacks
  • Bent over rows
  • Wide arm bicep curls
  • Front to back narrow rows
  • Lateral raises
  • Boxer punches

4. 10 Minute Full Body STRENGTH

This set combines core, legs, and arms to form one cohesive strengthening exercise. I recommend holding onto a light weight for most of these to up the intensity, and I suggest 45 seconds on/15 seconds off as a good starting point – but feel free to switch things up as needed!

  • Reverse lunges + torso twist, alternate right/left
  • Wide arm pushups, on knees or on feet
  • High plank jacks (step out right/left, or hop for challenge)
  • Side lunges, alternate right/left
  • Bicep curl to overhead press
  • Torso dips in horse position, alternate right/left (lean toward alternating sides/knees)
  • Plié squats (horse position)
  • Tricep dips OR tricep kickbacks
  • Boat to low boat
  • Hip lifts, hip lift pulses, or hip lift hold

5. 10 Minute Full Body CARDIO CONDITIONING

This fifth and final exercise is perfect for when you don’t have the time or energy to go for a run, do a full HIIT workout, or any other cardio of choice. Once again, I am giving you 10 exercises for which you can build your own intervals to reach 10 minutes, but I challenge you to work up to 1 minute of each exercise – that means no rest! This way you are getting a FULL 10 minutes of cardio!

  • Jump rope in place
  • Jumping jacks
  • Torso twist shuffle (twist hips right/left while hopping)
  • Butt kickers
  • Hop-hop-squat
  • High knees
  • Jumping jacks
  • Side shuffle 2 steps, touch ground on 3rd (alternate right/left)
  • Alternate front kick + toe touch with opposite arm
  • Mountain climbers

Well, that is all to get you started! These five sets should give you enough of a variety to pick and choose what you want each day, and of course feel free to switch out certain individual exercises for other modifications, or other moves you enjoy more. I personally like the structure of a 10-exercise, 10-minute workout, because I can get through it fairly quickly, so I hope you can all find a similar motivation! Pairing two or three together can also make for a great, 20-30 minute full body workout 🙂

Hopefully I can film a live workout soon to share with you all so you can better see the exercises and form I am explaining, and you can workout alongside me. I will also be posting more blogs like this in the future with different and new exercise ideas – so until then, good luck and happy moving!

xx,

Megan


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