Tag Archives: 30-day challenge

Fitness & Massage: Your Body Deserves It

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! And you can call me a spoiled brat, but that’s what I am going to be doing tonight…

relaxation massage

Source

Okay, let the truth be told… I don’t look that glamorous when I’m getting a massage… Most of the time I’m on the verge of falling asleep… It’s important to highlight… On the verge… Why? Because most of the times I come back to reality from realization that I am about to drool… Yah… You got it right… But hey, no judgement here! *Haha!*

Also most of the times I feel like this.

Is_this_too_much_pressure

Source

I’m exaggerating here, of course. I actually like when a masseuse has strong hands. But you know that moment when they are trying to work your shoulder blades? Well, every single time, I think that something is about to crack. And yet, when they ask me if everything is okay, I say.

i__m_fine_by_destinyblue-d4e1b9e

Source

Am I normal? *Haha!*

In all seriousness though, I love Swedish massage. It appears that this kind of massage not only helps relaxation, but is also “exceptionally beneficial for increasing the level of oxygen in the blood, decreasing muscle toxins, improving circulation and flexibility while easing tension”, according to Massage Envy Spa.

However, to reap all benefits of a massage, you have to do a bit of ‘homework’ too. Remember to:

  • Drink lots of water, especially for the next 24-48 hours: This will help toxins to leave your body. *Check out these tips to stay hydrated.*
  • Take a warm shower or a nice bath with salts. Doing this will improve your blood circulation and bring relaxation to a whole new level.
  • Do some static stretching: hold your favorite yoga pose for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.Stretches will reducce post-massage soreness.I actually came across a cool image on one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers, today. You can use it for inspiration if you’d like.

Yoga-Poses-Hold-each-pose-for-30-seconds_thumb

  • Have a small snack to boost electrolytes in your body. Oh, I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention you about my favorite post-massage treat!

chocolate_covered_strawberries_recipe_plate_of_chocolate_covered_strawberries

Source

At the spa I go to, they serve chocolate covered strawberries in their relaxation area. Let me tell you, after I have 2 of them, I’m in heaven. *True story!*

Back to planet Earth… *Hehe!*

This is how my cross-train workout yesterday looked like.

Repeat 5 times:

10 push-ups
10 burpees
5 pull-ups
30-second sprint
1 minute rest

Then, with something heavy, repeat 4 times:

15 squats
Lunge walk 50 meters
10 chest-passes
10 underhand toss
1 minute rest

Strength: Ab 500 *This surely covers the 30 sit ups for 30 days challenge! See previous post.*

fitness-inspiration

Source

What is your favorite type of massage? How often do you treat yourself to one?

xoxo
Olena

 

15 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health

Sweat, Smile & Repeat: 30-Day Spartan Abs Challenge

So you all may be wondering what’s different… Well, it’s June! Summer is here!!! *I know, I know, it officially starts on June 21, but I could care less… OOPS! #sorrynotsorry*

summer is here

Source

But what I am even more excited about is that a new Spartan 30-day challenge is here. *We’ve established my love for them, right?!* For those of you  who are new to these challenges, the goal is fairly simple: “To emerge from the 30/30 a better person on the way to a healthier lifestyle.”

Spartan_Sit-ups_NAS

 

Source

The task is to do 30 sit-ups for 30 days! It’s that simple!!!

Follow these steps: 

Step 1: Lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor or mat with your heels 1 foot from your tailbone. Put your fingertips behind your head or cross your arms on your chest.

Step 2: Squeezing your shoulder blades together, tighten your abs and curl up toward your bent knees until you’re in a seated position. Pause.

Step 3: Slowly lower yourself until your back is in contact with the floor. keeping your abs tight. Repeat!

If you find this too difficult you can modify the exercise by reaching your arms in front of you as you curl up.

Source

In addition I’d like to share you the following SEAL Fit Sit-Up Variation in case you’d like to switch it up and work different muscles.

Also, definitely don’t stop at 30 sit-ups per day. If you can do more, go for it! After all, who wouldn’t want to have sexy abs, especially when the summer is here. Make sure to try out this Spartan 500 Ab workout, if you still haven’t done so. You won’t regret it!

trying my hardest

Source

What are your favorite sit-up variations and workouts?

xoxo
Olena

22 Comments

Filed under 30-Day Workout Challenges, Fitness, Health

The Spartan 30 Push Ups For 30 Days Challenge, Doggy Park & More

Good morning beauties!!! How are you? I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

be awesome

Source

My weekend was really great. Even though it didn’t really go the way it was planned *stupid weather lol!*, my hubby and I spent a lot of time with our little beauty Bella. We decided to take her to a doggy park for the first time. Despite being somewhat intimidated  by bigger dogs, I think, she really enjoyed the experience.

at a doggy park

Needless to say, she was EXHAUSTED.

Tired Bella - German Shepherd

When my loves were sound asleep and there was absolutely nothing on TV, I started snapping some selfies with my cell. *My pest bit through the rear-end camera lens… for the second time… I guess, that’s what they call LIFE. Haha!* Here is the result.

Be YOU

Oh! And we finally got to watch Frozen. I LOOOOVE Olaf! ❤

*PS. This specific scene is so actual for the weather in Montreal. We all wish for summer/spring very much, but the real surroundings are very close to those in the cartoon. But I’m not losing my hope! Haha!*

Guys!!! You will not believe me! It seems like finally the Spartan Gods have heard my plea and sent a challenge that I needed for a while!

myths-legends-atlas-greek_gods-greek_myths-ancient_mythology-titans-jprn157l

Source

As you may remember *or not*, one of my fellow fitness bloggers, Emmeline, threw a challenge to see who will be able to do the most push ups and pull ups by June 21, 2014. I diligently did my thinking and decided to set a goal of 30+ push ups. It’s all sweet and dandy, but I felt like i needed a solid plan in order to reach my objective. And VOILA!

Spartan30_PushUp_Calendar_PS

Source

I am super duper excited to share that the challenge starts TOMORROW on April 1! All you have to do is 30 push-ups a day for 30 consecutive days. SIMPLE!!!

Here are a few more tips from the Spartan Race itself:

  • No fancy gym memberships required. All you need is the floor beneath your legs, your own body (safe to assume you have this) and determination. Post your pictures and/or your times. Then do it again the next day.
  • So how do you complete a push-up? Follow these steps: 1 – Get into plank position, with your hands slightly outside of your shoulders. 2 – Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor, keeping your elbows close to your torso. 3 – Push away from the floor and back to the starting position. Repeat 29 more times!
  • If you can’t do one push up, start the challenge with the “modified push-up”. To perform a modified push-up assume a push-up position but bend your knees allowing them to touch the floor and cross your ankles. This will make the push-up easier and can be used as a stepping stone to the standard push-up!
  • If your wrists hurt, Try using a pair of dumbbells or push-up bars. The modified grip will allow you to keep your wrists straight.
  • You can even time yourself. By keeping track of your progress, you can watch yourself improving
  • Feel free to push yourself further! Don’t stop at 30, if you can do more.

Source

make things happen

Source

*** Also make sure to read one of my previous posts for more insights on push up technique, some laughs and cute pictures of little kidos ‘doing’ push ups: Push Ups 101: A Cheater’s Guide To Lousy Push Ups, 35+ Push Up Variations, And Fast & Effective Bodyweight Upper Body Workout.

watch me

Source

How was your weekend? Are you going to embark on the Spartan 30 push ups for 30 days challenge? How do you challenge yourself every day?

xoxo
Olena

 

15 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Motivation, Puppy Love

Nuts For Health? The Ultimate Guide To Nuts & Bourbon On The Rocks Cross-Train Workout

I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said that majority of us, fitness bloggers and health addicts, are totally nuts when it comes to NUTS! Haha! And why wouldn’t we? Nuts are a great snack because they’re loaded with nutrients and are super filling. But how much do we actually know about their diversity and health benefits? Personally, probably not enough. To fix this little issue, I decided to look for more information. Look what I found!

the-ultimate-guide-to-nuts

Source

Pretty crazy, huh?!

useless fact about nuts

Source

According to Health Me Up, there are multiple ways you can add nuts to your diet:

  • Add them to salads: I personally love adding sliced almonds, cashews and sunflower seeds.
  • Add nuts to curries‘Try peanuts with stir-fried cabbage. Walnuts with gentle fish curries. Or almonds with spicy chicken curries. Very soon, you’ll find that you end up loving the new taste of these nutty curries.’
  • Add them to your pastas and sauces: ‘Pastas cooked with spinach, broccoli and other greens go beautifully with thinly sliced almonds.’
  • Add powdered nuts in soups and casseroles as thickening agents: ‘They thicken low-fat milk and yogurt quite wonderfully and add there own distinct flavor to the mix.’
  • Add nuts to fruit or other natural food desserts: ‘The trick here is to stick to portion sizes. So if you’re looking at filling a small bowl with a fruit dessert, then take your daily recommended dose of nuts and sprinkle them on top. In fact, chopped bananas with clove honey, sprinkled with sliced almonds and walnuts, and topped with a dash of powdered cinnamon is an exquisite and healthy dessert.’

Quotation-Penn-Jillette-love-humor-inspirational-Meetville-Quotes-108370

Source

It’s time for some cross training and strength. I love the name of my workout today: Bourbon on the Rocks. Sounds… FANCY?! Haha! According to the Spartan Guide, some may find this difficult to swallow though. Here is how it goes.

10 push-ups
10 burpees
5 pull-ups
30-second sprint
1-minute rest
Repeat 5 times.

Then, with a rock *ummm, in my case with dumbbells and a medicine ball haha!*

15 squats
Lunge-walk 50 yards
10 chest-passes
10 underhand toss
Repeat 4 times, resting for 1 minute between each circuit.

AB 500 + 30 squats for 30 days challenge

Strength

Source

How nuts are you for nuts? How do you ‘spice up’ your dishes by adding nuts? How’s your Spartan 30 squats for 30 days coming along?

xoxo
Olena

 

11 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Kitchen Adventures

Unbreakable Strength Plus Run Spartan Workout

O M G! Guys, yesterday’s yoga flexibility routine was FANTASTIC! The majority of stretches were hip stretches, and believe you me, it was EXACTLY what I needed after my disastrous Monday 10 km run. You should definitely give it a try too!

This was me in the end of the workout.

yoga

Source

Today is strength training *you can also read it as one of Olena’s biggest opportunities haha!*. This kid makes it look so easy though!!!

baby-pushups

Source

*HOW CUTE THIS PICTURE ISSSS?! I’m dying!!!*

Anyhow, back to serious business! I mean, everything is serious about training for the Spartan Race 🙂

Repeat four times (taken from the Spartan training guide):

– Dumbbell Lunge 30 seconds each leg

– Split Lunge Jumps 30 seconds

– Plank Walk 45 seconds

– Shoulder taps 45 seconds

** 3-minute rest between sets

Run 20 minutes with heart rate in zone 3. (+ 30 squats for 30 days Spartan challenge!!!)

funeral for fat

Source

How do you challenge yourself? Any plans to participate in an obstacle course this year? If so, which one?

xoxo
Olena

14 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health

Getting Rid Of Love Handles: Because There is Always Place For Love But Not For Handles

Good morning darlings!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was really awesome, here are some pictures for you.

Walk with Bella in the park

Bella 4.5 months - German Shepherd

Bella 4.5 months - German Shepherd 2

This week I have to really get cracking on my training for the first 13+km race of the Spartan Trifecta this year. I can’t believe that only 9 weeks is left. I am so pumped! Check out this year’s official video.

The topic that I’d love to bring up today is LOVE HANDLES. Why? Because true Spartans don’t have any! That being said, it doesn’t mean that someone with them cannot become a true Spartan. And that’s great news.

Losing weight around the waist area is one of the most challenging tasks for many people out there. Did you know that not only love handles don’t look very appealing, excessive weight around your waist can actually hurt your health?! According to Forbes, “Those individuals who are at their normal weight, but who have concentrated “central” obesity were more than 50% likely to die from all causes compared to those who were obese, according to results of a 14 year study recently presented at the European Society of Cardiology on August 27, 2012.” If you ask me, there is absolutely nothing lovely about it.

No to muffin top

Source

First of all, it is important to remember that proper diet plays a big role in getting rid of the excess weight in the mid section. No, you don’t need to starve yourself, but you do need to “avoid sugars, salts and unhealthy fats, and add fresh fruits, vegetables, good fats (like raw seeds or avocado) and lean clean proteins to your diet instead”, according to Kyla Gagnon in her interview with Huffington Post.

Doing planks, burpees and mountain climbers is an excellent way to get started. I personally got really excited when I came across the Spiderman Push Ups.

bootcamp-spiderman-pushup

Source 

And the side crunches!

the-side-crunch

Source

Oh, and this new type of crunch!

abs-obliques-move-david-barton-400x400

Source

Wooooo! I can feel the burn already!!!

My workout today will consist of a 6-mile run, AB 500 workout and a 30 squats for 30 days Spartan Challenge. Let’s make that fat cry!!!

keep calm and make your fat cry

Source

What are your favorite exercises to keep your waist trim?

xoxo
Olena

8 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Uncategorized

The New Spartan Challenge + The Most Effective Squat Workout From Fitness Blender – Drop It Like A Squat!

Good morning darlings!

I apologize for not checking in with you for a few days. As I mentioned last week, I am really preoccupied with what’s been happening in Ukraine, especially with my trip there only a bit over a month away *my hubby is not excited about me having to go there without him at all*. Plus, I was not in my top physical shape, that’s for sure. Anyhow, let’s forget all about it, it’s a new week.

take what you need

Source

Obviously, there are many updates. Come on, don’t underestimate me!

First of all, in my quest to lower sugar intake, I decided to give up all chocolate and cookies for Lent. *There, in your face, sugar!*

I love chocolate but it makes my clothes shrink

Source

Our 4-month old German Shepherd puppy is a big girl now. She had her first training class… and she lost her first 2 teeth! Aweeee! *Just in case, these 2 events were NOT related! Haha! Imagine!*

Toothless Bella - German Shepherd comic

Oh, and I made poached eggs for the first time in my life! *I know, what a shame. But then, it’ better later than never, right?!* Sorry, there is no picture. I was too hungry, plus my hubby made some delicious hash potatoes. Yum!

Also, do you remember my recent post on squats? The timing was perfect. Why? Because, there is a new 30-day challenge from the Spartan Race!!! Woop woop, I looooove love love those!!! (you can see previous challenges here and here).

So this time around is… DRUM ROLL… 30 squats for 30 days!!!

30FOR30_SQUAT

Source

Even though the challenge started on March 5, don’t hesitate to take it on. All you have to do is to do at least 30 squats per day for 30 consecutive days. EASY PEASY!

If in doubt, here is how to perform a correct bodyweight squat:

That being said, you are not limited to a particular type of a squat. Therefore, you can change it up every day and work different muscles.

What else is important to remember is that “Many people find that they cannot perform this movement until they increase their mobility. A quick warmup and gentle stretch can help to you feel ready to attempt a bodyweight squat. The full squat requires sufficient core stability and glute activation, so be patient and focus on quality not quantity.”, according to the challenge organizers.

Feel like challenging yourself even more? Try this 100 squat workout from Fitness Blender one of these days, or maybe even to conclude the Spartan challenge. Why not?!

How was your weekend? Will you join in on the Spartan squat challenge? What are the ways you like to challenge yourself from time to time?

xoxo
Olena

27 Comments

Filed under Fitness, Health, Puppy Love