Tag Archives: German Shepherd

Well, Well, Well! Have You Missed Me? Hiking At Black Mountain & More

HELLO, MY DARLINGSSSSS!

First off, Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful and beautiful mommies out there!

Happy mother's day

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Now… I returned from Europe a week ago. I am so sorry for disappearing off the radar for so long, I really didn’t mean to. However, I really underestimated the emotional impact my trip to Ukraine had. I will talk about this some other time, but I really needed to take a break  and I feel that I am ready to be back. *WOOP WOOP!!!*  

I missed you

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I know you all would like to hear about my trip to Europe; however, today I’d like to tell about the AWESOME weekend I had!

My hubby and I went to a cottage with our friends. And let me tell you, they are an amazing bunch of people, I love them with all my heart… to the moon and back… twice! Haha! *You see? I AM generous!*

Recently, one of the couples got a super adorable pup, a mix of  boxer and pitbull. They called her Stella, and she is the cutest thing EVER! I mean, look at her!!!

Stella

Needless to say, Bella and Stella are best friends now! *Why wouldn’t they be? LOL!*

Bella & Stella

*Aren’t they SUPER CUTE?!?!*

When we woke up on Saturday, we were pleasantly surprised by the sun and warm weather because the forecast predicted showers. The guys considered playing soccer in the backyard, but then we all unanimously decided to go for a hike to Montagne Noire (Black Mountain). I wasn’t aware, but on October 19, 1943, a B-24 bomber crashed near the summit of the mountain. It’s a very sad story because all 24 military men, who were heading home, died in the crash. Not only that, but the plane was found almost 3 years later (read more here). According to Global News, it is the worst accident in the history of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Black Mountain

The nature was simply breathtaking!

Lake

It was about a 12-13 km hike (back and forth, obviously). So as you can imagine, the dogs had a blast! Unfortunately, we didn’t see the remaining wreckage of the plane, even though the crash sight was only about 300 meters away: there was too much snow and it would be too dangerous to bring our pups there.

Snow

*I took this picture on the way back; but it was about knee deep at the place we got to.* 

I feel like this weekend with my family (my hubby & Bella) and friends up north finally brought my mind back to a positive place.

Bella at lake

The Spartan Race is only a week away, and I feel like I am not in the best shape for it. Last month was somewhat of an emotional roller coaster and I haven’t done any running at all. That being said, I have remained active and I am super excited for this 13+ km race, and can’t wait for the day to come!

I can do it

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Has this ever happened to you? What do you suggest I do in order to get my body ready *somewhat ready* with only 7 days left? *Let’s be real, I am not expecting miracles here! lol! I simply want to enjoy the experience.*

xoxo
Olena

 

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Filed under Fitness, Health, Puppy Love, Travel

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

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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

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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

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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.

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make things happen

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*** 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

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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

 

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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

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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

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And the side crunches!

the-side-crunch

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Oh, and this new type of crunch!

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

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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

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What are your favorite exercises to keep your waist trim?

xoxo
Olena

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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

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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

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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

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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

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HIIT Training & The New Spartan 30-Day Challenge

Happy Monday all!

Okay, fine, I’m pretty sure not everyone is super excited to go back to work after 2 weeks of holidays or short work weeks. But hey, we gotta stay POSITIVE!

I had a wonderful weekend. The definite highlight of it was a 10 km run on Sunday, my first run this year! After running, I feel re-energized, inspired and relaxed. Oh, and let’s not forget about the runner’s high! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! What about you?

In addition, I started using dailymile to track and share my workouts. It is a pretty awesome tool because there is a big community of active people behind it, who support each other, inspire and get inspired, not to mention that it’s absolutely free. I also love that it shows how many donuts you’ve burnt. I mean, how AWESOME is that?! If you decide to join or have already joined this community, make sure to add  me (just click on the link above or on the right panel of my blog), so that we can motivate each other!

dailymile

I was also super excited and pumped for the new Spartan Challenge: 1 Mile a Day for 30 Days. I know, it’s super easy, all you have to do is  walk/run 1 mile every day for 30 days; however, the main purpose is ‘ to get everybody off the couch and living like Spartans with small daily challenges’ or, in other words, to stay active and consistent . You can join the movement here.

1 mile a day for 30 days

On a side note, the Spartan Race has got a very talented design team. I LOVE their pictures! They are so simple and creative: I get blown away every single morning when I receive their WOD (Workout of the Day) & FOD (Food of the Day) emails.

While training for the Spartan Race, I realized the importance of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). It takes fitness to the next level while not sacrificing any extra time at the gym. It is super easy to incorporate in your daily workout:

  • If you are going for a run, every so often start sprinting as fast as you can, then jog for a minute, then sprint again, and so forth.
  • What you could also do is run a mile then do some high-intensity exercises such as burpees, push-ups, squat jumps or mountain climbers (as many reps as you can in a minute each), then repeat: run and do exercises as many times as your fitness level allows.

It’s definitely tough, but it’s worth it! You’ll see results very quickly ,BUT you’ve got to be CONSISTENT.

Here are some of the benefits of HIIT training.

Benefits of HIIT Training

Finally, I came across the following video. It is super inspirational. I thought I’d share it with you today to start the week off on the right foot: full of energy and confidence in your abilities.

And some words of inspiration from Bella…

Dream Big and believe in yourself

Now it’s your turn. What’s your biggest fitness achievement this year so far? What is your favourite HIIT workout?

xoxo
Olena

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Barre Burner + Samba Dromme Super Fun Workout At Home

It was a suppppeeeer duppppeeeeer cold day in Montreal yesterday!

Montreal weather

Thank God, it was a day off and I didn’t have to go to work! I am pretty sure that you won’t judge me if I told you that I opted for a workout at home. *Don’t you dare judge me! Haha!*

Also, I saw this picture on another blog and it inspired me to do something different today, just to prove myself once and for all that I don’t need winter clothes to hide anything!

Winter benefits

I decided to go for a 10-minute Barre Burner workout to make my legs shake a bit. I guess, it’s an addiction of mine ever since my first choreography class back in my rhythmic gymnastics days. But then, who doesn’t love that feeling, right?!

I also coupled it with a Samba Dromme dance workout.

Solibeat

I bought this CD a couple of months back, because it was released by one of my favorite bloggers, Gina. In my opinion, it is worth every single penny I paid for it: it’s super fun, energetic and definitely gets your heart pumping! And the live music is just incredible! If you’d like, you can find and purchase it here.  I thought you might want to get a glimpse of it, so here is a teaser I found on Youtube.

By the way, just in case you’re wondering, the previous video was done by her too!

Anyhow, by the end of the workout, I felt absolutely great and sweaty. I decided to finish it off with a stretching session that I shared with you last month.

FUN FACT: Since our puppy is only 8 weeks old, she gets SUPER excited about EVERYTHING. As a result, I figured I’d workout in a spare room on the second floor to make sure she doesn’t run around after me and I can get a quality training session. Guess what?! The little munchkin climbed the stairs all by herself for the first time just to see me! *That’s what I call TRUE love!*

German Shepherd - 8 weeks - stairs

Please, disregard the poor quality of the picture, I had to react fast to the excited screaming of my husband! Haha!

What are your favorite dance workouts? What do you do to keep your pets away while you’re exercising?

xoxo
Olena

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Let’s Foam Roll This Year Off Right!

Happy New Year my dear friends! I wish you all much happiness, joy, success and HEALTH! Why did I put ‘health’ in capital letters? Because I find that being healthy and fit is detrimental to everything else. When we are fit, we are happy, we spread more love, which makes everyone else happy, and wouldn’t you call it success? Haha! Anyhow, you get it!

It’s been a while since I wanted to share with you a favorite toy of mine. OKAY, maybe it’s not a toy, it’s just a foam roller, but what still holds true is that I LOVE it! So I figured, what could be better than starting off this year with a nice foam rolling session?!

German Shepherd - 8 weeks

You see? Even Bella loves is! *Fine! There might have been some liver treats involved…*

There are many benefits to foam rolling, especially for runners.

Benefits of Foam Rolling

I also found this image on Pinterest to help you get started on different techniques.

Foam Roller

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What are your favorite ways to foam roll?

xoxo
Olena

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