The Best Quotes About Life, Happiness, and Forgiveness

The end of the year always causes me to start reflecting. It is easy in those moments to start to think about the past. I don’t know about you, but I can sometimes obsess a little about wishing the past could be different. This is an exercise in futility, because of course there is nothing we can do except to move forward and let go of things that no longer serve us.

I hope these quotes about life, love, gratitude and forgiveness inspire you to focus on and enjoy the present. 

2016 has been a particularly difficult year for so many people that I talk to, so give yourself the kindness that you need to see it through to the end. If you don’t feel like doing something, don’t do it! Remember to take care of yourself. If you don’t, you won’t be able to continue caring for the others who need you.

Give-up-on-a-better-past | The Wellness Scientist

 

 

 

 

The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do at Home for 2016

Hello New Year! How are those resolutions coming? Are you staying on top of your nutrition and fitness goals? Statistics say by the third week in January, a vast majority of people have thrown in the town on their new-year goals.

If you set fitness goals for yourself this year, I want to give you a new boost of motivation. So I’m writing a new, revamped version of one of the most popular posts I’ve ever written, The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do At Home to give you yet ANOTHER 10 awesome home-based workouts.

No excuses. No gym membership needed. Minimal gear required for some of these. 

You ready????

Here are the BEST 10 Workouts you can do from home (or anywhere!) for 2016

1. Beach Babe Booty. Here is another great booty workout from Lita, a dancer who blogs on Tumblr as Back on Pointe. This girl is truly ON POINT at shaping your booty.

photo & workout compliments of backonpointe

photo & workout compliments of backonpointe

A 100% at-home without a single piece of equipment required. Let’s get it!

2. 3-Minute Workout – ARMS. Who cares about arms in January? You do! Summer bodies are made in the winter! NYC-based fitness trainer Anna Altman designed this no-equipment arm workout to get you ready for tank tops in no time. 

Beginner Arms | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of Buzzfeed

3. SELF Magazine’s 6 Moves That’ll Work Your Abs, Butt, And Thighs In The Best Way. 

Reshape-in-6-moves

Photo courtesy of SELF.com

This total-body workout was designed Tracy Carlinsky, founder of Brooklyn BodyBurn to give you a total body burn. Some of these moves are done against a wall, so make sure you have a sturdy spot with plenty of room to move. 

Do the routine two times, switching sides for moves 3, 4 and 5. For best results, do 3-4 times per week. You can watch the workout here to learn the moves.

 

4. 6 Minute Sexy Thighs Workout. Cassie Ho (aka Blogilates) is my go-to girl for sculpted thighs. Everyone LOVED her Inner Thigh Workout that I included in the original Best 10 Workouts post.

Grab a mat, and try this workout 3-4 times a week for sexy thighs!

Need a mat? Check out this one on Amazon:yoga mat

photo and workout courtesy of Blogilates

photo and workout courtesy of Blogilates

 

5. At-Home Barre Workout. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve heard about the ballet-inspired barre workout. I finally tried a barre class just a few weeks ago, and although I’ve been doing Pilates for about four years I still felt sore in places that I’ve never felt the next day.

photo courtesy of SkinnyMom.com

photo courtesy of SkinnyMom.com

This video from SkinnyMom.com will guide you through an at-home barre workout. And don’t worry if you don’t have a ballet barre at home … you can use a sturdy chair or even your countertop to do these moves. A squishy ball is used for some of the moves. If you don’t have one, you can find one for under $10 on Amazon. 

 

6. The Foam Roller Workout. I have super tight hamstrings and hips, and the foam roller is my favorite way to stretch and relax after a workout. If you are a runner, maybe you already have one that you use to roll out muscles. I love the idea that this prop can also be used to sculpt lean muscles!

Photo and workout courtesy of womenshealthmag.com

Photo and workout courtesy of womenshealthmag.com

You can view step-by-step instructions for all of the moves on the Women’s Health magazine website here

 

7. Total Abs Workout. Dying to have those abs of steel? I like this workout called “Total Abs,” which is one of twenty from Neila Ray at trimmedandtoned.com. You can browse all twenty if you’d like OR start sculpting your abs NOW and hit the floor.

Photo and Workout from trimmedandtoned.com

Photo and Workout from trimmedandtoned.com

 

 

8. 7-Minute Workout. This one is a favorite from @workouts_daily. You don’t want to miss this 7 minutes workout. Yep, I said 7 minutes. You can’t tell me you don’t have SEVEN minutes! And if you have more time, perform another set or two. 

Workout and photo courtesy of @workouts_daily

Workout and photo courtesy of @workouts_daily

 

9. The Bra Bulge Workout. Say goodbye to “bra bulge” and annoying back fat with this great little workout from TheScienceofEating.com. 

Bra-Bulge-Workout

photo and workout courtesy of TheScienceofEating.com

Complete the listed number of reps for each of these moves (this is called a circuit.) Then perform the circuit 1-2 more times.

“Pin” this pic to make it easy to find next time. Say “Good Riddance!” to back fat.

 

10. 5 Minutes to Leaner Legs workout. Got 5 minutes? Then you’ve got time to sculpt long, lean legs. 

5-Minutes-to-Leaner-Legs

Photo courtesy of GetHealthyU.com

Perform 12-15 reps on each move (on each side, as applicable). Five minutes, and you’re done! For more detailed instructions of these moves, check out this link.

I hope you found some must-do workouts in this updated list! Don’t forget to warmup for about 5 minutes before starting your workout, and stretch when you are done.

 

My Liebster Award: Sharing the Blog Love

I was recently nominated for a Liebster Award by fellow blogger and Sweat Pink Ambassador sister Susan at Simply Modern Dance! Thanks, Susan!

Liebster Award | thewellnessscientist.com

I hadn’t heard of the Liebster Award until just a few months ago. For those of you who need a little background, the Liebster Award is an award passed around the blogging community. It is simply a way of getting to know each other & share new/great blogs with your friends & fellow bloggers.

First, you answer 10 questions asked by the person who nominated you. Then, you nominate 10 bloggers and create your OWN List of 10 Questions for them to answer.  Sounds like fun!

Here are my answers to Susan’s questions (great questions, Susan!):

How long have you been blogging? 3 years this month!

What was your first blog post about? Work-Life Balance. The post was called The Balancing Act: Take Inventory. It was a series of reflective questions to ask yourself to figure out if you were spending the bulk of your time doing what you love with the people you care about the most vs. on other things. It is still one of my favorite posts, and I go back & re-read it/answer the questions frequently myself just to check in.

What do you do for work outside of your blog? I’m a Freelance Writer who writes about health, nutrition, and beauty for a variety of health and wellness publications including MAX Sports & Fitness magazine, Z-LIFE, Clean Eating, YouBeauty.com, and others.

What is your favorite recipe? My Spicy Veggie Frittata, which is easily my most frequently pinned recipe! I love it because it is super tasty & easy to make. I can whip it up for dinner and have leftovers in the morning for breakfast. LOVE that!

Meatless Monday Recipe: Spicy Veggie Frittata | thewellnessscientist.com

Why do you like fitness? I like seeing the progress I am making over time. I feel strong when I can hold a plank longer than the last time, run a faster mile, etc. Plus, it keeps me healthy by managing my weight, keeping my cholesterol levels in check (a problem for me because I am predisposed to high cholesterol genetically) I also love going for hikes & runs with friends.

I Run For Champagne and Chocolate | thewellnessscientist.com

Do you exercise alone or with friends? Both. I actually prefer doing cardio outdoors, which for me is hiking near my home at the Stanford Dish Trail or running on one of the nearby trails usually around Stanford’s campus. I find that I’m much more motivated to go for longer runs/hikes when I’m exercising & chatting with a friend. 

At The Finish Line

Where is your favorite place to work out? Outdoors, near my home for cardio. I have a 1:1 Pilates session once a week, but otherwise I do strength training at home either using videos or workouts from the Nike Training Club app. I just don’t like going to a gym and standing in line to use machines. I feel like I can get a very effective workout at home. I’ve featured some GREAT & effective 15-minute workouts courtesy of Nike Training Club on the blog previously. Those are my go-to workouts.

Stanford-Dish-Trail | thewellnessscientist.com

What is your favorite way to relax? Kicking back with friends having a glass of champagne or a margarita, just chatting and laughing about our lives.

at-the-grill

Where is your favorite place to travel? Hawaii! I’ve been to both Maui and Kauai, and I love the southernmost beach areas of both islands. I love visiting Wailea on Maui, specifically waking up & doing a little jog along the beach to get the day started.

How many countries have you been to? A few countries in Europe: France, Germany, Sweden, Italy, as well as England. I’ve also been to Japan, Thailand, and Malaysia. I’d like to visit Australia & New Zealand, as well as explore other parts of Europe, such as Greece.

Hello-Kitty-Tokyo

 

I nominate:

Diatta at FemmeFitale Fit Club

Jody at Truth 2 Being Fit

Alyssa & Carla at Alyssa & Carla

Jessica at Jessica Gets Fit

Becky at Run Be Run

Caity Jane at Slim and Savvy

Paige at A Paige Full of Glitter

Amy Pope Fitzgerald at Twingles Mom

Mandy at The Running Besties

Jess at Just Call Me Janks

Please let me know when you have posted your answers so I can check them out!

Here are my QUESTIONS FOR YOU:

1. What is  your fondest memory?
2. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
3. What was the best trip you’ve ever taken & why?
4. What is your favorite song to listen to while exercising?
5. What are your 3 must have beauty products?
6. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
7. What is your biggest pet peeve?
8. How far away do you live from the place you were born?
9. Who is your Fashion Icon?
10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Friday Five: 5 Places I’d Like To Run

Happy Friday! I have been absent for a couple of weeks, but not because I wanted to be! I was moving to a new hosting provider, and the migration was not as easy as I had hoped it would be. I’m thinking some of you fellow Bloggers can feel my pain, right?

The really bad part is that I lost ALL of my Blog subscribers! The number of subscribers I had using the plugin from Jetpack is now a big fat zero, and I don’t have all of the email addresses to get in touch & let people know 🙁  So here I go again with an attempt to grow traffic from scratch.  SIGH…

Today I am linking up with Mar on the Run, Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC, and Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?? for their DC Trifecta FRIDAY FIVE LINK UP.

The theme this week is “Five Places I’d Like To Run.” I’m excited to join this link-up for the FIRST TIME!

Without further delay, here are the Five Places I’d Like to Run!!

1) Vancouver, Canada – The Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon 

Vancouver | thewellnessscientist.com

Image from SeaWheeze Half Marathon

This Half Marathon sounds AMAZING! I saw pics from runners who ran this last year, and the views were incredible. As if the scenery weren’t inspiring enough, there is pre-run yoga & an after-run festival. This run is most definitely on my bucket list. Has anyone run this half? Does anyone want to??? 🙂

2) The Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half-Marathon

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon | thewellnessscientist.com

Image from http://destinationraces.com/

13.1 miles of running through vineyards and then wine at the end? I’m SOLD! But so are a lot of other folks … this race sells out FAST! Haven’t been quick enough to get a spot  yet, but I’m going to keep trying.

3.  Patagonia, Argentina

Patagonia | thewellnessscientist.com

I’m a sucker for gorgeous views, lemme tell you. Nothing puts a smile on my face like a run while taking in something amazing! Patagonia, Argentina is #7 on the list of 100 Places to See Before You Die. It’s on my list too!  Just … WOW!

4. Springtime in Tokyo, when the Cherry Blossoms are in Bloom

Cherry Blossoms | thewellnessscientist.com

Photo courtesy of El Scrapeo via Flickr
Aoyama Cemetary, Tokyo

My husband took this photo, and though I have visited Tokyo a few times I have not had the pleasure of being there during that precious week when the Cherry Blossoms or sakura are at their finest. Peak season is mid-March, though you can find a more precise schedule from year-to-year posted by the Japan Weather Association! These are my FAVORITE flowers — such a delicate pink. I can’t imagine a better backdrop for a run!

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST

5) Zakynthos Island, Greece

Zakynthos Island | thewellnessscientist.com

And once again, that gorgeous turquoise water has caught my eye!! Though the rugged terrain may make for a tough run, what a prize at the end when you get to relax and enjoy the view from this beautiful beach! I think I’ll just close my eyes and pretend I’m there for a few minutes now 😉

SO TELL ME …

Have you ever run in one of the places? Make me jealous & tell me ALL about it in the comments, please!!

What are some of the places you dream of running? And if you aren’t in to running, how about beautiful places on your Bucket List to see someday?

Have a great weekend, everyone!

DC_linkup

Fitness Friday: Work Out at Work

Hey everyone! Happy Friday. I took a few days off last week for some much needed R&R, but I’m back to give you another great option for fitting a workout into your work day as part of the Workouts You Can Do Anywhere series.

Let’s talk about the work day…

Some of you have a desk job that leaves you kind of folded in half & hunched over for the majority of the day, (been there!) while others may do work requiring standing on your feet for most of the day. Whatever your current situation, I’ve got some ideas for how you can squeeze in a workout while you’re at work!

I’m sure one concern is getting sweaty and not the having time or facility to shower in the middle of day. Lucky for us, there are several AWESOME No-Rinse Bathing Wipes on the market that you can throw in to your handbag that will nip that problem in the bud!

The Desk Job Workout

I love this infographic from NanoWorkout.com that gives you several ideas you can do while still parked at your desk. You can try these while you are on a conference call or during a break.

Work Out at Your Desk | thewellnessscientist.com

 

Time to get out of your chair too? Even better! Walk around the block to warm up & cool down before & after doing one set of these exercises.

Now, for those of you who are standing most of the day at work …

The good news is, you are already burning an average of 50 calories more per hour that people who sit during the day. And if you are doing a job with extra activity while standing (cooking, styling hair, giving facials) then you are burning that many more calories!!!!

While you’ve got the advantage here, you still need to crank up the intensity a bit to get that cardiovascular workout you need.

Take advantage of adding a little pep to your step on the way to work. Park farther away than you do now & try and get a 5-10 minute walk from your car both before & after work. Got lots of stuff to haul with you?  Great! That’s extra resistance — but make sure you are balanced! You don’t want to injure yourself by carrying 25 pounds on one shoulder!

Park in a parking garage? Take the stairs instead of the elevator when going to and from your car. Three flights of stairs three times per day burns off about 45 calories. Doesn’t sound like much, but over time it can make a huge difference!

Take the Stairs | thewellnessscientist.com

 

On your break, try walking to pick up lunch vs. ordering in. Go for a quick walk around the block to push through that afternoon slump instead of grabbing a coffee that might lead to poor quality sleep later that night.

Hope these tips for How To Squeeze a Workout Into your Work Day were helpful!

SO TELL ME …

Is there a special part of your commute or daily routine that you thought of that can be changed to help you burn a few extra calories? Share it with me below!

 

Fitness Friday: The Kitchen Workout

The Kitchen Workout

 

I put out some feelers this week to find out where you really need help and how I can best provide that help and support to you. One of the most requested topics was How To Fit In a Workout. I’ve previously given you posts featuring 15-minute workouts, workouts focused on specific trouble zones, and workouts you can do from home.

I’m taking it down to an even MORE PRACTICAL level & hoping that you find this new series called “Workouts You Can Do Anywhere” easy-to-implement & do-able in almost every situation.

Today is the first post in the series, and we’re starting in a room in your house where you likely spend a great deal of your time — THE KITCHEN.

You’ve heard the expression “Abs are made in the kitchen?” Well today, we’re not just making abs by eating a clean diet. We are literally sculpting abs (and other muscle groups) from the convenience of your kitchen! Each move takes only about 30 seconds to complete. Try these moves while you’re: waiting for the coffee maker to do it’s thing or the tea kettle to boil, while your toast is in the toaster, or ANY time  you have a minute or two while going about your normal routine in the kitchen.

Let’s get started…

1) The first move is Leg Swings. Stand perpendicular to the counter and place the hand closest to the counter on top of the counter for support. Swing your outer leg frontwards & backwards (like a pendulum). One complete forward & backward swing is considered one rep. Keep your glutes in tight and leg muscles engaged.

Aim for 15 reps, then turn around & switch to the opposite hand for support & opposite leg for swinging performing 15 reps on that side. If time allows, do one more set (15 more reps on each side).

When I do this exercise, I feel both my glutes and hamstrings engage.

2) Second is Wall Pushups. This is a type of supported push-up that allows you to build upper body strength. The movement is exactly what it sounds like. Facing a wall, (or again, using the edge of the counter if there isn’t a free wall in your kitchen) start on your tiptoes with arms and elbows straight and palms against the wall. Bend elbows to come in towards the wall, then push away until your arms & elbows are fully extended. Try and squeeze in 10-12 reps. Trust me, you will feel this after a few reps if you are doing it correctly and keeping those elbows close to your body. If time allows, perform another set.

3) Bicep curls (with cans or water bottles). Grab a couple of 28-ounce cans from the pantry (these are usually canned tomatoes in my kitchen!). If you don’t have any, grab a couple of filled water bottles to complete this exercise. If you have a set of handweights, you can use these too!  Just trying to keep this geared towards you using your few spare minutes to squeeze in some exercise! Really focus on those bicep muscles and curl those cans up at the same time to complete one rep. Do 15 reps. Again, if you have time, go for a second set!

Give yourself a good stretch when you finish these three moves. Stand facing the counter with straight arms, both hands resting on the counter’s edge. Slowly lean forward with a straight back (you can bend your needs slightly if you need to in order to keep a straight back). Hold for 20-30 seconds. I feel this stretch in my back, hamstrings, and in both arms.

BONUS MOVE: Before you stretch & if time allows,  drop down and plank it out!! Start with holding a 30-second plank. Each time you do this, try and hold for a couple more seconds. You will definitely feel your abs shaking as well as your arms as you hold a strong blank.

What did you think of The Kitchen Workout? I’d love it if you’d leave a comment below & let me know how you felt after trying one or all of these moves!

Hope you enjoyed this first post in the Workouts You Can Do Anywhere series! Next week, we’ll be doing simple moves for just a few minutes in another place you already spend a lot of your time.

SUBSCRIBE below so you don’t miss a single post!  🙂

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Lower Body Blast

Happy Friday! So many people LOVED my previous post, The Best 10 Workouts You Can Do at Home … especially the Kill Those Calves workout. That workout alone received more than 1400 repins on Pinterest!

If its lower body you want, then that’s what you’ll get!! 🙂

I’m working on more lower body toning myself, and I have reviewed TONS of lower body workout pins on Pinterest, YouTube videos, as well as my print magazine archives.

Today I’m going to share one of the BEST lower body workouts that I found.

This was a segment from one of Jillian Michael’s videos that I discovered on YouTube. I’m having you repeat each move three times to get that lower body burn that will equal GREAT RESULTS.

I’m calling this workout the Lower Body Blast. I did this 2 days ago, and I can still feel the burn (in a good way!)

Lower Body Blast workout

Tack on this 20-minute session after 30 minutes of cardio or do on its own to create shapely glutes & thighs. To watch each of these moves performed, check out Jillian’s demo here.

WORK HARDER THAN YOU THINK YOU DID YESTERDAY!

 

 

 

Fitness Friday: Yoga for Runners

Some of the best post-run stretch routines I’ve ever done include some basic yoga poses for hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings.

Today’s #FitnessFriday post is an awesome Yoga For Runners Infographic developed by Michigan-based sports & fitness apparel store, Gazelle Sports. I think you’ll agree this picture is worth a thousand words!

Infographic courtesy of Gazelle Sports

Infographic courtesy of Gazelle Sports

Runners: What are your favorite pre & post-run stretches?

 

Fitness Friday: How To Recover After a Half-Marathon

If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you know this past Sunday was the day of my second half-marathon! We ran a beautiful course in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina. We were really lucky with the weather being warm and sunny when just days before it had been cold and raining.

At The Finish Line

Now that the race is over, good race recovery is super important. Here are some tips on How To Recover After A Half Marathon.

Recovery Phase One: After You Finish

Walk it Off

After you cross the finish line, don’t collapse into a heap! I know you are tired, but do a little walking  to give your legs a proper cool-down & keep cramps at bay.

Hydrate

Continue hydrating after the race. Water is good, but if you have access to Gatorade, coconut water, or something with electrolytes that’s even better. There will likely be beer at the Finish Line. By all means, imbibe if you wish but keep chugging water as well so you don’t get dehydrated.

Stretch It Out

This one is a must.  After cooling down for a bit, stretch your legs! If you were great about stretching while you were training, keep it up! Be thorough … stretch your hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, and IT bands. You’ll be SO glad you did the next day and several days after!

 

Recovery Phase Two: An Hour to Several Hours After You Finish The Race

Eat!

After you’ve done your stretching and had some H2O, find something to eat. Most races will have foods such as bananas, sports bars, etc. Not all races are created equal, so if it isn’t specified on the Race Day info that food will be available, bring some with you.

Rest

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep to facilitate the healing process. Sleep is one of the best things you can do for your body after an effort like this, so rest up!

 

Recovery Phase Three: A Day Or Two After the Finish

Keep Hydrating!

When you wake up the day after race, you are probably  going to experience a little muscle soreness in your legs (perhaps elsewhere too). Keep drinking water and eat healthy vitamin-packed foods to speed up your recovery.

Schedule a Massage

After 13.1, you’ve earned yourself a massage appointment to work out the kinks and aches & pains due to the DOMS effect (delayed onset muscle soreness).  Ask the therapist to spend extra time on your calves, hamstrings, or whatever is the most sore.

Do a Little Recovery Jog

Take a walk around the block or jog if you are up to it. This will help loosen up tight muscles and speed up recovery too. Two miles should do the trick!

Celebrate!

Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done! You just ran 13.1 miles — that is AMAZING! I see so many people beating themselves up because they didn’t meet their goal time. Stop the negative self-talk! You just did something incredible, so celebrate your awesomeness.  And as they say, you still lapped everyone on the couch!! 🙂

To make things easier, I created this Half Marathon Recovery Checklist that you can Pin, Printout, Save, or whatever!

If you like it, give it a Pin!!

Half Marathon Race Recovery Checklist | thewellnessscientist.com

 

 

Fitness Friday: My Running Favorites

Happy Friday! I started off the day with a nice & easy 3-mile run to get some of that natural energy flowing. My attempt to energize via multiple cups of coffee to rally for Pilates every Friday afternoon has not worked out so well.  But a little run to get the blood flowing seems to do the trick!

If you have been following me here or on Instagram, then you know I am gearing up for a half-marathon on March 9th!!!

For today’s Fitness Friday post, I wanted to share some of my running essentials with you. I swear by this stuff and other products that I’ll feature at a later date. You might want to sign up just there on the right hand side so you don’t miss any upcoming posts!!

Here’s the Gear and Where to Grab It!!

Running Essentials

 

1. Nike Women’s Free Run 2 — This is an older generation of the Nike Free Run’s, but they are still my favorite and I have tried many. If you find them in your size, you should be able to grab them at a terrific price. Comes in a multitude of cool colors. Great for running, super light!

2. Natori Sports Bra — This is my favorite sports bra for running. Has supportive underwire. Also available in Black, White, and Gray.

3. Bioderma Photoderm MAX SPF 50+ — First tried this sunscreen last summer while exploring Paris in 90 degree weather. I was certain that my face was going to burn & peel off because I had forgotten my hat. Ducked into a pharmacie, and the super-nice pharmacist recommended this as one of the best. My face and shoulders didn’t show the slightest hint of pink after 5+ hours spent walking around in the direct sun. I’ll call that effective.

4. Nike “Poise” Sunglasses (color pictured: Matte Night Stadium/Neo Turquoise) — The are great sunglasses for running. Doesn’t move up and down while you’re moving or fall down your nose when you start sweating. Nice pair!

5. Under Armour Running Socks — These are thick enough not to give you blisters, but not so thick that they are too hot or make your shoes feel too tight if your feet swell after you’ve been running awhile. One of my favorite running socks, and again … I have tried MANY!

6. Lululemon Run Inspire Crop — I run in shorts when its warm weather, but I love this running crop for cooler months. Keeps your legs warm on cooler days, but the material keeps you cool after your body gets warmed up. Nice lightweight with convenient pockets for stashing energy chews, keys, and more.

There is so much more GREAT running gear and accessories out there.  What are some of your favorites?