guest post -> dana {my little celebration}

by Holly on August 22, 2011

in guest posts

Confession: I haven’t really worked out in two months. Yes, TWO whole months. I don’t feel good about this fact, so it’s quite karmic that this guest post from Dana popped up in my email inbox.  Starting this week (well…after that bronchitis goes away, that is), I am determined to start chipping away at those seven pounds of fun chub that have happily retired on my Everythingtarian bod. Thank you Dana…you have no idea how much this is needed.

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6 Ways to Simplify Your Workout Routine

Well it appears Holly has sent out a ‘calling all guest bloggers’ invitation since she apparently has the most banging social life of anyone I know. And upon seeing this invite, I readily accepted.

Why? Because Holly is awesome.

She has a beautiful fro. She loves food and blogs about it. She perfects sarcasm and wit in her every post. She does the Bernie at weddings. And she frequently throws down the term ‘fugghetaboutit’ which I highly approve of.

So here I am, taking my squat on the Everythingtarian throne, preaching to the thousands as best I can and I’m pretty dang excited about it.

Oh, and by the way, my name is Dana, just in case you were wondering.

I could’ve shared many things with you in this post, be it a recipe, life advice, why you should watch all 185 episodes of Dog the Bounty Hunter, or a few of my favorite poorly-executed jokes.

But instead, I have decided to make this worth the read and provide you with 6 Ways to Simplify your Workout Routine, because we could all use a little simplification in our lives, especially when it comes to the ‘get a hott back quick’ department.

So here, we, go – hott backs or bust.

1) If you can’t make it to the gym or don’t have a gym membership, don’t fret. Just focus on moving.

Getting in a workout for the day can be as simple as going for a quick 20-minute walk or completing a couple sets of push ups and sit ups. Just today I wasn’t feeling in the mood to put in an hour-long workout. So instead, I went for a brisk walk and ran when I felt like it. And when I got home I did 20 push ups, 50 sit ups, stretched and called it good. Having the mindset of ‘do what you can when you can’ is so vital to staying healthy over the course of your life because it’s not always going to be possible to make it to spin class at 5 a.m. or run 15 marathons in a year. But by focusing more on simply moving every day and less on lofty goals, you’ll be more likely to stay active more often.

2) Turn random tasks into opportunities to exercise.

My husband always laughs at me when I do lunges while waiting in line at McDonald’s when we’re road trips. Or how I jump and skip up steps for extra calorie burn. But I think there’s something to the idea of moving when you can, however you can. Some quick and easy ways to get in exercise without going to the gym might be parking in the back of Target parking lot so you can get a few extra steps in for the day. Going up and down your stairs a few times before actually going entering your apartment [or run your home stairs instead]. Wear your workout clothes while running errands so you can do a few jumping jacks, push ups, yoga poses, whatever, once you get home. Grab your tennis racket or golf clubs and play a quick game with a friend. Whatever option sounds most appealing to you, go for it.

3) Rely on alternative modes of transportation.

[via 1985-2011]

Ditch the car if you can and hop on a bike. Or walk. I was fortunate enough to live in Portland, OR, for a year where public transportation made getting around without a vehicle a breeze. But if you live in a city that doesn’t provide those services, try investing in a cheap commuter bike and riding it to work or using it to run errands with. I used to work at an office with a guy who biked to work every day no matter the weather, and that’s a seriously tough feat considering all of the harsh temperature extremes Kansas can provide. But if he can do it every day, we can try it every few days, right?

4) Swap Insanity and complicated weightlifting programs for push ups.

I like the idea of a 90-day boot camp or 30-day shred just as much as the next fitness enthusiast. But they aren’t always realistic for busy schedules and long-term goals, and can often cause  burnout. So instead,  just do a set number push ups every day for 2 weeks, 30 days, 2 months, whatever you can do –  and add one rep every day until you’ve reached your goal. This way there’s no equipment or great time commitment necessary, which makes making excuses for why you can’t work out a lot less likely.

5) Walk. And run when you can.

Some days your body just isn’t up for a 5 mile run, and that’s OK. What I do on days like these is go for a walk instead and then run when I feel like it. Sometimes I end up running 2 or 3 miles without even realizing it, and that’s usually because I took the pressure off of myself to complete a certain distance and instead just put it in my mind to exercise a little and really try to enjoy it. If you need more structure than this, time it so you run every 2 minutes, every other song, or run the length of 5 houses every block you pass – whatever you need to get yourself moving.

6) Dance whenever possible.

This last one is self explanatory. But just in case, here are some of the health benefits that you can reap from grinding, twisting, gyrating, and the many other popular dance moves youth are doing these days. I like to put in my headphones while my husband is studying in his office and dance around our apartment. It’s fun, it burns calories, it makes me happy, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite forms of freestyle exercise.

And that’s it. 6 simple ways to simplify your workout routine.

Are you feeling less overwhelmed? More capable of conquering the world without a shake weight or Gold’s Gym membership?

I hope so. Because whenever you start to feel overwhelmed with your fitness routine you can so easily become discouraged and won’t end up working out at all. But with these 6 simple principles in mind, I know you’ll be able to maintain an active lifestyle no matter how hectic your schedule might become.

Q: How do you simplify your workout [or life] routine when life gets hectic? Do share. I’d love to know.

Thanks again Holly! I’m still only 1/8s as cool as you are, but maybe guest spotting on your famed blog bumped me up to 1/7s. I can only hope.


Amy August 22, 2011 at 9:17 pm

you got a new blog reader here, that’s for sure :)

Katie August 22, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Oh Dana, I just love you. (and you too, Holly!). This post is my exercise theory in a nutshell. Sometimes when people ask me for exercise “tips”…I want to yell at them “just move more!”

Kathryn August 23, 2011 at 5:23 am

It’s so easy to try and over-complicate exercise routines but this really shows that all you need to do is move more to help stay healthy! Thanks for a great guest post :)

Jennie August 23, 2011 at 8:52 am

Excellent post! I like to put on some great tunes, like The Rolling Stones, while I do my dishes or fold laundry and move around (dance like a madman) instead of just standing or sitting. Anyone who can listen to ‘Brown Sugar’ without dancing a little is… dead. :)

emily (a nutritionist eats) August 23, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I definitely agree! I like walking to restaurants in particular – the food may be a little higher in calories than at home, but the walk makes up for it! :) Kind of.

Uncle Tommie Timbertoes August 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hola Dana. I home office. I intentionally stuck my office into an upstairs bed room. So when I take a break or go potty or get the mail I always have to go up and down the stairs.

Nice post, we need more exercise entries so maybe Ms E will have you back for that.

Hillary August 23, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Loved these tips, Dana. Some days, when I really don’t feel like going to the gym, I remind myself that just MOVING is an improvement over sitting my ass on the couch all day (although some days that’s totally necessary too). I love your philosophy—fun, simple, straightforward! Great post.

Willow @ My Own Trail September 1, 2011 at 7:30 am

I just discovered this blog because of Alison’s guest post. I’m having so much fun reading through the guest posts and discovering new bloggers. I’m adding so many to my favorites. Thank you for the reminder that exercise comes in many forms and the most important thing is to keep moving. I try to remind myself of that every time life gets busy and I struggle to find the time for regular gym and running sessions. Sometimes, just running around the backyard with my two kids and two dogs is enough exercise…and it’s fun!

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