• Featured,  Reviews

    Ten Last-Minute Holiday Gifts for the Fitness Lover

    Need help with last-minute gifts for that special someone?  Give the gift of health and fitness with these last minute gift ideas.  With the pandemic surging during 2020, at-home fitness is more than a trend; it’s a necessity.  Gyms are closed (at least here in Belgium).  The days are short, cold, and rainy, making outdoor exercise unpleasant.  We all need a home workout plan to stay fit and burn off all the nervous energy built up from this strange, strange year.  Here’s a list of some excellent last-minute gifts that are cost effective and extremely useful in setting up a home fitness space.  I’ve broken this article down into 2…

  • Exercises,  Mobility,  Stretching

    A Beginner’s Guide to Foam Rolling

    If you belonged to a gym in the last 10 years, you’ve probably seen foam rollers lying around the stretching area—long, cylindrical tubes, usually in blue, black or white.   Initially, foam rollers struck me as mysterious and slightly frightening objects.  I observed their users rolling uncomfortably about, at times wincing with discomfort.  Giving the tool some side eye, I’d move on with my runners lunge or butterfly stretch. I came to reconsider foam rollers when my husband and I took up running again during the pandemic.  After taking our 347th walk around Brussels, running seemed a nice change of pace (literally).  We signed up for a virtual race called the…

  • Exercises,  Full Body,  Lifestyle

    Kids and Exercise During the Pandemic

    As I write this, I am sitting in my apartment in Brussels, Belgium, a week into a 6-week lock down.  Until recently, schools were open and in session full time.  Now, Belgium extended the fall break in an effort to reduce COVID-19 exposures, and some schools are going back to virtual.  In the United States, schools have largely remained virtual, with parents juggling work obligations while helping their kids re-adjust to a virtual learning environment.   This is hard stuff.  When the first wave of lock downs started in March, spring and then summer allowed us to spend time outdoors.  Kids could play in backyards.  Families could go for neighborhood walks…

  • Featured,  Health,  Lifestyle

    Meditation for People Who Like to Move

    I love the idea of practicing meditation and mindfulness.  I appreciate the physical and mental benefits of focusing the mind and breath to calm all of those hamster-wheel thoughts that wake me nightly at 3 am.  Meditation shares many of the same health benefits as exercise.  According to the National Institutes of Health, meditation increases calmness, helps you relax, provides psychological balance, and improves overall health and wellness.  Meditation can help you cope with pain and even strengthen parts of the brain. That said, I never meditate.  I barely find enough time for exercise, and adding another 10-20 minutes for mediation seems a bridge too far.  The few times I’ve…

  • Featured,  Health,  Lifestyle

    Five Ways Exercise Makes Me a Better Human

    Everyone knows that exercise is good for you.  It builds bone density, helps maintain muscle mass, burns fat, and facilitates the release of endorphins, the good-mood brain chemical.  We do it because we know it’s good for our bodies, like eating fruits and vegetables.    Yet, it’s easy for exercise to become another “must do” transaction in our daily lives — something we squeeze into our already-packed schedules.  Speaking for myself, trying to get in a daily dose of fitness can stress me out.  If I prioritize other tasks or simply slack off because I’m tired, then I feel guilty for missing a workout. And sometimes I just dread it.  I…

  • Core,  Exercises,  Full Body,  SF30

    SF30 Day 29 — Jump Rope Workout (10 or 20 minutes)

    Today’s jump rope workouts are a great way to combat the boredom that sometimes accompanies repetitive cardio exercise. And it might just take you back to those carefree childhood days of summer.  Jumping rope has a lot of health benefits.  It elevates your heart rate to torch calories, improves coordination and balance, is easy to do, and is just plain fun.   On the flip side, continuous jumping can take its toll on your ankles, calves, and knees.  Be careful and ease into it, especially as a beginner or if you have existing injuries.  Here’s an introductory tutorial to get started.  I recommend starting with no more than 10 minutes if…

  • Exercises,  Full Body,  SF30,  Stretching

    SF30 Day 27— Restorative Yoga Rest Day (35 minutes)

    After yesterday’s epic workout, we’re slowing things way down with a restorative yoga routine.  This video is the perfect rest day activity after a week of tough workout challenges, including the Push-Up Challenge, the Squat Challenge, the Burpee Challenge, the Core Challenge, the Animal Walk Challenge, and 1000 Calorie Workout Challenge.  Wow, what a week!  Only three days left of the Simple Fitness 30-Day Challenge. You deserve to take it nice and slow today.  Savor this routine, and we’ll be back at it again tomorrow. Till tomorrow, Kim