• crop woman massaging neck with balls by leaning on wall
    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…

  • girl in white shirt and black pants lying on blue exercise ball
    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…

  • black and white photo frame
    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…

  • woman meditating in the outdoors
    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

  • two women planking at the seashore
    Exercises,  Full Body,  SF30

    SF30 Day 23— Burpee Challenge (16 minutes)

    It’s the exercise challenge everyone loves to hate … BURPEES!!!!  Burpees are brutal, which means they’re good for you provided you do them right.  Not only are burpees a total body strength exercise (working shoulders, chest, abs, quads, inner thighs, butt, and triceps), they’re also cardio.  I love the efficiency of burpees.  If I want to get in a quick workout and maximize my time, burpees are definitely in my routine.  But like our push-up challenge and squat challenge, it’s important to do them right and easy to do them wrong.  If done poorly, burpees can stress your lower back and shoulders.  To help you,

  • healthy woman summer girl
    Cool Down,  Exercises,  Full Body,  SF30,  Warm Up

    SF30 Day 19 — HIIT Cardio (35 minutes)

    Time to bump up that heart rate with one of my favorite high intensity interval  training (HIIT) workouts.  What’s HIIT, you ask?  It’s a version of interval training where you alternate short bursts of intense exercise with less intensive recovery periods.  In this way, you can get a challenging cardiovascular workout in a shorter period of time.  Today’s routine is part of an 8-week challenge from LIVESTRONG, led by former pro soccer player and celebrity trainer Nicky Holender.  These days, Nick focuses on training celebrities and athletes, but in this 2014 STRONGER series, LIVESTRONG became an early leader in offering free, full length workouts on YouTube.  I’ve been a fan…

  • man in yellow and black tank top doing exercise on seashore at daytime
    Cool Down,  Core,  Exercises,  Full Body,  SF30,  Warm Up

    SF30 Day 16 — Yoga/Pilates Blend (40 minutes)

    After a couple of tough workouts, I like to throw in a mid-week yoga/Pilates routine that both challenges and restores my body.   Today’s class comes from Studio SWEAT on Demand.  Studio SWEAT is best known for its spin workouts (think of them as a competitor to the Peloton app), but they offer a much wider range of classes, including TRX, HIIT, yoga, barre, and others.  They offer some limited free content in the hopes that you’ll sign up for their subscription service.  Today’s free video offers a fusion of Pilates and yoga, starting off with Pilates core work and transitioning to a yoga flow.  It’s a nice way to break…