Winter Woes: Conquer those cold months

Discovery Cabin

Photo By Glacier NP

I find it extremely difficult to stay focused during the winter months. Depending on where you live, this can play a huge role in your fitness. So how are we supposed to maintain any level of motivation? I have a few ideas. I hope they help you:

  1.  Have a buddy: This is an incredibly helpful tool. Having someone you workout with makes you more likely to get the job done. When you workout with a buddy you are accountable for your time. You can motivate each other and have fun too.
  2.  Get to it: Sometimes the toughest thing to do when it is cold and dark out is to start. I know as soon as I start a workout, I never regret it. So just, get to it!
  3.   If you can, get out: Sometimes the winter months can produce a “cabin fever” feel. I suggest you get outside as much as possible. Even if you just go for a 10 minute walk and then rush back in for the 2nd half of the workout. There is just something to be said about the outdoors.
  4.  Reward yourself: Winter months mean sweets are lurking in the back corner. Don’t be consumed with fear. If you had a great workout, reward yourself. Humans are biologically made to enjoy treats (just don’t get out of hand).
  5. Get Pumped Up: Nothing works better for me then listening to some great tunes.  Music can enhance your mood and get the blood flowing. So pop on your ipod and have fun.

Power! Workout #5

12 Minute Workout

4 Movements

50 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest

Repeat 3 times

Elevated feet pushups

Side Lunge

3 point jump

6 inch killers & scissors

Tough Stuff – Workout #4

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend, any fun activities you’d like to share in the comments? I haven’t shared this with you yet, but my husband Matt (who you’ll see in the video) and I are training for a trail race in February! The run is in Black Mountain, NC (where we live) I will be doing a Marathon, and Matt’s doing an absurd 40 mile run up Mt Mitchell and back! So this weekend we trained, I ran 14 miles and Matt 18. Whew! And we still have a ways to go before race day (February 23rd).

So, you can watch the workout in the video below, it’s full length with Matt doing the workout. Why him? Well, because I am still learning how to work the camera, and it ran out of space or battery 3 times as I was working out! But since I’m so in to the workout, I don’t notice! Ugghhh. But, Matt stepped up and did the full workout on tape, so you can sweat along with him! I still intro the movements, so if you just want to watch those and do them on your own, just stop the video once you see Matt.

If you’re  reading this on email, just click through to watch the video. 

Matt wants to apologize for his poor kick form. He is a much better puncher. 

Full Workout

50 arm-ups from the push-up position

10 squats

15 high knees

50 jumping jacks

10 dips

25 kicks (each leg, 50 total)

10 quick feet from push-up position

50 elevated shoulder taps

100 bike abs

25 crunches

10 table tucks

30 seconds bridge

30 seconds bridge left

30 seconds bridge right

10 push-ups

20 squats (alternating right/left knee raises)

10 high knees

Great work! Let me know how you did in the comments!

Stronger than Ever! Workout #3

if you’re reading this on email, please click through to see the video

Total Time: 12 minutes

45 seconds of work/15 seconds of rest

3x thru

Elevated Push ups

Prayer Twists

Tricep Push ups

Power Skip

Let me know how it goes!

Reminder: I don’t post workouts on the weekends, but recommend you do something active and fun! Play game with your family, a long walk, practice yoga, or just relax! If you feel you must, check out one of the workouts you haven’t done yet, they’re all on The Simple Gym youtube page. See you Monday!

RESPECT- Workout #2

Thanks for being patient with the video upload, this workout is in real time! Let’s do this one together 🙂

Total Time: 10 minutes

This workout is designed to do as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes


10 Quick Feet from push position

30 Bike Abs

10 Dips

20 Boxer Abs

10 Hands down tuck abs

Have a great workout and let me know how many rounds you get done in 10!

Unfamiliar Territory

Note: Wednesdays are blog post days at The Simple Gym. However, if you’ve just signed up in the last couple of days and would like a workout to do, check out our YouTube page for last week’s workouts. Thanks!

bw-road-simplePushing yourself beyond your previous limitations can be a bit daunting.  It is scary to completely change the way you think about your body. It can be overwhelming to know that you no longer have to be afraid of the way you feel and look. Unfamiliar territory can make us uneasy, we like our small comfort zones.  Yet, unfamiliar territory can be so refreshing and essential to our human needs.  Challenging yourself is one of the most valuable and completely human things we can do. I challenge you to know those restrictions, know those things standing in your way, and bust through them. Do not let your mind dictate something your body is so very capable of doing. Unfamiliar territory can be frightening, but it can also be the best thing you can do for yourself.

 Only the weak attempts to accomplish what he knows he can already achieve.

– Stella Juarez

New Years Day! Workout #1

30 Day Challenge!

We’ll start off the New Year with a baseline workout. 30 days from now we will do this workout again and see the changes in your fitness!

(If you’re viewing this workout via email, please click through to see the video)

Total Workout Time: 10 minutes

Do each exercise only once

45 seconds of work/15 seconds of rest

Push Ups

High Knees

Tuck Jumps

Bicycle Abs




Mountain Climbers

Straight Crunch

Elevated Push Ups

Great job today! Let me know you feel in the comments, anything you would like to see in the future?

Did this workout challenge you? Share with someone else who would like it, or use one of the buttons on the left!

Every Body is Different

Finding Your Perfect Diet


photo credit: slightly everything

When you think about it, food is the one medicine, drug, addiction, necessity, (fill- in- the blank to how you feel about it) we do every day, all hours of the day, and pretty much where ever we want. It can heal and it can hurt. That is why it is so important that we make sure what we are putting in our bodies is good. This is the tricky part though, what might be great for me, may not be great for you. I still continue to research food, but the more I eat, the more I learn that every one is different and how my body reacts to something, could be completely different to how your body responds to the same food.

According to the Blood Type Diet, I am a hunter and should eat good animal proteins and lots of veggies. My ancestors, (old, old ancestors that is) hunted for their food. We didn’t develop a stomach for digesting large amounts of grains and certainly not refined carbohydrates.  My husband on the other hand is “supposed” to be a vegetarian, completely different dinner time meals right?  As much as I like the idea of being a vegetarian, I find my energy levels always seem lower when I cut out all sources of animal proteins and stick to just plant proteins. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but there has to be some reason for it, right?

There are so many great resources to help you discover which diet is best for you. The No Meat Athlete has been a great reminder that people who exercise and burn a lot of fuel can still be vegetarians. Scott Jurek is a well known ultra runner and he is completely vegan.  The Paleo Diet embraces your inner cave man while loading you up on good fruits and vegetables as well. One the other end of the spectrum is the China Study, which urges people to drop the animal products, meat and diary, as well as reducing their intake of refined carbohydrates.

These are only four different diets, or ways of eating. There are so many resources out there. The good news is that I know something will work for you. Food can be an amazing gift, if we use it wisely. I hope this helps you in your endeavor to find which foods your body needs.

Remember the words of Hippocrates

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food

The man knows what he’s talking about.

The Culprit


photo credit: LegendLarry’s, creative commons

I have a confession, I have learned that when I have a really good workout, I tend to let my eating slip.  I know all the reason that I shouldn’t be eating that pound cake, but I do it anyway, because, I had a really good workout. I can’t explain it. Hopefully, I’m not the only one out there with this dilemma.  As I’m munching on snack foods, I even think to myself

Your totally cancelling out all that hard work you just did!

So how do we move passed this crisis?  Well, one thing is probably to not have these foods in the house. My excuse was a recent get together at our place. Since I never have these foods in the house, I think I went a little over board.  I also think we should give ourselves a limit before getting in to a mess. Before even putting your hand in the chip bag, give yourself a restriction, two handfuls or 10 chips is plenty.

Working out is great, but what good does it do if we don’t follow it up with good foods? I think this is a question we have to constantly think about. Just imagine what the possibilities would be if we did both!

The Simple Gym: a balanced choice

Healthy does not necessarily mean super thin. It does not necessarily mean super strong. I believe healthy is when all aspects of your life are balanced, as much as humanly possible. Which these days, can seem pretty impossible. Healthy is even the idea that you are working towards something.  It means taking care of yourself in all areas of your life, eating good foods and moving. Foods that fuel you well and don’t have a roller coaster affect on your body. This means even taking the time to learn about these different kinds of fuel.

Healthy means exercising and doing it in a safe and productive way. It’s about finding the right kind of workouts for your body and being able to see how it changes you. It’s looking at your body as a whole and seeing how things work together.

The Simple Gym is about balance and finding the time to exercise.  The workouts are here to help motivate you and keep your body guessing, so it does not get stuck doing the same things. Some of the work outs will be pure with no weights involved. Other times I will use a kettle bell or dumbbell.  All of the workouts can be tailored to your abilities and goals. The Simple Gym is about using what you have and being creative.

I am so glad you have checked out the website. That is one step closer to becoming more active and healthy.  We understand that healthy choices are not always easy. In reality,  you are the only one who can truly motivate yourself.  No one is going to pry you up off the ground.  Be the balance your body so desperately needs. You will be so glad you did!