Workout Wednesdays: Arms

Arms are what I struggle with the most. I always find it hard to come up with workouts to do. Below are some arm exercises that are fairly simple, and can help you gain a little bit of extra muscle.

Front Dumbbell Raises

For this exercise start with the dumbbells in down in front of you. Raise one hand up in front of you and then lower it back down, and repeat with the other hand. Do 3 sets of 20 on each arm to start.

Tricep Overhead Press

You can use either a dumbbell or a weighted exercise ball for this one. Start with your weight lifted above your head and your arms completely stretched upward. Then bend your arms back behind your neck. Do 3 sets of 15 to start.

Dumbbell Squat and Press

Grab 2 dumbbells for this exercise and start with them raised to your shoulders, squat down keeping the dumbbells in the same position, then when you stand up raise the dumbbells up above your head. Start with 3 sets of 20.

Standing Hammer Curl

For this grab two dumbbells. Simply curl your arms up in the motion as shown in the above picture. Do 3 sets of 30.

Dumbbell Step Up

These are very simple. As shown in the “Get Leggy with it” blog post, it is the same step ups except this time you have weights in your hands. Do 3 sets of 30.

Hopefully these will help you build up that arm muscle you have been working on. Until next time lovelies.

Workout Wednesday: Get Leggy With It!

The feeling in your legs the day after a leg workout is the worst and also the best feeling. It is nearly impossible to walk, however you also know that you put a good workout in the day before. Below are some of our favorite (not) leg workouts.

Wall Sits

These bring back memories of middle school volleyball. It was either 1 minute wall sits or running laps. When doing a wall sit properly your legs should be at a 90 degree angle, and you don’t want to have your hands or arms resting on your legs. Holding this position for 20 seconds is a good goal to start out with.

Lateral Lunges

The above picture illustrates lateral lunges very well. Simple bend one leg while stretching the other in an outwards position. She is holding weights, which is an optional step. Do 3 sets of 25 on each leg.

Lateral Leg Raises

Lateral leg raises are fairly simple but you can get good results from them. Lay on your side and while keeping one leg on the ground, raise the other up as illustrated in the picture above. 3 sets of 25 on each leg is a good starting place.

Step Ups

Most gyms have equipment for doing this exercise, but if you are doing it at home you could use a stepping stool as well. Step up onto your surface with one leg, and then switch and do the same with the other. Do 30 with each leg, and repeat at least 2 times, but 3 sets will show better results.

Squats

There are many different forms of squats. If you do not have actual equipment (or just aren’t strong enough to do squats with weights like us), you can do the without any equipment. Start standing straight up and bend down until your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your hands out in front of you for the best results. Do 3 sets of 25.

Doing 3 sets of 25 is a good amount especially if you are just starting up. As you move along in your fitness journey you can add more reps to each set. I would suggest going up in increments of 5.

Let us know some of your favorite leg workouts below. Until next time lovelies!

#BreaktheStigma

See the person in front of you. They smile, laugh and engage with those around them. You think to yourself, ‘They really have their life together and will definitely go far.’

What you may not know is that when at home or alone, they are struggling to go through everyday routines. They could have be sleeping too much or too little, feel numb to things around them or have a sense of hopelessness, having thoughts or memories that they are unable to shake, or may even be thinking of harming themselves. It is very easy for people to smile and put on a mask that hides what they are really going through or struggling with. Just because they don’t show the outward signs, that does not mean there is not a daily struggle.

What is Mental Health?

Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and our social well-being, in other words, how we think, feel, and act. It is also a factor in how we handle stress, manage relationships, and make decisions. Having a positive mental health is important through every life stage, from childhood and through adulthood.

While there are biological factors that contribute to mental health, such as genes or family history, that does not exclude life experiences like trauma or abuse.

The Stigma

Whenever someone hears the words ‘mental illness’ or ‘mental health’, right away a negative view is formed, even if subconciously. Even though people may accept the medical or the genetic explaination of the condition and treatments available, there is still that negatitve feeling attached to those words.

There is still a lack of understanding on what really is mental health or how this negative stigma can affect the person who struggles with the mental illness and their families as well. The persona who suffers from the illness can feel shame for having issues and this can lead to isolation. As unfortunate as it is, they face or have experienced harassment, bullying, violence, and discrimination when looking for employment or housing. The stigma can also prevent them from seeking help due to the shame/humiliation they feel, which only makes it worse.

Not Alone

You are not alone. That is very important to remember. 1 in 4 Americans have a mental illness of some kind. Stay connected with others and get support. You do matter and there is hope.

Very Well Mind – Mental Illness and Stigma

MentalHealth.gov – Let’s Talk About It

Essential Oils

Abby: Eucalyptus and Spearmint

Aromatherapy Eucalyptus Spearmint Travel Size Body Lotion - Bath And Body Works

My favorite combination of oils and scents is Eucalyptus and Spearmint. I use this a lot in my classroom. The two scents combined are a wonderful stress reliever. I like to use lotion especially in the winter time to keep my skin moisturized. There is also fragrance oils, candles, hand soap, as well as diffuser oils.

Bath and Body Works has a few good choices for lotions, candles, or oils with prices starting at $5.50 up to $24.50 for all of their products.

Hana: Lavendar

Lavendar is such a popular scent among lotions, candles, and body washes. I love putting it in my essential oil diffuser and turning it on before I go to bed. It helps me calm down and relax and I am able to fall asleep so much more quickly than when I do not use my diffuser.

You can find lavendar scented products almost anywhere. My preference is the form of essential oils, however there are also lavendar scented bath bombs that are great to help you unwind at the end of a long day

Kelly: Jasmine

Yes, yes, it is an oil derived from the flower hence the name. I used this oil and scent frequently while I was pregnant. Like the scents my fellow Wisco Girls listed, it helps to overcome stress and improve moods but it also helps balance hormones (see why I worshipped this while pregnant). A few other perks include reducing anxiety, helps with sleep, and it can act as an aphrodisiac (wink wink).

Jasmine can be in oil form, candle, soaps, scrubs, or even perfume. If you are looking to pair it with other scents, people have recommended citrus oils or lavender.

What scents or oils do you prefer? Until next time lovelies!