Friday, February 18, 2022

Friday Favorites: Favorite Workouts

Hello there and happy Friday! Last week we all shared "What We Eat in a Week" and it got me thinking about my typical workouts in a week and how those two go hand in hand. I started keeping track of my workouts for the week and realized that my typical workouts in February look very different from my typical workouts in spring, summer and fall. So rather than show you one week of workouts, I figured I'd share some of my all time favorites. So today, for Friday Favorites, I am sharing my favorite ways to get some exercise. 😊


My #1 favorite way to get some exercise in is to get outside and hike a beautiful trail. This is something Devin and I have always enjoyed together. We went hiking on our honeymoon:

Went hiking with newborn Lily Grace:
And have been hiking countless times since then with both kids:
The combination of fresh air + beautiful scenery makes you forget you are even exercising. My favorite kind of workout 😉 Unfortunately we don't go hiking nearly as often in the winter months because despite being from Ohio, I have turned into a complete wimp in the cold temps. I need to get better about it though and suck it up! It's so great for the whole family to get outside and hike. Joanne-- I'm looking to you as my inspiration!


Kayaking with LG and my mother in law 😊

 Another activity we do a lot of in the spring/summer/fall is kayaking. We have a double kayak and have often put Lily Grace in the middle. When we do this, we leave Liam at home with the grandparents.

Not only is it a great way to get a workout in, but it's a great way to explore nature as a family too. Lily Grace loves to see all the fish and turtles in the water, the birds flying around us, and we've seen several deer along the edge of the river. Liam only recently learned to tolerate kayaking, he used to be terrified of "the boat" and his life jacket. I am looking forward to getting him out there more this year so he can get used to it. 

Paddle Boarding 
This one and kayaking often go together for us. Usually one of us goes kayaking with Liam (in our lap) while the other goes paddle boarding with Lily Grace. We used to rent paddle boards from time to time, but last year I got an inflatable one for Mother's Day and it was a GREAT investment for our family. We have already spent countless hours using it together as a family and have made some wonderful memories. It comes in a backpack with a pump, so I just carry it on my back down to the edge of the water and pump it up right where I'm ready to use it. It is super convenient.
This is another great opportunity for the kids to see some wildlife and feel the sun on their skin. We usually pull over somewhere to let the kids splash and swim a bit too. 
Lily Grace pointing at a turtle in the distance. 😍

We used to take the kids for nice long walks in their double stroller, but now as the kids are getting older we walk alongside them while they ride their bikes or scooters. 
While the activity has changed a little bit, the end goal is still the same. Get outside and have fun while moving our bodies. 

Gardening/Yard Work

What I love about gardening is that I don't necessarily feel like I'm working out at the time, but all that squatting from pulling weeds can lead to sore muscles later!
We have a rain barrel in our backyard and I love to fill up our watering can and then lug it all around the yard watering the plants. It saves water AND is a great workout carrying that thing all over the place!
I love spreading mulch (and carrying those heavy bags!), power washing, and blowing leaves with the leaf blower (walking around carrying that thing counts, right?). My favorite though is mowing the lawn. Does that surprise you? I don't normally have OCD tendencies, but when it comes to the lawn I am particular about the lines going a certain way in the grass. If you know what I mean, you know what I mean. 😉 

The only yard work I don't care for is raking leaves. That one is obviously a great workout, but is there anything more irritating than raking the leaves and watching more leaves fall while you're doing it? We can't wait until all the leaves have fallen to start raking because then it would be too much to do in one weekend (we have a lot of big trees). So every fall Devin gets the job of going out to rake a little bit more each weekend.

This is the form of exercise I probably do the most. If you've been reading here for awhile you know I've run two full marathons (the Walt Disney World Marathon-- twice!), several half marathons, and a bunch of smaller races (5k, 10k, etc) over the years too. 
Running is the easiest form of exercise for me to squeeze in because there isn't a huge amount of planning involved. I can do it inside or outside, so I don't have to consider the weather. It's not like a class at the gym where I need to go at a certain time. I can drop the kids off at childcare at the gym, or take them with me:
I can go whenever, wherever, and it's usually over and done with pretty quickly. I used to prefer running inside on the track at our gym, and actually trained for multiple half marathons by running on an inside track. I always hear "but that's so boring!" and it is, but I also don't have to worry about where my water bottle is or the bathroom. When COVID first started and our gym shut down, I got used to running outside and actually learned to love it. I just have to plan my runs knowing where several bathroom/water stops are along the way. 😊

My favorite studio all lit up at Christmas

My mom bought me my first yoga book back in middle school, and I have pretty much been hooked ever since. I love the way yoga improves your strength and flexibility, but also is restorative after other grueling workouts. There is nothing better than a yoga class the day after I've gone on a long run.  

Even Lily Grace and Liam love yoga, which makes me so happy! 

Strength Training

I did a "light" version of strength training all throughout my pregnancy with Liam

I have been using the Sweat app for years to do my strength training and swear by it. There are different workouts you can try, but my favorite is BBG, now called High Intensity. I love that you can start at a beginner level, then gradually work your way up. 

Here's a look at what a non-beginner week looks like:

Now I will be honest, some of these workouts are HARD. The good thing though is that you take them at your own pace. You have a 7 minute circuit where you do as many of the exercises as you can. If that means you only get through each exercise one time, that's totally fine. As you build your strength and stamina, you'll be able to do more. When I have done this consistently, I have noticed some big results. 

I have also done the 21 Day Fix workouts several times and love those too!

Now I'd love to know what your favorite ways to workout are! Please leave me a comment below. Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites. Have a great weekend!


  1. I love circuit workouts, running and hiking! I have never tried paddle boarding but it's on my list of things to do this summer :)

  2. I obviously love hiking (though it is much easier to do it in all other seasons besides winter!). Glad I could inspire you to try it in winter though. The trick is to pick a not so blustery day and wear lots of layers. We also love to kayak but I have yet to try paddle boarding.

  3. You definitely work out more than I do...kudos! That waterfall is very pretty. I like to kayak too. I usually go a few times in the spring and summer with some friends. I'd like to try paddleboarding sometime.

  4. Re yard work, I always say there is no better workout than hard work. We have so many trees that I cannot escape raking leaves. I had to get over wanting it done "perfectly" as the leaves keep coming until it snows and then that's that.