Favorite Winter Workout

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It always seems like the holidays are a good distraction to the fact that winter has arrived. There is something wonderful about bundling up in your favorite winter scarf and hat and heading out for a holiday stroll. A white Christmas seems magical and no one seems to mind the snow. But then the holidays pass and we settle in for the long, cold winter.

Michael and I have talked a bit about our desire to get moving more this winter. When we first met we were incredibly active as a couple. Our date nights usually involved a run followed by dinner and we frequently found our way to the yoga studio on the weekends. Then we moved in together, got engaged and planned our wedding. We had much less time to work out and our priorities shifted a bit. But 2015 has arrived, we’re newlyweds and we have more time on our hands. We’ve both agreed that we need to get running more and back into the yoga studio. Lucky for me, these are two of my favorite winter workouts.

I love running in the winter. I feel like we spend so much time curled up inside with the heat on. The cold air, the crunch of the snow under my feet and the sweat under all my layers gets me excited. I love heading out and tackling 3 or 4 miles. I usually take it slow in the winter with my runs and pay extra attention to my footing and the pavement in front of me. I’m always on the lookout for ice! After my runs I head inside and keep the workout going. I try to mix up my post run routine as much as possible and pull exercises from the yoga and barre studios for inspiration. I’ll often mix in some legwork like squats or lunges, followed by arm work. These days I like to use 3lb. weights and do a few of my favorite barre sequences. I follow it up with a solid 5 minutes of abs to strengthen my core. I try to keep myself moving for another 15-20 minutes after my run and always try to keep my heart rate up! I conclude with lots of stretching, and some foam rolling if I need it.

Running

On days when the temperature barely breaks 10 degrees and it’s just too cold and too blustery to head out for a run I love to opt for the yoga studio (and barre too!). Yoga is also my go-to workout when I’m snowed in and need a good sweat. I crank the heat, light a candle, and turn on my playlist and flow. It’s amazing and one of my favorite things to do when I’m snowed in! I start with child’s pose, move through cat and cow, start moving with sun salutations, move through triangle, pyramid and revolved triangle (one of my all time favorite sequences), head into half-moon, standing splits, move through some balance poses, and then head down to the mat for pigeon, janushirasana, back bends and savasana. I always vary my practice to give my body what it needs. Sometimes that is more twisting, other times it is lots of movement and occasionally it is just a nice gentle flow.

Yoga

Michael and I will definitely be doing these and other variations throughout the winter to stay warm. We’re also looking forward to cross-country skiing together, which is one of my favorite all time activities!

A special thanks to Target® C9 for sponsoring this post through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. I was compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.

What is your favorite winter workout?

Wedding Day Photos and Advice for Brides

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We’ve been married for 1 month to the day. It still can’t believe we are officially married and we share a last name. It gives me chills to call Michael my husband and I definitely get a big goofy grin each time I say that. We had a gorgeous, cool fall day filled with family, friends and love! Caroline Winn Photography handled our wedding day photos and she truly captured the emotion!  Here’s a few of my favorite wedding photos!

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I learned a lot about myself, my relationship and life while planning the wedding. I thought I’d share my unsolicited advice…

  • Wedding planning is going to be busy and stressful. Being extra Type A will not help you avoid this. Trust me, I tried.
  • Trust in your future spouse and all of your vendors. They are there to make your day amazing and they will deliver. I promise.
  • Do yourself a favor and find a fiance who actually wants to plan the wedding with you. It’s incredible and I’m blessed that Michael wanted to be such a big part of the planning process. He was filled with awesome ideas and it was really fun.
  • Determine which things you must have and absolutely cannot live without, what falls in the middle and what you could care less about. For us,  designing and printing a ceremony program fell into the middle. It didn’t happen and we didn’t care. But we did write our entire ceremony which was personal and heartfelt…that I could not live without.
  • Have a girlfriend you feel comfortable calling when you are stressed out and melting down. It’s going to happen. And it’s going to be a lot better when you have a friend you can call and cry to. She’ll likely tell you whatever you are upset about ultimately doesn’t matter. She’s probably right.
  • Determine as a couple what your dream day involves. If you don’t want a cake, don’t get a cake. If you want a first look, do a first look. Decide together what will make your day perfect and stand strong for what you want. Everyone will have their opinions and they will share them with you, just be confident about your decisions and people will respect that.
  • Remember, it’s your wedding day. It will be perfect because it’s your day. The flowers, the cake, the plates, or any other little details will not make it perfect. It will be perfect because you get to marry the one you love!