Simple Sweat: 30 minute workout

So far, my summer has been full of so much great movement. I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with exercise in the past, but recently moving my body has brought me so much joy. Hiking, dancing, tv workouts, and old fashioned gym trips have all been part of my repertoire, but I worry I won’t have time for any of these activities when school starts up again.

Therefore, I have consolidated some of my favorite movements into a 30 minute session you can fit into the busiest of days. To ensure this workout takes the same amount of time for everyone, I measure activities in minutes instead of reps. I would suggest setting a timer for 30 minutes at the beginning of the workout, then watching the clock so you know when to switch activities.

These simple exercises require little to no special equipment and can be done in your living room, basement, backyard, or just out on the sidewalk if needed. If you do happen to have some light weights on hand, I’d highly recommend using them to do curls during lunges and wall sits, and possibly to add an extra challenge to punching.

Though I love this sequence, I am always looking for new ways to mix up my workout routine, so let me know if you have any suggestions!


Warm up: 5 minutes LIGHT cardio. When I have access to an elliptical I’ll use that, but at home I most often jump rope or run around the block a few times. It is essential, however, that you do not over-exert yourself during this section or you may not have enough energy left for the rest of the workout (trust me, I know from experience).


5 minutes dynamic stretching

  • High-knees
  • Grapevine
  • Bootykickers
  • Moving lunges
  • Walking toe-touches
  • High kicks

Workout: Now that you’ve got your heart rate up it’s time for 20 minutes of strengthening exercises.

  1. Wall-sit (1 minute)
  2. Sit ups (1 minute)
  3. Cherry pickers/Russian twists (1 minute)
  4. Push ups (1 minute)
  5. Lunges (1 minute)
  6. Interval Cardio- this is intended to be more intense than the warm-up cardio, so perhaps alternate 1 minute of sprinting with 30 seconds of jogging or 1 minute of fast jump-roping with 30 seconds of slower jumping. (5 minutes)
  7. Jumping Jack Squats (1 minute)
  8. Plank (2 minute)
  9. Side Plank (1 minute, alternate after 30 seconds)
  10. Punch it out- in the air, on a punching bag, on a pillow (1 minute)

Cool down: 5 minutes stretches of your choice. Personally, I love these moves by Popsugar.

If you try this, share all your #fitspo photos with me (cause sweaty selfies are what working out is really all about, right?) using #16worksout. Have fun!

(End of) Summer Reading List

I love summer with every bit of my heart and soul. Summer is lazy 11am breakfast dates with friends in the middle of the week and singing so loud it hurts at concerts in the park. Summer is saltwater up my nose and the conviction that nothing tastes better than a slightly sandy PB&J after a long day at the beach. Summer is light, refreshing, al fresco dinners followed by ice cream cones the size of my face. Summer is my happy-time, and I know I’m not alone. Can we all start a petition for an extra month of summer? I’m not ready for everything to be over yet.

What summer should be, Exhibit A

During the last few weeks of August, I often find myself torn between the desire to soak up every last second of summer and the need to prepare for the coming school year. Part of me wants to do nothing but lounge in the sun, sleep in, and spend time with family. At the same time, I feel the pressure to buy school supplies, get organized, and prepare for the classes I’ll be starting in the fall.  

Most often, I fail to take action either way and end up lounging by the pool worrying about how I should be taking a math refresher course or getting a head start on an article for journalism. I suppose this is my attempt to find balance, but I’m really just ending up with the worst of both worlds. I’m stressed and distracted, but I’m not actually getting any work done. 

This year, I wanted to make a change. My goal was to find a way to relish the last sun-streaked moments of summer while also easing back into academic-me (a very different person than summer-me). Personally, I think books are a wonderful way to make this transition.

I can’t be the only who reads a multitude of serious, educational books (most often for English class) during the year then binges on romance novels all summer. If it is just a me thing, don’t tell me. Let me live in denial. If I’m not the only one, perhaps we can form a support group. Anyways, I find switching from reading about romance and roses to reading about the policies Franklin Roosevelt can be a bit of a shock to my system.

Therefore, I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite “in-between” books. They are entertaining enough to make them truly enjoyable, while containing sufficient food for thought to help everyone ease back into their slightly more serious-minded, academic selves. Now everyone grab a book, hit the beach, and savor those last few moments of summer!

End of Summer Reading List

Americana By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Where’d You Go Bernadette By Maria Semple

Beauty Queens By Libba Bray

The Miseducation of Cameron Post By Emily M. Danforth

Wuthering Heights By Emily Brontë

The Book Thief By Markus Zusak

The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald

When the Emperor was Divine By Julie Otsuka

My Beloved World By Sonia Sotomayor

Note: Any of these books would be wonderful choices, and I suggest you look into all of them. To be honest, I tried to provide descriptions but found I could not do these remarkable stories justice. I must admit, however, that I did list them in order of my own personal favorites, so, if in doubt, start at the top.