Cabin Fever is SO REAL….

Well…’s been a heck of a week here in Down East, Maine.  Like WHOAH…seriously…we have had THREE snow days this week – THREE.  This is like, totally unheard of.  As a teacher – you would think that I would be thrilled to have so many snow days.  As a mom – you would think I would be overcome with happiness to spend so much time with my kiddos.  As a wife – you would think I would feel so blessed to spend more time with my hubby who as been up to his eyeballs in playoff basketball.  WELP…..on the first day, all of the above things were true.  We slept in and made a big breakfast.  We played games, did puzzles, and perfected hide-and-seek.  However the second and third snow day – sorry – all bets are off.  The cabin fever set in for all of us.  Everyone got cranky and on each other nerves.  I think this is normal and that other families go through the same thing.  It is nice to spend the extra time with the family however – I don’t like the feeling of being stuck.  There was so much snow and hurricane type conditions – that we couldn’t even get outside to play or make a snowman.

The aftermath of Snow Day #1 – we got pretty close to 30 inches.  We did not have school mostly because there was too much snow and no where to move it to!! 

What really kills me if getting off my routine.  I love my routine and I love sticking to it.  When I can’t get out in the morning for my walk – this is a huge problem for me.  On the morning of the first snow day – I got out on the deck made it down the steps and to the end of the driveway.  There was a snow pile that was probably three feet.  It became obvious that my little dog and I were not leaving the yard.  Add to that the blizzard type conditions and it really probably wasn’t an overly safe idea to hit the streets.  So – I went back inside and did a quick circuit workout that a friend of mine posted on the Facebook.  It consisted of pushups, crunches, planks, and some high knees.  I did that three times.  It felt good – but it did not feel like enough.  For the rest of that day I just tried to get my steps in and not lounge around being a total loaf.
On the second snow day – at least we could get outside.  I did about an hour of shoveling – which is a great workout.  We were able to take the kids to daycare – which was awesome because we could come back home and finish the snow removal process.  Plus, our day care is so rad.  She had those kids outside playing and building snow forts.  They had a blast with their buddies.  I was able to get to the gym and it was glorious!!  I spent a long time on the elliptical and then did arms!!  I was wicked sore by the end of the day – between shoveling and lifting. On the third snow day – I was at least able to get outside and do my walk in the morning – although it was shorter than usual.  There are no sidewalks in town right now because there is no where to put all the snow.  In ten days we’ve gotten something like 60 inches of snow down here in my little neck of the woods….just crazy!!

Snow day #3 – Mother Nature dumped another foot of snow on us.  There was a lot of snow on the deck, steps, and walkway.  Hubby handled the snowblower and I got the small stuff!

So….as a person who wants to be active all the time and hates sitting down – what do you do on a snow day??  I reached out to an old friend of mine.  She is currently living in North Carolina and having a really exciting 2017!!  She just got married to the love of her life and is also having a baby boy!!  Big doings for her this year.  Aside from all of the love stuff – Tara also kicks a lot of a$$.  She and I went to college together at the University of Maine – #goblackbears.  During her time in Orono, Tara was a standout field hockey player.  Originally from Skowhegan, Maine – Tara made a name for herself on the basketball court.  It makes total sense that she would dedicate her life to fitness.  She is a TRX and personal trainer who will most defiantly put you through a wicked workout and you will see results!!  Tara was happy to give me a couple exercises that you can do at home without having to go to a gym or see a trainer.  I asked her specifically to target my flappy arms and my nonexistent booty.
Doing these exercises on the third snow day helped me to realize that I did not have to feel trapped because I could not get out of the house to go to the gym.  Someone that is active and wants to remain healthy does not need to go to the gym to do so.  I did not have dumbbells at home so I improvised and used canned food!!  Yes, obviously, it wasn’t a lot of weight – but it was something.  I need to put dumbbells on my list of “stuff to get while I’m in Bangor for the basketball tournament” list.  Luckily for me – she also provided complete and step-by-step instructions on how to do these exercises.
1.  Narrow Squats with Dumbbells

Holding 2 equally sized dumbbells by your side and keeping a hip width squat stance, lower down keeping your weight in your heels and you perform the squat and on the rise press your heels through the floor so your weight is rooted in the heels not the knees.  Keep a straight arm position do not bend elbows.

do 3 sets of 25 reps holding 5-10lb weights for beginners and add weight as needed.

2.  Bicep Curls

Keep your elbows connected to your side as you curl up and return.  Be mindful of your elbow position so you target the bicep as you curl.

Do 3 sets of 25 reps simultaneously

3.  Deadlift

Holding 2 equally sized dumbbells with a straight arm position, your initial movement is a hinge.  You will want to hinge at the waist and at the same time keep the weight rooted in your heels (Hinge movement is pressing our hips back instead of lowering into a squat) you will feel the hamstrings and glutes working if done properly.  The movement ends as you hinge and the dumbbells follow down your legs ending at mid shin as shown in the photo.  Keep a flat back for safety.

Do 3 sets of 25 reps with 10-25 lb dumbbells

4.  Bent Over Back Row
Hold 2 dumbbells as your start position is in a hinged bent over position.  Starting with a straight arm, flat back and hinged position go ahead and  row keeping your elbows tight to the rib cage as you squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
Do 3 sets of 25 reps simultaneously with 10lbs

5.  Reverse Lunges
Holding 2 dumbbells with a straight arm by your side, take a step back, making sure your front leg is in a L position assuring that your ankle is in line with your knee and not going over your toe.  To prevent this from happening make sure your front foot is flat on the floor and heel stays glued to the floor.  Maintain an upright chest and alternate legs.
Do 3 sets of 30 reps total.  10lbs+

6.  Renegade Rows
Start by placing 2 dumbbells on the floor.  Lower down into a plank position and hands are on the dumbbells.  Lower into a tricep push up and rise.  At the top of the movement you will slightly twist and you row the dumbbell up across your chest keeping your elbow high.  Return to the plank position before performing another push up and alternating to the opposite side.
Do 3 sets of 8 reps (4 reps each side)

7. Russian Twists
Hold 1 dumbbell the long way and raise your feet off the floor. (if your balance is off you can place your heels down) Once you are in the start position, keeping the dumbbell close to your body, fully twist side to side as many reps as you can in 30 seconds time.
Do 3 sets

If you are interested in checking out other workouts from Tara… please visit her website.  She is one of the hardest working women that I know.  If you need a good workout – Tara is the trainer for you!!  WWW.TRAINWITHTARAJ.COM
Also – up until these past storms I never realized really how much of a workout shoveling snow is.  In the past I was never interested in getting out there and pushing it around.  This time around – I really couldn’t wait to get in a bit of a workout.  There is a lot out there on the interwebs about how many calories you burn while shoveling snow.  However, none of the articles that I read  really took into consideration how heavy the snow is.  Anyway – without being able to give you real numbers – I would definitely tell you that pushing snow around is a good workout.  My guess would be that you would probably burn close to 350 calories by shoveling for a half an hour.  That’s a good deal of calories.  I’m glad I got out and helped clean up the driveway, deck, steps, and walkways.

Snow day snuggles with my number one boy!!!  

Another thing that I did to keep myself busy and active was walk up and down the steps!! I know this sounds nuts – but it kept me moving and I met my stairs number for the day on my Fitbit.  My hubby thinks I’m crazy – but I also like to walk laps around the house.  This time around my daughter joined me.  She thought it was fun.  I thought it was better than sitting around and doing nothing.  We had plenty of time to watch some movies, make popcorn, and drink hot chocolate.  It was equally important for me to stay on track with my food and exercise too.  I was able to find a bit of a balance and only lost my mind a little bit!!
I am hoping that this is the worst of the snow fall for this winter.  I am not sure that I will make it through another snow day.  However, know I have a bit of plan to keep me moving and active.  I am just counting down the days until the warm sunshine melts all this mess and I can hit the road in my running gear…instead of this outfit:

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