Snowshoeing at Vilas Park...Featuring my New Athleta Polartec® Tights

by Megan Outlaw


As I mentioned in Sunday's post, this past weekend my husband and I went on our first snowshoeing adventure.  Our local outdoor sports store, Fontana Sports, hosts a snowshoeing lesson at Vilas Park to support the nearby Henry Vilas Zoo.  The Shoe the Zoo event seemed like the perfect opportunity to try snowshoeing. 

We signed up for the 1:00pm lesson and arrived at the park ready to learn!  We were provided rental snowshoes and, after a short lesson, headed out in two groups.  Our guide wanted us to practice going up (and down) obstacles such as small hills, and we went out on the iceskating pond also.  

Then we were free to explore the park.

It was an unseasonably warm Wisconsin afternoon, and neither of us wore coats.  I made sure to layer on top with an athletic shirt, running hoodie, and down vest, with gloves and an ear warmer.

For pants, I wore my new Athleta Heathered Polartec® Power Stretch® 2 Tight, which I absolutely love.  

I've been wearing them non-stop since I bought them a few weeks ago.  They are definitely warm; I've worn them to walk the dogs when it was in the low to mid twenties outside and I was perfectly warm.  The brushed material on the inside is not only warm, but also extremely comfortable. They make great lounging pants for that reason.  They are a little long, but since I'm just over 5'2, that is to be expected.  

The wide waistband and drawstring ensure that the pants fit where they are supposed to and do not move around; I've even lifted weights in them and I'm sure they would work well for winter running.  I'm seriously considering buying another pair to get me through the rest of the winter!

Do you have a go-to winter clothing item?




Weekend Activities and Meals for the Week

by Megan Outlaw


We had one of my favorite kinds of weekends here in Madison; equal parts hang in at home, outdoor activity, and beer tasting. 

On Friday, we got takeout from Banzo and finished watching Parenthood on Netflix.  I highly recommend both!  (need a new show to watch now - any recommendations?)

On Saturday, after coffee and smoothies for breakfast...

we headed to Vilas Park for a snowshoeing lesson from Fontana Sports.  I'll write a separate post about it later this week, but we had a lot of fun.

Since the zoo is right beside the park, we headed over to check out a few of the animals afterwards. 

On Saturday evening, as part of our unofficial mission to try all the breweries in Madison (and surrounding area), we went to Next Door Brewing.

We tried all but one of their beers as a flight, and I would say my favorites were the RED DEFECTOR (American sour ale) and the KALEIDOSPOKE PALE ALE.

We also had a delicious charcuterie plate.  

Today was a little less exciting, as Sundays often are.  A little meal planning, a little pool running, and hopefully we'll be headed to Whole Foods soon.  

On that note, here's what I'm planning for the week!

Breakfasts

Continuing to experiment with smoothies.  I usually buy plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, bananas, frozen fruit, spinach, and apple juice, and just use whatever combination sounds appealing that morning!

Lunches

Last week, I ended up eating the quinoa stuffed peppers from the Skinnytaste cookbook for lunches several days.  I think that's a good plan for this week, so I intend on making some more peppers on Monday or Tuesday.  I used barley vs. quinoa because that's what I had in the house.

Dinners

Sunday - Whole roasted chicken with carrots, turnips, and whatever other vegetables look appealing!

Monday - Leftover chicken

Tuesday - Crock pot turkey white bean pumpkin chili I'm hoping we get some snow on Tuesday, so chili sounds like a perfect meal (especially since my husband will be walking home from work that evening!)

Wednesday - Breakfast for dinner; we do smoothies a lot for breakfast, so I think we'll switch it up a bit and do eggs and toast for dinner.

Thursday - Leftover chili

What's your favorite snow day meal?

 


Biceps & Triceps Superset Workout

by Megan Outlaw


Happy Wednesday!  I have a new workout to share today.  Ever since I hurt my lower back in early December, I've been hesitant to perform some strength training moves.  However, It's not good for me to avoid strength training all together, so I've been choosing to instead take the opportunity to focus on working my biceps and triceps.  

Having cute new workout tops helps too, of course.  Loving this Target Muscle Tank that I picked up last week!

I've been doing the following superset workout for a couple weeks now.

biceptriceps.jpg

I do most of my strength training with supersets, which simply means performing two different exercises back to back with no rest in between.  This enables you to get out of the gym faster because you're not sitting around resting in between exercises.  You can choose to do agonist (two exercises that work the same muscle - bicep curls and hammer curls, for example) or antagonist supersets.  The above workout is an example of an antagonistic supserset because we are working the opposing muscles of the biceps and the triceps.  This way, you give your biceps a chance to recover while working your triceps, so it's easier to move right to the next exercise.   

Here are the links to some of the exercises:

21s

Triceps rope pushdowns

Zottman curls 

Scullcrushers

I really like using body bars for strength training moves such as Zottman curls and skull crushers.  If I were to buy a piece of weight lifting equipment for my apartment, I'm pretty sure I'd buy one of these; you can also use them for upright rows and deadlifts.

Let me know if you try it!  Favorite way to strength train?