Should I do strength or cardio first?

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Sharing some tips on whether you should do strength or cardio first in your workout routine. 

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great morning and hope you enjoyed the long weekend! I’m already counting down the days until the next school break. Waking up early is not my cup of tea lol.

For today’s post, I wanted to talk about strength vs.cardio and which one you should do first in your routine. There are so many different types of exercise routines, and they offer different benefits for the body (and mind!). Doing an combination of strength and cardio can help you acheive your body composition and fitness goals, and knowing how to structure these in your routine can help you maximize the benefits. Deciding which one to do first depends on your fitness goals and other factors.

In today’s post, I’m sharing tips on how to decide which one to do first!

Should I do strength or cardio first?

A balanced fitness plan includes strength and cardio components, as well as mobility and rest. You also want to make sure that you’re alternating workout intensities throughout the week. For example, if you have a really hard cardio day, follow this with an easier day or rest. How much cardio and strength training you do in your weekly routine depends on your current fitness level, goals, unique factors (like age, health issues, injuries, medications, etc.). While I am a certified personal trainer and women’s fitness specialist, please remember that I’m not a doctor. Talk to your doctor before making any fitness changes and honor your body.

Also, remember that whenever you start something new in your routine, you will likely be sore, so DON’T push it too hard. This is why I usually have beginning training clients start with bodyweight-only or super light weights; they’re going to be sore no matter what.

Benefits Of Cardio After Weights

For body recomposition:

I typically recommend cardio after strength training if building muscle is the priority.  Typically women don’t understand that if you’re looking for a more “toned” look, you need to put on muscle. For this reason, we’ll emphasize strength training (progressive training and phased programming for optimal results), and sprinkle cardio in, but not too much.

For hormonal considerations:

Also, many of the women I work with are dealing with hormone imbalances, often from years of stress, under-eating, and overexercising. Workouts can be an extra stressor on the body, especially intense cardio. So, we’ll focus more on strength training and stick to daily walks until their energy levels return and inflammation is down.

Weights first helps to prepare the body for cardio

Doing strength first can help the body prepare for more explosive cardio movements, as you’re often working the joints through full range of motion and warming up the muscles. It can be helpful to mimic some of the upcoming cardio movements during your strength training routine.

Increased metabolism through higher muscle density:

Muscle tissue is “hungrier” than fat, which means it burns more calories at rest. When you’re focused on muscle-building, you may not s

Italian White Bean, Cabbage, and Sausage Soup

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Cabbage Soup with Sausage is loaded with great flavors and it’s filled with far more vegetables and meat than broth. Today, I’m giving you the first new soup recipe for the fall and I couldn’t be more excited about it–Italian White Bean, Cabbage, and Sausage Soup.

White Beans, Cabbage, and Sausage Soup in white bowl

Updated to add: I’ve made this soup countless times over the past few years and it’s a favorite freezer meal now too.

When I first made this, we were living in the desert and that meant cranking the a/c to really enjoy a bowl of soup. Now? Living in Ohio as the weather begins cooling off? Soup is a beautiful way to warm up at dinner time!

Cabbage Soup with Sausage

Best of all, this soup comes together in under 30 minutes. I am so very ready for cooler weather and this soup represents my wishful thinking for more of the rain that we were lucky enough to see here in the Arizona desert last week.

This was a dinner that I pulled together without any advance planning at all. (The ingredients were about all we had in the house after a couple of weeks of travel!)

All it takes is browning some sausage, adding broth, beans, cabbage and simmering it all together. Onions, tomatoes, and lots of Italian herbs and spices add the finishing touches.

Italian White Bean and Sausage Soup is ideal for a weeknight meal and also makes enough that you’re likely to have leftovers for lunch the next day!

I love adding sausage to my soups. It adds a terrific flavor and holds up very nicely both for leftovers and for soups stashed in the freezer.

This soup is so hearty that it’s almost more of a stew. This is plenty filling enough for a full meal on its own, especially served with a side of crusty Italian Bread or soup crackers.

When you’re feeding a crowd, cabbage and sausage soups are an economical choice, too. Cabbage is one of the least expensive vegetables per pound and sausage can be found at a bargain, too.

Cabbage and Sausage Soup

You can use either regular breakfast sausage or a spicier variety of sausage to make this soup recipe. I’ve used both depending on what I have on hand and it turned out well both ways. If you’re a spice lover, using hot sausage adds a kick you’re sure to love!

The Italian white beans add a lovely element of texture and flavor to the sausage soup with cabbage. White beans, navy beans and Cannellini beans all work beautifully in the soup. I enjoy that they don’t get mushy but the creaminess contrasts well with the bits of sausage and cabbage.

The first time I made this soup it turned out so w

8 must-read subreddits if you’re struggling financially

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Hailed as the ‘front page of the internet,’ Reddit is so much more than a place to enjoy funny cat memes and keep up with the latest gaming, movie, and TV news. We share eight subreddit communities to help you better understand your finances, create a workable food budget, and expand your skills to help take the edge off of growing financial worries

8 must-read subreddits if you’re struggling financially

I love Reddit. Despite not being their target demographic (around 70% of the site’s users are American, with 18-29s making up 64% of their user base), Reddit is one of those sites where you can find a community for everything. Literally.

Want nothing but cute photos that make you go aww? There’s a subreddit for that (r/aww). Need a good laugh, but tired of the same old memes? r/BirdsWithArms has nothing but bird videos with hilarious clipart-drawn arms and expressions. Want to find a supportive community, filled with others who are sharing their lived mental health experiences, and experts highlighting advice and guidance? Well, there are dozens of dedicated mental health and wellbeing subreddits to help you feel accepted and connected.

When it comes to talking about our finances, things can feel tough. Research from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) revealed that 42% of us who have borrowed money and are struggling choose to ignore lenders’ attempts to contact us, due to feeling ashamed. A lack of knowledge is also causing us unnecessary stress and strain, as 40% who are struggling financially incorrectly believe that talking to a debt advisor will have a negative impact on their credit file.

Over half (52%) of us wait more than a month to seek help when we are struggling financially. New data from Financial Capability revealed that over 20.3 million adults (39%) in the UK don’t feel confident managing their money and over 11.5 million of us have less than £100 is savings. With nearly 9 million in serious debt, and only a third receiving help, things are only set to get worse over the coming months, as prices continue to rise.

We’re not saying online communities are the answer to all of our money problems. But talking about our struggles, reaching out to others, and sharing tips and tricks to make our money stretch further can all have a significant, positive impact on how we feel.

Feeling anxious or stressed about talking money with your partner? Counselling Directory explains more about how you can get the conversation started.

Feel more confident managing your finances

Financial literacy (having the skills and knowledge to make informed, effective decisions about your financial resources) is an area that is so important, yet many of us feel we lack the tools to understand

Baked Peach Oatmeal

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Peaches and cinnamon pair perfectly in this recipe for Baked Peach Oatmeal. Eaten on its own or topped with whipped cream, it’s a hit.

Anytime I bake peaches into something it reminds me of my favorite peach cobbler or crisp. What’s not to love?

Peach Baked Oatmeal with whipped cream on top on a small blue plate

Baked Peach Oatmeal

So, the fact that I love this breakfast really shouldn’t come as a surprise. And, yes, the fact that I want to make another pan of it tomorrow morning just goes to prove my addiction to the fresh peaches that are finally in season.

The smell of this oatmeal baking lures my family out of bed every time. In their sleepy state, they might think it is a peach dessert for breakfast, but they are never disappointed by a pan of baked peach oatmeal.

You probably notice in the photos I skip on peach peeling. There truly is no need to peel your peaches in this baked oatmeal. I do suggest using freestone varieties of peaches for how easy it is to remove the flesh from the pit.

Old-fashioned oats bake up nicely. Quick oats are often good for crisps or cookies or that quick morning oatmeal. But old-fashioned is best for this dish as they keep their shape and it doesn’t turn to mush. They have a rich nutty flavor as well.

You can easily bake this in a small casserole or 8×8 pan. My preference is muffin cups or individual little casseroles. My family fights for those buttery crisp edges.

Peach Oatmeal Cups

Toppings, dressings, and condiments are one of the best ways to add flavor or make a dish more decadent. When it comes to oatmeal I am all about the toppings.

Our favorite way to enjoy it is topped with drizzled with honey or maple syrup. If I am really trying to sweeten my kids up for a day of t

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate peanut butter chip cookies are the impeccable combination of two of the world’s best foods (imho)! These cookies are thick, chewy and irresistible!

It’s time for chocolate and peanut butter to dance again! One of my favorite dessert combinations ever. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s perfection every time!

Have you tried our peanut butter blossoms? It’s pretty much these cookies but in reverse. Sometimes two things just belong together, like Cade and I! He’s the chocolate to my peanut butter! And speaking of pb and chocolate, our peanut butter bars are a MUST!

Ok, I’m getting all distracted! Back to these cookies…they are tender and so chocolatey! With those little morsels of peanut butter loaded inside, these cookies are absolute bliss.

A peanut butter chocolate cookie that is broken in half. The chocolate cookie has peanut butter chips in it.

What Ingredients Do I Need for Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies?

This recipe is going to look very familiar. It’s the same as our chocolate chip chocolate cookies just with peanut butter chips instead. I would say the only ingredient that might be unexpected is the Devil’s Food Pudding which I’ve written a whole section about below. Here is what you will need:

  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Cocoa
  • Devil’s Food Pudding (see section below)
  • Peanut Butter Chips (3 10oz bags)

Head down to the recipe card below for all the exact measurements.

A chocolate peanut butter chip cookie broken in half and stacked on top of each other. You can see the soft chocolate cookie with peanut butter chips in it.Read more