Father’s Day is right around the corner and there are two very important things to do. Step one: decide what to get the dad that does it all. Step two: figure out what you’ll wear to celebrate. Anyone else find that step 2 is sometimes the most difficult? *raises hand* Luckily, Wantable is constant help in that department because they’re always keeping the wardrobe game strong and the pieces in their summer edits are no exception. Here are a few ensembles I am loving for Father’s Day activities.

 

father's day activities: dinner

Wine & Dine

Heading out to dinner calls for a look that’s both elevated and on-trend. The boho vibes this embroidered top gives off are next level. I love them paired with colored denim in fun hue that is one-of-a-kind–just like the dad in your life. A denim jacket and a beautiful emerald clutch effortlessly tie it all together.

 

father's day activities: camping

Makin’ S’more Memories

I love a good flannel for any casual festivity, but on Father’s Day, it seems especially appropriate. I love a light one layered over a tee with a cute pair of boyfriend shorts and sandals. If you’re celebrating all of the father figures in your life by camping or gathering around a bonfire, this is the perfect ensemble for the occasion.

 

father's day activities: baseball game

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Heading to a baseball game is one of the most timeless Father’s Day activities and I’m 100% here for it. Pair chino shorts with a baseball cap, striped tank and a denim jacket for a look that scores a home run. If your husband is anything like mine, you risk #twinning if you wear this, but imitation is the highest form of flattery, right? 😉

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On days where it seems like we can’t look at a single screen without being reminded that a plump, peachy booty is en vogue, it may seem like glutes have become the largest vanity muscle in our bodies. I’m here to say strong glutes are very important and definitely not just for killer curves, but they protect actually protect you. Glutes help prevent injury in by helping provide proper knee tracking. Without strong glutes, we are more susceptible to knee-related injury due to improper tracking. Ever sit at your desk and get that dull lower back ache? Stronger glutes also help reduce back stress. Experience a hamstring injury? Don’t worry, strong glutes help prevent those, too! There are plenty of ways to work your glutes and you don’t have to go to the gym and knock out a bunch of squats at the squat rack to get them. Here are a few resistance band exercises you can do anywhere–the only thing you need is one TheraBand. If you don’t have one, I grabbed a few on Amazon and they were really inexpensive. Get a few different resistance strengths so you can adjust the workout as needed.

glute activation exercises: lateral band walks

Lateral Band Walks

Start by standing with feet hip-width distance apart with the band just under your knees and squat. Step out your right leg and slowly (so that you feel the resistance in the band) bring your left foot to meet your right. Return to a standing position and repeat on the left side. Do 20 repetitions on each side. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

glute activation exercises: standing glute kicks

Standing Glute Kicks

Start in a standing position with both feet together, back straight, and the band around your ankles. Engage your abs and lift your right leg directly behind you keeping both legs straight (you may add a slight bend to the standing leg). Return to a standing position and repeat on the left leg. Do 20 repetitions on each side. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

glute activation exercises: band walks

Banded Walks

Start in a standing position with feet about hip-width apart and the band around your ankles. Bend your knees and hinge forward slightly. Keeping your abs engaged, take 10 steps forward and 10 steps back. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

glute activation exercises

Squat to Lateral Leg Lifts

Start by standing with feet hip-width distance apart and squat. With the weight on your heels, return to a standing position and immediately lift your right leg to the side. Repeat this sequence on the left leg. Do 20 repetitions on each side. Repeat for 3 sets.

 

glute activation exercises

Bonus: Seated Isometrics

This is a super-sneaky glute exercise you can do anywhere. Seriously, try it at during your next meeting. Seated in a chair with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor and tighten your glutes underneath you, but stay seated. Breathe normally and hold for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat 5-6 times a day.

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I’m the kind of person that loves abs but hates crunches–I think it’s safe to say I know I am not alone in that statement. When I used to teach abs classes in college, everyone groaned when the word crunches came out of my mouth. Needless to say, that is not the reaction any instructor wants to hear. I made it my mission to avoid crunches at all costs but had to find a way to build the strong core people came to class for. What I’ve come to learn is that it’s not as simple as doing 1,000 crunches a day. The transverse core muscles that sit below the obliques and run across the core must be strengthened first to create a really solid base. Without that, doing crunches just isn’t enough. Here are some at-home exercises you can do to strengthen your whole core and build a strong foundation.

 

home workout plan: plank

Okay, time to get started. All you need is a light set of weights! I recommend not going any higher than five pounds. Trust me, it will feel heavy at the end.

 

1. 20 Dumbbell Renegade Rows

From a plank position, bring the weight close to your body and lift it to your oblique and back down. Repeat this 20 times on each side.

 

2. 20 Superwoman Crunches

On all fours lift the alternating arm and leg straight out holding the dumbbell in your working hand. Repeat this 20 times on each side.

 

home workout plan: side plank

3. Side Plank with 15 Dumbbell Flyes

I’m doing them on my hands here, but the forearm is the more ‘proper’ way of doing it. Find whatever feels most comfortable for you!

 

4. Plank Series

Hold a plank (forearm or on your hands) for 15 seconds in each position:
– Forearm Plank
– Right leg lifted
– Left leg lifted
– Right arm ‘threads the needle’. Keep right leg lifted for more advanced movement.
– Left arm ‘threads the needle’. If you kept your leg lifted on the other side, do it here too.
– Right arm and left leg lifted
– Left arm and right leg lifted
– Forearm Plank

 

home workout plan: v-ups

5. V-ups

Hold the weight in your hands and draw it close to your toes as you come up in V position.

 

6. 20 Lying Bicycle Crunches with Overhead Dumbbell

Hold the weight just off the ground, but don’t let it touch.

Do those 6 exercises once a day and you will definitely feel tighter in the core. It might take some time before you start to see results, but don’t get discouraged! Just keep at it and remember to take things to your level.

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While many of us are dutifully trying to decrease our phone usage, I have to admit there is one area that I am proud to log some extra screen time in: exercise apps. I have several on my phone right now and they have totally helped motivate me to workout harder and longer while adding some much-needed variety to my fitness routine. There are loads of exercise apps out there for just about every goal under the sun, but these 5 make it to the top of my list because they are effective (and fun) for any fitness fanatic.

 

fitness apps

 

Sweat:

App Store Rating: 4.5 Stars / 15K Ratings

Monthly Cost: $19.99

Best For: Women-Focused Fitness

Of all the exercise apps I’ve collected screen time over, this one has gotten the most use. Sweat has multiple programs that help women get on a workout plan that suits them. That’s right, it’s made just for women! I am on week 20 of PWR (power) which gives me workouts I can do at the gym without the steep price of a trainer. I also love BBG (Bikini Body Guide) because it’s so easy to do from home. The best part? BBG workouts are usually 28 minutes whereas PWR can take 55 minutes to complete.

 

30 Day Fitness:

App Store Rating: 4.1 Stars / 30K Ratings

Monthly Cost: $9.99

Best For: Fitness Beginners

Simple to use and refreshingly customizable, this app is perfect for someone that would like to begin exercising but doesn’t know where to start. All workouts can be done from your own home so it’s super convenient. My favorite part is that you can customize your own program by choosing workouts for the core, butt, legs, etc. based on your personal goals. I also love that workouts progressively become more difficult as you go so you will never hit a workout plateau.

 

fitness apps

 

Fit Body:

App Store Rating: 4.3 Stars / 126 Ratings

Monthly Cost: $16.99

Best For: Customized Training

Anna Victoria has 1.2M followers and has helped thousands of women on their fitness journey with her Fit Body Guides and now her Fit Body app. This app has three workout programs suited to each type of training. ‘Shred’ is all bodyweight, high-intensity workouts designed to shed fat, ‘Tone’ is a dumbbell based program with a 50/50 focus on both toning and fat loss, and ‘Sculpt’ is the gym-based strength training program designed to sculpt lean muscle.

 

Asana Rebel:

App Store Rating: 4.6 Stars / 25.6K Ratings

Monthly Cost: Free (In-App Purchases)

Best For: Strength Training

This app has been the perfect compliment to my strength training as it adds balance and flexibility to my workouts with hundreds of modern yoga workouts from fat burn to strength. My favorite part about this one is that it offers mini-sessions that are great for busy schedules or adding 10-20 min of stretches to the end of any workout.

 

Down Dog:

App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 60.1K Ratings

Monthly Cost: Free

Best For: Yogis

If you want to start building your yoga practice, this is a fantastic app to get you there. Choose from 7 different voice options, input your ability level and how much time you have, then get practicing. You can also choose from 12 different practice areas to sharpen a particular area or just rotate through them all.

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Celebrating and taking care of the Earth doesn’t have to be limited to one day, but I love that we get to show the planet some extra love on April 22nd. It’s a particularly powerful day when you think about the fact that people from all over the globe are working towards the same goal. Whether you celebrate Earth Day with family, friends, or take on a solo mission, there are many ways to show your gratitude that are both fun and impactful.  Here are a few easy to implement ideas that you can do 365 days a year:

earth day tips: beach clean up

Spring Clean

We’ve all been to the beach and seen trash left behind. You pick it up, throw it out and move on with your day. What if you started to make a habit of doing an hour or two of that? What a huge difference that can make! Of course, you can clean up any public area near you. Grab some friends, meet up at your favorite local haunt and brighten it up.

 

Go Dark

One of the most memorable Earth Day activities I’ve had was from my early adulthood. I lived with 5 girls and we turned off all the electricity in the house and didn’t use devices. In honor of “Earth Hour,” we just talked by candles. We ate snacks that required no electricity to make and had so much fun turning-off for a bit and simply connecting with each other.

 

earth day tips: reusable bags

 

Shop With a Reusable Bag

Shopping with a reusable bag replaces disposing of so many of the paper and plastic bags you get at the grocery store or a boutique. Offered in many colors and designs, they even look stylish as you head around town picking up your necessities. Their ability to fold down into a small size makes it easy to tote them around or keep in your car. You never know when you might need it!

 

Buy New Consciously

There are loads of brands now that make eco-friendly clothes, give back to charitable causes or often, both. One of my favorite athleisure brands, Spiritual Gangster (makers of this sweatshirt I got from my last Wantable Edit as seen below) donates proceeds to provide a meal to a person in need through their partnership with Feeding America and has donated 11 million meals donated to date. Beyond Yoga, which can also be found in your Wantable Fitness Edits, is dedicated to transparent, ethical practices that support the people that help make the clothes possible.

 

earth day tips: ride your bike

 

Ride Your Bike

You’ve likely seen or even participated in a ‘ride your bike day’ in some capacity whether it be at work or school, but did you keep the momentum going? On Earth Day, wake up a little earlier and bike to work, school or both if you can. One way to shuttle younger kids is a box bike. I use mine daily to get around our city and it’s allowed us to be a one car family which has been impactful for the planet and our family budget as well as being loads of fun for the kids and their friends. Of course, that’s not possible for everyone depending on your climate, but there’s bound to be more eco-friendly (and fun) ways you can get around when weather permits.

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If you exercise you can call yourself a fitness person and if you call yourself a fitness person you’ve probably experienced some sort of soreness or injury. While one is quite temporary, both can be somewhat debilitating and the later can completely derail your fitness efforts–not cool. One easy way to speed up recovery time and help prevent injury? Stretching. Sure, it’s time-consuming and the results aren’t always inherently noticeable, but trust me there are loads of benefits. It protects your muscles, cools your body down and increases flexibility. I visited Stretch Lab in Santa Monica for a 50 min one-on-one stretching session to chat about the most important stretches for those who like me, like a long work out and a short stretching session. Here are four stretches that will keep you moving.

best stretches: quad stretch

1. Quad Stretch

From standing or laying on one side, bring one heel toward your rear-end. Always ensure that your knees stay close together to make sure that the stretch is done safely and properly. Great for runners, yogis, and cyclists, it will help to improve flexibility and is great both before and after your workout.

 

2. Figure 4

Start by laying down or standing up. Bend one leg and cross that calf over the opposite straight leg at the thigh (creating a 4) and slowly bring the straight leg toward chest (or chest to the legs if standing). If you’re ready to go beyond this try a pigeon pose variation for a deeper stretch. This stretch is a great hip opener and gently stretches the lower back and glutes.

 

best stretches: runners lunge

3. Runners Lunge with a Twist:

I don’t want to complicate things, but a little twist after runner’s lunge is the total body stretch we all need. Get into runner’s lunge and come up on to your hands if you do yours down on your forearms (which, go you!) Taking the arm on the same side as the bent leg up to the sky while turning your torso to the same side. Keep the opposite hand grounded and then switch. This stretch benefits the whole body as well as strengthens your stability.

 

4. Side Lunge

From a standing position, separate legs slightly more than hip distance and bend one leg allowing your torso to lean to that side never putting weight directly on the bent knee. It’s a great lower body exercise and you’ll love how it strengthens and tones both your inner and outer thighs!

 

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Sleep is one of the most crucial parts of our overall health. It is easy to give up an hour here and there to watch the Bachelor and sometimes almost impossible to get enough like when you have small children, but it is absolutely imperative for regulating things like weight, mood, muscle growth, and tissue repair. Most of us know how important sleep is, but we still don’t get enough of it and when we do the quality might not be ideal. With that being said, starting your day off on the right foot is equally as important as the way you end it. One surprising thing that can help you improve both your mornings and evenings? Your phone. I know, I know. It seems like the exact opposite of the answer you’d expect, but these meditation apps are a lifesaver and will help you form a healthy habit in your day to day routine. I’ve tested a few of the top-rated meditation apps to give my honest (and hopefully helpful) recommendation.

 

morning meditation

The Mindfulness App:

App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 1K Ratings

Monthly Cost: $9.99

Best For: Getting Started as a Beginner

I found this app and the task at hand (mediation) easy to digest. They’re quick 5 min meditations which were great as a beginner. After completing one of my sessions, the app even told me to congratulate myself. This little reminder might seem trite to more advanced meditators, but to me, it was the validation I needed that I was indeed doing something good for myself.

 

Calm

App Store Rating: 4.8 Stars / 346.8K Ratings

Monthly Cost: $9.99

Best For: Meditating with the Fam

If like me, there’s more than one member of your household who could use help in the sleep department, the variety of content Calm offers might be right up your alley. You can use it to play lullabies, music, sleep stories and meditations. Not sure where to start? Trust me when I say the sleep stories are the best part. There was one narrated by Matthew McConaughey where he spoke to you and then read Wonder by Chris Advansun. He’s such a talented storyteller; I really felt like he was right there telling this sleep story just for me and it filled me with calm.

 

morning meditation

Simply Being

App Store Rating: 4.7 Stars / 1.6K Ratings

Total Cost: $1.99

Best For: Timed Music for Sleep

No more waking up in the middle of the night to white noise coming from your phone and realizing your phone will be dead because you forgot to plug it in. With Simply Being you can choose from 5 meditation times, and it will turn off when it’s over. You have the option to listen to the guided meditation alone or with music or nature sounds. The narrator is female which I dig. Her name is Mary, and she has worked in both conventional and alternative settings as a counselor and healing arts practitioner, which did seem to make the guidance a little more clinical (in a good way) than the other apps.

 

Clementine

App Store Rating: 4.6 Stars / 82 Ratings

Monthly Cost: $0.49 (yes, you read that correctly)

Best For: Morning Meditation

Finally! There’s an app by women, for women who want to radiate confidence but are struggling with anxiety, low self-esteem or just feeling overwhelmed by life’s stresses. Clementine is witty, sharp and aesthetically on-point. I found the five-minute ‘Confidence boost’ to start the day or before a big interview to be really helpful. I actually used it before a job interview, and I got the job! Coincidence? Maybe, but it obviously didn’t hurt me.

 

morning meditation

Headspace

App Store Rating: 4.9 Stars / 476.7K Ratings

Monthly Cost: $12.99 (after a free course on the basics)

Best For: Spiritual Meditation

This is the most popular of meditation apps and for a good reason. I have been using it for about 5 years to practice mindfulness, get the skills I need to be more productive during the day and focus on the things that matter most. The Basics course is entirely free and will teach you the fundamental techniques of meditation and mindfulness– that’s a huge plus if you’re starting out. After that, by subscription, gain access to the full Headspace meditation library which includes meditations for everything from anxiety to mediation for kids.

 

Sleep Smart

App Store Rating: 5 Stars / 2 Ratings

Cost: $1.99

Best For: Improving Quality of Sleep

Not into mediation or already mastered it? There’s an app for that. Sleep Smart is a science-based app both for people experiencing sleeping problems and those that just want to improve their sleep. It helps you collect data about your sleep activity using the smart functions portion allowing you to make better adjustments to your sleep schedule. Sleep experts weigh in using the latest methods to give users tools to improve their sleep and establish new routines.

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Lately, I’ve been losing a bit of interest in my regular workout routine. The gym and my typically refreshing indoor yoga classes just haven’t been enough to help me out of my rut. When I start to feel my routine has become monotonous, I know it’s time for a new perspective. Getting outside for exercise is often something I reserve for special occasions like travel or long weekends, but there are so many benefits to skipping the gym and working out outside. It rejuvenates your mind, body, and soul so much that it’s really a no-brainer to make it part of your weekly routine. Not quite convinced? Here are four amazing benefits of skipping the gym and getting outdoors.

 

mind body and soul: outdoor fitness

Natural Mood Elevator

There’s a reason mama, model, and organic skincare entrepreneur, Miranda Kerr says, “I find regular yoga, meditation and getting out in nature—a walk or a swim in the ocean—are great ways at managing and overcoming stress.” Getting outside helps elevate mood, manage stress, increase energy and can even spark creativity. Next time you’re feeling a little bit down take a walk and a few deep breaths before anything else. It might lead to an unexpected sweat session or creative breakthrough.

 

mind body and soul: outdoor fitness

Can contribute to more graceful aging

Research published in the Journal of Aging Health shows that getting outside on a daily basis may help us stay healthy and functioning longer in old age. Participants in the study who spent time outdoors every day at age 70 showed fewer complaints of aching bones or sleep problems when they reached the age of 77 than those who did not head outside each day. Get outside so you can better enjoy your older years.

 

mind body and soul: outdoor fitness

Longer Workouts

Being outside can make you healthier, but some benefits are more tangible than that.  A Huff Post article on the subject states, “Not only are the outdoors great for making exercise feel easier and often more enjoyable, but some outdoor elements — like those mountains — directly contribute to weight loss. Simply spending time at high altitude could help shed some pounds, even if you’re just visiting. The higher heights can speed up your metabolism, while actually lessening hunger cravings.” That’s one heck of an argument for some SPF45 and a long outdoor hike.

 

mind body and soul: outdoor fitness

Increased Vitamin D

We all know by now logging time in the sun is one way we can ensure our bodies get more Vitamin D. Why is that so important? At the risk of scaring you all away from your screens and sending you running for the nearest exit; Vitamin D deficiency has now been linked to multiple types of cancer including breast cancer, mental health issues like depression, and even weight gain. So head outside (with some protective sunscreen, of course) and soak up some rays.

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Who wants a round, perky butt? *raises hand* We all do, but glute exercises to help build that booty can be difficult, daunting and if you’re not well-versed in lifting heavy weights… scary! Why is a killer booty workout so important? Well, aside from making your butt perkier, rounder and perhaps even a little larger, weighted glute exercises are a basically a results factory for your entire body. Each time you squat or deadlift with the bar you’re targeting your glutes, but giving yourself a stronger core, more defined legs, and toned arms. Plus, you’re helping to ensure your knees and hips stay in proper alignment. What’s not to love about that?

glute exercises

 

Okay, so how does one get started? First, take a deep breath. We all start glute workouts the same way. The very beginning. A year-and-a-half ago I was there looking at the seriously toned girl at my gym deadlifting 200lbs hoping that could be me, but feeling more than inadequate. I spent months laying the groundwork with good glute work to raise that booty up and now I’m very proud to say I can deadlift almost as much as her. I’ve managed to deadlift 190lbs so far which I honestly never thought that would be possible two years ago. How did I do it? Working my way up s-l-o-w-l-y from beginner-friendly exercises which are comprised of resistance work with a resistance band (grab one on Amazon if you don’t have one) and Pilates-inspired moves to get those muscles and brain ready for the more advanced stuff. Today, I’m excited to share the tried and true exercises that made my workout regimen (and my glutes) more well-rounded.

 

glute exercises

 

Resistance-band Deep Squats and Side Steps

The resistance squat helps to activate the IT band and external rotators. Focusing on the muscles and fibers increases the neuro-muscular connection which will help maintain a proper form when doing weighted squats. Always remember: you do not want to let the knees pass the toes and maintain a 90-degree angle. For the side steps, stay in the squat position with the band below the knees or at the ankles. Staying low, take one step to the right and back, then one step to the left and back for one rep.

 

glute exercises

 

Butt Kick Back and Bridge Hip Thrusts

A butt kickback has the added benefit of targeting your hamstrings too. Start on all fours with a band around your feet. Extend your right foot behind you, keeping the band straight, and lower for 1 rep. Do this without the band for a modification (don’t worry, it will still torch your glutes). As for bridge hip thrusts, these are great to do to a Pussy Cat Doll’s song–just trust me. It’s a thing. From bridge position with the band places around your legs below your knees, simply lift and lower your hips. To make it more difficult you can hold a weight at your chest and/or place shoulders on an incline to increase the range of motion.

 

glute exercises

Bridge with Leg Lift

Get in to bridge position on your shoulders and feet and extend one leg straight into the air reaching for the sky. Lower and lift your leg for one rep. Being in bride pose has so many benefits outside of toning your glutes, so don’t be afraid to use it to help you get your blood flowing or to alleviate stress.

 

glute exercises

Standing Kickback

Stabilize yourself on something – a wall or tree will do. With the band around both legs (at about ankle-height) kick back your left leg keeping band taut and return to a standing position for one rep. Note: you can bring each out to the side to target either side of your glutes as well!

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You’ve selected the perfect gift and painstakingly planned a unique and oh-so-memorable Valentine’s Day for you and your beloved one or bestie, but then realize you don’t have a single thing to wear. Don’t fret, that last part is so not true. Of course you have things to wear. I’ve rounded up three trendy outfits that are as easy to pull together as they are cute—perfect for any way you spend your Valentine’s Day.

trendy outfits: valentines day outfit

Romantic Date Night Out

I always love a good floral wrap front blouse for romantic Valentine’s Day plans. It’s feminine, sweet and adjustable (gotta leave some wiggle room for a big ol’ piece of chocolate cake). Red and pink are obvious choices for the holiday but don’t be afraid to venture out into other pastels if those aren’t your go-to colors. Accents like fringe or ruffles can add a little bit of modern edge and femininity (work it, girl).

 

trendy outfits: valentines day outfit

Movie Night With the Gals

First, can I just say I am all about having a night-in with girlfriends more often? Studies have shown time with friends can be good for your health and even increase life expectancy. It’s no easy feat maintaining friendships as a busy adult–moves, children and job changes can make keeping in touch more difficult. But staying close to those that truly make an impact on your happiness can impact your health, it’s a no brainer to work them into your schedule more often. I prefer an intimate night in with the besties to a wild night out and there’s no night like movie night for relaxed denim and a casual tee. Just add a utility jacket in a romantic hue and you’ll be cozy and chic.

 

trendy outfits: valentines day outfit

Just Another Thirsty Thursday

Even before I had kids, I appreciated a good all-black outfit and now that black fabric easily hides what little hugs from cute, but unwiped faces may leave behind, it’s basically my uniform. Make your wine sipping Valentine’s Day date night outfit be as stress-free and chic as possible with a black moto jacket–they go with everything so make sure you get one stat if you don’t have one already–and finish your ensemble with black denim and a black sweater. Want a little more detail? Add prints and patterns to break up your look.

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