Happy 2016! Was hoping to get this post out earlier this week but alas, life took over. In any case…..
Normally, on New Year’s day, I’m a big fan of being lazy in my bed and happily taking a few days off from the gym, But this year, I was really feeling particularly blah and wanted to get my butt in gear and start the year off right. So I went to the gym. Yeah, I was pretty shocked myself. While I was there, I did some reflecting. I noticed a trend from last year and realized both individually and as a family, I/we tried new things. Here were some of the new things I/we tried from last year:
- tried new foods (for ex. eggplant)
- went to Hershey Park – our family’s first foray into a theme park
- started a blog (ha!) and learned more about web design
- took my first parenting class and worked on my own self improvement
- learned QuickBooks
In that reflection, I realized that here I was, at the gym, doing something new for me and decided not to make a resolution but instead, approach 2016 with the mantra #newyearnewthings. So, for me, going to the gym that day was my “new thing” and my way of starting the year off on the right foot.
Since this is probably the most popular time of the year to discuss fitness and health, I thought writing my first post about exercising was a good first post. But more specifically, I wanted to write about exercising AT HOME (ironic given I was at the gym having this thought) because I realize that everyone has to start somewhere and not everyone has the ability or time to belong to a gym.
Quick backstory – When my 2nd daughter was born in September 2011, I belonged to a gym and I took her with me a few times (older daughter was at school) and put her in the babysitting. But once the winter rolled around I grew more concerned with putting her in the babysitting room with other kids when she was still only a few months old, knowing if she got any infection that she was too young for antibiotics. It was a tough decision to make but I quit the gym. Once I committed to the idea, I realized that working out at home would actually be enjoyable and preferable for me and my life at the time. I am lucky that we have a big enough basement for an elliptical machine, free weights, a TV and DVD player, and floor space so I went ahead and made a routine for myself. It consisted of cardio/weights and a mix of DVD’s and exercises from Pinterest. I exercised 3-4x/week (and adjusted my “diet” as well, I did have baby weight I was trying to lose!). Since time was also an issue for me, everything I did was between 20-40 minutes max. And slowly but surely, I lost the weight.
If you plan to start exercising at home and don’t own an elliptical machine or a treadmill, here are the DVD’s I used and rotated between:
Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown (my introduction to the yoga) – 2 levels and both are 20 minutes long but you get your heart rate up enough that it makes for a good cardio workout.
She calls this a “hybrid” style of yoga. Note: Looks like there is another DVD she has now called Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno! Each DVD is $10.
Mari Winsor 20 minute Pilates (from the Basic Workout Set) – I actually started taking Pilates (the mat kind not with reformers) a few years out of college and continue to do it to this day. I like Pilates for it’s low impact work out but you really work your core and you may finish the exercise routine a bit sore, but in a good way. Mari Windsor is like the Pilates guru so her basic set is a good place to start if you have never done Pilates before. The Basic Set is $60 and comes with 3 different exercises but you can find the 20 minute exercise here on YouTube.
Mari Winsor Lower Body Pilates – This DVD has 4 different exercises that highlight different parts of your lower body (key after I had a baby). So it’s a good change from the regular Pilates exercises because these focus on your lower body but also still work your core. I tend to do the first exercise group (the one that highlights the hips) the most since that’s a problem area for me. It is $7.
Body by Bethenny (Frankel) – This was the longest DVD I did at 40 minutes. In it Bethenny does yoga with a certified instructor. It is a good work out and very true to yoga (vs. Jillian Michaels’ Yoga Meltdown) but you feel like you’re exercising with 2 of your best friends so there is a lightness to it I enjoyed. Plus, there is an “extra” with a short set of weight exercises you can do, too. I would consider it Vinyasa style yoga. It is $8.
When I did the cardio/weights, my goal was 30 minutes of cardio on the elliptical followed by 10-15 minutes of weights and core.
Other exercise at home options are the video sets from BeachBody (the company that produces the 21 Day Fix, P90, P90X, Insanity, PiYo and more), the girls from Tone It Up (they have videos, recipes, and more), Pinterest is also an amazing source for finding exercises, too (here is my Pinterest Exercise board) and YouTube (especially great option for travel). Also, Mari Winsor has a BUNCH of different Pilates DVD’s out there to pick from.
So, hope this provides some motivation/ideas for starting the new year with a new exercise plan.