Monday, February 15, 2010

Loving Fitness

I LOVE to workout! Even if I'm having a bad day it becomes brighter when I do my workout. Now I realize many of you may not feel the same way but I really want you to. There are so many different types of exercise and I know you can find the right one for you.

I was watching Biggest Loser last week and really connected with something one of the players said. He said if he didn't find a workout he loved to do he would never stick with it once the show was over. That is so true! For him it may be the show but for others it could be that high school reunion, family reunion, bikini season, etc., that keeps them motivated. What happens when your motivation is gone and the monotony of working out sets in? I'll tell you what, you'll lose interest and momentum. That is NOT good! Today I hope to show you other ways to get your workout in and keep it fun and interesting.

For the Dancers:

Hip Hop Abs- I have done Hip Hop Abs several times and had a lot of fun doing it. Shaun T. can be a little bit much sometimes but you get use to him and his personality. The results are really worth it. If you're unsure check out some clips or get one DVD from eBay and try it out.

Bollywood Booty- This is a fun, belly dance inspired workout. I actually had a good time doing this workout and really felt my core when it was over.

Yoga Dance Fusion- This workout combines endurance, flexibility and strength to give you a fresh perspective on the fusion of yoga and dance. The fluidity and gracefulness of this workout is what I enjoy most.

There are also lots of dance classes available at the gym. I know my local 24 Hour Fitness offers classes from salsa to hip hop and they are always packed so they must be fun : )

For the Outdoor Type:

Take a walk. Yeah, I know it sounds obvious but you can mix it up. Try adding in walking lunges, squats, burpees, push-ups, etc.

Rock Climbing- Even if you don't have an area outdoors to rock climb, there are gyms that have rock climbing walls available. Check online. If you love it and can stick with it, it just may be the workout for you!

Mountain Biking- Mountain biking demands endurance and power in your legs and core. It will also build tremendous upper body strength and power as you become a more advanced rider. Your balance will also be tested in slick, bumpy and/or steep conditions. An hour of riding will burn about 600 calories.

There's a little playground and a softball field near my house. On a nice day, if I decide I just want to get a real quick outdoor workout in, I get over to the field, spend a couple minutes limbering up, and then... depending on how I feel, do about 10-20 minutes of the following exercises with almost no rest in between:

-50, 75, or 100-yard wind sprints

-hill sprints (if you have a hill nearby)

-pushup variations

-walking lunge variations

-bodyweight squat variations

-box jump, squat jump, or lunge jump variations

-pullups on the playground monkey bars

-mountain climbers on ground

Sometimes I'll rotate through all of these exercises and sometimes I'll just pick a couple of them and just keep alternating. Whatever I choose, I keep the rest periods very short (10-30 seconds at most) so that the intensity stays as high as possible. This really maximizes the fat burning hormonal response and metabolism boosting response you get from these workouts, given the brief duration of the workout. Believe me, if you do this at a high speed clip, you'll get a killer workout in as little as 10-20 minutes, and then you can get back home and get on with your life.

For the Martial Arts Enthusiast:

Yep, that would be me! As I stated before, I adore kickboxing workouts. I get so sore every time I do them and I like being sore!

Kickboxing class- Just about any gym you go to will have some sort of martial arts based class. I have been to many and thoroughly enjoy them. Check out your local gym and go to one at a less busy time of day if you're shy. I go to the one in the morning and it is far less busy than the one at night but it may be the opposite at your gym. Go workout and keep an eye on the classes to see which one you would feel most comfortable doing.

Martial Arts Dojo- There are so many martial arts studios! These are far different from the classes you would take at a gym but oh my, you will get a serious workout! HERE is a directory, find one in your area and go check it out.

Kickboxing DVD's- There are so many and I have reviewed several of them. They are a great investment!

For the Hardcore:

STS- Cathe outdid herself again with this amazing shock training system! I am currently doing my 2nd round and am amazed at how much more weight I can lift. It's a very motivating program and I know it would keep you on track with your strength goals. This program requires an aerobic step, a stability ball, a barbell, various dumbbells and a pull-up bar so if you don't have that equipment it may be a large investment.

P90X- This is an awesome system! I have done it twice and had great results both times. Tony has a funny way of making you forget you're working out and that's a good thing sometimes ; ) The great thing is that the only equipment you need are various dumbbells and a pull-up bar. There are even variations in the workouts that allow you to use resistance bands in place of the pull-up bar and dumbbells. I just realized I have never done a review of this awesome system. I'll make a mental note to do that soon!

Insanity- This workout, as stated, is insane! If you are ready for a serious challenge, this is it! The best thing about this workout is that the only equipment you need is yourself. I love that kind of workout!

Chalean Extreme- This is the female version of P90X. Now, that's not to say it's easier, it's not! It just has a woman's touch and that's why I liked it so much. Chalene is such an amazing motivator and that may be just what you need to stick with it.

For the Adventurer:

Surfing- Okay, now I know this isn't as readily available for a lot of you but if you've never thought about it, maybe you should. Go take a few lessons and see if it's something that you could do long term and love. It's a great sport to build core strength and that is so important. It's also great for balance, coordination, muscle tone and endurance.

Train for a Marathon or Triathlon- This is something I've always wanted to do. It is on my list and I hope to do it once my boys are a little older and I can really prepare for it. There's something about the camaraderie that really makes these sports enjoyable.

Stay Limber:

Don't forget to keep yoga and stretching a regular part of any program you choose. Staying limber is the best way to avoid injury! Take a look at my yoga/stretching reviews.

Now go out there and find a workout you love!

What is your favorite workout?



The Hot and Fit said...

I recently discovered INSANITY and I love it!!! I am absolutely addicted and can see that I have gotten so much stronger. I actually have quite a few beachbody programs because i am into the craze but have only followed INSANITY thus far (I also add in P90X sessions at times).

I think shaun t is very different in hip hop abs. I like him more in insanity, but then again, I haven't even completed one workout from hip hop abs.

I love your blog! Its very informative!

RawSierra said...

How does Chalene Extreme work? I notice there are 3 you stick to each phase for 1 month? Your blog is very motivating! Thanks!

TheFitnessFreak said...

Thanks Hot and Fit, I love writing it!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) said...

Hi Nicole!!!!!
Well this is a great post and so info packed and straight to the point, love it!

As you know I love yoga and for me it's not a "rest" or mellow as it is for some and i know you use it more like your lighter week compared to your other workouts. For me, i have days where i do more yoga/harder yoga but always do some. I also walk with my husband 30-60 mins per day, sometimes power and fast, sometimes slower, but it's our time and our thing and it has been our saving grace as skylar is in the jogger with us chilling :)

Enjoy your week, my friend!

simpledaisy said...

What a great post!!
My most favorite is cycling...but I do like to run too!!!
And I can't wait to get Insanity...I already do P90X and just feel like it's time to push myself even harder!

TheFitnessFreak said...

Thanks SimpleDaisy! Insanity is awesome. I like the break from lifting weights but all the while building great muscles : )
Cycling and running, two workouts I long to do but can't : ( I would tell you why but TMI, haha!

Lizzie M. said...

I loved Chalean Extreme. For me, anything that sticks to a schedule is great because I don't want to miss a day and get "behind"!


Love this post and totally agree with it. I hated working out until I discovered kettlebells.

Angelika said...

Wow, that's a whole lot of workout! Personally, I like to stick to a select few workouts that I have tried and they worked for me. You do them over and over until you have learned the routines by heart. I'll reach for new stuff, sure, but only after I know that my body 'has gotten used to' the old routines.
Anyway, great list!

Kristen's Raw said...

Great post! Thanks for the information.

I'm a weight lifting type of gal and for cardio... anything that makes me sweat! I wish i were a runner (at least I'd like to do it sometimes) but unfortunately, I'm not.


Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

I love exercising too! I did a whole post about why does everyone write about it like it's such a chore...magazines make it sound awful, but it's great!

shannonmarie said...

Those are great ideas. I am a little addicted to working out. I never miss a workout, even during my pregnancy.

I usually do a combination of yoga, Pilates, cardio, etc. Dance is my fave, especially if I can pretend I am a cheerleader or something in my cute workout attire. It makes me feel young and sexy again. Sometimes us mommies just have to do that :-)

TheFitnessFreak said...

I agree Amanda! I can't imagine my life without it. It truly shapes who I am.

Dance is a great workout I agree Shannonmarie! Yes, anything that can make us moms feel sexy : )

I should take a picture of my workout collection and put it up Angelika. You would think I have workout ADD : )

Mindy said...

First off- love the new pic! secondly- I'm running this year to qualify for the NYC 2011 Marathon, so if you want a buddy to train for a marathon with I'm your gal! (if you don't mind the long distance marathon buddy thing:) Maybe we could even both travel and run a half together sometime in the next year... I love running races on vacation- it can be a very motivating goal...

TheFitnessFreak said...

Thanks Mindy : ) That would be so cool to run the NY Marathon. I have such an issue with running. It has to do with having 3 kids and a knee that talks back when I run. My friend is a big time runner and I've always wished I could run with her. Even jumping has become harder, sniff, sniff :o( Thanks for the offer!

Katie said...

I just found your site, and I LOVE this post! I am also kind of an exercise addict, and I can't understand why people look at it as a chore or something that "has" to be done. I wake up and almost every day, it is the first thing I WANT to do!

I just started P90X this week, and I am loving it so far! I am sore and tired and hungry, so I know it is working. I am actually planning to post my review of the first week tomorrow, I'd love it if you check it out and tell me what you think!

TheFitnessFreak said...

Thank you Katie : )

P90X is great! I have done it twice and loved it both times. I am starting Insanity in a few weeks and am excited to see the results. I'll keep an eye out for your P90X review! I was really hungry too. The key is to make sure you eat every 2-3 hours so you don't get too hungry and eat like crazy. Enjoy!


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