Friday, January 28, 2011

Working it out...at home!

"Everything changes when you have a baby." I can't tell you how many times I heard this while pregnant...and for good reason- it's absolutely (and obviously) true! Everything changes. Even the things you don't really think about beforehand- being able to watch an entire season of Seinfeld in one sitting, staying in bed for hours on a Sunday morning, surfing around the internet, bored, on a Tuesday evening, making a quick trip to Target at 9pm by yourself, just because. For me, another bullet on that list would being able to go to the gym whenever my little heart desired. Of course I wouldn't trade my Henry-time for anything, but coming from someone who pre-baby found their self at the gym close to everyday, it was a bit of an adjustment once my number one priority wasn't...me. It's interesting how all notions of selfishness fly out the window when you have a child. And not that taking much-needed time for yourself is ever selfish, but now, my time isn't really mine...there's a certain little guy who dictates most of it! ;) So, due to this new schedule I am on, I've had to become a little creative in my workouts.  Before Henry I would often get up at 4:45am and arrive at the gym by 5, workout until about 6am or maybe even 6:30, then come home and be at work by 8. This was ideal to me, and getting my workouts done and out of the way has always made me the happiest. Thanks to my extremely supportive husband I still get to the go to the gym in the evenings when it works out with our schedule, but I can't always make it if one, we have plans with family or friends or two, the only time I'll have for the three of us is that night. And "the three of us" always wins in my book.

So, I try to get a little creative while Henry is napping. We don't yet have an elliptical (soon!), so if a gym visit isn't in the cards my cardio is done either via video, or by taking Henry out on our often-daily walks. If you're not a mama, you can go the video route, or just take yourself on a walk or run outside. It's always good to mix it up, so I try to never ever do the same cardio two days in a row. Even when I'm able to go to the gym five days in a row I mix it up by breaking up my say, 40-minute cardio session into two twenty-minute segments on different machines, or if I have an hour I'll do the same but on three different machines. Variety is key.

My very favorite magazine in the entire world is Oxygen. You may have already seen this magazine on your newsstand but if you're not into the super muscular look of fitness competitors you may have just passed right over it. The women on the cover are typically ripped- all muscle and very low-body fat. At first glance you might think, "this magazine is NOT for me." But I swear, it is!


Oxygen is amazing for a woman just getting into working out, all the way up to the expert or fitness competitor. It includes fitness plans, weight training routines, clean eating inspiration (from the clean eating queen herself, Tosca Reno). Everything is extremely easy to understand. In fact, I recommended Oxygen to a far-away friend who couldn't afford a trainer, and she was able to learn and implement one of the weight routines into her workout quite easily. So, if you're looking for some fresh motivation definitely pick up an issue, or at least thumb through one next time you're at the bookstore. This magazine will help you both in the gym and at home, as it provides all sorts of workouts and moves for each environment. The only negative about the magazine is the over-abundance of diet-pill/protein powder/wonder product ads. They can get annoying but the content is so good that I skim right over them.

Next up, videos. I am going to recommend a few tried and true videos that have been in my rotation forever.  The first is my favorite video ever- Billie Blanks' Ultimate Tae Bo.  This video is HARD and is a full 90-minutes long (although at 60 minutes Billie gives you the option to stop or go on). When I'm in the mood to really sweat I pop in this DVD and I am never disappointed. Plus, Billie is kind of ridiculously funny in all of his seriousness that you just have to smile and love him and his extreme cheesiness. And don't forget to pay attention to all the other people in the video too- they are really hilarious and always make me laugh. Oh, and "Tae Bo Get Ripped: Advanced" is also very challenging if you'd like another Tae Bo option. Both are full body workouts that rely on Tae Bo's traditional non-stop combinations to get your body in tip-top shape. If you're a beginner and the moves seem challenging, just go slow and stick with it- you'll get it in time. And the best part of all- you don't need any equipment.


The second video I adore is Jillian Michael's 30-day Shred. To me, this video is easier than the Tae Bo videos, but I really enjoy it and I think it's a great workout that utilizes various exercises and body parts. Plus, I love love love Jillian!  For this video you do need a set of hand weights and possibly a mat, but you could always improvise and use water jugs or soup cans if you want to get crazy! ;)  This video is made for all levels, and as you progress you can change it up. Best of all, the workouts are short which makes this video a great option for mamas with limited time. If you're serious about getting in shape though, I'd add in additional cardio on your own.



Thirdly, I love P90X. Now this program is not for everyone, but I thought I would just throw it into the mix because I really love these videos for an at-home workout. A lot of people have asked me about them once they find out that Hank and I use them, and yes, they do work...and yes, they are hard! A couple of years ago I did the actual program, but I need variety outside of working out at home to a video everyday, so now I just work them into my routine on occasion.  I will say though that all of the Beach Body DVDs I've tried have been great, so check out their site if you're interested.


Outside of the videos, it's always good to have some cheap equipment at home. There's no need to run out and buy a million things...you just need a few items that have multiple uses. First off, resistance bands! 





I'd recommend getting a set of these at Target or similar retailer- they're inexpensive and often come in a set of three various resistances. I like to use these in place of weights now and then, and they are the BEST if you have to travel for work or play; simply stick them in your suitcase and you can do resistance training anywhere. The premise behind these bands are the same as weights, but they are a lot more versatile. If you're interested in workouts using these bands you can check out this link for some basic moves, or simply google the term. Oxygen mag often integrates them into workouts as well.

I'd also recommend getting a cheap set of hand weights. I say a set because if you just get 5-pounders you'll soon grow out of them for some of the larger muscle exercises and need 8+ pounders, and you'll spend more money buying them separately than all at once, together. At home we have 5, 8, 10 and 12. At the gym I use more but these are a great mix for at home workouts. You can also look into kettlebells too- they are an amazing calorie burner/muscle toner. And again, Oxygen mag is a GREAT resource for using weights safely and properly, and Jillian Micheal's videos do a good job of explaining as well.



The last simple item I'm going to recommend to get your "home gym" started is an exercise ball!  I use our beloved ball for all sorts of ab work, I sit or lay back on it while doing various exercises with weights, and it's also a comfy chair for an extra guest. This is a great site for workouts using this tool!






So, these are just a few things you can do now to get a small home gym started and to get your body moving!  There is always a way to get active, even if you can't get to the gym or have time for hours of working out.  Quick videos, circuit training at home, walks outside...they all work. There is no better time than now, so make yourself a priority and start small. Every bit of change you make will make a difference, so remember that when you feel discouraged.
I'm going to be posting about motivation and what works for me next week, so stay tuned for that too!  And if you have any questions, please ask away, and check back in the comments for my answers.

and p.s...80s babies, remember this?! hahaha!


34 comments:

  1. great tips! I never feel like there's a full workout at home... I'll have to think of this when there's a little one in the pic for me.

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  2. from one workout mama friend to another, I am so giddy to see you post this. Can't believe you didn't include the Abs of Steel VHS you have! :)
    love how you say being bored is not possible anymore once you have kids. So true!
    love you friend!
    xo

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  3. This is a great post! I love that mag and have been reading it forever. I tore a muscle doing the 30 day shred last year :( I could not workout for over a month. Another good DVD is Core Fusion http://amzn.to/hxOY6g

    Thanks for posting this ;)

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  4. thanks so much for this. I am not a mama but really trying to get in shape. So thanks so much for this post, will be bookmarking it!

    your the sweetest!

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  5. I love this post! After I started reading your blog the beginning of last year I got serious on eating clean and now my little family all does too. I love Oxygen and Clean Eating Magazine too. Thanks for posting this for all us mamas:) xo!

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  6. Great post, I heard P90X WORKS! but is super hardcore!! I really need some motivation & energy to get into shape, thanks for the tips!

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  7. I'll have to check out that magazine! Right now we are doing the Insanity workout program (beachbody). It's so intense, but really good!

    P.S. Just found your blog! Love it! xoxo

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  8. I'm glad you posted this. I've been wanting to try a video but had no idea how to choose. I think there are a few on Netflix, so maybe one of your recommendations will be on there. :)

    I've also heard that having a mini trampoline (rebounding) is very good for you. I would love to have one of those in addition to all of the things you listed.

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  9. I have a three month old baby girl & I can tell you that it does get easier! Day by day, little things you were unable to do are suddenly more manageable & it's so nice to know that you are still your own person!

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  10. I just found your blog and wanted to let you know that you will make it back to gym one day! I have an 18-month-old daughter who's pretty social. On the days when I don't work, we pretty much always go to the gym in the morning. It's just part of our routine and she LOVES going to the daycare. I just switched over to the Y and they have programs for kids 18mo+ in the day, so she can play, craft, sign while I get my workout in. It'll come...just give it time! In the meantime, looks like you've got some great home workout options!

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  11. wow!!! i love this!!! thanks for the tips!!!
    lovely weekend!!

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  12. thank you SO much dani! i needed this boost of encouragement and kick in the butt.

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  13. This is such a well rounded post! Thank you so much for all of the tips-my work schedule is about to change for the better and I'll have more time to do the things I want/need. I totally agree about the Tae-Bo videos-I love them and they really give a great workout! :)

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  14. Holy shrimp! It's so crazy that you made this post! I found out about Tosca Reno and Eating Clean earlier this week and ordered the book. I got it in the mail yesterday and have been reading it nonstop! I also love my dates with Billy Blanks. He's my hero. <3 Love this post! Woo hoo motivation!

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  15. Holy motivation! You are one inspiring lady, Miss Danielle. Loving all these tips!

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  16. I totally had the Get In Shape Girl stuff. Haha!

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  17. Thanks for the suggestions. I'm currently 6 months pregnant and I want to stay in shape after baby. My favorite dvd is the 10 minute prenatal pilates. You can put together 10 minute pilates workouts including: core, total, flexibility etc. Love it!

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  18. I just started Jillian Michaels 30 day shred this week and I really like it. I also have an elliptical machine that I like to use after. Great Post!

    -Kat
    http://katrinagelino.blogspot.com/

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  19. thank you for all the tips!! what a great post!

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  20. love this post! I recently got married, and being a young, poor married couple meant no more gym for me. Living somewhere wear it snows, it can be hard to be active and workout DVDs are a definite help! Thanks!

    http://3-rounds-and-a-sound.blogspot.com/

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  21. I LOVE Beachbody videos. I have Slim in 6 and Hip op Abs...both GREAT videos. Their length is perfect for my daughter's nap times!

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  22. Thank you so much for all the tips! I just started working out about 2 weeks ago and I've dropped 15 lbs. It's just a start but I'm so excited to do the 30 day Shred!!

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  23. I'm a new mom too and love the 30 day shred combined with the treadmill. I like the shred cause I can sit my daughter in her swing then talk to her while i'm working out like counting my reps to her and such.

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  24. I need to check out Oxygen! I did Insanity and loved it but then lost motivation since the holidays. This post makes me excited to start up again.

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  25. Thank you so much for this post Danielle! I had to babies 14 mos apart and trying to get back into shape ... this helps. Thanks for the boost and for the advice!

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  26. I swear we have the same thought patterns sometimes! I literally just bought the Jillian Michaels DVD last week, I haven't even had a chance to use it, but I'm super excited now!

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  27. Thank you for posting this. Even though it's only been 8 weeks, I've been feeling pretty shitty about my body since having Kaetana. So I've been wanting to try working out at home but had no idea where to start! I will definitely be checking out a few of those videos, too.

    Oh, also, I think you and Henry need to meet up with me and Kaetana soon! I still haven't seen the little guy, and John is always telling me how adorable he is when you come in to New Frontiers. :)

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  28. I love Taebo! When I was younger and it was more popular, I did it all the time and I still use Billy Blanks' tapes today! I hear good things about both Jillian Michaels and P90X but I think Jillian they both may be too intense for me... Until the snow melts and I can start running again, I'll stick to good old taebo and yoga! Great post!

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  29. Oh my goodness!!! I totally forgot about Get in Shape, Girl! I had the ribbon and some other random book. Too funny!

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  30. I LOVE Oxygen! I just discovered it this past Christmas..great magazine :-)

    I also use the 30 day shred..nice quick workout that covers everything.

    Billy Blanks is on my list..my mom got me one of his dvd's but you need a speedbag go with it..doh! But I want the tae box..I do taekwondo so I think this will be right up my alley :-)

    I am posting a February Get Fit challenge on my blog www.grooveygrover.blogspot.com tomorrow morning..pop by..maybe you will be interested in it!!

    Vanessa

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  31. Oh! You too cute!
    This blog is so motivating and inspiring that sometimes it's hard to believe it's real!!!
    I LOVED this post! A LOT!
    I always thought that it would be impossible to workout at home (just like I thought that it was impossible for me to loose 15 pounds, just by altering a couple of already healthy, eating habits) but MEN!!! You make it sound so possible!
    I'm officially "addicted" to your blog and I love it! All of it!
    Thank you! Thank you very, very much!
    Kisses,
    Duda

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  32. This is great! Thanks for all of the tips. Very motivating!

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