Move It Monday – At-Home Yoga

In an ideal world, I would get to the gym, to my barre studio, or out for a run every day. I crave movement and feel my best when I get in some form of exercise on the daily.

But, life and work and motherhood happen – and sometimes my only option for movement is to do an at-home workout. And sometimes, my only window for exercise is in the wee hours of the early morning.

I live in a second-floor condo and while I may want to do a workout with lots of cardio and jumping, I try to be a courteous neighbor. Enter at-home yoga! I can move and stretch and sweat – all without disturbing those below me or my sleeping daughter!

For the past five years, I have been a devotee of Jillian Michaels workouts and one of my very favorites is her Yoga Meltdown DVD. This DVD has two workouts – Level 1 and Level 2. While some of the moves are more challenging on Level 2 (crow and wheel), I find Level 1 to be a harder overall workout.

Each workout is about 30 minutes and includes a warm-up and a cooldown. As you flow through poses, Jillian has you “rep them out” (do repetitions of movement in each pose) to get in some cardio in addition to the strength work of yoga.

I use a yoga mat but it’s not necessary to have one as you can do the workouts on any hard surface. No other equipment is needed!

I do these workouts often. So often, that I have pretty much the entire DVD memorized! But I love them! They get the job done when I am short on time and need to be relatively quiet while I exercise.

I also have Jillian’s Yoga Inferno DVD which I don’t do as often (but writing this post is reminding me to get back to this DVD!) The two 30-minute power yoga workouts – which Jillian and her crew do in some sort of desert, wearing sunglasses – are more fast paced than Yoga Meltdown.

The first workout uses body weight along with 30-second cardio intervals. The second workout incorporates light hand weights, “combining traditional resistance moves with classic yoga poses for a dynamic, flowing, and challenging practice.”

These workouts involve some jumping and high-intensity cardio moves so they will definitely have you sweating. But, they’re quick and before you know it, they’re over!

Looking for yoga that’re more portable? Since becoming a Whole30 Certified Coach, I have been introduced to TMAC Fitness, an online workout portal created by former college football player and ACE Certified Personal Trainer Todd McCullough.

For $14.95 a month, TMAC offers a library of 20-minute workouts (Cardio, HITT, Beginner) that you can do anywhere, anytime with no equipment. Recently, he added a handful of yoga workouts and I recently did one (via my laptop) while on vacation.

The workout I did was a 24-minute “Morning Flow” with Belden. It is labeled as “Moderate” in intensity and I found it totally doable. I didn’t sweat like I do during my Jillian yoga workouts but it was a great stretch and an awesome way to move my body without having to get to a yoga studio.

TMAC Fitness offers new subscribers a chance to try a month free – Use code WHOLE30 at checkout! There are no strings – you can cancel if you don’t want to subscribe past the month. We are not an affiliate here, just sharing the love of movement!

Another option for yoga-on-the-go is Yoga with Adriene, who has tons of free yoga workouts on her YouTube channel. I have not tried these workouts yet but they come highly recommended from my friend, fellow Whole30 Certified Coach, and yogi Dolly Sengsavang.

You can tee up these videos on your laptop, tablet, or phone – and get in some yoga wherever you are!

Do you practice yoga? Do you have a favorite at-home yoga workout or DVD?

Move It Monday: Let's Get Moving

You’ve rocked your Whole30 and are eating veggies and healthy foods left and right. What about exercise? No time? I have a list as long as my arm about why I couldn’t do any exercise. Realistically, with two young children, a full-time job, and a husband with crazy work hours, I’m not going to get out of the door and set foot into a gym. It’s not happening. Me + Gym = NO!

I’ve wanted to get moving and do something but kept putting it off. It’s so easy when you’re super busy. I mean, the amount of time we spend cooking and cleaning the kitchen alone is a feat itself on Whole30! That’s gotta burn a calorie or two, right? Time was my first excuse.

My second excuse is that I’ve always been self-conscious exercising. It’s not particularly motivating when you need a ‘system’ to hold the girls in and they’re packed in like a uniboob, your back isn’t feeling great, and you can’t find a shirt that doesn’t hang like a potato sack. Oh, the list goes on. During my last annual physical, I asked my doctor about a breast reduction and she said I’d definitely qualify and that my insurance would cover it. WHAT? Really?

I went in and got the consult with the surgeon and the date was set. The surgery went well and the recovery was easy. Fast forward six and a half weeks later and I’m a C cup. A very happy C cup! Do you know how much they took out? 2 lbs. on one side and 2.5lbs. on the other. Yeah, that’s how much extra weight I was carrying in my chest area–no wonder exercising wasn’t fun. I feel like a new person. That tired lower back pain is gone–I didn’t even realize how much this was affecting my back. I want to move!

So, my second excuse is gone. My first excuse, time, is what I needed to figure out. After thinking a lot about it, I realized that I could carve out 30 minutes a day somewhere in my day. Obviously, that means I’m not leaving the house to exercise right now. I found some videos and have been working out at home. Some days my six year old daughter is my workout buddy. She’s quite keen on exercising with me–so, climbing on my back while I was doing a move today wasn’t in the video, but hey, we were laughing and the time flew by. Sometimes you just have to roll with it and get it done.

Grab a DVD from Target. Got Amazon Prime? You can get free fitness videos there. Search online–there are plenty of online fitness plans. If you don’t want to do videos, just get moving. Park a little further away from the store (possibly when getting a workout DVD at Target!), take a walk on your lunch break, or take the stairs. Making little changes add up over time. You’ve put so much time in fueling your body with good food–you are ready to move!

What are you doing to get moving?

Incorporating Exercise Into Your Every Day

I used to hate to sweat. I thought it was gross and hated physically working hard. Then I had three kids in two years and realized that if I didn’t pull it together I was going to be miserable and miss the active moments of their lives. I remembered that I really enjoyed running, never far or fast, but enjoyed it none the less. I started one minute of running at a time. It was hard and hot.

Three months later, I heard about Whole 30. I did my first round over Halloween of that year and almost exactly a year later I ran my first half marathon. I’m still not fast but I have found a love for exercise. As a stay at home mom of three under school age, I needed to figure out how to keep my sanity, work towards better fitness, and still get everything done.

It started with little changes. Finding 20 minutes here and there to do a workout video. Usually Jillian Michaels Shred which is a great short workout (great results, minimal time, and minimal equipment needed).

The goal I set was 20 minutes of some sort of exercise three days a week. I didn’t want to box myself into an elaborate routine. I knew if I did that I would get overwhelmed with my commitment and get bored with the activities I chose. I also knew that I would start resenting my workout. I could run, do a workout video, do yoga, or a little of everything. The only requirement was that I moved in a way that helped my body feel better and get stronger.

Once I started feeling the tiger blood, I took little five minute windows here and there to add onto my workout (abs, lunges etc. -just added something). It was about the mindset not the outcome. My workout time became my “me time.” My time to re-group, increase mental strength, physical strength, and breathe. This mindset is what keeps me going. It wasn’t about the end game. It was about the journey. I continue to switch up my workouts to keep it interesting by keeping a master list of options for the gym, plus running, and my ritual Friday night yoga. It’s been a year and a half since I started and the journey continues. Longer running distances, heavier weights and reps, and more mindful yoga.

There are numerous different ways people incorporate exercise into a busy schedule. This is a list of some quick tips I have found helpful in incorporating exercise into my everyday life:

  • Adopt a “move more” mindset This will help you to think of movement/ exercise as less of a chore.

  • Incorporate strength training at least one time a week. This will help in creating better overall fitness and helps prevent injuries.

  • Take the time to warm up and cool down / stretch This will also help to prevent injuries that will end up sidelining you and deterring you from your exercise goals.

  • Do what works for you Most of the time I exercise by myself because I prefer the flexibility. Some people work out best with other people because of the accountability factor.

  • Know yourself! I know that I will make excuses not to exercise in the evening because I’m tired or have a million things to do, so I prefer to exercise in the morning.

  • Turn tasks/ chores into exercise Volunteer to mow the lawn or snow blow. This is one of my favorites. Not only does it give me a break from the kids but I can get tons of steps in while getting a chore done.

  • Track your steps I found this to be very motivational. I love competing with myself to get more steps than I did the previous day. I also love trying to get to 10,000 steps before noon. As I have increased my fitness level and continue my Whole 30 and Food Freedom journey, I have found that my steps have increased. I use the Fitbit Charge2, but there are numerous options out there.

I still have a long way to go in my exercise journey but since I don’t have an end goal, I am only really thinking about the day to day journey. Since beginning with one minute slow as molasses jogs, I have finished a half marathon, multiple 5Ks, spin classes, dance classes, intense hot yoga, hundreds of thousands of steps, and many other non-traditional forms of exercise. I love it and the opportunity to continue to try new things. Plus, I can now run fast enough to catch my kids every time they race me.

*** Please make sure you consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regime. ***