Normally this is how I feel about exercise posts.
But I am not a skinny minny who starves herself. I am a real life middle-aged mom who believes in exercise and cake. So I hope this post is ok and doesn’t make you roll your eyes.
I love to exercise at home, in the comfort of my living room. I went to the gym for years when my kids were babies—it made a great escape. But it’s been at least 12 years since I’ve had a gym pass. Instead I opt for workout videos. As we approached January 2015 I asked my husband if he’d like to start exercising with me. He’s never been much of an exercise in our 20 years of marriage but he agreed. He’s trying to make healthy mental and physical changes to his life. That left me thinking, “Well, I better find some less-feminine workout videos that we can both do together.”
In comes Fitness Blender. I discovered them on You Tube searching for different workouts. You can find their workouts on You Tube or their website. Daniel and Kelly are a married couple who think everyone should have access to good fitness trainers no matter your income. We tried their Five Day Challenge and Paul and I were hooked. Those five days covered High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), cardio, abs and core, upper body strength training, lower body strength training and even some yoga. Did I mention all videos are FREE!? And they have over 400 exercise videos?
It has been six months of working out 5-6 days a week with Fitness Blender videos. We have also purchased (under $10) and completed some of their fitness programs, like their 8 Week Fat Loss Program and most recently their Butt and Thigh Program which was a 4-week program. Loved them both! But I also love to just choose my own workouts for the week and set it up using their FREE calendar program. (I honestly don’t know how they can keep this up for free. They must get really great advertising dollars from You Tube. In fact, I hope they are millionaires if that’s possible from hosting a You Tube channel. I love their no-nonsense personalities.) Here’s what our calendar looks like so far this month. The red dots are all our scheduled workouts.
It makes waking up at 6am easy (well, relatively) because the schedule has already been made for the week—just click on the day and start working. The little yellow squares you see on some days are when I add a note, like “this routine was a great combo, do again”. Here’s a sample of one day’s workout routine with my added note:
Previous to doing Fitness Blender workouts I was working out 5 days a week with Tracy Anderson workouts. Those are great toning workouts but I have to say I am happier now that I am doing heavy strength training which Tracy frowns on for women. Boo! My measurements are nearly the same but I actually weigh 7 pounds more now than I did a year ago! That proves the scale means nothing and it also proves that strength training adds loads of muscle. I can eat more calories now because muscle requires more calories than fat. Oh yea! Win-win!
I post these photos with complete embarrassment because I don’t ever want anyone scrutinizing my body but the photo on the left was working out 5-days a week with Tracy Anderson videos and the photo on the right is with Fitness Blender. A lifted bum for sure!
Exercising is NOT about looks for me. It’s about having muscle mass, a strong heart, lower cholesterol, and dense bones. I am 41 years old now. I am not interested, nor is it possible, to look like a model. Or to even look 21. I want to be strong. These photos simply prove that exercising changes your body. Just do it.
Stash your weights under your furniture. Tacky, I know! But I have fallen in love with strength training again.
I want to have strength to run around with my teenagers and also to run around big cities like Philadelphia. I walked the old downtown cobblestone streets of Philadelphia last month for 5 days straight, alone, while Paul was stuck in a CPA conference. My iphone says I walked about 5 miles a day. Never got tired. We even did our Fitness Blender workouts in our hotel room. Body weight only since we didn’t have weights. Don’t I look happy outside the Benjamin Franklin museum? This was day 6 as I was just about to head back to the airport and return to Utah.
My top three Fitness Blender videos are At Home Cardio (better than a stupid treadmill, very dynamic moves), Tank Top Arms for upper body—the pulses are killer!, and Lower Body Workout for strong legs.
So ladies and gents, strength training is the key. Lift heavy weights. Dumbbells are cheap. Work your heart through cardio to keep it ticking too. Do it for your health, not for your looks. Oh, and keep on eating cake.