Monday, April 13, 2015

My Health & Fitness Essentials

Everyone has their own journey, what they enjoy, and what works best for them.  I had to learn everything on my own.....workouts and nutrition, because I have never had anyone in my life who lived a healthy lifestyle.  I didn't know where to start.  Over the years, I educated myself and found my way.  Looking back, these tools have made my journey successful.

~  The Eat Clean Diet Book by Tosca Reno:  I remember after having my son, my weight was over 200 pounds, and I had no idea where to start to get my health and fitness back on track.  I went to Barnes & Noble to find a "diet book."  It took 2 trips, because I was so overwhelmed.  Somehow I found this book, and it changed my life.  I read it from cover to cover and applied it to my life.  My life changed, and I transformed back to the old me again.  Tosca is 55 years old, a mother of three, and was previously very overweight. My husband and I had the pleasure of meeting her some years back, and she was so sweet, genuine, and personable.  It was great to meet the woman who helped change my life!  She has several variations of the eat clean book and also a few cookbooks.

~ Workout DVD's

     ~  Jari Love's Ripped Workout Series DVD's:  I have always loved weights.  I started weight training in high school, but this workout takes it to another level!  Depending on your video, you can workout 30 minutes or over an hour,  If you are a beginner, I suggest watching the workout first, and using no weight or maybe just 2-3 pounds for the upper body.  If you can't make it through the entire workout right away, don't worry.  Just do your best.  I did the entire workout with weights from the beginning, because I always have something to prove to myself (my mom and husband say I enjoy pain), and I hurt soooo badly.  I live sore everyday, but this was an extreme.  Don't do that, because it is likely that you won't want to do the workout again.

     ~  Jackie Warner DVD's:  I never heard of Jackie Warner until she had a reality show called Work Out.  I loved the show and fell in love with her.  After that she started coming out with workouts and books on health and fitness.  I love her videos.  It is circuit training, weights and cardio, so you can get twice the workout in a shorter period of time.  I do my own circuit training when I am low on time, but popping a DVD in makes it even easier!

     ~  Jillian Michaels DVD's:  I started using Jillian's DVD's many years ago.  I fell in love with her on The Biggest Loser.  She has a large array of workouts, that are sure to get sweating and burning calories.  Her videos are more in the style of Jackie Warner's videos.  She also offers yoga and kickboxing, along with her circuit training workouts.

*My Tip:  Not sure what workouts are best suited for you or what you would enjoy?  Check out your local library!  I request and pick up workout dvd's all the time.  That way you aren't wasting your money on something you may not like.  Getting them from the library gives you the ability to try it out before purchasing.

~  Dumbbells:  I started out using kitchen items as weights before I had a full dumb bell set.  I used cans, milk jugs, 2 liters, etc.  Then I got 3 pound weights and went up from there.  I love weight training, because it is the only workout that will give my body the shape that I want.  I don't just want to be thin.  I want a certain shape.  Plus, the more muscle you have on your body, the faster your metabolism will be.  That means you will even burn more calories while you sleep.  Also, your body goes through what is known as after burn.  It is the elevated rate of your metabolism after you workout.  For cardio, after burn is fairly short lived.  After weight training, your after burn can last for 24-48 hours depending on the intensity of your workout.

~  Comfortable Shoes:  We all know how miserable it can be to spend any amount of time in a bad pair of shoes, but to workout is even worse.  Invest in a good pair of shoes that comfortably form to your foot.  Also, get a type of shoe that is designed for the activities that you will be performing.  Myself, I mostly weight and circuit train, with smaller bouts of cardio.  So, I like to get cross trainers.    It is also wise to go to a good athletic store with knowledgeable staff.  That can make a huge difference.  Good quality shoes are usually an investment, but it is worth it if it keeps you on track and progressing with your fitness.  You won't be working out if you have rubbed raw spots and blisters on your feet.

~  Good Workout Music:  I wouldn't be able to last more than a few minutes without my workout music!  With it, I can go on for a very long time (time permitting).  It gives me motivation, energy, excitement, and just makes me have a much better time with my workouts.  I have a large surround sound in the gym.  It may be bothersome at times to others, but it keeps my butt moving!! Make a play list of your favorite energetic songs, and watch how positively it affects your mind and body!

If you are unaware of my past health, nutrition, and fitness struggle,  Click Here to read my story!

*My home gym

I love having this space to workout, destress, and unwind.  Of course, when I first started doing full workout routines, all I had was a TV, VCR, and a few VHS tapes in my living room (I know, I'm showing my old age).  I had no privacy, and I was completely out in the open.  We all have to start somewhere and use the tools that we have.  I put my gym together over the course of a few years, piece by piece.  I do love having it and the privacy that it provides.  It also gives me no excuse to not workout!

Please remember, at the end of the day we are all human.  Even after working out for somewhere around 25 years and becoming a certified personal trainer, I still have setbacks and obstacles to over come.  It's not about being perfect everyday, it's about doing your best everyday, and your best can differ from day to day.  You will have failures.  There is no getting around that, but it doesn't mean that you have failed unless you stop picking yourself up and moving forward.  Success doesn't just  happen to the smartest, luckiest, prettiest, richest people.  It happens to those who never give up!

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