Fitness has been a part of my life since I could walk. Beyond the usual kid activities like dance and cheerleading, I spent a ton of time in my hometown gym where my mom started teaching aerobics when I was five years old. I have tons of memories wrapped up in that gym. One of my favorites is thinking back to my 13 year-old self taking my mom’s aerobics classes. CJ’s mom would take my mom’s classes sometimes and if she was there, more often than not, so was he. This was peak secret crush time for me. So I would workout extra aggressively whenever I spotted CJ, because in my warped teenage mind, if I worked really hard on that bench, he might just notice me and be super impressed. Never happened. But still… that’s how deep my fitness memories run.
My mom’s fitness side hustle took the family to Tennessee for an ACE Fitness convention one year. My mom and I earned our mat pilates certification together. And I would often sub in for her when she was unable to teach a class.
After I had gained a bunch of weight in my early 20s, I worked with the gym owner to do some personal training. She was an old-school vegetarian; I was new to the lifestyle. And she helped me better understand what I needed to do to achieve my fitness goals, including managing my diet better. Turns out that daily bagel with cinnamon butter was not an ideal choice for fueling my body.
Why should you care about
my history with fitness?
Because I’ve been doing this with proper guidance for a very long time. I work out at home a lot these days for various reasons. I have chosen to dedicate the time I have outside of the house to my yoga practice in the studio. CJ travels and I can’t leave Stella alone. I add on to my yoga practice with early morning workouts and the only way to get that done is at home.
But if you’re going to workout unsupervised, you have to know what you’re doing. I cannot express enough how critical proper form is. Not only does it better ensure you get the intended workout, but it helps you prevent injuries. If you’re doing the worm for your pushups, for example, then you’re not working your body properly. If you’re new to working out or if you’re unsure of your form, please work with a professional. They really can help you.
Here are a few of my favorite workout videos.
My Favorite HIIT Video
When I want to get an intense, full-body workout but I don’t have a lot of time, it’s High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) videos that I seek out. HIIT is an efficient way to exercise, helping you burn calories quickly and build strength (depending on the workout, of course).
I’ve done a few HIIT routines, from Sweat with Kayla ($19.99 monthly App subscription) to random YouTube videos. I prefer workouts that don’t require equipment so that I can do them literally anywhere (like our cottages up north). I’ve also found that I absolutely HATE when people are talking during the workout.
This 20-minute HIIT full-body workout with Pamela Reif hits all the right notes. It’s intense, it’s fast, the music is decent, and there’s no talking. I’ve done this workout almost every day for the last few weeks and I’m not even a little bored.
Here are a couple more HIIT videos I’ve tried that are pretty good. They talk though and we know how I feel about talking.
My Favorite Yoga Video
Yoga has become a necessity in my life. Not just for physical fitness, but mental fitness too. Yoga helps me maintain balance, keep perspective, learn humility, put down things that do not serve me and show gratitude for the things I have. Practicing with an instructor will always be my preference but for the days when I just can’t make it, I love following along with Briohny Smyth. All of the Alo Yoga videos that I’ve tried are pretty good. But Bri is THE BEST.
Here’s another yoga video I’ve tried that is pretty good.
It’s been a while since I did this Tracy Anderson video but it’s another really good one. Listen to her instructions at the beginning. This isn’t really a follow along video. But she does show you all of the moves you need to do on both sides.
It’s always good to shake things up. So I’d love to hear about your favorite at-home workouts!