Aaah, Tuesday: the roughest part of the week is over!
As you can tell, I spent some time last night updating the look of this here blog. (Omigod, blog templates are about to become the new way I take out my urge to redecorate! I used to re-arrange and redecorate my room every few months when I was growing up, and something tells me that blog aesthetics are becoming the new room rearranging. This could be dangerous. Or fun. Or both.)
I also added a recipe page, so between that and the new look, I’m quite happy with the way my little renovation panned out. I’m a satisfied
(Side note: I am, however, totally flummoxed by the SEO plugin I’m trying to use. If any of y’all have experience with the Yoast SEO plugin, I’d greatly appreciate any insight/helpful hints you might have about how to make this thing work. I can’t even download or install it properly — argh!)
Anyways, because it’s been raining/drizzling for over 24 hours now, I’ve had a brief respite from the soaring pollen counts. While rain can be gross, the fact that it washes out the pollen is a serious silver lining. I’m going to take advantage of this rare moment and go running this afternoon, so we’ll see how my lungs hold out.
And, speaking of getting the ol’ heart rate up, I’ve been excitedly doing some new workouts over the last week. I’ve been getting bored — woefully, painfully bored — at the gym lately; watching rom coms while on the elliptical has been a huge help, but then I got all panicky when I saw that I was running low on movies I hadn’t watched yet. Eeeep!
In the interest of preserving my short supply of unwatched movies, I started reverting to my old habit of listening to music while chugging away on the machines — and not surprisingly, time draaaaaaaaaggged on. Even with my favorite workout tunes pumping in my ears, time felt like it was moving as fast as a herd of arthritic turtles through a flood of molasses.
Have I mentioned that I never exaggerate?
Anyways, I knew I needed to mix things up a bit. And what’s a nerdy gal to do in such a situation? Research.
Now, I have a confession: I love research. When I was in grad school, I used to love getting up early, filling my preposterously big travel mug with coffee, and hitting the library so I could do research. I’d sit there for hours, listening to Miles Davis on my iPod, sipping java, and looking up articles…it was heaven, folks. However, I know that, for the vast majority of the population, this would basically be the seventh ring of hell. This is why I’m incredibly weird. But I digress.
Anyways, I’ve found that I really like the content of various group fitness classes, but I don’t like a) having to leave home, deal with traffic/public transportation, and factor in travel time in order to schlep out to a class, and b) I always feel like a total buffoon in group fitness classes. (Ergo why I loved this cartoon.) When a gal is both a total spaz (*raises hand*) and pressed for time (*raises other hand*), group classes are often a no-go.
Upon being confronted with this workout conundrum, I hopped on teh interweb to see if there are any good free fitness videos that I could use instead of going to a group fitness class — and I was thrilled to find two awesome fitness resources: Fitness Blender’s channel on YouTube and YogaDownload.
I’ve sampled a few of both their offerings, and suffice it to say: I looooooooove them.
I tried Fitness Blender’s Cardio Kickboxing and Beginner Kettlebell workouts, and they’re fantastic. First, I appreciate the voice-overs — they’re calm, clear, and they generally sound a lot better than an instructor breathlessly saying annoyingly peppy things like “You’re doing AWESOME!”
I also really like that they demonstrate the next set of moves before transitioning into them. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve had to rewind workout DVDs because I miss half a section while trying to figure out what in God’s name the instructor is doing. For a spaz like myself, this is a huge help!
As for YogaDownload, this is a huge boon for me: I love yoga, but I’ve gone through about 10 different DVDs in an attempt to find one that I like. YogaDownload, however, provides the ultimate resource. Not only do they have every imaginable kind of yoga, but they allow you to sample a class before buying it — so if the instructor drives you batty, you figure it out long before you hit the download button. I also appreciate that they have different time length options for each class. I start getting irritated with classes longer than 30 minutes, so the 20 and 30 minute options are, IMHO, absolutely awesome.
I’ve tried their Yoga for Back Pain and Evening Wind-Down classes, and they’re both fantastic. The back pain class worked wonders when my back was achy last week, and the wind-down class was just what I needed after a long day at work. I’ve got Yoga Sculpt and Yoga for Strength on deck, and I’m all kinds of excited to try them.
So, all that is to say: if you’re looking for a fun way to mix up your fitness routine without leaving the comfort of your own home, I highly recommend both Fitness Blender and YogaDownload. (And, to quote Kip from Napoleon Dynamite, I love technology. Ten years ago, neither one of these would have been even remotely possible. Huzzah for progress!)
With all that in mind, tell me: What’s your favorite at-home workout routine? Do you ever get bored while you’re doing cardio at the gym? If so, what’s your boredom remedy?
Have an awesome day, y’all!