A New Look And New Workouts

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,Β I’m quite happy with the way my little renovation panned out. I’m a satisfied cowgirl blogger!

(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.

Springtime Allergies

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.

Bored Breaking Bad

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.

Nerd Girl Problems

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!”

Annoyed GIF

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!

I Love Lucy Confused
This is what I usually look like during workout videos.

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.

Β 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!

21 thoughts on “A New Look And New Workouts

  1. chasingchels April 30, 2013 / 2:55 pm

    Love the new look love! And yoga download for that matter haha…i have to look into the back pain one…i think that will come in handy πŸ™‚ when i get bored with workouts, i ask around and see what my friends are doing…usually at least one can recommend something that will keep me entertained for a bit. Other blogs are a great source for workout ideas too πŸ™‚

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 30, 2013 / 3:58 pm

      Well darlin’, credit goes to you for mentioning Yoga Download — I was searching for some way to relieve my back pain, and suddenly I remembered you referencing Yoga Download on your lovely blog. I looked it up, and lo, they had just what I needed. πŸ™‚ Thanks for being such an awesome resource, dear!

  2. The Siren's Tale April 30, 2013 / 3:25 pm

    Going to check this out ASAP! Thanks for the great share. The image of Lucille Ball’s face cracked me up… I swear I spend more time cursing, rewinding, and looking perplexed during workouts than actually working out! Some of the fitness instructors are insane with their move transitions.

    PS – The new look is great! Love the colors and layout πŸ™‚

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 30, 2013 / 3:57 pm

      Right?! It drives me insane when fitness instructors transition a) with little to no warning, or b) without giving a decent description of what’s coming next. When they use some esoteric term that only body builders use, I find myself yelling at the screen and saying things like “WHY WOULD YOU EXPECT ME TO KNOW THAT?! TO KEEP THIS CONFUSION GOING, WHY DON’T YOU JUST START COUNTING IN RANDOM FOREIGN LANGUAGES?” It’s not pretty.

      • The Siren's Tale April 30, 2013 / 3:58 pm

        Haha. I am always either yelling about “what is going on?!” or I yell at the too-peppy ladies as I pour sweat and they’re barely glistening. No matter how you look at it, my TV is getting verbally abused when I’m working out.

      • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 30, 2013 / 4:02 pm

        Same here — the too peppy, slighly glistening instructors are also insufferable. I’ll be looking like a wildebeest and will be totally winded, and they look like they just took a leisurely stroll in their stillettos. Of course, I yell at them, too. Like you said, either way, my TV takes a lot of abuse. Should we buy our TVs cookies as an apology for all the hostility we throw their way? πŸ™‚

  3. Alex @ therunwithin April 30, 2013 / 3:29 pm

    totally digging the new layout! I love it. I think switching up workouts is the best way to beat boredom, I can’t wait to start taking classes at the gym.

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte April 30, 2013 / 3:54 pm

      Thanks! I’m glad you’re digging the new layout — I’m kind of enamored by it (ok, I’m seriously enamored by it, and I keep wanting to just gaze lovingly at it). πŸ™‚

  4. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish April 30, 2013 / 11:47 pm

    Love love love the new face of Seize the Latte! Nice work, m’ lady! I can completely relate to the urge to “re-decorate” every few months…or weeks. I would do it IF I could figure out how. Like Kip, I love technology, however technology hates me. Translation: I had to hire someone to decorate my blog for me because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to do it myself without losing posts, pictures, and my sanity.

    Anywho…thanks for the at-home exercise tips! I’m definitely going to check out YogaDownload, as I’ve been trying to commit to yoga classes for oh, three years. The problem is that I’m intimidated by hardcore yogis, so I always chicken out. This sounds like a great alternative, and a relaxing way to stretch out. My muscles are always tight and sore from five hours of lifting each week! xoxoxo

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte May 1, 2013 / 1:20 am

      Thanks, darlin’! And I completely agree about being intimidated by all the hard-core yogis – I get really wigged out by all the people who’re basically doing handstands on their pinky fingers while I struggle to hold basic poses. Oy vey. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels a wee bit freaked out when in a yoga class with those hardcore yogis!

  5. jessielovestorun May 1, 2013 / 1:25 am

    Love love lovee (okay you get it) your new layout! Will be heading to check out your recipe page now.. bc no one can have too many recipe right? πŸ™‚

  6. Melissa May 1, 2013 / 1:53 am

    The new layout looks great! I second the doyogawithme.com site, you can’t beat free. And an online kickboxing class? Count me in, I love trying new things in the safety of my home (saves me the trouble of learning the basics among the experienced regular class participants).

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte May 1, 2013 / 2:27 am

      Amen, sister soultrain — being the one novice in a class full of seasoned yogis/kickboxers/spinners makes me feel like I’m back in junior high, and I want to avoid that motif like the plague. At-home fitness videos FTW!

  7. Meredith May 1, 2013 / 3:20 am

    I’m loving the new look! It’s always fun to mix it up a bit and the header is awesome πŸ™‚ I get insanely bored on the cardio machines at the gym, so I try to add new music to my ipod as much as possible. Also, I write cardio circuits on post-it notes once and a while so constantly changing the inclines and speeds helps distract me so that the time flies by! This is an oldie, but I really love Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones-it’s 55 minutes and I’m always soaked in sweat by the end of it!

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte May 1, 2013 / 9:32 am

      Thanks, darlin! It took me a while to find a look that I really like — ok, it took me *hours* — but I’m really happy with how it turned out. πŸ™‚

  8. Jorie May 1, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    Yay I love the new layout! Lillian, your posts crack me up. I loved the Lucille Ball gif. I don’t do at-home workout routines but I totally should because I think it’d be a fun change-up from the gym and running-outside routine.

    • Lillian @ Seize the Latte May 2, 2013 / 1:13 am

      Thanks, Jorie! The Lucille Ball gif was my favorite, too — I think I’ve made that exact face at the TV before, so I was thrilled when I found it. πŸ™‚

  9. cjoye7 May 2, 2013 / 4:52 pm

    Ditto on loving the new layout! I actually have a phobia about working out at home – I feel like my neighbors downstairs will come charging up to bang on my door if I’m dancing around my apartment, so thank god for the convenient location of Dance Trance DC! πŸ™‚

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