Fit2B Inspired (Again): Week 3

35471009996_a1a036064c_b

Photo Credit: Pierce Martin Flickr via Compfight cc

 

I went into this week feeling pretty confident. I’m starting to see some positive results from my consistent effort. (I won’t share the actual full results and my personal stats until the end of Fit2B Inspired (Again), though.) It’s nice to finally feel as though my work is paying off and I’m starting to see visible results as well as feeling better.

 

 

Kelly Core Cardio / Kelly’s Big Band Routine

Kelly’s Big Band was a new one for me and it was also deceptively easy looking. Since I don’t own Bodylastics yet, I settled for a resistance band hooked through my stair banister and it worked quite well.

Kelly’s Core Cardio is a perennial favorite and combining the two make it a great full body workout.

 

 

Insane Upper Body

I’ve been kind of beating myself up for not being able to comfortably use my 6 lb dumbbells yet. It’s been discouraging to feel like I’m not making the kind of progress I want. But I also want to make sure I’m using proper form and alignment so I elected to use my lighter weights for this workout. I was pretty happy with that choice. Contrary to the name, this really isn’t insane. It’s difficult, depending on how heavy your weights are, but it is very attainable one. Just make sure you are focusing on proper body position and not on trying to lift your arms higher by contorting your body.

 

 

Insane 2

I’m always worried going into this one, but it actually wasn’t too bad. I did the easier versions of various positions but it was still challenging in the best possible way. So don’t let the name fool you, if you are feeling strong and learning to consistently and properly engage your core, this one is worth trying out.

 

 

Weighted Warriors

I love focusing on form with this workout while still adding additional resistance. This is not a fast workout, but the sustained movement required provides a challenge my muscles.

 

 

Tabata

I’m always a fan of Tabata. There is something so wonderful about only having to learn a couple of motions and repeating them in intervals. The intervals themselves are always helpful if you have frequent interruptions during your workout. Plus if you are just starting to kick you activity up a notch, the build in rest periods can let you catch your breath.

 

 

Restorative Poses III

I have never done this one before, so I was excited to try it. It is definitely as relaxing as the others, but with a couple of slightly more challenging poses. (Don’t worry, Beth provides tons of explanation and suggestions for modifications). This one is slightly longer because of the additional setup and explanation that goes with some of the poses. While I still like Restorative Poses I better, I would definitely still come back to this one.

 

 

Apparently 20-30 minutes is my sweet spot. The workout isn’t too long that I want to give up, but short enough that I can still fit it in. I’m able to stay consistent and not feel like working out most days of the week is a burden. I love feeling stronger. I can’t say that I’m necessarily having more energy, but that’s mostly my own fault for not getting enough sleep. I’ve been mostly successful with my efforts to cut back on sugar, though I can’t say that I’m not still tempted. I still allow myself treats on weekends and that enables me to resist pretty well during the week, without feeling totally deprived. All of those things together means that for the first time in a while, I’m pretty happy with my progress towards being stronger, and healthier. No, the scale hasn’t moved too much, but that was never the goal. The point was to be strong enough for the life I want. I may not be there yet, but I’m on my way.

 

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off an annual membership with Fit2B Studio!
Join Fit2b.us

Fit2B Inspired (Again): Week 2

35471009996_a1a036064c_b

Photo Credit: Pierce Martin Flickr via Compfight cc

 

Week 2

This week things got a little bit more difficult and I was still fighting exhaustion and stress but I really wanted to feel the sense of accomplishment when the week was over. So I powered through, this time in a good way. Meaning I took it easier when I needed to, but I still kept going.

 

 

Basic Step II

Since this is much longer than Basic Step I, I opted to use the lower height on my step and that was a good choice. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite cardio routines. I enjoy the choreography and even though I still frequently mess it up and end up on the wrong foot at the wrong time, I still find it energizing.

 

 

Ultimate Upper Body & Big {little} Band Workout

This is an interesting combo because one workout uses dumb bells and the other resistance bands. Therefore I felt like it balanced things out pretty well. I wisely opted for my lighter weights but still felt pretty bad about it. However, at the end of it, I felt like I had a great workout without totally depleting my energy stores.

 

 

Kickboxing

I love this workout. This particular day I was exhausted and it was very hot and humid. I wasn’t sure I would get through it. But I decided to try to focus and stay hydrated. There are lots of places where Beth offered modifications if I wanted them. But mostly I did the workout as written. A solid, interesting, high impact cardio workout using the interval method. So you don’t have to go at full throttled the whole workout, just for shorter intervals with small slow downs in between. Very manageable while still being serious cardio.

 

 

Yoga and Pilates Loaded

I’ve finally accepted my limits and I used my light weights today. It was still a great workout. The addition to weights to certain Pilates movements and yoga poses definitely adds a level of difficulty while still allowing me to maintain control of my movements.

 

 

Kelly Dean’s Total Body

I forgot what a punch this packs. The upper body portion alone was killer. This one seriously never gets old. I love that I can get such an intense workout without any exercise equipment. I appreciate the way Kelly alternates between core, upper body and lower body so each area has a chance to rest in between exercise intervals. If I had to pick a handful of workouts that I routinely choose, this is one of them.

 

 

Restorative Poses II

While relaxing, I definitely prefer Restorative Poses I. Maybe it’s just which muscles are tight in my body. This one is a tad shorter, but also very relaxing. I didn’t get to this one solo, I snuck it in while dinner was cooking and the kids were wandering about. But they mostly left me alone for it. I would have loved to take another hot bath and head to bed afterwards.

 

 

Beth Learn talks about about honoring your body and its limits. We want to grow stronger and we work towards that, but we also need to accept where we are and not push too hard. I am realizing that for some reason I am not as strong as I thought, so I am having to use lighter weights than I feel like I should. But I’m seeing the benefit of being kind to myself and still leaving room for growth.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off an annual membership with Fit2B Studio!
Join Fit2b.us

 

Fit2B Inspired (Again): Week 1

35471009996_a1a036064c_b

Photo Credit: Pierce Martin Flickr via Compfight cc

 

Week 1

After doing such long workouts in previous weeks, it was nice to opt for a few shorter ones. I was feeling pretty tired this particular week so it was easy to get discouraged. But probably the most empowering part was just getting through all the workouts in the same week and then not feeling completely wiped out.

 

 

Basic Step I

It turns out the step platform I use has feet to make it a little taller, so I did. Wow, talk about taking the workout up a notch. This is the shortest of the step aerobics workouts on Fit2B but adding the extra level of difficulty really helped me up my cardio. I will definitely be doing this again, perhaps regularly.

 

Kettle Bell I

I’ve decided that I don’t love Kettle Bell and that the one I have is too heavy, but I’m definitely not buying another one yet, so I’m doing the best I can. This definitely wasn’t as bad as doing Kettle Bell II like I did a few weeks ago. But there were still certain movements I couldn’t do properly because of the weight and my apparent lack of strength. I am hoping that as I get stronger I can come back and do this again.

 

Basic Aerobics IV

I love the Basic Aerobics series on Fir2B. But this one takes it up a notch by adding light weights. While I have been shooting for shorter workouts, I didn’t necessarily want them to be less intense, so I decided to kick this workout into high gear by adding heavier weights. I kept my lighter ones nearby, and I did have to downgrade a few times, occasionally do fewer reps or just take a quick extra breath. But overall, I was pleased with how intense a workout it was for only 20 minutes.

 

Balanced

I opted for my 3 lb weights instead of the 6 lb ones because I was so tired going into this workout. I didn’t want to miss a day of working out but I honestly would have preferred a nap to exercise. I kept telling myself that it was only 20 minutes. I got through it, I took it a little easier. While this workout does involve weights, it is also a rather slow moving, sustained workout with lots of stretching and balancing.

 

21 Tone Up

I was pretty tired this particular day and was again struck by what a great workout this is. It isn’t long, it isn’t complicated. But it also isn’t boring and it packs a wallop. It worked so many different muscles groups. When I’m exhausted, I can’t power through an hour, but I want be able to scrape up enough energy for 21 minutes.

 

Restorative Poses I

I did this workout as part of relaxing evening for myself. After the kids were in bed I did this workout and then took an Epsom salt bath. It was the most relaxed I have felt in weeks. This is a great way to wind down before bed or have a slow start to your day.

 

This week wasn’t easy, but it also felt very exciting. Just being consistent makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. When I’m overtired or very stressed out it’s easy to let exercise be the first thing I cut. But I don’t want it to be that way. Week 1 may not have been perfect, but it did help me feel more confident.

 

Up next: Week 2

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off an annual membership with Fit2B Studio!
Join Fit2b.us

Fit2B 6 X 6: Week 4

Join Fit2b.us

 

Goal: 6 Fit2B routines in 6 days for just 25+ minutes

 

We are officially into some longer workouts this week. It will definitely challenge your endurance. But it isn’t worth sacrificing your form and core engagement, so you can always break the workouts into small increments or even just stop early if you can’t keep going. As always, if you still have an abdominal separation, make sure to modify when Beth mentions it.

 

21 Tone Up

I’ve been a member at Fit2B for more than four years and this routine just joined my favorites list. While I like using different fitness equipment, I love that this workout doesn’t require any. It is a full upper and lower body workout. Plus, it takes up hardly any space. Nothing is more aggravating than going down to our family room first thing in the morning only to discover that the kids have left it so messy that I can’t even move. Then I end up wasting my workout time cleaning. But this workout takes up so little space that all I had to do was shift some toys out of the way with my feet. For those of us whose workout areas aren’t large, this workout is essential.

 

Thigh Workout II

While not up there with my favorites, this workout succeeds in providing just what its name suggests, a great thigh workout. There are ways to increase the upper body work if that’s what you want, but I decided to focus primarily on the lower body with this one. I’m finding that the”thigh thing” (that you’ll see featured in many of Beth’s workouts) is getting a bit easier for me. I don’t quite have the range I want yet, but I’m being especially cautious that my core is steady and my upper body isn’t shifting every which way.

 

Weighted Warriors

Since I’d already done the suggested Pilates & Yoga Loaded two weeks ago, I opted to substitute Weighted Warriors instead. This was an exercise in restraint for me. I began the workout with my heavier set of weights and quickly downgraded. I’m glad I did. I was able to focus on maintaining proper form and I was even a tad sore the next day, so clearly the larger weights would have done more harm than good. It can be so difficult to remain in a lower level when we want so badly to be pushing ourselves harder. I’m learning, slowly, that it’s better to be confident at a simpler level than to struggle at higher one. Learning when to push and when to hold back can be so hard to discern sometimes. Hopefully it will get easier as I continue to know my body better.

 

Plain Ol’ Pilates

For those of you who miss traditional Pilates workouts, this is a good one. It’s so much like what I used to do before I found Fit2B. That being said, I continue to find any extended portion of my workout down on my back depressing. It makes me acutely away of how far I still have to do with closing my DR. (I also take it as an opportunity to measure my abdominal separation if it’s been a while and I’m not due to start my cycle. In this case things had improved since I last measured, but still not where I’d like to be. Discouraging, but living in denial won’t help either).

The side leg series here were very challenging to my glutes especially, though I’d like more inner thigh work, since that seems to be an area that doesn’t get much attention. Overall a successful workout though; heart rate up, muscles engaged but not over taxed, not too much sweat.

 

Tabata Ball Workout

I finally invested in a weighted ball after doing this workout many times with just a dumbbell. (I purchased this 8 lb ball from Amazon. You can check out this link for the exercise equipment Beth Learn recommends or just find something from around the house). Wow, this workout got my heart rate going and the part that it worked the hardest, my fingers. If you have the time, I recommend doing Fingers and Toes after this workout. My hands actually ached a bit.

(I even I wasn’t aware of it at the time, this workout worked my hamstrings like crazy because I was sore for days.)

 

Love Handles Lost

This workout is usually not very difficult. But I did do it the day after Tabata ball. The entire side leg series was killer on my glutes and hamstrings. It was a good reminder why it is important to alternate the kind of workouts I do and which major muscle groups they work. As much as I want to do cardio everyday or weights everyday, for me, alternating seems to produce the best effect with minimal overtaxing or injury. Overall, I wouldn’t call this a difficult workout, but it’s nice to do the day after something pretty new and challenging.

 

There are definitely days when I still feel discouraged. But overall I do feel like I’m making progress. I’m trying to squeeze a workout in first thing after breakfast (at least after the kids eat, sometimes before I do). I never know if I’ll have the almost two year old sitting on me or the five year old running circles around me. On tired days I really struggle. Sometimes I have to take it easier than I’d like, using lighter weights or doing fewer reps. But I feel like I might finally be seeing some progress. (Now I just need to break the cookie habit to jump start my weight loss!) Week 5, here I come.

 

 

Don’t Forget! You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off an annual membership with Fit2B Studio!

Fit2B Annual Membership

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

 

Fit2B Minimal: Week 2.5 – The Chair and Coughing Edition

Join Fit2b.us

 

I was supposed to be introducing you to Week 3 of my series Fit2B Minimal. Instead I turned my ankle stepping of the bottom landing of my stairs and spent most of the week with my feet up hoping to recover well enough to dance the following Sunday in the performance at my church that I had been choreographing, teaching and practicing for the last three to four months. (The good news is that it worked, and I was able to perform but I’m continuing to try and take it easy).

So for the last week I’ve been focusing on my Daily Minimum, which fortunately were both chair workouts. I’ve also had a cough for three weeks that I can’t seem to shake. So instead of Week 3, I present my Week 2.5. Daily Minimum reviews plus some links to important info on how to protect your core when you have a cold.

 

Daily Core: Basic Transverse and Mula Bandha

I don’t often come back to this simple workout, but it really is a great way to return to my roots. I did fast forward through some of Beth’s opening pep talk (wonderful as it is) because I have done this many times before. But if you are new to it, it’s worth the extra couple of minutes. She says some very encouraging things about learning to love our bodies and honor the journey they have taken us on.

 

Daily Stretch: Neck Routine

This routine has been absolutely essential for the last week. It has helped relieve the tension from too much time spent in front of the computer and lots of time spent with my feet up while I heal my ankle. I love trying to incorporate the stretches (favorites like Stop and Drop and Prayer on the Side) into my day at other times, especially when I notice tension in my neck or I know I’m under stress.
Regarding the nasty cough I can’t seem to get rid of, as cold and flu season have arrived here in the North East, I refer you to Beth Learn’s posts

Protecting Your Abs When You’re Coughing & Sneezing

“Stressors can make you stronger, or they can weaken you further. It depends on how you face them, prepare for them, and recover from them.”

7 Cues for Protecting Your Core When You’re Fighting A Cold

“The list I’m about to give you reflects my notes on cues {because I’m a body nerd like that} that I tested on myself when I was in the thick of a head cold after a hard round of jumping on a trampoline. The specific situation we’re discussing here is how we deal with coughing, sneezing, and blowing our noses when our PF and TA are already a bit tired.”

Also, if you are out of commission for a bit, like I was with my ankle, check out the Sit and Get Fit pathway which features workouts which can be done seated or on the floor. Hopefully I’ll be back next week with my full review of the workouts from Week 3. Until the, take care of yourselves.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to get 30% off of your annual membership. Check it out here.

Join Fit2b.us

Fit2B Quick: Week 6

Join Fit2b.us

 

I had so much fun doing ½ workouts last week that I decided to try it again.

 

Tabata Part I

I love Tabata bit tjos workout by itself is just a little too long for my schedule right now, so I decided to break it up.

The first half of Tabata takes you as far as the squat series (in case you aren’t looking at the time on your video). It’s actually a very well balanced workout of upper and lower body, even if you only make it about 14 minutes in.

 

Tabata Part II

This isn’t quite as balanced of a workout, if you just do the second half. But it does still give you a little bit of everything. A lot more is done on the floor though. Which isn’t a problem, you’ll just want to make sure your exercise area is clear enough for that. (I know that when I’m short on time, one of the things I hate most is wasting my short exercise window cleaning up).

 

Kelly Dean’s Total Body Workout I

I honestly questioned whether dividing this workout up would be effective. It is one of my favorite workouts and when done in it’s entirely is well balanced and covers most of the major body areas. But Kelly does a great job alternating between core, upper body and lower body. If you stop at the 13 minute mark, which is almost precisely in the middle, (just after the power squeezes) you will get three sets of core exercises plus upper and lower body. While it was short, I still felt like I got a decent workout.

 

Kelly Dean’s Total Body Workout II

The second half of this workout was still surprisingly balanced. Not as much upper body, but still good. I expected it to be deficient in something, but Kelly managed to still cover core, upper and lower body. I love that she and Beth created a workout that can be done even in pieces. It makes it a perfect candidate to squeeze into your everyday life.

I definitely have to remember this trick for days when I’m short on time but still want a full body workout.

 

Wall Workout with Beth

So I knew this was likely too hard for me, but I’ve been wanting to try it. I modified heavily and there was no way I was going to be doing a handstand even supported by a wall. But it was nice to see something I can work toward. I also don’t have a very good wall (I have to use the front door) to do this on in my house, which makes it more unsteady and a bit less fun.

 

Kelly’s Floor Core

This workout was tough for me, but still worthwhile try. I still dislike doing most exercise that involves laying on my back. Firstly because if my kids are awake I get tackled, and secondly because the feel of my stomach is still rather disturbing to me.

 

Kelly’s Total Body Stretching

An old favorite stretching workout. If you’ve done it before you can fast forward some of the teaching parts and still get a good workout. I try to do many elements of this workout every day, as I work toward the long term goal of healing my diastasis.

 

During the course of the last six weeks, I’ve finally begun getting up early again. (Though not every week, darn you late night meetings and PMS exhaustion). The good news about this is that if I can remain disciplined, I will be able to start fitting in longer workouts, and therefore go into Fit2B Advancing from here. Sometimes your body may be ready for the challenge but your schedule isn’t. That is what I love about Fit2B. There are lots of different length workouts and various ways to modify those routines to find something that fits both the level your body is at and the time you have to do it.

 

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio annual membership.

Join Fit2b.us

If you need a little more help; rehab rather than just fitness, check out The Tummy Team.

Tummy Team Prenatal Core Week 3: Neutral Pelvis and Core Strength

14386291868_8b89576b33_o

Photo Credit: Zygia via Compfight cc

This post may contain affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

I’m definitely finding it a bit harder to keep up with the program this time. If you have the choice, starting it in the late second trimester might be a better choice than the mid-third like I’m doing. A lot more transverse squeeze and releases this week and longer transverse holds. But also stronger focus on multitasking, meaning adding these into things you are already doing in your life. (waiting in line, driving in the car, standing or sitting, etc). which in theory makes it easier to fit them all in.

Neutral Pelvis is so hard to find when pregnant. I felt like I had finally figured it out, at least most of the time, but pregnancy has made it so difficult to tell. When I have my pelvis in what normally feels like neutral I feel like I’m sticking my belly out (even if I’m engaging my core and trying to keep my ribs closed.) It feels like there just isn’t enough room, which of course there isn’t because my body isn’t meant to be like this all the time.

I really struggle finding ways to sit properly because I feel like I have to stick my belly out to be in proper pelvic alignment and unless my legs are pretty wide there isn’t room for my belly. (Let’s just say that sitting ladylike in a skirt has gotten very difficult.)

A few new stretches this week. The edge of bed hip flexor stretch (knee to chest, slowly lower other knee so it’s hanging down from bed) was especially helpful and definitely something new that I wasn’t already doing.

I’m still experiencing tons of upper back tightness. I have to be very careful not to shrug my shoulders up and I’m feeling lots of tightness under my shoulder blades. Sometimes single shoulder rolls or an arm across the chest stretch may help, but not always.

If you are Fit2B user, check out Align it Flat as a great way to help practice finding good alignment in various positions. You’ll also find that most of the suggested stretches for this week can be found in Kelly Dean’s Total Body Stretching and Kelly’s Pregnancy Stretching routines.

I wish more of the instructional videos this week addressed pregnancy specifically, especially the video on functional integration. Active sitting, standing and walking all change quite a bit.

This is the halfway point of the program and I’ll admit that it’s hard to feel stronger since my body is changing so fast. My abs are more stretched out and my belly keeps getting bigger. But I’m trying to remain as consistent as I can. When I’m tired, I try to do a few shoulder rolls and transverse squeeze or two, if nothing else. At least then, even in my fatigue, I’m reminding my body what it needs to do.

The Tummy Team