Friday, January 8, 2016

Three Workouts for 2016

2015 was a difficult year for me, and, as a result, I didn’t exercise as much as usual. I continued to walk every day and did push-ups and a few other strength and core moves several times a week, but that was pretty much it. Here are the three workouts that I want to focus on in 2016:

1. Lots of Walks & Hikes

My main form of exercise are long, brisk walks and hikes, and I will continue to walk and hike every day in 2016. I got my Fitbit Flex for Christmas 2014 from the older kid. At first, I wasn’t sure I liked it as I’d been used to the Fitbit Zip (which I liked a lot, but I had trouble finding a good place to wear it; I got the pink one and it always showed when I wore it on pant pockets and it weirdly showed when I wore it on my bra (which is recommended). My main complaint about the Fitbit Zip was however that it uses batteries, and I didn't like having to replace batteries quite often.

I didn't like the black, plain wristband of the Fitbit Flex as it is too casual to wear to work or when I’m dressed up. I therefore ordered the Tory Burch bracelet for the Fitbit when it became available in silver. There was a bit of a learning curve: How do you open the darn thing? I actually had to google it! How do you keep the cover from rattling? You actually just have to give it an extra push to make sure it is truly all the way closed. Is there an easier way to get the Fitbit in and out of the bracelet? Not that I have found. That’s why I always wear the Tory Burch bracelet and only take it out once a week to charge it - this is not what’s recommended; the recommendation is to wear the Flex with its original wrist band for most accurate tracking, but the tracking in the Tory Burch bracelet is fine. I have been wearing it daily.


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After figuring it out, I started loving the bracelet and have been getting many compliments on it. People are usually surprised to learn that the pretty bracelet houses a Fitbit. I just realized that there are some other new Tory Burch Fitbit bracelets that I really like.

Keeping track of my steps is a great motivator to walk more as I often head out for another 30-minute walk at the end of the day to increase my step total. I also want to push myself with some long, hilly hikes - we'll see how far and high I can go! :)

2. Consistent Weight Training

I’m also ready to add some more weight training back into my routine. Since we stopped our gym membership a few years ago, my weights routine has been a bit lackluster; it mainly consists of push-ups (I am proud that I have kept up with doing push-ups consistently and have been seeing steady improvement in the number and quality of my push-ups), tricep dips and some yoga moves that involve strength.

When I was contacted last fall to review the Sandbag Training Bible I was intrigued as it seemed like a perfect weight workout at home. The little book contains 100 functional exercises that can easily be done at home with a sandbag and a backpack (to put the sandbag in). I have actually been using a sandbag we have around the house to keep water out (I covered the sandbag in a plastic bag and put it into a pillow case). But a sandbag specifically designed for working out would be even better; there are several affordable workout sandbags on amazon.com.

I like building muscle and will definitely continue my weight workouts on a regular basis.

3. Barre-ish Workouts

I used to take barre classes consistently for four years, but last year that stopped, too. I’m ready to get back to barre (or similar) workouts. One obstacle has been getting to a barre studio as it takes several hours out of my day (because of drive time, getting to class early to get a “good” spot, etc.). I have a couple  barre DVDs that I use once in a while. I also purchased Tracy Anderson's Mat Workout for Beginners (and watch it on Amazon instant video). After doing barre workouts for so long, I really didn’t want to order the beginner workout, but I figured I better get clear instructions of what I’m supposed to do (I had read several reviews that highly recommended getting the beginners DVD first as Tracy doesn’t really explain the moves in detail in the other workouts; since I knew that it’s very important to use correct form, it was really a no brainer). Plus, after not doing any barre-type workouts for almost a year, I truly was a beginner again... I really like the workout and look forward to exploring more of her DVDs.

Questions: What are your exercise goals for the coming weeks and months? 

Be Well,
Andrea

[Disclosures: 1. I was provided a free review copy of the Sandbag Training Bible ; as always, all opinions are my own. 2. Links in this post are affiliate links.]

16 comments:

  1. Oh man, walking and hiking are the best! They're absolutely my favourite way to exercise. Just tough when winter hits! I love that fitbit!

    https://forsevenseasons.wordpress.com

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    1. We are very spoiled in California when it comes to walking & hiking... :-)

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  2. Sounds like a really well rounded plan Andrea AND if you like what you are doing, more likely to keep it up! You always look great to me!!!! Thx for the reviews above!

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    1. Thanks, Jody! You are my fitness inspiration!!! Even though I will never be as fit as you are, seeing your pics & videos on IG & FB every day always reminds me to get a workout (however short) in!

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  3. You do have an excellent plan for keeping fit. It is definitely too cold to walk outdoors right now so I am going to check out the Leslie Sansone walking DVDs.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! The walking DVDs sound good! I know how lucky we am here in California since we really can walk outside year round....

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  4. Love your goals, I wish I could do more hiking.

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    1. Thanks, Coco! I feel very lucky that at this time in my life we can go on family hikes every week and that I also get to go hiking on my own!

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  5. I know what you mean and I am in a similar situation. Anyway walking is one of the best training and when I walk everyday I feel very well. have a great week ahead.
    xxx
    mari
    www.ilovegreeninspiration.com

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  6. Hiking! Starting next weekend I want to try to go on a long hike every weekend if it is not raining. I have no problem with any kind of weather but doing a fun hike in the rain is not fun at all. Besides that: Bella hates rain.

    On my daily walks I don't mind a bit of rain though.

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    1. Hope you'll get to go on many beautiful hikes in 2016, Fran!

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  7. All good plans! I use the barre at the karate studio all the time for both an aid to stretching and strength work for my legs. I've gotten to where I can kick head high and am working on doing double kicks (fake low and kick high). I also do bodyweight exercises and often put light weights in a vest pocket or other way to add a little more difficulty to the exercise.

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    1. Thanks, Dr. J!

      Our "little" son is testing for his purple belt in Taekwondo this week, and I'm always toying with the idea to take up martial arts; it's such an awesome workout all around!

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  8. Sounds like you've put a great and attainable plan together. I love the concept of a fancy bracelet to hide the Fitbit. My friend and new workout buddy got a Fitbit for Christmas and I am considering getting one too. We shall see!

    Since I don't have a car, I find that I walk A LOT which definitely helps keep me fit so I love your idea of walks/hikes. I also just finished day 8 of the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I can't remember the last time I exercised 8 days in a row and I'm feeling really good about it. Of course, I don't think I would have stuck to it if I didn't have a workout partner for accountability. I also like that the routine is only 20 minutes. If I have any hope of building a habit, I know I have to start small and 20 minutes of weights/abs/cardio per day does not seem so scary (although it is quite a challenging workout routine).

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    1. It's fun to track how much you walk with a Fitbit. Since walking isn't naturally built into my day, it was especially important for me. Since getting my first Fitbit three years ago, I am so much more active and have found many ways to "sneak" steps into my day. I also stopped sitting for long periods on end when I grade papers, etc.

      I have the 30 Day Shred on DVD and used to do it! Maybe I'll give it a try again...

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