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

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,

[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.]