fitness · reviews

Exercise for Life

One habit I’ve tried to maintain since my school years is physical activity. To be clear, I am not a health nut. I eat too much chocolate and desserts. I used to be addicted to soda. I love juicy hamburgers. My Wii Fit character is, ahem, chubby. But, I do exercise and have regularly done so since my youth. I use 5 lb. weights in some of my workouts. I love aerobics that make me sweat. I love it when it’s over.

There are so many health benefits in exercise:

  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • Helps you lose weight.
  • Creates muscle and  builds stamina.
  • Gives you energy.
  • Releases stress. (Nothing like kickboxing when you’re angry! Not that I really know…*cough cough*)
  • Releases endorphins – “the feel good” hormones.
  • Helps prevent back and posture problems.
  • Helps prevent osteoporosis.
  • And, my favorite: It enables you to eat chocolate with less guilt. 🙂

My goal is to exercise at least three times a week. Most weeks, I make this goal. When I want to lose weight and push myself (which is about once a year) I workout everyday of the week, except Saturday and Sunday, for three weeks.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite workout DVDs. I also enjoy using the Wii Fit, when I can get a turn. 🙂

Denise Austin is my favorite workout trainer. She is peppy and encouraging and the music is peppy without being too loud. I like her moves, too. She picks hard moves, but just when I’m about to pass out – she stops. Most of her newer DVD’s give the option of having her instruction or just music.

Denise Austin’s Get Fit Daily Dozen – 12 exercises in 12 minutes. Choose from five different workouts, two cardio, 2 strength training (one legs, one arms) and one yoga/Pilates. If you’re short on time, just do your daily dozen! I love it! I often do two a day, which is still only 24 minutes and I get a great workout. I also like the variety.

Denise Austin’s Blast Away 10 lbs.  – One of her older DVDs, but does the job just fine. If you need to get into shape quickly, do this workout five days a week for three weeks! You will shed the sweat and inches. It’s a kickboxing workout with lots of jacks, jogging, and plyometric exercises. I love the punches and kicks, but there is one part at the end that I dread. She has you jog really, really fast, barely moving your feet up and down for what feels like forever! When I’m done, I feel like a champ though! And I’m sweating. Profusely.

Denise Austin’s 3 Week Boot Camp – My sister told me about this one, so I gave it a try. If you follow the plan the way she recommends on the DVD, you will see results! I’ve heard of people using P90X – which is an hour a day for 90 days. I cannot possibly devote that much time of my life to working out. This Boot Camp DVD is a nice “medium”. It’s an intense workout, but doable. You start with the first segment – 20 minutes a day of cardio – and do that four times that week. The next week you do the second segment – also 20 minutes, but it is a strength training/kettlebell inspired workout – four times. The third week, you do both segments (40 min.) four days that week. To maintain, she recommends doing the full 40 min. workout three times a week. I like variety, so I spice it up with other workouts. I have maintained the weight I lost doing this routine (we won’t count Thanksgiving week). I need to lose more so maybe after the new year I’ll give it another whirl.

I’m wanting to try her newest release, Sculpt & Burn Body Blitz, just for variety. I’ll let you know what I think if I do it.

Before you exercise, remember to get your doctor’s approval. Start slowly, building five minutes at a time till you reach 30 minutes a day. Walking is a great exercise! Start there! If you can do it with a friend, even better. I know that exercise doesn’t guarantee a long and healthy life, but it doesn’t hurt. Denise Austin often says, “God gave you one body, take care of it.” I agree. This body is His temple and I want to care for it. No, I’m not going to ever be a super model, nor do I want to be. I may never even lose this last 20 lbs. I gained after my fifth baby. But I want to keep moving. If God sends an illness into my life, I want to be in good shape to fight it. This is a realistic goal. Being a size zero isn’t.

Do you have a favorite exercise? I think everyone should choose to do something they enjoy! 🙂

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