Fitness Review: Ballet Beautiful and 10 Minute Pilates

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I thought today might be a good day to do another fitness DVD review.  Like I’ve mentioned before, I haven’t had a ton of time to devote to longer workouts, nor would I want to anyway.  Yard work is tiring and exercise in itself.

That being said, I still think it’s important to make sure I do things for my core, do dedicated stretching sessions, and more “mellow” workouts, because they can be relaxing, and prevent injury.  For the past couple of months, I’ve been alternating between Ballet Beautiful Total Body Workout and 10 Minute Solution Pilates Perfect Body.

Let’s start with Pilates first.

I like this DVD because it’s really good for small spaces, and each 10 minute session concentrates on one particular section of the body.  It’s not super hard, but still effective.  It’s my go-to for short workouts that don’t make me sweat or too sore.  However, I imagine if you did all of the workouts together, it’d be tougher.  I love this workout because anytime my back isn’t doing well, I can still do everything on this DVD, and in fact, it generally speeds up my recovery.  There are plenty of modifications to do to cater to injuries or fitness level, but I would definitely recommend this to beginners or intermediate levels.

Now for the ballet DVD!

I originally got this DVD to break up my routine, and because I love dance-type workouts.  It’s one of my favorites now.  It’s hard to describe the “difficulty” level of this workout though.  It’s broken up into several different workouts, some only a few minutes, some a little longer.  You can also go through all of them at once for a comprehensive hour-long workout.  Personally, while some of the routines are fairly easy, I think most are tough.  Especially if your form is good and you push it, it’s hard.  I don’t think this DVD is easy, but I think it’s great for beginners.  The super chill classical piano that plays in the background is a welcome change from the crappy, and slightly annoying techno/pop fitness music that generally accompanies most workout DVDs.  I will add though, don’t be intimidated by Mary Helen’s awesomely insane flexibility, just do your best, maybe do some extra stretching so you can get closer to some of the stretches she does.  My personal fitness goals involve more being strong and super flexible, rather than lose weight.  Although feeling as light as a ballerina is something I can hope for.

I doubt I’ll get deeper into the Pilates realm, but I’ve definitely been inspired with ballet.  This DVD perked my interest into more instructional-type DVDs, and perhaps, one day, will lead to some classes for fun.

I think that is all for now.  The rest of my summer will involve the Bolder Boulder and 5ks, so I might update with that stuff.  Summer is a time for wogging (walk/jogging).

Until next time.

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30 Day Shred: Level One

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Since I’ve started a new fitness regimen, I’ve decided to kind of journal about it/review products and other fitness things I’m experiencing along the way.  It has a two-fold effect (hopefully): first, hopefully it’ll help other people that may be reading my posts, and second, (and most importantly) it’ll make me accountable.

Now, I’m not a hardcore fitness person, I’ll just put that right out there.  I don’t like doing a whole lot of things in extreme, and I’m not looking to get a thigh gap or rock-hard abs or anything like that.  I’m seriously just doing it for fun and to be healthy.  There is a weird thing in the fitness world that likes to focus a lot on looks and shame others if they never attain the “perfect” body.  They say things like, “well, you’re clearly eating badly” or “you’re not working out correctly” if they perceive someone as not having the body they think one with a high fitness level should have.

So, I’m definitely not that person.  I eat well and walk a lot for my health.  Everything else I do on top of that, is seriously just for fun, and to see what my body can do.  If I’m not having fun, I ditch it and do something else.  Life is too short to waste time on stupid workouts that you hate, just to achieve a certain body.

I shall step down from my podium now.  There.  Ahh, it’s so nice down here!

I decided to start off with Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred because right now, I’m on a DVD kick.  I’ve done this DVD before, a bunch of times, but always with mixed results.  The first time I tried it, I was still recovering from my back injury, and this made it a lot worse.  Now that everything is much better, I also am more aware of my limits.

I’m also not going to do this DVD for 30 days.  Mainly, because I’m not trying to lose 20 lbs in 30 days, and also because I want to move on to new things every week to mix it up.  I’m sure I’ll revisit this DVD though in the future, especially as I’m able to do more, it’d be interesting to have a second go at this and be able to do the advanced versions on most things.

It’s actually a fairly nice workout.  It’s great when you want to get in cardio and strength and you have a limited amount of time.  She calls it circuit training, and it is, and kind of seems like a light version of the HIIT workouts (high intensity interval training).  I just finished level one, and I’m definitely seeing a difference.  It was a little hard in the beginning, trying to start something new (and I haven’t worked out in months).  I struggled the first couple of times, and I needed to go to bed by 8:30pm every night, but I got through it.  I just had to remind myself that it won’t always be like this, that starting is the hardest part.  By the weekend, I had a lot more energy, my appetite was down, I was able to stay up later, and I could do the workout without stopping.

I still have some back issues, and I have knee issues, so I tend to stay around the lower impact versions of the exercises.  I still feel the burn, but I don’t blow out my knees or back (I shall have none of that!).  For abs, I pushed much harder, and did the “advanced” version as best as I could.

Even with today, I’m pretty spunky.  I woke up fine, and right after my workout, I had a snack and went right to house chores without much grumbling, because I wasn’t completely exhausted.  To be honest, throwing this into my schedule has made me more productive.

All in all, I recommend this particular DVD.  I’m starting level two this week, and also adding in something else, which I’ll blog about next week.

Until next time.