I am seven months postpartum with my third child and I haven’t exercised in more than a year. I have thought about starting a new exercise regimen many times since being cleared by my OBGYN, but I haven’t taken the plunge. Time constraints and a low energy level were my two biggest excuses, but I also I have a full-time job and three kids so time is short. And with a new baby who needs a lot from me, I'm just plain worn out! But there will always be excuses, am I right? It's time to make an effort.
I know there are so many options out there to choose from when you decide to get in shape. So many, in fact, that it can become a little overwhelming. That’s why I decided to create a list of what I wanted in a workout and decide what to try based on my current needs.
The ideal work out for me has these points:
Luckily, I was able to find a few exercise videos that are free (for me) since I am an Amazon Prime subscriber. But all three of these choices are available to anyone on Amazon for a small price.
The first one I tried was Ballet Beautiful Total Body Workout. I have been following the creator of this workout on Instagram and she is absolutely stunning and inspirational! I’ve wanted to try this for a while especially since I did ballet for so long when I was younger and I miss it.
I read reviews before doing this the first time and I was a bit nervous. They all kept talking about your muscles “burning.” Well, they weren’t joking! I definitely felt the burn and had to take breathers multiple times throughout. If you do the entire workout it is an hour long but I didn’t last that long the first time because OUCH! I told you I was out of shape. The best thing about it is there are six different segments and you can do one, two or all! I like this because it is rare that I have a whole hour to exercise. Ladies, I’m sure you can relate! It’s super easy for me to pick which part of my body I want to focus on (arms, abs, legs) and go for it. You will spend the bulk of your time on a mat on the floor, which I didn't mind at all. It just surprised me. I know that if I kept doing this three to four times a week for at least a month there would definitely be a difference in the way I look and feel.
The next one I tried was Jillian Michaels: Yoga Meltdown. I have faith in her because I have done her 30-day shred before with great results. But as I'm starting out I don't want to do high impact exercise just yet. Plus I have always wanted to be skilled at yoga. The first time I did this I didn't know what to expect because JM can be pretty tough on you! Honestly I was a bit disappointed in this one. I didn't read the reviews first and as it turns out it's not a great place to start with yoga. I wanted a more traditional yoga but the moves are unconventional. Yoga pros probably wouldn't approve! I do think I burned a lot of calories doing this. But it wasn't my favorite. It would be better if I had been doing yoga for awhile and wanted to change things up with my movements.
The last one I tried was Element: Barre Conditioning. Once again I have been following Sadie Lincoln, the founder of Barre3 on Instagram and have been impressed with the results of people who do this workout. It's a cross between ballet, yoga and pilates. I have a friend who has been doing Barre classes and she is in spectacular shape with those long, lean muscles I am craving. It is split into two segments, which is great in a time crunch. It's a little over an hour all together but you can pick which one you want to do that day. There is Burn and Firm and then Lengthen and Strengthen. I did both and had to take a lot of breaks. This was expected since I'm just starting out. I know if I continued to do this one it would get easier each time as my muscles get stronger. And boy, would they get stronger! I felt the burn on this one too.
After trying all three I believe I will stick with Ballet Beautiful for at least a month and hope for the best.
Photo credit: adapted from ヘザー heza | Flickr