Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 8 of the @JessicaSmithTV 14 day workout plan!

Day 8  of this 14 day workout plan!

Day 8 was made up of workouts from Jessica's Barre Fitness DVD,(affiliate links included wherever possible) included in the The Ultimate Workouts for Weight Loss: 4-DVD Collection. Today's plan had me do all three 20 minute segments of this DVD, for a workout that was about an hour long.

I did enjoy all of the workouts. On the Floor Barre, this time, I was able to have a small playground ball instead of a pillow to use for the workout, and I felt like it made a difference in being able to complete the moves as designed. However, I did feel a little concerned that I would pop the ball somehow, so I made sure that if that happened, my head wouldn't hit a piece of furniture or something like that. It held up, though, so I was OK. 

I used to shy away from barre workouts, but now I think I will look forward to them. It was an excellent workout.

Last week, I did tweet one of my blog posts that also mentioned the Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Black, and Jessica Smith responded that she had a video coming out about fitness trackers. If you are interested in getting one, you might want to watch her video to get a good perspective on using it as a tool for your healthy lifestyle. I appreciated her video as a reminder - my Fitbit can serve as a prompt to be more active, but I need to balance it out with everything else (not quoting her, just my thoughts several hours after I watched the video). Watch the video here: You may also find it helpful to read the insightful article that makes up the description of the video.

I do appreciate the replies that I get back via Twitter! It is very encouraging. 

Up tomorrow - a 40 minute walk from her  Walking for Weight Loss, Wellness & Energy DVD. Can't wait!

Days 5, 6, and 7 of the 14 Day Challenge: The Ultimate Workouts for Weight Loss!

Days 5, 6, and 7 of this 14 day workout plan!

Day 5 was made up of workouts from the 10 Pounds Down: Cardio Abs DVD (affiliate links included wherever possible) included in the The Ultimate Workouts for Weight Loss: 4-DVD Collection. The 28 minute workout (well, and the 4 minute workout, too!) were so hard, but it was really good! I love that Jessica includes modifications for almost everything, because I need them. I do think I will be able to do a lot of these moves with modification one day, but not yet. 

Day 6 had me doing two workouts from the Total Body Balance DVD. These felt a little easier, but it still felt like I worked out. I love the variety of this workout plan, as these are not necessarily workouts I would have picked out on my own.

Day 7 was an active rest day. I was supposed to do something like ride a bike or take a walk, but I gave myself permission to just do my regular amount of walking around and tried not to be very sedentary. I even left the Fitbit off for the day! It was a little liberating. 

I'll be back next with my thoughts on the hour long barre workout I did for Day 8, from Jessica's Barre Fitness DVD!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Day 4 of the 14 Day Challenge: The Ultimate Workouts for Weight Loss!

Day 4 of this 14 day workout plan!

Today was my first day doing workouts from Jessica Smith's Barre Fitness DVD (affiliate links included wherever possible) included in the The Ultimate Workouts for Weight Loss: 4-DVD Collection.

I have a love/hate relationship with barre workouts. I love them because I think they will give me the strength and toning results I want; but I also hate them, mainly because of one really intense lower body barre workout I did last year that afterwards, made me walk around like I had just run a marathon. So I cautiously did these, and surprise! I can still walk. :) In fact, I feel better than I did yesterday.

Today's workout included the Cardio Ballet Segment and the Floor Barre. I really enjoyed the Cardio Ballet segment! I was able to follow the moves fairly closely, and I loved that it was just 20 minutes.

The Floor Barre segment was good, but not my favorite. I think it was because I didn't realize that I needed a small ball to do the workout. Jessica said you could substitute a pillow, but it just wasn't the same. I also am aware that I don't like DVD or online workouts where I am supposed to not be looking at the TV because of the move I am doing. It's frustrating at first as I learn the routine. Jessica does a good job of setting up the move and giving the cue for it. So I am pointing out something that really can't be changed, but I'm sure a lot of people can identify with that.

Tomorrow is another workout from the 10 Pounds Down: Cardio Abs DVD. It's a little shorter, but from the description, I don't think it's going to be any easier!

Friday, September 5, 2014

So what if it's not perfect? Plus a sort of update on day 3 of the 14 day workout plan

So, I am on this 14 day workout plan. I got up early, I had my clothes ready, and I put the DVD in the player. It started OK, but it wouldn't play a whole chapter (might be a weird conflict between the DVD and DVD player, since it works fine in my newer DVD player). My options? Well, at the very early hour, I didn't have a chance to try it in another room since everyone else was sleeping. So I decided to substitute a different, slightly shorter Jessica Smith workout. (And I love this one - I've done it before and probably reviewed it here. :)

But 10 minutes in, my TV turns itself off! It does that sometimes, unfortunately. I'm starting to get fed up, but I decided I needed to at least try to complete my workout. I picked up my phone and found the video on YouTube and finished it.

Later in the day, as I folded clothes, I played that DVD on my other player, and it worked fine. I walked to the beat of the DVD as best I could, and felt good about getting more steps in.

So life didn't go according to plan. So I had to find a way to adapt to the circumstances and figure something else out. You know what? It's OK. So what if it's not perfect? I did something today that worked towards my goal, and I am happy about that.

Sidenote - what I did see from Jessica's Walking for Weight Loss, Wellness & Energy DVD (affiliate link) was really good! She puts a lot of thought into each workout, even free ones, but I do feel like her DVDs are a little something extra special. I'm looking forward to actually completing the workout sometime.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

What I thought: @LeslieWalks Leslie Sansone: Mix & Match Walk Blasters DVD

I mentioned that I bought this at iTunes last week and now I'm ready to review it! Here's a link to the Amazon DVD.

Leslie Sansone: Mix & Match Walk Blasters (affiliate link)

It seems like the 10 minute workout is very popular right now, even if it's a collection of 10 minute workouts put together. While it might be a trend, it is one that I support. It's easier for me to talk myself into starting a workout if I require myself to do at least one 10 minute workout. Many times, I end up doing more.

This DVD features 10 different workouts. Here's a list from Amazon's description:

  • Light Walk!
  • Brisk + Steady!
  • Interval Walk!
  • Short + Sweaty!
  • Walk, Kick + Jab!
  • Dance Walk!
  • Tummy Trimmer!
  • Lower Body Blast!
  • Upper Body Blast!
  • Flexibility Walk!
I feel like this is a handy resource to have. I am trying to be less of a couch potato, but I still do like to watch some TV. Telling myself I have to walk or ride the stationary bike while I watch TV is one way to get at least a little active. Over the past few days, I've done all ten workouts. My favorite one was the Tummy Trimmer. It felt like a good mini-workout. I also liked the Lower Body Blast. The other eight walks were good, too, but those were my favorites.

As I was writing about this workout, I checked the Amazon page and saw that the digital copy is currently $1.99, as it was on iTunes. I don't know if this will change, but I would think it would. It is very inexpensive for one of Leslie's workouts, and so much less than the DVD. 

I would definitely do this workout again. I thought it was a collection of useful and fun workouts that I will use to be more active. 

What I bought & what I thought: @JessicaSmithTV The Ultimate Workouts for Weight Loss: 4-DVD Collection by Jessica Smith

Affiliate links are included when possible. This is not a sponsored post - just me talking about what I bought!

I don't think it's a big secret that I really like Jessica Smith's workouts. In fact, one of the ways I got back into exercising consistently after "breaking up" with running was finding Jessica's workouts on YouTube. I'm not obsessed or a huge fangirl, I just enjoy most of her workouts and have discovered that I like the wide variety of exercise methods and intensity that her workouts have to offer.

I received a newsletter from her website last week, and it came at a time where I was a little fed up with myself in terms of my weight and my workout habits. It seemed like a good time to start something new. I used my hoarded up Amazon gift certificates - I've never bought something this expensive for fitness outside of my Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Black - and bought the advertised The Ultimate Workouts for Weight Loss: 4-DVD Collection. She talks about the video set here and the 14 Day challenge schedule in the description of the video. The video set includes these DVDs, which I am linking to individually in case you don't want the whole set or you already have some and would like to pick the rest up.

10 Pounds Down: Cardio Abs DVD
Walking for Weight Loss, Wellness & Energy DVD
Total Body Balance DVD
Barre Fitness DVD

So far, I have completed Day 1 & 2 of the workout schedule. The first day was from the 10 Pounds Down: Cardio Abs DVD. I set up a little portable DVD player besides my TV so I could watch a movie while I worked out. This works sometimes for me, but not when I am trying to do a more involved, new-to-me workout. The "Concentrated Abs" was especially difficult for me to follow along with as I am just not that strong in the abs yet. I had stopped the movie by that point and just tried to do my best. I am looking forward to doing this again at some point so I can note my improvement, hopefully!

The second day of the schedule was from the Total Body Balance DVD. This barefoot workout was a welcome change from the more active workout from yesterday, but it was still plenty challenging. I did use the 5 pound weights, and the 3 pound weights might have been a better fit for me right now. I am expecting to continue to feel sore for the next few days as I follow the 14 Day challenge schedule.

None of this adds up to huge amounts of steps on my Fitbit Flex, and I am choosing to be OK with that. I still love my Flex. I believe it helps me to be more active than I used to be. I definitely take more walks or at least try to do "something". However, for me, sometimes I am valuing quantity (get to a number of steps!) rather than quality (get a great workout!). I have to find a good balance to that.

I hope to bring more updates on this 14 day program soon! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I bought: Leslie Sansone's Mix and Match Walk Blasters

Bought this at iTunes last week and am getting ready to review it! Here's a link to the Amazon DVD.

Leslie Sansone: Mix & Match Walk Blasters (affiliate link)

I've done 5 of them so far. Twice, I mixed them with another instructor's shorter workouts. And one time, I was a little frustrated and needed to walk off some steam! :) I did three 10 minute workouts that day in addition to a different morning workout.

My initial impression is that I like these mini-workouts. I hope to be back in a couple of days with a more complete review for you.