Freelance Fitness: The Wonders of Workout Videos

on June 14, 2010 in Freelance Fitness
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So I missed the last couple of freelance fitness posts. I'd like to say it's because I was just sooooo busy hiking my ass off that there wasn't time. But that would be a lie. A big one. My ass is quite firmly in place I'm afraid. To attempt to make it up to you, we'll have two workout-related posts today. First, let's chat about workout videos and why they're such a great option for those of us who work from home.

Exercise Videos Offer Variety

I have a lot of exercise DVDs sitting around. I like having options. This morning for example I was coming off a couple of really stressful days and I was completely filled with pissed-off-ed-ness. So I pulled out one of my favorite exercise videos -- kickboxing! I adore kickboxing. What can I say? Sometimes hitting things -- even just the heavy air in front of me -- literally burns off the bad mood.

Because of that, I was able to hunker down and have a very productive work morning! (Well, that plus so much coffee that I was randomly blurting out hissing, growling, and related noises like a toddler who just discovered that dogs go "Woof!" -- but that's besides the point).

After my normal work day ended, I had an interview (with the CBC's Ira Basen about content mills, Google, SEO and related such things, but I'll let you know more about that when his piece runs). While it was fun, it's always a little bit stressful preparing for them. So I decided to workout again before starting on a late day of work.

I put in another exercise DVD -- this one for the very first time. It was a salsa workout. Oh. My. God. It was one the funnest 40 minutes or so I've spent on a workout in ages! I probably looked absolutely ridiculous, but I don't care. I hope my neighbors did peer in the big old balcony door windows watching me grin like an idiot while I shimmied and cha-cha'd my way around the living room. Oh, if only my exes could have seen the hip motion goin' on in here today!

Can you tell I'm still coming down from my caffeine high?

But hold on. I'm not done! I decided to go for a 3-a-day schedule for a little while, and it starts today (it might end today too, but ask me again in a week). So tonight I'm going to do one more workout DVD -- either yoga or belly dancing. And yes. I know no one wants to see my midsection flailing about, but shut up. It's an awesomely fun workout. And while you still get some cardio burn, it's much more suited to evenings than other options.

I'd say those are some pretty diverse workout options when you're home all day. And that's the beauty of workout videos. You can do just about anything -- indoor walking routines, learn some new dance steps, stretch those limbs, or even beat on that imaginary guy who keeps looking at you the wrong way. How can you go wrong?

Workout Videos You Can Try

I'm not going to give you specific videos, but rather some of my favorite series you might want to try:

  • 10 Minute Solutions - These are great options if you need to split up your workouts over the course of a day (they have all kinds -- I love their kickboxing workouts, but all I've tried from them are good).
  • Dance Off the inches -- This is the series today's new Salsa workout was from (Sizzling Salsa I believe). So much fun. You really won't feel like you're "working out," but you'll still work up a nice sweat.
  • Tae Bo II -- When I'm really feeling aggressive, I go with this series. It consistently kicks my ass. Fitting.
  • Bellydance series from twins Neena and Veena -- These are the only bellydance videos I actually find enjoyable for some reason. But they're fantastic.
  • Leslie Sansone's Indoor Walking Workouts -- Because sometimes Mother Nature just has to be a bitch and make outdoor walks feel like you're walking through the gates of hell -- like all friggin' week here.
  • Wai Lana Yoga -- Her voice is kind of strange, but eerily soothing once you get used to it, and that's kind of nice in a yoga workout.
  • Anything from Denise Austin -- She totally annoys the hell out of me, but that makes me want to stick through to the end just to spite her. Hence, it works.

Now leave a comment and tell us all about your favorite workout videos and why they work for you.

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4 Comments

  1. Lori June 15, 2010 Reply

    LOVE the Ten Minute Solutions! It’s a smaller commitment, but you always end up doing more. And damn if you don’t work HARD during those ten minutes!

    I’m a Tamilee Webb fan. She’s not the Denise-Austin-annoying type, and she looks the way I want to, so I work my arse off – literally.

    • Jennifer Mattern June 16, 2010 Reply

      They’re great, aren’t they? I just finished emailing the series’ publicist (who emailed me after seeing this post), and the way I put it was this:

      “10 Minute Solution workouts are just perfect for those of us working at home. For example, they’re fantastic when I need a quick break and perk-up in between writing projects for clients, and they let us squeeze in workouts in less time than what a traditional employee might take for a smoke break or coffee run.”

      Tamilee Webb sounds familiar, but I don’t know why. I’ll have to look her up. I think you hit an important point when you say she looks the way you want to. I find that the way the instructor looks plays a pretty big role in how seriously I can take them. For example, I’ve noticed a lot of them have almost no waist — it’s like they’ve built up their obliques too much and have what my sister just this morning referred to as “man abs.” That’s fine if they’re teaching a kickboxing or bootcamp-style routine. Not so much if they’re teaching yoga or dance where they’re putting a different kind of emphasis on the core muscles. It just screams “unnatural” and I think “I don’t want to look like that, so why would I do this workout?” That’s not to say it’s the case for most. Neena and Veena definitely fit the image for what they do for example, and to be fair, I’d even say Denise Austin is absolutely lovely and I’m sure she’s a sweet person — it’s just the voice that irks me when I’m working out. Then again, no matter what kind of “man abs” they have, they’re all in far better shape than I am, so there’s something to learn I guess! :)

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