Incorporate Workout DVDs into Your Fitness Routine


My workouts, to be honest, are quite bland. I spend a few days per week running (one long run mixed with several shorter runs for speed) and maybe 2 days incorporating strength training with the same combination of moves and weights each week (I do not pay for a gym membership, so I do not participate in classes and do not have a wide variety of machines to choose from at my free fitness center through my apartment complex). I do increase my longer runs and try to beat my times for my “fast” runs, but other than that, my fitness habits are relatively predictable. I tend to notice some results and improvements on my running times, however, when my roommate was just trying out her new workout DVD for the first time (Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred) and asked me if I wanted to join, I decided to try it out. I had completed the same workout DVD when I was in college awhile ago, but that was the only time that I have ever worked out via video. The workout program contains 3 levels spanning 30 days (10 days for each level). I figured that since I had been working out consistently and felt that I was in pretty good shape, the workout DVD would be pretty easy. Well, the next day, I was feeling it. My chest and shoulders still burn, two days later! It made me realize that I do tend to neglect certain muscle groups — I’m biased toward focusing on my legs, butt, and biceps! My chest rarely gets a good workout and I tend to baby my shoulders as well. I was quite happy to feel sore the next day and will continue to occasionally join my roommate when I can for her 30 day shred.

Some of the benefits of incorporating workout DVDs into your fitness routine include avoiding a costly gym membership and waiting on machines, enjoying the comfort of your own home so that you can feel more at ease with your own pace and your body, allowing more flexibility with your schedule if you live somewhat far from a gym, mixing up your routine to focus on different moves and muscles, or not having to worry about bad weather ruining your outdoor run or bike ride. You can buy used workout DVDs online or at the store and can also use YouTube as a source of online workouts (Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred is actually on there). While I haven’t tried them, here is a list of some great workouts to try at home: 8 Great Workout DVDs to Try Now.


Track Your Meals and Workouts

Just like tracking your budget, tracking your meals and workouts can be an important step in improving your life. By tracking your meals, you’ll be more aware of what you’re putting into your body and how you can improve your diet. By tracking workouts, you may be more inclined to follow a workout plan and find ways to improve and vary your current plan. Just like budgeting your money, it is important to find your favorite method for tracking these things. For workouts, I like to keep an Excel document with a calendar and list of the workouts that I completed on each day (ex. “ran 5 miles outside” or “1-hour fitness class”). You can also just write these items onto your regular wall calendar if it doesn’t look too cluttered with your busy schedule. There are also free programs and smartphone apps that let you track your dietary consumption each day (some are pretty sophisticated and actually have a nutritional record of most grocery and restaurant items, including calories, fat, etc. along with a record of calories burned during common activities so that you can compare how many calories you’ve ingested with how many you’ve worked off). Again, a simple notebook, pen and your best estimates are all that is necessary for tracking these things. As a tip, do not obsess over calories. It is about maintaining your health and working toward your fitness goals. For example, if you eat a lot of “junk food,” perhaps tracking your daily meals can allow to visualize exactly how much of it you need to cut out or your diet (you can also work this into your budgeting method to see how much you would save if you removed unnecessary food items from your diet!). If you’re in a workout slump, entering your workouts may motivate you to try new fitness activities.

Hopefully you’ve already employed a budgeting method (as per yesterday’s post) – start tracking nutrition and fitness in your life today!