As most of you know, staying fit and living a healthy lifestyle is one of my real passions. It's a journey that I started over a year ago and has now become a regular part of my daily routine. When it comes to taking care of your body, life sometimes makes staying healthy hard.
My journey started out with running. Just plain old running. No incline, no workout plan, no fat-burner workout, just me and the treadmill.
Why did I decide to start running?
After having my son five years ago, like a lot of other new moms, I struggled with baby weight. I gained almost 90 pounds with my son (yes, 90), and I knew that I wanted to get back to my pre-baby weight as fast I could. I joined a fitness club and started working out six days a week, sometimes twice a day. I pushed my limits and stuck with it for six months. I lost most of my baby weight, and then life took over.
There was a period where I thought, “I lost most of my baby weight. Why should I keep working out? I had this mindset for almost three years.
During that time, I completely lost who I was, as a person. I had spent the last three years raising my son, but while doing so, I forgot to take care of myself. I stopped making myself a priority, and once again, I found myself out of shape and discouraged. So one day, I said, “No more,” and I signed up for a 1-year membership at a gym and began running.
However, there was one crucial change I wanted to make on my new fitness journey.
I didn't want to be just skinny. I wanted to be strong.
Before having my son, I had a petite frame. I never struggled with weight, and even though I never worked out or went out of my way to be skinny, I was still able to manage a weight of just 90 pounds.
I was skinny, but I wasn't fit. I was still out of breath when I went up a flight of stairs, and my endurance skills were next to none.
I ran hard for almost a month, and almost immediately the pounds started to disappear. With such quick results, I pushed myself even harder, and at times, I was running up to eight miles a day. What I didn't know was that slowly, I was destroying my body. I was burning almost 900 calories a day, but I was only eating 1,100 calories. My body was lacking the calories and nutrients that it needed to be healthy. I was losing weight, but I was also losing muscle.
I could tell that my body was shutting down, so I reached out to a personal trainer for guidance.
Chris, a certified personal trainer, helped me get back on track. Not only did he help me overhaul my diet, but he also showed me how to mix up my workouts so that I wasn't spending all of my time on the treadmill.
Eventually, the man that helped me take back my life would become the love of my life and my biggest fitness supporter.
As a mom to a crazy 5-year old son, I don't always make it to the gym. As a finance expert, I know that life circumstances and budget restrictions sometimes make it hard to afford a gym membership.
So today, I want to share with you my favorite go-to free online resources and workouts. Trust me; you don't need fancy gym equipment to start your fitness journey. All you need is the motivation, will-power, and determination to start. Your body can do the rest.
I am in love with this website. Everything and anything you need to start or maintain an active, healthy lifestyle are at your fingertips.
Currently, there are over 500 free workout videos on the site. Every workout is searchable and can be customized based on the criteria you enter such as duration, difficulty level, training type or body focus. If you are just starting out or don't have access to any equipment, these guys have you covered. Just click on the option “No Equipment” in the search criteria.
To me, this website is better than even the priciest apps and workout programs. You can choose from High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to Pilates, yoga and even strength training.
If you are a busy mom, who doesn't have a ton of time to dedicate to a workout, try one of their quick 10-minute ab workouts. If you are like me and are more on the advanced side and are looking for something in the 60-minute range, try one of their insane cardio workout challenges, which promises to burn roughly 1,000 calories.
Here are some of the go-to workout options that I love from Fitness Blender:
QUICK WORKOUT (No Equipment Needed)
TOTAL BODY WORKOUT (No Equipment Needed)
I love Natalie Jill, not just for her workouts, but for her enthusiasm. I love working out to her fun and inspiring videos. Her website also has some fantastic healthy recipes and useful nutrition tips. Remember my fitness story? Being fit is more than just working out.
You have to take care of your entire body, and that means making sure you are getting the proper nutrients your body needs. It also means making sure you are recovering properly from workouts.
Natalie also has a workout app that I use when I need a quick workout on the go. It's also a great resource to use when you are traveling. It makes finding a workout where ever you are easy and accessible.
Here are some of the go-to workouts that I love from Natalie Jill:
WORKOUTS (No Equipment Needed)
NUTRITION AND RECOVERY
SteadyHealth is an excellent resource that harnesses the power of community.
Not only is it jammed packed with workout videos, but it's also a membership website. The membership is free (just enter an email to register), and it allows you to talk about your fitness journey with other members. Do you have questions about a specific ab workout? Are you afraid that you are doing something wrong with one particular movement or lift? Just ask the community.
It has great workout videos with specific workouts for pregnant women, office workers, those who are rehabilitating after an injury, and for people need to find some relaxation or who want to burn off some stress.
SteadyHealth is my go-to for instructional training. When I am completing a workout, I want to make sure that I am doing all of the exercises correctly. This ensures that I am getting the most of every workout and I'm not increasing my chance of injury.
Here are some of the go-to workouts that I love from SteadyHealth:
TOTAL BODY WORKOUTS (No Equipment Needed)
When it comes to working out at home, there are a ton of videos online. The resources listed above are the ones I found that offer the best when it comes to teaching you how to exercise at home effectively and efficiently.
Even though I do own some fitness equipment, and occasionally use a dumbbell, most of my workouts include only my body weight. If you are serious about getting healthy and starting a workout routine, these resources will help you get started.
I know what it's like trying to get a workout in when you have kids. It's difficult to find the time to go to the gym. Sometimes you can't find a sitter. Maybe it's not in the family budget to pay for a gym membership. Hey, I get it.
My hope with this article is to show you that you can make working out a priority. It doesn't matter if you have 10 minutes or an hour. If you want to see change, if you want to take better care of your body, you have to be consistent, and you have to have determination. You have to want it!
What are some of the ways you workout at home? Let me know about it in the comments below!