No fancy before and after pictures here. I just wanted to write about my favorite online resources, in case anyone will find them useful too.
So, background. I’m not a big fitness buff. I’ve never been on a diet. And up until 3 months ago, I didn’t exercise (except for the occasional 20-minute beginner’s yoga). For a brief period when I was in Uni I did competitive judo, where I trained 1-2x a day, 3-5 days per week. I did judo itself, and some cross training, cardio, and lifted weights. It was at my best shape then. That being said, for almost a decade since then, I have remained at the same weight. Maybe a little bit of fluctuation here and there, but never more than 1 kg.
Some have said I’m lucky, but I don’t think that’s completely true. Sure, I didn’t exert a lot of effort when it comes to exercising, but I also didn’t abuse my body either. I don’t smoke or do drugs. I rarely drink. I don’t stay up late, I drink lots of water. I’m not a big fan of chips, soda, and sweets. You can give me chocolate and I’ll put it in the refrigerator, and it will still be there a month later. I’ll eat it if it’s there, but I won’t miss it if it isn’t. When I eat cake, I scrape the icing off. I also don’t like to eat a lot of meat. So it seems that I’m consciously making these dietary choices for health reasons, but not really. They’re just based on preference, and it’s just coincidence that the ones I like are the healthier choices.
So that’s for food, and that’s easy for me. Exercise…err…not so much. I’m lazy, I don’t like it. It feels good when I finally finish it, but getting started is such a struggle, and going through it is a pain. But three months ago, I made the decision to exercise more consistently. Every day since then, I go through an internal monologue of whether I’ll do it or not. On some days I do, on other days I don’t, and it adds up to about 30 minutes of exercise for 3-4 times a week, which is…not bad at all.
And here are the people (websites) that helped me.
Yoga with Adriene – I first came across her Youtube channel when she did a 30-day program at the start of the year (this was last year). I followed the first few days, but I’m not particularly good at following through something, so I fell behind, skipped some days, and repeated days that I liked.
What I like about Adriene is she’s not a snob about yoga. Her motto is “find what feels good” so she’s not so caught up about getting things right. She also doesn’t want anyone to be left behind, so most of her videos are beginner-friendly. Some people don’t like that she talks a lot, but I do yoga for the stretching, not the meditation, so I’m not bothered by it.
I swear by her Yoga for Lower Back Pain video. It works! I’ve complained about lower back pain since I was 12 years old. I’ve done physical therapy, acupuncture, back support belts and braces. It’s a spine alignment thing (but not severe nor serious) coupled with bad posture, and sitting in front of the computer all day every day. It turns out, 15 minutes of stretching of the hips and lower back is enough to manage it.
Fitness Blender by Daniel and Kelli – I love love love them! So I found them because I tried out one of these 12-week programs to get a bikini body, with lots of before and after pictures all over Instagram (lapse in judgement, even writing this now makes me cringe :-S). So anyway, I tried that for about 4 days, and I just about died of exhaustion because it was so intense. The program was 12 weeks of high intensity circuits! I admitted defeat and searched other (low impact) workouts on Youtube and Fitness Blender came up!
I love them because all of their workouts on Youtube are free (you pay a minimal fee if you get them in a bundle on their website). Also, they’re not obsessed about being healthy. They’re concerned about getting the right amount of nutrients, but they don’t count calories. They don’t workout more than an hour at a time, and they don’t endorse supplements and protein shakes. They don’t endorse anything at all (which is very refreshing in this day and age when people endorse stuff all the time). They just eat clean and healthy food. When they have milk it’s whole milk, not none-fat. They acknowledge that you also need a healthy amount of fat in your diet. They celebrate non-scale victories. They focus on overall health instead of the numbers on a scale or the inches off the weight. Their entire philosophy on health and wellness aligns with mine.
They’re currently one of the top fitness channels on Youtube, with over 3 million subscribers, and more than 400 million views as of April of this year. There are people who have been working out with them for years, and I’ve only been working out with them for 3 months, but I hope to stick with them for longer.
Yes, I work out at home, in front of the computer. This works for me, for now. I’d love to be outdoors, but I don’t run (bad knees). I need to organize other people if I do team sports. And I don’t want to pay for a gym membership because I’m fine with body weight training and have no need for gym equipment. I’d love to take classes, maybe some aero-dance fusion, but maybe next time. For now, this is my fitness journey.
Do you exercise? What’s your favorite exercise routine? Any recommendations?