Well, this is it. The week where many people are working hard at their goal of losing weight. As I stated in my previous post, however, many people will fail fast; especially, if they misinterpret their approach to weight loss.
Many people believe they have to start the new year with a bang by hitting the gym for an hour a day, or running/jogging for 5 miles, but that’s not true. Easing into something new is a better option because people are less likely to burn out as fast.
If you’re a person who hasn’t spent the majority of your life exercising, or who has been away from it for a long time, you definitely don’t want to spend your first week of the new year working out for hours at the gym, or at home. You’ll be crying to quit in a few days. Instead, you want to find workouts that you will enjoy and will help ease you into your fitness. You also want workouts that will help strengthen your body and burn calories, but not in a stressful way. Additionally, if you suffer from some type of injury, or body issue, you want to start your body transformation with a lower impact workout.
For those of you working out at home, there are a number of programs on the market that will keep you moving from 20 to 30 minutes, and slowly ease you into longer routines. To help you narrow down your search, I’m going to share five fun workouts that will keep you moving and motivated to come back for more.
Okay, first and foremost, Zumba is my favorite workout routine of all time, which is why it’s my number one. For beginners, there are fun routines that slowly build over time as you grow and strengthen. Over the years, I have invested in all the programs, and I can tell you that I never get bored, even now that I’m at an advanced level. I always find time to fit Zumba in my schedule, especially on the days when I lack motivation to work out. The music and trainers of all backgrounds and sizes will motivate you to shake those hips and shimmy those shoulders.
Some people tell me, “But I can’t dance!”
That doesn’t matter, which is why this program works. In the privacy of your home, there’s no reason to hold back. Do your best to follow along, and don’t think about the movements or what you look like. Just let go and let flow.
For beginners, I suggest the Zumba Exhilarate. There are a few DVDs that help you ease into the program. From there, then I suggest advancing into the more focused programs of Zumba Incredible Results, or the more focused programs offered like Incredible Slim Down 5 and Tone Up 5 DVD. For XBOX and Wii Users, there are also Zumba programs that work with with those game consoles. You can get Zumba Exhilarate DVD packages for $40 or $50.
There’s also Zumba Gold Live it Up for people in their 50s or older, which is a great way to help keep that age group in shape as well.
The only downside to these workouts is not all of them have warm-up or cool down routines included in the workouts. Instead, you have to follow the suggestions outlined in the fitness books provided by Zumba. With some of the more current videos, however, that has changed.
For more details, click here.
#2 Country Heat
My favorite website I use is teambeachbody.com. This website offers so many different workouts for people of different fitness levels, and one of the fun workouts that will help you find your fitness and keep you moving and grooving is Country Heat.
This is a newer release low-impact dance workout, but after trying it out once, it’s now one of my favorites as well. Like Zumba, it starts out light, and as you strengthen and grow, you can kick up the heat. Most of the workouts are 30 minutes, and for people who love country music and dancing, you’ll feel like your two-stepping rather than exercising.
I particularly like how the trainer, Autumn Calabrese, breaks down all the moves for each routine; and once you learn them, you get to put them into action with the rest of the class–well on your television that is. There’s no stress, and she warms you up and cools you down.
Overall, there are 13 routines to get through. For approximately $60, you can get the Country Heat basic package, which also includes portion-control containers, a calendar that maps your routine, a Shakeology Shaker cup, and an eating plan. Of course, you can always upgrade to larger packages as well for a little more money.
For more on Country Heat, click here.
To step away from the dance workouts for a moment (Don’t worry; I’ll get back to them.), one workout that strengthens you in a fun and relaxing way is PiYo. This low-impact workout will have you feeling leaner, longer, and stronger in no time. Plus, you work your flexibility in a way that will help build your strength to move on to the higher impact workouts.
Chalene Johnson is another of my favorite trainers. I use all her programs, including Turbo Jam and Chalene Extreme. Her PiYo workouts range anywhere from 20 – 45 minutes, and they work out every muscle in your body. For most of those workouts, all you need is a mat and no shoes. Overall, this workout combines Pilates and Yoga with low-impact cardio.
The only frustration you might feel with this program is your lack of flexibility in the beginning. However, Chalene is one of the best motivators to keep you moving and coming back for more. It’s amazing how fast you’ll find yourself stretching farther and engaging your body in some interesting ways. I find it also does wonders for my injured left leg. The stretching of the muscles and movements of these routines help with mobility and stamina.
Right now, for Team Beachbody Members, PiYo is on sale at 10 percent off for $59.85. You get seven workouts, tools for success, and more. For information on this program, click here.
#4 Figure 8 Fitness
Recently, I invested in Figure 8 Fitness and immediately fell in love. If you haven’t noticed, I’m big on dance workout routines, especially because of my bum leg. Granted, I’m now at an advanced fitness level, but on days when I’m hurting, dance workouts help keep me moving.
Fitness 8 combines ballroom dancing with cardio in a fun and unique way. Jaana Kunitz is very intense in her motivation. In some chatroom forums, however, I read some complaints about her screaming and yelling during the routines, but she’s simply trying to motivate. I find her energy contagious.
The great thing about this program is, for about $47, you have access to the online programs, or you can pay an additional $9.99 for the videos as well. There are two different ways to use the videos. Because some beginners may find the routines a little difficult, Jaana offers shorter segment workouts to help people build their fitness level. Whether you’re working out for 20 minutes or 50, your abs are constantly moving and tightening, so expect to feel that burn.
For more on Figure 8, click here.
When it comes to Shaun T, he is the master of dance exercise. Whether you’re using Hip Hob Abs, or his newest dance routine CIZE, another of my favorites, you feel like you should be on the dance floor, and not on your living room floor.
This workout is like Zumba. It doesn’t matter if you’re not the best dancer. Shaun T will walk you through every routine, and repeat them over and over until you’re dancing like a star. When I get on some of the chat forums through teambeachbody.com, I find that people of all backgrounds, ages, and fitness levels love CIZE.
Granted, this program has a more hip hop urban feel to it, but you can go from beginner to dance star in a short time if you stick with it.
Also, what’s great about all these workouts is there’s one person who modifies the program. That way if you’re not feeling strong enough, or on track quite yet, you can follow that person to keep things even more low-impact. Then, when you’re feeling stronger, you pick up the pace.
The CIZE program is roughly $60, and comes with several tools for success like a meal planner, portion-control containers, a workout calendar, and more. For details, click here.
This Week’s Fitness Giveaway
As promised in my last post, I am giving away a fitness tool every week to help you stay on track. I’ve been lucky to invest in the fitness programs and machines that I have, but I know how expensive things can get; so I want to help.
With that being said, for this week, I will be giving away the Beachbody 3-Day Refresh system, which is a $69.95 value through teambeachbody.com. This 3-day system will help you reset your body by cleaning out all the toxins. It will also help you jump start your weight loss. People have lost over 10 pounds while using this system, and it’s a natural way to reset your body and fill it with healthy alternatives. Because you will need Shakeology to help get you through these three days, I will also throw in the number of packets you’ll need.
However, in order to win this, you have to prove to me how serious you are about losing weight and changing your life. What I would like you to do is put together a short video, no longer than 5 minutes, and explain why you are the person who will benefit most from this system, and how it will help you with your weight-loss journey. You will then post your video to my Facebook page here, or on my Twitter page here, or on Instagram and hashtag brandyraeram.
I will accept entries through Monday, Jan. 9, and announce the winner next Tuesday on social media. So make sure to follow me on my pages.
Good luck, and let me know how these programs work out for you!