Variety is the Spice of Fitness: Your 55-Minute Living Room Workout

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When it comes to your fitness routine, variety is everything. This, coming from the girl who’d rather run every day than lift a finger anywhere else.

But truth be told, I understand the importance of variety, and while I have to make a conscious effort to do so, I frequently mix it up.

I was sick all of last week with a relentless, nasty cold, and so this week has been spent somewhat catching up and getting back into my routine. On Sunday, I woke up feeling (finally) somewhat better. So as not to push myself too hard, I committed to a 3-mile jog and a mile of walking. I was in the suburbs, at my parents’ house, and it was the perfect way to rev back up.

On Monday, I was ready to crush it again, and then I woke up feeling worse than I had the day before. Ah, the dreaded relapse. My head, filled with mucus and too much sudafed, was back in the clouds. And so, I slept, woke up a little later feeling equally crappy, and threw gym clothes into my backpack. That night, after a long day at the office, I went to my first Pilates class. It was a mat-style class, so not too hard, but also challenging enough that I felt like I had done something with myself. I wasn’t all that sweaty, but I was surely satisfied.

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On Tuesday, I was back! Unfortunately, so was the humidity. For 5 miles, I slogged through the thick summer air. I was tired. My body ached. But boy did it feel good to run.

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Wednesday, on the bright side, was one of those picture-perfect summer days. Cloudless. Cool (enough). Crisp, at least, compared to the day before. Again, my body was sore. But those 5 miles felt good.

That brings us to Thursday. Rainy, gray Thursday.

Since I’m not all that good at resisting my morning run, I tend to use rainy mornings as an excuse to work out indoors — to turn on the Today show, to roll out my yoga mat, to pick up a few weights, and to pump me up. As with any type of exercise regimen, I find that it’s imperative that I change up the videos that I do, not only because it’s best for your muscles but also because I get easily bored.

I loved Thursday’s routine, and discovered a few cool videos along the way. Below you’ll find my 55-minute workout routine, which can be completed from the comforts of home. All you need is a yoga mat, weights (I use a set of 5’s and a single 8-pounder) and a chair (i.e. your impromptu ballet barre).

1. 8 Minute Abs (the warm up): This video literally looks like it’s from the 80’s. It might very well be. But it’s the best basic ab workout, if you ask me. None of that mountain climber, 40-minute long planking shit. Just straight up middle school gym ab crunches. I use my 8-pound weight throughout to add resistance.

2. BarreConcept (25 minutes): A new one for me! I have been digging barre classes lately. I find that I get a similar sense of calm as yoga, which is great since yoga these days makes me crazy. My head is too packed with thoughts to get through a class without getting antsy. Barre doesn’t have that effect on me. Plus, it’s great for working the calves — great for runners. This is a great video that can be done at home. A few of the movements do require the true barre, but I managed by modifying on my own.

3. Total Arm Workout (11 minutes): Another new one, this arm workout has been fantastic for the summer months in producing Jen Aniston arms (or so I like to imagine). I originally tried doing this video with 8-pound weights. Not happening. That’s why I recently purchased the 5’s, and they’ve been perfect. If you’re looking for a mix of bicep, shoulder and tricep work, this is it.

4. Exhale Core Fusion Upper Body Sculpt (10): I’ve loved the Exhale Core Fusion videos for a while, but somehow this Upper Body Sculpt got past me. It’s great though! I’ll definitely be checking this out as a complement to the aforementioned arm workout above.

5. 1 Minute of Stretching! 

Tell me: What are your go-to videos for working out from the comforts of your living room?

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