Workout Video Review: Sexy Workouts

Workout Video Review: Sexy Workouts

So I haven’t been able to go swimming the past couple of days because I had the worst cold and a lot of work, so I’ve been working out in my room (mostly to be able to tell this blog I am! :D). Anyway, given how meh I was feeling with my cold and my work, I really wanted to do dance videos that would pep me up. So I trawled through my list and picked some “sexy” videos. Want to see how I liked them?

The Good: Sweating Sexy Dance Workout with Jennifer Galardi

I liked this video! Jennifer Galardi is up beat and fun, the video is really short (only 20 minutes) and its pretty low impact, so you don’t even need shoes. I hate wearing shoes when I’m working out in my room. Anyway, despite its short length, this video really makes you sweat – I was exhausted at the end of it and slightly sore in the hips and thighs when I woke up in the morning. However, my only complaints with the video were that it got very boring to keep starting from the start and I found some of the moves difficult to keep up with. Plus, I never really felt sexy. I felt sweaty and awkward and hulking which is fine with exercise videos but not for one that promises otherwise.

I think I would’ve been content and ready to do this one again. If I hadn’t, today, done the next workout …

The Great: Dance Off the Inches: Cardio Striptease Workout

I really loved this one. Okay, this one is longer (40 minutes). It also doesn’t require shoes. It didn’t make me feel (ever) like I was working as hard as the last one. So perhaps all in all Jennifer Galardi gives you the better workout? I don’t know. What I did like about this video was that the steps were very easy to follow. They were also quite fun to do and didn’t get repetitive because instead of trying to put all the steps into one big dance, she made three small dances that incorporated different steps. I really liked that. Plus this is the only video ever where I laughed out loud at minute 30 out of 40 and didn’t keep checking the time. (In fact, at ten minutes in I was like … woah? ALREADY? NO!). Plus, something about the moves and the way they’re taught made me feel sexy and happy. And since it got my heart-rate up and got me sweaty and tired in the end, this is a win for me.

The Meh: Absolute beginners cardio bellydance workout

I started doing this one one Wednesday (before the Jennifer Galardi video) and got really frustrated with it. The moves seemed easy enough – especially for the Indian “trained by thumkas at weddings” body, but it didn’t really feel like I was moving or getting a workout. At 10 minutes in I hadn’t sweated at all and I didn’t feel like my heart rate was up. Plus, I wasn’t feeling at all sexy. The quality of the video also put me off. So I decided to quit in and move to Jennifer Galardi. Definitely avoidable!

On an aside, all of these are really hard on the knees. So tomorrow (unless I go swimming) I’ll probably go with one which has no squats and all upper body exercises or something.

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How to Stay Healthy When Life Goes Crazy

How to Stay Healthy When Life Goes Crazy

Hi everyone!

As mentioned in my last post, it was all set to be a crazy week. I had:

  • Wonderla.
  • A very important job interview.
  • Family get-together over three days (friday, saturday and sunday)
  • General deadlines in terms of work.

Obviously, all of these exciting events did damage my normal goals. So how did I do this week?

Exercise: 

Monday: Went to Wonderla.

Tuesday: No. 😦

Wednesday: Interview.

Thursday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Friday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Saturday: Swimming for 30 minutes. Also, loads of dancing in the evening for about 30 minutes.

Sunday: Walk with my parents (with a little running thrown in here and there) for about 30-40 minutes.

Honestly, this was as good as it could’ve gotten this week. I’m particularly proud of the end of the week.

Food: 

Monday: 2300 calories. Because Wonderla.

Tuesday: 1422 calories.

Wednesday: 1900 calories (this is because, feeling very happy about the interview, I went out for dinner with two fellow interviewees despite already having eaten pizza at the interview and eaten enough throughout the day).

Thursday: I have no idea! How could I not record it? However, given that I had about 575 calories left over for dinner, I am assuming I ate something reasonable and made it within the 1550 limit.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday: With my family, given the varied nature of the meals and the fact that there was a LOT of sharing, I was never sure how to calculate, and so I didn’t.

Lessons Learnt: 

So it hasn’t been a great week, food wise. I hope this blog will not become an “excuses” blog, so I won’t really make excuses, but I did learn how I could make some better choices this week:

Don’t snack between meals: I tried to avoid this as much as possible in my family celebration, because we were eating huge meals already and snacks tend to be super high calorie and nutritionally useless. I didn’t always succeed because, well, banana wafers and caramel popcorn and sakarapara and murukku were on offer, but I avoided it as much as I could. I also saw that the more nutritionally conscious members of the family were avoiding them strenuously.

If drinking, drink low calorie drinks: Think I succeeded in this. Peach snapps with soda, Bloody Mary, and Gin and Tonic over three days of family celebrations. Not crazy, calorie wise. Also yummy. I avoided all other drinks, though I did end up drinking a LOT of coffee and tea  that everyone else was drinking (but with very less sugar). Next time, would avoid or opt for plain milk.

Choose smaller portions of everything: Did, mostly. Went back for seconds only very rarely. Couldn’t resist the homemade Bhel on Saturday night. I especially took small portions of desserts or shared with people, which I’m proud of.

Don’t eat unless hungry: Again, mostly happy about this. Though I did go a little overboard on Sunday.

Stay active: Think I nailed it on this one! Swam laps in the pool on Friday and Saturday (my uncle’s house has a pool nearby). My brother said I’ve become boring in the pool but my parents definitely think my swimming has improved since they last saw it last June. Enjoyed dancing a lot with my cousins on Saturday night. Loved the walk with my parents on Sunday, had a lot of important conversations with them.

Have fun with family: Remember that life is about more than calories and that enjoying with your family (even if you only eat at maintenance and don’t lose any weight at all that week) is good for your mental health. And when your aunt says you look thinner and clothes fit better and you can walk and swim and run without getting winded … smile.

🙂

Looking forward to a great next week.

(Sorry for the long wait for this blog post. I’ll try to be more regular as well.)

Week in Recap: August 17th to August 23rd

Week in Recap: August 17th to August 23rd

Hi everyone! This is my (hopefully weekly) check-in of how I’m really doing with regard to my goals.

Exercise

Monday: –

Tuesday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Wednesday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Thursday: Swimming for 30 minutes.

Friday: Jessica Smith TV Dance Party

Saturday: –

Sunday: Swimming for 30 minutes (but not very vigorously, as I was teaching a friend).

I wish I’d exercised on Saturday, but still, pretty close to my goals! I’m pretty kicked!

Eating: 

(For reference, the goal is about 1550 calories a day).

Monday: 1455 calories.

Tuesday: 1537 calories.

Wednesday: 1520 calories.

Thursday: 1557 calories.

Friday: 1570 calories.

Saturday: 1477 calories.

Sunday (gah): 1849 calories. [I did make good choices at Subway! But then I got waylaid by an extra large packet of chips while watching a movie in my room. Eh. No regrets. It was end of week and a long weekend anyway.]

Now, this isn’t exactly terrible! I’m sure the extra on sunday is compensated by the lower values on many other days and by the exercise (though I’m sure a lot of the calculations have been off or lower as well).

But overall I’m really happy with this week. It’s been a happy, productive week. Hoping for many more in the future!

How’s your week been?

Workout Video Review: Jessica Smith TV Dance Party

Workout Video Review: Jessica Smith TV Dance Party

So swimming was closed today, so I had to do some other workout. I picked an online video workout.

Now, I have a lot of experience with online video workouts. We used to use them a LOT one semester when C, N and I used to get together and exercise, and we used them in the beginning of this semester too (though we didn’t keep up with it). I have a database of almost a hundred videos of various types so I’m never bored doing the same one over and over again. Workout videos are a good way to exercise when you have a million excuses for yourself – too hot outside, no equipment, no money, no time – no problem.

What I look for in a video

  • Fun
  • Approximately 30 minutes (though I’ve done some which are longer)
  • Good quality
  • Can be done at home
  • Available freely (and not illegally)
  • Doesn’t require any equipment

Review: Jessica Smith TV

Jessica Smith TV has to be one of my favorite youtube channels. Jessica herself is fun, bubbly and encouraging (and has the most adorable dog). While her entire vibe is laid-back, but her workouts themselves are extremely professional: she’ll almost always have a warm-up and cool-down included, and her workouts always make me sweat and feel like I’ve done some real activity. Though she has “cool down” moves in the middle so you don’t get too tired, she doesn’t stop for even one minute so you keep moving throughout the video. She’s also really easy to follow – the workout I did today had moves I recognized from my aerobics classes, but they were much easier to follow than my actual aerobics class. I’ve done a number of workouts by and her and I always feel TIRED (or stretched, depending on the video) at the end of her workouts (which isn’t always the case with youtube workouts). Her workouts are often low-impact, so you don’t even need shoes. She has loads of videos with zero equipment (or things like towels or chairs) on a variety of topics (flexibility, strength and cardio). Also, her workouts can be done at home – if I can do them in my small cramped hostel room, you can do them anywhere!

Today I did the Dance Party workout. Its a really fun workout and isn’t too difficult (though you can make it as tough as you like by adding more jumping around, I was quite tired after 30 minutes of doing exactly what she did). Like most of Jessica’s videos, I didn’t even think this required shoes (though if you have knee trouble you may want them). No other equipment was needed. Space was a little cramped on this one but it was okay. Plus, the music was really fun 80s and 90s pop music – think Spice Girls and Walk Like an Egyptian, which I really had fun with. I love dance workouts.

Some of my other favorites are the Cardio Ballet workout (this one is TOUGH – I can barely ever do 30 minutes unless I’ve been working out a lot that week, and I was aching all over later) and the Flexibility Stretch – this one just makes me feel so relaxed. I love doing it on lazy sundays.

Review Summary: I was red-faced, smiling and satisfied at the end of the workout and I didn’t have to get out of my room or spend more than 30 minutes. You should do it too!

Dance Party
Just give yourself a dance party.
Phew

Phew

Guess who swam 550 metres (that’s 50 metres more than last night!) almost without stopping, finally seems to be getting the hang of freestyle, and enjoyed the most delicious filter coffee afterwards?

Filter Coffee
Filter Coffee. One of life’s small joys.

-sighs with contentment-

Its also been a really solid day eating-wise. I did eat my favorite strawberry muffils but it was bookended by masala omelette and sambhar-vada, leaving a very decent number of calories for dinner. I love how with calorie counters, I don’t need to worry too much about enjoying a little chocolate or a treat – as long as everything else is on track. I don’t feel constantly hungry and deprived either. I also had a really enjoyable time on the blogosphere, interacting with people about all manner of things that I can’t when I’m not anonymous: illness, birds, and body image.

I also think I should go buy some fruits now, especially to eat over the weekend, because we’re probably going to have a holiday on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Unfortunately the pool is going to be closed for the next two days as well. I’m going to miss it. Might even have to go for a run!

And that’s a wrap folks. Hopefully I’ll be able to use this weekend to learn how to eat better even when tempted by alcohol and company.

-goes back to enjoying bangalore weather and college work-

Swimming. Dosa. Bliss?

Swimming. Dosa. Bliss?

So today I couldn’t get anyone to come swimming in the afternoon (so many commitments!) so I did other work in the afternoon (including writing this blog). But then people wanted to go in the evening – Vijayanagar Swimming Pool also has a slot from 7:15 to 8:05 or so – and I was, obviously, in.

This is the first time I’ve gone in the night. Its definitely more expensive: thrice the afternoon rate. Its also more crowded. I’m going to try and go in the afternoon but honestly I so needed this. I now feel refreshed and rejuvenated and alive. Plus the pool looked really pretty in the night.

Night Swim
The pool at night.

Sorry for the terrible quality – apparently, you’re not actually supposed to take pictures there (err … not exactly a policy I mind). I swam about 500 metres – stopping only for breathing breaks for 20 breadths. 30 minutes or so. I feel so pleasantly sore now. Though I would love to be better (already, my mind is moving to competitive swimming), I know that I have to take it slow and enjoy it and not behave like I have something to prove to anyone except myself. The exercise is the crucial part.

Also, luckily, today was dosa day in the mess for dinner. We came back just in time for dinner and enjoyed a repast. I love how dosa is so easily incorporated into a healthy diet – it’s delicious, low-cal, eaten with nutrient rich sambhar, and … did I mention delicious? I struggled a bit at the end of two dosas because I was still ravenous (gah, wasting calories on empty carbs earlier in the day) so I had curd – but since I couldn’t stomach eating it plain a “spoonful of sugar made the medicine go down”. Absolutely delicious meal.

Dosa Dinner
Mess food. Not totally terrible.

I think maybe when I think of living a fit, healthy college life, I’m thinking of days like this.

Now to get some work done.