I have been coming up with all manner of excuses this winter (the winter that will never end) for not walking outside. And as a Tracy Anderson devotee I thought I’d try one of the tools she advocates in some of her workouts – the rebounder. I ordered an Urban Rebounder from one of the home shopping networks. It was about $100 and they even broke it up into three pymts so it was painless. It was easy to put together and seems to be good decent quality.
The first few days I just walked and bounced around a bit for, maybe 5 – 10 minutes tops. Oh My Gosh. I absolutely could not believe it when the next day I was actually sore! And I was sore in the strangest places – the muscles along my spine were even sore. And I was thrilled that the muscles on the back of my thighs were feeling it too! It is amazing to me that just having some fun for a few minutes on this incredible mini trampoline can actually build muscle and burn calories at a terrific rate.
There’s tons of info on the internet if you search “benefits of rebounding” that I believe now to be completely true. The calories burned are compared to jogging more so than walking without all the damage done to your joints. So many tiny muscles which usually lay dormant are awakened because you are having to keep your balance while jumping around.
So if you want to try out a rebounder just set it up in front of your tv and every day or so while you are watching a show just spend 5 – 30 minutes:
- Doing jumping jacks
- Shuffling backward/forward & side to side
and voila! You are burning an impressive amount of calories, having fun and building muscle, which helps lower your body fat percentage.
I wouldn’t have lost the amount of weight that I did without exercise. I am a HUGE believer in finding the activities you really, truly enjoy. Since I began my weight loss journey I’ve generally exercised five to six days per week. I found a gym that has a dimly lit movie room. There are bicycles, treadmills and elliptical machines in a room with a projection screen at one end. I always do a combination of treadmill and elliptical. I average about 40-45 minutes per workout. Of course, I couldn’t do that much in the beginning. Sometimes all I could do was walk for 20 minutes, but it sure felt good knowing that I did whatever I could. I never workout in the main section of the gym where it is bright and crowded. At first I made a beeline to the dark movie room so that no one would see doing my workouts but then I stayed there because I realized how much more I loved going to the gym because of that environment. The mental benefits were the best part for me as I was able to let my mind wander and “recharge” my batteries. I always left afterward feeling uplifted, happy and calm.
After I’d lost about 50lbs I became aware that I needed to vary my routine. I tried some of the classes the gym offered such as yoga, step and weight lifting. I had wonderful memories of the original aerobics classes I used to do as a teenager as well as the step classes in the early 90s. I was stunned at how much I loathed these new classes. I thought I was just self conscious about my size, but then I realized that I was so tuned into what everyone else was doing that I couldn’t focus on myself. I felt frustrated and drained instead of happy and energized afterward. If you have to force yourself to do certain kinds of exercise – there is no way you’ll keep it up long term. When it is dark and cold outside and I am tired from working all day, the last thing I want to do is drag myself to the gym. However I always feel elated and proud afterward.
So, to introduce more variety I have found that I do enjoy Qi Gong and hula hooping! I can do these at home along with videos. It also helps to have 3lb. & 5lb. dumb bells so I can do toning exercises while watching T.V. in the evening. Find the activities you can have fun with and that leave you feeling recharged emotionally as well as physically.
It is so easy to fall into an exercise rut. Walking on your treadmill everyday is nice but can become mind numbing. If left to my own devices I tend to rely solely on the elliptical . Most of the time I prefer to mentally “check out” while exercising. If I don’t have to think about what I’m doing then I can just kind of meditate and let my mind wander.
But I think we live too much of our lives on auto pilot which is why we need to shake up our routines a bit. When a friend of mine told me she bought a hula hoop for exercising I got really excited about the idea. I was giddy while looking at all the choices available on the internet. I had no idea so many people were out there hooping! I spent forever trying to decide whether the weighted or non-weighted would be better and what the proper circumference of my prospective hoop should be… After extensive research (I HAVE to compulsively research everything) I finally chose the Gypsy Rose hoop (all pink and silver and shiny) from Hoopnotica along with an instructional video.
Now when I want to do something silly and fun I get out my hoop and laugh at myself while trying to keep my hoop aloft as long as I can. I’m ready now to get out my video and start learning some new hoop tricks. So go ahead and pick something new and fun to do! It will wake you up, make you laugh and whittle your waist too! (That’s what I’m counting on, anyway)