July 25, 2011

A (lazy) girl's guide to exercising.

I must have told you already that I never really liked exercising. When I was a teenager, I was playing tennis and doing Modern Jazz dance, but outside of that, gym classes were a nightmare and I just wasn’t into sports much. After that, there was university, then the first job, then moving out to live on my own... I had a million things in mind and exercising wasn’t one of them.

If I am perfectly honest, walking has been the only kind of exercising I’ve done for the past 10 years.

A few months ago, I saw Nathalie Portman in Black Swan, and read articles on how she had been training for a year to prepare for this role. And I realized that I was missing my dancer’s body, the one I had when I was a teenager. I wasn’t that muscular but my back was always straight and I had killer abs and now, well... I looked more like a big bag of chips, if you know what I mean.

So I decided to find a way to start exercising again - away that would fit into my busy schedule and would be doable at home because let’s be honest, I’ll never go to the gym 3 times a week even if I’ve paid a million bucks for the membership.

So if you’re like me and want to get back on the fitness track without investing much time or money, read on.

First thing I learned: beauty gurus are not the only gurus on YouTube. There is a Fitness community out there and they’ll share the knowledge with you.

Second thing: long aerobic/cardio sessions are out, HIIT (high impact interval training) is in. These are short but intense - even brutal- sessions that will boost your metabolism and burn tons of calories while developing your strength and flexibility. They’re perfect when you don’t have much time because there are tons of circuits that can be done in 10 min. You go for it, you sweat a lot and it’s over before you know it, so you can go on with your life. Exactly what I wanted.

Third thing : if you like dancing and music, there are now tons of disciplines that will make your exercise sessions more fun. Zumba is a very trendy one right now, and if you have a Wii there are Zumba games available. However I don’t have a Wii, I felt like I wasn’t fit enough to start with Zumba immediately, so I looked for DVD alternatives and found a ton of them, I particularly like the ones from Acacia where they have a large dance workout section.

My current routine.

I never thought I’d say that but I’ve been exercising again for 3 months now and I do enjoy it. Sometimes I feel lazy and have to kick myself to start but I always love the way I feel after a session, so that motivates me.

During the week-ends, when I have more time, I do a Bollywood Dance workout. Instructor Hemalayaa is fun and beautiful, the moves aren’t too complicated and I love this kind of workout so much I’ve bought all the DVD’s available so I can get some variation. If you want to target particular body areas, there are a “booty” and a “belly” DVD’s that are among my favorites. You do these workouts bare feet and need zero material.

Now during the week I don’t have time for that. Don’t tell me I could get up early to exercise because I’m already getting less sleep than I need so that won’t happen. And doing an intense cardio workout at night might interfere with your sleep. So I do short Pilates sessions. I found 2 instructors on YouTube that I like a lot: Cassey from Blogilates, who added fun music to her sessions and calls that POP Pilates, and Sarah from The SarahFit Show.

Cassey from Blogilates.com

I do about 3 sessions of 10-15 minutes during the week. I alternate between different workouts that target different areas. You don’t need any other material than a yoga mat and maybe a medicine ball, you don’t need to warm up much and you won’t even sweat much, but you will really feel your muscles burning, and the results are getting visible after a few weeks!

If I wake up early enough or if I don’t have enough time to do a Bollywood workout in the week-end, I will do a HIIT workout. There are tons available from BodyRock.TV; let's be honest, they're pretty hard, but there are always modifications for beginners that are explained, and I love instructor Zuzana because she’s always very joyful. So even if I can't do everything, I do learn some great exercises. You can always mix and match them to create your own workout, 10 exercices is a great average for a beginner.

Zuzana from BodyRock.tv

The results? I haven’t lost weight by exercising only (repeat after me: abs are made in the kitchen), I haven’t transformed into a muscle beast and I still am not a huge sports fanatic. But I am having fun, my abs are definitely more toned, I look better and I feel really good.

So if you want to start exercising, you know what to do! Who’s joining me?


  1. great post =)
    Got my motivation going.. It's been lackin a bit during summer ^^

  2. @MakeupbyThess: thanks for telling me, it means a lot to me if this post can give someone some motivation!

  3. A lot of Japanese girls have posted "morning exercise videos" on Youtube; very funny and sometimes useful

  4. I am! I had to freeze my gym account before going to Poland, but now I'm back and need to get rollin' again. Loved this post, I'm definitely going to check out those YouTube ladies! x

  5. Thank you for including my channel in your post! Glad you like my videos :) Don't forget to check out my site SarahFit.com for more workouts that will be sure to kick your butt :)


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