work it out

i never thought i would come to this space to share workout routines, but what the hell.

it’s a funny study in motivation for me, this exercising thing… i’ve learned to pick out what factors get me going – and keep me consistent. yes, i want to get in shape, to feel strong, to stay active for the sake of my health. but with the job i have currently (and the grad school/job combo i may have lined up next year), exercise has been more important to me as a way to unwind, physically. i spend so much time talking throughout the day that i forget to breathe normally sometimes. i unknowingly tense my shoulders, neck, lower back, jaw, etc. etc. etc. for hours at a time. it isn’t until i get myself in front of these workout routines that things release and stretch out, and my body feels like itself again.

here are the three (free!) videos that have really worked for me and my workout-averse personality. 

20-Minute Yoga for Complete Beginners —

this is more of a reset button than a true workout routine. i tend to use the stretches to release tension, and the quiet, slow pace with guided breathing helps me clear my mind a bit.

Intro to Bellydancing —

yes, bellydancing. once i got over how silly it felt, i found a lot of the movements to help with lower back tension, easing muscles that don’t really get attention in other workouts. i use certain segments of the video as warm-up/cool-down and skip the rest.

NYC Ballet Workout 1 —

this is my go-to for a true workout. i have always loved taking ballet classes, but i’m on a tight budget and this is the next best thing. i skip the middle ‘stretches’ segment and do some or all of the other exercises. they get my heart rate up, work my core and leg muscles, and force me to pay attention to my grace and posture. then, depending on my mood, i’ll use the ‘reverence’ or one of the above videos as my cool-down. 

after i’m all done, i get to skip downstairs and slap some stickers onto our house workout chart and then bask in the swirl of my endorphins. it’s an ongoing lesson to myself that hard work can feel good. 

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