I Workout.

 Working out is extremely important to me. I find that it is an absolute necessity in my life, and ever since I got serious about working out (right after the birth of LM) I've found that I've never been happier, nor have I felt better... both mentally and physically. After I had Gray, my two girlfriends turned me on to core fusion at Exhale, and I can't even begin to tell you what it has done to change my body, and my mind. I pretty much crave going to class every day, even though while I'm there I want to cry every second because it's that hard. Of course, the difficulty level is what makes it work, and in the end the pain is so. so, so worth it. Most weeks I am lucky if I can make it to class three times a week, and thankfully this works for my body, coupled with our vegan(ish) diet. I can't even begin to tell you the hoops I have to go through to get there, but almost every minute of childcare that I use each week is based around my class schedule. It's sad, but those classes are absolutely the highlight of my week and there is pretty much nothing that I would rather be doing with my "free" time then sweating it out in the studio. 

Of course, Summer break is here, and that is a whole new ball game. My sitter leaves me, the LM is home a lot more, we have play dates, beach dates, travel... you know the drill. Some weeks I've found that I'm lucky if I make it to class even one day a week, and even though we have a gym in our building, I have such little lack of motivation when it comes to traditional exercise (treadmill/ elliptical/ bike) most days I'm better off thinking about exercising, rather than wasting my time down in the basement. I still crave that time to myself, and I feel so defeated when I know I won't be making it to class for the week. 

 Enter the workout video. 

Last Summer, when we spent the month down in Costa Rica, my sister and I decided before we left to download a few DVDs. We figured we would have ample time on our hands, and that the two of us would be able to motivate each other. We always had surfing, and yoga classes to fall back on, but sometimes it was nice to go into her studio, crank the AC, and sweat for 45 minutes. We asked around for what our instructors used when they traveled, and after some trial and error I've narrowed my favorites down to the following. Except for the yoga video, these are pretty dated/ cheesy videos. You HAVE to ignore that. After a month, I found that I was able to not only maintain the physique I worked so hard for back home, but also add a bit of muscle tone. At home, I try to keep to my three times a week schedule, so I use the videos to supplement on days I can't make it in to the gym. I use 3 pound weights at home, and last year we found that two cans of beans also do the trick. ;)

Here is what is in my at home arsenal. 

Yep. TaeBo. No, I'm not kidding. My friend J turned me on to this one, and while it is as bad as it gets musically, it makes you sweat bullets, and the next day you can barely lift your kids. Two thumbs up. Also, since these are so old, they are so cheap. I also HIGLY recommend the ab series. A lot of it is done in a chair, and it's intense. Love it!

I was lucky enough to practice with David when I was a member at Equinox, and I can't say enough about this video. Beautiful, challenging, and a great mental break. I don't use this one so much to work out, but more when then kids are driving me nuts, and nap time can't come soon enough. It's a great way to recharge mentally. I think he has a whole video series online. 

This is the one I probably use the most. Jillian is pretty annoying, but I've found this is the closest that I can get to the level of a core fusion workout. Its divided in 3 levels with various intervals in each. All three are 20 minutes long, and if you are just starting to exercise, level 1 and 2 are great, but I prefer to do level 2 and 3, each workout. After the 40 minutes you will be sore all around, which is how you know it's working! She also has a pretty good abs series, but the video itself has a few minutes incorporated into each segment. 

Finally, when I do find myself in an actual gym, my go to is always the app Sworkit. I stumbled upon it last year, and it's great, if you are like me, and don't really know what to do with traditional equipment. You can set which body part you want to work, and for how long, and it gives you minute by minute exercises to do. No weights required! 

Now, go forth and get your sweat on!

P.S. If you ever have the chance to go to a core fusion class, YOU HAVE TO TRY it. After the first day, I was a convert. If you are in the Boston area, I cannot recommend attending one of Susan or Claudia's classes. Mind blowing instructors, and amazing fellow mommas who totally understand when you have to leave class early ever.single.day to get your kid. (You all don't even want to know) 

P.P.S. Is there anything you all use at home? I'm always looking for something new to try!