I’ve been enjoying all of the conversation over on my Instagram about at-home workouts and LOL’ing at gym-fail memes and videos that are surfacing the Internet. Thanks TikTok. However, mainly I’ve been loving the way I feel after exercise. If you were to tell me a few months ago that I would not dread working out in the near future, I probably would have laughed at you. But seriously: I find myself more productive around the house and am genuinely in a much better mood.
I think my whole reasoning behind dreading the workout was that I had not yet found my rhythm and figured out what exercises I appreciated. One night before lockdown, after a few beverages, I opened up my Clutter Inbox and started scrolling. I had been dabbling with a few reformer pilates classes earlier in the month and saw an e-mail for Pure Barre. I had heard about it before and have seen so many bumper stickers & t-shirts floating around with a “P” on them, but never actually knew what it was. I decided to click the link inside the e-mail (don’t worry, it was a secure link) and sign up for their 20 classes in 30 days. I did no research on it and had no clue what to expect. But sure enough I fell in love with it, so much that I cancelled Orange Theory and was about to sign up for the PB unlimited membership. Sadly, quarantine hit here, and forced me to choose some at home alternatives – at least until it was safe to get back in a studio.
MY FAVORITE WORKOUTS
Peloton App – this is my favorite app that I’ve discovered. It has everything from Strength, Cardio, Meditation, Running or Walking, Stretching, and Bootcamp. It also includes the Cycling and Treadmill workouts if you’re lucky enough to own one, or in my case, get to borrow a friends machine! (I’ve gone ahead a gotten rid of all the other subscriptions because this one is just too good) Even this week they added Barre classes, which I really enjoy. To be able to switch up workouts, but also not get bored of them was very important to me. Minimal equipment is required & you can get away without even having to use any if you choose. Add me & let’s workout together!
Melissa Wood Health – I found MWH through a friend who was loving her workouts, so I decided to sign up for her free 7-day trial, which ultimately turned into trying her workouts for several months ($9.99 a month). I really enjoyed the slow flow and feel good movements, they are quick and effective. Melissa’s flows are best described as mix of yoga and pilates, mostly using your own body weight. A lot of her flows use a mat and involve zero other equipment. She does utilize Bala Bangles, which are making a huge come-up, but they are not necessary. More on those below.
Pure Barre GO – Don’t get me wrong, I love Pure Barre, but it does get expensive. During the beginning months of COVID, they offered a few 3 month membership for PB Go. So without hesitation, I signed up! Free is for me! I loved it! The only hesitation I had was that I didn’t have an actual barre, so sometimes leaning back on a chair or countertop was seemingly more difficult that in the studio. Of course, I prefer in-person classes but this was an amazing option for getting sweaty and burning calories. In addition, my home studio has been doing amazing online classes via Facebook Live that are great and to see familiar faces has been really fun.
WHAT YOU NEED
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyways) these items are optional and will vary depending on which workout you choose, but this is what I have in my at-home gym:
Yoga Mat: I had absolutely no idea what I was looking for when I purchased my yoga mat. There were different sizes, widths and reviews to scour through until I ended up putting up a poll on my Instagram, which let me to LuluLemon. So many people recommended it. I scored my 3mm mat in the sale section and it’s perfect. The length is awesome. The material is non-slip and it’s lightweight. If I find a 5mm on sale, I will end up purchasing that for a little more cushion, too.
Resistance Bands: You can find these just about anywhere and while I do not use them in every workout – I do feel the burn when I do.
Hand Weights: Dumbbells were nearly impossible to find for awhile. I had purchased mine a few years prior from Target, so when I was shopping there lately, I picked up another set of 15lbs to match my 8’s and 10’s. They’re pretty straight forward, nothing crazy, but the material isn’t slippy when I get sweaty.
Slides: Another item that I do not use every single time I workout, but equally difficult are slides. Mostly I use them in HIIT barre classes. Other options to these would be plastic lids for your Tupperware or those furniture discs that you shove under heavy furniture.
Yoga Blocks: For years I never understood the purpose of these because I could always touch the ground with my hands. However this dense foam is durable and supportive, especially now after my back injury. If you do not want to spend the money, books or towels make a great alternative.
Apple Watch: I’m unsure what I’d do without my Apple Watch, seriously. It’s so motivating. I have the Series 4 Gold 44mm edition. I never take it off unless it’s charging. The charge lasts me about two days, but I’m in the habit of taking it off every night. That might change now with the new OS being released and introducing Sleep Tracking, but for now it remains on the nightstand. I wear it in the ocean, pool and shower – it’s waterproof for a reason! One of the biggest perks of the watch is that it motivates me to move. Since quarantine, I try and hit at minimum 700 calories per day. Sometimes I way exceed that and usually on the weekends it’s a big fail. I love the data tracking though, because I’m pretty much a nerd when it comes to looking at previous days of activity. I continuously want to beat my records and encourage myself to stay active and healthy. I’ve owned one for four years now and I can safely say it is my most used gadget. I’ve sold nearly every other watch I own.