Sometimes My Apartment is My Gym

I rarely discuss my personal fitness routine on the blog since food usually dominates the scene, but thought this post might be a nice change of pace.

The amount of rainfall in Portland is already breaking records this season. I am usually delighted by heavy dark clouds in the sky and the pitter-patter of rain on my windows. It calms me in a way that is difficult to describe. Lately though, I find myself wishing for some warmth and sunshine. Since my main mode of exercise is either riding my bike or hiking mountain trails, I have been confronted with an exercise dilemma.

This actually started back in November when winter was upon the Pacific Northwest. I was jobless, bored, and depressed. The weather wasn’t cooperating and I really wanted to find a way to exercise from home. My main goal was a good, solid, cardio workout. I don’t like gyms (expensive, smelly, too many people, etc). While my apartment isn’t huge, it does have a decent-sized living room.  My concern was disturbing the people who live below me-the hardwood floors already creak!

I tried yoga, which is quite relaxing, but boring (to me anyways). It also doesn’t boost my heart rate enough to make me feel like I’m making a difference. It did make me more limber and balanced, which is awesome for backpacking and hiking! I stopped practicing yoga, but hope to work it in once or twice a week soon. It should help with anxiety issues.

Eventually I stumbled upon Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred workout. I was having so much fun for the first several months! It was challenging and didn’t require any special equipment other than hand weights (which I already owned). Plus, the jumping around was minimal and I did the workout when I assumed my neighbors were at work (hopefully!). And then, I got bored with that routine too (maybe it’s my lack of patience?).

Last week I learned about a website called Fit Sugar. They have a bunch of fitness videos led by a wide variety of personal trainers and fitness experts. Many of the videos are only 10 minutes long. That’s awesome because it means I can combine a few of them to make a 30 minute, personalized, energizing workout. My favorites so far include:

10-Minute Fat-Blasting Circuit by Andrea Orbeck – This workout makes my heart pump like crazy (and my resting heart rate is already on par with a hummingbird). The instructor is so calming and easy to follow. I am usually exhausted after the 10 minutes are finished. The first few days I did this workout, my legs and bum were so SORE!!

Jackie Warner’s Calorie-Blasting Power Pyramid Workout – Oh my gravy! This workout is a challenge. I go past the 5 reps for each exercise and do 10 instead. I am still a bit uncoordinated in a few of the moves, but that will improve. The instructor makes me feel energized and she smiles the whole time! Plus, she wears crazy sneaker-boots when she is working out.

Tone Your Arms with Andrea Orbeck – I think arm workouts are my favorite. This particular one is pretty special because it is ALL arms. It’s only 10 minutes, but wow, is it ever effective! My arms were operating under their own control when I finished this routine. I am addicted.

10-Minute Bootcamp Workout with Jeanette Jenkins – I tried this routine once and didn’t quite make it to the end. Not because I am incapable, but because my balance is terrible. I was tipping over and couldn’t quite keep up with the group. But, I refuse to give up and will definitely attempt it again this weekend. Must stay positive!

I hope to incorporate some abdominal workouts too. Here are a few that look promising:
3 Easy Yoga Moves to Tone Your Abs
Work Your Abs Without Crunches: Quadruped

I am excited for sunshine because it means more of this:

What are some of your favorite workouts (at home, the gym, or outdoors)? It’s always so inspiring to learn about other people’s exercise routines!