I know my blog is very Christ-focused, so some may think a post on workouts wouldn’t fit in with that theme at all. But I very much beg to differ. I firmly believe that the Lord is interested in every part of our lives—and that includes our efforts to take care of physical body. It’s something I never understood in earlier years. Throughout my teens and 20’s, I never thought to ask Him for help or counsel in my journey to care for my body. As a result, I swung back and forth on the pendulum between workout obsession and total neglect. But finally I surrendered my eating and exercising into His hands, I have to say that it’s been a blast to see how creative and inspirational and fun His guidance can be. I’ve discovered that He knows exactly what I need when I need it, and now I trust Him completely to help me know what’s right for me in the many different seasons of my life.
The last few months have been a great example of this. I’ve been pretty burned out on my regular workouts, especially since I’m struggling with plantar fasciitis (thankfully it’s finally getting better). I knew I needed to keep moving but I didn’t have the budget to purchase a whole new workout DVD library (that’s my favorite way to exercise—I’m not much of a runner or a gym goer). Anyway, as I noticed myself skipping more and more workouts, I started praying for help to know how to get out of my rut.
And that’s when I found Jessica Smith TV on youtube. She’s posted all kinds of free workout videos—everything from walking to weights to kickboxing to Hiit and more. And I’m completely hooked. I know it wasn’t a coincidence that I found her site, but a tender mercy of the Lord. Not only is Jessica adorable and encouraging and a fantastic instructor, but she’s not about getting ripped or being perfect or feeling wiped out when you’re through. Instead, she talks a lot about just enjoying the movement and allowing it to energize you. Add to that her little French bulldog, Peanut, who joins her for the workouts, and it’s just like working out with your own personal trainer right in the comfort of your own home. I’m loving every minute of it. So I thought it would be fun to share just in case anyone else is in a rut and needs some help getting things jump-started. You can find her workouts (and a lot more info) here.
While I’m at it, I thought since I’ve been a home exerciser for over 20 years, I’d share some of my other favorite instructors just in case someone out there is looking for something new. There’s a lot more to choose from than what’s offered at Walmart, but they can be hard to find if you don’t know where to look. Besides Jessica (who also has several DVDs out, by the way), my second favorite right now is Michelle Dozois, especially her Peak Fit workouts. I’ve also enjoyed The Firm for many, many years, as well as Tracie Long, Ellen Barrett (hers are so beautiful and different!), Christi Taylor’s step, Cathe Friedrich (although she’s pretty hard core), Chalene Johnson (especially Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire), and Stephanie Huckabee’s PowerFit (an older but easier series if you want something simple). You can find clips of almost all of these workouts on totalfitnessdvds.com and many are cheaper on eBay and amazon. Another great site to read reviews before you buy is videofitness.com. I know I’m leaving a lot of great instructors out, but this has been what’s worked for me. There are so many options out there, I know that with the Lord’s help, it’s possible to stay active throughout our entire lives.
P.S. If you want to check out my Pinterest here, I’ve got a Jessica Smith cardio board and also a weights board where I’ve gathered my favorites all in one place. I know she’s got so many posted that it can be hard to know where to start. 🙂
1/28/16 EDITED TO ADD ONE MORE P.S.: I just bought Jessica’s new Walk Strong workout program. It’s SO FUN! The workouts are only 30 minutes and the price isn’t too bad. Here’s a link if you want to take a look: