The E word

Yep, exercise.  You knew that there couldn’t be a healthy food blog without some mention of exercise, right?  Well, exercising is part of being healthy, we all know that.  And when you feel good about the food that you are putting into your body, you also feel good about your energy level and exercising.  

I am not someone who loses weight easily.  I definitely need to work at it.  And, with all of my food allergies, I have felt like my body has been out of whack.  My energy level and weight have both fluctuated.  But once I started to feel better because I was feeding myself food that my body could handle, I wanted to exercise more. I can’t believe I just put that in writing, but the endorphins were making me feel better.  So, I found exercise that I could do and wanted to do.  It is a cycle: the more I exercised, the better I felt and the more I wanted to keep doing it. Really.

My favorite exercise forms:

Zumba! Zumba is a craze sweeping the nation, and with great reason.  It is 60 minutes of intense dancing that engages core muscles, while still keeping your arms and legs moving.  Its the wow-I-am-sore-but-feel-so-great kind of exercise.  They use current music and doable moves… even if you can’t get every move down, you know that you are working your hardest.  And it’s fun!

* Tip:   Ask your local gym if they have Zumba classes and who the instructor is.  The instructor might teach classes in other locations that you could go to for a small fee.  This works for me because I don’t belong to a gym, I just follow the Zumba teacher around and pay for each individual class!

Wii Fit! For those cold and dark winter afternoons when I don’t feel like going to a gym or a class, I use my Wii.  The exercise programs are customizable and can tell you how many calories you are burning.  Plus, one of the backround images is a beach!  I usually do a combination of aerobic exercises as well as weight bearing ones for cardio and lifting together.  My favorite Wii exercise programs are EA Active Personal Trainer and EA Active Resort.  I also like Wii Just Dance for those days that I need to let loose and get some calories in..or out!

*Tip: Wii also has a Zumba program!  It isn’t exactly the same as going to a class, but every calorie counts! Also, add real hand weights to the exercises that let you use the exercise band.  It makes a big difference!

Pure Barre! Pure Barre is a somewhat recent form of exercise that focuses on small movements of all muscles.  It works on your core, seat, thigh, and arm muscles.  Muscles you didn’t know you had!  It is a 60 minute class where you follow the instructor who models small movements followed by stretching so the muscles are worked and then lengthened.  It requires serious focus and every class is a challenge.

*Tip:  Try to find a class in your area.  They are expensive, but once you understand the routine, you can get the DVDs or podcasts.  The podcasts are only $5!  Then you don’t have to pay for a class every time, but can go to a class when you need a refresher.

What are your favorite exercise routines?

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