For the past two months I have made some great strides in finding what works well for my schedule and my current fitness level (i.e. a daily walk with my dog for the past year and a half… that’s it). Granted, a daily walk for 30 mins to an hour is good, and getting outside each day is excellent for fighting feelings of being cooped up (hello gorgeous weather we’ve been having this week!). However, I was feeling the need to really work on strengthening and lengthening and also to develop a routine where I dedicate some time just for myself each morning. I wasn’t sleeping well at all and felt anxious all the time (mainly due to checking my emails last thing at night and first thing in the morning), working from the time I got up to the time I went to sleep, etc.
I have always loved the Youtube channel Yoga with Adriene (YWA) and the way she organizes all of the different yoga videos she’s created into playlists. I tend to gravitate towards the “Yoga for Weightloss” playlist but all of the videos I’ve done are fantastic, and not to mention FREE! Adriene keeps things “real” making jokes here and there and reminding viewers to not be “yoga robots” and to “find what feels good” which I love.
I have also been to two hot yoga classes over the past two months that were excellent (especially during the cold weather), but in order to really get this new routine in place I know myself well enough to know that I cannot dedicate the extra time to walk/drive to a gym everyday or even once-per-week. This morning routine has to have as few steps as possible in order for me to be successful.
So, I made a playlist on Youtube of all of my favorite YWA videos and I finally invested in some Lululemon yoga pants and tops (yes I know it’s overpriced but HAVE YOU FELT THE NAKED SENSATION MATERIAL IN THE ALIGN PANTS?!). I know it sounds vain to say this, but another thing I know about myself is that having the clothing to make me feel like a million bucks while making a lifestyle change is a huge part of making me stick with it.
Here’s my routine:
- Every morning after I wake up and do everything that needs to be done right away (bathroom, feed dog, take dog out, clean up after cat, etc.)
- I change into the workout outfit I have (hopefully) laid out the night before and take my yoga mat and mat towel (helps provide extra padding) into the living room.
- I make sure my phone ringer is off and that my email notifications are shut off on my laptop since I use my laptop to watch the video (I do not look at my emails before yoga, been there done that and it completely distracted me and defeated the purpose of this time on my mat).
- I login to Youtube and find my Yoga video playlist and pick from the list whatever I feel like doing that day.
- I stick with the video even if I really don’t feel like it at first because the rest at the end (shivansana) is the best feeling in the world. I start my day after completing these videos feeling relaxed and refreshed and ready to take on the day.
Now that it’s been two months with only a couple of days of missed practice (and I regretted skipping those days as soon as I had trouble falling asleep), I have been looking to up my workout game a bit. This is probably also due in part to summer being around the corner… swimsuit season…
Cue me frantically going to Youtube for another great workout channel…
This is when I found Whitney Simmons who is a BEAST! She’s also very real and funny in her videos. A lot of the videos are of her at her gym doing workouts but she also has a few workouts you can do at home with these resistance bands that I purchased on Amazon. Once I found her videos, I decided to update my workout playlist and make it a weekly list of videos with the day of the week each workout should be done (again, to make this as easy as possible for me each morning). Here’s the playlist I created – It has yoga one day, then the more intense training the next. I also kept my favorite yoga videos as second options for days I can barely convince myself to workout if I’m sore or tired. I skipped Saturday as my rest day since Danny and I typically take Katie on a long walk or hike on Saturdays.
Here’s to self care and keeping fit working from home! I’ve left some of my favorite workout leggings I’ve been using a ton lately linked below. Oh, and let’s be real, another reason I justified spending more on leggings is that I now pretty much only wear leggings all day every day (#athlesiureforthewin).
- Align Pant II in black – These are the perfect everyday legging and yoga pant, although I would not recommend them for jogging/running since they are pretty delicate and will pill with that kind of friction. I actually had to exchange the second pair I bought since they started pilling after less than a month of use just doing yoga and walking. Lululemon does have fantastic customer service though, so it’s more just the hassle of exchanging them. I’m 5’3″ and find that I really need the 7/8 length for the length to not be way too long.
- I have another pair of Lululemon tights/pants with the same material as the Align II pants in purple that I bought in store (they are not available online). Super comfortable and have worked nicely, only complaint is the length but I just roll the cuffs.
- Gymshark flex leggings – Highly coveted leggings that go out of stock minutes after they are restocked. This is a company I hadn’t heard of until watching Youtube workout videos (Whitney Simmons is a Gymshark Athlete so she tends to wear a lot of their stuff and talk about it). I loved the look of them and for the price of $38 (vs the cost of Lululemon leggings) I figured I’d give them a go. Pro tip: I signed up for the Gymshark email list which alerts you when they plan to restock items so you can set an alarm/reminder to go on and order when that happens. I did exactly that for the flex leggings and ended up ordering 4 pairs. Thank goodness I did because I LOVE THEM. They are so flattering, comfortable and well made. The company is based in the UK so I was worried about how long shipping would take, but I ordered on Thursday and they first shipment arrived on Tuesday and the second on Wednesday… not bad for free shipping! Sizing is a little tricky, so I recommend looking up reviews on Youtube to better gauge a good size for you and to size down if you’re unsure/in-between. Also, they do run a bit long on me but still work and look nice rolled up a little bit.