A solid fitness program must be built on three components: cardio, strength and flexibility. Over at Fit Bottomed Girls, we call this the "Exercise Trifecta." And for optimum in-shapeness, you need to have a nice balance of all three. Now most people don’t do the best job at hitting all three. I, for example, am a bit of a cardio junkie. If you ask me if I’d rather go for a power walk or hit the free weights, I’ll go for the power walk every day of the week. In fact, the only reason I lift weights is because I know I should, and I’ve found alternative ways to do it without feeling like one of the dudes in the weight room (or having to endure their constant grunting). Flexibility is by far my weak spot, but with weekly yoga sessions, it’s an area that I’m always working on. Below are Erin and I’s three favorite activities that fulfill the Exercise Trifecta. We not only enjoy them (this a big must!), but they also work at keeping our fit bottoms fit.
Jenn’s Exercise Trifecta
1. Running. Ever since I ran a half marathon, running has been my numero uno go-to cardio. It takes considerable training and effort to build up stamina and mileage, but once you do, the payoff is so worth it. There is nothing better than a good, long run to reduce stress and get the heart pumpin’. Not to mention that my legs have never looked better. Even the husband has noticed.
2. The TRX. I haven’t been shy about my love affair with the TRX system. As someone who isn’t into lifting weights, this method of strength training is perfect. Despite the fact that the straps look a bit like a method of torture, I actually find working out on the suspension-based system to be very natural, like
I was made to do it. It’s almost like a hybrid between calisthenics and Pilates, only better. The TRX lets me tone every part of my body and keep my muscles strong. (For as little as I like traditional strength training, I sure do like the results!) Plus with the home-training bundle, I can do it at home, away from the aforementioned grunting dudes. Score!
3. Yoga. Like I said earlier, flexibility and I don’t get along well. Despite this sad-but-true fact, yoga and I are BFFs. I usually only have time to do a session or two a week (sometimes a full hour, sometimes just 20 to 30 minutes), but I love it. My favorite form is hatha, which includes lots of stretching and gentle movements. For me, it keeps me bendy enough to avoid injury, and I get seriously mellowed out. There’s nothing like a few good sun salutations and deep breaths to melt away the stress.
Erin‘s Exercise Trifecta
1. Walking/Running. This is one area where Jenn and I differ. While she loves to run, I’ve had to really work on my relationship with this form of cardio. It’s taken a lot of therapy, but running and I have kept our relationship strong enough that we get together about once or twice a week. Walking, on the other hand, has been my lover for years. While I get an amazing workout running, complete with dripping sweat and total fatigue, I never feel beat up after going on a long walk. I love that you can walk almost anywhere, and you don’t have to worry as much about the sweat factor, meaning I can run errands and see people in public without freaking them out with my red face. I also love to take my dog on walks, even if she does like to take frequent potty and sniff breaks.
2. Classes. Although I don’t do it as much as I should, I love trying new classes at the gym. Whether it’s a cycling class for cardio or a sculpting class for strength, group exercise classes are a great way to spice up the routine and get out of a workout funk. Instructors change up moves to keep classes interesting, and the group environment is such a great motivator. I’m always guaranteed a fresh workout, and usually leave classes feeling sore, meaning I hit all the right spots. Plus, these pros always warm you up and stretch you out just right for a well-rounded total workout.
3. Workout DVDs. Although I love being outside for my fave walks and hikes, when I don’t feel like taking it outdoors, I pop in a workout DVD. While there are some dud DVDs roaming loose in the world, there are some awesome ones that will have you sweating up a storm in the comfort of your own home. Plus, I love that working out at home saves you the drive to the gym and back for a quicker all around workout. DVDs often let you mix and match cardio and flexibility, as well as customize how much time you want to spend working out. Plus, DVDs are great at including cool downs and stretching segments, ensuring that I take the time to stretch it out when I’m done (which I can’t always say when I hit the elliptical for 30 minutes).
As you can see, there are so many awesome options for staying fit. Don’t think you have to be a slave to the gym. Keep trying until you find something you love and then stick with it!
About the Fit Bottomed Girls
The Fit Bottomed Girls website, www.fitbottomedgirls.com, features weekday posts with fresh fitness content for real women and girls interested in improving their health through regular physical activity. The blog offers workout DVD reviews–including both new releases and retro reviews –fitness news, new product information, personal accounts of their exercise endeavors, easy and healthy recipes, workout music suggestions and playlists, and fitness humor. With the slogan of "Keeping a Lid on the Junk in the Trunk," the Fit Bottomed Girls have fun incorporating workouts into their daily lives and hope to inspire other women to do the same. After all, fit bottoms come in all shapes and sizes!