It’s time for another Back to Fitness post. To start off, you can read the first installment of the series here. It feels so wonderful that many of you let me know that you found my initial post inspiring; I wholeheartedly appreciate all the encouragement. I also announced that starting this week every Back to Fitness will have a featured reader Q&A. There are so many great questions from you that I don’t know which one to begin with (such a nice problem to have) 🙂 Be sure that I will eventually come back to each and every question. Quick recap; I think this series could help anyone getting back or just starting an exercise routine. From my own experience it especially works wonders for new moms trying to reclaim some of their “before baby” fitness levels.

Last week we established to set realistic expectations and starting simple. Let’s continue how I used these principles to start a real fitness schedule with the second installment of:

back-to-fitness2aStart with a Home Fitness Schedule

After my youngest was born – and since it has been a couple months I have been using the suggestions from my first post– around her first bday, I decided I really wanted to reclaim my body and get back to where I was fitnesswise.  At this point I had the motivation to start but still did not have all the energy it takes to get to the gym. It also did not help that my baby was still so young that when I left her at the kidsplace at my club she cried for me and they would come look for me in about half an hour. Not fun for her or me.

This brings me to my first featured reader question. Fashionguru asked “Could you also suggest some more exercises we can do around the house?

I decided to come up with a home fitness plan for the first year. Everyday for the first year I got back to fitness full force at home with online fitness subscriptions and DVD’s. This at home plan also included getting out frequently around my nbrhood, many times with my baby in tow in a jogging stroller, and have long walks or slow jogs. I lost the 25 pounds baby weight that year and more importantly came back to the point where I could run outside for miles without getting short of breath.

Some useful tips:

  • At the beginning, if you have a lot to lose like I did, lots of cardio is so so crucial. I bought a lot of Zumba DVD’s and danced my heart out along with them burning a ton of calories but more importantly having fun. It was great to learn some new moves each day, it kept me coming back for more. I also used many high intensity interval training exercises such as Breathless Body and Peak 10 series to build stamina and to get serious. Those were challenging in such a good way, completing each session felt like a huge accomplishment.
  • Along with a pretty decent cardio program, I added lots toning/ strength building exercises to the mix. These are great to work those specific muscles and this is how I got stronger and as an added bonus lost some inches along the way. All the tips from my first post of using weights around the house works too. Some of the wonderful DVD’s I used were a variety of Barre Fitness programs such as Pure Barre, Booty Barre ( don’t let the name fool you it’s intense) 🙂 and, Pop Physique. I also subscribed to Barre 3’s online sessions. These workouts not only increased my strength but also helped so much with balance and flexibility; lots of health benefits!
  • Treat outdoor areas close to your home as your fitness stomping ground. and go out there for some fresh air, cardio, and streching. I have been even known to use benches for jumps, push-ups and hamstring, quad streches and play tag or jump rope with my kids. jump_high
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously and enjoy your time while getting healthy. In the above picture (taken by my then six year old, a good reason why part of me is missing from the pic) snapped a couple years ago, I was with my family. (hence the stroller in the background) After a brisk walk, while my hubby was playing with my younger kids, we played tag with my oldest for the longest time and started taking silly pics just for the fun of it. ( I had no idea one day I would be blogging and sharing these pics, that’s life for you)

Have you ever done home fitness and which programs did you use?

Takeaway: If for any reason it feels daunting to get to the gym, you can start a full speed fitness program from the comfort of your own home. The key is to have a balance of cardio and strengthening exercises and choose workouts that you will enjoy as it is crucial to stick to whatever you start and move, even for a little, every single day.  Include outdoor exercises such as walking, jogging in your fitness schedule making sure to have some fun as well to keep yourself committed.

Join forces with Friends for Support and Learn Something New

This suggestion brings me to today’s intro picture ( you didn’t miss the tutu did you?) 🙂 All my life I loved dancing, and adored ballet. After I established a serious routine at home I felt like it was time to venture out to a place where I could learn a thing or two, and feel supported. I was looking for a place a bit more intimate than a gym at the time.

I started looking for barre fitness studios close to where I live and at first with my good friend (Belinda talking about you) until she eventually moved away and afterwards with my two other very close friends we started frequenting a local barre studio. When I say frequenting I really mean being there almost everyday (so much that I won one of their barre challenges.) This time was great not only to change my body and get super intense but also for the support from the instructors, my friends, and all the women I became friends with there.

You of course need to find whatever you fancy and would like to learn be it dancing, tennis, kickboxing or racquetball or many others. If you can get your friends excited so you hold each other accountable and also utilize the time to connect, even better.

Do you exercise with friends and is there any special exercise/sports program you want to learn?

Takeaway: Having your friends as your exercise partners is a perfect way to keep at whatever exercise program you choose. Working together for a similar goal is an extra bonding time for us busy people. Exercise partners also make the whole experience way more fun. In addition, learning something new will keep you interested and also is great for your fitness confidence.

Next week I will continue with some fitness apps ( my dear reader Sophie, your answers are coming next week) I use and more tips and suggestions.

Hope you’ve found this weeks suggestions helpful. I want to open up this place to questions from you. I realize not everyone’s experience will be identical but we can all learn something from each other. Anything getting back to or staying on track with a fitness routine goes!

Also I have probably done most type of exercises out there being a fitness nut that I am; so I will try to answer using my own experiences and anything I am not sure of I will learn from the experts.Just comment below, send me an email, or use my social media. Let’s chat fitness and support each other in our quest of getting and staying healthy! <3<3

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  • Fashionguru

    Thanks for the great reply! I enjoy reading your blog. Since I have started working from home I do not enough exercise, it feels like slowly killing me. I like dancing so I might order some of those dancing DVDs. I would also play tag with my kids, I bet they would enjoy it, too.

    • @Fashionguru that was a great question and happy to know you found the answers useful. Dance DVD’s are such a great way to have fun and burn some cals too for gals like us who love dancing 🙂 Always let me know if there is anything else I can add. Thx for being such a supportive reader and your kind words <3 I so appreciate all the encouragement. XOXO, Elif

  • tban

    Love to see people full of energy. I also believe in the power of friend workout sessions. Love your blog Elif. Keep out the great work.

    • @Tban I feel so grateful for having such a loyal and supportive reader like you 🙂 Thx for the sweet words; definitely keeps me going and motivated. XOXO, Elif

  • Getting in shape isn’t easy, so I applaud your work. Thanks for sharing your wonderful tips and encouragement with us!

    • Karen, thx so much for the encouragement and feels great to know you like the tips! <3 XOXO, Elif

  • Love this series! So nice to be able to read and follow along with other people with fitness goals! So motivating 🙂

    • Mandy, so so happy to know you found the series motivating. I also love gals supporting each other for fitness goals or anything for that matter; and I absolutely love following along your day to day fitness news 🙂 Thx so much for stopping by <3 XOXO, Elif

  • sibel

    I am following this series with great interest…I agree with you….partners are so important. Your tips are illuminating some blind spots: things we kind of know about, but never realize how effective they can be until someone points them out or provides an in person example of how to use them in daily life.

    • Sibel thx for your thoughtful and super sweet comments <3! It means so much that you find the series useful for your daily life. I will continue to do my best to give more easy to do tips and will go deeper into my gym experiences etc soon. Please keep on sharing your own experiences as well. 🙂 XOXO, Elif

  • Great post with lots of excellent ideas. I am also an at-home exerciser. I used to love the gym, but it just became too time consuming to drive back and forth, figure out when and where to shower, etc. Now I workout at home and it’s so much more convenient. I sometimes miss the social aspect of a gym, but then again, that’s part of the time drain!
    On the Daily Express

    • Gina thx so much for the encouragement! It means a lot! <3 I totally agree with all points you made about home exercising; now I joined a sports club again mainly for kids activities but for a solid 1,5 yrs only did home exercises and they were just as much effective (maybe even more because I was so motivated!) I still do home/nbrhood fitness from time to time and love the convenience. Talk soon, XOXO, Elif

  • What a great post sweetie!! These series are awesome! 😉

    Feel free to visit my blog as well! You will find useful tips on fashion, beauty, style, health, personal growth and more!

    Diana
    http://www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com
    New Blog Post: [Beauty &Style] How To Look Well Rested

    • Diana thx for the kind words and for stopping by 🙂 So happy that you liked the series. XOXO, Elif

  • I love when it gets warm I could almost cancel my gym membership in the summer because I go to all the parks and playgrounds and use all the equipment there to workout, plus I can run the trails with my dogs. And speaking of that tutu, I love it! I actually just got a pass to our local barre gym, and I can’t wait to go this week!

    • Tori, you have to tell me about your upcoming barre class; which barre studio is it? (wonder if I tried) I went to a local studio for a long while and enjoyed all aspects of it. The classes were intense, the people were so fun. So happy you liked the tutu haha; never too late to channel your inner ballerina. 😉 Thx for sharing your outdoors experiences; running with your dogs on the trails sounds so good! XOXO, Elif