One of my New Year’s resolutions was to work out every day in January. For at least 30 minutes, and walking the dog could not count.
And I did it!
Which on the one hand is a really great feeling. I already accomplished one of my goals for 2019! And on the other hand is a not so great feeling. I’ve been really exhausted and dreading working out– was it really good for me?
Today I’m going to tell you all about the workouts I did, what the benefits were, what the not so good parts about it were, as well as what my fitness philosophy is going to be from here on out.
My At Home, No Equipment Workouts Every Day for a Month
I would estimate that about 20% of my workouts were runs either on a treadmill or trails in some of Colorado Springs’ beautiful parks.
The rest of the time I did workouts at home from Youtube. I did a variety of exercises, from yoga to tabata to dance cardio, and I was very impressed with the quantity of no equipment workouts available. I probably didn’t have to do any more than once if I didn’t want to!
What’s great about running and Youtube workouts is that they’re all FREE.
Here’s a list of my favorite Youtube workouts from easiest to hardest.
30 Minute Full Body Yoga – Generally I feel like 30 minutes isn’t long enough for a full body yoga session to get into many challenging poses, so this workout is nice for an overall stretch.
30 Minute Hip Hop Tabata – I’m putting this one in the easy category because it’s not as hard of a workout overall, but don’t take that to mean I think hip hop dancing is easy! I looked ridiculous trying to do these moves, but it’s still fun and a good workout.
30 Minute Pilates Yoga Fusion – There’s no cardio and the moves are quite simple, but this one does target your lower body so well. It’s great for the glutes. I did this one multiple times because I liked it so much. If you like this workout, also be sure to try this other Pilates Yoga Fusion by the same instructor.
40 Minute Yoga for Weight Loss – Adriene has a ton of yoga videos for all sorts of practices– beginners, quick sessions, and these ones specifically for weight loss. She targets the abs in this one using poses I’ve never done before and it’s quite challenging.
30 Minute Tabata Session – I love tabata because the workout style of 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest means you can really push yourself, but also catch your breath! I love this instructor (Raneir Pollard of Equinox), too. He has another 30 Minute Tabata HIIT that’s very similar.
30 Minute Cardio Workout – Love all the variety of exercises to keep you from feeling bored. Great instructor as well.
40 Minute Ultimate HIIT Workout – There were a lot of great exercises in this one that I had never done before, and I think it belongs in the hard category because there weren’t modifications for those with difficulties. I love how this one was sectioned with different kinds of tabata. If you like this workout try this under 40 minute one with the same instructor and format.
The Drop Cardio Strength Workout – Holy eff. The hardest one by far! Such a challenge because there aren’t many breaks. If you want to feel the burn, do this one.
The Good Part About Working Out Every Day For a Month
Okay, so a lot of this portion of the post is going to seem obvious. But bear with me!
After the holidays I was wanting to get back in shape. And working out every day for a month will really do that for you! I’ve always been a runner, but I was actually surprised at how well body weight workouts at home could transform your shape so quickly. I noticed, my jeans noticed, and even my husband noticed.
I want to clarify that you don’t have to lose weight or be in a certain shape to be healthy or feel good about yourself. But after indulging and relaxing for the holidays it does feel nice to be challenging my body and getting stronger. Combined with eating healthier, it’s a great thing for me.
Besides the Captain Obvious of getting in shape, I think that working out every day for a month really set exercise as a part of my routine. Since I recently moved to Colorado Springs and started a new job, I could have easily gotten into the habit of being lazy.
Have you heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit? Well studies show that it’s actually much longer than that…on average 66 days! So while a month isn’t 66 days, it did still help me see working out as part of my everyday.
The last thing I’ll add is that doing this for a month really reminded me that it doesn’t take that much time to workout, and it is possible to squeeze in at least 30 minutes daily while still having time for other things you have to and want to do.
The Bad Part About Working Out Every Day For a Month
In three words: I was exhausted. Constantly (okay that’s 4 words total, but you get it).
Initially the thrill of starting my New Year’s resolution kept me going, but towards the last 10 days it was really wearing on me. I starting working full time this month, so the last thing I wanted to do when I got home from work was workout. I needed to do laundry, make dinner, take care of Rascal, and other adult stuff. And I also wanted time to have dessert, watch Netflix (Altered Carbon was so good!), and be with my husband.
When I felt like my body just couldn’t handle anything too tough, I always chose a yoga workout. Something gentle and full body was great for stretching overall, and I love the mindfulness aspect of it. But I still felt like I was kinda forcing it.
I have to be honest, I don’t know if it’s really good for you to workout everyday. I mean for the average person, not an Olympic athlete or something. While in some ways my body felt stronger, in other ways it felt like I was just doing too much. I wonder how much more I would have been able to push myself on my workouts if I had given my body more than 24 hours of rest every once in awhile? Maybe that’s another experiment I should try for another month?!
In the end, I was counting down the days until I could relax and have a completely exercise free day. Which isn’t a nice way to live all the time. It’s about moderation, not restricting yourself, right?
When I think about how I’ll keep workouts a part of my routine in the future, I’ll aim for dedicated exercise 6 days a week. And I will include walking and hiking with my dog.
Knowing you have to workout daily or you will fail at your goal is a lot of unnecessary pressure. I want exercise to be something I look forward to and enjoy, not something I dread and loathe. Making sure I have a rest day, as well as days where very moderate activity meets my goal, will help a lot.
And Colorado is way too beautiful to not count hiking and exploring as a great exercise not only for the body, but for your mind as well.
So you’ll still see me on Instagram stories getting my workouts in, and you’ll also see me coming home and plopping myself on the couch with a glass of vino. That’s what I call BALANCE 🙂
What has your workout routine been like?