It’s been three and a half weeks since I sat myself down and realised that the only way I am going to stop being critical of myself is for me to lose some of my pudge. I’m never going to be a size 2, but I’ve got some problem areas (don’t we all?). I know myself well enough to admit that going to the gym is never going to be my thing. Being on maternity leave means I can’t splash out on yoga classes, which I love, so I decided to do yoga at home while my little one napped. I used the flows I learned in the classes I used to take, but was always on the lookout for a new app or flow/sequence.
After two days of doing yoga, I started to think that I might need something more. I had already added a couple of Pilates moves but I knew I needed to dial it up if I wanted to do more than just become more flexible and toned. My search that day brought me to Barre3. As a mix of the yoga I love, the Pilates that helps shed the weight, and the grace and flow of ballet, I thought it sounded perfect. Almost too perfect. I was afraid that it, like yoga, wouldn’t do a lot for helping me lose the fat that needed to go. I looked up some reviews, and no one seems sto have anything bad to say about it. My best friend has done even more research and thought the same thing.
I looked up the program and found that I had two options: pop into the only studio in Canada (which happens to be conveniently located about 5 minutes from my office and 20 minutes from my home!) or subscribe online and do the workouts at home like I had been. Money and child care being a thing for me, I took a peek at the online workouts.
They have previews that you can see without signing up (and paying), but I wanted to try a workout or two before committing. The site does feature a free 15-day trial, but I would have to add a credit card and cancel if I didn’t want to continue… It’s a great option but I knew that I would forget to cancel if I didn’t love it and I was still a bit sceptical of it all.
Lucky for me and my googling skills, I found a couple of free videos on YouTube. The next day, before doing my yoga routine, I fired up my iPad, found this video of Sadie Lincoln in NYC (my favourite even now!) and started my workout with Barre3.
I loved that first workout so much I did it twice and cut my yoga sequence short! (As an aside, I’ll admit that Sadie is a lot of fun to have leading your workouts… She comes across as fun, bright, and has an infectious optimism that you can feel in her videos. The other video instructors are great, but I have to admit that I often choose my online workouts based on if Sadie is leading them or not!).
Later that day I found another video (part 1 of a series of 3) and loved them as well. That did it. I decided to go for the free trial. I found a full one-month trial through Darling Magazine, and haven’t looked back since. Even with the USD being much higher than the CAD, it costs less than 3 Starbucks coffees a month to have access to all of the workouts (they’re divided into 10-minute, 30-minute, 40-minute, and 60-minute sections, so it easy to get right into a full, hour-long workout or to mix it up and do a few of the 10-minute workouts) as well as the yummy recipes available. I pay the same amount for my World of Warcraft subscription, and I think my health is a bit more important than hitting level 100.
I really love how you can modify the workouts. Since I’ve been doing them five days a week for three weeks now and some days I just can’t do any more sumo squats. That’s ok. There’s always an option to modify the workouts to get results without the negative pain and injury. I also love that they have both pre- and post-natal exercises. I’ve tried one post-natal one so far and loved it, and I’ll be sure to try the others.
Something else I love is how props are almost always optional. I’ve done the workouts without the yoga mat (I do recommend it for any floor exercises, though), without the weights and tension band and ball. The only real ‘prop’ you use almost every time is a ‘barre’, on a waist-high surface. I’ve used a chair, my kitchen counter, my wall, my bar stool… Whatever is there. Can you really go wrong with such a convenient workout?
I’m definitely thinking of getting a ball and tension band, though, to help maximize some of the workouts later. I already have some hand weights. If you don’t have these, improvise. I’ve used small bean cans as light weights!
The third part of all of this that I really like is that there is a bit of a nutrition component to the ‘Barre3 Lifestyle’ as I call it. And it works in perfect compatibility with my new friend Lark! Seriously. It’s like I was meant to find these two this year!! I can honestly say one of the best feelings lately has been having a healthy, balanced lunch after my Barre3 workout.
To me, that’s crazy-talk! I’m NOT a health nut, or an exercise nut. I’ve already told you all about my loathing of calorie-counting. It just seems to me that this year, things came together in a way that allows me to become as healthy and fit as I can be without having to deal with the stuff I hate (how many sprouts make up 15 calories??)!
I’m super happy to have been able to share my little ‘New Years’ wellness changes with you. I don’t buy into the whole “New year, new me!” craze that happens every January 1, and I would have done these posts anyways, even if I had found these new tools in July. Next time, I’ll be sharing my first semi-fail from a Pinterest recipe for the year and we’ll get back into our regular groove.
Now, I need to upgrade my garrison and get my Druid to level 97. See you next week!
**This is not a sponsored post. The views and experiences above are mine and not endorsed/influenced by Barre3, Darling Magazine or any other third party.