Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Working Out at Home vs Going to the Gym

I prefer being outdoors to in... I love the feel of the warm sunshine or even warm raindrops on my face.  I love the feel of cool grass or hot sand on my bare feet. 

There is nothing better than being in the cockpit of our sloop on a hot summer's day, with the wind and sun kissing my cheeks and the bare skin on my arms and legs as we sail.

I do enjoy a bright and icy winter day on the ski slopes, or a winter run on dry powder snow.  I will stay out on the golf course till long after dark.

I would rather be outside digging in the garden or raking leaves than inside doing laundry or making beds.

There is not much in the way of weather that will force me indoors... cold, beating rain and howling cold wind are 2 conditioins that do come to mind.

Years ago, before we bought the boat and moved to paradise, we lived in the interior of B.C. where the summer days are long and hot, and the winter days are very short and can be very cold.  And by cold I mean so cold that the tires on your car are frozen flat across the bottom by the end of the work day, and so cold that the moisture gets sucked out of your face when you venture outside and your nostrils actually stick together!

After I first started running and wanting to add more formal exercise to my day, I had The Captain help me assemble a home gym in the basement of our house in the big open room next to his workshop.  (It just happened to be the same room where we made our own wine... very handy!)  I collected one of those devices with the pulleys that was supposed to simulate weights, and also a door pulley contraption, a mini trampoline, a manual treadmill, a wonderful motorized treadmill, a Reebok STEP, an assortment of free weights and dumbbells.. along with a TV and VCR.  I loved it.  And I assembled a wonderful library of workout videos.

I loved Charlene Prickett, and Gin Miller for STEP workouts.  I did aerobics, weights, yoga, STEP, and a great boxing workout with Kathy Smith.  I did dance aerobics and STEP with Cher and Kellie Roberts.  It was so much fun to throw a tape into the player and do whatever workout matched my mood. There was never a reason to get bored. 

We skiied and snow-shoed, cross-country skiied and skated... and I ran.  But I gladly moved indoors when it was dark and icy cold.

When I had to give it all up to move onto the boat, I loved passing my gear and machines along to my friends.

For the first few years after we started living on the boat, other than running and walking, I did only resistance workouts with my own bodyweight, and only routines that I put together myself from books.  But I got kinda bored with that and slowly started building another small library of workout DVDs. I had space limitations and wanted to make sure that I was purchasing DVDs that I would like and use.

I found a web site called Collage Video. It is an online retailer, but the best part of it for me, is that it offers a good amount of information about each DVD for sale.  There are 60-second clips that you can view, full writeups about the workoust, and even a place where people can rate/review them.  It has been really helpful and I always refer to it before I purchase a workout DVD now. 

I know some people enjoy going to the gym and working out with friends or partners but that is just not for me.   And I have tried a few different kinds of gyms.

I joined a hotel gym/spa with a girlfriend once.  We would go in the evening and workout on the machines, then swim and use the sauna.  It was good but I contracted a virus and ended up with plantars warts on my foot.

Some years later I joined a gym with my younger brother, who is a jock.  He taught me to use the Nautilus machines and we played basketball togetherthere and also ran on an indoor, elevated track.  I loved that.  What I didn't love was the atmosphere in the women's locker room and pool, and couldn't quite get past that.

Later, I joined a popular gym with a friend from work and we would go 3 times a week on our lunch breaks to do a weighted circuit, but it was way too busy and so that only lasted about 3 months.

Since then I have tried a few drop-in workout sessions on my own in a nearby gym,  and I just cannot get into it. I guess I just prefer to sweat in the privacy of my own space, wherever that happens to be.  And I also get bored with just lifting weights... I like the variety that workout DVDs offer, but at some point I would like to try a spinning class and an outdoor bootcamp.

I am so thankful for workout DVDs and some of internet videos I have found.   I like to be able to yell back at Jillian Michaels, and I day dream about having Karen Voight's amazing arms and abs.

Karen Voight

Do you workout to DVDs or other videos?
I am currently loving some of the Biggest Loser DVDs, some indoor walking with weights workouts, along with Pilates, Yoga, and some Bootcamp style workouts. 

How do you choose them?
I use Collage Video and I use recommendations from people I know.

Do you have any to recommend?  I am always looking for something new!


  1. I love being outside so much, but I really don't mind where my workouts take place. I get in a routine and like to stick to the same place day in and day out though, when I know I should mix it up a bit more!

  2. The only DVD workout i've done and completely believe in, advocate for, and will never tire of is P90X. In conjunction with proper nutritional intake ANY workout will be successful, but I am a HUGE fan of Tony & the gang haha!!

  3. Holy moly lady, I cannot keep up with your blog! Anyway, I do enjoy DVDs from time to time. Unfortunately, I loaned out my prenatal yoga DVD and never got it back, so I'm without for the time being. :(

  4. I totally should add some add some workout videos to my routine. It would keep it fun!

  5. I like the classes my gym offers. Specifically the weight training class set to music. Right now, I'm running 5x a week though so I don't do much of anything else!

  6. Does X-Box Kindle Just Dance count as an indoor workout? lol

  7. I love workout DVD's - for a SAHM it's EASY! and Elle I am loving all these cute pics of you and that last one of the Captain ;) lol

    I think I'd like to try the biggest loser ones. I do "skinny bitch" and I just got my hands on the INSANITY workouts!!!!

  8. You look so nice in that photo, Elle!! I love exercising outdoors as well but unfortunately the winter here doesn't allow for that (unless you're crazy)!! Try Bodyrock! I've done Insanity before too and it was pretty intense!

  9. I love being outside too! My husband and I don't do gyms, so outside is our ONLY option! I love workout dvd's, especially anything Jillian Michael's and the Less is More workout series-they are great too! I get them free ON Demand from cable!

    When I taught P.E, every chance we had, we were OUTDOORS!

  10. I am so happy to see you on the boat - I want to come sailing with you!

    Someday, you should write a post about how you got to own a boat and move there to live. I would love to hear the details! Michael would love to live on a boat, but I always thought you couldn't do normal things (like run or visit the store or workout) now I see you CAN and DO!!

    I want to try some of the Jillian Michaels videos. I love her anyway and I like to work out at home - especially during the winter since it gets dark so early (and it is cold). I just want abs, I don't care whose they are - I do admire Jillian's too!

    Loved this post, by the way! I can't go on vacation again - I miss too much!! ;)

  11. I love being outside too! There's just nothing like a good scenic run to burn some calories and clear my head.


Love it when you leave me a comment!