Wednesday, May 6, 2020

So I had a whole bunch of other thoughts about the pandemic. Some political, some overly emotional, and definitely some that I shouldn't type out here.


How are you holding up? I didn't sign on for any of this, couldn't conceive of the world as it is today, and am anxious about tomorrow.

If you're right there with me, I hope that you're doing your best to practice self-care, whatever that means to you.

Since I have noticed that many people in my neighborhood aren't adhering to social distancing nor proper masking, I haven't taken the initiative to go outside very often. Lots of people jog and run out there and I used to be a quite proponent of running, especially for cardio.

However, my achy knees have other ideas, so it's best to not push it just yet.

Photo by D.S. Chapman on Unsplash
Take a trip to the past with me, my fitness past, where I'll share with you the workouts that I've been revisiting during the lockdown. In the mid-late 90's- early 00's, I was the exercise video queen in my circle.

Don't get me wrong, I love certain gyms and also having an accountability partner to work out with. I've also spent a small fortune on Pilates over the last 23 (that's right!) years, and consider myself somewhat of a connoisseur of it.

Fitness doesn't have or NEED to be cost-prohibitive. You don't even need special equipment in most cases! If you don't have dumbbells, use cans of soup or bottled water. I stick with 3lb. weights and do more repetitions.

Disclaimer: I am not a certified fitness professional, nor am I qualified to be giving out any medical advice or possibly any other advice, haha. Fitness levels vary and you should consult with your doctor to best determine the proper course of action for yourself.

Obviously, try and view them in their entirety before you attempt to do them. Note any modifications that you will need to do (Cindy Crawford workout videos, I'm talking to YOU, specifically). Beware of the leg swings and full sit-ups with the two I'm listing below.

Mini rant: although the fitness world is slowly becoming more diverse in terms of the faces and body types that you see represented nowadays, the 90's was very fairly devoid of much variety, and these workouts reflect that.

Here are the workouts (I'm hyperlinking in addition to embedding in case YouTube clips the embedding):

Your Personal Best - Elle Macpherson (with Karen Voight) 

What can I say about this one? I'm listing it first because it's the one that I've done the most. I'd say I've worked out with it in the THOUSANDS, like whoa. Me and my trusty VCR would do this one daily. I felt energized and was very much in shape with just this workout, not overindulging in too many sweets and snacks, and doing some walking in my neighborhood.

Who am I kidding? I was also in my late 20's, and it wasn't very hard to maintain my fitness. Now that I'm a little older and after having two kids, my body has changed. I'm ultimately proud of where I am, and rarely weigh myself now. I used to be so obsessive about my weight when I lived in California.

There are many other markers of health besides a number on a scale or on the label on an article of clothing. And the only person you need to "compete" against is yourself, as in your level of fitness. Sometimes being able to walk a block without pain is a major achievement, for example.

I know we're all losing it to some degree with the current bizarro world that we're now in. Whether it's homeschooling, trying to work (if you're still fortunate enough to be employed), or are doing absolutely nothing because you're paralyzed with anxiety and apathy, everyone is struggling.

Since we're stuck at home, we can still be active. I'm sure you're familiar with The Firm fitness systems? They were advertised on infomercials for a long time. I also liked *some* of the systems, most notably videos that utilized a wonderful apparatus called The Fanny Lifter. *giggle

People sure seemed afraid to say the word butt in the 90's. Fanny, buttocks, behind, rear, these were all used instead.

So I revisited this workout the other day. It still holds up, except for two things.

One, it's pretty fast, and two, I no longer possess the Fanny Lifter. A quick check on eBay found one for $169.99 and I'm not THAT nostalgic to spend that kind of $$.

I substituted it with two IKEA stools. For reference, the bonafide description of the Fanny Lifter: it's a 2 part, 14 inch high, 17 inch across plastic step that was created by The FIRM production.

The bottom piece (blue plastic) of the Fanny Lifter is 8". The top piece (purple plastic) is 6". The two pieces fit together to create the 14" step platform.

However you want to reconfigure this step is up to you, but be very careful because it might not be stable enough, especially on a rug or carpeting.

Here are the other ones in the series that came with the Fanny Lifter.

Onto the Cindy Crawford workouts. When these videos came out, they were revolutionary in their visuals as well as the licensed music. Primal Scream? The Smithereens? Amazing. Apparently, Cindy still does these workouts to maintain her fitness.

Beware of her strange leg kickbacks, the full sit-ups, and the other moves that will be questionable for your back. For some reason, this video wouldn't embed, so here's the link.

So I'm a little sad that I can't find any of the Jennifer Kries videos! She was the main face behind The Method videos (when Pilates was still trademarked and they couldn't use the term Pilates). Those were some of the best classical Pilates videos ever and her teaching style is impeccable.

I'm sure I'll add more videos here as I revisit them because I have to test them first before I endorse doing them.

I also have an entire arsenal of more modern workouts that I do at home, so stay tuned for that update. I hope that you're safe and as healthy as can be with this "new normal".


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