Jessica_Valant_barre

One of the most common questions I get asked is “What do you do for exercise and to workout?”  When I give a quick explanation of my typical week of exercise, I am amazed by how many people thought I only did Pilates!  While I love Pilates and incorporate it into my workouts a few times every week, I would never recommend anyone do only one type of exercise.  Changing up your workouts and cross training has huge benefits, including:

  • Challenging your muscles in different ways.  Your body can become very accustomed to certain exercises, including the number of reps, the weight you use, the running path you take and the order in which you do your exercises.  Muscles need to be challenged to keep up the calorie burn and continue to build.

  • Motivation and keeping your workout exciting.  I would get so bored doing the same thing every day, all the time.  By having 4-5 routines I can rotate throughout the week, I keep my mind fresh and don’t “zone out” while I workout.

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  • The benefits will carry from one activity to another.  I FINALLY got stronger running – not by running all the time, but by adding squat jumps, lunges with weights and plyometric work to my workout.  Running hills became easier because my legs were used to the sudden bursts and pushing off.  I can effectively do yoga and enjoy it because of the core strength I have from Pilates.  Getting better and stronger in one area oftentimes will make you better and stronger in other areas.

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I tend to workout actively six days a week, with one “active recovery” day. My six active days include two days of lifting weights (usually a BodyPump class), one yoga class, one Pilates equipment class, one barre/Pilates combo workout and one HIIT for cardio. My active recovery day involves a bike ride or long walk with my family.  (Note: It is important to rest at least one day a week!  I find I do best if I make it active rest, meaning I take a walk or leisurely bike ride to get my blood flowing and loosen up.  You might do best with a full on rest day.  Just listen to your body!)

If you are looking to learn more about how to workout with weights, this toning routine is perfect! It’s a great one to quickly strengthen all muscle groups and burn calories (I was a sweaty mess at the end!).  I am using 5 lb weights, and I recommend starting with 2, 3 or 5 lbs (or you can skip the weights all together).  This is a standing routine, so you’ll work your balance as well.  Remember to keep your belly button pulled to your spine and your core engaged throughout.  Always feel free to let me know if you have questions and how you liked the workout!

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