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Digital Learning

Fitting Fitness into Your Day

Aaahhh...January. The parking lot at the gym is filled with cars. You can get half of your workout in just walking to the building from wherever you are able to park. There are waiting lines at the treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines. The classes are packed, and a stranger is sitting in cobbler's pose in YOUR space in the yoga studio. Besides, the new report period is starting at school, with all the planning, marking, and data collection that accompanies it. If any of this sounds familiar to you, I hope my little discovery that I made this week will be helpful!

A little background...

I have only been a gym member for the past few years, but long enough to notice the pattern of overcrowding right during NewYear's Resolution time, giving way to wide open spaces later in the year. For me, this coincides with seasonal changes. As the weather gets warmer here in Michigan, parking spots at the gym and floor space in my favorite exercise classes start to open up. I may go back to the gym later in the year. I enjoy being around other people, and the social aspect of gym membership is not lost on me.

For many years, as a busy teacher raising a family, I had to find a way to work working out into my life. It kept me strong and energetic enough to face a roomful of fourth graders every day! There was no way to go to the gym after work. My children needed to get to all of their after school activities, and I needed to shop for groceries and make dinner. Evenings? Nope. Helping with homework, grading papers, managing laundry (I swear that another family was depositing their clothes in our laundry hampers - there was always so much!), and getting kids ready for bed. My plan for all of my child-raising, working years, was to get up every day at 4:30 am and trudge to the family room, exercising to my heart's content to a dvd or broadcast on the sports network, alone and undisturbed. Hubby and kids slept until 6, and our dog Crockett knew better than to ask for a walk or breakfast at that hour. He usually just looked at me with one eye and went back to sleep.

I've been thinking about the gym situation for a couple of weeks now. Adding to my disappointment, my own schedule has changed again, and I can't even get there in time for my favorite Zumba and Yoga classes. Not good. I rooted through my old dvds and then looked for some more up to date ones online. As I searched the internet for an answer, I found no dvd that would feed my Zumba obsession or my love for the soothing ever-changing combinations I found in yoga class.

And then...quite by accident, I happened upon a blog post by a blogger who was tracking her weight loss journey and had made a mix of Zumba videos to her favorite songs. She posted this gem on You Tube and shared it with the world! I worked out to her mix and loved it! How on earth had she done this? Her workout mix may have just saved my life (well, certainly my sanity). I've always known about making mix tapes and later playlists of music to work out to, but somehow YouTube never crossed my mind when I thought of exercise.

So Here's the BRIGHT IDEA!

 (Bright to me anyway!) Go to You Tube and create your own channel. (Look to the upper left of your screen.) Then create and name a playlist for your workout. I named mine "At Home Zumba Class" - not very creative I admit, but I was still just playing with this idea then. I then started to search for songs I liked, with the word Zumba added to the search words. I collected some, but while doing this step, I found a group that I LOVE, and they already have their own playlists. (I swear that there are no endorsements going on here. I simply found something that I love and I'm anxious to share it with you!) I noticed that when I was looking for songs that I like, most of the video clips that I liked were by Refit Revolution, a dance studio in Waco, Texas. If you live there, OMG! Run to their studio now and sign up!!!! (Wait, busy schedule? Keep reading.) Refit Rev has their own playlists. You will probably like theirs even better than mine, and that's very ok with me!

Steps again because I've rambled again:

Go to You Tube.
Create your Channel.
Create and name your playlist.
Find clips you like and clock on the + to add.
You can edit your playlist later and move clips around.

Here's my playlist in case you'd like to try it: AT HOME ZUMBA CLASS

Don't like my choices? Don't be a hater - make your own! Like them? Then you're welcome!


To me, all I've described above was pretty wonderful, but my yoga issue had not been solved. I need yoga as much as I need to breathe. More internet searching, and what do you know? (Again not an endorsement, I promise! I have zero advertisers on my blog! Just my opinion!) I found a streaming service from Gaia (the company that makes some yoga equipment) that is too good to be true! They have lots of streaming videos, audio podcasts, and articles that you can sample for free, but I found their subscription to be an unbelievable bargain at a fraction of the cost of gym membership.
I have gotten triple my investment so far by trying out yoga classes with various instructors (love Colleen and Rodney Yee!), streaming videos about health and spirituality, and using meditation audios in the evening. (I have time to meditate now. My children are grown!) I've read some thought-provoking articles on their site too! Try it!

My new plan, based on my old one:
Go to bed an hour earlier.
Get up an hour earlier.
Do one hour of Zumba followed by a yoga session right at home.
Get on with my day.
So far, I love it!

Whatever your New Year's Resolutions, I wish you luck, health, and much happiness in the days ahead! When obstacles appear, just breathe, think, and solve!


  1. Great ideas! I was a member of my local gym for quite a while. I really enjoyed it, but life with two little boys and taking care of my Grandmother meant that there really is no extra time to go to the gym. Now thanks to your youtube suggestions I don't have to go to the gym. Just find floor space that isn't cluttered with toys!

    P.S. Zumba is the best! I've even got my 3 year old trying to dance along with me. :o)

  2. Such a great idea about the zumba playlist. I subscribed to your playlist.

    I have such a hard time getting to the gym.

  3. The frustration of the new year, when the regulars can hardly get onto anything. Do love the idea of creating a home workout for those time when your routine just doesn't have space to fit in a dedicated visit that has to match to the gym schedule. I too like the social aspect of the gym AND the supplementary ideas generate the opportunity to KEEP GOING on the health upgrade plan. Thanks for the ideas.