Works for me…what’s in my “toolbox”

yoga female on topFitness for me has many faces.  It is definitely not a “one size fits all” endeavor.

As I have written in earlier posts, running has been a mainstay in my “toolbox.”  As much as I hate to admit it however, it has proved somewhat one-dimensional.  Before my running enthusiasts leap to defend, I am discussing what works for me.  Let me explain.

Unless I was consistently upping my mileage, as well as watching my diet (which is essential to incorporate into any regime) I found I was gaining weight.  I also started to experience problems with my right knee.  This is not uncommon due to the repetitive nature of running.  While overuse of certain muscles can occur with any routine, runners are very prone to overuse issues others may not suffer.  Still I do it.  Why?  Because I love it.  Yet I had to find something to support the muscles that run; in a way “support my habit.”  Enter INSANITY.

In case you haven’t seen the infomercials, INSANITY is workout which consistently changes routines.  With this is mind, your body is always working to adjust & readjust to what’s going on today.  Because running is so repetitive, INSANITY gave me a jolt–as well as a wake-up call.

Most runners (myself included) feel they are in great shape.  Whether you run track, cross-country, distance, or anything in between–if you are a consistent runner, you are in great shape–for running.  However, try something like INSANITY, and you will be unpleasantly surprised how out of shape you feel.  I know how I felt–and it was runner’s arrogance which kept me from trying other workouts.

The results?  INSANITY made me a stronger, as well as faster runner.  My mileage suffered initially–simply because now I wanted to go faster.  It reshaped my body, giving me more muscle without bulk.  However, it also increased my appetite.  Not surprising though, considering the workload you are performing in a short period of time.  Keep in mind, you are only doing this for less than an hour (second month DVDs are an hour-long).  In order to maintain caloric burn, newer research suggests you your keep active throughout your day.  It doesn’t mean you’re doing plyometrics and high intensity aerobics all day.  It does mean you are mindful of your activity level and what you are eating.  Taking a walk later, cutting grass, cleaning out your closet or crawl space (a workout in its own right), are all ways to keep that activity level elevated.

Make no mistake though, INSANITY is NOT for everyone.  It incorporates explosive jumps, into HIGH intensity workouts.  If you have joint issues (especially knee) you may have to modify or even skip some of the routines.  In my case, I modified–then found my body adapting and getting stronger as I progressed.  As always, my recommendation is to preview & review.  Preview any video (if you can) and review your history/medications with a medical professional, BEFORE you begin.

INSANITY is another tool in my box.  Like any wrench or ratchet, I use it in conjunction with other equipment.  It is not my only tool–nor will it be.  I received the boxed set 2 years ago, and alternate/incorporate it into my week.  That week includes strength training at the health club, running on treadmill (I know, anathema to those who run outside exclusively) and running outside when I can.  So what else is in my toolbox?  Two workouts which for a long time, I considered much too “girly girl” for me.  Yet like INSANITY, they gave my body another wake-up call–as well as results I never achieved by gym workouts, running, or anything else.  But more on that next time.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions? Comments?  Contact me at



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