Category Archives: Zumba DVDs

Housework? No, It’s Exercise!

Okay, not really, but I once read an article about not sitting on  your butt so much, and that even getting up and doing housework was burning some calories. So now I feel like I’m doing something good for my health when I do the dishes and laundry. I’m certainly doing something good for the running of my household.

We had some people over for the 4th of July yesterday, so I have had a lot of opportunity to do dishes today. And after eating a little bit outside my usual calorie count yesterday–someone brought homemade pie, so I am forgiving myself for it–I need to burn all the extra calories I can. The scale hasn’t moved in a couple of days, but when I look at my past history I can see that I’ve lost 2 pounds since one week ago today, so I’m definitely not going to worry about it yet.

I did do a lot of real exercise today. I did the Couch to 5K workout, Week 1, Day 2, which is the same as Day 1. This time, I did it in my own neighborhood, which means a lot of hills. I also did it faster than last time. Even with both of those factors, I was surprised that the Jog Log app said I burned about twice the amount of calories as I did on Day 1, 606 compared to 293. Not sure I trust it, but I don’t base how much I eat in a day on how many calories I burn anyway, so I guess it doesn’t really matter. When I got home, I also did the Zumba Toning DVD, to work my arms. I can definitely feel the jogging in my legs, mostly in my thighs. I definitely don’t enjoy jogging as much as I do Zumba, but it is fun to have the goal of getting through the program.

Tonight I’m going to see a movie, Magic Mike, with a couple of girlfriends. First, we’re going to get some sushi, so it should be pretty easy to eat a healthy dinner. As I’ve said in a previous post, I like to have popcorn with a movie, but movie theater popcorn is apparently terrible for you. So this time, I made my own popcorn at home, put on a little bit of olive oil and salt, and I’ll hide it in my purse. Shhh, don’t tell.

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Taco Night

Tonight’s dinner wouldn’t have made a pretty picture, but it put lovely smiles on my kids faces. We had Taco Night, which I think my kids really love because they get to play with their food. I’m sure it’s the same in many households, we put all the fixings on the table, including black beans for my son, who will avoid meat whenever possible (texture thing, not because he loves animals), and the kids get to pile on whatever they want.

I’ve been trying lately to make Taco Night tasty for me, too. Tonight I finally succeeded. I used turkey meat for the filling, from Cook’s Illustrated–I get a lot of my recipes from that site, well worth the subscription price. I used plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, made sure to cut up a lot of lettuce, tomatoes, and even some cucumbers. I also bought some salsa verde, which I love and is low calorie. I’m sure regular salsa would be good too. I made one taco with a tortilla, a little bit of cheese (real cheese, because I hate the fake stuff), a little guacamole, some yogurt, and veggies. Instead of having a second taco, I made a taco salad with a little bit of meat, no cheese or guacamole, just lots of veggies, lots of yogurt, and lots of salsa verde. I think I actually liked that better than the regular taco.

Happy news when I stepped on the scale this morning…it didn’t move at all the last few days. Normally, that would not be cause for celebration. However, after indulging in the movie popcorn on Monday, and not getting any kind of real exercise yesterday, I figured no movement was much better than movement in the wrong direction.

During my Zumba workout this morning, I really concentrated on putting a lot of energy into all the moves. Using the heart rate monitor and Digifit, I could really see the difference in both my calorie burn and my heart rate. That’s a good reason to keep wearing the heart rate monitor…the Zumba Fitness game will tell me I did great, 5 stars, even when I don’t work my hardest. But my heart rate can’t lie. Digifit is a pretty cool app too, in that it really shows what all the Zumba hype says is true…it does a lot of interval training, going between an aerobic and an anaerobic workout several times throughout the workout. Between the 65 minute Zumba Xbox routine and the 1/2 hour Zumba Toning workout, I burned about 800 calories. And I had fun doing it, which I still find pretty amazing.

Zumba Toning and Digifit

Today was a really good workout day…and not such a good eating day. It started out well, I had lost another pound when I stepped on the scale today. I had my usual toast with cheese and tomato for breakfast. Then I did a 65 minute Zumba routine on the Xbox. Today I used our Wahoo Fitness Heart Monitor with the Digifit app. I really like the display options on the app, it shows how long you spend in each zone. It still shows that I am burning less than half the calories than the Zumba game says, but that is okay. After finishing the routine on Xbox, I popped in the Zumba Ripped DVD. I decided to only do the toning portion, which is the first half. The second half is called Zumba Sentao, and uses a chair, and I found it very frustrating…my living room works fine for the Xbox game, but with the Zumba Sentao, I kept having to move the chair around to have room to do the moves, and so I’d miss moves and mess up the rhythm of the dance.

The Zumba Toning portion uses the Zumba Toning Sticks, which are weights that also make maraca sounds. Kinda silly, but also kinda fun. The DVD set came with 1 pound sticks, but I hardly felt anything when I used them. I ordered the 2.5 pound sticks from Amazon. I feel like I’m getting a pretty good workout when I use them.

I had a good healthy lunch too, but after that the eating went downhill a bit. We went out to see Brave (great movie!) and I got some popcorn for the kids, and I had some too. It is only after getting home and looking at calories that I realized that movie theater popcorn might be really awful. Even without butter, it was probably not a good choice. And, we went out to Mexican for dinner, where it is always hard to eat healthy…I think I made decent choices, I had shrimp fajitas, and limited the sour cream and guacamole, and only had a couple of tortillas. Only time will tell, and nothing I can do about it now, so I’ll face the scale the next time I step on it, and see what it says.

Zumba Ripped DVD

I tried the Zumba Ripped DVD for the first time today. It uses Zumba Toning Sticks–basically 1 pound weights that sound like maracas–along with a chair and your own body mass to add strength training to the Zumba dance routines. I could really feel the leg and butt exercises most of all. The 1 pound sticks were a bit light, so I might order some heavier sticks from Zumba. I didn’t enjoy it as much as doing Zumba on the Xbox, however I certainly liked it more than standard weight training, so I will probably add it to my routine at least once a week to start, and try to build to twice a week. In the Fall, Zumba is supposed to be coming out with another Kinect game that works the abs, so that might be another good choice for strength training.

We had French Toast for breakfast (yum!). I had mine with nonfat yogurt and jarred peaches (from Trader Joe’s) rather than butter and syrup. So good, and I didn’t feel at all deprived. Even so, not exactly a low calorie breakfast, so I’ll make sure I have a lighter lunch (probably a salad), and we are having dinner at a friend’s house so I’ll have to watch myself tonight. My downfall is always the appetizers, so I’m bringing along some veggies and hummus to share.

Scale was down another pound this morning. I was debating again whether it was a good idea to weigh myself every day, and found this blog post. Isn’t it amazing that no matter how we feel about something, we can find somebody else on the internet who completely supports our view, and can then decide we were right all along? Either way, weighing every day is working for me. Days the scale goes down I feel happy and motivated to keep going the way I’m going, and days the scale doesn’t go down I feel motivated to work harder the next day to make sure I see a change. It was a little hard about a month ago when the scale didn’t move for a week, but I made it through then so I am hopeful I can do it again if needed.

Zumba Exhilarate DVD Set

I bought the Zumba Exhilarate DVD set, just to shake things up a bit, to add some toning–it comes with a toning DVD and a set of light weights–and because we will be traveling in the summer, and I don’t want to carry my Xbox with me…and I doubt my husband would let me do that anyway. I tried the full length class DVD today, and while it was a good workout, I don’t think it was as hard a workout as some of the Xbox workouts. So, I think the Xbox will still be my usual workout, and I’ll add the toning one (after I try it, that is) once in a while. It was kind of fun actually hearing Beto’s voice, and seeing him as a person instead of as an avatar, though.