Monday, July 14, 2014

Exercise + Five Favorite Jillian Michaels Workouts

Ignore the cemetery background during my 5K last month...
I promise the race wasn't that grueling ;)

As you know if you have stopped by my blog lately, my past few Monday posts have been informational pieces on nutrition. However, this week I wanted to talk a little bit about another aspect of good health...You guessed it: Exercise! (I can hear you grunting with despair from over here!) While I know exercise sometimes seems like a pain or an interruption in our already busy lives, it is just as important as well-rounded nutrition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.1 In addition, it is recommended that adults work their major muscle groups at least 2 days a week.1

If you don't already have a love affair with exercise like myself, why should you become acquainted? 
Exercise offers a number of benefits including: weight control, reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, may reduce risk of cancers, strengthens your bones and muscles...
Need I go on? In addition, your boosted mood as a result of exercise will keep you coming back for more.3

While running is my favorite exercise/stress reliever, I also love the Jillian Michaels workout videos. So today, I wanted to highlight 5 of my favorites and give a couple details as to why I like each of them.

My most favorite video by my girl, Jill, is the No More Trouble Zones video. I first purchased this video during my freshman year of college and I haven't looked back since. All you need are 3lb dumbells (I usually use 5lbs) and a workout mat, if you desire. Out of all of the videos I have tried, this one gives me the best overall workout. As the title indicates, the moves target all of those tricky problem areas on our bodies. It lasts about 55 minutes, so it is not one I tend to do every day. Wanna know something that will excite you? You can try this video right on YouTube! Who doesn't love anything free?!

Another video that I love by Jillian is her Killer Buns and Thighs video. Like many women, any weight that I gain tends to go right to my booty and thighs. So this workout is perfect for me. One thing that I really appreciate about this video is the ability to select a level. There are three levels and my default level is usually level 2. You can do the video with or without dumbbells, though I usually keep a set of 5-pounders handy. You will also need a chair for a couple of the moves in level 2. While I own the DVD, I have noticed that this one is also on YouTube. Here is the link for level 2. (The other levels are on there as well.) This workout is about 42 minutes long, with the warm-ups and cool-downs.

My next recommendation is the Banish Fat Boost Metabolism video. I stumbled upon this one over Christmas break when I was in need of a video without weights while vacationing at my grandparents'. This one is fun because she targets your entire body, but also adds more fun kickboxing moves. This video is about 55 minutes in length and can be found here.  

Moving on to the 30-Day Fix. One of the main reasons I like this video so much is because of the length. I certainly can't complain about a solid workout that is less than 30-minutes in length. I love the layout of this video with 3-minutes strength, 2-minutes cardio, and 1-minute of abs in each circuit. This also has various levels. Here is level 2.

Finally, this is the most recent video I have stumbled upon and oh my goodness, it is FUN! Now let me just say right off the bat: there will NEVER be any pictures or videos posted of me trying this video!! Let's just say that a 5'10" lanky female flailing her arms and legs is not the most attractive sight. Thank heavens this video is performed in the privacy of my own home! But seriously, this video is only 20-minutes long and not only fun, but a good workout. I like to try out this video after I go for a run to give me a little extra in my routine. Try this one here!

What are your favorite exercises or workout videos? If you try one of the above, be sure to let me know in the comments below how you liked it!

Happy cardio and strength training! :)

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How much physical activity do adults need? Dec 1, 2011. Retrieved from: 
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical Activity and Health: The Benefits of Phsical Activity. February 16, 2011. Retrieved from: 
  3.  Kenneth R Fox (1999). The influence of physical activity on mental well-being. Public Health Nutrition, 2, pp 411-418. doi:10.1017/S1368980099000567. 


  1. When the weather outside isn't ideal for exercising, I typically find a random youtube workout video and try it out! I don't usually stick to one though, doing the same one multiple times makes me feel bored...I guess I like the "surprise" factor of, oh, what are we doing next? :P

    1. I'm with you on the "surprise" factor!! I have done the No More Trouble Zones video so many times that when I finish one move I often think "Ohhh shoot! I hate the next move!" haha it is nice to switch up the videos!

  2. Oh man, I did Jillian's 30 day shred for a month once and it was pretty intense there at the beginning! My favorite exercising would definitely be hiking. Or walking my pup. I enjoy just being out in nature. :)

    1. I definitely agree with the nature factor! Especially after being cooped up all winter and working out indoors, I can't get enough of exercising outdoors! Sometimes I will even bring my laptop in my backyard and do the Jill workouts out there, just so I don't feel like I'm wasting my precious sunshine!