My Latest Workout Obsessions

It seems like every couple years a new type of workout craze takes over and we all want to see what the fuss is about. Fitness isn’t something that has ever been totally easy for me – every time I head to the gym I really push myself. By being open to new types of exercises (remember my spinning obsession?) I’m able to explore what works for me – and leave behind what doesn’t. This has worked wonders for my health, strength and happiness! It has even meant going back to some tried-and-true methods like my current favorite workouts below:

Tamera Mowry Workout Obsessions

Zumba. If you’ve ever walked by the private classrooms at your gym and seen a big group of people that look like they’re dancing to super loud, upbeat music – you may have come across Zumba! It made waves in the US several years ago and there’s a reason it’s still taught at gyms nationwide today – it really works, and it’s tons of fun. With Zumba, you follow your instructor’s mix of high and low intensity dance and aerobic exercises. This way, you actually get a really well-rounded workout without realizing it. With Zumba, there are tons of different exercises and separate dance moves incorporated to one in a fast paced session that’s not as tough to lock down as you’d think! This type of workout is my go-to when I want to burn calories, fast. It’s also a great choice if you’re dreading exercise. When you’re focused on the instructor, music and moves you will absolutely lose track of time.

Pilates. Another classic that I swear by is Pilates, which is a type of exercise dedicated to your body’s core. This is a perfect workout for those who have had injuries in the past or fear they’ll get one by other workouts (it was actually invented to help with injuries). Similarly to yoga, it’s based off of an expansive series of moves that require you to breathe, focus and control your body’s movements. Because of this, you’ll not only be strengthening your body, but improving your posture and flexibility. When you go to a class, you might use a Reformer to complete your exercises, but there are a lot of Pilates moves you can do at home too. Pilates is hard work, but it’s made me so much stronger and has really helped me tone my muscles.

Yoga. When I injured my back, yoga was something I had to incorporate out of necessity. I needed to take time to slow down, stretch and pay attention to every muscle. I love yoga because you can do every level of intensity from simple stretches to incredibly advanced moves that challenge your whole body. One of the biggest benefits I’ve found with yoga is stress relief. That alone makes it worth giving a try but there’s so much else it does too. A lot of people think all yoga does is increase your flexibility (and it does) but it also can strengthen and tone, assist your body in healing itself, increase your mindfulness and even aid in weight loss.

The best thing about each of these practices is that everyone can do them – no matter your strength or expertise. If you’re new to them, sign up for a beginner’s class (even if you plan to do them from home sometimes) so you can learn safe practices and proper form, or ask your doctor if they think it’s right for you. Once you take the time to explore different workouts, you’ll be so much more confident when gym day rolls around!

What’s your favorite workout at the moment?

Xx,
Tamera

How to Start an Exercise Regimen

You know what they say: the hardest part of anything is getting started. But it’s even harder when you don’t know how or where to start. If it’s been awhile since you worked out regularly or you’re new to the game, you probably have a lot of ideas swirling around your head about what a fitness routine looks like. (Any stereotypes coming to mind right now?) But once you get over the mental hurdle of what you think you can or can’t do and know that you’re capable of starting and sticking to a routine, you’ll be ready to dive in.

How to Start an Exercise Regimen - Tamera Mowry

So, where to begin? In starting an exercise regimen, there’s a few things to consider:

What are your goals? Write down why you’re starting a regimen and what’s important to you. Be specific; instead of saying “to be stronger” you might say “to be able to lift my child” etc. These will help when you choose the type of regimen!

 What types of activity do you like? Don’t think strictly workout, but what kinds of actions you’ve always enjoyed, like hiking, walking, sports, etc. You can translate this into a real regimen soon.

How much time + money can you commit? Think about how often you’ll realistically commit to a workout, such as 30 minutes a day or an hour three times a week. Also think about whether you can afford a gym membership, fitness classes, or personal training sessions. If they’re not in the budget right now, that’s totally okay—there are plenty of free ways to get active.

Now that you’ve sorted out your “musts”, you can begin exploring regimens. I won’t go into crazy detail here, but I definitely suggest taking all of the above into account. If you like outdoor activity, for example, consider jogging in your neighborhood or morning hikes as an option—especially if you’re looking for free ways to get in shape. Or, if you have a budget and want to learn a very specific type of exercise, research classes you can take to build your skills.

Lastly, here are three more tips for when you’re ready to begin:

Talk to a pro. Consult a doctor, personal trainer, teacher, or even just the friendly faces that greet you at the gym—so you can begin with confidence. If you’re a generally active person, you may not think it necessary, but remember that they’re trained to know all the ins and outs. Even simply taking the introductory tour at a gym can put you at ease when it comes time to climb on those machines.

Find a buddy—if you want. Some people like working out solo to clear their heads and focus inward, but if that’s not you (or something you want to work up to), that’s fine! Recruit a friend who will encourage and motivate. If that’s not an option, consider group activities such as Pilates or Spin class—though they’re completed individually, the energy from the group setting will inspire you.

Take it slow. Working out is all about working up. There are plenty of areas in life where you can just dive in and see what works, but when it comes to physical health, you want to do it right—trust me, it’s not worth an injury! Find a balance between pushing yourself and knowing your limits and you’ll find it easy to make this lifestyle change truly stick.

Once you figure these things out, you can narrow it down and tailor your regimen. Click here to read my tips on finding the right fitness routine for you.

What’s your workout regimen?

Xx,
Tamera

4 Reasons to Love Spinning Classes

Spinning has been one of the trendier workouts for awhile now, and I personally love it. There are so many benefits of taking a spin class that I think it’s a routine that will be around for years to come. It being less-than-ideal workout weather in much of the country right now, it seems a great time to share how a spin class can really change up your exercise game!

YAS-Venice-Spin-Room-580x320For those who haven’t tried it, “spinning” is a specific type of instructor-led cycling workout. While you may ride the stationary bike at your gym, doing it with others in a group setting can mean a more intense and fulfilling work out. What really makes the class is the people around you, all working their hardest, ultimately keeping your momentum up. The fact that you burn calories at a higher rate than many workouts (roughly 500 or 600 per class) and that it can be very motivating are just two reasons I love spin, but it’s much more than that:

Perfect for winter workouts

Like I said, this is a great way for those of us who enjoy exercising outside to still get a workout in when that’s not an option. Winter is also a notoriously ‘bad’ workout season, as the cold weather and holidays can mean a huge detour from our healthier springs and summers. Just signing up for the class signifies a commitment, and it’s much harder to justify skipping it when you know it’s going to take an hour or less of your time – just perfect for squeezing in among other tasks during the holiday season!

Gets you out of your workout rut

Even if you do push yourself your hardest during every workout sesh, you may eventually get board of your fave machines or find your routine isn’t challenging anymore. Enter: spin! With music to get you pumped up and an instructor who pushes you, just a few classes are sure to shift how you feel about working out. Maybe you’ll find that this is definitely you’re ‘thing’ or maybe you’ll have a new appreciation for the elliptical… Either way, it’s a win.

A great intro to fitness classes

If you’ve peeked in on fitness classes at your gym but never really felt comfortable enough to actually join your peers in attempting coordinated dance routines, this is the perfect foray into fitness classes. You get the group setting – and all the support and encouragement that come with it – without as many potential disasters. It’s a mostly solo effort that just so happens to take place in a group. Some spin classes even take place in the dark! Lol.

It’s a workout for all levels

One of the reasons spin has become so popular is because it really is a workout for everyone. Both the athlete and the person who has never taken a class before will benefit. A single class often operates in intervals, so you aren’t likely to find one person who thinks it’s a total breeze and another who can’t push the pedal. Plus, you are ultimately in control of the bike’s settings, so if something becomes too much, you won’t need to quit, just adjust accordingly.

Still aren’t sure if spin is your thing? Read this post to find out which fitness routine is right for you!

Xx,
Tamera

Photo: YAS fitness centers in Venice, CA

Which Fitness Routine is Right for You?

Fitness Plan | Tamera Mowry

Regular exercise is known to decrease stress and contribute to happiness. It’s just as rewarding mentally as it is physically. However, starting a fitness routine can be overwhelming given all the options. From cycling to Pilates to just plain ol’ going on a jog, it takes a little trial and error to see what works best for you. Here are a few in particular to get you started, along with the benefits of each:

Jogging

Going for a run is the classic way to get your heart rate up, release endorphins, and burn calories. The best part is that if you get bored, you can always change up your location.

Perfect for: Those who want a free workout that they can do anywhere at any skill level. Especially if you love the outdoors. It’s great for those who don’t mind if other people see them getting their workout on. Jogging is perfect for beginners because you can start and stop at any time, and if you feel like it, you can always run faster!

Spin Class

I love spin. It’s a high intensity endurance workout that burns an insane amount of calories in a relatively short period of time. Plus, it’s a group effort so you have the support of the other people in the class and the instructor to keep you motivated.

Perfect for: Anyone who loves group workouts, and those who are externally motivated. It’s also great for people who want to push themselves to new limits, and people who love cycling already, but want something in between actual bike rides.

Pilates

Pilates is a workout that challenges your body in terms of strength, flexibility, and balance. It’s an all-over workout that doesn’t just target one muscle group, so you can expect to see improvements across the board.

Perfect for: People seeking increased strength and flexibility, and those who want to be more in tune with their bodies. Also for those who have had previous injuries or want to prevent future ones, as it emphasizes technique. With Pilates, you can exercise in the comfort of your own home, though it’s also a popular group activity.

Yoga

Yoga strengthens and increases flexibility at the same time, which is difficult to get from weight training. Regular yoga can increase serotonin levels, among other mental benefits, allowing you to de-stress and find happiness. People who practice yoga generally feel less stressed.

Perfect for: Those who want to improve mental health just as much as physical, and increase harmony with the body and mind. If you want to tone your body and feel more relaxed, this workout would be worth a try. Just as with Pilates, it also helps prevent injuries and balance the body.

Aerobics/Dance

Cardio workouts like aerobics, dancing, jogging, and swimming all increase endurance, strength, and muscle-tone, while decreasing fat. If you want to lose weight, some sort of cardio workout is a must. Dancing helps you do all this in a fun, yet fast-paced way. There are so many routines out there, head to the gym or grab a DVD for ideas!

Perfect for: Dancing is great for people who love to get moving, but tire of regular jogging, and really love to make their workouts fun. It works for solo workouts from the comfort of your living room and group exercises at the gym.

This is by no means an all-inclusive list! Add in your favorite type of workout below.

Xx,
Tamera

Photo: Womens Health Magazine