T-Tapp – Okay, this is my all-time favorite. No matter what else you do for exercise, odds are THIS is the program you need to add. No matter what else I do (or don’t do!), I never drop T-Tapp. You get more benefits in less time and it does things no other exercise program can boast. As a fan of the results of exercise, but not the actual work of it, T-Tapp gives me the greatest results in the least amount of time possible. Creator Teresa Tapp is a pioneer in rehabilitative exercise. The program is totally comprehensive and can easily be adjusted to every fitness level. You only have to do it 2-3 times a week for maximum results and it will improve every aspect of your fitness – cardio-vascular, neuro-kinetic flow, lymphatic function, core connection, balance, strength, and optimal fat-burning. You will be amazed at how quickly you lose inches. She even developed an exercise which lowers your blood sugar faster than taking insulin (and the good folks at the Cooper Aerobic Institute wired her up to prove it). Just doing her Primary Back Stretch (PBS) before doing any other exercise puts you in fat-burning mode faster (proved that at Cooper, too). Even when I was working to overcome adrenal fatigue, I was able to adjust my T-Tapp routine to help my body heal and still maintain a good level of fitness during the ordeal. The T-Tapp customer service and support is second to none. This is the best there is. Click here for more information.
intenSati – This is the workout I actually enjoy doing more than anything else. It is “intention and power” with cardio, strength, and flexibility. It’s chaptered, so you can do the whole workout with all four parts: warm-up, upper body, lower body, and yoga stretching, or just use one or two. I don’t do the whole workout, because it’s too much to do on off-days from T-Tapp, but I like doing T-Tapp PBS, followed by one of the sections. My favorite is the lower body workout; it feels really empowering and Patricia Moreno’s coaching manner is extremely motivating. Her integration of affirmations with movement helps your brain focus on the positive, which helps it not to start thinking about how hard the exercise is or how tired you are and helps you keep going. The best way to describe it is a combination of gentle martial arts form with cardio, balance and positive affirmations. It actually makes me feel powerful and graceful at the same time. LOVE IT!
Needak Rebounder – The Needak rebounder is nothing like those little mini-trampolines they sell at WalMart! Compared to the Needak, the cheapies feel like jumping on a wooden board. The “soft bounce” springs turn this rebounder into a serious, rehabilitative piece of exercise equipment that exercises every cell of your body and is extremely lymphatic. Oh, and it’s FUN! You kinda feel like a little kid when you’re bouncing and who doesn’t need a little more of THAT in their life. The cool thing is that it can be a “two-fer” you can do while you do something else, including something less beneficial to your health like, say, watching TV. It folds up and has a carrying case so you can transport it easily. I take it to our annual family homeschool camp every year because it’s hot and humid there and my legs will swell. I don’t have a lot of time to work out there and it’s too hot to do much more than this. It’s also an easy way to get your kids moving more on a daily basis with an activity that’s fun. During the summer when my kids have been cooped up and have a lot of extra energy pent up, causing them to drive me CRAZY, I send them to “go bounce”. It really helps. But keep it set up at home, if you possibly can, preferably in front of the TV, so you’ll be inspired to add a little exercise to your day during times when you normally wouldn’t. You can save a few dollars by getting one that does not fold, if you're positive you won't ever want to fold it up for storage or travel. Click here to see the Needak Rebounder on the Needak website.
High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) – I’ve known about HIIT for almost 20 years, since Covert Bailey wrote about it back in the day. He called it “wind sprints”, where you interrupt your normal aerobic exercise routine to increase your speed dramatically for several seconds and then return to your previous speed/level of intensity. I used to incorporate short bursts of speed into my regular treadmill workout and really found that my fitness increased as a result. Recently, however, it has appeared in several different incarnations, many of which are based on short bursts of speed interspersed with short recovery periods for just a few minutes and that’s the whole workout. There are several books and resources on the subject and everyone has their own take on it, but I think my favorite is JJ Virgin's explanation of burst training. The thing you have to keep in mind is YOUR fitness level and what is most beneficial for YOUR BODY. When I tried the method of HIIT my chiropractor was espousing, I crashed my adrenals, AGAIN, and had to start all over rebuilding my body, so please tread carefully in this area, especially if you have any form of chronic fatigue, autoimmune issues, or history of adrenal fatigue. This is an area that is VERY IMPORTANT to use energy testing in to find out exactly the best plan for your body. I have done the Tabata Method version of HIIT three times a week (on my Needak rebounder; another “two-fer”). I have designed the number of repetitions, length of wind sprints, length of recovery, ideal number of days per week, that is perfect for my body. Every few weeks I check in to see if my body wants something tweaked. I started slowly and worked up to my current routine. You really need to tune in to your body on this one, but it is one of the fastest ways to increase your fitness level, so it can really be worthwhile. Here's an overview of HIIT options to give you an idea of how to get started, and some more info here.