Healthy On The Road :: INSANITY

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{Editor's Note: When she’s not training clients or being trained by her dog Zuzu, Leah writes Healthy on the Road, published the first Thursday of every month.}

Over the years I have tried out a variety of home workout DVDs, mainly for some quick, convenient yoga or pilates sessions, occasionally for some strengthening, but NEVER for cardio! I love being outside way too much to waste time jumping around indoors. If a workout video has caught my attention, it hasn’t lasted long, usually being cast aside the moment I can recite the instructor’s comments word for word!

So, you can imagine my own surprise at being in week 2 of a 60-day DVD workout program called INSANITY. Having just returned from our cabin---where I was able to fit in 2 awesome whole-body workouts---I figured it was a tool worth sharing with anyone who wants to get in seriously great shape, at home or on the road.

What led this video-hating, outdoor enthusiast to check out the INSANITY workout, you ask? I have this friend I see mostly in the summer at the lake where our families have neighbouring cabins. We love working out together, enjoying similar activities and workout styles. She's in pretty great shape most of the time, but this summer, I just about fell over when I saw her ripped, goddess-like bikini body strut down to the beach. Not only did she look INCREDIBLE, but she was able to weather the first wakeboard of the summer without feeling like her pecs and biceps had been chewed up and spat out. She credits the INSANITY workout program (completed twice this year with her husband) for her incredible results.

Needless to say, I was checking the program out fast, and I liked what I saw. The people at Beach Body (the makers of popular home-based fitness programs such as P90X) have produced a challenging whole-body workout program with loads of variety and no equipment required. Always looking for ways to efficiently incorporate strengthening and flexibility into my aerobic workouts, I decided to give it a try.

Only in week 2, I can already feel my improved strength in areas which will help with injury prevention for activities I love, like running. Word of warning, this is NOT for the faint of heart. These workouts, which deliver a combo of plyometrics, calisthenics, sports drills, core work, yoga stretching and cardio training, are H-A-R-D, and almost impossible to keep up need to be okay with that and know how to listen to your body and take brakes as needed. All these precautions are clearly outlined in the program, so I will not bore you with a long list of them here, but physician clearance is certainly a must if you have any concerns about your readiness for some serious physical exertion.

If you like what you see after checking this out, I encourage you to purchase the program, rather than hunt down free downloads. You will be far more likely to stick to something you have paid for, and the cost of the program {$162 + taxes and shipping to Canada} is WAY less then private personal training. As a trainer, I like the way the company's packaged the product, complete with a workout calendar, baseline fitness test, and an awesome nutritional guide/menu plan. Of course there are many add-ons they encourage you to purchase. I didn't buy anything but the program. I think the jump mat is a great idea as most of us don’t have shock absorbing flooring in our homes or hotel rooms, but I created my own version with a large gym mat which works fine for home use. When I’ve done the program on the road, I go without the mat and just take care to ensure softer landings while doing any jumping exercises.

All you need is a bit of space, a DVD player or laptop, some good cross training shoes, workout clothes (not much...get ready to SWEAT!!!), and you are good to go. A program with this portability that kick-starts your body into great shape is a great option for the frequent traveler who wants to stay fit while on the road and can't always attend fitness class schedules due to travel. Plus if you're ever feeling unmotivated to get in day 10's workout while traveling, the program's online support tools {with access to instructors and peers} should help you to put down the airline peanuts you saved and get in front of the TV to sweat!

More Healthy On the Road… Hydrate! Summer Paddling Healthy Road Trip Choices Make Any Trip Style Healthy The 20-min Exercise Itinerary Active, Relax, Repeat Healthy DIY Plane Snacks Hotel Room Exercises {You can do in your underwear}

[photo: insanity workout]