Week Eleven: Simple Pretty Fitness


Fitness for me is not a case of “Look better by bikini season!” or “Drop 5 pounds over the weekend!” — you know, the typical magazine come ons. It’s also not the New Year’s Resolution of Radical Transformation. (Which is why I’m posting this in March instead of January.)  Rather, my goal is to be healthy, have my clothes fit well, and minimize the “wobbly bits”. I love that Britishism, as it aptly summarizes the body woes of aging. 

For eons, my routine was simple: running 3x a week coupled with a Wednesday Pilates session. Since moving, I’ve tweaked my routine, cutting the running back to 1x a week (I walk a lot) and focusing more on toning + arms work. (Those darn wobbly bits.) I like to work out at home, but get bored quickly, so I’m constantly improvising, adding and deleting to suit my mood**. The following is my routine-of-the-moment:

  1. Fitbit Flex  since Christmas, I’ve been wearing a black Flex on my wrist. Fitbit + its companion app do a nice job of tracking the basics: steps per day, sleep habits, as well as water consumption. It makes for a great reality check and also motivates me to get up and move on those days when I seem tied to the computer.
  2. Body By Simone  a friend recently suggested I check out BBS TV, the online workout site developed by trainer Simone de la Rue (who is reportedly responsible for keeping Sandra Bullock in enviable shape). The dance-influenced workout choices include toning (using light weights and a Pilates ball) and surprisingly easy-to-learn dance cardio. I would love to visit the NYC studio and try my hand at Dance Cardio in person with room to move. In the meantime, BBS TV is a solid at-home option, and the Body By Simone book, pictured above, should be out shortly.
  3. Ballet  most of my fitness tips can be done from the comfort of your living room. For exercise with a social interaction component, I signed up for an adult beginner ballet course in January at a local community center. Ballet is a deceptively tough workout — I always feel it the next day — and has the added benefits of better posture and a soundtrack of classical music that soothes the mind while you work the body.
  4. PopSugar Fitness  FitSugar is a veritable gold mine of free, 10 minute workouts from a wide variety of of-the-moment trainers. New videos are constantly added: boredom be gone! At the moment, I’m addicted to this Tracy Mallett lower-body workout. Killer.
  5. Barre3 want options for 10, 30, 40 and 60 minute workout? An online subscription to Sadie Lincoln’s Barre3 video library gets you access to a deep library of toning workouts — rooted in ballet, yoga, and Pilates — devised to strengthen, lengthen and tone. The instructors’ cues are clear and modifications are suggested when needed: Barre3 stresses the importance of knowing your own body and working out at a level that feels good for you. I never thought that moving an inch (Barre3’s signature move) could be so effective.

** in fact, i’m already eyeing essentrics as the next workout to add to the rotation. 

image credits: 1. fitbit.com 2. amazon.com 3. bloch zenith shoes from zappos.com 4. fitsugar.com 5. barre3.com


  1. March 12, 2014 / Permalink

    I loved this Jane! Good resources, too. I’ve always wanted to try ballet, I think it’s really neat you signed up for that. Also, I like the looks of the Fitbit Flex better than the Nike ones- they’re not as big. You really like it? I’ve been going back and forth on getting one.

  2. March 12, 2014 / Permalink

    Perhaps the single best thing about retirement has been the time to focus on fitness. I’m terrible at working out in my house, so I’ve been going to a personal trainer twice a week. Now to find a yoga class and the world will be a better place all around. I admire your focus and organization.