Options for newbies


Bella says “good morning!” – she seems to be the only one with extra spunk today.

We’ve been waiting until late morning to come downstairs and start the day. As good as it feels, I think by next week when the Pilot goes back to work I’ll be ready to get going a little earlier. For now, it’s been very nice to enjoy the company of my family and take things slowly,


and enjoy tea and cookies 😉


Between the two of us, we’ve done some damage on the cookies Kelly brought over. Two cookie monsters, for sure.

Breakfast was some of this granola- the same on Kyle used to make my parfait the other day:


I’ve had this brand’s GF cereal before, and it was pretty gnarly. It got slimy extremely fast and didn’t have a good crunch to it.

The granola is much, much better and I like that it has a decent amount of protein:


A cupful with banana and almond milk:


So good.

Recently, I’ve received a few emails asking for some beginner workout options, especially since the Winter Shape Up is an advanced-intermediate workout. I really think the best thing you can do if you’re just getting started is to find something you enjoy doing and can be consistent with. Starting a beginning weights, running/walking, or fitness class can be a good way to go, and here are some of my favorite fitness options for all levels:

1. Walk/jog/run. Find a buddy and take it outside, or hit up the treadmill for a little while (<—the less fun option). There are a lot of fantastic beginning running/walking plans out there (Couch to 5k comes to mind) and signing up for a 5k is a great way to keep up motivation. Just remind yourself that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. When I first started running, it began with walking everyday. Then I added in a minute of running each time, and added on from there. Little by little, and before you know it, you’ll be surprising yourself with your cardio endurance.


(Bell loves walks)

2. Spin. I love spin because you really can make it your own, and if you take a class for the first time, you’ll be sore, no matter what. Make sure to let the instructor know it’s your first time, and take it easy. No one can tell how hard your resistance is 😉 Just have fun with it, enjoy the music, and focus on proper form instead of going crazy the first couple of times. Spin was one of my first workout loves, and I still enjoy it just as much as I did the first week I took classes.


3. Beginning weights, or a weight training class. I think the best way to get started with weights is to have an appointment with a personal trainer. They’ll be able to give you a basic plan and go over the proper form for all of the exercises. Another option would be to take a weight training or BodyPump class at your local gym. As with any new classes, make sure you let the instructor know it’s your first time.

photo (46)

(my fave gym buddy)

4. Yoga. I think there’s a yoga soulmate out there for everyone- there are so many different types! The beauty of yoga is that it’s a “practice,” so you’re in a judgment-free zone. Just focus on breathing and enjoy leaving your to-do list in the car. A tip would be to check out YogaJournal.com to see what the basic poses look like – I’d recommend getting the hang of Warrior 1 and 2, chair pose, plank, chatarunga, forward fold, down dog and up dog.


5. Zumba! You knew this one was coming. Zumba is more of a party than a workout, and you can take it at your own pace and modify as needed. I always tell my classes that if they get lost, shake something and no one will know they’re lost, and if they’re going right and I’m going left, they’re right and I’m wrong. Just have fun!


When you first got started with fitness, what was your starting point? I danced my entire life, but when I actually started to get into fitness (in college), I started walking everyday. I looked forward to my daily walks –a nice sanity break with an intense school and work schedule- and eventually it turned into running.

Walking is still one of my favorites, and I’m excited to get back into running again <3

Hope everyone has a happy almost-Friday!



Been wanting an oGorgeous bag? They’re on promo today in my OpenSky store!

Something to read:

A great article: Workouts have their limits

Colorful antioxidant-rich foods and their benefits

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  1. Julie on January 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    When I first started working out, I hit my college’s gym with my roommate. We did the elliptical then some weights, for like an hour. I joined a gym and did the cardio machines mostly till I discovered ZUMBA in the summer. I did it so much and so often, I was addicted. I went 4 times in one day once. I then started becoming less shy in class and went to kickboxing. I fell in love and stopped doing so much Zumba. When you take the same classes/instructors, the moves get repetitive. Then I started BodyPump, step, and the dreaded spin. I tried spin for a month 2xs/week and could never get into it. I figured – I didn’t need it to get in shape to begin with.

    I started looking up more challenge weight workouts and learned a lot through classes like boot camp. Those are absolutely fun, and sweat more in that class than anything else. Most gyms offer it too. Kettlebells are a fave of mine as well.

    We had a great gym nearby and there weren’t many options so I just went down the calendar and ended up trying everything, including yoga. It balances everything out.

  2. Quinn on January 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Gina, I would loveeee to have you as a fitness/class instructor. You are always so positive and welcoming about nutrition and exercise. Reading your blog every evening kind of rounds out my night and puts a smile on my face, ESPECIALLY since the addition on beautiful Olivia. I hope to have your peace of mind someday 🙂

    Keep on kicking ass!

  3. Jayme on January 19, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Would doing zumba for the wii and 30 mins of cardio help lose weight?

  4. Laura Jane @ Recovering Chocoholic on January 19, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    I am starting with the Couch to 5K and it’s working well. I’ve also done spinning classes and it’s nice because you really can adjust the resistance to your level.

  5. Sable@SquatLikeALady on January 19, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    I’m embarrassed that I look at your pics this closely but your nails look great!!! LOL! Seriously – they look so healthy and shiny.

    I was never athletic… I was anorexic from ages 15 to almost 18 and then rebounded the other way BIG TIME. When I met my husband I was obese. He got me started running and biking, and I did just that for a year or so…then 2 years ago I started lifting & that was the first time I truly ENJOYED working out. Initially I was bodybuilding, but for the past 4 months I’ve been lifting heavier & with much less volume with the intention of competing in a powerlifting meet 😀 I hope I enjoy the meet but I definitely enjoy this training style so I’m going to stick with it!

  6. Kevin Asuncion on January 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    When I first got started I went straight to the elliptical and a few choice machines. It’d always do it around 230pm right after classes (I started when I was in high school). Those were the good ol’ days. I never actually started walking seriously until last year, I find walking is an amazing way to connect with people if you do it together, and to clear your mind.

  7. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on January 20, 2012 at 8:31 am

    You’re getting back into running?! What happened to the breakup? Good for you though.. I go back and forth all the time.. me and running have a tumultuous relationship as well. 😉

  8. chelsea on January 20, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I was a cheerleader my whole life 🙂 I never knew though how much fitter you could be by simply adding running to your workout regimen though. It’s truly changed my body and mindset.

  9. kellyo on January 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

    I met and fell in love with Spinning last spring. I have a date with Zumba on Monday! 🙂

  10. Liz @ Southern Charm on January 20, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I was like you. I danced all my life, so I was used to exerting so much energy for a long period of time. I started with walking, added weight lifting and then ran and such. I’m so happy I did!

  11. Lindsay on January 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

    Hey Gina! I’ve heard you talking about BodyPump forever, but they don’t offer that class at my gym. They do, however, offer a class called Muscle Pump. I’m assuming this is the equivalent class, just without the BodyPump branding attached. I’ve seen the classes (though I’ve never taken one before) and they use a step platform, free weights, and weight bars mostly. Do you think it’s safe to say that this class would be pretty similar to BodyPump?

    Thanks, and a HUGE congratulations on your new little bean!

  12. Heather @ For the Love of Kale on January 20, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Wow! The protein & fiber stats on that granola are so impressive! Most granola is kinda void of that. Now, I want it. Thanks, Gina. 😉

    When I first started working out outside of participating in sports (I was an avid softball and basketball player), I started with running. Then, I became curious about group fitness classes and took advantage of them when I got into college because they were free! It definitely broadened my exercise horizons!

  13. Ida on January 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm


    I loved Zumba, tried it the first time on Tuesday. I do Step and weight lifting class on Monday, Zumba on Tuesday and African dance or elliptical/bike by myself on one other day. Do you think I will see change in my body in a couple of months, or do I have to exercise more? I think doing weights are okay as long as I have an instructor. I might attend a spin class when I get in a bit better shape! They only have medium challenging classes atm.

    Would be awesome if you could tell me if what I’m doing is enough! thanks!

    • Fitnessista on January 21, 2012 at 11:11 am

      hey girl,
      i have no idea, since i don’t know what your body comp stats are, weight, height or current activity level. another huge factor is how you eat, too

      • Ida on January 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

        Well, I am 5’3, and 143 pounds (my BMI says I am overweight (whaaat??)). I exercise 3 days a week with what I wrote above. 45 mins step + 45 mins weights monday. 55 mins Zumba on Tuesdays and dancing or elliptical Friday or Thursday. I eat reguar food. Bread, yoghurt, meat, potatoes, rice +++ I try to avoid sweets and chips and I’ve been satisfied after just a nibble since I started exercising. Hope I can keep it up!

  14. Diana on January 20, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    I’ve been zumba-ing for about a year and a half now and I love it! I have a new instructor added to my regular one and he rocks. i’d love to get into some weights/strength training, but i’m not a member of a gym (my zumba classes are at a dance studio). any other places weight classes are offered? or an easy way to start at home?

  15. Shimeka Williams on January 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Great Information. I am interested in Bakery On Main products, so I will definitely be on the look out for them. I tried Zumba for the first time this week and had a blast. Keep up the good work.

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