Happy Birthday to Me: Five Days of Workouts during Birthday Week

“…this year, I did a pretty good job incorporating fitness all birthday-week long.”

My birthday was a few days ago. If you believe what horoscopes say, I play pretty true to the definition of a Sagittarius: curious, energetic, philosophic and (mostly) extroverted with a tendency toward excess. Never is this more on display than my birthday…er, birthday week. Umm, right…maybe it’s more like a celebration the entire month of December, actually. I allow myself to fully indulge in the decadent hallmarks of the season: cookies, eggnog and birthday cake, and the delicious treats that surface at birthday lunches, birthday dinners, cocktail parties and seasonal feasts of all stripes. This year was no exception.

For me, enjoying these decadent moments are the meaning of truly living: spending time with dear friends and family and letting your host/hostess spoil you! I look forward to doing the same thing with my guests. You only have two requirements when you are invited to my house: come hungry and at least try everything put in front of you.

My “balance” for this is to increase my activity and put a focus on getting more workouts in. I do this to varying levels of success 🙂 I’m fine with it. But this year, I did a pretty good job incorporating fitness all birthday-week long. Here’s the rundown:

This high-energy cardio-kickboxing workout was my favorite workout this week.

TUESDAY: This workout by Christa DiPaolo, creator of the THE CUT by Equinox is tough. I was drenched in sweat by the end. I did a bit longer workout because I woke up early. I also knew I had lunch plans with my bestie, so burning more calories was a good look. Christa is a tough trainer, but her energy is contagious, even through the TV screen, and I ended up working harder because of her encouragement.

Great oblique-conscious Pilates workout.

WEDNESDAY: I didn’t have as much time Wednesday morn, so I found this video on PopSugar Fitness’s 20-minute workout playlist. Jake DuPree tied in some classic Pilates with many advance variations. So while this wasn’t a sweaty cardio vid, I definitely was “glistening” by the end and felt extra toned.

Fun and focused workout with weights.

THURSDAY: PopSugar trainer Allie leads this “30-Minute Cardio and Strength-Training Workout For a Mood Boost.” It’s perfect for a day when you want to workout, but don’t have a ton of energy. She is light on the spirit in this one and there’s a thorough cool down that really taps the parasympathetic nervous system. I felt good all day afterward.

FRIDAY: We had unseasonably warm weather toward the end of the week. It was 62 degrees on Friday, so a co-worker – one of my group of work friends who regularly go on walks at lunch – and I went for ~1.5-mile walk.

Last workout of the week did require shoes and a mat, but the rest was all body weight work.

SUNDAY: As I started going through my YouTube history to write this post, I saw this workout that I’d added to my queue earlier in the week. I thought “How can I be writing a post about squeezing in time to workout and not take this quiet time to squeeze in one more workout for the week?” So I did it. Predictably, I felt so much better after moving and strengthening my body. This workout by trainer Anna Victoria reminded me of the 5:45 a.m. boot camp classes that my friend Dana taught. Very focused on heart rate and body weight resistance. Lots of the tried and true boot camp “classics”: push ups, burpees, mountain climbers and squats. They all hold a special place in my heart…and maybe a place in certain nightmares, too 🙂

All in all, I’m proud that I made time for exercise during my birthday week. Now to carry this attitude (minus the daily decadent food indulgence) into 2019!

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