I started this month with the best of intentions to post here daily, and, despite a late start, keep up with the Shredheads. I did seven straight days with Jillian Michaels and I felt stronger, leaner, more energetic and awake. Then my knees started buckling. I sputtered in and out of the workout, missing days, then stopped completely for three or four because going down the steps was beginning to hurt. A lot.
But not exercising made me cranky and unpleasant to live with. So, I’m back at it after doing some research about how to avoid knee injuries, strengthening my knees with other small exercises throughout the day, making sure I drink plenty of water just before and after the shred, getting back on glucosomine supplements and deciding that if I repeat butt kicks in lieu of jumping rope (which is one of the things that really hurts) I’m still getting my cardio. I’ve also yanked out several other lower-impact yoga videos I own to do if my knees need a break for a day. (I’ve found that gentle 20-minute yoga in the morning still gives me extra energy.) I’m going to stick with level one for a couple more days, so I can just watch level two and think ahead if about any additional modifications I may need to make. (Reading the other Shredheads‘ reports definitely has me worried.)
One thing is certain, though. My mind has been permanently changed when it comes to the direct benefits of higher intensity exercise and my ability to get it without a gym membership or a bunch of expensive equipment (Granted, I still long for my own elliptical trainer and a Wii, especially since I found out that Jillian Michaels has a Wii program). I drink more water, eat healthier food and sleep better on the days I do the workout. I don’t sit down as much. I walk more. I just feel better.