The best pregnancy workouts

I’m so excited to share that James and I are expecting our first child in August. Health and fitness are important to me, so I searched high and low for the best pregnancy workouts. If you aren’t expecting, my suggestions also work for non-pregnant folks. Of course, you need to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program, but the advice for my specific situation was to continue whatever I was doing before for as long as possible.

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Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Healthy lifestyle habits

I used to feel like I spent half my life trying to lose weight and I struggled with making consistent, healthy lifestyle habits. I remember thinking, there’s got to be more to life than dieting, paying bills and cleaning the house.

And of course there is. Your success depends on implementing small habits that consistently (albeit slowly) add up to major changes in your health. Just like one brownie won’t make you gain 100 pounds, one healthy meal won’t change your life either.

Consistency is king.

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30 Day Shred

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

I shared my favourite Jillian Michaels workouts in a previous post. I also gave you some free options available on YouTube. Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred is arguably her most popular program, so I’m sharing an in-depth review for anyone who is considering picking up the DVD. If you’re a beginner, start with the Beginner Shred so you don’t get discouraged. There’s no shame in starting at your fitness level! Continue reading “Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred”

Benefits of yoga

The benefits of yoga

I don’t like stretching and, in particular, I really don’t like yoga. If you read my review of T25 Focus, you’ll recall that it didn’t include my thoughts on the stretching video because I never completed it. However, the benefits of yoga outweigh my aversion, so I’ve forced myself to start actively and regularly participating (it helps having a home teacher as awesome as this one). Combined with regular sweat sessions and meditation, yoga is one of the keys to a healthy mind, body and, yes, spirit. Continue reading “The benefits of yoga”

Weight Loss Tips for Women

Weight loss tips

Health and fitness are important parts of my life and I’m often asked for my best weight loss tips. When my dad got sick, I spent a lot of late nights at the hospital, which meant skipping the gym and eating food that was convenient (read: processed and unhealthy).

After losing him and reprioritizing my life, I’m back on track and have a lifestyle that is active, healthy, and (according to my friends) inspiring. My goals are no longer superficial and good health is my focus.

Instead of reading “10 tips for a summer body” in Cosmo, I read books like Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, Big Magic, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, How Not to Die and The China Study to continue learning and stay motivated.
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Jillian Michaels reviews

The best Jillian Michaels workouts

If you follow me on Instagram (and if you don’t, why the heck not?!), you’ll know that I promised to reveal the person who made me fall in love with fitness. If the post title didn’t give it away, the answer is Jillian Michaels. I own every single Jillian workout on the planet and I’m going to share the best Jillian Michaels workouts with you today and the best fitness investment I ever made (power block dumbbells!).

When I was at my heaviest weight with a non-functioning thryoid, I was very unhappy in my skin and looking for solutions. A friend recommended Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, which will always hold a special place in my heart. I bought the DVD and decided to commit 100% even if I had to modify level one (which I did).

After the first workout, I was exhausted to the point I had to take a nap and I was very discouraged. But you know what? I came back the next day. And the one after that. I’ve continued to show up for years and now working out is a critical part of my day (and so is meditation). Consistency is what pays off in any journey. Keep. Showing. Up.

No matter how many free workout programs I try online, I always come back to Jillian. Her workouts are as tough as you want to make them, her style is motivational, and she has so many different videos available (each with different levels), which means there is always a routine to appeal to your mood and help you to reach your goals.

The Best Jillian Michaels Workouts

Jillian Michaels Easy Workout


If you're just starting on your fitness journey and you're overwhelmed by how challenging workouts feel (don't worry, I've been there), this DVD is a great place to begin. You get a taste of Jillian, but won't feel like you're going to puke. Win, win.

Jillian Michaels One Week Shred

One week shred

If you're just looking to drop a few pounds before an event, a change in season, or simply because you feel like it, this is an excellent program to do it quickly. Keep in mind, it's very intense and not  for beginners.

Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred

30 day shred

This is a classic Jillian workout program. I lost 15 pounds the first time I did it and I still use level three as part of my workout rotation to this day. You can read my full review right here.

ripped in 30

I actually prefer this DVD to the 30 Day Shred because it has four levels and more challenging workouts (don't worry, Jillian always provides beginner modifications and emphasizes form, which a lot of free programs fail to do).

Shred it with weights

This is an excellent kettle bell workout that mixes in Jillian's favourite cardio intervals (you can also use dumbbells). If you only have 30 minutes per day to workout, this is a great DVD that comes with two different levels. If I use a heavy weight, level 1 still makes me sore!

Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Extreme Shed and Shred

This DVD has two 45 minutes workouts, one that is cardio based and one that is strength based. You can either rotate them, do them together, or complete the strength training in the morning (to keep your metabolism firing all day) and the cardio routine in the evening. It also comes with a meal plan to help ensure that you see results.

No more trouble zones

This is an excellent video that targets common problem areas with toning moves, while leaving in the necessary cardio intervals to burn fat. I wish that it was possible to spot reduce fat, but unfortunately it's not!

Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs

Killer buns and thighs

This video is lower body intensive (duh), which are my favourite muscle groups to work because they're the biggest. It's a short workout (only 20 minutes), so believe me, Jillian pushes you the whole time. If you don't want to spend hours in the gym, then you have to work hard during the time you do have.

Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 oack

6 week 6 pack

Let's be honest: abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. You are probably not going to get a six-pack after finishing this program, but it's still an excellent way to work your core and I'm sure that you will see improvements, if not abs.

Killer arms and back

This is one of Jillian's newer DVDs and she is very inventive with how she works your arms and back. I've done a lot of different workouts and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety. If you're tired of the same old bicep curls, you'll love it too.  

killer body

This is a great full body workout program. It offers three different 30 minute workouts and you are supposed to complete each one twice per week for maximum results.

Jillian Michaels Hard Body

Hard Body

This program is two 45 minute workouts. The routines are solid, but I should mention that the camera angles are kind of strange and distracting. As always, the music isn't great either, but you can always mute Jillian and play your own tunes. 

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution

Body revolution

This is a 90 day program that has three different phases. You can change your body in 30 minutes a day, which I never used to believe. However, if you work smart then you can condense an hour long workout in half and see results.

Banish Fat Boost Metabolism

Banish fat

This 40 minute interval routine incorporates cardio, strength, and core work to help trigger weight loss. You don't need weights or equipment, so this DVD is great for people who are just starting their home gym!

yoga inferno

Jillian has another yoga video (meltdown), but I wouldn't recommend it. Inferno is a challenging "Jillian-style" yoga video that traditional yogis might find off-putting. It's Jillian, so expect cardio intervals and a challenging yoga-inspired workout versus a relaxing stretch session.

Overall, I can tell you that Jillian loves circuits, so there is always going to be repetition in her routines, but the moves are effective and always leave me sore the next day. I have never finished one of her videos and felt like I didn’t get a good workout.

What is your favourite workout DVD?

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Free YouTube Workouts

The best YouTube channels for free home workouts

The best exercise is the one you’ll actually do. I used to be a gym rat, but at this point in my life, I’m not willing to make that time commitment. It’s easiest and more effective to cut out the travel time and workout in my living room at my convenience. I’m pleased to share the best YouTube channels for free home workouts with you below! Continue reading “The best YouTube channels for free home workouts”