joyous movement jennifer dene

Joyous Movement & My Surprise Athleticism

Athleticism has never been in my blood. If you throw a ball at me I’ll close my eyes and my running style has been likened to some form of interpretive dance. 

So you can imagine my surprise when, in 2008, I was asked to start teaching fitness classes at some of Sydney’s top gyms and health clubs.

(Me! The girl who spent school lunches hanging out in the library!)

At the time I was studying journalism at the University Of Technology, Sydney, and had joined a gym in Bondi Junction.

Even though I enjoyed taking classes I never imagined that I could be the one on stage. Yet there I was, mic’d up and ready to roll. I guess the fitness gods finally decided to cut me some slack.

My first gig was teaching a program called BodyBalance™. Visualize a dimly lit studio, a pre-choreographed flow of tai-chi, yoga and pilates, and a playlist that rotated between Seal, Sting and Sade. Oh how I loved it!

Teaching BodyBalance™ was the first time I realized that I was actually quite good at this whole physical activity thing  (as long as you didn’t throw a ball at me or ask me to run).

In fact, by the time I left for America, I had gathered quite a following in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and Lower North Shore, with my classes regularly holding 90-100 people.

I’m telling you this because yesterday, seven years hence, I decided to put on one of my old BodyBalance™ workout DVDs. It was going to be great!

Right?!

15 minutes in and I was giggling so hard that I had to I hit the pause button.  As it turns out, BodyBalance™ was extremely easy (and I may not have been the total badass trainer that I thought I was)!

One quarter-way into the workout and all we had done was some deep breathing, a basic yoga salutation and the modified Pilates Hundred.

The L.A fitness crowd would have died of boredom.

Personally, I kind of loved it.

Breathe. Move. Flow. Be gentle to your joints and kind to yourself. That’s the kind of fitness that I can get behind.

Its simplicity allowed the hour to be spent in a state of movement meditation and, as previously crowed, it made me feel like I was good at something physical, which counts for a lot.

I wanted to share that story to remind you of one of my healthy living truths: you should exercise to feel good, not to prove a point.

A lot of women I know think that exercise has to be grueling to be effective. This is absolutely not the case. Your motivation to exercise comes from doing something that makes you feel great, in body, mind and spirit.

Exercise shouldn’t feel like just another chore, and daily joyous movement can become something that you crave.

Plus willpower is finite, which means that you need to find a form of fitness that inspires you to do it on a regular basis.

With that in mind, I give you permission to do the following:

  • Stop any form of exercise that doesn’t make you feel good
  • Ignore the latest fitness advice from glossy magazines
  • Don’t worry about how your expression of movement ranks on the hot-right-now scale
  • Find your own interpretation of athleticism
  • Exercise to feel good, not to prove a point

Let me know how it goes.

With love,

exercise hacks

Exercise Hacks & Workouts For Weight Loss

Is it just me or has our culture become obsessed with speed? You only need to read a magazine or browse the internet to be bombarded with “hacks” for getting more done in less time. Eating, working, exercising, socializing, bathing, relaxing, sleeping. Every area of our lives has been touched by the wand of time-management. Yet somehow, even with these time-saving strategies, we still lack time. 

We work harder and faster, and get more done in less time, just to have more time to be MORE productive. It seems counterintuitive, no?

I don’t want to get more done. If anything I feel the need to do less, but to do those things properly.

Efficiency has its limitations, and extreme productivity isn’t a roadmap to leading a content and healthy life.

And yep, that includes your fitness routine…

Over the past five years the fitness world has exploded with exercise hacks. Trainers and novices alike boast how they can compress their 60 minute workout into 15 minutes (and still get the same results).

Gah.

But what does that say about the state of our lives? That we don’t have time to give our body — our physical home and temple — 45 minutes of gentle, unhurried movement in a 24 hour day.

Why are we more concerned about wasting time than safe-guarding our health? Why are we hacking our lives away?

Clients often ask me for the quick fixes, the shortcuts. They want to know what exercises they need to do to lose weight fast. What hack is there for quickly getting back into those skinny jeans?

Sometimes I think my answer disappoints them. The only “hack” is consistency.

To lose weight and keep it off, to get fit and stay fit, to feel as good in your body in 10 years as you do now, remember this: fitness needs to be simple, gentle and consistent.

And that’s why my workouts here on the blog take a back-to-basics approach to fitness. And that’s why I’m never going to yell at you to move faster, or push harder. And that’s why this week I encourage you to slow down, connect with your body, and un-hack your workout routine.

Let me know how it goes!

With love,

JDW Signature

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Hack-less Workout Routines You Might Like:

Learn The Jump Lunge

Crunch Free Ab Workout

Stretches For A Tight Upper Back

JUMPING LUNGE TUTORIAL Jennifer Dene Wellness

3 Lunge Variations To Add To Your Routine

In today’s video workout I’m sharing three lunge variations that you could add to your workout routine. Beginning with the simplest regression (a back lunge) and finishing with the most advanced variation (a jumping lunge) this video will have all your lunging needs sorted!

For some of you, any kind of jumping/plyometric movement might be off-limits – and that’s ok. But if your knees are up for a little more impact, then adding a jumping lunge into your routine can add a real boost to your fitness.

But the problem is that many people — trainers included — go about doing jump lunges (or split lunges as they’re also called) totally wrong. The goal of the movement is to simply switch the lunge from one side to the other, which doesn’t actually require a large range of motion.

Perfecting your jump lunge makes things easy on the joints & challenging for the muscles…Oh yes, I can feel your excitement from here!

When To Do Jump Lunges

Bodyweight workouts are the perfect place to add plyometric movements, like the jump lunge. Take 6 – 24 repetitions, and place the movement in between two low impact exercises.

You could also try adding them to either this low impact cardio workout or these three moves from the “Killer Legs” series.

Pay Attention To …

  1. Start with the back lunge. Perfect it.
  2. Move on to the front lunge. Get really comfortable there.
  3. Add the split jump, only if it feels ok for your body to advance.

Tip: To increase the challenge without the jump, simply hold a pair of medium weights during the first two regressions.

Safety Tips

  • Keep your bodyweight in the heel of your front foot during each lunge.
  • Draw your navel to your spine and keep the back straight.
  • Only jump on a floor that is in good condition —wood or carpet is best, concrete is never ok.
  • Wear proper shoes.
  • Keep it low and slow.

 

 

Now I’d Love To Hear From You

What kind of workouts would you like to see more of on Jennifer Dene Wellness? Let me know by leaving a comment below!

With love,

JDW Signature

3 Low Impact Leg Exercises | Jennifer Dene Wellness

3 Joint Friendly Exercises For Killer Legs

Mixing things up in the gym is important for your fitness AND your motivation. Today’s low impact leg exercises will be sure to catch your attention!

Having pin-up worthy pins is not only good for your confidence. Strong legs support your spine, increase your agility and condition your body to burn more calories (even during sleep).

Unfortunately many leg exercises rely on large ranges of motion, heavy resistance and high intensity, in order to be effective…which is not so hot if you’ve got wonky knees or a weak pelvic floor.

The three moves that I’m sharing with you today can be done back-to-back as a short workout, or included in your regular exercise routine.

TIP: Learn the moves now and then add them into your daily walk.

  • Walk three blocks and repeat three rounds of horrible lunges
  • Walk another block and do three rounds of crab walks
  • Walk another block and finish up with three rounds of pliés
  • Walk home (or, should I say, strut your stuff)

Yes, your neighbors will look at you quizzically — I suggest asking them to join you.

These leg exercises are terrifically effective and you don’t need any equipment. Here’s some things to keep in mind:

Pick Your Own Pace

You can do these moves as quickly or slowly as you like. I prefer to take things low and slow to keep the muscles under tension, but whatever gives you that burn, baby, burn kind of feeling.

Repetition Guide

Repeat each of these exercises for three sets. Beginners — aim for 10 repetitions per set; intermediate — 15-20 repetitions; advanced — 30 repetitions. Rest for 10-20 seconds between sets. Rest for 45 seconds between exercises. 

Need More Challenge?

Hold a heavy weight at your chest for each of these moves, I recommend 10 – 30 pounds.

Think You Don’t Have Time For Today’s Workout?

Think again! Join my free audio training Take Back Your Time To Create A Healthy Body & Life That You Love!

See you again soon!

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. When the burn begins don’t stop! You can absolutely do this!
9 Minute Low Impact Cardio Workout Jennifer Dene

Low Impact Cardio Workout For Full Body Toning

I’m excited to be here with you for the first workout on Jennifer Dene Wellness! Today I’ve designed a 9 minute low impact cardio workout that you can do in the privacy of your own home. It’s going to be gentle on joints while still getting your heart rate up, and toning your entire body.

But before you tie your laces and press play on today’s video I want to briefly talk about feeling insecure during exercise classes, and what to do about it.

Have you ever experienced going to a new gym, or exercise class, and feeling totally out of place; like you’re the only one in the room who can’t seem to get the moves right, or keep up the pace? This can feel embarrassing, and demoralizing, and it might be enough to stop you from going back. BUT, you’re definitely not the only one that feels this way.

Since 2009 I’ve taught hundreds (probably thousands) of fitness classes across the globe, yet I regularly still feel out of place when attending a new class, gym or studio.

The truth is that there are always going to be other women who are fitter than you, louder/more confident than you, and even more stylish than you in the workout room.

Oh yes, fitness fashion has created several uncomfortable moments for me since I’ve lived in Los Angeles. Everyone here dresses for the gym as though they just stepped out of a commercial. I, on the other hand, show up in a 4 year old pair of tights and a t-shirt that my husband bought me at Disneyland. Not so cool.

Don’t let the details, like not knowing the moves or not having the right outfit, prevent you from getting fit and healthy. With that in mind, here are three things that I want you to remember before you start today’s workout:

The Only Wrong Action Is Inaction

If you press play on this video and give it your best effort, then you have already won. Remember that this healthy living thing isn’t rocket science, and by simply committing to a regular routine you will quickly become fitter, energized and more confident.

You Might Not Get It Right The First Time

So you may feel like a baby giraffe who is still trying to find it’s legs when you do today’s workout. That’s ok! Commit to doing this video three times this week, and by the third time you will feel much more natural.

It’s YOUR Fitness, YOUR Schedule, YOUR Life

What I love about at-home workouts is that you can do them whenever it’s convenient without worrying about anyone else watching. But this is also the challenging part as you need to commit to doing this workout (preferably now), and not stopping halfway through just because no one is there to push you.

I’ll repeat, this is YOUR fitness, YOUR schedule, YOUR life. So make the best decision for you.

A Low Impact Cardio Workout For Full Body Toning

Here’s what to do next:

Put on your shoes and clear a space on the floor. You will need to have access to something elevated, such as a bed, couch or a stable kitchen chair.

Press play on today’s low impact cardio workout. Give it your best effort but know that it won’t be perfect. I’ll provide modifications that you can take, and remember that you can always move faster or more slowly than I am.

Leave a comment below. Let me know once you’ve done the workout and how it made you feel! Hearing from you will help me to create new workouts that suit your needs.

It’s been such fun working out with you today and I can’t wait to do it again soon! Make sure that you’ve signed up for Jennifer Dene Wellness updates so that every new workout is delivered straight to your inbox. You can do that by clicking here.

With Love,

Jennifer Dene XO

P.S. Still in doubt about your fitness ability? Just remember this mantra: Fake It AND You’ll Make It.

How To Make Exercise Fun

Ah, exercise. I know you’re good for me, but do I really have to see you every day?

The answer, my friends, is yes.

The good news is that exercise doesn’t have to be grueling, sweaty and uncomfortable. In fact, with a little know-how you can actually make exercise fun.

No kidding!

The benefits of daily physical activity are numerous, covering everything from improved mobility and mental health, to lowering the risk of many diseases.

But it’s the daily part that really counts.

If you want to be the best version of yourself then a short walk three days a week just won’t cut it.

The easiest way to be consistent, and make this an every day habit, is to choose a style of movement that is fun and enjoyable.

Ditch the bootcamp and get fit, feminine & fabulous with exercises that you love. Click To Tweet.

If you’ve given up on exercise because you think that it’s too hard, or boring, or, *gasp*, not important then you need to press play on today’s video.

In the next few minutes you’ll learn exactly the kind of (fun) exercises you should be doing on a daily basis, how to fit them in to your schedule, and I’ll give you the key to kickstart this healthy habit.

Once you’ve had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your absolute favorite kind of exercise?

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

Remember that this video is part of my series: 7 Ways To Love Your Body & Life This Week. Catch up on all the videos here.

Click the image to download your free Self Love Checklist!

7 Ways To Love Your Body (Cheat Sheet)

Just to recap, here’s your task for today:

  • Write down all the types of movement that you really enjoy doing. It might include things like walking, bike riding, swimming, dance, yoga, Pilates, ice skating, surfing … even gardening.
  • Select one of these activities to do everyday this week (preferably something free and easy, such as walking or riding a bike), and a second activity that you might only do once or twice (such as dance or Pilates).
  • Schedule these activities on your calendar, every day.
  • Put on your shoes and go and do that first, every day activity right now. Even if you only have time for 5 or 10 minutes, we need to kickstart that new habit in this very moment.

Then dive into the final video, where you’ll be reminded to live boldly and say yes to new experiences.

Thank you so much for joining me here on Jennifer Dene Wellness. I know that together we will create a bright, healthy and purpose-filled future for ourselves, and the women that come after us.

With love,

JDW Signature

P.S. Don’t forget to download your Self Love Checklist. Here it is.