I've come to realize that in order for me to really lose weight, I unfortunately have to track calories *and* exercise. I tried just counting calories, sticking with it for months, and was only able to lose a few pounds. I tried exercising 3-4 times a week for months with the same results. Putting in all that work with basically no results is very disheartening! Luckily I am super motivated to do both right now. I'd actually started walking a mile most days for a little exercise back in October, and recently switched to cardio for something more effective, so I was thrilled to discover 5:2 so I can get my diet on track at the same time.
One big problem we had doing cardio in the past was that we only had a few DVDs & recorded shows to use, and things get way too repetitive really quick. We started muting the show and putting on our own music because we couldn't stand to hear the same motivational lines & cheesy comments one more time! Now there is free access to a nearly unlimited amount of work-out videos on YouTube, and I've been having fun trying out a new one every day! There are some hits & misses though, so I've been bookmarking the good ones here so I can do them again later, and so I can share them with you!
Here are the top videos I found so far, listed roughly in order from easiest to hardest...
Kickboxing Cardio, Denise Austin (with hand weights) ~
Justin and I loaded up our DVR with Denise Austin workouts at one point and went through them regularly. She is good for beginners because you feel like you are getting a good workout but don't really feel like you are *dying* at any point! I also like how she always does a mix of low & high intensity and hand weights. I found this one a little harder to follow than usual, but it's easier once you realize she is cycling back through the moves & adding a new one at the end.
30 Minute Aerobic Dance Workout, Bipasha Basu ~
This one is a little more dance-y and switches moves quickly but it was easy to follow. I did find the wind blown hair and voice-over instructions a little odd, haha. (I only did about 20 minutes of this one, so I can't vouch for the last part!)
Zumba Dance Workout for Beginners ~
This was my *favorite* video so far ~ I was actually having FUN exercising, and that is very rare for me! I'll definitely be looking up some more Zumba workouts. The moves change very quickly, but I still found them easy to follow, and the cycles repeat. This video is made up of about 5-6 segments and I loved the first two (was not excited about the spinning girl). The last segment is actually missing the music, probably due to copyright issues, but it is short & not too awkward to do without sound.
Tae Bo Cardio, Billy Blank ~
This is another classic for us, being one of the few DVDs that we have. This workout is about 45 minutes long, but I'm used to more like 20-30 minutes, so I often end early unless I'm super motivated! There area a few intense moves mixed in, but most of it is easy to get through.
30 Minute Cardio, CafeMom Studios ~
There were a few high-intensity moves with a few too many reps for me, but otherwise I was able to do the whole workout, which is pretty good for 30 minutes. I do feel like the camera angle threw me off a few times because it would switch from in front of the girls to the side and confused me about which leg we were on.
150 Calorie Cardio Fat Blast, Jessica Smith ~
This is one of those HIITS workouts that has been kicking my butt lately (high intensity interval training). You basically do a high-intensity move for one minute (think jumping jacks) and then walk or jog for 15-30 seconds to catch your breath before you do it again. A lot of these are too much for me right now, but this is a good one if you are short on time but willing to bust your butt to make up for it.
I hope you give some of these a try and I will keep searching for great new workouts to share!