Because of the holiday, the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas Carnival is running on Tuesday this week rather than Wednesday. The theme of edition #37 is "one thing you never thought you'd be 'into' but really enjoy". For me, that's cardio kickboxing.
I tried Tae Bo back in the late '90's when it was on Oprah and absolutely hated it! For years, I studiously avoided cardio kickboxing videos as a result. Then, after my 2nd child was born, I heard raves about the Turbo Jam series by Beach Body. I was a bit skeptical but the clips on the infomercial looked interesting so I gave it a try. I loved it! The instructor, Chalene Johnson, is very likeable, the music is modern dance tunes, and it's so much fun that it doesn't feel like a real workout. My heart rate monitor, however, tells me that I'm in the fat-burning zone!
Turbo Jam is my favorite, but I've discovered other kickboxing videos I like as well. Two that are especially good for time-crunched moms are Quick Fix Total Cardio Kick with Janis Saffell and Ten Minute Solution Kickbox Bootcamp with Keli Roberts. These are broken down into 10 minute segments for upper body, lower body, abs, and fat burning. That makes it easy to customize your workout for however much time you have that day.
Kickboxing is a good choice for home workouts since it does not require any expensive or bulky equipment. I do use a set of weighted gloves for added calorie burning but they're totally optional. Both Turbo Jam and the Quick Fix videos show low-impact modifications for beginners and/or those whose joints cannot tolerate high-impact exercise.
The best part about cardio kickboxing is that it really works the core. After having a baby, this can be a real trouble spot for many women. I couldn't believe how quickly I noticed a difference in my abs after adding kickboxing to my fitness routine.