Is DailyBurn 365 worth it?

Maybe you’ve seen the ads online or on TV for DailyBurn 365. I got an email about it (and a promo code!) so I decided to check it out. If you’re interested in fitness but don’t have access to a gym (hello, every freelancer ever) you may want to read this post!

I wrote about the “regular” DailyBurn in The Healthy Freelancer, but at the time we went to press the 365 product hadn’t been launched yet. So here’s a little bonus primer for everyone.

What is DailyBurn 365?
DailyBurn 365 is a website that live-streams a new 30-minute workout every day. You can only do that day’s workout on the day of; it vanishes the next day to be replaced by another.

The workouts are different every day but mostly are aimed at beginners or moderately fit people. For example, you’ll do burpees, but the instructor will always give a modification for people who can’t do them.

Of the workouts I’ve tried, none have required any equipment except an optional yoga mat.

Since my home office is nowhere near a gym, I’m always looking for ways to stay fit that don’t involve the gym–but I get bored of jogging pretty quickly. Enter streaming exercise videos.

What’s different about DailyBurn 365?
Because the workouts are live-streamed, if you get online at 9 am (Eastern) sharp you can actually watch as they’re taped, and interact with the teachers and hosts through a live chat. (Despite working from home, I have yet to actually succeed in doing this–mostly because I prefer working out in the afternoon. But it seems like it would be a really cool feature!) Also, because the workout is literally different every day, it’s not like your standard workout video program, where by Week 3, you’ve memorized all of the host’s jokes.

Why not just watch videos on Youtube?
There are some amazing fitness videos on Youtube. I’ve written about a bunch of them in The Healthy Freelancer and also on this site. But for every great video on Youtube, there are a half dozen duds. Sometimes I go back to my favorites on Youtube–but sometimes I want something new, and I’m not sure if I want to take the risk that the video that looked great in the thumbnail is actually way too easy, boring, poorly lit, or just has really inconveniently placed commercial breaks.

DailyBurn 365 does cost money: $12.95 per month. That also includes access to DailyBurn’s “regular” streaming exercise videos (i.e. pre-recorded ones that don’t update every day). Compared to the gym, that’s a pretty good deal, but as always, you have to weigh the cost against whether you’ll actually use it. You do get a 30-day free trial if you haven’t used it before, so if you’re curious about the program, give it a shot and let me know what you think. I’ll be sweating along with you.

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At-home workout: exercise like a figure skater

Well, this is something new.

Have you ever wished you could work out like a figure skater? OK, I admit it’s not the top thing that comes to mind, but then again, those sparkly outfits…

Competitive figure skater Sofie Barnova has a Youtube channel shares her workouts–a mixture of Pilates, core, and ballet–for free, as well as sharing tips for improving your figure skating. (I could use some tips for not falling down, but that’s another story.)

ballet

I tried the Total Ballet Body Workout earlier this week and I’m still sore! The comments on the video indicate that I’m not the only one. Check that video out above, or visit the entire channel here.

 

Stop. Eat Lunch.

(Look, it’s a woman laughing alone with salad!)

Lunch today was a baked sweet potato and a PB&J, so not the most healthy, but I did at least attempt to eat it away from my desk. And science says that’s a good thing.

Basically–and you already know this–taking a break makes you more creative and reduces stress, and eating a balanced lunch powers up your brain.

If you have colleagues to eat with (which is not always true of us freelancers), the social interaction can also help advance your career, Kimberly Elsbach, professor of management at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California at Davis, told the Washington Post. An official business lunch doesn’t count as a mentally recharging break, she says, but talking casually with a co-worker does, and can be an effective way to network at the same time. Should you try this as a freelancer, it’s a great way to learn what clients in your area are hiring and get tips from other pros.

What to cook for lunch when you don’t feel like cooking

In The Healthy Freelancer, I share recipes that can be made in quantity ahead of time and then reheated for lunches that taste good and help you power through the second half of your day. I like this kind of recipe because it means you cook once and eat for a week.

But sometimes even that is a lot of work. So I’m going to try to share on this blog a few recipes that take even less hands-on time. One really good trick in that case is the Kale Bowl. You’re not going to win any presentation awards with this, but it will fill you up while tasting good and also delivering tons of vitamins.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cooked rice (don’t have leftover rice in the fridge? It’s easy to start a pot of rice and ignore it/do work in the other room while it cooks–just set a timer or something to go check on it.)
About 4 cups roughly chopped, loosely packed kale, washed

Put those things in a microwave safe bowl with about two tablespoons (or a splash) of water and microwave on HIGH, checking every minute or so for the kale to become bright green and slightly wilted. Mix vigorously and add your favorite seasonings. A pre-mixed spice blend, like this one, makes lunch super easy, but you could also add sesame seeds, soy sauce, or toasted sesame oil.

Friends of mine say their no-cook meals are popcorn, or pasta with sauce from a jar and a few garlic cloves. What’s your go-to hot lunch when working from home?

My prayers have been answered: True Lemon in a shaker

61N6gyOOv3L._SY679_I posted back in the day about how much I love TrueLemon for my water. TrueLemon is, as far as I can tell, actual powdered lemon with maybe a little extra vitamin C in it. More importantly, I like the taste a lot better than Crystal Light or whatever those other things are. I use it in my water almost every day. If I buy a real lemon it invariably gets lost in the fridge and then turns into a scary dried-out alien looking thing.

My only complaint with TrueLemon was that it only came in individual packets, which is great for portioning but super wasteful. Now I finally found that it comes in a shaker! This is so great.

Seriously, this thing is a really easy way to convince yourself to drink more water. And it’s like $4 on Amazon. And, while I have this at home and use it during the day, there’s no reason why folks who go into an office couldn’t keep one in their desk drawer, so this is a product for not just freelancers but anyone who needs to drink more water.

I promise I haven’t been paid by True Lemon to endorse this. But if they wanted to send me a lemony care package I would definitely be OK with that.

The book is ‘in production’

This is my least favorite part – I’ve written and started to edit the text, and at the same time I’m starting to format it for e-readers. This is time-consuming and fiddly and not the most fun part of writing a book. 🙂

It is coming along, though, albeit slowly – so “late 2015” is still a pretty reasonable launch date.

Stay tuned, basically!