Happy Friday everyone, and welcome back for week 2 in our Winter Wellness series! Today we are talking about exercise and fitness!
What I'd like to do is chat about our workouts or other ideas to stay active, and then talk about how the rest of the month will run here on the blog in terms of topics. Sound like a plan? :-)
So, I'm a pretty physically active person, but I have a confession: I hate gyms, and I also hate running. These are, of course, two big ways in which many people work out and stay active. 😂 Here, though, is something that I think is of utmost importance - when it comes to exercise, you should do what you know you will do. In other words, there's no use in trying to force yourself to do something that you loathe and have little chance of following through with longterm. If you like to take walks, you should do that, and challenge yourself to up your game a bit by adding distance and more challenging hiking paths. If you enjoy dancing, you chould try a Zumba class or other dance fitness. If you're not usually very active, try some different things to ferret out what you like best!
I really do hate running, btw. I hate how long it takes to build up endurance, and I hate the constant risk of injury doing something that I don't like doing anyway! If I get injured dancing, well, at least I'm doing what I love. :-) When I have tried running in the past, I would dread doing it, get frustrated when all of my hard word would get derailed by a single cold or something that kept me from running for a short stretch, and eventually I'd give up in a huff. This is what we don't want, for sure!
While it's true that I don't like the gym, I do like group fitness classes (which are often offered at gyms, I will grant). I love the community spirit, it keeps me motivated, and I so prefer a class format to lifting weights or toiling away on a treadmill (again with the running). I am a huge fan of Zumba dance fitness, and have a class in my regular rotation. I also take Piyo two times per week, which I LOVE. This is a yoga/Pilates fusion that works your entire body with your own natural resistance (no weights involved), and it is amazing and you will SWEAT! I've been wanting to challenge myself to try new things, and so this winter I have also added in a HIIT class (high intensity interval training). While it's not love like with the other ones (exercises involving running *snort* and jumping are not the best fit for this body with a bladder that has experienced multiple pregnancies 😨) the instructor is amazing and incorporates strength training with hand weights, and that part I do like!
In addition to specifically fitness classes, I also dance two times per week, and I walk when I can with friends or my husband. :-) Check out your town's community education class schedule, there are often new things to try in there in terms of dance, martial arts and other types of fitness classes. It's a great way to find new things, and try them out for a manageable and limited time frame so that you can see if if you like them! Community ed. is actually how I first discovered belly dance!
Planning a fitness routine is key, in my experience. For me, the best time to work out is during my lunch break at the campus gym/recreation center. For a lot of people, that time is right after work. Again, it just should be a time that is convenient for you, that you know you can stick to with some regularity. For walks, those are in the evening or on the weekends if I have Mike with me. Whatever works!
I also think a lot depends on what your goals are. Working with a personal trainer can really aid in establishing and working towards these, and that's something I'm interested in trying! If you're looking to build muscle and tone up, they will likely suggest a different track for you than for someone who is looking to lose a set amount of weight. I'm in my 40's, and looking to build muscle and generally get in the best shape of my life. I'm excited. 😁
So I'm going to keep trying new classes where I can, and look into the personal training thing. It's good to have goals, and to encourage each other!
What are your fitness goals? I'd love to hear about them! Next week, we're going to wrap up the wellness series with a talk about water intake, protein shakes, and anything else I can think of that we haven't covered already. ;-) Then the week after that is just before Ash Wednesday, so we'll be doing some Lent planning, can't wait! 😀