Now that Spring is in the air, you may want to get more active. Maybe your New Year’s resolutions already went kaput and you want to try again. People will say, “I need to start exercising,” or “I need to exercise more.” That’s a great goal and all, but it can be easier said than done. Day one you may throw yourself into an exercise routine; weights, running, you name it. Day two: You can barely move. Does this sound familiar? Activities of daily living like going to the bathroom become difficult because that last set of squats were probably not a good idea.
Exercise: Torture or Fun?
There is the misconception that all exercise is torture and some of it is for some people. You may despise running or think Crossfit is crazy. Those won't be your forms of exercise. Granted, there are days you may not enjoy anything except your couch and cat. That’s okay, too.
Finally, pick something that feels like play or is fun. Try a hula hoop class or something that seems fun. It you're still reluctant, ask a friend to come with you.
Now if you’re looking at your gym’s workout schedule thinking what the heck is “spinning” or “barre.” Here are some quick definitions:
The key is to find something that you enjoy doing. It is not a good feeling to dread something. If you don’t like going to the gym, jumping on the treadmill and lifting weights, what else can you do? Have you thought about trying a class? Many people are intimated by classes because they are afraid they won’t be able to keep up or will embarrass themselves. Most good fitness instructors will make modifications. So go ahead try that spinning class or Pilates class that you have been too nervous to take.
The other thing is finding a time that works for you. Some people are morning exercise people, others are evening. There is nothing wrong with either one of these. It is usually what suits your schedule and makes you feel better. Mornings can be a great time to exercise. As much as it is torture to wake up for that 6:30 a.m. spin class, you'll feel great when it’s over and you're done exercising by 7:15 a.m.
Spinning: cycling indoors, usually to fast paced music
Barre or booty barre: inspired by ballet, much of the workout is done at a ballet barre. Great for small muscles. Low impact.
TRX: Straps are suspended from the ceiling and you use your own body weight for strength. It’s great for functional strength and it is as hard as you make it.
Bootcamps: Like the name says, it can be intense. A mixture of cardio and strength in a fast paced environment. If you’re new to fitness, it may be best to cross this off your list.
Yoga: There are so many different types of yoga. There is power yoga, there is relaxing and restorative yoga. Not all yoga is the same. Some yoga is in a hot room, others are not. Do some research to find which one works for you.
Pilates: Emphasis on your core strength, balance, flexibility and good posture. Low impact.
Zumba: a dance inspired workout.
These are just a few fitness classes. They vary by area and gym. Some gyms are a studio for one type of workout, such as a yoga studio. Don’t be afraid to try classes at different studios until you find something you like. Remember you don’t need a fancy gym membership to get moving. Now that the weather is nice, you can go for a walk or if you have mobility concerns trying some light strength work or stretching in your chair. Any movement is good!