Getting out of an exercise rut
While this blog is focused primarily on food, I thought it’d be fun to post about exercise. Especially since it’s been on my mind a lot lately. See, I’ve been in a major exercise rut. Like have actually put gym clothes on, and walked 5 minutes towards the gym only to turn around and go home because I just don’t want to be there. And the thing about me is that I’m one of those odd ducks who actually loves the gym. Loooooves the gym. I’ve been a member of one gym or another for over 12 years. It’s my solo time where I can get a good sweat in, and have no choice but to avoid any emails or phone calls. Bliss! I don’t even like talking to people at the gym. But lately I’ve been trying hard to bust out of the rut.
I typically work out between 4-6 days a week, with the majority of those days being at the gym, but usually once or twice a week I’ll take a long walk in the city or will do a workout DVD at home.
Maybe it’s the nice spring weather that is making me cringe at the thought of being in a sweaty gym, but I’ve been trying to really listen to my body lately and spice things up a bit. If I really don’t feel like working out, I won’t. And if I really don’t want to be anywhere near the gym, I don’t force it. Exercise is fun for me, and I want it to stay that way.
Here are some things I’ve been doing lately to keep me interested in working out:
Get outside: One of the best perks of where we live is that it is so walk-able. I can walk for hours and hours in the city completely entertained. One of my favorite spots to walk to is the Chestnut Hill Reservoir nearby, giving me a nice 5 mile loop. If Funk isn’t swamped with school, he’ll join me for a post-dinner walk. Otherwise, I put on my ipod and have been listening to Jillian Michaels podcasts lately.
Stay inside: I’ve always been a fan of Comcast’s free On Demand workouts (well, free only if you’re already paying for cable). There are hundreds to choose from, including belly dancing, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, and more, ranging from 4 to 40 minutes. I used to love a handful of their pilates workouts, until they recently changed them up and now I think they’re all pretty terrible. Bummer.
(I swear I don’t normally bike with just socks. I swear I do always look that fierce.)
We have a pretty large collection of workout equipment, including a Bosu ball, stability ball, TRX, bike trainer, weights, pilates balls, foam rollers, a yoga block and strap, leg weights and more. Sometimes I’ll just make up my own routine in our living room and that gets the job done.
YouTube: YouTube has been my bff lately, since there are about a bazillion of workout videos on there, some great, but some totally horrible, so the worst part is weeding through them. This week I landed on the video of some guy who taped himself doing the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Insanity workouts that are pretty intense. After only 10 minutes I’m sweating my face off. It’s a good thing we live on the ground level, otherwise my downstairs neighbors would hate all the jumping around I do. Lately I’ve been doing a 10 minute YouTube HIIT workout, some strength training with my 2lb pilates balls, another set of HIIT, 2nd round of strength training and a stretch session and I’m done in about 45 minutes. Tabata workouts are similar, since the interval training with a short spurt of rest really gets your heart rate up. The other day I literally only had 10 minutes to work out, so I did a 10 minute Tabata workout and was done for the day. And I felt like I had done an entire hour sweat session.
Barre workouts: A local barre studio (Pure Barre in Newton) had a deal on class packages, so I splurged – those studios aren’t cheap! – and bought myself a pack of 20. I’ve done a handful of barre classes here and there and absolutely love them. It’s like a combination of tiny dance movements with pilates movements, but you don’t have to have any dance experience…I certainly don’t! These classes don’t aggravate my hip at all, and those teeny tiny movements are absolutely killer. Every cell in your body will burn. I also love Exhale’s Core Fusion class, and there are locations across the country.
(My abs look just like that!)
Current fav DVDs: Exhale Spa’s Core Fusion DVDs. This is way cheaper than going to the class! Funk got me a 3-pack of Core Fusion DVDs for the same price as one class, and I usually do a DVD during an early morning workout. It’s not the same as the class, but I feel you can still get a decent workout in.
When I do go to the gym, I change things up as much as possible. Every few months, I’ll meet with a trainer to get a new routine. Once or twice a week I’ll go to a pilates or smart bells class, and the rest of the time I work out on my own. I write down workouts my trainer gives me on little index cards and rotate through them each week so I never stand on the gym floor wondering what exercise I should do next.
These additions have been helping my workout rut, which I’m hoping passes soon. I always tell my clients, “Don’t do it if it isn’t fun,” and I’m trying to keep that mentality for myself. What do you do for fitness fun?