For years I absolutely hated 'working out.' Years ago, when I first really decided to take a step in bettering my health and managing my weight, I thought that you absolutely had to do absurd amounts of cardio in order to burn fat. I thought the only real way to lose or maintain weight was to run. At one point in time I was running up to 10 miles a day. And guess what? I HATE RUNNING. I never looked forward to it. I would always dread it. It was like a punishment rather than a reward.
I eventually realized that in order for me to look forward to my work out, I needed to make it something I actually enjoyed (wow, shocking). My whole philosophy on physical fitness changed. I came to realize it's not WHAT you are doing, but it's the fact that you're DOING it. In my opinion, something is better than nothing.
Think of it this way, if running was my only option right now, I would probably put it off for as long as possible, and if i actually got motivated enough to do it, would only do it for twenty minutes (to get it over with), and would burn roughly 100 calories in the process. Let's be real, I would probably continue to put it off for the rest of the week, and probably only do it one or two more times. So, 300 calories burned in one week?
But, if I focused on doing things I enjoyed-- like hiking, for example-- I could go on an hour long hike and burn almost 400 calories in that time. Chances are, I would want to go back again that week once or twice, for a total of 1200 calories burned.
So, 300 calories and hating life, or 1200 calories and loving it. You do the math.
It's simple: IF YOU LIKE WHAT YOU'RE DOING, YOU WILL DO IT MORE.
So, I encourage you to find your niche. Explore your options. Get creative. That's what I did & what I continue to do! To help you along on this journey, I have compiled a list of my favorite physical activities to get you motivated & moving!
1. PURE BARRE
My favorite workout of all time. I love this workout so much, I actually taught it in Houston. Pure Barre is the most effective & safest way to change your body. The workout mixes elements of ballet, pilates, and yoga while targeting each individual muscle group through small isometric movements. The whole class is a time to focus inward and really concentrate on your own body. Each strength section of the workout is followed up by a stretching session to promote long & lean muscles. I'm planning to do a more in depth post on Pure Barre in a few weeks. Bummed because we don't have a Pure Barre in State College? Stay tuned for some big news coming this week! You can read more about Pure Barre here.
I love yoga! Yoga makes me so relaxed and really clears my head. Going to yoga class can be a little intimidating for a newbie. For me, I actually started with YouTube videos (which I will get into more later). I highly recommend searching for a beginner yoga practice on YouTube and trying it out before jumping into a faster paced class. One of my favorite things to do in the mornings is to pop on a fast 10-minute morning yoga practice on our AppleTV to get my body moving. I always feel so much more energized for the day! If you're looking for a little more intensity, try something like Ashtanga, Power, Vinyasa or Flow yoga, or simply search for 'Yoga for Weight Loss' which typically is within one of those styles.
There is something so rewarding about getting outdoors and getting some fresh air. I love detaching from the world for a bit and getting a little lost in the woods. This is one physical activity that Bill & I love together. I could do this every day (weather permitting). I, personally, am a wimp when it comes to cold weather, so I prefer this in the Spring & Summer months. It is such a great, easy workout. Bonus: you will reap major benefits of getting clean air, your daily dose of vitamin d, and relieve stress by getting away for a bit.
Ok, I can't lie...this isn't my favorite when the class is bad. I am not talking about simply getting on a bike and peddling. I am talking about a music driven class, where your pace is set by the beat of the music. You probably won't be getting this sort of class at your local YMCA. This type of 'party biking' is typically reserved for slightly more expensive, boutique fitness clubs like SoulCycle or Ride and is more common in larger cities. Be careful though, all teachers are different. For me to truly have a great time in class, a teacher has to have a great deal of musicality and be able to keep the energy up throughout!
While power walking is great-- that's not what I mean. I am talking about walking as a means of transportation. Instead of taking a car a short distance, why not just walk if you can spare the extra time? I love to do this when I can, because I find it so therapeutic (like hiking). Even walking around shopping counts!
6. AT HOME WORKOUTS
This is one thing I never thought I would have the motivation for. At home workouts for me meant 10 minutes of work, and eventually finding my way to the couch during a water break! My opinion over the years has changed. I love these because they don't have to be some major commitment. I understand how taking an hour long class across town may not be feasible for everyone. But these can be done almost anywhere and you can find videos with your specific time restrictions. Only have 10 minutes? No problem, search for a 10 minute workout. Like I said, something is better than nothing. I personally have Beachbody OnDemand Unlimited which gets me access to all of the Beachbody workouts. We have an AppleTV, so this is especially handy for me. You can check out my coach here and email her with questions here. But, for those of you who are on a budget, at home workouts are PERFECT for you. Ever heard of this little gem called YouTube? FREE VIDEOS. I've done everything via YouTube: Yoga, HIIT, Pilates, Barre, Strength Training, Circuits, you name it! This is such a good tool to test out something before buying into classes somewhere. I also like the idea that there is no one around to judge me while I look like a fool trying something out for the first time.
I love TRX for a challenge! I was fortunate enough to be exposed to TRX at my apartment gyms in Houston & Austin, and tried it out there. TRX uses gravity and your own body weight to create hundreds of exercises. The beauty of TRX is that anyone can really do it. You're in total control of how much you want to challenge yourself. With some exercises using TRX bands, half of the challenge is just finding your balance to control your body enough to do the actual exercise. Also, if you find yourself really enjoying TRX, this is something you can put into your home that takes up absolutely no space! You can get more info on TRX here.
9. PERSONAL TRAINING
Ok, sometimes I do love to get my Khloe Kardashian on with a personal trainer. You can sometimes find a good one for as little as $30 per hour, but typically are a little more expensive at a good gym or in a bigger city. I love this option to change it up a bit. I've realized that in order for me to actually do a workout that I don't really love, I need someone there pushing me to do it. It's nice to be able to say 'I want to look like this' and have someone come back to you and say 'you need to do X, Y, and Z to get there.' I don't do this all the time. But it is something nice for every once in a while.
YEP. You heard me right. Sometimes in order for me to feel accomplished, a good cleaning session is in order! Think about it, you're moving around the house typically at a fairly rapid rate. I consider that a major improvement from the couch. Bonus: your house is clean when you're done. I'm not talking about tackling one little project. I mean full boat-- vacuuming, moping, dusting, laundry, scrubbing, etc. A full deep clean. It's not a major workout but it's SOMETHING, and it's something that makes me feel good afterward, and that's what it's all about right?
So tell me: what are you favorite workouts? I love to try new things! Have you tried any of these?