Back in college and just thereafter, I thought there was only one way to train–My way. Why do anything else if I am comfortable? Yoga?! PSHHH Boxing? Uhhh no. Barre? HAHA! There was no budging with me when it came to my routine. Then I got out of my small little box. As I became exposed to new people, new environments, got my own trainer post college, and got inspired along the way by some pretty amazing people, I realize how important it was to get out of my comfort zone of exercise and try new things! I CHOSE to have an open positive mind and take advantage of everything there is out there.
If you think something is silly and refuse to try it, you probably should. I myself have tried workouts and classes and styles of exercise that I NEVER thought I would. I still have yet to try Prancercizing
I went from running to lifting to yoga to kettlebells to TRX to spinning and you know what? There is a time and place for it all. I love that there truly is something for everybody in fitness. You truly never know what may catch your eye when you begin or try something that you NEVER thought you could. This is the exciting thing about life! Not just in fitness but all around. It is so important and mentally stimulating to just say YES to things. Remember the Jim Carrey Movie, “Yes Man” The movie was a little wonky, but the theories and idea behind it was spot on. Just say yes to everything and you never know where life will take you! The same thing can be said for exercise?
- I realized with too much heavy lifting that lack of flexibility will get in the way being able to move through a large range of motion, In turn, this causes your muscles to weaken. Taking time to improve your flexibility will help your muscles joints overall.
- I realized that there is no stronger feeling and complete utter awareness than there is with kettlebell training.
- I realized that there is a time and place for cardio and for me I became in love with hard core sprints and Spinning classes!
- I realized the power of bodyweight training and utilizing the TRX to take bodyweight training to the next level!
- You know what makes any program well rounded? VARIETY.
Tips To Add Variety To Your Routine
1. Add In Something New This Week: If you know there is a class at your local gym or class offered elsewhere that you would NEVER try–go on a limb and try it. I know that in Boston, most yoga and barre studios have a ‘first class free’ trial or a very do-able price for a week of classes to give you a taste. Last April, before my Foxwoods competition, I tried barre for a month. Yes–me. I did Barre. Trust me I felt SO funny because I never ever thought I would have been the girl to take that class but ya know what? I kind of liked it mainly because it was something I was so not used to doing!
2. Stop the Negativity: You may hear certain workouts or classes and immediately think of an article you read or stories from a friend about how horrid that workout was so of course you won’t waste you’re precious time doing it. You know whats amazing? You are YOUR OWN PERSON! It is empowering and important to have your own opinions. I once went to a restaurant where the reviews were very mixed on Yelp. Some were so-so, some were horrible, but I went and LOVED it. So maybe those people had a bad server or bad experience, whatever the case may be–I tried it for myself. Same goes for exercise. If your friend tells you to stay away from the zumba class because she had a crappy time–go for yourself and stop the negativaty often associated with certain classes or workouts. You allow your choices and actions to dictate your thoughts and how you feel. You thus, execute these thoughts into your actions. Stay positive and go after all there is out there!
3. Be OPEN! Be open minded to oppourtunity! I know that something trying something new when it comes to exercise can be an extremely daunting experience. My very first yoga class at the local yoga studio I went to–I was terrified. I had taken yoga maybe 4 or 5 times and not for several years. Will I be looked at? Will they know I’m new? Will I fall behind everyone? What if I am not flexible enough? All of these thoughts entered my mind and my heart was racing. Since that first day…I have come to fall in LOVE with Yoga and now feel a sense of community. I can take yoga at my new beautiful facility where I work, but I truly love going to my studio because I feel a sense of love, support and where I can fully immerse myself. I NEVER thought I would say those words about yoga, but I was open minded and loved it!
4. Play Team Sports! If working out in the gym or taking classes is getting boring then check out how to get involved in team sports! I know that in Boston, the BSSC (Boston Ski and Sports Club) offers so many oppourtunities to get involved in everything from dodge ball to softball. There is also plenty of salsa dancing classes! Thinking of something more intense? Check out a free bootcamp class!
5. Have a NEW Goal! Sign up for a race, train for a fitness competition, go try a Tough Mudder or simply have a challenge set with a friend! I know that a trainer I work with is having a competition with a friend right now to see who can score more Nike Fuel Band points! You get different points for moving differently so she is trying all sorts of new workouts this week. Its pretty cool to see her push herself in a new way. Having that new goal in the forefront of your mind may push you that much more to really switch things up!
6. Play with Your Strengths but Challenge Your Weaknesses: We all love doing what we’re good at, right? If you love your job and know you are good at what you do, it can be empowering and amazing to see your hard work recognized. When it comes to exercise and physical activity–it is important to get a little uncomfortable sometimes! “struggles develop strength” as Arnold Schwarzenegger said. Think to yourself if you can think you handle it. The answer is you 100% can but your mind may be saying otherwise. Challenge yourself and try something NEW. I guarantee you will shock yourself!
7. Exercise different muscle groups: You may have a routine right now that focuses specifically on weight training OR cardio which means you could be working the same muscle groups in the same way repeatedly. Not only will this get boring and your body may hit a plateau but the addition of new workouts and exercises can add some incredible benefits to your body and mind! If you weight train specific body parts, try adding strength moves from Pilates, yoga, and bodyweight programs. Small substitutions or variations in the way you train each muscle group can challenge your muscles in new ways and keep you from getting bored. If you just stick to cardio, try adding a new cardio style class such as tabata or zumba!
8. Check your Local Hometown website for Free Fitness Events: I know that In Boston there are so many oppourtunties to join in on FREE fitness. Boston is a super active city year round and you don not have to be a member of a gym to get involved!
- Check the Community section in Lululemon because they usually host free workouts every week (yoga to run club to strength workouts)
- Athleta hosts free events in their store and also affiliated with other studios!
- Boston.Com has some great ideas for workouts
- EventBrite has so many free events if you just search “fitness”
- Signing up for local studio’s newsletters will get you on the ‘know’ for when events are happening
- Marathon Sports hosts Run Club
- November Project is a community based club where you can join in on the early morning fun up to 3 days a week!
- City Sports hosts free workouts
- THIS WEBSITE sums up all of the free workouts that are happening this week in Boston
9. ENJOY IT: What I am getting at here with all of these tips is above all-enjoy what you are doing. I just want to share the importance of being open minded, not just when it comes to new workout programs and physical activity, but also in life. Say YES more and NO less. Don’t pass up opportunities to learn, to spend time with others, to gain knowledge in areas that interest you and to challenge your body mentally and physically. Make it a goal this week to try something new!
What will you try this week?