We all gravitate toward certain exercise habits. We run the same route. We opt for the same machines at the gym, sometimes in the same geographic location within the gym (I call dibs on the treadmill near the windows!). We attend the same group fitness and yoga classes, taught by the same instructors. We see the same personal trainer (cheating on him/her is unthinkable!). Preferences like these indicate consistency, diligence, and motivation-- crucial elements for achieving one's wellness goals. However, every once in a while, every fitness routine needs a little shake up.
I knew I had arrived at one of these moments recently when I was far more interested in the Jon Gosselin circus featured in the cast-off tabloid magazine I was reading than the stationary bike I was riding. The songs on my iPod shuffle didn't hold my attention (not even Jay-Z, so I knew this was serious). Then, right around the time someone had to wake me from the catnap I was taking on a weight bench, I realized I needed a take-no-prisoners approach to snapping myself out of this malaise.
Surely the answer to a stale workout must be something new, so I set out to try a newly minted, high-octane fitness class . . . Body Pump, created by Les Mills. Did I know who Les Mills was? No. Would I know Body Pump if it right-hooked me in the face? No.
What did I think of the class? I liked it better the first time around, when it was called Tae Bo and taught by Billy Blanks. No disrespect to Mr. Mills, I am sure he is a topnotch motivator with oodles of qualified teachers across the country who delight students with a blend of jabs and high kicks and mock jump-roping, but, truthfully, I couldn't help but feel unfulfilled by "Tae Bo Lite." I'd seen it before, and it begged the question: Is a style of exercise any less effective just because it's no longer en vogue? (Of course not!).
And, I wonder: What tried-and-true, old-school activities might be just the thing to make a ho-hum workout feel new again?
I'd love to hear about your favorite retro routines: Buns of Steel from the 90s? Jumping rope from grade school? Running suicides like in high school varsity try-outs? Taking a traditional yoga class, held in a church rather than a swank studio? I've decided my next stop this winter is ballet class (I haven't been in one since I was 14). I'll keep you posted with how it goes . . .
This installment of Friday, I'm in Love: Please post the fitness flashbacks you long for most.