I will always be grateful to my parents for putting us in activities at a very young age. I started swim lessons sometime when I was 4. I started ballet class when I was 5. Along the way I participated in softball, gymnastics, swimming, diving, marching band (color guard), and dance. Have I forgotten anything? Seriously, I am so happy that I got such a foundation for physical activity. And have you seen my legs?
When I got to college, I stopped dancing 5+ days per week, and my bad eating habits caught up with me. I have since learned from my mistake and try to maintain a more consistent exercise schedule.
Here are my current activities that keep my heart rate up and my muscles limber:
- Dance: I take tap classes once per week, and try to show up to ballet a few times a month. Ballet is great for your mind and body, similar to yoga. I highly recommend it also as a “low impact” form of exercise.
- Personal Training: I have recently begun seeing a personal trainer. Right now it is once per week, but we shall see how it progresses. We do a routine together on Tuesdays, which she writes down for me and I repeat at least once if not twice during the rest of the week. I enjoy the motivation and variety that I get with a PT. I know that it is EXPENSIVE, but if you’re looking for something to spice things up, this is the way to go. Her routines combine both cardio and strength training. For those of you who don’t think that there is a good cardio workout when you strength train, TELL THAT TO MY HEART RATE MONITOR! You just have to keep up the pace during your workout. Side note, I am hesitant to post my routines, as I feel as if I am violating a copyright law. However I will post interesting new moves from time to time.
- Running: I am not a runner, and would not consider myself a runner. I am not one of those people who say “Oh, it relaxes me, gives me time to think, etc.” That is what ballet/yoga is for me. However, I enjoy the benefits (both inside and out) of running. Plus isn’t it cool to say “Oh yeah, I just ran three miles.” Not many people can even do that. I started running using the Couch to 5K program and return to it when I have let my running slack. For awhile I was running with my coworkers as we trained for the Corporate Challenge. Now, I try to run once or twice per week, sometimes forcing M to go with me. Running (especially outside when it’s nice) is very good time wise, since you just commit to running say 30 minutes around the neighborhood. As opposed to the 15 minutes each way to the gym, plus the 60 minutes of working out . . . SO GET OUT THERE AND TRY IT!
Those are the activities that I use to stay physically fit. The focus may shift from running to strength training and back again. It’s very hard to be balanced at those. But doing something is better than nothing.
I also mentioned my heart rate monitor. I use the Polar F6
I input my weight, and using a chest strap, it keeps track of my heart rate while I exercise. It keeps track of time, average and maximum heart rate, and calories burned. It’s a nice motivator (to burn those last 50 calories) and interesting to see how far you may have progressed in your cardiovascular fitness over a period of time. Mine was about $90.
Any questions about exercises, routines, equipment, etc. ask away!