September 28, 2012 by Lindsey
There’s one big lesson I learned about exercise after all my body battles: it doesn’t matter that much.
I am living proof that diet is more important– MUCH more important– than exercise. You need to get your eating habits in line and fuel it properly for your workouts before you even dream of your new body. I’m still learning that.
So why exercise?
- Stress relief
- Depression relief
- Better sleep
- Shape and tone your new body
- Socialize (or have alone time)
- Have more energy
- For……fun? (If you can fathom that)
I never thought I’d say that, for me, exercise is the “EASY” part now. I have to fight the bigger body battle: food.
So why aren’t you moving?If you’re not exercising now because you tried it once and hate it– try something else. Or try the same thing again one more time.
If it’s torture, DON’T do it! There are so many other things to try, both in the gym and outside of it.
And, coming soon: I’m going to be testing out some FitMixer workouts courtesy of FitBloggin, which I know are sweaty and rewarding from reading Oatmeal After Spinning. I’ll recap them here!
Choosing a Gym
See if a gym near you has any of the options in my group exercise suggestions section below. Use all the free trial days (all gyms have something like this), open houses, Groupons, LivingSocial deals, ANYTHING and everything you can to find a gym you like before you commit to a contract. I went to every major chain in my (big, metropolitan) area before I found “my gym.”
Choosing a Group Exercise Class
There’s group exercise classes, which I love because you can’t get out of them (well, unless you don’t go…) and can’t procrastinate them, like you would a home workout.
These are my favorites:
Body Jam : I hate dancing. Really. But I love this class! It’s silly, fun, and everyone lets their guard down. Instructor makes all the difference for me. It’s a mix of dance styles and music, so there’s usually something for everyone. And if you hate all the moves and the music, you can laugh at yourself.
Body Pump : Strength training for any fitness level. No matter how bad I feel going in, I love coming out of this class feeling strong.
Zumba : Unlike the rest of the world, I wouldn’t go so far as to say this doesn’t feel like a workout. I am still sweaty. I am still out of breath. The intensity varies with the music (and your instructor–big time) and my enjoyment varies by my mood and the instructor. You don’t need to know as much choreography as you do to enjoy Body Jam.
CX WORX: It does work. For your whole core, in 30 minutes or less.
Metabolic Effect: I love the science behind their program and I love their philosophy. Dr. Jade and Dr. Keoni and their team put out a lot of free information that is ridiculously informative. Definitely check out their Facebook page. I also love that these work-until-you’re-forced-to-rest workouts nearly kill me every time. But I’m still here. And I’m still going. They’ve also got workouts you can do at home! Hurrah.
willPower & grace: You think: “Oh, I’m barefoot and this sounds kinda loopy. How could it be hard?” It is hard. But it is so refreshing. I would say it’s like standing pilates with some cardio and meditation. The founder is AWESOME. Are you confused yet? Go take it or try a video online.
Things I am terrible at, and, therefore don’t like taking, but you can: yoga. Yoga. YOGA. I know I need to be better. It makes you strong and flexible, but….I can’t get into it. I’m also a terrible swimmer. And runner. Meaning = no triathlons for me right now. I also hate spinning because the bike seat KILLS my butt! If that was solved, I think I’d like it more. I also don’t like step classes. This list is getting long….
Things I want to try, that you can: CrossFit, Aqua Zumba, spinning with a non-painful bike seat, any class outside
Working Out at Home
If you are working out at home (I have to 1-2 days a week), there are also so many *FREE* resources.
You can get the CrossFit workout of the day, you can do pilates or HIIT with spunky Cassey from Blogilates (don’t let her cuteness fool you– it’s HARD!), you can sculpt and tone with the Tone It Up girls.
If you don’t need a video and just need workout ideas, Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers has awesome options.
I Just Need a Workout
Just looking for straight up workouts with no fluff? Looking for sweat and burn?
Zuzana, formerly of Bodyrock TV, will kill you– in a really fantastic way. Her stuff is pretty advanced, so I would not START with her. I’m definitely not there yet.
My favorite resource–for all fitness levels– is Fitness Blender. There are dozens of workouts demoed by a trainer on a plain background. There’s no music, there’s 0% goofing off. They are tough but they get the job done.
Another home workout I do is just to search YouTube for BodyJam or BodyPump playlists or line up a bunch of music videos and run in place in my basement. To me it’s not boring because I watch the videos and think about the fun I had in those classes. When I get shin splints from my (likely very poor) “running” technique, I do simple free weights, alternating between the muscle groups as I get bored of doing them (very quickly).
If you have questions, or need recommendations, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it for you. 🙂