Happy post Memorial Day! Hopefully you had a relaxing and great time enjoying the weather!
For me, Memorial Day marks the start of summer. It’s time to get the flip flops and summery dresses out, and I think it’s safe to now wear white? This time of year can be incredibly daunting for one ’s self-esteem as the long pants switch to capris, and the capris turn to shorts and sleeves become shorter and shorter on shirts. I even get weird about shorts, and feel very uncomfortable in them. You may feel the pinch to kick things up a notch with your exercise program, or that now is a good time to start exercising in order to feel better in the typical summer ware.
I’ve always been an advocate for doing SOMETHING to get moving and to get your exercise—walking, biking, swimming, running, playing frisbee, basketball, or even taking an extra lap around the grocery store. Whatever you need to do to get that heart rate up and move your muscles!
Now, if you’re like me, you’re always interested in trying something new and different, and perhaps kicking it up a notch. Sometimes it’s that stepping out of the box and trying a new exercise, increasing the duration of exercise or changing up the time of day that jazzes things up and you find changes happening with your body quicker.
For me, the biggest change I made recently was exercising in the morning. And by morning, I mean the butt-crack of dawn early. I started doing a boot camp class at 5a and although it wasn’t pretty the first few times, it became easier and easier and now I don’t know what I would do without my morning routine. You would think exercising that early in the day would leave you feeling sluggish and tired for the workday, but I find the opposite, and I make better choices throughout the day knowing I don’t want to “ruin” the progress I made in the am. I consider it “my” time and don’t let anything get in the way (well…not sure what would, but you catch my drift).
Adding the ‘boot camp’ component (strength training, cardio and a little yoga/pilates) was so different from my typical cardio and running regime that I started to see changes in my muscle structure, and I really began to look forward to the challenge and how accomplished I felt afterwards.
Boot camp or other higher intensity classes/workouts might seem out of your league, or you may wonder if you could ever keep up, and the answer is YES. These classes are designed for all levels, and modifications are very easy. Fitness instructors are trained to be able to offer modifications, and to be able to adapt on the fly when a class has a variety of participants at various levels. I love seeing all of the different ages and sizes of people in the class, because I know they are getting an awesome workout and the 45 or 60 minutes of time is packing a punch for their time in exchange.
Fort HealthCare is offering two new morning ‘higher intensity’ classes starting in June that I’m excited to try and see what they are all about. The classes (Insanity ® and Total Exhaust) are meant to get your heart rate up, and really give you a lot of bang for your buck. They are total body classes and will give you a challenge and make you feel proud that you completed the class. In speaking with the instructor, they are completely modifiable and for all fitness levels—you take it at your pace and do what you can do!
If what you’re doing hasn’t worked for you, maybe it’s time to try something new. I’m not necessarily saying get up at 4a and exercise (unless you want to—I like it!), but rather find something different and try something new and challenge yourself. You just may find an exercise or program that you enjoy and want to stick to!
There’s little excuse this time of year with the weather being gorgeous, and almost 15 hours of daylight. You have to start somewhere, and that first step really can be a scary and challenging thing. Once you get over that initial step, you can do anything and YOU are in control. Trying new things, especially with exercise, can be daunting but if you remind yourself why you are taking that step forward, and if you can envision where you will be 3 or 6 months down the road, it puts everything into perspective. You have your friends and family cheering you on! Better yet, have them join the fun and you ALL can on your way to a healthier you!
Until next time friends!