Let's Get Physical, Physical!
Ah exercise, a word that makes some smile and others cringe at the thought. Why does it have to be such a hassle? Sure the result is powerful; mood-enhancing endorphins are released into the brain and other heightened production of chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and phenylethylamine play a role in leaving you a little bit happier than before. And not only is it good for your mental state, but your physical being as well. Yet, even in knowing this, we still somehow always find an excuse as to why we can’t be bothered; “I’ll start tomorrow.” “I’m just so exhausted, I had such a busy day - can’t a person just relax?” The justifications could go on forever! It’s usually the suffocating guilt and condescending judgment we pass on ourselves that makes us put down the bag of chips and sends us hitting the ground (or possibly the treadmill) running.
Most of us find our passion in life and create careers out of it, or turn it into a hobby. So what if we found our exercise passion? The exercise of our dreams (if there is such a thing)! Everyone’s workout plan may be different, but one things for sure, if we could get away without it, we all would rather use our time elsewhere. Unfortunately, life’s full of doing things we don’t want to do and since that zipper isn’t making it any higher, it’s time to face the demon!
There are different types of exercise to do, each type having a distinctive effect on your body. Some types increase flexibility and muscle strength, whereas others build heart strength or enhance endurance. Exercise can be placed into three categories—aerobic, strength conditioning, and flexibility. Time to find out which type is your “passion” and best suited for you and your body. Ideally, you should include all three types and if you can do that, then more power to you! But, let’s be honest, it’s hard enough participating in one activity, so if you don’t have much time for all three, remember, no one’s judging you!
Get in shape with your choice of exercise because it's time to get physical, physical!
For the Kooky Class Connoisseur:
- Zumba – this fun concoction of dance moves is exhilarating, effective, and easy-to-follow. This Latin inspired, calorie burning, dance fitness party is hardly considered exercise!
- Kickboxing – This total body workout that totally kicks butt covers all three categories of exercise. It combines elements of boxing, martial arts, and aerobics to provide physical conditioning and toning.
- Dance (Hip-hop, Salsa, Jazzercise) – This great form of exercise is a fun way to brush up on your moves all while burning calories and building stamina!
- Step - Watch the pounds melt off through basic athletic and dance-based aerobic routines using an adjustable platform. Work your whole body to upbeat music, keeping you motivated and moving the entire time.
- Fusion – Fuse together the disciplines of core conditioning, pilates, the Lotte Berk Method (that combines pilates, yoga, barre work and core conditioning), interval cardio training, and yoga. Mixes body sculpting with flexibility, strength training and balance all to the beat of high-energy music.
- Boot Camp – Push your body to its limit by going from one workout to another without (yes without) a break! This includes exercises like pushups, jumping jacks, crunches and other intense body weight exercises.
- Yoga - A complete, holistic system for overall health and well-being. It includes everything from posture, personal hygiene, and a healthy diet to premeditation, breathing, flexibility, and relaxation techniques.
- Pilates – This works the entire body, but the main focus is on the core muscles (abs, lower back, flexibility, and stabilizing muscles).
For the Weight Lifting Lover:
- Warm up before you start lifting weights with some light cardio or by starting light before going to heavier weights because it helps warm up muscles and avoid injury.
- Quality over quantity comes into play here. Lift and lower your weights slowly and focus on form rather than reps; you're using too much weight if you have to use momentum to lift.
- Posture is imperative, as is engaging your abs to maintain your balance and protect your spine.
- Control your breathing. Don't hold your breath, keep a steady breathing pattern.
* Other ways to build muscle without lifting weights: rock climbing, rollerblading, ice-skating, biking, swimming, pull-ups, curl-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges, and jumps.
For the Calorie Burning Cardio Conqueror:
Do whatever your heart prefers (literally)
- Machines: treadmill, elliptical, bike
- Old School Exercises: running outdoors, jumping rope, trampoline, swimming
For the Abode DVD/VHS Aficionado:
Whoever your exercise guru is, pop them in and get lost in the movement
- “Billy’s Bootcamp Cardio Inferno”
- “Billy’s Bootcamp Cardio Sculpt”
- “Billy Blanks’ Taebo Cardio Explosion”
- “Billy Blanks’ Taebo Insane Abs”
Dancing with the Stars:
- “Dancing with the Stars: Ballroom Buns & Abs”
- “Dancing with the Stars: Dance Off the Pounds”
- “Dancing with the Stars: Latin Cardio Dance”
- "Yoga Meltdown"
- "6 Week Six-Pack"
- "30 Day Shred"
Veena & Neena:
- "Bellydance Fitness for Beginners: Slim Down with Veena & Neena"
Whether you’re a gym rat or a homebody try making exercise fun by doing what you love. We don't have to think of it as dreaded old exercise anymore!