It’s the new year, which means many people are setting themselves new year’s resolutions. A prominent one being the will to get fit and into shape. And that’s exactly my new year’s resolution. I don’t really make resolutions, but getting into shape has been on my list for a while now. I have spent the past few months setting up a routine that I know I can maintain and work on for the coming period. Today I’d like to share with you my current workout routine and some tips and tricks on how you can find yours.
My workout routine? A little bit of everything!
Before I describe what I try and do in a week, I would like to say that when it comes to working out what is most important is that you find a routine that works for you. What works for me, may not work for you and so the workouts I do and like to do or the frequency with which I do them, may not be feasible for you or it may not be what your body needs. In my experience, working out doesn’t come in a one size fits all can, but rather needs a bit of tweaking per person.
My first tip would be to figure out what workouts you like to do and which workout fits your body. Due to several restrictions there are many gym classes I cannot take and exercises I cannot do. The key thing is to figure out what your body can do and work within the limits that you may have. Yet, working out is about challenging yourself at the same time, so it is also good to not stay too much within your comfort zone. Knowing your body and the restrictions it has, is a first step to finding the workout that works for you.
For me and my body that means I have to deal with asthma, being too short to fit on some gym equipment and parts of my body that are too flexible. This means that certain, very classic, exercises aren’t good for me. Push ups are a major player in my no-go area. Doing cardio when you have a lung condition isn’t exactly a pick nick, but actually doing some will take away some of your symptoms and can help in improving your condition. It does in my case in anyway, but explaining that would be a different blog post. So I will write about that some other time.
After some trial and error (and this was a process of years mind you) I have found that what works for me is a combination of different workouts. By doing different things in the gym, I tackle different aspects of my body and my general level of fitness. It is all about balance in my case. I try to do some cardio and weight training as well as training for flexibility and overall strength and vitality. It means that I spend more time at the gym than most people, but it works and I feel best during those weeks where I can squeeze in all of the following workouts.
On Mondays I hit the gym double time. I start off with a spinning class. To me that is the ultimate way of training my stamina and dealing with asthma. It is also an easy workout to pair down when you are feeling a little bit tired or ‘off’ and still get a decent workout in. Immediately after that I take a Body Balance class. This is a mixture of Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates focusing on training your strength but without any additional weights. It also stretches the muscles and ensures a good alignment of my body. I can seriously tell when I skip this workout!
After that I like to take a day to rest. Because don’t forget that one very important aspect of a healthy workout routine is to give your body time to recover. I go back to workouts on Wednesday with my weekly dance class. I have been dancing since I was little and it has been a constant my entire life. It helps me to put my brain in a different mode and there is plenty of stretching. This puts my body in a different mode as well as it tackles every muscle in your body in the course of just an hour. It is through dance class that I notice whether any of my other workouts are taking effect.
Next up, I have finally gotten back into a weight lifting routine. This may not seem very lady like, but lifting weights greatly helps me with back pains and the over flexibility in my shoulders and hips. That is the main reason why I started doing some weight lifting: to build up strength in those areas that need it most. I just recently switched up my routine to a full body weight lifting workout. Let’s just say I am feeling the effects of it ever time as it has caused plenty of muscle pain so far.
Finally, I hit the gym one last time for a Saturday morning Body Combat class. It is my 50 minutes a week where I get to let everything go. If I am feeling shitty, this is the workout where I can virtually punch someone who has irked me in the face without causing any real damage. Other than a very satisfying workout that combines some cardio and a bit of strength training, this workout has no real function, but to me there is just no better start to my weekend than a good marital arts workout on pumped up music.
What is your favorite workout?