Whenever my fitness classes start to feel stale rather than fresh, I know its time to learn more. Conferences and research get me pumped back up. At fitness conferences, such as Fitness Fest and IDEA, I learn new techniques, exercises, and research relevant to my work as a fitness professional. I run out the door bursting with excitement to put what I’ve learned into practice. I literally can’t wait to teach my next class.
It should be like that with your workouts as well. When enthusiasm flags, you seek a way to bring that excitement back to exercising. If your strength training workouts are putting you to sleep, you hire a trainer to show you exercises that are safe, yet different from what you’ve been doing. If you are tired of going it alone during workouts, you join group exercise classes or a group of individuals that do an activity you enjoy. If you have reached a plateau where you aren’t seeing any improvement, you try cross training with less familiar modalities to kick your body back in high gear.
Here in Tucson, we have groups that meet to do many different activities including swimming (we have at least 4 Masters teams – azlmsc.org for Arizona; see www.usms.org for a list in other parts of the country), hiking, running (Southern Arizona Roadrunners – www.azroadrunners.org), mountain biking (Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists – www.sdmb.org), and road biking (Greater Arizona Bicycling Association – GABA – www.bikegaba.org). For those of you who live in SaddleBrooke, there are groups for you right in your neighborhood. I recently learned that the SaddleBrooke Hiking club even has a daily fitness walk at 6:30 that meets at the HOA 1 basketball court (a newsletter on the group can be picked up in the HOA 1 fitness center). Even residents who don’t feel comfortable walking on uneven surfaces can get out there and walk and meet new people.
If your current group exercise class isn’t meeting your needs, shop around until you find a class you find one that’s fun and meets your fitness objectives. Many people I work with report getting excited about trying a new kind of group exercise format such as Zumba or taking lessons to improve their golf or tennis game.
Knowledge can get you excited about working out, too. It can be empowering to read how taking charge of your fitness can reduce your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, improve bone and muscle density, energy level, reduce body fat, improve HDL (good cholesterol), reverse the “age” of your muscle cells, and much more. Many fitness enthusiasts attend fitness conferences and read every article out there about health and fitness. If knowledge fuels your fire, go out there and get educated! Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Fitness, American Fitness, and the IDEA Fitness Journal are just some magazines I read often. It is important to use your intellect and reasoning to evaluate the quality of what you are reading. There is a lot of misinformation out there as well. Sometimes discussing what you’ve read with a fitness or medical professional can be helpful. The American College of Sports Medicine is a reputable source, which offers annual recommendations pertaining to cardiovascular and strength training for individuals wanting to maintain fitness and/or lose weight.
Whatever you need to do to bounce out of bed excited to move that body, figure it out and then go for it. Your body and mind will be glad you did.
If your motivation is flagging, perhaps a special event on the horizon will kick your tail into gear. Many of my SaddleBrooke clients and class participants plan to join me to walk the Everyone Runs Saguaro Physicians 5K event on November 13. It will be a morning of fun and fitness to remember. And you still have plenty of time to get in shape! The course is purported to be fairly level so the fall risk should be minimal.
Even if you don’t live in SaddleBrooke, you can plan to walk with us – the more the merrier and we always like to meet new friends. Just send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org so I can let you know where we will meet that morning. To sign up for the event, go to everyoneruns.net. Be sure to sign up for the 5K (3.1 miles) and not the half marathon or the kids fun run or you will be in for a real surprise that morning! If we have people interest in actually running, I will organize a separate group.
In preparation for this event, you should walk at least 3 days a week for 30 or more minutes. Remember when you sign up, you will sign a waiver basically saying you are fit and healthy enough to participate. So please prepare for this, OK?
Kick off the New Year right by joining my new Drumming Intervals class. We will drum out fun beats on top of stability balls while moving to motivating music. We’ll also work most major muscle groups during strength intervals, which will be intermixed with the cardio intervals. If you want to burn calories, have a blast, tone muscles, and have a blast (oh, I already said that), this class is for you!
It will be held 12-1 every Wednesday (except 12-12, when there is a Ballroom dancing conflict) at the Mountain View Fitness Center. See you there on January 5. Bring good shoes, high energy, and “attitude.”