Fun In Fitness

I recently started taking a new class at the gym called Latin Fusion (which may be Zumba in disguise). So far it has been blast and has the atmosphere of a dance club rather than a workout. As a newbie, I have safely taken up residence in the back of the room where I won’t suffer the humiliation of tripping all over myself in front of others as I learn the dance moves. This has also given me a better opportunity to observe the other gym goers.  I realized that the front of the class, even though that’s were you have the best view of the instructor, is no place I want to be.  This is where the professional dancers go, meaning they dress the part, whoop and holler, and you have to be able to move in a way that a seizure can’t compete with.  The middle of the class is a somewhat of a safe zone but this is where all the regulars are and you will usually find them in a similar spot in each time.  Yes, for now the back is the safest with the oldies, slackers and other newbies.  I just have to be cautious not to stand next to anther newbie to avoid collisions on turns.

One of the oddities of this class is that there is a wide range of participants from the very old, to very young and there is a healthy participation from both men and women. The instructor is even a male and – believe me ladies – he can put most booty shakin females to shame with his moves. I have even watched this happened since in each class someone will jump up on the instructor platform to challenge him to a dance off only to find themselves shamed in the end.  The music is really loud and current which helps to invoke the hips.  I’m glad I took this class despite my reservations against having a male instructor, this was  a good reminder to mix things up every once a while cause there can be fun in fitness and you never know where you will find it.

If your wondering what Zumba is, check out this video to see a class in action:

Embracing My Inner Gym Rat

After five years of being a dedicated XSport member, I decided to quit the gym and start working out at home.  I thought it would be great, I’d be able to exercise whenever I wanted and save myself the monthly fees.  Afterall,  I had grown bored of having the same teachers and group fitness classes all the time.  I didn’t realize my mistake till about, 6 months and 20 pounds later.  In the beginning, I was really committed to the home fitness.  I had stocked up on Beachbody and Jillian Michael DVDs and started going for nice afternoon jogs in my neighborhood.  Looking back I realized that the fall out  happened gradually.  I started swapping hour-long intense gym workouts for half hour low impact videos.  On days when I was super busy with work and school I’d sacrifice the workout all together.  Next thing you know, the only exercise I was getting involved pressing buttons on the TV remote.

The panic set in a few months ago when I realized that even my “fat jeans” had grown tight.  I started looking for ways of getting back on the wagon.  I tried committing to online workouts, doing the Beachbody DVD series again, going for afternoon runs but I didn’t commit, the workout routines didn’t stick and the boredom of working out at home was excruciating.  I finally came to my senses and realized I had to get my slightly bigger booty back to the gym and start embracing my inner gym rat again.  I converted from XSport to Lifetime paying twice the dues so that I could have a fresh set of classes and teachers.  I’ve been going to the new gym consistently for two weeks now and have really taken the time to consider what it is about the gym that works so well for me:

1) Financial Commitment:  You can bet that I want to get my money’s worth and I’ve carefully considered how much I’m paying per class deciding that I need to go a minimum of three times a week to get the bang for my buck.

2) People:  When there are other people around I work out harder. It’s motivating to be surrounded by others who are committed to putting all of their energy into a routine.

3) Schedule:  It’s easier for me to commit to working out when I know I have to be there at a certain time to make class.

4) Variety:  Mixing up workout routines by taking a variety of classes and doing machine work is important in keeping me away from gym burnout.

The good news is my jeans are feeling a tiny bit looser these days and I’ve discovered some new classes that are fresh and fun that will keep me going back for more. Hopefully this post will serve as a future reminder to myself to NOT give up on the gym.