Change Up Your Workouts By Trying Something New
I’ve been in a rut.
Several years ago, I finally agreed that running (and jumping) was not good for my knees after four medical professionals told me to give it up. I hated running most of the time, but it was such an efficient way to exercise, and the only thing that helped me keep weight off.
Maybe I Didn’t Really Hate Running?
I hated running. Every step I would run, I would be reciting a mental mantra of “I hate this. I hate this.…
I’ve done water aerobics ever since I gave up running (well, after a period of inactivity and sulking), and it has been good for me. I attend water aerobics and water arthritis classes. Both do good things for my body.
But I am not losing the weight I gained after I quit running. I have gained more weight since I started doing this.
I don’t believe the problem is water aerobics. It has helped me have a better range of motion, has made me more flexible, and does give me a decent workout.
I have been out of work since January, and though I had a sedentary job and feel that I am moving more, I suspect perhaps I am not.
Plus, let’s face it-eating is much of the problem of weight gain. I love good, healthy food, but I have been cooking less and have noticed I am not eating enough fruits and vegetables. I love both, so I am not sure what is up with that, but it’s something that I want to change. (That last statement proves I am in denial-it’s all in my power to change, and I think as though it is just beyond my control.)
Still, my body has also been telling me water aerobics isn’t enough of a workout. It’s not doing enough on its own.
I’d been walking with a friend regularly, but the holidays, rainy weather, and a vacation stopped that routine. I don’t see us beginning again until after the holidays, and even then, my friend is very sensitive to cold weather, so I’m not confident she will join me until spring.
Yes, I can walk on my own. Excuses, excuses, excuses.
I ran into a friend at a wine bar recently who I met when she taught a boot camp I attended years ago. She told me she was teaching some classes at a local yoga studio, and they were doing a special of $25 for 30-days of unlimited classes. While most would not begin such a thing in December, I figured it’s the perfect time for me. Classes will be smaller than usual, and I get to try out different ones.
It’s been just what I needed.
The first class I tried was a tabata class, which is not yoga, but my friend was teaching. It’s a HIIT class with 45 minutes of movement and then 10 seconds of rest. It kicked my butt, and I was sore for a couple of days. But it was a good sore- a reminder that I had neglected working certain muscles.
I’ve also done several yoga classes, concentrating on those focusing on stretching and breathing. These have been easier on my body but still have placed me out of my comfort zone. I can’t do some of the poses, especially those that require balance.
The great thing about yoga, though, is you stretch your limits gently. You are encouraged to be mindful of what is happening with your body. Yoga teaches you not to compare yourself to others, or to even to yourself in the past. Instead, you do what you can that day without hurting your body.
Our bodies strive for efficiency and learn our routines. If we do the same workout every day, we start doing it so efficiently it no longer has as much positive impact on our body. We need variety, and there is so much variety out there available to us.
Changing it up and trying something new is so good for us. Will yoga and tabata be part of my January? I believe they may, but other factors (like a new job) will impact. They feel good. Though I may not be the most graceful or flexible in the class, I’m working out my body in a different way than I have been.
This time of yoga awkwardness? My body is indeed not working at peak efficiency, and though it looks and feels rough and shaky and uncomfortable, that’s still a good thing.
I hope 2020 has me stretching my body in several different directions from where I am now. I need to add weight training to my schedule, too. I haven’t done that in a while, and it is another reason my metabolism isn’t working efficiently.
December’s plan is working. January, I will probably mix it up even more, so my body doesn’t know what’s coming. I don’t know what’s ahead either, but variety will be my goal. It is the spice of life, you know, and who doesn’t need more spice?