How I Stay in Shape
How I stay in shape is the follow-up blog to, “My Post-Baby Fitness Journey.” I am going to talk about all the workouts I have tried and what I currently do today. I will also give you a few tips I have learned along the way.
1. Do workouts that you LOVE or grow to love!
In my opinion, this is a HUGE part of staying in shape. I have tried almost every workout imaginable! But, I stick with the ones that I love. Here are just a few examples of some of the workouts I fell in love with:
Group Exercise Classes:
I HATE going to the gym and running on the treadmill… so I don’t. Doing something that makes you cringe, will deter you from sticking to it. If you belong to a gym, don’t be afraid to try a group exercise class. There was a time when I was scared to try a group class because I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up, or I’d look silly. At times I couldn’t keep up, but that was okay because I never felt silly. Group exercise makes me push even harder, and when the instructor is excellent and the energy in the room is on fire, it makes it that much better.
Hiking is an excellent way to explore beautiful parts of your area that you’ve never seen before. Not to mention, it’s a KILLER workout. This is the kind of activity that once you finish, you feel as if you can conquer anything! My first hike was a doozy, but after I reached the top of the mountain and saw all of God’s gorgeous creation below, I was hooked.
Silks (yoga acrobatics):
I know some of you are saying, “What in the what?” Silks is a creative, yet tough workout. Depending upon the ceiling height, two long silks hang down, and they are yours to play with. You can twist and turn into unique positions. It really is fun! Try climbing a 12-foot silk, up and down, five times and then come and talk to me. HA! You will be a tangled, sweaty, hot mess… but with sexy arms! http://www.knottyyoga.com
Do you remember that old-school 80’s workout with a bench that looks all cheesy? Well, flash forward 30 years, add some hip-hop music, a kick a$$ instructor and you have one of the most brain-teasing, best workouts EVER! I took step aerobics at Happy Hour By Marisa for YEARS, and it’s seriously one of the most energetic and fun workouts I have done. It’s challenging, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be workin’ that bench like no other! http://www.happyhourbymarisa.com
*NO, I AM NOT A FORMER STRIPPER, (well, maybe in a past life). Pole Fitness challenges your mind, body, and soul. I never felt sexier and physically exhausted all at once. Pole engages your core and upper body, makes you think, encourages movement and helps you let your inhibitions go! http://www.spinderellastudios.com
Sounds easy, right? Try jumping on a trampoline consistently for 30 minutes… you’ll quickly realize it’s a serious workout.
2. Switch up your workouts!
I CANNOT do the same thing over and over. I know some people like to keep things consistent, but for me to stay on top of my exercise game, I have to switch it up. All the workouts I listed above I will do in one week. Why you ask? It keeps me from getting bored and wanting to quit! It excites me when Wednesday rolls around and I know I’m going hiking. Also, it’s a different type of body engagement with each workout. Biking works my legs and Pole Fitness works my arms. One workout is more cardio based, and one is more for building muscle. I challenge you to switch things up on a daily basis. You don’t have to belong to 20 different gyms to do so. Hiking and biking are free!
3. Make sure you have a good balance of weights and cardio.
Once you start your fitness journey, you will figure out the balance needed for weight-loss and muscle gain. Right now, I do more cardio (because I’m greedy and need the calorie burn). BUT, I don’t neglect my muscles. Muscles burn fat and lovely muscles are made with weights.
4. Wear a watch that tracks your workouts.
For me, there is something about being able to see how many calories I have burned during a workout or the total caloric burn for the week that keeps me wanting more! If I happen to lose a few pounds one week, I can go back to my fitness app and track what type of workout I did and how many calories I burned as a point of reference. This is very self-motivating.
5. EXCUSES, EXCUSES, EXCUSES!
I always find myself finding an excuse, not to workout, but then I can’t complain about my lack of progress.
I know life happens, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. I would get up at 5:00 am to be at a 6:00 am workout and then be back home just in time for Marcus to leave for work. I’d workout in the house or pack my kids in the stroller and go for a run. Once Marcus came home, after me chasing our kids all day, I’d talk to myself and say, “you can do it, Jess,” over and over until I eventually went to the gym. To this day, I bring my kids with me to the gym; there are no excuses.
Now, just follow all my suggestions, and you’ll be an exercise guru in no time! Just kidding. Trying any of the things I talked about, is one step closer to reaching your exercise goals.
Like I mentioned in my last blog, learning to love exercising didn’t happen overnight and even though I crave working out, sometimes I don’t feel like putting forth the effort. I have to remember that I have fun workout options, (and I want to eat a piece of cake) and that usually gets me going.
My Current Workout Routine
I told you I like to switch up my workouts and try new things. Here is what I currently do to stay in shape:
Soul Cycle 1-2 times a week: An indoor spin class with the best music EVER and the most uplifting instructors, (I wrote a previous blog about it). You MUST try Soul Cycle, at least once. I’ve been doing it for about six months and I am HOOKED! https://www.soul-cycle.com
Personal Training 1-2 times a week. This is something my husband and I do together to hang out, ha! We train at Fitness with Jen Marker, and this is where I get my weights in. I prefer personal weight training to ensure I have the proper form and right exercises for what I’m trying to achieve. https://m.facebook.com/jenn.marker.5
Kickboxing 1-2 times a week: I went to my first kickboxing class almost two years ago when my youngest was three months old. I finished the 75-minute class, walked out and said, “I’m never doing this again.” After this statement, I knew I needed to go back. I knew it was tough, but tough makes you strong! Here I am, almost two years later… addicted. Kickboxing is a full-body workout and will tone your upper body faster than you can blink! http://www.eastsidekickboxing.com
Dance once a week: This is pretty much a no-brainer workout! I LOVE to dance! I attend Dojo 3 in Renton where I take a hip-hop centered dance class. We get down low, jump, squat, shake and pop. It’s an excellent way to burn calories and have the best time while doing so. http://www.dojo3.com
I workout 4-5 times a week and when I have time, I will do two workouts in one day. Also, I occasionally hike, run and try new ways to get a good burn all the time!
I am not perfect; my journey is not meant to be everyone’s journey. Over my nine-year span of continually working out through pregnancies and life’s ups and downs, these are the workouts and tools that have kept me going.
If I can inspire one person to get up and MOVE, I’ll be a happy lady!
Oh, one last thing… you can get your workout on, but remember it’s 30% exercise and 70% WHAT YOU EAT! I’m still working on that last part, but that’s another blog for another time!