BALANCE SERIES #3: BALANCING YOUR WORKOUT
There are quite a few people who help me find balance in my life. I have a wonderful husband and an amazing family, but you have already read about how great they are. If you haven’t, check out my previous blog posts. This post is going to focus on balance in my workout routine and some pretty amazing people in our community. As I began to make time for exercise in my daily routine, I found that I needed to mix up my workouts. According to Web MD your exercise plan should include aerobic exercise, stretching, and strength training.
What Works for Me*
Of course yoga is my exercise of choice for stretching and stress relief. However, to make sure I get balance in my routine (cardio and strength training), I rely on BodyPlex. This works for me because I need a place that has child care and because they provide a diverse group of classes that are led by very capable instructors. My favorite cardio is Body Jam. The energy of the class is great for me, and dance is a wonderful form of expression.
I do not like weights at all. It’s just a personal preference. I hear many positive comments about Body Pump, but I prefer using my own body weight to tone my muscles. For that reason, I like TRX to get my weekly strength training. The TRX instructor knows when to push me and when to back off. She is wonderful at making sure I have proper form for safety and get maximum results.
What About You…?
Almost any workout plan will work if you stick with it, and that is the hard part. It is paramount that you have a support system. Whether it is a friend that meets you at the park, a neighbor that walks the subdivision with you, a gym or a studio that offers balance such as The Wellness Studio at Promotion, here are some things to consider when you start balancing your health and your everyday life.
Location – keep it close to home or work (so you will go), and keep it somewhere you can enjoy. The park is great much of the year, and since moving here I have been surprised to find there are amazing parks all over the place – you’ll start noticing them when you start looking for them.
Your interests – Make it fun. If it doesn’t interest you, what’s the point? One of the biggest mistakes I see is people doing a routine they hate just because they see other people doing it. I tried running – it lasted about 2 months before I quit. If I forced running to be my daily workout, I would sit on the couch and eat chocolate all day instead.
Amenities that suit your particular situation – Do you need childcare, nutritionist, certified instructors, physical therapist, an area to stretch, a pool, sauna, shower, court for basketball or racquetball, alone time? Just make sure to balance these things against the cost – if it’s a stretch financially, you won’t be able to keep it going.
Cost – Let’s keep it real. This guy built/bought his own home gym for less than what some of us spend on a gym membership in a couple of months. Regardless of whether you think that’s normal or extreme, working out can be virtually free when you take advantage of nature (the park) or the spare room in your basement. Even many of the amenities I listed in the bullet point above can be found around town for free, nearly free or as part of a normal gym membership. There’s no need to throw down large sums of money on fancy workout stuff.
Balance of options – cardio, strength, flexibility, mental stress relief, nutrition advice
I didn’t mention time, but time is a major reason people give for not staying fit. Example: “I’m just so busy with the kids’ stuff that I am exhausted and don’t have time to go to the gym!” I hear you loud and clear! But before we get too satisfied with our rationalizations, check out the article in my blog Balance Series #1 about time management. Making time for yourself today can give you a longer, healthier life to spend with your family, and that makes it all worth it!
What am I missing?
*Full disclosure: I am an instructor at Bodyplex and The Wellness Studio at ProMotion so that’s what I know. I get no direct benefit from recommending anyone or anything mentioned in this (or any other) article. Anything mentioned here is because I have found it useful in my life and think you might as well. The key takeaway: find what you enjoy, mix it up a little bit and use that to balance your routine and your life.