My (current) favorite workouts.
I'm feeling inspired to share five of my favorite workouts. Before I dive right in, a little background on my relationship with exercise: I've had times in my life where I exercised far too much, and I've also had times where I haven't moved my body nearly enough. I think before you dive headfirst into a new workout regime, it's important to ask yourself what your end goal is. Is it to look a certain way or fit into a pair of pants? If so, would you maybe reconsider? I'm not a fitness expert by any means, but what I've personally learned over the years is that looking great is an amazing bonus and byproduct of wanting to feel your best inside and out -- but it shouldn't be your ONLY focus. Learn from my mistakes and don't go down that rocky road of equating exercise with self-worth, because you are awesome already. Just my two cents -- let's jump into it :)
I've trained for a half marathon the past two summers in a row. And by the end of the training cycle each year, I've burnt out and absolutely dreaded my scheduled long runs. So, what I stick with now (especially during the Boston winter) is 3 miles maximum once or twice a week. I love running listening to music, a podcast, and also just zoning out in my own thoughts. I'll always crave running in my weekly routine because for me, there's nothing that compares to the post-run vibes. Running will always be there in the future if I want to up the distance, but for now, I'm loving my short and sweet runs and time spent outside.
Hiking/going for a walk:
It might sound cliché, but getting outside in nature is one of my go-to's when I feel overwhelmed or anxious. There are a lot of amazing trails in the greater Boston area, and I also love just walking around the city. Whereas running clears my mind, walking allows me to be more present and contemplative. I process things better when I'm on a walk, and for whatever reason, I'm more open and vulnerable in my conversations. Love a good walk for keeping it simple, but still getting myself moving during the day.
I never EVER used to strength train. I was more interested in the elliptical or treadmill (NOTE: I truly loathe both now with a passion). While it was really challenging at first (and I was really REALLY sore), I've come to love strength training, and I can't imagine my week without it. Check out fitness blender.com (link) for some amazing short and sweet (usually less than 40 minutes) strength routines. I also love that each routine includes a warm up and cool down. I typically do about three of the workouts a week, and I haven't gotten bored yet.
When one of my good friends suggested going to barre, I was into the idea, but I was also nervous to mix it up and try something new. Is this just me? My impression of barre was that it was exclusively for ex-ballerinas, which was concerning given that I'm not the most graceful person in the world. Guys - this was such an unexpectedly hard and awesome workout! Even though I got corrected multiple times during the class, it was a way that I genuinely appreciated, and my legs were toast by the end. I've gone sporadically since, and love it every time. Recommend!
I used to play tennis seven days a week during high school over the summer and during our season, and at least three days a week out of season. I played pretty consistently throughout college as well. When I first started working, tennis was one of the first things to get cut in favor of more sleep and free time. Now that I have a (somewhat normal) work schedule, I really want to pick up my racket again. I love tennis, and it doesn't feel like exercise to me at all even though it is definitely physically challenging! This year, I'd love to find a group nearby me where I can jump in and play.
What I'd like to try next:
Yoga! I used to practice (I hesitate to call it a practice, let's be honest) in college about once or twice a week, and have gone to approximately three classes since graduating. While I'm not the most flexible person (read: I never stretch and I know that's bad), I really want to get back into yoga as I focus on more mindfulness in 2018. I've looked into heated yoga, but the high temps kind of scare me. Mission for this year - find a nearby studio that I can drop in and try some (preferably non-heated) classes.
I'd love to hear from you! What are your favorite workouts? Any tips on testing out new yoga studios or your favorite types of yoga?