Hi ladies, how has your fitness been going this past week? Once again thank you for all the support here, via my social media, and e-mail messages. I am thrilled to know you are finding a little bit of yourself here and it’s the same for me. I keep to my schedule feeling accountable to you all 🙂 If you are new here and would like to start from the beginning of my journey and suggestions here are the first, second, and third installments of Back to Fitness.Let’s stay active together and get this party started today with some exercise classes I have been trying lately at the gym followed by a couple reader questions! <3 You have to let me know if you’ve ever tried any of these classes; so curious to know what you think of them! Also feel free to comment with any other interesting classes you tried or want to try!
A couple weeks ago I shared with you how I started to get back into fitness after my last pregnancy with a self crafted home exercise program using workout DVD’s and online subscriptions. I also shared when I was ready I switched to a barre studio for ballet fitness. (which btw was amazing; you can read about that here). After this for about two years I felt re-energized for the gym. This timing also coincided with my youngest turning two and not protesting staying at the kids place of my sports club. Since I am back at a full fledged fitness environment with a million of exercise classes, I have been sampling a lot of those and stuck with some and passed the others. I will share my personal impressions today and next week. Please share with me your favorite gym classes! 🙂
I think I mentioned how much I enjoy dancing before and that I started back to fitness with Zumba home DVD’s. Zumba with it’s mix of dance routines from salsa to hip hop has been the perfect intense cardio for me. Zumba has been huge for a while now; those classes are always packed with some of the most enthusiastic participants I have ever seen. They call the classes Zumba parties, and they certainly are with people cheering, screaming, and seriously having a blast. A couple tips if you want to try Zumba:
- First I think you should be ok with not taking yourself seriously. Unless you are a professional dancer it takes a while to learn all the moves, and honestly the whole point is to move anyway you can; it’s NOT having each step down perfectly. Don’t stress yourself out and give it a try with an open mind. It took me many classes to learn the dances and they change up the songs and routines about every six weeks anyways. Moving that fast for a whole hour will give you the workout I promise; just don’t stop moving.
- Don’t be intimidated by your neighbor if she looks like she has memorized every little turn and jump; because she probably has as she’s been coming to the class for the past three years, three times a week. ( that’s how loyal some of the Zumba people are) Do your own thing and don’t worry as there are always plenty of newcomers.
- As in all exercise programs (and let’s get deeper and say in life) you get what you put in it and Zumba is no different. Whatever way you move, put a lot of energy in it.
- Special Zumba shoes are not necessary but I bought them anyways- they are easier to slide sideways with and I am like that; have to have the right gear 🙂 ( a chameleon is a chameleon even if she changes colors haha; even in fitness I love shopping)
Ok this is one class you should take when you are frustrated because let me tell you after all the jabs, hooks, kicks and uppercuts you will leave that room serene and calm like a baby. Kidding aside there is some truth in the above statement. I take this amazing cardio class whenever I feel extra stressed, and by the time I am done, I feel ready to take on the world. It must be that the moves somehow make me feel so strong that I subconsciously feel super empowered. 🙂 Most kickboxing classes seem to be geared toward more medium to high fitness levels, but don’t forget that everyone started at the beginning, so if you want to try kickboxing don’t let this deter you. Also talk about any previous injuries with your instructor as there are many high intensity sudden moves like front and back kicks.
I am obviously more of a cardio girl but also really enjoy power yoga and pilates; voila a mix of those two combined with a lot of flexibility, and balance exercises and you have Group Centergy. This exercise program has taken many gyms/clubs by storm and have a growing fan base. Along with kickboxing this is one class I see a lot of men at too so it’s safe to take your hubby/boyfriend with you and not have to listen to them complain the whole drive back home 🙂 I have become a regular at the Centergy classes and love how much flexibility and balance it helps me achieve. I also love that I break a sweat while doing all the choreographed yoga moves and never get bored as there are many transitions between poses. Some suggestions I have for Group Centergy:
- I usually start this class with the thin yoga mats. After doing all the standing moves along with planks on this mat, when it’s time for ab section, I grab a special thicker mat to go over my thin one. This has helped me get into the ab section better as my lower back feels much more supported.
- At the end of the class there is a rest period for a few minutes where everyone lies silently on their mats in a position that’s most comfortable for them and the instructor speaks in a low voice giving some pointers on how to relax. My advice is to really use this time to clear your head and relax your body even for a few minutes. You have to try harder if you are like me – someone who finds it hard to stay still and loves to be on the go- but it is worth it and if I can do it you can too!
I will continue with more classes I take next week and move onto a great reader question. Having read my post suggesting working out with a friend, she asked:
” What would you suggest if we have a friend to exercise with but are not at the same fitness level” ? asked by Melanie.
I think this is a great question in the sense that with many friends we won’t be at the exact same page when it comes to exercising. For instance for outdoor running it’s quite difficult to find a running partner that has exactly the same speed and stamina as you. One person will be a bit faster the other one will have more endurance; another will have both and there rarely will be 100% match. Some suggestions:
- Use cardio machines next to each other at the gym. ( what I do with friends) This way you can each have control over your own pace and level of intensity but still have each others support nearby. You can also chat ( I can’t do this running but can talk on the elliptical) a bit which makes the time go by quicker. This way you can exercise more, burning more calories as an added bonus.
- Try an exercise class like Pilates or Group Centergy together or go dancing with Zumba where you are encouraged to participate on your own level.
- Teach each other a thing or too. For instance I always give pointers to friends on all things cardio but don’t lift as much. It’s always fun to learn from my friends who are seasoned lifters.
In the next weeks, I will continue with more exercise classes, reader questions and tips. If you need any support and feel like giving up don’t forget that I am always here for support; feel free to reach out to me. Don’t forget to share your fitness adventures this week and the classes you love! If you haven’t already joined theboxqueen family my social media links are below to stay updated! XOXO, Elif
BLOGLOVIN | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TWITTER