Fitness and nutrition for foodies, from foodies.
 
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So! Since Emma and I have been talking about nutrition so much lately, I thought we were due for a fitness post. Everyone is different. Some people like to run, some people have an organized sport they enjoy, and others pick out home DVD workouts. My choice workout: different group exercise classes. I can't tell you enough how the classes at my gym (I'm currently a member of New York Sports Club,) keep me motivated. 

First of all- they are taught by certified trainers, so to me, I feel
like I'm getting some of the benefits of a trainer without the personal training cost. Since I usually try to get to the gym about five days a week, I want to make sure everything I'm doing is with proper form so I don't overstress or injure myself. So, (unlike some of my classmates), I make sure to always pay attention to the instructor/trainer- and quickly adjust if they come around to help me with my form.
 
Another perk is the community of people that a class offers to keep you motivated. While I love the idea of a home dvd because it would save time and energy to get to the gym, I'm the kind of person that performs stronger in a group setting. I personally get bored without constant stimulation- I'm a multitasker. Hence, the loud music, other classmates, and fun class instructors tend to keep me bopping around. Also, I personally enjoy being around other fit, happy people. I've had friends express to me their hesitancy about being around others when working out- but in a class setting you don't know them personally- so don't think of it as a competition. Everyone there wants you to succeed as much as you do! And think about how awesome it will be  to keep coming back to that class looking better and better every time, which
you will if you keep up the good work.
 
The other great thing about class is the VARIETY. It took me some time to figure out which ones I did and didn't enjoy, but I've started to figure out my favorite classes and can seek them out depending on my mood. If I'm a little cranky and need to blow off some steam I'll find a good kickboxing class. If I've been laying low and want to kick it up a notch I'll take sports circuit or cross training. If it's been a long week and my muscles are feeling sore, I'll settle into a yoga class. Gauging by my own body and mood is the key ingredient that keeps me in the gym 5 days a week every week. I never push myself, I know when to take a break, and I know what I'm in the mood for depending on what's been going on in my own personal life. An hour at the gym is only 4% of your day! And when is the last time you left the gym angry that you went?
 
I also firmly believe the instructor can make or break a class. I have a passport membership to my gym, so I've started to learn who teaches the best classes at my local gym clubs and I seek them out accordingly. Again, I choose them depending on my mood- some of them are a bit more in-your-face and others are calmer and in the background. It just depends on if I need that extra push or not. And you don't just have to find good instructors/classes at one particular gym like me! There are yoga, cycling, crossfit studios all around. See what's local that interests you. I hear soulcycle has themed classes by outfit colors and music themes- that sounds like SO much fun.

My personal favorite instructor is named Anthony Truly, TruDog for short. He teaches a cardio jam class that can always pull me out of my funk. It's a lot like a zumba class except with less variations and more specific aerobic dance moves (jumping jacks, knee-highs, kicks,) that are easier to memorize, which I adore because I'm a little lacking on the coordination department and felt like that always took away from my zumba workout. It's so high energy that the class flies by and then I realize I'm completely wiped, sore, and happy. The music is all fun, modern and classic pop like Lady Gaga, Madonna, P!nk, etc.

He also teaches an ab and body conditioning class that he helps move along with fun gossip and anecdotes... (This is particularly great when you're 20 rep's into leg-lifts and don't think you can keep going. You can distract yourself with his games like "which celebrity would play you in a movie?" and current events like "will Demi Moore or Ashton Kutcher end up paying more in the divorce?") I always leave trudog's class in a better mood- not only because of his fun workout plans, but because of his energy and good spirit. To me, that's the sign of a good instructor. If you're a NYSClubber, his full schedule can be found on his site at www.thefitandthefab.com. Also, a pretty glorious picture of him as a muscle merman can be found there as well... so I reccomend clicking either way. 

TruDog's cardio jam may not be the class for everyone (although I would argue it is!)- but the point is that there IS a class for everyone. If you're just starting out, do it one step at a time. Trial-and-error is the only way I've found my favorite classes that I look forward to all week now. I'm not as much of a pilates or cycling girl, but some people swear by it. (And to be honest, again- it depends on the instructor. I once had a cycling instructor that kicked my ass and played perfect music for high energy and I frequented her classes.) There's no "right" answer- it's what works for you.
 
The last tip I'll leave you with is to try and vary your routine as much as possible. I generally try and aim for at least one yoga and body conditioning day a week, and the rest I vary with cardio classes and/or cadio workouts on my own. Sometimes it works out that I can't take a class for a whole week, which is fine. I do my own work on the cardio machines and/or with the equipment and weights. I also take what I learned in these classes into
either an empty classroom at the gym or outside if the weather's nice. 

Aim to get some strength training, cardio, and stretching every week. (If you're doing this through class- try different classes, cycling, yoga, kickbox, conditioning, etc.) My personal goal is 5 days a week, but if it's a busy week, I don't stress over it. I get to the gym when I can/want, but sometimes a break is nice because then I'm itching to get back to work the next time I go. Find what works for you and make it happen- classes work for me, but not for everyone. It's all about making sure you're relieving stress with your workouts instead of causing more stress. That way it's something you want to do for life- not just for now!

-Jillian

 


Comments

Tiffany
03/21/2013 4:52pm

You're so cute! I love your posts, and they ate motivating. I wish I knew of an instructor like TruDog around here! I've been working out a lot more though since our talk!

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