Like dentist appointments, exercising is something I dodge in all ways I possibly can. It’s so much hard work. The kind of hard work that I am not used to.
This summer, on a friend’s recommendation, I signed up for a $25 Groupon that would let me visit the local Y 25 times. I thought of it as universe’s way of pleading me to get my act together and shed a few pounds. I have completed nearly 20 visits and have had a great time getting exposed to different workout regimens. It’s another thing that I have not lost an ounce, but the thought that I have not piled on additional lbs despite all the gluttony over the summer is some justification for an hour of sweating it out at the crack of the dawn. That being said, what workouts have I been exposed to?
Zumba and Zumba Toning – this is not my first introduction to Zumba, so I was a tad disappointed with the instructor. Adding weights to Zumba makes it Zumba toning. Gotta say that I have grown to like the music immensely and would love to try my hands on this workout with a different teacher some other time.
Group Cycling – this is also called Spinning. Suffice to say that this workout is simply B.R.U.T.A.L. It’s playing with different combination of gears and speeds on a stationary bike to add some resistance and increase your heart beat. This is my least favorite workout, and I confess that I cheat quite a bit with the gears to keep up with intensity of the class.
Hi/Low Aerobics – lots of jumping, kicking and moving around, with some weights thrown in. This class is fun, and gets you pumped for the day.
Pilates – my first time ever doing pilates. I LOVE it. I am not sure if I got the basics right but from what I understand it is a mind-body workout involving a certain breathing technique and is about stretching your body in opposite directions (foot extending on one side, while the head stretching on the other), and making space for our organs instead of crunching them up. This is probably one thing I will miss once the coupon expires.
All these work out sessions are typically an hour long. For the first 20 mins, my mind is moaning and groaning – “I wish I had better control over my eating then I don’t have to slog here”,“My God this is so hard, I do not want to do it”, “I wish I was as fit as the person next to me. Why is she even working out?”, so on and so forth. The next 20 mins, I hit a slump in terms of energy levels. So I just focus, breathing in and breathing out, giving it my all. And along the way there is a shift in my mindset, “come on, 50% of the class is over, only 50% is left, give it your all”. It gets slightly easier as the mind realizes that I am on the home stretch and works with my body. Needles to say, my favorite part of the workout is the last five minutes of cooling and stretching. That feeling of “yay, I did it” makes rest of the 55 mins so worth it.
There is a wide range of folks that come for these workout sessions. Believe it or not, last week a 7-month pregnant lady was up on the stationary bike biking her way while I was huffing and puffing on mine. I am also fortunate to have a workout buddy who like me is not into intense workout but tries her bit to be in shape. Her commitment and willingness to try new things certainly pushes me along as well.