A Fitness Instructors Choice
I was chatting with my eye doctor about fitness, giving tips and recommendations about how to fit in exercise and stay motivated. Then she posed the question “What would you do for exercise if you were not instructing all the time?” Wow! Good question. I had to think about it. I know I want to keep my heart healthy and I love being strong. Now, as I grow older I appreciate the softer side of fitness. But if I had a full time job I know it would be hard to fit in the amount of exercise I do now and maintain my fitness level.
The biggest hurdle to staying in shape is finding time to exercise. If fitness weren’t my occupation I would revisit my past routine when I worked long hours during the day. I’d set my alarm an hour earlier and drag myself out of bed to exercise before work. Getting up extra early ranks up there with root canals. But the hardest part is getting out of bed while it’s dark. To delay my rise as much as possible, I would prepare my clothes and anything I could the night before. Then I could set my alarm allowing enough time to stumble around, make coffee, don my workout clothes and head out the door. I would focus on completing my workout knowing I will feel great afterwards. Exercising first thing in the morning is a wonderful way to start the day.
On one or two weekdays I would work with weights. I value being strong and able to do things like change my car tire in a pinch. While hard-core body builders will work upper body one day and lower body another. I would be more efficient. In one one-hour session I would work my upper and lower body with free weights then finish with core balancing exercises. Weights keep muscles strong and bones dense. Core exercises would literally keep my on my toes avoiding falls. I know to avoid training with weights two days in a row allowing time for my muscles to recover.
Stay Heart Healthy:
For another one or two days I would do a cardiovascular workout with intervals pushing my heart rate up beyond and then letting it fall back into a fat burning zone. I would do intervals because to me it breaks up the workout and makes it go faster, but also because it burns more calories. Since I like to dance and it doesn’t feel like exercise I would take a one-hour Zumba or dance cardio class where the music tempo changes your pace. If I were crunched for time I might do a 30 to 45 minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) class where you push yourself hard in bursts for a shorter workout time. This would keep my heart strong and body lean.
Breathe and Restore:
On another day or two I would take yoga and especially a Yin Yoga class. The right yoga class will help you connect your mind and body. Flowing through challenging postures in a Vinyasa or Hatha yoga class allows you to strengthen muscles while at the same time stretching and increasing flexibility. A Yin Yoga or Restorative Yoga class allows an intense stretch paired with deep breathing and meditation. Most of the shapes your body takes in this class allow increased circulation into muscle tissues and ligaments. After working the body intensely all week a Yin or Restorative yoga class feels good and helps the body repair.
Have Fun with Family and Friends:
At least one weekend day would be reserved for a physical activity with my family. I feel it’s very important to set a good example by being active with my children. Not only do we get to spend time together but we’ll get moving by doing things like hiking, skiing, paddle boarding, Pokemon hunting or Nerf dart war games. It’s always fun to invite friends to join us and be a good influence on them as well.
One day of the week I would allow my body to completely rest. This is a good time to watch football or get caught up on paperwork or read a good book. Be sure to discuss your exercise routine with your doctor.