In case you haven't noticed, it's a new year.
Cake ball recipes on my Pinterest feed have been replaced by all manner of concoctions featuring kale and quinoa. My spot at Jazzercise is taken and I can't find a parking place at the health club. Everyone is on a green juice cleanse and every other commercial is a diet or exercise plan.
And, we're trapped in this Polar Vortex thing so that shriek you hear is me changing into workout clothes that have been sitting in the car all day.
No wonder the month of January always feels about two months long.
Here are some tips for newbies and veterans alike to help us all battle the crowds and keep our sanity in class.
- It can be intimidating to jump into a new program. But keep at it and you're comfort level and confidence will grow. We were all new once!
- This is not a competition. My goal is to challenge myself, not compete with the person next to me in class.
- By all means, wear the new Lululemon to class. But shorts and a t-shirt are okay, too. And don't try to get by with bad shoes. I'm guilty of this. One of my new year's resolutions is to invest in better athletic shoes and replace them more often.
- Find balance. I follow an exercise regimen that focuses on cardio, strength, flexibility and balance. All of those areas are equally important.
- If you've been at this awhile, like I have, you have to set new goals to keep it fresh. How many Jazzercise classes will do this month? By June? This year? Try something new, like a paddle board class or a 5K. Belly dancing lessons, anyone?
- Dear group fitness instructors: I don't like partner stuff. It's nothing personal. It just reminds me of elementary school when we had to do square dancing in gym class. (Do they still do that?) Awkward.
- Here's something else that's awkward. People who let it all hang out in the locker room, sans towel. When you try to carry on a conversation with me, I don't know where to look. And by the way, please don't shave your legs in the steam room. Ew.
- It's okay to rest. In fact, it's essential. Muscles need time to repair themselves and over-training sets the stage for injury. And you really don't need to exercise two to three hours a day. If you only have thirty minutes, use it. Just move your body.
- On your off days, try yoga or a long, relaxing walk.
- Don't forget the rest of your day. Get up from your desk and walk to a co-workers office instead of shooting him or her an email. Use the stairs. Take a walk at lunch. Remember, sitting is the new smoking.