An Aussie blogger I follow (Fit Mum) often posts a list of exercises she does as part of a do-it-yourself circuit. I read these and think (or comment), ‘I could do that’. Easily. Well, I don’t mean the exercises would be easy, more that they’re easily translatable to my home environment.
In fact, years ago when I did pilates regularly (a couple of times a week with my fabulous former neighbor and instructor) she would send me off on my Christmas break with promises just to do the minimum at least – in terms of core and strength work: squats, lunges, push ups, dips and planks.
She suggested to her students that if out walking, we pause every so often and do a set of one of the exercises.
Until I finished work I was doing at least one Pump (weights) class a week as well as some circuit sessions and mat pilates. I hated using the gym floor and machines / free weights (not shyness but boredom and impatience) so I relied on classes for the majority of my exercise – and all of my strength work.
Fast-forward to now and I’m slowly getting back into some cardiovascular exercise after a couple of months’ break. I’ve done some Zumba (Gold) classes and – even though my fitness hasn’t really improved yet – I’m thinking of doing a ‘normal’ Zumba class this week. And I’m walking. So, while I’m not even vaguely fit and would struggle to do any of the classes I was doing just three months ago, I’m doing SOMETHING. And we all know that’s better than nothing. Right?
However, I’m doing NO strength work. None. Zip. Nada.
I attended a Zumba toning class a couple of weeks ago which involved very light weights (more like maracas) which again was better than nothing.
I keep faffing about saying that I’m still gonna join a gym that has Pump classes and yet; I haven’t found one that also offers dance classes. And quite frankly – given that I’m not working – forking out $25 for dance classes each week while also paying for a gym membership seems a bit ridiculous. (As does the fact I’m still drinking $15 bottles of Taylors Cabernet Sauvignon as my everyday tipple, but that’s a post for another day!!!)
I know how important strength work is when trying to lose weight; increased muscle burns more calories / gets the metabolism working harder and longer. Yadda yadda yadda.
Plus – far more important(!!!) – although still overweight fat – I feel firmer and less flabby when doing weights / strength work.
So why am I struggling with it? Like I said, I know there are quick and straightforward options out there which I could EASILY be doing at home. And in fact… I’m not sure I dare admit this but… my apartment complex has a little gym. It’s quite small (there are only 17 apartments in the complex) but I’ve never seen anyone in there. I’ve not been in myself but looked through the window at the weights’ machine, treadmill and bike. I’m pretty sure I could think of some exercises to do on the weights machine. But… meh.
I’ve long confessed to being a ‘classy’ kind of girl. Motivating myself to exercise alone proves challenging. Whereas (at least once upon a time) making to it gym classes became part of my routine. Indeed, of the four walks I did last week, three were done in the morning before I had time to talk myself out of it. So… I can’t quite work out how I’m gonna get myself into that little gym room.
So… rather than keep talking about it and although I’ve come to mostly hate ‘challenges’; I’m sufficiently worried about my loss of strength and muscle tone, that I’m throwing down my own. To myself, that is. For the next month I will do a little strength routine each day as recommended by my pilates instructor: a set of squats, lunges, dips, pushups and a plank / other abdominal work. My routine will just be a set of each – perhaps increasing as time goes on – and that’s it. It will be fast and efficient.
It won’t be perfect, but unless I start doing other classes it will be something. Which again, well… you know… better than nothing.
Do you do strength work? Are you a class-goer or do you do your own routine or program?
Any suggestions for me? (Other than STOP FAFFING ABOUT AND JUST BLOODY DO IT!?)