I need to rethink my exercise regime.
Just a month or two ago I had a great routine going which was perfect for me – very sustainable and not at all obsessive:
Monday – (Faux) Zumba class
Tuesday – Cardio Blast class (high impact aerobic moves with some weights in between tracks)
Wednesday – Pump class
Thursday – Pilates mat class
Friday – Circuit class (combo of cardio and strength)
I must confess that I was quite chuffed with my workouts… Each and every week I got some strength work in PLUS got pushed cardiovascularly in both the Cardio Blast and Circuit classes. In fact, I wrote here about the fact that the Cardio Blast class pushed me just outside of my comfort zone that I could appreciate that it was improving my fitness each week; and here about the challenging Circuit classes at my gym. All was going swimmingly.
But since then… several things have happened: collided in some Bermuda triangle type way… if you will; conspiring to work against me and my goal of increased fitness!
1. The Cardio Blast instructor quit and my gym hasn’t replaced her. I’d be happy with a circuit class instead, but as there were only 3-4 of us in the class anyway, I suspect the timeslot has been shelved permanently
2. I now work a 4-day week and no longer attend the Friday Circuit class
3. There have been a lot of public holidays meaning I’ve missed a few other classes over the past few weeks
4. I was sick last week, so skipped two classes, including my beloved faux-Zumba.
Okay, so there are four things there, making it a Bermuda square, or rectangle, or rhomboid or some other four-sided figure.
Although I’ve replaced the cancelled Cardio Blast class with another dance class I suspect it’s not quite as challenging AND it doesn’t include any strength work. And I haven’t quite worked out what I will do to replace the Friday Circuit class.
As a result of all of this my routine has been all over the place of late. Other than the week I was sick I’ve still been doing at least 4 days of exercise, but I worry that I’m not challenging myself enough cardiovascularly (and not increasing my fitness).
I know I said I wanted my exercise to be fun. Indeed I made a BIG deal about the fact that I’m not training for a marathon or some ‘event’ so don’t need to push myself to ridiculous levels, rather I want to exercise in a way I can sustain for ever. And ever.
I’ve worked out that I much (much much) prefer gym class workouts. I seem to be able to manage to factor exercise into my working day. My gym (at/near work) is very small with limited classes, but even if something comes up and I can’t go to a planned lesson I’m able to get there and do something by myself (which was the case last Wednesday when I did some interval work on the bike and cross-trainer after the cancellation of a class).
I’ve also worked out that for some reason I like indoor circuit sessions much more than outdoor bootcamp type classes.
On one hand I’m quite proud of myself. I could easily coast along sprouting about the fact I’m doing four sessions at the gym each week. They have to be good for me. I increase my weights at Pump, I push myself harder in dance lessons and the like and I’ve done a few walks lately to make up for missed classes. But here I am (Miss ‘I’m-only-exercising-for-fun’), looking for ways to ‘up the ante’ and increase my cardiovascular fitness.
I’m still very unkeen to continue down the running track. I did a (week 2 Couch to 5km) run on Thursday after pilates to make up for the lack of sessions earlier in the week) and pretty much dreaded the thought of it beforehand – though when the time came, running for 90 seconds (with 2min breaks in between) six times, was doable – though still not fun.
I’m loath to engage a personal trainer at this stage and financially I’m supposed to be tightening my belt. It’s one thing to pay for the odd casual dance class (I keep meaning to make it to a Sh’bam class one of these weekends) but a whole other thing to pay for a trainer on top of my gym costs.
I’ve thought about driving into my workplace on Friday to attend the Circuit class, but that defeats the point of the whole not-going-to-work-on-a-Friday thing!
I can try to do more interval cardio work myself at the gym, although given my boredom threshold doing the same interval workouts on the same machines week after week can get pretty tedious.
Or… given that it’s the non-gym days I need to consider, perhaps if I commit to the Sh’bam class on weekends it will add some necessary cardio (and I’m thinking that dance class will be a very high-energy one!).
Mainly I need to be realistic. I like that I’m being ambitious fitness-wise without my usual angst or obsessiveness. I know that I’m not great at pushing myself out of the door (at home) when I’d much prefer to be reading, writing, sleeping or watching television. I know that getting out of the door takes more than willpower as there’s some motivation required as well, so (for me) there needs to be SOME enjoyment involved. Hmmmm…..
What are your thoughts? Should one try to constantly increase their fitness? Or will exercising regularly do that anyway, without having to push yourself more?