As someone who played competitive volleyball growing up I dedicated all of my free time to practicing, playing, and talking about the sport. But take me off that court and ask me to do any sort of conditioning: running drills, lifting, or even stretching and I would instantly have anxiety.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I started to understand the concept of incorporating different types of workouts into my routine. Different workouts affect different muscles in different ways. Changing up my routine was paramount in staying interested in what I was doing while helping me to prevent injuries from overusing the same muscles doing the exact same workouts repeatedly.
I didn’t initially like running but then I trained for a half-marathon. I ended up loving the experience so much I trained for 2 marathons after that. While that may not be for everyone there are even training programs for 5Ks (3.1 miles) and the process is very similar and extremely effective. One of my favorite aspects of training for those races was enjoying the outdoors during my workout. Running along the lakefront, running in different neighborhoods, and seeing familiar faces on occasion kept me hitting the pavement a few times a week.
On the other hand learning to enjoy spinning took a few years for me to catch on. At the time when spinning studios like Flywheel, Full Psycle, and the ever popular SoulCycle were popping up everywhere I was the only one of my friends not making spin dates. That’s one of the things I’ve learned about working out – it’s more fun with friends.
That’s probably why I like group fitness so much. Even if you walk into a class not knowing anyone, chances are that after a few visits you will start to know people by name. And maybe you will begin to count on those weekly fit sessions as not just a way to burn calories but also as a way to stay social. This can be helpful if you work from home and want some company.
Besides traditional workouts I have always wanted to take a water aerobics class or even sign up for swimming lessons. Depending on where you live there may be a gym that offers this or even a natatorium where you can sign up for inexpensive adult lessons. In Chicago there are actually quite a few options. Chicago Blue Dolphins has a ton of class options for swim lessons ranging from learning to swim, to improving stroke techniques. Chicago Athletic Clubs offer swim lessons as well as water aerobics classes and that is included certain gym memberships.
I’d love to know some of your favorite workouts so I can try them out. Please them in the comments section below. Thanks!