This past Spring, I challenged myself to include more variety in my workouts. After a long Winter, I found myself in a workout rut and I knew I needed to mix things up.
In May, I fell in love with Hot Yoga and it renewed my enthusiasm for trying new forms of exercise. Since then, I’ve been mixing things up almost everyday and my body is the happiest its been in a while! I thought I would share the workouts that I’m excited about this summer and maybe you can share what you’re loving too!
If running gives me the ultimate workout high, spinning is a very close second. In university, I signed up for a couple 3 month spinning classes and I fell in love with spinning almost instantly.
One of my June Goals was to incorporate spinning back into my life and I’m so happy that I got back on the bike! I’ve been going about once a week and I look forward to the spinning high every time.
My only complaint about spinning is that I tend to get groin/crotch pain from the seat. However, this time around, I’ve been wearing my padded Pearl Izumi bike shorts (that I wore during our triathlon training) and they help a lot.
2) Short Distance Speed Running
Instead of focusing on long distance training runs and races like I did the past two summers, I decided I would focus on shorter speed runs this summer. I’m running a couple 5k races in the near future to celebrate my training!
Not only does speed training challenge my lungs, muscles, and mental stamina, but it also gives my joints a break from long-mileage runs. So far this summer, I haven’t had any aches or pains, which is a first for me when training. I must be on the right track…
3) High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) via hill walking
Some days it’s just too hot to workout outdoors, so I like to hit the treadmill and sweat it out inside. When I first started blogging, I was in love with treadmill hill walking and it also got my body in shape for my wedding (along with resistance exercises). When I crank up the incline between 10-15%, it’s one of the most intense workouts that I do. When a walk is harder than a run, you know you are pushing yourself!
High Intensity Interval Training is exercise that involves intense bursts of exercise (e.g., sprinting) followed by moderate intensity exercise (e.g., jogging) repeated in an interval format. It’s great because you can squeeze a powerful workout into a short amount of time and it’s also said to increase your resting metabolic rate for 24 hours post-exercise. I like to do hill walking intervals alternating with slow jogs (with decreased incline) for about 30 minutes. For more info, see this post.
4) Body Pump & 30 Day Shred
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not in love with weight lifting, but I love how it makes me feel (confident! strong!) and of course how it tones my muscles. I first started doing Body Pump back in university and I’ve gone through spurts with it over the years. I like going once a week and I also enjoy the Booty Camp Fitness and 30-Day Shred workout DVDs for a quick home strength workout.
5) At-home Yoga
In May, I went to over 22 hot yoga classes in 1 month and I was completely hooked. I debated buying a class pass for a while, but as soon as the hot weather hit I found that I didn’t crave the hot yoga classes like I did during our chilly Spring. For me, Hot Yoga is more desirable during cooler months. Lately, I’ve been doing at-home yoga once a week or if I’m sore after a workout.
6) Whittle My MIddle
In June, one of my goals was to rock out 2 Whittle My Middle sessions per week and I achieved this goal for the most part (except 1 week that I bailed on it). My core feels and looks stronger than it has in a while. Now that I’ve built up my ‘base’, I’ve been doing weekly core exercises to maintain the work I did in June. I do about 5 minutes of core work per week (of these core exercises). It’s just enough to keep my core strong without having to devote too much time to it.
Don’t mind those two weirdos…you never know who you are going to bump into on a hike!
And don’t forget to rest…
My workouts would not be possible without 1-2 rest days per week. Rest days should be part of the weekly plan, just like any other workout!
And blizzards, lots and lots of blizzards.
What workouts are you enjoying this Summer?
I remember reading about this contest in Chatelaine each year and thinking to myself how much I would love to make a difference. And you know what? I told myself that I would never be able to. I guess it goes to show that our negative thoughts are not always right and we can prove them wrong.
Please check out the nominees and VOTE for your favs!
“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” ~D.W.