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 received some exciting news that I’ve been nominated in Chatelaine’s Women of the Year Contest, in the Hot 20 under 30 category! I’m honoured to be nominated among so many amazing Canadian women.
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.
You got my vote :-)
Love how you mix it up – I need to do more of that but in the summer I really love to do long runs and then do not have time/energy for anything else (exercise wise) except recreational stuff (family hike/swim). Something I need to work on for sure. Thanks for the perspective and inspiration!
Wow congrats on the nomination Ange! I’m voting for you! :D
I’ve started spinning this year and I have the same complaints about the butt pain! I’m thinking of investing in my own seat pad to make things a bit more comfortable. I’ve seen a lot of people in the classes bring their own!
Congratulations! So I have been taking some friends out for early morning workouts on a college track for some sprints and stadiums (bleacher runs) and other fun circuits. I am having so much fun with it this summer!
Spinning, Body Pump and at home yoga are 3 of my favorites too! Need to try HIIT!
I try to do a bit more HIIT lately, especially after reading the research relating to it! I love having a gym where I can do a variety of classes: spin 2-3X, yoga, body pump are included in my weekly schedule. I haven’t tried hot yoga but would like to someday.
Congrats on the nomination – it’s well deserved, and you absolutely have my vote! :)
As for workouts, I’ve recently come to love strength training. It makes me feel strong, confident, and far happier than I’d been when I was nearly bored to tears on the elliptical. Really, though, I’m all in favor of whatever gets people moving and into their fitness happy place!
So weird, I was JUST reading about the 30 Day Shred before I checked out this post! I am thinking about doing it as I really need to gain strength, but I was concerned about losing weight. I am at the low end of my weight range and just want to get a bit stronger. What’s been your experience?
My experience has been muscle building and inches lost. :)
I just started training for my first half marathon and I’ve also begun weight lifting! Love all your workouts. I did hot yoga obsessively a few months back too! It’s so pricey here though–I couldn’t afford to keep it up!
Ever check out BodyRock.Tv? Has a lot of fun tabata workouts that maybe you can add to your HIIT regimen! I don’t use them all the time but when I’m in the need of some quick workouts or some variety – I LOVE their stuff. LOVE IT.
CONGRATULATIONS on being nominated! It’s amazing what we can do when we pour ourselves into something. You definitely deserve it.
I love doing bodyrock (bodyrock.tv), best workout discovery. High intensity, quick workouts that kick my butt. I totally see and feel the difference. I also enjoy biking in the morning before starting work.
If you want to try an amazzzzzing spin class go to Micheline at Quad Spin. She has three locations; King St West, Queen East and also one in Oakville.
She changes lives. I swear. Best spin class by far.
I would say my favorite workout is anything on bodyrock.tv The site is amazing, gives 20 minute workouts you can do at home (important with three young children), and it’s free. I do 3 workouts a week and it’s amazing!!!
I try to do weight lifting, yoga, some meditation (I love meditation, it really clears the mind–except I do mine at night! I’ve been waking up at around 8-10am nowadays because of summer), jogging (occasionally, I really should get back on this), & some Nike Training Club (an app on the iPhone/iPod Touch). I barely exercise though, so I must be sleeping earlier to wake up earlier to exercise since I like cool weather!
I love body pump!! I just tried spinning class yesterday -loved it , except for the seat poking my groin area. I did not know about the padded biking shorts -I am soo going to have to look for a pair!!
I am OBSESSED with TurboFire from BeachBody! Talk about a workout high, it has truly changed my mind about cardio/strength training. It incorporates a lot of HIIT workouts too and those are by far my favorite. Another one I really like are their 10 minute routines. I work 12 hour days so I have a really hard time getting to the gym so at home workouts are a must for me. If you have any questions about Beachbody or their products PLEASE contact me ([email protected] or Anne VanderHoek on Facebook) or go to my site (www.beachbodycoach.com/Annev7), I became a coach for them because I absolutely love what they offer and believe that exercise and nutrition are essential for everyone!
Congrats on the nom Angie! I always look forward to reading your posts each morning (you are my homepage!) ;)
I really like that post!
And I LOVE spinning, I absolutely adore it!!! At first, I had that pain too, but I got used to it and don´t even need to wear padded pants.
What I love most about summer workouts are runs outside :) Also beach volleyball is fab!
I so must make some blizzards!
personally I’m loving turbo kick, hustle and zumba. I so want to try body pump… and I would love spinning if I could get past the quite literal pain in the rear. I hear it goes away after awhile but I’m not sure I can wait that long.
I’ve been lurking for awhile ;-) well i am currently loving the tracy anderson method. i get bored easily but so far she’s kept my interest. am curious about yoga. i’ve never done it and would love to one day
Hearty congrats! Just voted for you, hope you win, you’re a hot 20 in any category. :) Good luck, you deserve it!~
I’m loving Zumba. My gym only offers it during the morning; as a teacher I don’t get to go except during the summer. I’m loving it!
Congratulations on the nomination!!!!!!! You deserve it!!!
I am insanely happy for you! Your blog has made me feel normal more than once. It takes a special person to be able to make a difference in a complete stranger’s life.
I just voted for you!! I love Chatelaine too!
Congrats in the nomination, you deserve it! I love the quote at the end of this post, I never realized how much I stop myself from doing things because I tell myself I’m not one thing or another! You are definitely an inspiration and making a difference. You’re posts always help me to switch my brain over to positive thinking. I appreciate all the time you take to keep this blog going, thank you!!!
I also started Body Pump this summer and love it! : )
I like so many of those things. I want to say dont be afraid of weights. it is soo hard for women to bulk up and you especially wont if you are doing a class like that. its all about getting toned.
I am trying to make a deal with myself to do 500 abs and 100push ups every day in august. :)
thanks for being inspiring!
Congratulations Angela!!! You deserve this honour so very much. You are such a beautiful and inspirational woman and I am so proud to know you – virtually of course! Best of luck and keep the wonderfulness coming :)
Ashley from Shop, Drop n’ Roll
I just found your blog via Mama Pea and I’m hooked! I LOVE this post! I’m a runner, but I’ve found during this heat wave running daily is becoming very difficult. I like to devote my early morning workouts to weight training and when it wasn’t a billion degrees outside, I’d take an evening run. This heat wave has put a HUGE damper on my evening runs. It’s so hot I usually come panting and sweating back home after a little over a mile :( I HATE running on the treadmill (when I’m running outdoors, I switch up my pace to keep my heart rate in check so I get frustrated with the treadmill).
ANYWAY, I guess what I’m getting to is that I’m excited to try your HIIT hill walking treadmill suggestion! I think this will be so much better because I can switch between jogging on a flat and then switching it up to a high intensity hill walk. Thanks for giving me a reason to look forward to the gym this evening! :)
You truly are an inspiration! I took up body pump because of you (no kidding!). My hope is that I can continue to push myself to make healthy choices as you do. I love that you constantly go out of your comfort zone as well. Thank you for your blog – I will definitely vote for you!
Thats great Lauren! Goodluck with everything!