All too often we tell ourselves that we are too busy, that we don’t have enough time to do everything we want to do. Before I became a gym rat, I would always make excuses as to why I couldn’t exercise or eat healthily: I was too tired, I didn’t want to get all sweaty, I had too much work to do, etc. It took a good couple months to get in the swing of going regularly to the gym. I still struggle to make healthy choices and cook at home when I don’t feel like it. However, to say that we don’t have time to work out or eat nutritious foods is a cop out. When it comes to something that we care about, we make time. Just like making the time to watch the newest episode of Game of Thrones or Westworld because it’s important to us or making the time to finish my prep work for school, we HAVE to make being healthy important to us. If we continue to make excuses, we will never change. Another saying from my dad, “Excuses are like assholes; everybody has one”. In order for us to find it important, we need to connect to it and know that it is indeed hard work, but that the payoffs are what drives us. After a while, our efforts at going to the gym and eating healthily will become habit. It will become so important to us that to not do it makes us feel guilty. To continue to put off taking care of our bodies only makes us sicker, more tired, lowers our self-esteem, and lowers our motivation to better ourselves. We have the time. We just have to make it.
Over the past six Sundays, I’ve been going to a bootcamp class led by the same instructor as I had for my Denver Public Schools Wellness classes first semester. Her name is Saara and she is this hilarious and inspiring Canadian pixie. There are usually 4-5 other people in the bootcamp class. It cost me about $100 for a 10-class pass and it has been so worth it! It has given me more ideas for when I work out on my own at the gym the rest of the week. Group fitness classes also make me work harder, I feel. Nobody wants to be the weakest person in the bootcamp class and we all want to keep up with each other, so it motivates me to push past my comfort levels and go that extra 20 seconds that I may not do at the gym on my own.
Today’s bootcamp class consisted of core work, then 2 rounds of strength-training cardio/core circuits, and stretching. It kicked my butt and I was a sweaty mess by the end-I loved it! Below are some pics of today’s class.
- This was perhaps the funnest part! I have nylon slip-on booties over my shoes and I skate side-to-side on this slippery mat for a minute. It worked my hip flexers a bit. I’ve never used one of these before nor have I seen one at the gym. I probably won’t be using this one again unless it’s at this class. I was laughing the whole time with this one.
2. This one was something I do a bit at the gym. It works your core. You lay on the mat, with your arms at your sides or at your lower back. You then slowly raise your straightened legs up and above your hips, then lift your hips towards the ceiling, then lower your legs to starting position. The trick to this is to keep the same constant slow speed throughout. We did this for a minute. If you look closely, you can see the pain in my face.
3. This was another fun one, but it killed me towards the end of the minute. The medicine ball we used was 20 lbs, but I’ve used 12 lbs and 16 lbs in the past and they work just fine as well. If it’s lighter, you can just do the move faster. You squat while holding the ball, the push up and throw the ball directly above you. As you catch, you squat again. It requires a fair amount of concentration. This was my first time doing this exercise and I dropped the ball twice. It takes some practice. It’s a great whole-body workout. Another exercise we did (which I regularly do at the gym) was throwing the same medicine ball from above our heads to the floor and squat as we pick it up.
4. This one is called “The Bug”, because you look like a beetle that’s trying to get right-side-up. For one minute, you lift and lower your legs and arms, but alternating. As you lower your left leg, you also lower your right arm. Your core is activated the entire time. Be sure to keep you upper back off the ground as well.
5. I felt like a beast doing this one! I’ve never done this exercise before and unfortunately, it isn’t something that I could regularly do at my gym because it requires a lot of space and equipment, but it’s super fun! Maybe when my husband and I get our home gym sorted I’ll be able to do this one more. The crate is filled with random weights and has a thick heavy rope tied to it. The first step is to pull the crate to you using the rope-much harder than it looks. When the crate reaches you, push it back to its starting position, then run back to pull the rope again. I kind of felt like a sailor at sea “hoisting the rigging” while doing this one. Obviously I’ve never sailed before…
And that was my Sunday routine. The importance of exercising and strength training cannot be understated. It has been crucial to my weight loss. Building muscle has kept up my metabolism. All too often we cut calories to lose weight but then see our weight loss plateau because our metabolism has slowed down to adjust to the lack of calories. Building more muscles raises your metabolism so that you can see weight loss over long period of time. And YES! We have the time to do both cardio and strength-training! We just need to make time! No more excuses, ya’ll!