'Tis the Season to Shake Up Your Workout!
We are all creatures of habit. Despite an eagerness to expand our experience, we are often inclined to repeat history and stick with what we know. I have an auto-pilot walk to the subway; whenever I needed a pick-me-up over the summer I’d turn up Aloe Blacc’s “The Man” on my earbuds. And while I didn’t go a day without kale last month, for the past two weeks I’ve basically turned cookie dough Quest Bars into one of the essential food groups. There’s definitely something to be said for consistency – I know I need it when it comes to things like paying my bills on time and getting my eyebrows threaded – but there are times when a little adventure can be just what the doctor ordered. Starting with your gym routine! Here are just a few reasons why mixing it up will get you your best body in 2015.
Our Bodies Get Bored
When you work the same muscle groups in the same way over and over again you hit the dreaded plateau. Nothing worse than going from results to re-what? When your workout becomes “easy” it’s because your body is letting you know it needs a different workout to kick its ass. After mastering spin I went to my first barre class and couldn’t walk for a week. I needed to work internal subtle muscles that my spin class wasn’t targeting, in or out of the saddle.
Our Minds Get Bored, Too.
The mind-body-spirit connection is not just for people who have their star chart memorized and sign their emails with a casual “Namaste.” It’s real, ya’ll. And when you find yourself checking out of your workout mentally, your body will follow suit. That’s when your form gets sloppy, you slow down your pace, and you start thinking about what you’re going to order at Happy Hour after work. Trying out new classes keeps you on your toes and keeps you out of auto-piloting through things. And the added bonus: being adventurous with your workouts will make you smarter. Or something like that. When your brain has to keep up to learn new moves in spin, new dance combinations at Zumba, or new sparring techniques, your head is getting a workout too, potentially leading to better memory and mental agility and focus! Sexy and smart? Check.
Comfort Doesn’t Equal Change
I always say in class that your body changes one step past your comfort zone. When we gain mastery of a certain thing, whether it’s the weight we lift or the reps on the rower, we need to do something that feels a little uncomfortable to change. This, in my opinion, is a universal law, a sort of “it’s darkest before the dawn” sentiment, but certainly true in fitness. A great way to start to feel this is to try workouts your body isn’t used to. You’ll begin to feel muscles you never knew were there! And you’ll begin to reunite with that ever-satisfying phrase, “I’m sore in a good way.”
Fitness Gets Social
Nowadays you hear more and more that people are finding their girlfriends or boyfriends or besties at their rowing class. Or for that corporate outing, instead of going to brunch, they are taking their clients to kickboxing. While making new friends and appeasing your work partners is a huge bonus, it also means you are more likely to go to a class at all. If you and your friend have plans to go to spin and shop in SoHo after (thank goodness they have showers!) I bet you’ll go. Accountability is key! And once it becomes something fun you do with your friends, or something you and your boss now have in common, you’ll find yourself working out more and more. So find out what someone else’s favourite workout is and join them the next time they go, or find that new weird underwater pogo stick class and make a date to go with your new girlfriend. You’ll bolster your personal relationships and buff up at the same time.
How do you get started, you ask? It’s simple! Now more than ever is the time of the workout class. Gone are the days where a treadmill alone will suffice. You can join Classpass or FITiST, platforms that you pay for monthly like you would a gym, where you get to book classes in and around your city. If you don’t live somewhere where something like this is an option, go a la cart and try a few new student specials and see what kind of classes there are available to you. But I promise, once you get a little brave, you’re going to get a lot of results. Consistency is so 2014. Let your imagination run wild and pole dance, CrossFit, and aerial yoga your way to that 2015 you, who’s fit, fun and fearless. Werk.