Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Basic Work Out

Until I started my new job at the pilates studio about seven months ago, I taught fitness classes for 13 years. I taught it all... step aerobics, dance aerobics, kickboxing, body sculpting, abs/back class... of course, not all at once, and usually I only taught two or three classes a week. Getting exercise was easy because it was "built into" my job description! I also tried to get into the weight room a couple of times a week and lift weights.

Lately, there has been a big shift in how and when I work out, and I'm still adjusting to it. When I started my new job training for pilates, it was so intense ( I really felt like I was in medical school) that I hardly worked out at all for a number of months. That felt horrible, but it was all I could do to squeeze in a little walk or short run here and there. Maybe it was partially the emotional aspect for me. I was so overwhelmed and overworked for those months of training that I just came home and flopped, and didn't want to move. But my body started to feel the effects of not having enough regular exercise. I was getting sore and tight in ways I hadn't felt before, and that scared me.

I realized just how important movement is for me, physically and mentally. I knew that if I could work out more, it would help me relax and feel more centered at work, and in all aspects of my life. So I've started walking/jogging more. I like to record when I exercise on the calendar on my computer. Doesn't it feel good when you can look back and see that you worked out "X" many times during the week? I also try to take two pilates classes a week (not always easy when you have clients that conflict with class times) and, I'm trying to use the gym at work more.

I know, it seems kind of weird for a pilates instructor and personal trainer to be struggling with her own work outs, right? But even when you work at a gym/pilates studio, it can be hard to find the time/motivation/ whatever/ to get regular work outs. I'm dealing with the same issues that everyone has to deal with... finding exercises that I like to do, that I'll do regularly. It's different now that I'm not teaching cardio classes. When I teach pilates classes, I'm not actually doing the movements with the class for the most part- I show them what to do, and then walk around correcting their form, etc. It's also not cardio, though it's some good strengthening and stretching.

My new goal is to fit in a work out in the gym Monday mornings right after my 7:30 client, and then again on Thursday or Friday. I usually do about 20 min. to a half hour of cardio, and then some weights. It's not a long work out, but I feel like it's enough for now. I also try to take a pilates class twice a week, and then I walk/jog once or twice on the weekends.

I'm starting to feel like I want to take some kind of class on the weekends, but I'm not sure what kind yet. Spinning has been appealing to me, but I haven't tried it yet.

You really can get a decent work out in only a half hour. If you've been struggling with wanting to start doing something, but are having a hard time getting going, try this on a weekend morning...

Go on a half hour walk.... walk up some hills... you'll start to break a sweat. If you want to, you can add some short intervals of a slow run. When you come home, get on the floor and stretch/ do some abs for five or ten minutes. That's it. This has been one of my very basic work outs these last months, and it's made all the difference when I felt like I couldn't do more. Oh, and feel free to mark your work out on your calendar, and then have a nice warm cup of tea or coffee with a healthy breakfast....


  1. This is a great post! I've just started taking pilates classes (after a 6 month hiatus), and boy am I aching! What a workout.

    However, I agree with the walking. Since I live in Chicago, I walk pretty much everywhere, but I think that's one of the main reasons I don't feel the need to constantly go to the gym. I'm active without even trying!

  2. Hi Kim!
    Yes, pilates is a greatttt work out. Hope you're liking it!

    That's good that you're able to walk all over.. you get lots of cardio mixed into your day.