This week is all about exercising and workouts! I want to start off by saying that the MOST important part of working out is finding something you can enjoy. You don't have to enjoy every second of every single workout because honestly, who loves doing burpees? But, you should enjoy doing at least one part of your workout routine.
For example, I have tried running over and over in my life. I would try to do it regularly and see if I ever experienced the "runner's high." Nope. Nothing. I would wait and give it another try 6 months later. Still nothing. I did this for years. The bottom line is that I really don't enjoy running. It's like torture for me. All I can think about when I'm running is when I can stop.
But, I love dancing. Dancing is therapeutic for me. I have danced pretty much most of my life in some form or fashion. In November of 2011 I signed up for my first Zumba class. I'm not going to lie, the first few weeks were rough trying to learn the routines. But, after that I had a moment. It was seriously like, "How Cherish Got Her Groove Back." I fell in love and got in great shape. The best part was that I enjoyed every second even when it hurt, and I was never thinking about the time. I felt alive and free.
I realize that not every Zumba class is the same. I'll be honest, I don't care for a ton of Latin music, and in my class we danced to a few Latin songs, but most were rap and country remixes, which suits me much better. This is a dance we did. We danced to Pitbull a lot. It looks kind of vulgar, but get past that and look at the intensity of the abdominal movements. It is a TOTAL BODY workout!!! You will be pouring sweat! And if you think you're too old, you're wrong! We had women in their 60s and 70s in our class! Every song has a different routine, obviously, so some have more legwork than others. You do Zumba in front of a huge mirror, because you have to be able to see your movements, but don't let that deter you. I promise that no one can focus on watching everyone else because they are focusing on their own movements or watching the instructor.
I also took Bootcamp classes, which were led by my Zumba instructor, and that made it fabulous. Some days we did bootcamp before Zumba, and some days after. Bootcamp is intense. It is brutal at times. I almost quit after the first night. But, thank God I stuck it out because it works!! I actually did Zumba/Bootcamp 5 days a week for 6 months and didn't lose a single pound. That was so frustrating to me even though I knew I was losing fat and building muscle in its place, and we all know that muscle weighs more than fat, but takes up less space. But, I felt better than I had in years. I had more energy and I just felt good. Bootcamp is a variety of exercises including: wall sits, dips, burpees, jumping jacks, jumping rope, squat hops, suicides, running bleachers, running laps, planks, mountain climbers, weight lifting, parter exercises, crab walking, boxing, lunges, abdominal work, and SO much more. They reason it works is because you are mixing it up constantly, which is what is best for toning your muscles. Here is a great Bootcamp video:
Awesome Leg Exercises
10 Exercises in 10 Minutes
Jillian Michaels Standing Abs