Waking Up and Working Out!
You all have seen my recipes I am sharing that help encourage healthy eating. I am convinced that eating clean and healthy is the best medicine out there! I am trying to show that eating healthy doesn't have to mean "boring" or "bland". Today, however, I want to share a little bit about my workouts that I have been doing for a while now that have truly made amazing changes in me! I hope as you read about my experience, that you will be encouraged that it is never too late or you are never too out of shape to start something new! I have always tried to exercise and eat healthy, but I am now more determined than ever to be the best that I can be and want all of you to as well! Almost two years ago now. (WOW), I decided that getting "middle aged", and feeling the effects of it, were NOT going to become my new normal. About the same time that I decided to go back to college to get a degree in Culinary Arts, I also decided that it was time to fight back against getting older and start new and regular workouts. I had started feeling tired all the time and my back hurt and my jeans that I loved wouldn't fit anymore. I said "Forget That!" and joined Energy Fitness. I loved the gym immediately but was not sure what I needed to do to get back in shape and get my energy back. One Saturday morning, a new friend I had met there invited me to Body Pump class. I thought it sounded scary, but I was willing to try it. I had no idea what I was even doing. I went in and found that it was a 60 minute, fast-paced, barbell workout using light to moderate weights to fun music. The idea behind the class is that instead of using heavier weights, you do a whole lot of reps with the light to moderate weights. It is a total body workout that gets you lean and toned. Well, that day I attempted it, and was able to keep up.....mostly. The next day, however, I was so sore I could not hardly walk! I saw right away that I had let myself get so out of shape and I had to go back to that class! So starting that week, I began going to Body Pump three mornings a week. And I mean early mornings....5:30 am early! I kept going and I began to see results! In the class, we work every muscle group, with weights and a step used as a bench. By consistently going to class, I started getting my energy back. My back got stronger and didn't ache anymore. I could wear my favorite jeans again! The class is actually now called Power Pump, but it is very similar to the original Body Pump. It focuses on the "Rep Effect" to create long, lean muscles and and it burns A LOT of fat and calories! I actually love going early to workout...I know most of you reading this will think I am nuts, but I love getting up and driving there while it is still dark and getting my workout in before most people are even awake. I love the way it boosts my metabolism and my energy level. After going for a few months, I actually got to quit taking blood pressure medication! They offer the class at other times of the day, but I really do love the early morning time! I have made new friends that I would probably have never met. The group and the teachers are a huge encouragement to me. It just gets my day going right. I leave feeling so energized and positive...ready to take on the day! I can see how much stronger I am now than when I started and it is a great feeling!
Well, a few months ago, Meagan, one of my friends from class invited me to try a new class to complement this one, that would help me with my flexibility and also helps in getting toned up. This class is Barre, at Barre Co. here in Paducah. I was feeling brave now, so yes, I decided to try it and see what I thought. Oh my, I loved it! Barre mixes some Pilates, yoga, and functional training to fun music! Yay! You use a bar on the wall to do some of the workout, along with light weights and mini-balls and bands. You do small, super-controlled movements that really do strengthen your core and improve your posture. You do tiny movements with many reps and pulses that are designed to fatigue your muscles to failure, forcing them to tone! After each Barre class,I feel so invigorated and stretched and well...I feel stronger! So I now go to Barre class one early morning a week and keep my other class too. The two classes really are similar in some ways, because they both focus on strength and toning, but Barre class has really helped me with my flexibility. Both classes are really low-impact and easy on my joints. Both classes work me from head to toe and neither require experience! I literally went into both classes clueless, but they have helped me so much! Modifications are available as well for all ages and fitness levels.
I have to say that not only am I back to my happy weight, my range of motion and endurance is so much better and I am so much stronger, I have way more energy, and I am having FUN! I really want to encourage anyone reading this, to get started now on a workout routine that works for YOU! You are never too old or out of shape to just get started and keep going and be consistent! Consistency is the KEY! If you only work out when it is convenient or when you "feel like it", you probably will not see the results you want. However, if you just determine to do it and be consistent, the results are SOOOO worth it! I feel the best I have felt in years....maybe ever! I certainly do not feel my age and that is a good thing! Along with healthy, clean eating, I know I am doing something so good for myself and for my family. If I am feeling strong and healthy, I am better for everyone around me! If you haven't started a workout routine and sticking to it... today is the day to decide to just do it! You will not be sorry! (P.S. The above picture on the left is the pump class, although we were missing a few of the regulars that day. The picture on the right is a few of us at one of the Barre classes. I must remind you that both of these are 5:30 am classes! So if we look a little sleepy-eyed that is why! But once those classes get going, we WAKE UP!)