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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Loving and hating the gym

The gym and I have a love-hate relationship. We flirted off and on for quite a few years before, just over 2 years ago, we finally started going steady. Now it’s a regular part of my routine.  

At least 4 mornings a week (and 1 day a weekend) I drag my sorry ass out of bed so that I can put in my hour of exercise before I lose all motivation later in the day.

{Picture by Richard Sennott @ Mpls Star Tribune}
Getting this done first thing in the morning is the perfect plan for me. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read that contradict each other in the morning exercise category. One tells you “it’s a great time to exercise” while another proclaims working out in the afternoon or evening hours is more “effective.”

But whatever the case may be, it’s the most energizing way to start my day (especially since I don’t drink coffee, yikes). It prevents me from spending an entire work day brainstorming excuses and talking myself into an alternative, and usually less productive, workout. Most importantly, I start almost every day feeling good.

But here’s where the “hate” part of our relationship comes in. My workouts are getting b-o-r-i-n-g (not to be confused with easy, because I’m still huffing and puffing and sweating the house down). I just feel like my body gets so used to the same 3-5 machines that I do each week that it isn’t the type of challenge or exercise that I should be getting. For some reason, it doesn’t feel as rewarding as it used to.

So I need to start thinking of new ways to spice up our relationship. My gym offers a lot of free group fitness classes, and I’ve been toying with the idea of trying one out. To be honest though, I’m scared. I don’t like being the “new girl.” And I’m worried I’ll knock people over with my lack of coordination or draw stares when I collapse on the floor from exhaustion. I just don’t know what to expect. Will I be able to follow along? Will I be able to keep up? Will I even like it?

Do you have any advice? Do you do group classes and have words of wisdom for newcomers? Or maybe you want to share your favorite ways to get your workout in? Do share!

7 comments:

  1. Oh gosh - I don't have any advice. But, this post could not have come at a better time! I *just* joined a gym and am struggling through getting back into shape. I'd also like to try out some classes, but totally relate to hating being the new girl. I'm also worried that I won't be able to keep up with the class since I'm so out of shape. I totally admire your commitment to working out so regularly!

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  2. Get a friend to go with you so you won't be alone! I like group classes because they keep me motivated. I just think "If that 60 yr old lady beside me can do it, so can I!" haha And after awhile, you won't be the new girl anymore :)

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  3. I wish I had time to work out in the morning... makes your day go so much better. Keep up the work!

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  4. Just remember that everyone in those classes was the newbie at one time or another..and people tend to focus on what they are doing & not on the people around them in class..so go for it!!!

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  6. Thank you all so much for the advice and sweet words of encouragement! I'm definitely feeling motivated to put myself out there and try something new!

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  7. There are lots of different ways to stay motivated at the gym! Yes, classes are definitely there to let you try different ways to challenge yourself (zumba is tons of fun :D)
    Also, if you're looking for new weight workouts, you can go to
    http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/
    They have photo and written descriptions of all kinds of exercises targeting each muscle group; and they almost always have videos showing how to do the exercise.
    Hope you find a new groove soon!

    Stopped by from Getting Fit at FTLOB :)

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