Adapting Your Workout to Fit Your Current Lifestyle
In just about a week, I will be in another decade of life. Didn’t I just have a surprise party to celebrate the beginning of this decade? It can’t be that long ago, because I’m sure I still have the outfit I wore to the party!
But, it’s true. Each 10 year span goes by faster and faster, and nothing I do will slow it down.
I think I’m still the person I was before the years started piling up, but I have to admit, many things have changed
While I used to wake up a 4 AM and finish my workout by 5:30, I now regularly hit the snooze button, and often don’t get there until 9. The good thing about this is that I’ve met a whole new group of people at the gym, and now have a choice of classes at reasonable times. I also don’t fall asleep driving at two in the afternoon, and I can actually stay up for the late night news. I’m also more focused on my workout, and more aware of what I’m doing because I’m fully awake at the gym instead of “sleep-lifting”.
Oh yeah, and the daily high-impact aerobics and step classes I used to take? My knees rebelled, and there wasn’t enough Tylenol to offset the pain. I’ve learned to cross-train aerobically and use my muscles in lots of different ways including dance, spinning and climbing. I’ll still run some short 30 second sprints on the treadmill now and then, but I like being able to walk, so no marathons for me.
I previously had memberships to five different gyms at one time, looking for the perfect class/machine/trainer/locker room, etc. because there was always something about each one that would annoy me. Now, it’s one gym and a much more flexible outlook. If I’m getting a good workout, it doesn’t matter WHO is teaching a class or which type of cardio machine I’m using. (As a sidebar to this; I also used to bring my IPOD with my own (Funk, Motown, Disco, Rap, Rock) music to a class, JUST IN CASE I didn’t like the instructor’s music choices. I’ve since developed a liking for country, 80’s, salsa, and even metal, based on how the songs have really pumped up my workout in many a class!
It’s the same with my weight-lifting workout. I used to rigidly follow the EXACT exercises on the EXACT pieces of equipment. If someone was on the squat machine and I needed it, or someone was using the cable crossovers, I would stomp and pout until I was able to get on that machine (My former workout buddies will attest to this!). Maybe it’s because I know more about working out, or maybe it’s because I’m becoming more adaptable, but I can always find an alternate exercise that works my muscles in the same way. It’s also helped me open up to all different kinds of equipment like balls, and BOSUs, TRX, and Kettlebells.
So, I don’t see these changes as “giving in” to my years, I see it as evolving. Having a variety of options helps me work my body in different ways, keeping me from “overusing” a muscle to injury. I have a good balance of interval workouts, and can get a better burn in less time. And, best of all, wearing cool new clothes like lululemon Groovepants and an InStride jacket are definitely cuter than the thong leotards, sweatbands, leg warmers, and cut off sweatshirts of the Jane Fonda era!