What We Love | J's Favorite Workouts
As a fitness and health blogger, I’m no stranger to incorporating a variety of workouts into my schedule. It just kind of comes with the territory of having to know what’s popular in the fitness scene. Full disclaimer: I am no more of an expert than any of you committed ClassPass users or those who suffer from workout ADD. We all know the importance of switching up our fitness routine. Without diversifying, we would begin to see stagnation in our growth (gains, if you will) and our fitness levels will plateau as our bodies adapt to the routine.
Not ignoring the fact that we are creatures of habit and often play favorites, there’s always that one workout you gravitate towards - the one you’d rather be doing. Perhaps because it’s the one that brings you to your edge, or the one that allows you to leave life behind and focus on the present moment. While I try to incorporate at least three different types of classes into my weekly fitness routine (yoga, spin, and strength training, typically), I do have a few favorite workouts that I could never (ever) give up.
Try to hide your shock. No really, I know this is surprising.
Above all, yoga is my favorite workout. But I almost feel weird calling it a workout because it is so much more for me. Yes, yoga pushes me to my edge physically. From my consistent yoga practice, I’ve seen an increase in strength and flexibility, and the most muscle definition than I have since my BBG days. While those are amazing benefits, I don’t do yoga for the workout.
Rather, it brings me to a place of serenity and peace. I’m able to let go of stress, forget about everything that may be going on in life off my mat, and turn inwards - really tuning in to how I feel. This level of self-awareness has made me a better person. I am more aware of my actions and their implications. I find myself approaching more situations with kindness, calmness and less judgment.
The benefits of yoga are much more numerous than the few I’ve mentioned. If you’re interested in reading more, this is a great article from The Yoga Journal. In short, some of the most amazing benefits of doing yoga are:
Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
Betters your bone health
Increases blood flow
Drains your lymphs & boosts immunity
Lowers cortisol levels
Helps you sleep deeper
Makes you HAPPIER
Frequency: Daily. I make it to a class almost 5 times a week, but on the days I’d rather stay at home, I roll out my yoga mat in my living room and just flow. While I love trying new studios, CorePower Yoga is my favorite. If you’ve never been and want to try a free week at CorePower, sign up here and let me know when you do so we can grab a class together!
While this is a newer addition to my fitness routine, Pilates has quickly made it to my top favorites. I’ve attended Studio Lagree and [solidcore] (pictured above), both of which use the Megaformer machine, which is designed to work your muscles to fatigue. The full body workout is made up of very slow and controlled exercises - with no rest period - to efficiently develop muscle tone.
Call me crazy - but one of my favorite aspects of this workout is that it is meant to work your muscles to failure. We are MEANT to fail in Pilates. It was a strange concept for me to accept at first. I’ve always been one to push myself to my limit in a workout, but this was different. This forced me to be imperfect. The result? Immediate muscle shakes and soreness for days. I am hooked on Pilates and will definitely be going back. Want to join me? Check out [solidcore] and book your spot here using the code FITCITYBLONDE for $5 off a new member 2-class pack.
Frequency: Once per week, but hopefully more!
As a competitive swimmer for ten years, I always thought it would be something I’d stick with forever. Truth be told, once high school ended, I quickly left my swim cap and goggles behind. Early mornings in a cold pool, chlorine damaged hair, and long hours of training didn’t sound appealing after so many years. Since then, I've probably made it back into the pool only a handful of times to swim laps.
However, I recently joined a gym with a (pretty awesome) pool and decided to start incorporating swimming into my fitness routine once again. It’s been fantastic. Maybe it’s the nostalgia that comes rushing back as I dive off the block, the cardio burst that hits immediately, or my desire to be good again. Swimming has been so beneficial for me to mix in with my other workouts because it hits otherwise underworked muscles, burns a crazy amount of calories, and counts as both cardio and strength training.
Frequency: Once per week.
While there are many other workouts I’d like to incorporate into my weekly fitness routine, yoga, pilates and swimming are the three that get me out of bed before dawn, push me to my limits, and make me a better person (exercise gives you endorphins...endorphins make you happy!) We would love to hear some of your favorite ways to stay fit - leave a comment below!
*This is what works best for me. Every body is different, so listen to yours and do what works best for you! Please consult a medical professional if you have any questions or unsure as to what activities you should be participating in in regards to your physical well-being.