My anxiety has hit an all time high by trying to balance this new normal! We all work through our stress in different ways and working out for me has been an instant stress reliever. But I am also one who dreads working out. I just have never loved it. BUT, I love how I feel when it’s over and that is what keeps me coming back.
Before COVID-19 I went to my local kickboxing class 3 days a week for a sweat filled hour and whole body workout. But since my gym had to close like all the other gyms, I was left feeling panicked about how I would stay in shape and get my workouts in. I was worried also for my mind. I knew if I didn’t have my me time to really focus on relieving the stress, it would make everything else that much harder.
One bright spot to the social distancing and lack of normal life as we know it, has been the amount of companies offering free services online. The fitness world has been no exception and I’ve seen tons of adds for companies inviting you to try their programs for free.
One goal I’ve had for myself during this home isolation period is to slow down more and embrace what I have around me: my home, family, food, etc. So when I was looking for workout programs to try, I wanted to try new ones that would allow me to move a little slower and be more focused and present.
I chose 2 different programs that are pushing me out of my comfort zone in many ways and have allowed me to use this unique time in our lives to try something new. I’ve detailed out my thoughts on the 2 programs below and shared links if you want to try them for yourself. No matter what you are doing, make sure you are spending time on yourself to relieve that stress. It will make you much stronger in order to face all the other pieces of this new world we have around us.
Open Fit– XB Pilates
I have wanted to try pilates for a while! But couldn’t find the time to make it to another studio during the week. So when I saw this, I thought, why not give it a shot? It is focused on all the body parts I want to see the most improvement in: core, glutes, legs, arms…well I guess everything!
What I love:
1. Classes are 30 min. I used to do hour long classes in the gym but I can’t find that solid hour with the whole family being in the house together. But 30 min I can carve out each day!
2. You don’t need lots of equipment. I use an old yoga mat for most classes. The teacher uses pilates discs for some and light weights for others. I used a paper plate in place of a pilates disc and used the weights I have as best as I could. Some classes I just skip them since I don’t have ones light enough.
3. Modifications for every move. These moves target some of the weakest parts of my body, which is why I chose them, I want to be stronger. But that also means that I can’t keep up with every single move. So on those that I’m struggling more, there is a modification I can follow so I’m still staying active and getting stronger till one day when I can do more.
4. Feel results quickly. Immediately after the class I feel tighter and more toned. By the next morning, I can really feel the muscles that were worked. But I’m not in pain to the point that I can’t do anything the next day. It’s the good pain you feel when you know you’ve been challenged and it’s going to make you stronger.
5. Access to other workouts. I chose to try the XB Pilates program first. But there are a ton of other options if you want to experiment: barre, dance, yoga, cardio, HIIT, weight circuits….so many choices. I’m only trying the pilates option for my free trial, but I could see myself staying with the program past the trial to have so many options while at home.
I will be honest about my history with yoga. I have tried different classes and videos over the years and nothing seemed to click. It was too slow and dare I say…a little boring. But Bulldog Yoga has been a breadth of fresh air and so far, I am loving it!
My favorite parts:
- Classes are engaging and set to great playlists. I find the music and flow of the classes to be energizing and I can remain focused! I also love how the instruction is clear so as a beginner, I can still follow along and feel like I’m making progress even though I’m not physically with the teacher.
- Different class lengths. Some days I have more time but most days I have only a small amount of time to dedicate to working out. I love that most of the classes are around 30 min but some are longer. So if I’m really feeling up to it, I can push it and take a longer class!
- Different types of classes. As a beginner I knew I needed to start at the beginning level. But I’ve already moved on and experimented with the other types of classes. Some are slow and about flow. Some are faster and more intense. And others are focused on certain parts of the body. As I get more experienced and stronger, I’m excited to try different types and levels to really push myself.
- Different teachers. As with any type of workout, different teachers have different styles. This practice is not any different. As a beginner who is learning different techniques, I enjoy learning from all different teachers. They all communicate and run their classes in different ways which keeps my mind and body challenged. Once I find my favorites, I can replay their classes as many times as I like!
Two great options for you to consider, though I’m sure there are many great programs out there for whatever you are looking for. Just stay as active as you can and it will help as we navigate this new reality!
Stay healthy and wishing the best for you and your families during this time!