Saturday, 31 October 2015

My favourite workouts

 

Over the past few years, my exercise and workout routine has changed quite a bit. I went through a phase where the main exercise I did was running, then I signed up for a gym membership and fell in love with cardio classes (but was too scared to venture into weights classes), however I've come to realise how important it is to vary up what types of exercise I'm doing to get the best benefits (and to keep myself from getting bored). Below, I've discussed my 5 favourite workout routines.


1. Gym classes

As mentioned above, when I first joined the gym, I would really only stick to the cardio classes - mainly body attack and body step. I now love doing a mixture of weights and cardio classes - my favourites being body pump, body attack and more recently, RPM (or "spin"). The mixture of weights and cardio keeps the heart rate up but also builds lean muscle and strengthens bone density.



2. Surfing

In a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago, I explained why I love surfing, so I won't go into too much detail here, but the combination of paddling, pushing up and standing on the board really gives the body a full workout. It is especially great in summer, as you don't break into a sweat 2 minutes into your workout (and even if you do, you are surrounded by beautifully refreshing sea water to keep you cool).


3. Running

On those days where I am a bit short on time and can't get to the gym for a full hour workout, I like to go on a run around my neighbourhood, usually for 30-40 minutes. I find that this is a fantastic way to get the heart rate up quickly, while also giving me the time to zone out and clear my mind. There is something beautiful about doing exercise in nature, away from 20 other sweaty bodies at the gym.


4. Yoga

I am a recent convert to yoga. I never quite understood why people would spend so much time going to yoga when you barely break a sweat - surely that's not a workout, right?  It wasn't until I discovered Yoga with Adriene (due to my recent addiction to Vivianna Does Makeup's blog, in which she raves about this channel), that I realised how great yoga can be.  Sometimes I just really do not feel like getting to the gym, or my muscles feel quite stiff and sore, or I am feeling stressed out - it is on these days that I love to lay out the yoga mat and relax with some stretches, strengthening exercises and all over body toning.  It is particularly relaxing to start your morning with a 15-20 minute yoga session before getting into your day.




5. Home workouts

Again, on those days when I don't feel like hitting the gym, particularly when it is a bit rainy outside, I like to do a workout in the comfort of my own home. There are some great online workouts (such as those on Pop Sugar Fitness or Fitness Blender), but often I will just put together a bit of a circuit, including exercises such as squats, lunges, kick backs, tricep push ups, chest push ups, planks and crunches (and you can throw in some cardio with some jumping jacks and high knee runs). Occasionally I'll get out the boxing gloves and have a bit of a box with the punching bag (a great way to release those built up frustrations!).



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