As many of you are aware, I have been putting in quite the effort to try and mix up my work out routine. Without having a gym membership, I have placed an emphasis on at-home work outs and have been researching fun, innovative and challenging circuit routines. So far this week, my work outs have looked like this:
Sunday – 2 Mile run in 18 minutes 13 seconds. I was proud of my time! I used to run for distance more than speed, but I am hoping to incorporate both types of running work outs into my routine.
Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 10 minute elliptical warm up, followed Fitness at Home. Repeated 2 times:
Last time I could only make it through once, so I am seeing improvement!
Wednesday – Jump Rope ‘n’ Abs, but instead of jumping rope, I did jumping jacks. This was a really fun work out. I loved how the moves were constantly changing and it kept me from getting bored. Doing jumping jacks for 11 minutes in a row would be boring. However, by incorporating the strength moves in between the cardio, it kept my brain and body guessing.
As mentioned yesterday, Thursday morning was tough for me. After a few too many indulgences the night before, my body was feeling run down and tired. I know myself and as much as I wanted to get up for that 5 a.m. work out, I knew deep down that wouldn’t be the best choice for my health.
I briefly mentioned before, but I was diagnosed with mono twice during college. Fall of my freshmen year and fall of my sophomore/junior year, (I graduated in 3 years). Due to my illnesses, I developed chronic fatigue syndrome and an at-risk immune system. For years I couldn’t make it through the day without a nap and I continuously became infected with illness. Seemingly back-to-back I had strep throat, then a sinus infection, then the flu, then strep throat again, etc, etc. I am going to write a post about this situation someday soon, but until then I just want to throw out a product name that literally saved my life: Amazing Grass. Seriously. If you are sick, feeling sick, or don’t want to get sick, it really is the best investment for your health.
I can now read my body a little better than I used to and when I feel that run down, achy body feeling coming on, I know the best thing for me to do is rest. So that’s what I did Thursday morning by skipping the extra early alarm clock and pushing cardio to the side.
However, about a month ago, I purchased a Groupon that I have been really looking forward to giving a try!
When I saw this Groupon, I jumped on it! For 10 pilates classes it was only $45. Usually the classes are $10 per class so this seemed like a great deal to take advantage of. It will give me a way to mix up my work outs while also exposing me to a new type of exercise. I used to do some Pilates on a reformer when I was in gymnastics, but I haven’t in a really long time. I know it is great for creating a strong and lean dancer’s body, so I thought it would be fun to give it a shot!
Founded by Joseph Pilates, he wrote in his 1945 book “Pilates’ Return to Life through Contrology,” that this form of exercise “develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind, and elevates the spirit.”
Pendleton Pilates has four locations in the Cincinnati area. The studios offer many Pilates packages such as Private or Group Instruction, and Ballet Barre Classes. Pilates Ball or Mat Classes are the ones available in the Groupon package.
Mat and Ball Classes
Our Mat and Ball classes are 55 minutes of Pilates fundamentals and floor exercises, either on the Mat or using the Pilates Ball for stability. Both classes are mixed levels. Our teachers offer guidance and modifications to allow both beginners and advanced-level clients to experience a fulfilling workout. (Source)
I signed up for the class earlier in the week and I am glad I did. If I would have waited until today, I probably wouldn’t have signed up since I felt tired from last night’s dinner out. Thanks to a 24 hour cancellation notice rule, I was passed my time limit and had to go or lose a class, plain and simple. This was a great way to keep me in check and prevent me from skipping out on my planned work out. Kind of like having a date with a trainer, I knew my instructor would be expecting me there.
The first class went really well. I would definitely say it wasn’t the hardest work out I’ve ever had, but the instructor was super nice and the class was tiny. With only 3 others, I had a lot of attention from the instructor, which I really look for in a class. I appreciate being corrected and shown how to improve. I am new at this will take all the help I can get!
We went over the 4 sections in our abdomen in which to focus. The breathing is very important as well, a lot like yoga breath. It’s important to focus on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. The instructor encouraged us to breathe loud and it really helped me to push all air out of my chest. It felt a little silly at first, but after a few minutes I was joining the rest of the class in breathing out loud.
We started with some light stretching, followed by mat work, and then we used the ball. A few of my favorite exercises were:
1) Bicycle crunches holding an exercise ball
2) Pilate’s 100’s
3) Lay on back, legs up in the air, bend knees and squeeze exercise ball between legs for 5 counts
4) Leg circles
5) Bridges with our feet on the ball, knees bent, and laying on our back
Overall the class was informative and I am looking forward to the next one. However, my one complaint would be that there was too many rest periods. For being a 55 minute class, we only were doing exercises for maybe 25 minutes. The rest of the time was resting over the ball, or in child’s pose. Now I know that Pilates days should be paired with a nice cardio routine as well. I am happy I purchased the Groupon though, since I am getting to experience an exercise I otherwise might never have!
Have you ever practiced Pilates? If so, what did you think? Any favorite Pilates poses of yours?
Who loves Groupon too?! What is the best deal you have found, or purchased?
What exercise have you never tried that you would love to give a shot?