2016 started with a half empty glass of champagne, Antiguan fireworks and a wedding on the horizon. At the time, I was less than 9 months away from my wedding, and as 2015 came to a close, I knew it was time to get serious about my fitness schedule. Losing weight and feeling thin is one thing, but walking down the aisle feeling my best is an entirely different and more important goal.
To kick things off, I signed up for the barre3 challenge. Every week from January 4th – 31st I took 4 classes, completed a 10-minute online workout and tried at least 1 barre3 recipe. As the month progressed, I got more and more excited about attending the classes. Surprisingly, though, I found I didn’t always get to the online workouts. There’s certainly something to be said for making time to go to an actual fitness studio. It’s more of an experience. At least for me.
Now that the challenge is over, I wanted to share how 3 consecutive weeks of barre3 affected me and what I learned:
1. Increased energy: While many people think that exercise will make them tired, I found the complete opposite to be true. I left class energized and alert every time.
2. Physical transformation: I noticed a positive change in my body. My arms feel thinner and more toned, and my stomach feels flatter. YES.
3. Mood boost: Feeling better in your body is far more important than a smaller waist. Barre3 left me feeling less stressed, more positive and generally happier than before. For more tips on how to be happier, check this out.
4. Healthier eating: I craved real and healthy foods way more than usual. Because I was working out so often, I felt guilty putting something not so good into my body. I even gave up all sugar for the month of January. That meant no late-night chocolate and no desserts, which I usually live for. Chocolate is my real weakness.
5. Things get easier: Morning (and evening) workouts became WAY easier and less dreadful after doing them a few times. Motivation certainly kicks in, and you decide that a night of boozing is going to feel a lot better if you workout before.
6. Planning in advance works: Signing up for classes online (using Mind Body app or even Class Pass) is super helpful because you feel obligated to go. If you miss a class, you will get charged. Yikes.
With the challenge behind me, I want keep the momentum going. But how? I have always heard that the key to staying fit is to constantly “shock” your muscles with new moves. So while I would love to continue taking 4 barre3 classes a week, I’m going to start incorporating a few other classes into my routine to mix things up. Exercise is so personal, and everyone has their own method. The point is that you have to find what you love and set goals for yourself.
This is my weekly plan. I know this might seem slightly aggressive, but hey, I’m motivated by the dress:
– 4 barre or “bootcamp” classes
– 1-2 yoga classes
– 1 long run outside
– An active effort to walk as much as humanly possible whenever I can. This is why I love the city. You can literally walk everywhere.
Look out for my next post on my favorite fitness classes in the city and shop my favorite workout gear below.