Every new year, new month, new week or even new day can be a clean slate to start living healthier. It’s easy to announce to yourself that you will take on new habits but how do you find a schedule and exercise plan that is right for you?
Typically when you join a new gym you will receive a complimentary consultation with a trainer. Make sure you get very specific with your trainer about your goals, your typical workout and eating habits, and how you are willing to change. They will be able to better understand what you need and offer immediate and long-term fixes. Having an end result in mind will get you to where you want to be.
Not everyone has the same reasons for hitting the gym or the same level of experience. The first order of business is to define your goals. What would you like to achieve? Are you trying to lose weight? Would you like to gain muscle? Or are you trying to improve flexibility and stamina?
For Weight Loss
The most common reason for jump starting a new workout regimen is weight management or to lose “that extra 10 pounds.” If this is your goal, you will need to blast calories and get your heart rate up. Beginners and advanced athletes alike can try Zumba classes which burn 500 calories a class (based on a 140 lb. woman). Zumba is a great way to reach your maximum safe heart rate zone.
For intermediate to advanced athletes, try spinning. Some experts believe that one should be in “solid cardiovascular condition” before getting on a bike. If you are a beginner who wants to try a spin class you can simply adjust the resistance of the bike if you feel like it is too much for you. Let the instructor know it’s your first time at the beginning of class and they will keep an eye out on you, help you with positioning, and get your bike ready. It is said that a one-hour spin class can burn up to 700 calories (based on a 140 lb. woman). Try SoulCycle or FlyWheel for an unforgettable experience.
To Gain and Tone Muscle
If you are looking to tone or build muscle, the most important thing will be an emphasis on resistance training. If you have just joined a new gym or are already a member of one, have a trainer put together a workout that you can do on your own or try a group class. If not, I would suggest heading to a CrossFit gym. CrossFit incorporates constantly varied high-intensity functional movements which are strategically designed to improve fitness and health. You can come into a CrossFit class at any level but a competitive energy can be very useful.
To improve your flexibility try taking a barre class at your gym or different studios like Exhale, Pure Barre, or The Barre Code. Barre is a ballet-inspired and isometric workout which is typically low intensity and uses a stationary ballet barre for a majority of the class. Barre classes tone and elongate different muscle groups with light weight repetitions and stretching. The small, super-controlled movements reduce pressure on your joints and spine, and you’ll also notice a remarkable improvement in your core strength and posture. The stretching done in class will increase range of motion. Barre is perfect for any level athlete and you can adjust the work out to your level.
What workouts do you do for weight loss, muscle gain, and flexibility? Share with us below.