By: Diana Holbrook
The Columbus Dispatch - June 18, 2012 12:34 PM
One constant in my three-year quest to shed fat is that my workouts are always changing. While I still prefer boot-camp style workouts, I am always looking to learn something new and challenging.
I finally tried one of the Ohio Fit Club classes being offered at the Columbus Commons, and loved it. I participated in the Wednesday kickboxing class, which was filled with men and women at all fitness levels. The instructor was lively and energetic, and worked his way through the crowd to make sure he reached those in the back. People who appeared to be leaving work and passing through the Commons stopped and watched and some took pictures. While the moves weren't complicated, it was a challenging workout. I felt it all over the next day. Even better, it was something I'd never tried before.
I used to say, "I don't do yoga. It's not my kind of workout." But once I finally tried it, I got into it and realized all the benefits it offers. For one, it loosens up my often sore muscles. For another, it has improved my flexibility and balance. I've done back bends and headstands for the first time!
In January, I bought a Groupon for a boot camp class for "Moms In Love with Fitness". (You figure out the acronym.) I was nervous when I showed up for the first class, feeling like I would be in over my head. Instead, I was the one the instructor used to demonstrate exercises.
If you're used to doing your cardio on the elliptical, try the treadmill. If you've always been a runner, try the stairclimber. If you take a spinning class, try a boot camp class. If you're hardcore into lifting and being fit, look into CrossFit. If you've never lifted weights, well, you know where I stand on that.
The point is, by mixing it up a bit, you shock your body into change.
You can also do that with simple changes in your weightlifting routine. Instead of doing three sets of 12 repetitions of shoulder presses, bump up the weight a bit and do four sets of eight. Or do them one arm at a time, or try shoulder press burnouts. If you always incorporate forward lunges into your leg routine, try lateral or diagonal lunges. You'll be amazed at how working different angles of the same muscle group will affect change (and make your legs sore in places you've never been sore before).
Besides, for me, when I try something new and/or challenging and nail it, it gives me a great sense of accomplishment. That motivates me and makes me feel that I can do anything.
I highly recommend the classes at the Commons. According to Amy Taylor and Elise Yablonsky at the Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, all of the classes have been well-attended, with more than 2,000 people attending the five free weekly classes. The yoga and Zumba classes on Saturday mornings have been getting 200-250 participants, while the Monday bootcamp and Wednesday kickboxing classes have seen 100-200. Taylor said they've seen a big increase in attendance from last year and are always open to suggestions. But if those classes don't work for you, check out your area rec center or buy a fitness class Groupon. Mix it up and be adventurous.
Follow me on Facebook at To Di For Fitness and Twitter @fromthegymblog.