(A shot from a beach yoga class I did in Punta Mita a few years ago. Take me back!!!)
Last quarter I was taking 18 credits in eleven weeks, and felt like I had no time for myself. As the weeks went on, my anxiety surrounding school, being a mom and wife, and balancing everything started to increase. Towards the end of the quarter I found myself turning to all the chocolate, wine, coffee, and boxed mac and cheese I could find. I was so stressed that my right eye was non-stop twitching for two weeks straight. Once I made it through the quarter, I promised that I would take better care of myself.
Over my two week break I started to plan out how I would fuel my body during a busy school week. I also decided to try new classes at my gym. I really hate going to the gym, and much prefer going on long walks with my dog. I love being outside, but the temperatures really started to drop in November, and walks were not often an option. I am usually really nervous to try anything new, especially when it comes to exercise, because I never feel fit enough or strong enough. I started with a hot barre sculpt class and came out feeling AMAZING. It had been so long since I had done something like that for my body, and the endorphins and feelings of strength and accomplishment are pretty addicting 🙂
Next it was hot vinyasa yoga. I liked this even better, because it combined the mind-body experience with a more intense workout. I also realized that taking classes is definitely my favorite way to exercise. I feel energized by the music, the instructor, and the people around me. I also like having the heated room option because it loosens my muscles and feels SO GOOD in 20 degree weather.
Now here is the important part. These specific kinds of classes (barre, yoga, or even pilates) are so good for our bodies ladies! They rely on weight bearing exercises, or using your own body against gravity. This is one of the most important kinds of exercise to maintain strong and healthy bones. I also like that they use small weights, so you can personalize your workout and are less likely to injure yourself with weights that are too heavy.
My love for barre and yoga was further substantiated when I finished my first two days of clinical rotations this week. I have been placed at a rehabilitation center, where 90% of patients have fallen and broken either a hip, ankle, or arm. Most are older adults, and many are not even candidates for surgery because they are too weak, and their bones are too soft. This was a big reality check for me. Many of the patients are overweight, have type-2 diabetes, and are relatively immobile due to these problems. I wonder if they took care of their physical health when they were younger, or had the kind of information we do today.
So, from the girl who hates going to the gym and has been to embarrassed to even try hot yoga for years, please go out there and try something. It might be running, Crossfit, swimming, or yoga. You will thank yourself when you are finished 🙂