Sunday, August 5, 2018

Seasonal Workouts...Be Inspired and Make a Change!

     If you're living in a climate that has a change of Seasons as I am in New Jersey, you can be taking advantage of those changes when it comes to your workouts.  I've been a Fitness Professional for over 30 years and am always looking for a variety in my workout routine so I don't get bored. The photo of the Water-skiing Santa wan't taken in New Jersey, but on the Potamic River and apparently takes place on Christmas Eve every year since 1986...couldn't resist using the photo! ( I tried water skiing once before I had my kids and actually got up on the first try and thought it was a lot of fun!
     One of the complaints I hear from people coming to me as a Personal Trainer is that they don't like working out (or don't have the time). If your goal is to be healthier, more fit, and to become happier with yourself, then you need to find activities that you will enjoy so you will be more likely to stick with it.
I tried Arial Yoga for the first time this winter at Country Flow Yoga in West Milford, NJ with Melissa and I absolutely love it! Ultimately, you want to find activities that increase your endurance, strength, and flexibility, and hopefully make you smile at some point, even if it is after you're done😀.
     Although I don't like the cold temperatures, I do know that once you start moving around, you get warmed up, but I still tend to avoid outdoor activities in the winter.  Many of my clients share my feelings about that and would rather meet me at the gym. For me, time has also been a factor in doing sports such as skiing, snowboarding, etc... since I'd have to drive a bit to a location to do it, plus rent the equipment.
     I only tried skiing once when I was 30, and I did enjoy it but haven't made the time to go back. Having some balance, strength, and endurance to last more than 30 minutes without breaking a leg is always helpful, which is why you start with baby steps. I highly suggest taking a beginner lesson if you're just starting out. It helped me stay up most of the day! I haven't tried cross-country skiing yet but would definitely like to try that instead of using the elliptical one day. Central Park in NYC allows people to ski on Sheep Meadow, The Great Lawn or any of the large meadows as long as there is 6 inches of snow or more ( If any of you have tried it, leave a comment! Love it? Hate it? Do you own or rent the equipment?
     When I was a kid I would go to the duck pond in Secaucus with my dad, uncle and cousins when it was frozen and I'd ice skate while they played ice hockey. I always enjoyed ice skating and was happy when the outdoor ice rink was built in my town because I lived close enough to walk there after school to skate. This carried over to roller skating outside in the warmer months, which I did all throughout high school. I received a pair of roller blades for my birthday a couple years ago and just realized I haven't used them yet this year. Now it's on my "to-do list"!
Spring time in New Jersey gets me excited, as well as for many people who suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder. There's something about taking a long walk or jog when the flowers are blooming that is very uplifting! Both women and men take my indoor cycling classes when it's cold, but this is the time when skateboarders, runners and bicyclists get to take their cardio workouts outdoors again. Sometimes I take my clients outside to do some workouts in the fresh air just using some resistance bands or dumbbells and a mat.   I sometimes take my own workouts outdoors and will use the monkey bars for pull-ups, a park bench to do leg raises, or just sit somewhere peaceful to meditate and enjoy nature at it's best!
     Summer will be over before you know it and the trees will start turning colors...but not yet!!! Take advantage of the warmer water temperatures and try swimming laps. If you can't swim, call the local YMCA for lessons and go enjoy the water! I was fortunate enough to have a pool growing up and learned to swim early, but since gymnastics was my favorite sport, I really spent most of my time at the pool doing flips off the side of the deck, rather than swimming laps.
      I enjoy kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding when I have the time, but I recently tried paddle board yoga and loved it (thanks again Melissa "Bee" Gentile)! I was able to enjoy the beautiful outdoors, soak up some sun and work on my balance and flexibility while clearing my mind with a little meditation. There are so many fun water sports to enjoy such as water skiing, surfing, sailing or riding jet skis and wave runners, etc...some of which I have not tried yet but would like to eventually.
     Autumn is another time of the year when it is beautiful outside! With the leaves turning colors and the temperatures just a little chilly, it's a perfect time for hiking (if you're not afraid of snakes), bicycling, or just walking and photographing along the way. This is a great time to enter an obstacle race such as the Bill Botino Mud Run for cancer, a Spartan Race to challenge yourself, Avon's Walk For Breast Cancer, or one of the many charity events that are fun and raise money for good causes.
   As a Personal Trainer and X-Ray Tech in a hospital, I've spent the majority of my life working weekends while my friends and most people I knew were out enjoying all of these activities. Raising three kids as a single mom, and bouncing from job to job has always been my excuse for not having the time. My kids are all grown up, and although I'm still a bit home-bound because of my aging dog, I fully intend on making the time to try some new outdoor activities in the future. I'd love to hear from any of you who participate in outdoor activities who might have suggestions for anyone looking to try something new. Leave a comment!