KALAMAZOO, MI The Kalamazoo Fitness Foray has eliminated all of my excuses for not working out.
In light of an obesity epidemic and the start of the summer season, I thought it was a good time to highlight local individuals who are leading interesting fitness programs by trying out their classes this week.
On Monday, I gave rock-climbing at Climb Kalamazoos indoor facility a try before attending a cardio class at the Body Love Project, both in downtown Kalamazoo. On Tuesday, I went to a fitness boot camp. I danced and sweated at a Bokwa fitness class on Wednesday and did yoga on a paddle board in the water on Thursday.
Kalamazoo Fitness Foray: Discover paddle yoga, sign-language Bokwa dance, early morning boot camps this week
Usually, my top excuse is not having enough time to work out. It turns out that I am capable of waking up and attending a 5:30 a.m. boot camp class. Whats more? I enjoyed it.
Fitness Foray Schedule
Monday: Noon rock climbing at Climb Kalamazoo, 136 S Kalamazoo Mall, in downtown Kalamazoo
6:15 p.m. Cardio Core-dio class at the Body Love Project at Tuckers Ballroom Dance Studio, 210 Farmers Alley in Kalamazoo
Tuesday: 5:30 a.m. boot camp at Fit For Life Boot Camp, at 9027 Portage Industrial Drive in Portage
Wednesday: 5:30 p.m. first Kalamazoo BOKWA Fitness class at The YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo Maple Street branch
Thursday: 5 to 7 p.m. yoga paddle demonstration at Ramona Park in Portage by trainers at Flow Yoga in Plainwell
Fit For Life Boot Camp, launched by a military family who relocated to Kalamazoo this year, was probably the most challenging workout I did this week for two reasons. The first is that I am not a morning person. The second reason it was so challenging for me was the Tabata-style drills, a Japanese style of repetitive, strenuous exercise.
Another common excuse: I dont enjoy running or lifting weights.
Then dont. None of the work-outs I tried this week were related to running or lifting weights. Wall rock-climbing is indoors and safe. Its not repetitive because you have to think about where to place your feet and hands to move up. Rock-climbing is great for sculpting too, owner Philip Grimm said.
Do you think working out is boring?
Then you havent found the right exercise. Bokwa fitness reminded me of a dance party and trainer Shashu Baraka encourages whooping and hollering in her class. I worked out using plastic swords at the Body Love Project and bean bags at Fit For Life Boot Camp. Laura Sprague, of the Body Love Project, had her class do 15 different exercises in a circuit, that moved every part of the body, which included various props.
There are plenty of fitness folks who are finding creative ways to separate fitness and boredom. Find one of them.
One of my favorites: Im too tired to work out.
Perhaps try a fitness routine that isnt too exhausting is the way to go. Yoga will wake you up, but not in an abrupt way if you are not pushing yourself. Paddle yoga was certainly more difficult than a regular studio class, but being outdoors on a sunny day made for the most peaceful workout Ive ever tried.
Here are some workout tips I observed and compiled from Kim Brockway, of Fit For Life Boot Camp, Philip Grimm, of Climb Kalamazoo, Laura Sprague, of Body Love Project and Jill Baker, of Flow Yoga, this week:
1. Find a buddy: This is especially true for rock-climbing, which requires two people, but can be applied to any workout routine. A rock-climbing duo said they both improved drastically by taking on challenges together and enjoy cheering for one another.
2. Listen to your body: If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it, Philip Grimm said. Never grind through an injury, and don’t allow yourself to be pressured by someone else.
3. Journal your exercise and diet: Grimm said climbers can learn a lot by just recording their progress over a short period of time. You can easily recognize an area with growth potential, identify a mistake, relish in your successes, and chart your progress and accomplishments, he said. I have found the most success following an intuitive training program.”
4. Pay attention to the instructor: This is especially true for fast-moving fitness classes, such as Bokwa. This was true for the boot camp drills, as well.
Paddle Yoga in Portage Plainwell’s Flow Yoga is offering its first paddle board yoga classes in July. Instructors have demonstrations at Ramona Park on June 20, 2013.
6. Bring an extra hairband or sweatband.
7. Stay hydrated.
8. Protein: Always consume at least 20 grams of lean protein within 30 minutes of a workout to help your muscles recover and grow stronger, said Kim Brockway, from Fit For Life Boot Camp.
9. 90/10 rule: 90 percent of the time focus on eating clean, healthy meals and snacks. The other 10 percent of the time its OK to indulge in a few treats, Brockway said.
10. Dont take yourself too seriously: Baker said she always encourages people to let go of any competition, judgments or expectations they might have and this is especially true for paddle yoga. Adding a paddle board to your yoga practice adds a whole new dimension of challenge, so poses that may come easy in the studio are far more challenging on the board. That can be a humbling experience, she said.
11. Try new moves: Move as much as possible in as many directions as possible. Sprague said bodies need a wide variety of movement to keep your body systems healthy.
12. Love your body: Remember, when you are reaching toward a new level of fitness, that this body has been with you for every single second since the beginning of your life and it will continue to be with you for every single second until the end of your life, Sprague said.
What did you think of the Fitness Foray? What did you think of the Fitness Foray? Would you be interested if the Gazette could bring you along? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
- ^ Kalamazoo Fitness Foray (www.mlive.com)
- ^ Discover paddle yoga, sign-language Bokwa dance, early morning boot camps this week (www.mlive.com)
- ^ Climb Kalamazoo (www.climbkalamazoo.org)
- ^ Body Love Project (www.bodyloveproject.com)
- ^ Fit For Life Boot Camp (www.fitforlifebc.com)
- ^ BOKWA Fitness class (bokwafitness.com)
- ^ Flow Yoga in Plainwell (flowyogaplainwell.com)
- ^ Paddle Yoga in Portage (videos.mlive.com)
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