Add Variety to Your Exercises: Try Out These Workouts!
We all know that you can always run on the treadmill, hop on that cross-trainer or try the usual weight machines on the gym, but variety is key in maintaining your interests in exercising.
When it comes to workout routines, my personal philosophy has been to try out anything and everything under the sun. You may be surprised to find what you like or don’t like. With this post, I’m trying to focus to those available in-country, at least through videos, so you can actually try them out yourself!
So here are some of our picks:
The High-Impact Junkie
Calories-blasting, sweat-inducing, and fast-paced – high-impact aerobics come in different names: ‘body combat’, ‘step athletic’, or the likes. If you are trying to lose weight, this heart-pumping workout is a fantastic, non-boring exercise to help you achieve your weight-loss goal. Reputable gyms with group classes offer some type of high-impact aerobics. These are also one of the most popular exercise routines put in video.
Word of caution: weak knees should proceed with caution or follow modified moves. Generally, those with problematic knees should start with low impact first.
Available at: your gym or workout videos
(image source via Matton.com)
The Fighter Wannabe
My personal favorite, cardio-kickboxing or just the regular muay thai or ban thai kickboxing class will fulfill your inner fighter spirit. Cardio-kickbox, available in most gyms, is usually a kickboxing-inspired cardio workout, with a lot of kicks, hooks and jabs. A real kickboxing class will involve sand bags and/or have you actually wearing boxing gloves. I have been noticing a lot of kickboxing studios sprouting all around in the capital city.
Word of caution: like the general high-impact routines, weak knees usually stand in the way. However, some good kickboxing videos show low impact moves and if you disclose your condition to your kickboxing instructor, he or she is probably able to teach you how to modify the routine.
BAAN Muaythai Club Wisma Semeru building (ground floor), Jl. Taman Kemang No. 18, Jakarta Selatan. (021) 7196502
CenterBase Muay Thai Camp | Twitter: @centerBaseCamp Jl. HOS Cokroaminoto No. 115, Menteng, Jakarta Pusat. (021) 9127 1196
MTTC (Muaythai Training Camp) Indonesia Jl. Panglima Polim II, No. 2 (second floor), Blok M – Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta Selatan. (021) 7208362
Zumba is taking the world by storm. With moderate-intensity, you’ll work out to different tunes (Latin, hip hop, reggae, etc), )and a lot of hip-wriggling routines. Its tag line, “Ditch the work out, join the party!” rings true. Dancing to upbeat rhythms and 45 minutes flew by, even if you have two left legs like me. It’s really a non-judgmental exercise that let you let loose, sweat our your stress and have your fun. And oh, if you have Wii, there’s a Zumba game too!
Word of caution: take extra care when you are weak on the ankles because there is a lot of twisting in fast pace.
Junko N Crew’s Studio | Facebook Page Jl. Kemang Raya No.7, Jakarta Selatan. (62)812-8083472
(image source via Zumba.com)
The New Age
I’m going to be honest with you – I used to not wanting to do Yoga, because I thought it was boring. Many people think Yoga is all about being zen and connecting with your inner self. As I learned more, however, I found out that many of Yoga kinds are built for strength, by using your own body weight (and we all know that we’re not feather-weight). The benefits of Yoga extend from well being to overall fitness improvement. Yoga is also fantastic to strengthen your core, arms, and build flexibility, very important aspects of fitness. Yoga in itself comes in many kinds that are just too many to be listed here: Astangha, Vinyasa, Hatha, Bikram, Jivamukti, Iyengar, Anusara, and the list go on. Most gyms offer yoga classes and there are also some yoga studios all across the city.
Word of caution: weak wrists may have some difficulty in doing some poses. Don’t let this deters you yet – qualified Yoga instructors are usually able to teach poses modifications.
Available at: your gym, yoga studios (see below) and in exercise DVDs.
Workouts based on Tabata Method have been gaining a lot of momentum recently, a lot of health & fitness magazines. Dubbed the “4-Minute Miracle Workout”, the core of Tabata Method is very short and intense: 20 seconds of high-intensity exercise, the kind that pushes your heart rate into the >90% anaerobic zone (like running sprint, intense jump rope or cycling), and 10 seconds of recovery. Repeat 8 times, and you have 4 minutes worth of science-backed exercise session. It is recommended that you have a timer on hand (try to search for “Tabata timer” on your app market. I know that it is available in Android and Apple App Store) so that you don’t have to worry about counting and can focus on your exercise instead.
Word of Caution: Be mindful of the knees and forms when doing short bursts of activities.
Available at: do-it-yourself at the gym or at home. It’s strongly recommended that you have a timer made for interval training (they are also available online and through smartphone apps. Just Google away)
(image source via Matton.com and GymBoss.com)
Another favorite of mine: Pilates. Originally created by Joseph Pilates for dancers, this type of exercise is praised for alleviating scoliosis and its core-strengthening routines. A strong core makes up for a strong posture, flatter stomach and general body strength. Six-pack doesn’t guarantee a very strong core and vice versa. Nevertheless, core strength is essential for a healthy and enjoyable life.
Two major categories in Pilates: mat-based and Reformer. Mat-based Pilates can be done at home (in a variety of DVD titles, and a lot of free videos in YouTube). Reformer is Pilates done on Reformer machines (that, I should admit, may look like medieval torture device at first glance. I assure you they are not), and available in Pilates studios or gyms with dedicated Pilates section.
Word of caution: those with a weak neck and/or weak lower back should consult their physician or go to a credible Pilates studio or instructor for extra attention.
Balance Pilates Studio Jl. Pesanggrahan Raya No. 6, 3rd Floor, Kebon Jeruk – Meruya Utara, Jakarta Barat. (021) 587 2739
Annabe Pilates Studio Kafe Tamani, 2nd Floor, Jl. Kemang Raya No. 5, Jakarta Selatan (021) 719 9942
Vitruvian Pilates Jakarta Jl. Sekolah Duta Raya No. 27, Pondok Indah, Jakarta Selatan (021) 751 3782
(image source via Matton.com)
The Hard Core
Are you the hard core, seasoned exercise, constantly looking for a challenge? CrossFit might as well be it. It’s very short in duration (about 15 minutes), but make no mistake, it is very strength-intensive.
CrossFit is a strength conditioning program that has become rapidly popular in the United States, with hundreds of affiliates in existence. The aim of CrossFit has been to forge a broad, general, and inclusive fitness. You will see a variety of weight-lifting, gymnastics, rowing and other fitness skills in CrossFit’s “Workout of the Day” or WOD. It is very challenging and most suitable for advanced exercise who is looking to take themselves to the next level.
Most people do not heed the warning to see a physician before starting a workout program, but just to be on safe side, please consult a health care professional before you decide to try out CrossFit.
Word of caution: Beginners, the general suggestion is to build some kind of strength and endurance before diving into Cross Fit. This is not for the faint-hearted.
You are welcome to try any of them we suggest above. But please know your own condition. If you are a first-timer to any of the exercise above, take it slow, pay attention to instruction and don’t force yourself. If you are looking to build endurance and stamina, I’d say go for high-impact aerobics or kickboxing. Yoga and Pilates are great exercises to increase flexibility and build a stronger core. To make your workout short and sweet, try to combine Tabata Method with your usual steady-state cardio exercise. If you have existing health condition (like weak knees, lower back or neck problems), please, please consult your primary health care provider beforehand.
It is impossible for us to list down all places where you can try these workouts. If you don’t see a facility near you, try to search on the Internet for your specific town.
To end, we really hope this will give you an idea on how to add variety to your regular regimen, so you keep yourself invested and interested in your journey to a healthier-self