• November 28, 2014

Mix up workouts

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Posted: Monday, September 3, 2012 4:30 am

One of the best ways to stay interested in exercising is to mix it up and try new things.

Variety in workouts keeps your mind engaged, and new experiences can give you something to look forward to at the gym. There are weeks when even thinking about getting onto the treadmill makes me angry and sad.

So to keep it interesting, I’ve tried all sorts of classes — boxing, Zumba, combat, step aerobics and weight lifting. I’ve always found cycling too repetitive, and literally a pain in the butt, and I’m too overwhelmed by the sweaty men and confusing machines on the weight lifting side of the gym to even bother with it.

The only class that’s really kept me a dedicated visitor is yoga. The teachers don’t shout peppy motivational phrases that bring back bad memories of cheerleading camp and the room is warm and dark, allowing me to block out any outside distractions and focus on the challenge at hand.

Then one morning at the gym, I saw an advertisement for Hydro-Yoga. It’s exactly what it sounds like — yoga in the pool. I was intrigued.

I wasn’t the only one, because the 5:30 a.m. class drew about 10 people. More than attend the 7 a.m. cycling class and many who appeared to be repeat visitors.

And after my first class, I think I would have liked it more if I were taller.

See, it was essentially yoga poses in the pool. For obvious reasons, there was no plank or upward and downward dog, but we were able to do many of the warrior poses, standing cat and cow and a few other balance poses. Most worked the legs and back in way that didn’t cause stress or tension.

The problem was that at only 5 feet, 2 inches, I couldn’t bend my knees very far before the water was up to my chin, holding me back from the range of motion I can perform on land.

While the class wasn’t as challenging as standard yoga, it definitely took a different set of muscles to balance while the water responded to the man swimming laps in the lane behind me.

The waves he created made it pretty difficult to remain rooted in tree pose and I felt my grounded foot hopping below the surface. But the water keeps you from falling and hides any of your below-the-surface flailing.

The 50-minute class didn’t leave me as exhausted as a regular yoga class would, but it was certainly relaxing and a great way to start the day.

Perhaps I’ll give it another chance on one of my rest days, but I will definitely seek higher ground.

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