I have always taken fitness seriously. I used to be a total gym rat, hitting the weight room and treadmill 5 times a week without fail. But knee and foot injuries forced me to give up running and a few other high-impact exercises that I used to rely on to keep me in shape. That was a pretty big blow, to say the least. I actually didn’t know what to do at first, but after talking to a couple of trainers at the gym, decided to give pilates and yoga a try. This is not something that initially appealed to me, especially since I always thought the perfectly groomed and manicured women walking around with their exercise mats tucked under their arms seemed a bit pretentious. But once I got past these first impressions, I was hooked.
These exercises provide me with a more vigorous workout than I ever expected. I honestly didn’t think the various poses done on yoga exercise mats would do anything more than stretch my muscles a bit. But even after my very first session, I could feel the burn. I had trouble making it all the way through a begginer’s session despite being in good shape and being athletically inclined. In fact, there were quite a few of us who simply sprawled out on our yoga exercise mats after the class because we were too worn out to move!
Now that I’ve found a low-impact replacement for running, I feel a lot better about being able to stay in shape. I plan on buying my own equipment soon so I don’t have to use the gym’s yoga exercise mats anymore (I don’t even want to think about how gross that is) and so I have more comfortable clothes for my workouts. I might even read up on some tips and techniques to ensure that I get the most out of my classes. My goal is to progress through the beginner and intermediate levels and make it to the advanced classes as soon as possible.
I never would have guessed that armed with little more than a couple of good yoga exercise mats, I would be able to burn calories, sculpt my body, and feel this great! I have to admit that I was completely wrong about pilates and other low-impact exercises. I just hope that I continue liking my new routine and don’t give up on it too quickly if the going gets tough.
If you’re thinking about trying pilates or yoga for the first time, I say go for it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how intense the workout can be. Plus, it doesn’t even cost much to get started. All you have to do is spring for a couple of padded yoga exercise mats and some appropriate apparel, and then find a class or DVD for beginners. Nothing could be easier, so do it today!