I am not a fitness guru. I don’t have an instinctual drive to work out for three hours a day, I’ve never had a protein shake, and I can’t list off motivational fitness quotes off the top of my head. I have so much respect for people who can live such a lifestyle, but I’m just another girl who made a New Year’s resolution to exercise more (even though I haven’t really kept that resolution for the past several New Years…).
In order to try and really work towards my resolution this year, I’ve decided to end my Tea Time blog in favor of this new one! My goal for this blog is to try a new workout class offered by PSU fitness every week. I’ll blog about it, what I thought, things that stood out to me, and perhaps delve a bit deeper into the background of certain exercises or classes. As I’m sure many of my fellow PSU students can attest to, it can be difficult to find time to go to the gym, especially when compared to the comfort of working out in your own home. Through this experimental blogging experience, I hope not only to figure out what workout classes/schedules work for me, but also to share my experiences with you guys so you can decide if a workout class or routine would be right for you. I’d like to think of it like we’re all going on a fitness journey together!
To kick off this blog, I’ll give you guys some fitness background info about me so you can understand where I’m coming from. From the time I was about 5 years old to when I started high school, I swam competitively for NLAC, or the Nittany Lion Aquatic Club, at the PSU Natatorium on Bigler Road. While I was a swimmer, I never really thought much about my health; I was exercising intensely for 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week nearly year round, so I didn’t worry about what I ate or whether I was getting enough physical activity (because I knew I definitely was).
As I started high school, I quit the swim team in order to have more time to focus on schoolwork and academics. I didn’t think about changing my eating habits, gained some weight, lost some muscle, and started to realize for the first time both how beneficial swimming had been to my health and how unhealthy it was for me to now be sitting at my desk studying or working for the majority of the day. If you’d like, check out this link for more info about the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
After a year of being completely sedentary, I decided I wanted to try and exercise again. I didn’t really want to go to the gym because I felt (and still feel) self-conscious about people watching me fumble with weird weight machines, and I ran track for one semester but didn’t like the pressure of going to meets, so I looked for online workouts I could do at home. I discovered this Youtube channel called Blogilates, run by a girl named Cassey Ho, and started doing her signature mixture of cardio, pilates, and dance by myself in my basement a couple of nights a week. This was the first video of hers I did, and it was awful. I was super out of shape and I was sore for at least a week afterwards, but I started to get into a routine of doing a couple of videos throughout my week. I was determined to reintegrate exercise into my life.
I know this is pretty cheesy, but her thinking about fitness and health really changed my view about my body and exercise. Whilst struggling through beginner pilates videos and trying to make time in my schedule for at least a 10 minute video before I went to sleep, I’d listen to her talk about loving your body and how we should love exercising, not because you want to look like a model, but because we’ll get stronger, have more energy, be happier, and live a healthier lifestyle. If any of you have a convenient location to lay out a yoga mat and exercise while watching a Youtube video on a computer or phone, I’d really recommend checking her channel out. It’s awesome for beginners to experts, and she has a plethora of incredible resources on her blog and Youtube Channel. This workout (see below) was one of my favorites.
Now as a freshman in college, I’m trying to adjust my fitness goals to this new university environment. I would continue to do Blogilates, but there’s really no room for me to be doing crazy pilates moves in my teeny tiny dorm room… So, I bought myself a fitness membership at the beginning of this year, telling myself I was going to completely reinvent my life and become that dreamy version of me I always wanted to be who works out for an hour a day and eats superfoods and has good skin and etc. etc. etc. That’s a pretty far way away, but perhaps this blogging experiment will help me get on the right path! If you have any suggestions for classes or exercises you’d like me to try, please let me know and I’ll do my best to try and attend a session. Check back next week for my first workout adventure!