I’ve never been a gym person. The smell of sweat, wearing ill-fitting and unattractive clothing in public, and most of all having a bunch of people see my uncoordinated, flailing attempts at workouts like aerobics, dance or yoga just make me feel awful … like I’m back in 7th grade P.E. class. I am not a group person. I generally don’t enjoy any type of group learning, or being part of big crowds and that’s what the gym always feels like to me. I dread going. The truth: I haven’t stepped into a gym since 2007 and I don’t ever plan on going again.
That doesn’t mean I hate exercising though. My philosophy has always been that instead of scheduling in exercise, I’d rather just live an active life and make exercise part of my daily routine. Whenever I can, I bicycle to meetings, walk on errands, and park as far away as possible to get in a good walk. I love walking and cycling. I could walk forever! I enjoy it and am rarely happier than when I am on a walk through a spring garden or bicycling along the river in the summer. During hectic days, these forced moments of exercise are welcome, rejuvenating and end up giving me a dose of positive energy to get through my day!
But, realistically, this plan doesn’t always work. Life is hectic. I work as a prop stylist, running dozens of errands a day all over the city in my car or I’ll be on a shoot for 10 hours with no time for meandering. Often, I just feel like crashing when I get home. I don’t always have time to make walking and cycling part of the plan. Plus, I do need an extra dose of intense exercise to get rid of those lingering pounds I want to lose!
That’s where Ballet Beautiful comes in. Last year I discovered these workouts and have been enjoying exercising ever since. What I like about these ballet-inspired workouts is that they are available to stream online. All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection. Each workout is about 15 minutes long so you can mix and match them. The exercises are intense, but low-impact, for long term, healthy results. I love that they are accessible, bite sized, and can be mixed and matched according to your mood or what your schedule allows and can be done in the comfort of your own home! Being a visual person, I love how beautiful the photography and sets are and even the titles make me excited! “Examples: Swan Arms,” and “Sugarplum Workout!” … they feel refined and elegant! I’ve even fantasized about it in the middle of a work day. “I can’t wait to get home and Ballet Beautify!!” I actually look forward to exercising! Don’t get me wrong; life is hectic and I am still working on the consistency part, but every time I work out now, I’m excited! I enjoy it even if it’s challenging, tough and even if sometimes I feel like quitting in the middle of it. It’s “me time!” An escape from work, people wanting things from me, and the daily drudgeries of life that sometimes bring me down.
The point is, that instead of beating yourself up for not making it to the gym, find a type of exercise you enjoy and go for it! Most likely you’ll keep it up if it’s something you enjoy. I love this post on the Ballet Beautiful blog about this very topic and I recommend reading it. Feel free to leave a comment if you’ve found an exercise program you enjoy and look forward to participating in each day. It’s different for everyone. Maybe the gym is your thing. Whatever you do, have fun with it!
Photos: Chelsea Fuss. 1: My happy place: handstands on a beach. 2: One of our beautiful bicycle trails in Oregon trying out a Beloved bicycle. 3. Taking a break from blogging to “Ballet Beautify”- Ballet Beautiful’s Mary Helen is pictured.
Chelsea Fuss is a blogger and prop stylist based in Portland who blogs daily at Frolic!
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