Fitness (Re)fresh

On this rainy, lazy day, I’m working to shake off the last vestiges of a cold that has plagued me for some days now. As with many of the colds I’ve recently sustained, it hasn’t involved anything more terrible than a general feeling of tiredness and malaise.

To turn things around, I’m reading and planning my next fitness/exercise routine. My – ahem – routine for the past month has mostly involved long bicycle rides, hikes on the trails, or jogs (sometimes with dogs in tow). Between the beautiful weather and the burn out I experienced after my intense training for the PARE test, I haven’t had the mental or physical capacity to put together a routine that I can enjoy.

I’ve gone through lulls in my workout routine many times in the past, and finding a new routine post-lull brings me a lot of pleasure. Last December, I acquired one of the P90X DVD box sets and ended up saving a lot of time and money by sweating things out at home. I later added a little spice into this routine with a weekly dance class at the wonderful Waterloo-based Impact Movement Studio.

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Weight training has traditionally been my favorite form of exercise. © 2013 Maria Legault.

I’d be tempted to try out a membership at World Gym or return to the YMCA near my house on Courtland Street, but I hesitate to pay the expensive yearly or even monthly membership when life and my schedule is so uncertain. I was considering CrossFit Kitchener as a potential place to train for a specific end goal, such as a Spartan Race or a Tough Mudder. What turns me off of these events, and CrossFit in general, is the warning signs that they encourage you to push yourself beyond any reasonable limit or sense. CrossFit is criticized by Dr. Eric Robertson in this post as being a major contributor to the prevalence of rhabdomyolysis in adherents. The recent emergence of the “Fitspiration” movement also encourages harmful and negative thinkingabout one’s body, repeating phrases like: “Your body is the enemy”; “You should be ashamed”; or “Disregard your limits and keep pushing” (see this Reembody article). I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I like it when my physical activity is positive, meditative, and a force of happiness in my life.

Thankfully, I live close to many fitness studios which offer new and stimulating ways to be physically active. There are archery studios, karate academies, rock climbing walls, horseback riding lessons, and fencing clubs within an easy drive/bus ride/bicycle ride. I’m not much of a group sports-type person, but any one of these could be an exciting source of fitness (re)freshment for me.

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