Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Find Your Fitness

Living a sedentary life?

Didn't you know that sitting is the new smoking?

What the heck does that mean?  It means we are starting to realize just how many chronic illnesses and deaths could be prevented if people would get up and move more.

Unfortunately, the majority of North Americans are still not getting enough physical activity.

There are, of course, many contributing factors.  Where you live can determine your fitness levels.  People who live in rural or suburban areas that require cars to get around tend to get less exercise.  Individuals in underpriviledged communities may have access to fewer recreational resources and/or may need to avoid public areas for personal safety reasons. 

But some people just say they lack time.  Honestly, this isn't a decent excuse.  To me, this is another way to say, "I am unwilling to make it a priority".

But it should be a priority.  Why?  Long-term physical and mental health is very much dependent on fitness.  You don't have to run marathons, but you should move your body.  For 60 or so minutes.  Every day.

There are others who say they just dislike exercise.  It's you folk I am speaking to today.  First of all, we ALL need to do things we dislike sometimes.  For example, I hate flossing.  But I do it anyways, every night because I know it is critical for maintaining oral, and overall health.  In addition, I find it hard to believe that someone can hate every single activity involving physical movement.  Really?  Come on?

A few months ago I was hired by BlogTO to review fitness facilities across Toronto.  I know, awesome, eh??  It has been so much fun!!  I have also been exposed to a wide variety of workouts the run the gamet from gentle to completely ass-kicking.  Some take place in gorgeous studios and provide all the bells and whistles.  Some take place in bare-bones spaces where the focus is entirely on fitness and pampering is absent from the equation.  I've loved almost all of these experiences.  But it's also proved to me that there really is something for everyone when it comes to fitness.

My favorite was definitely the Muay Thai class I tried at Krudar.  Partially this is because I found the punching and kicking involved in this martial art incredibly cathartic, and partially because I adored the atmosphere at Krudar.  It attracts both males and females and was so welcoming and inclusive.  What a wonderful community to be a part of.  In fact, I'm hoping to bring the girls in to try their kids classes soon!

I also was pleasantly surprised by some of the exercises such as the Lagree Method and Fitwall, which I thought might just be gimicky, but truly offered incredible workouts.

There were some fairly standard yoga and barre studios housed in gorgeous spaces that dazzle the eye, as well as some really serious workouts that are so intense you are barely aware of your surroundings.

Some of these places were full of young, beautiful people in Lululemon.  Some full of sweaty folks in sweats.  Some were more impersonal, while others were clearly tight-knit communities.  Some had mirrors everywhere, while others had none at all.  Whatever you're looking for, it's out there.

Are these places expensive?  Yes.  A group fitness class in Toronto will generally run you $18/class or more, depending on if you buy a single or a package.  Personal training anywhere is a small fortune.  So if money is an issue, should you throw up your hands...and crawl back to the couch?

No!  How about walking?  Cycling?  Running?  Swimming at a community centre?  Fitness DVDs in your home?  You really don't need much space or equipment to get fit.

It really is use it or lose it folks, but it's never too late to find your fitness.

For the full list of my reviews click here.

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