Not Your Typical Gym

My husband and I bought the historic Concrete Theatre in 2009, and before we began showing movies – even before we were done renovating it – I’d started Encore Fitness there. Admittedly, it seemed odd to be teaching group fitness classes in a 90-year-old theater building, especially after teaching in traditional health clubs and fitness studios the last 25 years. You know the kind of places I mean: shiny floors, white walls, mirrors and bright lights. Sort of like the surgery center in the hospital where I work!

But an article in this month’s IDEA Fitness Journal changed the way I think about our unique workout setting. It seems the hottest trend in fitness clubs right now is to add drama and excitement¬† to clients’ workouts through the use of theatrical lighting and elevated stages. The goal is to create a party or club-like atmosphere where people can forget they’re exercising.

Who knew we were so far ahead of the curve in Concrete?!

New Workout: Zenergy

I’ve been wanting to design this class for a long time and finally got time to put it together this month. Zenergy is an interval-style workout that alternates between 3 minutes of cardio or strength training and less than 2 minutes of balance or yoga poses. It might sound easy, but ask anyone who’s attended and I think they’ll tell you it’s pretty challenging.

The best part is … I’ve seen a remarkable difference in everyone’s ability to balance and focus, after just a few Zenergy classes. I look out from the stage and see people standing straight and tall and still. Is this the wobbly group of women who attended the first class?!

Even if you can’t come to Encore Fitness, you should try incorporating standing yoga poses or simple balance exercises (think: anything on one foot) into your daily routine. As we age, it’s so important to maintain our strength, alignment, balance and focus.

Why Am I So Tired?

New research may explain why women are more likely than men to feel exhausted. (1) Despite the women’s movement, we still assume most of the responsibility for childcare, housework and meals. (2) We are more apt to be disturbed by our bed partner’s snoring. (3) We worry more about what others think of us and we’re harder on ourselves than men are. That physic burden takes a toll.

What will you do today to give yourself a mental and physical break?

I Just Don’t Do Moderation

¬†One of my favorite authors, Anna Quindlen, said “moderation and I have always had an uneasy relationship.” I find that to be true, too. It’s much easier for me to “just say no,” than to try to have “just a little bit.”

That all or nothing mentality is what got me in trouble with alcohol many years ago. It wasn’t enough to have one beer (this was back in the Oly Gold days, before your time, most likely!) or bottle of wine (Annie Green Springs!). Nope, I had to have a lot.

Nowadays, I know myself well enough to understand that I’m not someone who can easily moderate my food habits. But I can definitely say no and stick to it. I turn away from sugar all the time – try owning a movie theater with Milk Duds and Red Vines staring at you.

Do you subscribe to the “all things in moderation” concept?