I talked a couple of months ago about my experience with a childhood illness and everything I’ve overcome physically. But here’s something that’s been vital to my recuperation. I’ve realized that I have to approach exercise like little kids approach playing. Boredom is the enemy. And exercise classes should feel like recess instead of work.
There are people who just love the feeling of their heart rate pumping. They get off on a good sweat. And I imagine for them, exercise is easy. But that isn’t me.
I need to find classes that distract me from all that. That get me so involved in the fun, that I forget that I’m pushing myself to the max. I need classes that crush my boredom. So today I’m going to talk about some of the favorite exercise classes to help my feel like a kid.
How exercise classes crushed my workout blahs.
I considered sports that interested me as a child. Things that looked fun when watching the Olympics. Screw it that I wasn’t coordinated and my days of Olympic aspiration were over. My inner-critic wasn’t invited to the discussion.
So I let go of perfectionism and embraced my sense of play. And I came up with boredom crushing exercise options that made me feel like I was back in school at recess. These classes were so much fun, I forgot all about the nasty exerting and sweating part of it all. And I exercised like I’d never exercised before.
Some of my favorite exercise classes to fight boredom.
By now I’ve tried a lot of different types of exercise. And survey says that the following are my absolute favorites. These classes are fabulous in three criteria:
- Body transforming
- Easy to forget they’re a workout
Aerial Tissu/Hammock Classes
Ever want to join Cirque de Soleil? Well, this is your chance. I’ll preface this by saying that I have a horrible fear of heights. So this wasn’t an obvious choice for me. I was lucky because I belonged to a gym that had a tissu program. So, I decided to give it a try.
Here are some things I loved about it:
- Makes you feel like Tinkerbell as you get in these pretty postures in the air.
- Fantastic for arm strength and core. And much more fun than holding a plank.
- Class just flew by. You’re so busy trying to master a trick that you’re not even focused on time.
Here’s a little video in all my glory. Be kind! I was SUPER nervous and very new to aerial! And the audience was drunk. But that’s a different story!
Figure Skating Classes
So here’s some trivia about my childhood. I didn’t even get on ice skates until I was 11 years old. I spent much of elementary school days living in Florida where I never saw an ice rink, And when I moved to Pennsylvania, the only rink was about an hour away. So I got onto ice skates for one of the first times as an adult.
When I moved to Los Angeles, I worked in the evenings and didn’t know anyone. So I went to a daytime ice skating “coffee club” for adults. The club served coffee along with a fun lesson. This was about 10 years ago and the price at the time was really cheap (about $7 a class) And I will say I felt a little silly at first limping around the rink with 8-year-olds leaping around me. But it was fun and destroyed any chance of exercise boredom.
Fun fact: Many ice skating school will have classes for adults that run on a similar schedule as the one for kids. That way parents can get up and engage as opposed to just waiting on the sidelines.
Things I loved about figure skating class
- Helped me learn to take risks and pick myself up when I fall. Learning any new move usually involves some spills.
- Helped me develop balance and coordination
- Made me feel a lot more graceful
And if you’re saying you’re too old for something like this, know that many of the women in my coffee club were in their 70s. They were skating for the first time ever. Because they decided it was time to pursue a dream and they went for it.
Since you (probably) don’t know me, let me start first by saying this. I’m a pretty modest chick. Even in my younger days, I would always have preferred to be curled up on a Friday night in my PJs that strutting around in sexy clothes at the club. So pole dancing was waaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.
I originally went to pole dancing class as kind of a dare. I had just had my heart broken. And some little voice in my head commanded me to live outside of my comfort zone. So, I decided to honor that voice and give it a try.
Things I loved about pole dancing classes:
- Moving slowly in sensual ways can kick your butt. I woke up the day after my first class and could barely more.
- Hanging upside down from a pole works every muscle in your body.
- Even if you don’t identify with the word “sexy”, you will feel sexier.
Pilates Reformer Classes
I was really studious as a kid. And, as part of my studious nature, I dragged my books everywhere, most usually flung in my bag over my right shoulder. And I’ve learned that all this book carrying created a small twist in my spinal cord. This small twist makes me favor the right side.
Pilates is one of the few types of exercise that doesn’t just make you stronger. It helps your body move more effectively and gracefully. This might explain why so many pilates teachers are dancers. And pilates reformer classes have really helped me be more balanced.
Things I love about pilates
- Helps straighten out your posture
- Builds long lean muscles
- Lots of fun to play with all the loops and props on the reformer
Honorable Mention (Curling Classes)
Have you seen curling at the winter Olympics? It’s that weird sport where people sweep a puck. I know the sport is popular in places, but most of us in the U.S. know little about it. I never thought I would get a chance to try it. But I took advantage of a curling club that offered free lessons!
And, oh my gosh…it was not easy. I remember skidding all over the ice trying to throw the puck or ball or whatever it was called. But it was a ton of fun and really increased my heart rate. So if you ever get a chance to try curling, I highly recommend it.
Ready to try new boredom crushing exercise classes?
I suggest giving Classpass a try. If you’ve never tried Classpass, it’s an exercise program in many major cities. You choose a monthly package of let’s say 5 or 10 classes. And you can take classes from most exercise studios in your city. I love that this allows you to try different exercise classes until you find something you really like.
My newest obsession is powerplate classes. This is where you do an entire workout on a vibrating plate which challenges every muscle in your body. I’ve only done 5 classes, but I’m becoming obsessed. Maybe I’ll talk about this more in a future post.
So kill your exercise boredom by trying something new today. Remember, no excuses. You’re not too old or uncoordinated. Change your attitude and do things within your own limits. And do it because it’s fun. Because when you’re having fun, you don’t even feel like you’re exercising. You just feel like you’re playing!
Emma @ Muddy Boots and Diamonds says
I’ve been pole dancing for about 9 years. I love it!
Emma, such good exercise right?!
Figure skating classes is a different idea! I like to take barre classes at my local gym and definitely gets me through regular boredom of gym going. I haven’t tried any of these ideas so will have to give them a go!
That’s great that your gym has barre classes. I feel like the gyms near me have primarily Hiit and spinning. I have to go to private studios for the fun classes.
Shoshana Sue says
I tried a fitness pole dancing class a few months ago. It was sensual but needed a lot of coordination which I am not great at. It turned out to be okay but my neck was sore for a couple of days. I would give Pilates Reformer Classes a go from this list
Oh no! Neck pain is never good!
robin rue says
I used to do zumba every day and stopped when my instructor left . I have been wanting to try that areal yoga for a while now.
Oh, I hate when an instructor you love leaves. 🙁
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
Some of these sound really great! I’ve been in a silk class, for a field trip that my daughter went on. It is HARD! If you have no upper body strength, be prepared to just suck. Although it would be a fun challenge to try and gain some strength while in that class.
Oh, I know..I struggle with arm strength too. It definitely gets easier the more you do it.
Melissa Chapman says
I dread workouts but try to go at least five times a week. The benefits always outweigh the boredom. I wish I was adventurous like you. There are a lot of classes at my gym but no pole dancing which sounds like a fun workout.
Hey, 5 days a week is pretty good!
These sound like great classes that would make exercise fun and definitely boredom free. It’ll help keep you excited, fit and motivated!!
Ayana Pitterson says
The pole dancing is one of my MUST DO SOON classes. Some of these classes I have never even considered, but the fact that they are fun is a definite interest to me now. I do have to say that in order for me to get into a class, the instructor and music is really what kills the boredom for me. If they are boring, or the music isn’t pumping just right…then you may not see me again. Great post. Great reminder that I need to get that pole dancing class.
I hope you get to that pole dancing class! Great point about bad music.
Cecilia C. Cannon says
love these ideas! I want to start working out but can’t do the usual stuff, cause I find it boring. will look into some of these.
Beth Davidson says
I just had a baby so it’s been awhile since my last workout. I’ll have to see if there’s a gym around here with something fun, because once I hit my six week post-labor mark I will definitely need a fun way to workout!
Wow what a great post! I just had a post about keeping motivated for the gym and one of my suggestions was taking exercise classes to spice up your fitness routine! This is awesome and exactly what I was thinking about! Definitely going to see if some of these classes are available near me 🙂
Wow- look at you Erica! That must have been a little nerve wracking but you did it!” You are in great shape by the way.
I run and jog three to four times a week. It is easier to fit into my schedule. I enjoy the treadmill at the gym but go periodically.
The absoliute best classes are the ones that don’t feel like a boring workout. This is why I have so much trouble getting on the treadmill- it’s way too borning and the time trickles on… This was a great read, thanks.
Karen Morse says
These exercises classes are a brilliant idea especially for people who have been following strict workout routines. It would be a nice break for them, like a breather and will motivate them to continue working out as well.
La Shell says
I use to be a gym buff and classes person myself. I slipped out of it and need to get back on the wagon!
Debbie-jean Lemonte says
I do Zumba/Dance occasionally as the typical gym life is too boring for me. It totally helps.
Terri Steffes says
Exercise and I don’t talk. We don’t ever speak. However, I need to find a way to communicate with exercise because it is true that I need it in my life! 🙂
I get bored very very easily and so I have tried an array of sports and classes. Basketball, tennis, dancing. I’ve done pole dancing and when I got bored of that after a year or so I tried aerials, then F45 and I am now currently powerlifting but want to give CrossFit a go soon. I even did a BJJ class too. I love trying new things and it keeps things interesting.
These all sound great. I do find working out in the gym and running incredibly boring and love classes. I exercise mostly at home and have recently started Cize…it’s dance based and so much fun. I actually look forward to doing it!
Those are some great alternatives to traditional gym workout. I started Orange Theory Fitness about a year ago and I STILL wake up the next morning feeling the burn. Great workouts keep you interested. Thanks for the ideas!!
William Rusho says
I will not be doing pole dancing anytime soon, but I do like to shake this up with my exercise routine. I am either in the gym, or go into the ring to wrestle. I find this really increases my heart rate, and works muscles I normally do not hit with weights. throw in when I am training people in MMA, and then I am a complete regiment.
Doreen Pendgracs says
Hi Erica. The most fun I’ve had exercising has been Zumba classes. I absolutely used to love it. Then the lady who was giving the classes was no longer giving them at the place I was going. I tried another location and the instructor was lousy. Found another class and the instructor was good and then got sick and died. And I then developed problems with my knees. So I think Tai Chi is on the agenda beginning next month.
Ana De- Jesus says
I used to dance as a kid but I have always wanted to try pole dancing out. I have always seen it is as empowering and the hammock class is another exercise class that I think would be quite fun! x
RoseMary Griffith says
Fun to read this when I just printed out a blank calendar so I can layout new stuff for August. I. Am. Bored.
I’ve never been on ice skates–I was dangerous enough on roller skates.
I love lifting weights and know I need to up my poundage. I work out at home so can do any mix of exercises that look like fun. I’ve done the gym thing, but it’s not really my favorite thing.
Cindy Ingalls says
I need to try the class pass. I get so bored with workouts and am always looking for a new fun challenge. I usually come back to pilates because even though you tend to do the same exercises over and over, I love the way it makes me feel. And I get excited when I start to notice I can actually accomplish something like the jackknife.
Amber Nelson says
These are some great ideas. I need to get myself working out instead of sitting on my butt.
AnnMarie John says
I’ve been going back to the gym since summer started as I want to get back in shape. I think it’s awesome to attend classes like these to mix it up a bit!
I’ve had good luck with CIZE dance videos, but would like to give aerial silks a try at some point. I’m working on getting a fire spinning staff so I can start practicing with that as well.
I know this doesn’t fit within the topic of your blog, but if you get a fire spinning staff, please post about it on your blog. Lol, or do a guest post on mine. You should totally do it!
Lynnette Joselly says
I agree. At one point I was just taking a bunch of different classses such as barre, spinning, dance, pilates just so I don’t get bored of the same workout routine.
I need to start working on my workout routine. I get bore and everything stops. I need to keep it fun and fresh so I don’t lose interest.
Personally grew up ice skating so much later when I lived in London I started rollerblading close to my house in Hyde Park. Used to start Sundays rollerblading and then have a healthy breakfast. Ice skating and rollerblading is great fun and you forget about everything else. Boredom? Not a chance when you ice skate or rollerblade.
I’ve always loved figure skating but have never been graceful or slim enough to try it out. I love that you tried out all these different classes to stay fit.