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Fitness is Brain Food

Posted by Danielle Cummings on January 2, 2010 at 9:39 PM Comments comments (0)

In the article “Half a Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste” in the Nov 2009 issue of O Magazine, the author, Martha Beck describes ways that we can tap into our creative side. Specifically, one of the activities she mentions to “wake up your right mind” is “Learning New Moves”. She explains that learning new dance steps or movements can build our right brain facility. In the book The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle it explains that this is connected to something he calls deep practice. This form of practice is gradual, starting with just visualizing the activity, then progresses to mastery but not without failed attempts in the beginning. I feel this is so important for anyone participating in group exercise. First, it not only builds your overall fitness and improves your physical and emotional health, but it is also good for your brain. The second reason this is so important is that it shows how you have to keep trying. Don’t just go to one class if you found it too hard. Try again, and again. TurboKick is a class that you need to try more than once. If your instructor is good then just as you fell comfortable – it will change again – feeding your brain.

How I got into Group Fitness Part 3

Posted by Danielle Cummings on August 20, 2009 at 7:44 AM Comments comments (0)

I had my routine set. My majic formula for weight loss. My family was eating healthy, I was exercising 3-4 days a week and I was feeling great. It was in Dec 08 that I think I first got into a size 8. I couldn't believe it. Size 18 to 8. Plus to regular. I could shop in normal stores. I felt sexy and confident. I kept up this routine until the end of Feb 09. I would see my Pump Iron instructor dropping off her little girl in the childcare or at gymnastics. In ealry March I saw her before my son's gymanstics and she was not looking good. She filled me in that the YMCA was closing the childcare in one week. She informed me of a meeting that was being held to discuss it. I was shocked. It felt like someone was stealing my life away, my freedom, my chance at a good body. Sounds dramatic now, but to me it was devastating. I knew my mom would watch my son maybe once a week but not 3 times a week. There would be no way for me to keep up what I was doing. I raced over to the meeting and the parents were all equally upset. They cited finacial reasons, but none were really sound and it is still shady to me that they gave such little notice. With all of the complaints, a week later the YMCA announced that they would keep the childcare, but only for a few hours in the morning. This did not help me since my class, Turbokick, my favorite class, began right after the new hours stopped. There really was no cardio equivalent to Turbokick in the schedule. I knew what I had to do - it was time to find a new gym.

 

We live in a small town and my options were good, but limited. I spoke to one of the more popular gyms with childcare and the manager said that they didn't offer Turbokick, but I could teach it if I wanted. The idea had come into my head before. I was a teacher, I could do the moves and learn them quickly when they changed and I really, really love the class. I looked into the training. One day in Phoenix, a considerable cost but doable. Once I did the Turbokick training I was certified but I still needed to find a place to teach. Things never panned out at the first place I talked to, but they did at a place that I never expected, a yoga studio. Now I have 4 classes a week at 2 different places and I love it.

How I got into Group Fitness Part 2

Posted by Danielle Cummings on August 17, 2009 at 12:35 PM Comments comments (0)

After 2 classes of Turbokick I was hooked. In my second class it felt like a whole new routine because I must have been in a fog that entire first class. Once I started learning the moves, I felt better. I was able to keep up and not be so out of breath. The warmup got easier and I really love the music. For those who don't know, Turbokick is a form of cardio kickboxing that is choreographed and can be dancy during some sections. I do feel that some people may reach the 100 calories burned mark, but it really depends on how much you weigh and how hard you work. I usually averaged about 600 calories.

 

At this point I was taking Turbokick once a week, Zumba once a week and doing the circuit for strength training once a week. When my Turbokick instructor asked if we would come if class was offered twice a week I was a definite "yes". With school starting and my schedule changing, I dropped Zumba (which never gave me a good calorie burn, but was fun) and dropped the circuit (I was so happy) for a class called "Pump Iron" and kept Turbokick for my cardio - now twice a week. For me, this was my magic formula. I was seeing results. Finally! I shelved my oversized T-shirt and opted for a tank top and shorts. I felt my muscles contracting on my punches and I had a tighter waist when I twisted. My jumping was more controlled and less bounce. I began running after class. Something I never thought I would do - but wow - I was feeling awesome. Pump Iron was an experience in itself. I adored the instructor. So cute like a cheerleader. I was in awe of the size of class. Getting a spot in the crowd was a challenge in the "after I drop the kids off at school" time slot. My first class I introduced myself to the teacher, something I always do, since it makes me feel more comfortable with them. She was sick and just said, "Try to keep up, use small weights in the beginning and just watch, I don't say much". She wasn't kidding. Music blarring, she started right in, fast sets and plyometrics worked in between, it was great. You would never have known that she was sick. She used a step, barbell and hand weights. I would still be taking her class if I hadn't needed to switch gyms. I try to replicate her routine in my garage but it's not the same.

How I got into Group Fitness

Posted by Danielle Cummings on August 1, 2009 at 6:39 PM Comments comments (0)

It was May 2008 when my husband and I decided to get fit. We joined our local YMCA and began their "First Steps" program. Our trainer helped us with the machines and we kept a log of our activities. I quickly got bored witht the circuit. I knew there was another option - the classes. They looked fun, but daunting. Thankfully there was childcare, so I started with a PiYo class. Though relaxing, I needed more to shed the pounds. I kept passing by the TurboKick flyer. It was calling my name, but I was scared. The flyer claimed that I could burn up to 1000 calories - I was so curious to see what it was all about, but I just didn't feel ready. My next step was Zumba. I have always enjoyed dancing and feel like I am pretty coordinated so I had no trouble keeping up with the steps. It was fun and I returned many times. I love data and I purchased a heart rate monitor to track my calories. This was a good tool for me, although sometimes discouraging since my husband always burned so many more calories that I could. I continued Zumba and the circuit 3 to 4 times a week, and I was still only a few pounds lighter after a month. It was finally time to try TurboKick. With my heart rate monitor strapped on, my oversized T-shirt to hide my body and a water bottle I was ready to sweat. I will never forget how I felt after the warmup. I couldn't believe that I was tired and out of breath after the warmup. How could there be more? How could those other people be doing this and look fine? How could the teacher be talking through this? I hardly made it through class, and I could hardly move afterwards. I decided to go back. I knew this was what I needed.