I have a secret that will turn your ordinary workout routine into something that you’ll want to post about on social media, talk about in a holiday card, and maybe turn into an annual adventure with your friends! Even better, it’ll help you bust through any weight loss plateaus.
If you’ve been sticking to the same fitness regimen for the last year, you might be noticing that the scale isn’t budging and your body isn’t changing as much as you’d hoped, despite your hard workouts and calorie counting. In order to break through this cycle, you need to trick your body by changing up your routine. Your body knows what to expect when you do the same exercises religiously, so it isn’t as challenged. You can make your workouts more effective by mixing it up. Want incredible results? Here’s what I propose: Pick a day on the calendar that you deem as your ‘Fitness Birthday’ and make a bucket list of things you want to try.
On my fitness birthday each year, I list at least three ‘cray-cray’ activities (that I can do alone or with friends) that take me out of my comfort zone and make me feel sore in the best way possible. Plateau? How about a lava-covered mountain of fitness fabulousness!?!
Here are three Fitness Birthday bucket list ideas you can work into your fitness routine so you can continue to surprise your body with new exercises that will burn more calories. Feel free to get creative with your activities! See what your community has to offer or plan a vacation where you can tackle a fun bucket list item! The only rule? It has to make you sore and you need to practice to achieve it. (And of course, get pictures to share!)
Fitness Birthday Bucket List 1: Train for an open water swim!
You don’t need to go all the way and do a triathlon. Instead, get your feet wet first and fill your bucket list with water. It’s less intimidating to hit one of the three triathlon aspects, and also less routine than running and biking your brains out. Facilities like Asphalt Green in New York City have multiple water classes, “master swim teams” and personal swim training programs that get you lapping your plateau. Why not train to swim across your local waterway this summer and plan a clam bake on the other side! And maybe next year you can aspire to do the ‘tri.’
Fitness Birthday Bucket List 2: Find your inner gymnast!
Even if you’re not a flexible person or can’t even handle a front roll in your kid’s gym program, you can still do amazing things with your body and you’ll feel like a kid again. Adult gymnastics classes, specifically doing a back handspring, was actually on my very own bucket list this year. I had been a college cheerleader, but was the only one who never took gymnastics classes, so I had to do extra (and I mean extra!) time learning it in college. Now, at 36, I decided, “Lets see if I can ever do a back-handspring again!?” My husband was like, “Who are you?!” My thought, “Good; keep him guessing!” – that might be good relationship advice too, but I’ll leave that for the KnowMore relationship experts!
At Chelsea Piers, and many other gymnastics facilities across the country, they offer adult gymnastics classes. For $30 I went for the 1.5 hour class. When personal training is much more than that, it’s a bargain for really surprising your body. The warm-up included crab walks, plank jump-back and skipping, then we practiced handstands, cartwheels, back rolls into handstands, round-offs, and cartwheels-to-handstands on the boingy floor, which is so fun to even just jump around on. Then the great part: they have ball pits (think Chuck E. Cheese’s as a kid) to fall into; huge padded wheels and mats to practice easy and safe front walkovers and handsprings from, and spotters for the back handsprings. I nailed it after a few times (with a spotter). It was like riding a bike… if that bike was throwing yourself backwards and upside down hoping to land on your hands!
Video here – and yes, so proud of my almost 37-year old self!
Fitness Birthday Bucket List 3: Fly
No, not skydiving… practicing Antigravity Yoga! If you like yoga, this is for you. If you get bored at yoga, this is also for you. There is nothing like it, and it’s always such a release you forget you’re working out. Classes like Crunch’s Antigravity Yoga allow you to do Down Dog and Warrior III in a silk hammock. Not only does this relieve pressure on your joints and spine (I’ve always had a few back issues, and all I can say is I feel a ‘creaking door’ opening in my spine each time) but it’s almost equivalent to getting a massage. And, heck yeah, you hang upside down with no hands on the floor. It’s so Ohm-azing you just have to try it.
Spend some time perfecting these 3 Fitness Birthday Bucket List suggestions (or your very own originals) and you ALMOST don’t realize the massive changes in your body while having this much fun and adventure!
One thing? Send us your photos!
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Nicole Glor is a fitness expert based in NYC, author of The Slimnastics Workout, and the star of 9 fitness DVDs including her new Seasonal Affective Disorder Workout DVD. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter and get free newsletters, music playlists, video demos and DVDs.