Posted on: July 8, 2012

For those of you who know me, you know I can typically be found sporting Nike or Lululemon gear and smelling less than freshly showered due to my passion and hobby of fitness. I love just about anything that makes me sweat; it invigorates me. Seven years ago when I began regularly exercising, I started with short bike rides and quickly progressed to Turbo Jam DVDs. Currently I regularly run, bike, swim, practice yoga, do Insanity DVDs, teach my self-developed Cardio Fusion (strength/cardio classes), teach PiYo, and teach Turbo Kick. It is summer, so I have a ridiculous amount of time to devote to my hobby; during the school year, I definitely scale back a bit. People often ask, “Do you work out so much because you feel like you have to/think you’re fat/etc.?” My answer to that is this: Some people scrapbook, some fish, some cook, some garden–I exercise. I read about it; I write about it; I do it.

My arm would have to be seriously twisted (or a monetary reward would have to be involved) to get me to go fishing or read a book entitled The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible; so I get it, my hobby of exercising is not nearly enjoyable and even perhaps, unenjoyable for some people. That said, if you are looking to improve your fitness level, quality of life, and/or body image, look no further than PUSH. Today, I’ll walk through the questions in the book that help PUSHers to determine their “soulmate workout.”  Who knows? Maybe I will discover the type(s) of activity or activities that are most enjoyable and result producing for me!

1. Indoor or Outdoor? I prefer a different enviroment for different formats, but primarily outdoor.

2. Group or Solo? Again, sometimes I just want to work it out in my basement alone, in a cut off tee, all smiley and pretending I am filming a hot new workout DVD; but other times I want to giggle with friends or set competition goals as I struggle through push-ups and lunges. I really can’t pick on this one.

3. Team or individual? Definitely individual. I would annoy the you-know-what out of any team comprised mainly of people with even one competitive bone in their body, as I am lacking all competitive drive.

4. Dance or Athletic? Geez, enough with the tough questions, Chalene. I danced for 15 years in a studio setting, so shaking it is a part of who I am, but I rarely find myself dripping after a solely dance-based workout. That being said, a fusion of dance and athletic movement is ideal (i.e. Turbo!).

5. Competitive or noncompetitive? If my reasoning on #3 didn’t explain it clearly, maybe the fact that I picked dandelions on the soccer field at 5-years-old and was elated with 8th, yes 8th out of 12, place in the 500yd freestyle at the high school sectional swim meet when I was 16 will more accurately paint the picture. As long as I gave my personal 110%, I won. Noncompetitive.

6. Slow and steady or fast and furious? I know that and preach finding a smooth balance of the two in your regular routine is best for optimal fitness (running/yoga, Turbo/PiYo, etc./etc.). But if I must pick, I’ll embrace my “bull in a china shop” nature and pick fast and furious. Bring on the 160 bpm music and quick intervals!

7. High-impact, low-impact, or nonimpact? The sound of my knees tell me to choose otherwise, but I’ve gotta go with high-impact. A good swim or bike ride is a great way to break from my high-impact routine, though.

8. Music or silence? Crank the tunes, yo. I don’t know that I have worked out more than maybe 2hrs total in my entire life sans music.

9. Very coordinated, somewhat coordinated, or two left feet? Just don’t throw me a ball, and we’ll call it at very coordinated.

10. The sport you enjoy the most is: an endurance sport. Swimming, biking or running. Participating in a triathlon was the most I’ve had in a competitive event.

11. What were you doing the last time you felt young and alive while exercising? I’m only 19 and hoping creaks, cracks, and decreased range of motion are a long way off but I tend to feel extra energized after a 5-8 mile run, power yoga class, or high-intensity choreographed cardio workout (i.e. Turbo, I think I am seeing a trend, here).

12. What types of exercise do you find mundane or torturous? To be honest, I am not a big fan of mat Pilates. I tend to get lost in my head to the point where I am no longer thinking about the workout or engaging key muscles. You also won’t find me willingly participating in a pick up game of almost anything (baseball, basketball, football, etc.) anytime soon.

13. What kind of music inspires you? Fast-paced indie rock, remixed top-40s, mashups.

14. In what kind of enviroment do you find you work the hardest? When I teach. There is no doubt I burn WAAAY more calories when teaching, as I put on my professional pants and try to display perfect form at an energetic intensity for the duration of class. Sometimes, when I am taking a class or doing a new DVD and am unaware of how much longer or how many reps of a certain move that I have left, I start “slacking.”

15. What types of activities or sports did you most enjoy in your youth? Oh you mean yesterday, Chalene? When I was “little,” I loved dancing; in my elderly state, today, pushing 20, I enjoy endurance sports, upbeat group classes or DVDs and yoga. I suppose I could look back at my 14-year-old self and recall the pride I took in completing a Turbo Jam DVD, sweating buckets without hating every second of it.

16. Do you work out harder or with greater intensity in the presence of others? When teaching a class, yes. Otherwise, not really.

17. Do you need an opportunity to clear your mind and be alone? On occasion, but not typically. I don’t have kids, yet.

18. Do you meditate? No, but would love to become more educated/experienced in the concept.

19. If you could go back and have really mastered a sport or activity, what would that be? Dance or running.

20. What sport or activity do you enjoy watching on TV? Do the routines on Dance Moms count?

Simply, answering a few of these questions could help you to decide the core of your fitness routine according to your preferences. I obviously enjoy a good Turbo workout (Turbo Jam, Kick, or Fire) more often than I enjoy some other forms of fitness. Adhering to a workout schedule is sometimes as simple as discovering what you like in other facets of life and applying that to getting a good sweat.


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