A fitness routine & health are both very important to me. I grew up living a very active lifestyle. I danced for 15 years, most of which was competitively, was always on a soccer team, also competitively, swam, ran track and played most of the school team sports. My parents are sports enthusiasts, and also very active, so I guess it was also important for us to be the same. While sometimes I dreaded going to swimming lessons, or my 5th dance class of the week, I am now so grateful that I grew up in the fitness routine mentality.
When I went away to university, it was the first time I was no longer enrolled in any sort of group or individual sport or activity. Instead, I spent a lot more time socializing which inevitably involved more drinking and poor eating. I was not happy with my lack of activity or fitness routine, and felt unhealthy. Because I was always so reliant on sports and dance, I really did not know how to work out in a regular gym, so over the course of the years I took the initiative to figure it out. Sounds like an easy task, but self-discipline and self-motivation can also be difficult!
Now I truly enjoy working out and being active, so it has just become a part of my daily life. I struggle with anxiety and working out really helps me with this. While I am OK to go to the gym and do my own workout, I 100% prefer going to a workout class. It must be because I grew up always being active with others, and also always being directed by a coach or an instructor. Fortunately, Toronto is home to many many different studios across the city, specifically downtown/west end. Over the last year and a half, I have been a member with ClassPass – a monthly membership that connects you to hundreds of fitness studios across the city. Classpass is not just in Toronto, so check to see if your city has it!
A few of my current favourite fitness studios in Toronto being:
- Studio Lagree – reformer pilates
- Studio KO – box-fit boxing
- Elle Fitness and Social – HIIT with weights/bootcamp style
- Big Hit – kickboxing
- Pure Barre – barre/pilates
Most of the classes that I like to go to are either boxing related, pilates, or bootcamps. I love the high intensity of the boxing classes; the cardio is insane and there are never any breaks (be prepared to drip sweat!). Pilates & barre has really helped with building a strong core, plus are great for working muscles I never thought to work. I also find my cardio has gotten better from them too! Bootcamps are great for really pushing yourself with endurance and weight training; I love the mix of the cardio and weights.
In my current fitness routine, I generally aim to workout 5-6 times a week. I prefer to go in the mornings, because I easily find excuses to not go anytime after 12 pm. While I do use Classpass, it’s only 10 classes/month, so I also have a gym membership. Basically I do 2-3 workout classes/week (I am obsessed with boxing/kickboxing), and then 2-3 times spent in the ‘real gym’ (1 day cardio, 1 day legs, 1 day upper body). Now that it’s summer I try to mix in an outdoor workout or run. I often use Pinterest to look up workouts for when I’m going to the gym, and search ‘full body workouts‘, ‘tabata‘ or ‘HIIT‘. I like to sweat because I feel like I worked harder, so I always try to incorporate some form of cardio into my workouts, whether it be jumping lunges, mountain climbers, or sprints. Even if I don’t have access to a gym or weights, such as at the cottage or while traveling, I will find ‘do-anywhere‘ workouts to follow, or try to use what’s around me!
If you’d like me to share more examples of workouts I do (ie. ‘leg day’ or ‘arm day’) let me know!
Photos by: @slateandspirit