Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cardio Barre Is My New Therapy

I recently started taking my first ever Cardio Barre class.  

If you've never heard of Cardio Barre it is a full body workout class that helps lengthen muscles, lose weight, correct posture and increase fitness.  It was created by a former professional dancer, and the exercises are based on ballet moves.  It's particularly good for anyone with old injuries because it does not put stress on joints, and here are no jumping or kicking motions. 

Let me start by mentioning that when I was younger I had many years of formal ballet and other dance training. So I am often attracted to classes that incorporate dance movements. I assumed this class should be relatively easy for me since I am familiar with the poses and ballet exercises.  Initially I couldn't decide on whether or not I should sign up for the beginner class or a more advanced class.  I decided to start in the beginner class since this was my first try at Cardio Barre.  

Man, was I glad I chose the beginning level!   I have to say I was very surprised on my first workout on the level of intensity and difficulty.  This workout will definitely test your limits and get your heart rate up.   If you are looking for a workout that will really amp up your fitness level, this is it!  I am definitely going to stay in the beginner class for a while! 

Now I know this is just the type of workout I have been searching for.  It combines all of the elements I love in a great workout like cardio, muscle lengthening strength moves, ballet and dance poses, and stretching; while leaving out some of the things I try to avoid, like too much pressure on my joints. 

So after saying for months that I wanted to take a class, I finally just signed up. I go on weekend mornings when my husband can stay with the kids.  It's only a couple of times a week, but it has been enough to make some really positive changes to my everyday life.

I spend most of my time being a stay-at-home mom (working part time from home) so I am always with my kids and most of my energy goes towards meeting their needs.

Like many other moms I often feel somewhat lonely, isolated and feel like I have lost myself - my identity as a person.  I often feel like I'm not really ME anymore, but instead I'm 'the mother of my kids'.  That is not necessarily a bad thing!  I love my kids, and want to give them all the attention and love that they want and need. But, the loss of my own interests and hobbies, not to mention my career can make me feel somewhat depressed at times.

So, initially when I started taking this class, my goal was to just get back into shape and do something for myself, by myself, for a change.  It has turned out to be the best decision I could have made for my life right now.  It gives me a chance to be by myself for a bit, and focused completely on myself.  The instructors at the place I go for classes are so inspiring, they push me to be my best and give 100% intention and intensity to my workout.  I know that there are many classes that can have this same effect whether it's yoga or running or a pottery class or whatever. But, I just wanted to share how much I love this class, and how good it has been for me, my health, fitness and most of all, my sanity ;)

My instructor said to us last week:
"The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday". 

In a perfect world, all the mothers out there should have something like this to help them feel good too.