I just finished writing a two–part cupcake tutorial for the HC food blog, but I want to stray away from that to tell my personal success with a few diet and exercise fixes. Funny, huh? You never thought a girl who writes about sugar could tell you about being healthy, right? Well keep reading ladies, because I have the inside scoop from an Auburn Group Fitness instructor, and two ways that can help you tone up!
Stop dieting. I have always counted calories, but it became such a bad habit. Anytime I went over my limit I would automatically feel bad about myself. I am still aware of calories, but honestly I go over the “average woman” calorie limit every day and my body is still toning up! How? Well part of it is I eat a majority of fruits and vegetables, and I choose healthy carbohydrates and proteins. I have finally made my stomach flat not by doing 100 super crunches, but by cutting diet soda out of my diet. I don’t drink regular sodas either because of the extra calories, but I didn’t think cutting out diet soda would make a big enough difference for me to give them up too. I had always heard they were bad, but I never knew the results would be so great! The aspartame in diet soda can zap the radiance right out of your skin, and they make you have extra stomach bloat. See the many other side effects here.
Go to Group Fitness. I once thought a work out class would be too easy or just old women dancing, but a friend of mine made me take a class called “ab attack” about a year ago and I fell in love! Now I am a Group Fitness member at Auburn, and I have not missed a class. I go to short circuits and barefoot butts and guts. Short circuits is a mix of tabata (a 4 minute fat burner) and plyometrics (helps speed and strength), and barefoot butts and guts is a mix of power yoga and a core class. Both of the classes are great because the instructors encourage the class to try our hardest, but everyone can go at their own pace. There is fun music so we move to the beat and lose ourselves while we feel the burn. Mostly, group fitness works because I don’t have to think about the exercise, I just trust the instructors to show me the right moves and I don’t have to stress about my next workout plan. Plus, the instructor makes time for stretching and makes sure we are doing the exercises properly, so there is less room for injury. There are plenty of advantages to group fitness, read about them here. You wanna learn more about Group fitness at Auburn? Well here is the link to the Auburn group fitness page; it has a schedule and a detailed list of all the classes including the level of difficulty. And finally my group fitness instructor, Olivia, gives you the spill about group fitness and some diet tips. She started the class barefoot butts and guts, and she is a nutrition major!
Lindy: You made up the class, so describe it to someone who has never taken it before.
Olivia: It’s a fusion of a butts and guts class and a power yoga class. It takes yoga poses and incorporates them into dynamic movements, so you can move to the beat of the music. You get the strengthening and toning, and you get the fun music.
Lindy: Do you have a favorite move in the class?
Olivia: It’s a move that inspired the class. I was in a power yoga class, and we did the lunge up to the warrior three. I thought, you know, this would be great in a butts and guts class. But all of the balancing things we do help work the ankles and feet, which you can’t work while you have shoes on. Those are really important.
Lindy: Do you think Group Fitness is better than working out alone?
Olivia: I think it’s really great to be held accountable. I get to know my students, and I can be like “hey, why weren’t you there last week?” Also, coming from being an athlete, I feel like having someone coaching and driving you is really effective. It’s a great way to meet people, too.
Lindy: For those who can’t come to your class, either they don’t have time or it doesn’t fit their schedule, what would you advise them to do?
Olivia: I would advise them to look at the group fitness schedule, because we have so much to offer. We have about 100 classes per week and there is so much variety; there is something for everyone. If you wanna take my class but you can’t, take a power yoga class one day and a butts and guts class another day. I believe there is something for everyone.
Lindy: What is your health routine? Are there certain foods you say you should or shouldn’t eat?
Olivia: There are really no “good” or “bad” foods, so honestly if you are really craving something, go for it in moderation. Don’t eat 5 “low cal” granola bars, trying to satisfy yourself. I try to eat things that I know are good for me 99 percent of the time, because after you start eating right, it makes you feel good when eating right. If you are eating mostly burgers and fries, gradually make the switch to healthy foods and they will start tasting good to you.
Lindy: How do you work out on your own?
Olivia: I spend time in the weight room. I would love to see more girls in the weight room, and you won’t “bulk up” unless you are doing some serious heavy lifting. Also, if you are in Zumba or any exercise really, focus on keeping your abs tight and tucked in because every movement you do, you move your abs. You will see a flat stomach faster!
I want to thank both of my group fitness instructors, Olivia and Lauren, for helping me feel better about myself. I don’t just feel better about my body, but my overall health has improved immensely! I plan to see much more progress soon! If you want to workout with me at Group Fitness, I take short circuits on Tuesday nights at 8:30 and Barefoot Butts and guts Thursday nights at 6:15!