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So How Do You Stay in Shape?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by agalisgv, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

    I recently started barre workouts, and I'm somewhat enjoying it (enjoy the muscle toning but not the pain of the actual workout :lol: ). I've been wondering if I'm getting enough cardio, though, from it.

    What do y'all do to exercise and keep in shape? How well is it working for you?

    And if anyone has experience with barre workouts, I'd love to hear your feedback.
    meggonzo and Simone411 like this.
  2. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

    i have a minimalistic routine. It consists of walking about a mile a day (walking the dogs and doing errands), running up and down stairs all day (3-story house plus basement), lifting weights for about 10 mins a week, and doing assorted balance and ballet exercises (no barre, except the kitchen counter sometimes) while waiting for coffee water to boil and waiting for the dogs to do their thing in the back yard (often in the wee hours of the morning hoping the neighbors arent awake). And I do a lot of chores, like shoveling snow and gardening, although a bum shoulder limits the heavy work. So it's all just a matter of working exercise into my daily life and never trying to avoid it. I almost never drive anywhere I could walk. I just wish there were more places to go around here.

    It all seems like very little to me until I read that most people dont even exercise half an hour a week. It's enough to stay in reasonable shape (ie within 5-7 pounds of my ideal weight) and according to a fancy cardio test I took last year my heart is perfect. Still, I've resolved to use our dusty exercise bike more this year, especially in the winter months, specifically for the cardio benefits. My health coverage is about to take a dive and it behooves me to take as good care of myself as I possibly can.

    I agree with you that the toning effects of ballet exercises are fantastic. I just hope I don't break something.
    Simone411 and agalisgv like this.
  3. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

    Barre workouts should be good. Dancing in general is great. If you look at professional dancers, they often have beautifully toned bodies without looking too overworked.
    Spun Silver, viennese and agalisgv like this.
  4. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    My husband and I usually take a four mile walk for our daily exercise. When time constraints or weather prevent the walk, I have an elliptical trainer that I use instead.
    Simone411, paskatefan and agalisgv like this.
  5. Lucy25

    Lucy25 Well-Known Member

    I started doing bootcamp workouts seven months ago. They are difficult but incredibly effective! I have lost 52 lbs, my bloodwork was incredible at my checkup in September, and it has totally reshape my body. I cannot believe how strong I am getting. Physically and mentally. Along with this, I have been eating "clean". I am hoping to continue it all indefinitely because it has just been awesome. I have had to replace my entire wardrobe, which has been a blast.
  6. CassAgain

    CassAgain Well-Known Member

    My husband and children are avid runners. I register for the same races they do and then have to train as to not completely embarrass myself. Fear of failure for the win!
  7. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Holding Alex Johnson's Pineapple

    My gym offers several different barre classes and there was one instructor I really enjoyed and I could always tell when I'd taken her class because the next day, everything was pleasantly sore. None of the other instructors taught a class where I got that effect, and alas, that teacher now teaches at a barre only studio, which I can't afford.

    tl;dr not all instructors are created equal
    agalisgv likes this.
  8. Allskate

    Allskate Well-Known Member

    I haven't done a barre workout, but if you find yourself wondering if you're getting enough cardio, that seems to be a pretty good indication that you're not. I've been doing some yoga classes lately (primarily just as a way to reduce stress and relax) as well as classes designed to build bone strength. It's pretty obvious to me that these don't provide a significant cardio workout. So, I'm trying to keep a good balance of flexibility/strength workouts and cardio workouts. The other day I hopped onto the treadmill right after my yoga class and realized that a benefit of doing that was that I was really warmed up already when I got on the treadmill. I think I'm also going to take a "boot camp" class that includes both strength and cardio together.

    The biggest challenge I've had with cardio is finding a good workout that is challenging enough without causing me pain in my knee or back. I end up working out longer to try to compensate, but I think it would be better if I found a good way to get my heartrate higher without injuring myself or feeling the pain. I push too hard and then end up missing workouts because I'm hurt.
    agalisgv likes this.
  9. my little pony

    my little pony war crawling into canada

    i love barre. i do barre and pilates. I've noticed some barre classes are really random workouts with a barre in the room that you occasionally use. i like a more traditional stoic ballet workout. i'm not interested in adding any cardio because i hate it.
    AxelAnnie and agalisgv like this.
  10. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    I do barre too and enjoy it for the toning aspect. I do feel I don't get enough cardio so I do spin once a week to so too. I walk a lot by virtue of where I live.
  11. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    I had never heard of the Barre workout. Mine is very simple. Treadmill 30-40 minutes daily (longer when I do two sessions in a day- at work and at the health club in the evening). In the morning I do about 3-4 yoga exercises. During summer once a week I may replace the treadmill with a swim in my pool (meaning those are much much shorter laps).
    agalisgv likes this.
  12. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    I do barre at a studio-- the Bar Method. I love it. I'm stronger and more flexible than I was before, and it appeals to the perfectionist in me because it focuses on doing small movements perfectly -- kind of like skating, actually.

    The higher-level classes keep your heart rate up to a degree but it's not intense cardio.
    Simone411 and agalisgv like this.
  13. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

    Swimming & the treadmill - 3/4 times a week. What a pleasure to swim in a heated pool year round!
    wustfan, oleada, Simone411 and 3 others like this.
  14. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Love barre, however if you want to lose weight, cardio should be added eventually. Plus it's good for you anyway. My barre class had me staggering out of there every time.

    I hate cardio too, so I have the Food or the Discovery channel on to ease the boredom.

    I stopped doing barre years ago because the class I like is too far now and just do traditional weights (free and machines) plus cardio. I find it the most efficient.
    Simone411, paskatefan and agalisgv like this.
  15. viennese

    viennese Well-Known Member

    I was doing Pilates reformer classes, which were great for building strength and improving flexibility. But I needed to do something to get my heart rate up during exercise. I started doing Crossfit about six months ago and I love it.

    I've gained muscle, lost fat, and my cholesterol levels have gone way down. I feel really good. It's fun, too.
  16. Simone411

    Simone411 Clippy Loves Ashley, Kaetlyn, Jason and Sean!

    I was showed while in PT several exercises that could be done while in the wheelchair that would help to maintain upper body strength. I use wide resistance bands, 5 pound dumbbells and ankle weights while lifting my legs several times while in my wheelchair.

    I found some videos of exercises that I normally do. Some of the exercises especially with the wide resistance bands can actually benefit anyone, not just people in wheelchairs. The resistance bands are good for stretching both the legs and arms.

    Jumpstart Exercises: People in Wheelchairs

    Chair Exercises using Resistance Bands

    I tried to find a video of a person in a wheelchair using ankle weights while stretching the legs with resistance bands. But that's basicly what it is. You just have the ankle weights on while you do your leg stretches with the resistance bands. The ankle weight can also be used around the wrists while doing arm stretches with the resistance bands

    When I was unable to walk at NurseCare because my legs were still too weak (I had to rebuild muscle), I used the resistance bands in the bed for both my arms and legs. Those resistance bands are great to work with and they also come in different strengths.

    I also maintain my upper body strength just by using the wheelchair in my home. My living room, hallway, and bedrooms are carpeted. What that means for me is that there is more force using my arms in making the wheelchair go.
    AxelAnnie, altai_rose, cholla and 4 others like this.
  17. clairecloutier

    clairecloutier Well-Known Member

    Right now I'm trying to do a 45-minute skating session 3 times a week. That's the goal anyway, sometimes it goes down to 2 times a week--or none when my kids are out of school. Beyond that, I try to do a 20-minute routine of stretches and light weights 3 times a week (squats with 18-pound free weight, wall "push-ups"). In the warmer months here (April-November), I sometimes try to do a 3-mile walk on days when I'm not skating.

    I should be doing more. But this is actually the most exercise I've done as an adult yet. I've never been very into exercise/sports. ;)

    My skating coach recommended I try some ballet classes to improve my use of my arms. Are "barre" classes ballet, or are they like a combination of ballet and cardio?
    paskatefan, agalisgv and Simone411 like this.
  18. meggonzo

    meggonzo Well-Known Member

    I just started taking barre classes a few months ago as well. It's a combo of ballet, pilates, body sculpting, and cardio. It depends on the class or instructor how much cardio, or even ballet movements. The studio I go to has a hybrid class that has cardio sections mixed in. I don't think you'd get "enough" cardio from regular classes. However, I don't always like the hybrid classes since barre classes are done barefoot and the jumping movements are tough on my legs. I mostly do Zumba classes for cardio. I used to do cycle classes a lot but they've cut back a lot on the number of classes on the schedule, so it's harder to get to now. And when I don't go for awhile, it's harder to talk myself into going. :lol:
  19. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I ice skate 3-4 times per week, do ballroom dance once per week, and walk 10,000 steps or more every single bloody day if it kills me. I do need something for that for when the weather is too crap to walk outdoors (and considering I'm from New England, it takes a lot, weather-wise, to keep me indoors, but it does happen.) I'd love a treadmill - I'd be the only person I know who owns one who actually uses it. I also try to stretch nightly, but sometimes I poop out and go to bed instead.

    I'm still thinking of taking tap on Thursday nights. I used to have ballet on that night, but that class moved to noon, which is useless to me. But what I REALLY want to take is Irish step dancing.
    paskatefan likes this.
  20. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    Simone411, I adore resistance bands. I hate lifting weights, but resistance bands, I'm all about those.

    I think you'd be better served by actual ballet classes for this purpose.
    Simone411 and clairecloutier like this.
  21. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    I have a resistance band at home and a few free weights for when I don't make it to the gym. And sometimes when I am really ambitious, I pack the band in with luggage when I travel if I am not staying in a hotel with a gym.
    Simone411 likes this.
  22. my little pony

    my little pony war crawling into canada

    my ballet class was replaced by tap too. there is an irish step dancing class for "pre beginners" that has always intrigued me but it interferes with my barre.
  23. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member


    I take Pure Barre classes; if they have a studio in your area, they offer a "platform" class that is more cardio intensive. Xtend Barre studios have several types of cardio/ barre hybrids. I also take hot pilates, which is pilates/tabata.

    Do you do barre workouts at home or at a studio?
  24. susan6

    susan6 Well-Known Member

    I take 3-4 dance classes a week. But the dance types are not really cardio-intensive, so I'm wondering if anyone has a recommendation for a workout (like a DVD or website or whatever) that would be good to follow along with at home. I figure "cardio" is rule number 1 in Zombieland, and we're heading there, so I better get my cardiovascular system up to par.
  25. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    I would love to do that too! Wish you were in my city because I'm too chicken :lol:

    Walking and bike riding are my activities of choice. I need to figure out how to motivate myself to take walks in cold weather, though. Less than 50 degrees and I just want to hide under my heated blanket.
  26. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member


    I do barre in a studio. At home I stretch to work on flexibility, but nothing hardcore. I've tried adding some mild cardio (e.g. speed walking), but like @vesperholly, I'm not fond of going out in the cold, so the weather is a damper for me.

    There's a studio here that does hot yoga and Pilates, but I haven't tried it. Do you recommend it? What are they like? Is it so hot it's hard to breathe?

    I was given some resistance bands awhile back, but didn't use them much. Maybe I'll dig those out and give them another try.

    Tap seems incredibly exhausting--my hat's off to all those who do it!

    And congrats on the weight loss @Lucy25 --that's amazing and a real accomplishment!
  27. my little pony

    my little pony war crawling into canada

    i was very into hot yoga for a time and i have a lot of friends that still do it regularly. i think the excessive heat (1) tricks you into thinking you got more of a workout than you really did, it's just feels so good when you are done and (2) pushes you/allows you to get into some poses maybe you ordinarily couldnt/shouldnt. i damaged a nerve in my leg.
    AxelAnnie and Wiery like this.
  28. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

    I think I'm just being lazy :shuffle: The sports I tend to prefer have a cold/wind element to them - I've skated all my life and my second favorite is biking. Hot yoga sounds like sweaty torture to me. The weather here has just been so dreary and blah that it's killing my motivation. Overcast and intermittently rainy, some random knock-you-down windy days, decent temps in the 40s then plunges to the teens. I cannot be arsed to deal!

    This week I played pickleball. :lol: That was fun as hell! I'm going to try to go again.
  29. flyingsit

    flyingsit Well-Known Member

    As mentioned above, I do barre in a studio too. I used to take barre classes at a regular gym and the instructors were very inconsistent -- I prefer a studio because they are extremely well-trained and can provide tons of modifications etc. for whoever needs them.

    I just ordered an exercise bike for the basement as a cardio supplement; we used to have one (and used it a lot) but didn't move it across the country with us.
    AxelAnnie likes this.
  30. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

    I don't :shuffle: