Registration season is here! Whether or not you are taking Slice’s 12-Week Back to Fitness Challenge, fall is big season for fitness, offering loads of opportunities to get started: gyms and yoga studios have back to school membership deals on; dance studios, boot camps and community centre fall sessions and timetables are up. So, what will you be doing this fall to stay active?
Gyms and studios
A gym membership is great if you use it weekly. If possible, paying a little extra to have access to multiple club locations (at the mall, or near work/home/daycare etc.) is worthwhile. Easy, quick and convenient gym access will greatly improve your attendance record and your health. If you haven’t done well with gym memberships in the past — you pay out but stay in — then consider registering for a session of scheduled classes. The “I’ve had a long day; I’ll go tomorrow” excuse won’t cut it with a Tuesday 7pm class; if you miss it, you can’t make up for it. Dance lessons and cardio-dance classes are so fun and upbeat, you’ll be too busy having a blast to notice you are exercising. Choose a style you love, or one you always wanted to try, or find a class that offers a mix. Eight- to 12-week sessions and drop-in classes are usually available at dance studios, schools and community centres. The drop-in classes are a great way to try something new before you commit to the longer term.
Joining a sports league is always a fun way to be active, meet new people and commit to your own schedule. Your team mates will be counting on you to play and you won’t want to let them down by missing a game, possibly causing your team to forfeit. (Yikes!) Team sports always involve some level of competition. Many leagues offer leisure and competitive divisions; choose the one that suits your style.
Register at a local racquet club for squash, racquet ball or tennis. If you don’t know how to play, take lessons. If you don’t have anyone to play with, most clubs will be able to team you up with other players of a similar skill level, or have a board you can use to find other players.
Boxing and martial arts
Signing up your kids up for karate? Sign yourself up, too! Learning a martial art will keep you fit, improve self-discipline and focus, and give you a great boost of self-confidence. An all-around empowering experience with some cultural education to boot! If you like the idea of training like an MMA fighter but aren’t too keen on contact sports, check out classes that are inspired by martial arts and boxing training, in boxing/martial arts gyms or in regular gyms.
Of course, fall is a beautiful time of year for outdoor workouts. Boot camps are usually running through October, sometimes even November. Running, walking, hiking and cycling in the brisk air feel great; you are neither too hot nor too cold. Big bonus, no matter which outdoor activity you choose: you get to feast your eyes on beautiful fall colouring.
Mix and match
You have loads of choices listed above and plenty more available. There must be at least one in there that you could enjoy and endure as part of Slice’s 12-Week Back to Fitness Challenge. Can’t decide which one? Nothing is stopping you from juggling: cardio-dance classes Mondays at lunch, squash lessons Sunday mornings; running clinic Tuesdays and Thursdays right after work. If you don’t love any one particular activity, make the most of it during the session and then when it’s time to renew, make a change.
Let us know what you plan on doing this fall to keep fit. Keep checking in regularly for more tips and advice to help you through your Back to Fitness challenge!
Katya Mohsen is a personal trainer with over 10 years of experience in fitness and sports training. Catch her practical fitness advice Thursdays on Slice.ca.