Discovery: "The act of finding or learning something for the first time". As a trail runner and photographer, finding new places and learning are essential. Functional workouts and proper nutrition form my physical prep for each excursion. Mind-body awareness and training includes meditation and site research. This blog is a journal of my activities, personal growth and a forum for adventurers to converse. I hope it will help/entertain you on your path to meaningful fitness and discovery.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Stairways to fitness
This week was the tenth Tuesday night meeting of our 'Stairway to fitness' stair climbing group. It's been a great learning adventure for me. I started with a few goals that I've tried to maintain my integrity to. First; share a fun activity that I was already enjoying routinely. This goal reflected my desire to make a change without requiring a big time investment. Second; spend more time exercising with my friends. I get plenty of quiet time on the trails each year, no need to be alone in the city. Third; encourage people to take a look at Beachbody fitness programs and nutrition. As a Beachbody representative, I know how well the programs work for me, how easy it is to use them, and how well they integrate into people's busy lives.
The workouts begin with an easy group warm up and dynamic stretching. Members tend to add something every week, which gives everyone ownership and worth. Recently I have begun to borrow warm up ideas from Beachbody trainers. This introduces Beachbody programs while adding new activities for us to sweat to. After a few minutes we grab a drink and transition into the first set of stairs. Every week these are done differently in order to challenge everyone and avoid routine. There is no set pace and those who finish early can do more or start moving into the next phase, core and upper body exercises. These are fairly simple but effective activities. Planks, push ups, bear crawl, scissor kicks, etc. are a small sample, with burpees always getting a collective groan. Next up is the second and final set of stairs. This is a shorter set but is harder. I challenge climbers to try something new, something more technically difficult, or simply go faster. A few favorites include lunges, side-step, and running up with a weighted ball over the head.
We finish the evening off with some stretching and by planning the next week. I will often have something to give away at this point or people can ask me questions. I get pretty excited when I hear that group members are getting together for dinner afterward!
Is this a success?
At this point I am happy with most of the results. Participants engage in a wide variety of pursuits. Some run (up to 50 miles!), rock climb, paddle, swim, hike, bike, compete in martial arts, play Volleyball, smack around Tennis balls, and tackle half-Ironman Triathlons, while others walk their dogs, get centered in yoga, utilize the gym or enjoy an occasional long walk. All claim to have gotten a good workout, and based on the amount of joking and laughter, I feel confident that the fun factor is high. This means my first two goals are being met. My third goal has also met some success with a few members trying out Shakeology and two looking into the workout programs.
While I have learned a lot about Facebook groups and events, I still need to boost the groups profile and bring in more members. Thankfully, I have volunteers assisting that effort. I will continue to re-evaluate the question of how this group meets my own time, health and athletic goals. As of this past week I am officially training for a 50K trail run in February of 2016. Please stay tuned for updates on our group and my personal progress.