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Planning for a healthier me

Jumpstarting the path to a new you

The lights were dim, the music was loud. And as I heard the words “Let’s go up on third,” I pedalled hard and fast. Every time our instructor uttered these words, I just kept telling myself, “I can do this!” My sweat was pouring, I was breathing heavily trying to keep up with the beat of the music. This was one of those days that I asked myself “What the hell did I get myself into?”

“I GOT THIS!”

The year was ending and I was doing the regular self-evaluation that I impulsively do. The year 2015 was a difficult year for me in terms of health and fitness. As a common practice (and I would like to believe that I’m not the only one doing this), we set goals every beginning of the year hoping that we could follow through and achieve them. Some of them we are able to achieve and others are left forgotten or rewritten on the following year’s resolution list.

TRAIN HARD, TRAIN BETTER The team of fitness experts behind Electric Studio

TRAIN HARD, TRAIN BETTER The team of fitness experts behind Electric Studio

I had a lot goals and plans for 2015 and one of them was to get back in shape. Late 2014, I went back to my sport, dragon boat paddling, and was able to get back to my competitive nature. After that, I started 2015 with a new eating routine and went back to monitoring my calories. My new lifestyle was hitting off well until I had to cut back on some exercises. I found out that I had a compression on my spine and my old knee injury was not helping make things better. So instead of just focusing on my weight, I told myself that I needed to do this for my future. I diligently went to therapy and followed my diet. I lost 15 pounds that first quarter but in terms of strength and endurance, my body was still miles away from the athletic one I was used to 10 years ago.

Over the months, I struggled to keep up with my routine and my schedule. Traveling was another factor that I had to consider. I had to bring my exercise DVDs with me just to make sure that if a gym wasn’t available, I can still manage to exercise. Long flights that led to bloating, jet lag, and limited food selection were other hurdles I faced when it came to maintaining a routine.

Scrambling to plan my exercise routine for 2016, I decided to try out indoor cycling, which was part of Adidas’ “I Got This” campaign launched recently. It focused on inspiring women who were willing to struggle and sweat their hearts out. So, here I am in this ambient lit room trying to keep up with everyone. We sat on our bikes wearing our bright orange Adidas sports bras, shirts, compression tights, and Shimano shoes clipped on looking like racers who were about to compete in a triathlon. As our instructor and Adidas ambassador, Yessa came in, I understood I was in for an exciting ride. She was this petite woman with an extremely toned body. The music played and we started spinning the wheel. I thought it was the same as riding a bike outside minus the incline. I was wrong.14

Here at Electric Studio, we had to follow the beat of the music, dance, and lift weights while pedalling. Having tried out so many kinds of exercises, I believe the best way to describe this is like going through an aerobics class mixed with weight lifting, yoga, and Pilates. It required coordination, awareness, and focus. Like Pilates, I had to suck my belly and pull my belly button into my spine. The music would go fast and sometimes the tempo would be slow and relaxing. The song selection was very modern and the lights set the mood of the workout. There was even a part wherein the room was candle lit and we were going at a slower and more relaxing pace. At the end of it, my arms were like Jello, my abdominal area was sore, and my legs were burning. As a former athlete, I enjoyed this kind of pain. You know your workout was an effective one when the target muscles are sore.

I was able to chat with Cher who is training to be an instructor at Electric Studio. I asked her how she got into indoor cycling and what made her decide to teach it. For her, it was an invitation from a friend that led to where she is now. “It is addicting. You ride to the beat of the music and use your whole body for the workout. Music is the DNA of Electric.” Another person I met was Nikki, a yoga and dance instructor. It was her fifth session but she looked like an expert in that room. She said that she tried it out and loved it.

Here I am, with my pen and paper back to writing my resolution for the year. If you are like me, left with the dilemma of selecting an exercise or sport that would suit you and motivate you to succeed, the best advice I could give is to get off that couch and start searching. Commit to changing your lifestyle which is not only the number that you see on the scale but about your whole wellbeing. Let that be your goal. Find something that would inspire you and surround yourself with people that will help you reach your goal. Be grateful for every milestone—big and small. Look at each day as an opportunity to be better. If you wake up in the morning excited to exercise without dragging yourself out of bed, that’s the one. If not, keep trying until you find the right match for you. Determination is key to success and without this, all the gym memberships and diet plans will go to waste. Our plans may succeed or maybe they will end up on next year’s list again but as long as we keep trying, we are bound to achieve them.