Soul Cycle spin classThere is no doubt about it, we are a culture obsessed with weight -- or more accurately, how to lose it. The sad fact is, I have yet to meet a woman who is 100 percent satisfied with her body -- myself included. But while I would love to shave a pound or 10, I have no interest in losing my best assets. Problem is, most workouts are all about burning calories, not keeping curves. But I think I've finally found the perfect workout for slimming down without losing my hourglass figure.
Finding the perfect, full-body workout wasn't easy. I'm a busy, working mom without a lot of time. In an ideal world, I would be able to do at least 45 minutes of some cardio exercise 5 days a week and strength training 3 times a week. But who am I kidding. For most parents that is impossible. It's not just a time management thing. After work, I get a serious case of mommy guilt if I don't rush home to spend time with my son after being away all day. That means I have to maximize my effort when I do get to break a sweat.
For me, the ideal, full body workout comes compliments of Soul Cycle, which is a type of spin class. I can honestly say that it is more of an addiction than an exercise. I love it. The thing that sets it apart from so many other classes is that it combines biking and toning with weights simultaneously. Sounds odd, I know. But it works. The music is amazingly motivating and you burn an average of 700 calories. I swear I can actually feel the flab melting away. Going three days a week for the past month, I feel healthier, leaner, but still have been able to hold on to my curves. In fact, it firms me up too. It's amazing. Though these studios are primarily on the east and west coasts, most gyms across the country offer spin classes. Or you can just hop on a stationary bike while doing curls with hand weights.
The bike is not for everyone, so another great alternative is boxing. I love going to the Aerospace gym here in Manhattan for an intense class led by a real boxer. But if your gym has a punching bag and a few pair of gloves, you are all set. When I tried this on my own, I just did simple combinations like jab-jab-cross or uppercut-cross-cross. For me, the key was not to take a lot of breaks during my 30 minutes on the bag. If you keep going, you will work up a serious sweat. It will help you lose the flab and literally transform your arms.
Running with lightweight ankle and arm weights also helps me slim and tone at the same time. I strap 2-pounders to my ankles and 1-pounders around each wrist. When I can't make time for a real workout, I even wear them when I do housework or running quick errands near my apartment.
Of course, these exercises may not work for everyone. I just wanted to share a few of the things that are helping me reach my goal of being leaner and healthier, but still allowing me to hold on to my curves.
What workouts work best for your body type?
Image via Soul Cycle