DC summers usually means ruling out outdoor exercise until the sun goes down. However, as we move into Autumn, the unseasonably cool weather we’re experiencing has encouraged me to try more outdoor exercise. From a mental perspective, I’ve never felt more alert-so I’m approaching my health and wellness goals with renewed vigor.


I have always believed in the adage that “variety is the spice of life”. So, in that vain, I decided to document my weeks activity assortment: a challenge to try 5 different classes/routines or outside workouts as a  way to shake up my exercise routine, find a new class to get passionate about and keep myself accountable…





Monday – Kickboxing

With more than an hour commute to my new job, I realized that the lure to get home and veg was too strong for me to use the work gym in the evening. Lunchtime classes have worked wonderfully though, and I assumed Monday’s outdoor kickboxing class would be a moderate start to a week of exercise. Not so! With half the class focused on core and over 15 minutes dedicated to  lunges ( yes i counted every minute) this class made me question the intensity of my own self-paced circuit routines. Pros – Total body work out with lots of core. Cons – Very little focus on boxing form or technique.


Tuesday – Spinning

By far my favorite group class. One hour of adrenaline pumping cycling with high octane music, lots of variety and low impact. Spin leaves you sweaty but satisfied. This class was even better for being held outside – which was a nice,spontaneous touch by the instructor that I truly enjoyed. Pro –  exhilarating and high paced. Cons – Only a 45 mins class and the routine was a little repetitive.


Wednesday – Zumba

Free Zumba class- I’m not much of a fan of organized dancing especially for the world to see, but I thoroughly enjoyed Zumba at MD’s National Harbor on the banks of the Potomac river. It was a good laugh watching the intensity of the Zumba regulars, gave me a moderate workout and was a good balance to my exercise week. Pros – Fun to be outside with friends enjoying the music and ambience Cons– too difficult to get to consistently.


Thursday – Bootcamp

A killer!!!! Outside with a 10lb weighted jacket running up and down building steps and doing mountain climbers and burpees in the midday sun is outside my comfort zone. I was completely exhausted afterwards and struggled to find any energy for much else – including work! Great workout – but I can’t see this as a regular … Pro – You feel totally accomplished afterwards – pick any Superhero outfit you want! Cons –  Muscles scream with pain the next day!!!


Friday – Ballet

Evening Ballet in the Park-my coworker is a master yogi and a health and fitness inspiration  having lost 50lbs in the last year. Her new obsession is Ballet Beautiful by Mary Helen Bowers. The total body workout is low intensity but is simple and extremely effective in toning and lengthening the body. We found  a  shaded secluded spot in Malcolm X Park in NW, DC and after an hour it left me feeling physically and mentally stretched, aligned and centered and ready for a relaxing weekend. Pro – effective and low impact Cons – none!!!