By Paula Detwiller
Variety is the spice of life, so how about spicing up your fitness routine this summer?
Experts say that when you do the same old workout week after week, your body adapts and hits a fitness plateau. You also run the risk of overusing the same set of muscles, which can lead to repetitive stress injuries.
Cross training, or mixing other forms of exercise into your workout regimen, can fire up new muscle groups, challenge the cardiovascular system and rejuvenate the mind — especially if you do it outside. Here are three outdoor coastal-area fitness classes that will break the boredom, but not the budget.
Steve’s Boot Camp
on the beach
When: 8 a.m. Sundays
Where: Delray public beach, across from the Marriott Hotel
Don’t let the name “boot camp” intimidate you. Personal trainer Steve Mattingley may look like an Army drill instructor, but if you have an old injury or other physical limitation, he’ll show you how to modify an exercise to do it safely and effectively. And you don’t have to call him “sir.”
The hour-long class is a mix of stretching, strengthening and cardio drills, both on the sand and in the water (provided the ocean isn’t too rough).
“The sand gives a little bit, so there’s lower impact on the knees and the joints compared to running on concrete. And when we go into the water — again, there’s little impact on the joints, so you can really work the muscles.”
Regular participant Juani McCormick, 52, says Steve’s boot camp has helped her develop healthier habits, such as not staying out too late, or drinking too much on Saturday nights.
“It’s very much worth it. I like being outdoors, and it gets my Sunday started on the right foot,” McCormick says.
For information, contact Mattingley at (954) 593-3861 or see www.A1EliteFitness.com.
Yoga under the sky
When: 9 a.m. Saturdays. Registration at 8:45 a.m.
Where: Sanborn Square, 72 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton (between Mizner Park and Royal Palm Place)
About 50 people, from teenagers to senior citizens, routinely unroll their mats on the tile-and-stone floor of the Sanborn Square pavilion and let instructor Leslie Glickman guide them through a free Saturday morning yoga class.
“They love being in the open air, they love no mirrors, they love seeing the trees blooming and the clouds going by,” Glickman says. “There’s nothing like it.”
When the last “namaste” is uttered and the hour-long class ends, many participants carry their bliss with them into nearby shops and restaurants.
“That was my intention,” Glickman says. Last year she submitted a proposal to the city of Boca Raton, suggesting that a free community yoga class could help increase weekend foot traffic downtown. In response, the city launched Saturdays @ Sanborn Fit & Fun Fitness Program, which includes yoga and other classes (see next item).
Questions? Contact Glickman at 306-3626 or email@example.com.
Zumba for the health of it
When: 10:30 a.m. Saturdays
Where: South Beach Park Pavilion, corner of A1A and East Palmetto Park Road
If you like moving to high-energy Latin-inspired music, Zumba (pronounced “zoomba”) is a great way to burn calories and tone muscles. Since January, Boca Raton city employee and part-time Zumba instructor Nicole Gasparri has been leading this lively aerobics class at the Sanborn Square pavilion as part of Saturdays @ Sanborn.
Beginning July 7, the class moves to the beach pavilion to take advantage of cooling summer breezes.
Don’t worry if you’ve never tried Zumba before.
“You’ll notice that here, it’s not about getting it right, it’s about fun and having a good time,” Gasparri says. “Everybody’s dripping sweat at the end. We get a good workout!”
To learn more, contact Gasparri at 393-7703 or see www.downtownboca.org/?p=4493
Paula Detwiller is a freelance writer and lifelong fitness junkie. Find her at www.pdwrites.com.