Running the track during boot camp
Jonathan Wood, the fitness director at the Y, really pulls out the stops on Thanksgiving morning. This year he had a 90 minute boot camp from 10 - 11:30 AM, core strength from 11:30 - Noon and spin from 12:15 - 1 PM.
The Macy's Parade outside the door of the Y
All of Manhattan is a madhouse on Thanksgiving morning. I was able to elude the crowds viewing the parade - and even glimpsed a few floats on the way. I love living in New York!
Jonathan just returned from a conference where he learned all sorts of new ways to torture his students. All kidding aside, I really admire how he is constantly learning new things so his classes are always fresh and challenging.
Jonathan and his dog Xander
Boot camp on Thanksgiving included a warm up, tons of push ups, running the track, cardio, lower body - you name it. A complete workout from stem to stern. Sometimes we do spin but there were so many people in class there weren't enough bikes. Jonathan keeps things light despite the arduous workout. He's really funny and that makes the workouts fenjoyable. The same gang does the class every week, so we're a community. This is integral to any workout plan. When people expect you to be there and if you don't show you get tons of emails and phone calls asking where you were. I actually feel guilty if I miss a class and if I go on vacation everyone knows about it.
Jonathan had us lunge and put our hands on our steps and jump and lunge down again. Ouch! Core is 30 minutes of pure abs.
Jonathan also has us lie on our backs with our knees bent and feet flat on the floor. We have a medicine ball over our heads on the floor. We slowly lift our arms shifting the ball from behind our heads to over our knees. We then roll back to the floor one vertebrae at a time. Do the move slowly so you don't let momentum make the exercise easier.
Spin class - 45 minutes on the bike
Last came spin class. It's 45 minutes on the stationary bike. The music is blaring, the lights are out and we're climbing mountains or sprinting down the other side. Spin is my favorite class. I close my eyes and imagine that I'm outside on a beautiful mountain pass or sprinting along a beach in Maui. It's about putting yourself in an uncomfortable place for short periods of time - two minutes is a long time. You figure: I can be uncomfortable for 2 minutes - especially if there's gelato as a reward after dinner. TMI: I have to put towels under my bike because I literally sweat a huge puddle - I can actually see myself in the reflection if I don't put down towels. I feel like a million bucks when it's over.
If you take spin, get a heart rate monitor
After the two hours and 45 minutes of rigorous exercise I burned 1244 calories. My heart rate peaked at 159 beats per minute, which is actually on the low side for me - I can get up to 173 beats per minute. I sauna and steam before and after the workout and am glowing when I leave the gym. Third helpings of turkey with stuffing and gravy please!