Tried a New Workout: Walk 15® live class

I rarely post about fitness topics on this blog anymore, but in honor of new year’s resolution season I thought I’d let you know about a great new workout I tried recently. It’s called Walk 15®, and it’s the brainchild of Leslie Sansone, who you may know from her popular Walk At Home® workouts on VHS, DVD, and now YouTube.  The program started a couple years ago and you can now find classes in most states. (Group fitness instructors can find out more information about becoming an instructor on the W15 website.)

Walk 15 is a live indoor class in which you walk one mile in 15 minutes. The classes are run in 15 minute segments, and the one I took was about 50 minutes long. We aimed to walk about three miles with a few minutes to warm up and cool down added on.

I took these classes twice a week for six weeks. The classes included not only walking but also some band exercises for the arms and legs, and some standing ab exercises. Honestly, none of it was nearly as hard as my regular workouts, but it seems ideal for athletes who don’t want to take a day off from working out and need a lighter workout. (I also highly recommend restorative yoga for those “off” days!) There were women of all ages in my class, and people of all ability levels are welcome. My instructor was happy to show progressions and regressions for all the movements as needed.

If you are:

  • just starting out on your fitness journey
  • looking to add to your current fitness routine
  • bored of treadmill walks
  • searching for a simple, yet effective aerobic workout without a lot of choreography
  • in need of a fun way to workout indoors after dark or during the winter
  • an athlete looking for a light workout for your “rest day”
  • recovering from illness or injury

…then this class might be for you.

After the six weeks I dropped this class due some scheduling difficulties (the classes were only in the evening, as this is the most convenient time for a lot of people). However, I’d love to get back into it. In a perfect world I’d be doing this when it’s too cold or dark outside to get my steps. Ideally I’d do it at lunchtime, as a nice break from desk work, or at the end of the work day, to loosen up before going home for possibly more sitting.

Finally, let’s recognize that walking is the ultimate exercise. Athletes and weekend warriors are probably laughing at me for saying that, but think about it – walking is the foundation of our movements from the time we are one year old until we are elderly. Walking is great for everyone – young, old, fit (it’s a great restorative workout for an active rest day), unfit (what better place to start on your fitness journey than with this useful and time-efficient exercise?), men and women. It’s a natural motion that’s easier on the joints than running, and improves cardiovascular fitness almost as well. The AHA found that “…mile for mile, brisk walking lowers the risk for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure as much as running does.

walking-by-the-numbers_0
Courtesy of Prevention.com

Whatever you do, please walk more throughout your day. If you can’t make it to a Walk 15 live class, here are other FREE resources for getting your walk in at home:

  • Leslie Sansone walking videos on YouTube
  • Jessica Smith TV walking workout videos on YouTube
  • WalkingOnlineWorkouts is unique because they offer walking workouts with great music and cool scenery (you can sample parts of the workouts on their YouTube channel, or buy the full video on their website)
  • If the weather is nice and it’s safe to do so, there’s nothing better than a refreshing walk outside…
  • Or, just stand up and walk during your favorite TV shows. You’ll get in a half hour of walking that way!

And Leslie Sansone also has:

  • An app called Your Daily Walk, which is pretty cool because it has a calendar that dictates which of the walking workouts you should do each day
  • Miracle Miles walking workouts on DVD, for those who don’t want to use a streaming service

Have you tried any of the Leslie Sansone workouts? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

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My humble opinion of Piloxing, after one class

For awhile now one of my co-workers has been telling me that I have got to try Piloxing with her favorite instructor (a.k.a. one of two within a 20 mile radius). Now you must understand that, since I live out in the boonies of southwest Virginia, getting to try a relatively new thing like Piloxing is a pretty big deal.  Around here we mostly have the workout classes that have been around for awhile and through the trickle-down effect have made their way to my podunk town.  The only saving grace is that we live within 5 miles of a state University with a highly ranked football team.  Anyway, I was in agreement; I just had to try it once and find out if it was as hard as she said it would be.  So I forked over $5 and took my first class last night.

I went into the class with the vague understanding that I would be spending the next hour performing a combination of Pilates and kickboxing moves for a cardio workout and, for the most part, I was correct. According to the website, this workout is “a non-stop, cardio fusion of standing Pilates, boxing, and dance…”  To me it seemed like more of the Pilates and boxing and less dance.  We started out with a fairly typical aerobics class warmup with a focus on some boxing moves like punches and jabs, while a DJ began playing dance remixes of familiar popular songs such as Britney Spears’s “Ooh La La“.  By the third song we were bobbing and weaving along with some punching routines.   It was during this time that I was breathing heavily, but not gasping for air.  I noticed that we were instructed not to jump during the aerobics portion, but to “slide your feet”.  There was very little time spent in the air, which is good for people who need a low-impact workout.  Then, we would do some standing Pilates, which basically meant balancing on one leg while lifting or kicking the other to the fast beat of the music.  The balancing was the hardest part for me because you’re standing on one leg for several minutes, fatiguing major leg muscles in the standing leg and foot.  Add to that the quick kicks or lifts with the other leg, which disrupts your balance for the standing leg.

After about 40 minutes of those cardio intervals we moved on to some exercises to target leg and ab muscles.  For abs we started out doing side winders while standing, then went to the floor for roll ups.  Clearly the moves for the toning section were Pilates-inspired.  For legs we stayed on the floor to do some leg lifts and then alternating extensions, which I recognized as beginner Pilates exercises.

By the time our cool down song began, my muscles were warm and pliable, ready to stretch. (However, I am not sure I can give all the credit for that to Piloxing, since I had done 1 hour of Jazzercise just prior to that.) We did a lot of toe touching to stretch hamstrings and calves, and bicep/tricep stretching.  At the end I felt energized, not exhausted.  My assessment of Piloxing is that it would be a good fit for the following groups of people:

  1. Those looking to improve their balance – this will definitely give you some practice!
  2. People who need to cross train for running or for your chosen sport.  It’s a decent workout that will help build leg muscles but you probably won’t injure yourself so that you can’t compete in your preferred sport.
  3. Someone looking for a low impact cardio and overall toning workout in one hour.

Honestly, if you’re into weight lifting or looking for a workout that’s going to totally exhaust your muscles this is not going to do it for you (I could’ve kept going for another hour, myself).   If you’re looking for some new cross training workouts, then think about giving it a try… especially if you like boxing or Pilates in general.  Check out some videos online to get a feel for what to expect.  When you go, you’ll more than likely need to bring a mat for the toning portion.  Some participants also use weighted gloves and Piloxing socks (which, to me, look like pedicure socks!), although neither are required.  You could go barefoot (check with the facility to be sure) or wear your Vibrams.  I wore my Performa Janes, which were originally created with Pilates and yoga use in mind, and they were great.

Have you tried Piloxing? If so, let me know what you think of it in the Comments section!

Piloxing

Piloxing

I tried Piloxing for the first time this evening!   Review coming soon.