Shaping Up in 2013

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January 7, 2013 by ET

Should auld acquaintance be forgot and none of the bad decisions of 2012 ever be spoken of again, because it’s 2013. Control-alt-delete last year with a clean slate. It’s a month full of ambition as we promise ourselves to hit the gym and get it together once and for all before 2014 comes knocking. The possibilities seem endless in December, but when January rolls around, it’s easy to fall off the resolution wagon before hopping aboard.

Start by setting realistic expectations for yourself. Though exercise is one of the most popular resolutions, the potential for burnout is high. Instead of committing to a strict routine, find something that you enjoy and motivates you to sweat. Check out these options for exercises carefully disguised as fun activities, and you may just end up tricking yourself into loving working out.

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Kicking and Screaming
If you’re looking for a tough cardio workout to help you blow off steam, try HOTBOX Fitness in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood. HOTBOX is a high-intensity kickboxing, total body workout, complete with punching bags and gloves. Instructors motivate you to push yourself, and no two classes are the same. Jab, cross, hook and kick in between ab exercises and bursts of cardio. Expect to sweat profusely, but to leave feeling like you can kick some serious ass (and seriously ass-kicked).

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Runner’s High
Want to find the fun in running? Join a running group. When you’re a solo runner, there’s no one there to know if you held true to your commitment to run five miles on Saturday. When you’re part of a group, you not only create accountability for yourself, but also find a support system of others to motivate you to push yourself. Misery loves company. Plus, running groups make exercise a social opportunity. You’ll no doubt make friends in the process; there’s nothing like bonding over completing a rigorous route together, then celebrating with post-run brunch or beer(s). Nashville runners should check out East Nasty Running Club, which meets in East Nashville every Wednesday night for a group run and offers annual training programs for distances from 5k to marathon. If you’re outside of the 615 area code, find a running club in your area through Road Runners Club of America.

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Hit the Barre
Even former ballet class dropouts can have a dancer’s body by taking a barre class. This low impact workout tones your muscles with light weights, high reps, stretching and holding poses to help you get long and lean without compromising your joints. It is possible to get and stay in shape without killing yourself with cardio. And, because you’re not burning tons of energy, you’ll keep your hunger in check, meaning you’ll be less tempted to hit the drive-through on the way home from class. Instead, you’ll feel tighter, stronger and like you could star in Swan Lake. Check out Purre Barre, which has locations across the South.

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Once you find an activity that you love, commit to it. Set a goal of working out three times per week and convince your friends to join you in your quest. Instead of Happy Hour, suggest your pals take a class or go for a run, then grab a healthy dinner. Before you know it, exercise will be built into your routine and you’ll trick yourself into getting in shape.

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