Why You Should Switch Up Your Workout Routine (From Someone Who Resisted It)

Photo by Tom Lew

I’ve never considered myself athletic. As a child, my mom would encourage me to participate in sports, and I failed miserably. I attended dance classes, and that was my niche. I can jump, turn, and step all day! But ask me to catch a ball? Not going to happen.

As I grew older, I decided to take on the hobby of contortion and hand-balancing. I say "hobby," as I will never be a part of the circus. Some people like to run, do yoga, or lift weights—I like to get bendy and lift my own body weight. When I finally dove into practicing contortion and hand-balancing, the cycling and bootcamp classes fell to the sidelines.

Ignoring the importance of balance (and I’m not talking about contortion-related balance).

While I continued to stretch daily and practice different contortion skills, I realized I was ignoring the need for variety in my workouts. Don’t get me wrong, contortion is not just stretching. It requires a huge amount of control, impressive strength, and balance. Even though I work hard to fit it all in, in order to be my best, most athletic self, they need to be supplemented.

Photo: Tom Lew

Back in my earlier days, bootcamp was always tough for me. I wasn’t the fastest runner or the highest jumper. My agility and coordination were top-notch from years of dancing, but I was missing the power element—the fast, reactive energy that is usually required in a high-intensity format. That’s why recently, I decided to add a few bootcamp classes to challenge my body and hone my explosive, high-intensity power.

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Finding diversity in my workouts.

Photo: Tom Lew

These days, while I mostly practice dance, contortion, and flexibility, I make a point to sprinkle in some high-intensity bootcamp classes, too. No matter what workout class I’m taking, I get my activewear from Kohl’s because they have such an extensive collection of active and wellness items from my favorite brands.

Photo: Tom Lew

I’m a huge fan of the Gaiam products at Kohl’s in particular—they have a pair of high-rise capri leggings and sports bras that I practically live in, whether I’m doing hand-balancing exercises or a HIIT workout. I feel super comfortable performing in these styles regardless of the workout. I’m also crazy about Gaiam’s tops & graphic tees, which make for super easy transition pieces post-workout.

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Exercising on a physical and mental level.

Leaving your comfort zone every once in a while is so important, and not just on a physical level. Trying a new workout class has helped me advance my athletic abilities and stamina, but it’s also helped me exercise my willpower.

Photo: Tom Lew

The extreme range of motion that I’m trying to create needs to be supported. Learning how to breathe while in extreme positions needs to be practiced. So even though bootcamp classes are not my forte, I know my body and mind thank me for trying—and I’m so glad that the versatile apparel options at Kohl’s allow me that flexibility in trying new things.

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