Join a boot camp
Does the thought of boot camp conjure up images of a scowling, barking taskmaster dragging you out of bed at 5.00 a.m., regardless of weather, and into the gym? If that is the case, you will find that although boot camps do operate in all kinds of weather, the strategy of most trainers is to get the best out of participants, not by intimidation, but by encouragement. That does not mean the trainer will treat you the way your mother would. Be prepared for some exacting challenges, but in the end it will be well worth the time and money.
Some (very good) reasons for joining a boot camp:
- Your job is a solitary one and you need the camaraderie that comes from associating with people who have the same goals.
- You lack the motivation to exercise.
- You need a sure-fire way to burn fat, tone up your body and improve your overall health.
- You are an athlete needing to improve your performance.
- You have had a C section and can't seem to get rid of the pouch it left behind.
- You have had a baby and want to lose the extra kilos quickly.
- You want to boost your endurance for competition.
- You want to get rid of stress
- You want to improve your self-esteem and confidence in other areas of your life.
- You get the added bonus of exercising in fresh air most of the time.
- You want to meet new people.
Some boot camps open every day of the year, while others operate in cycles, a several weeks at a time. Participants are allowed to participate for as long as they need to, and are free to re-enrol later on. Some may even have flexible payment plans and programs may also vary. Usually an hour is spent doing some type of aerobic exercise - running, hiking, obstacle course along with weight-training using dumbbells, or resistance bands. These may be followed by flexibility exercises involving Yoga or Pilates. Education is also given in nutrition, breathing and relaxation.
If you are sold on the idea of boot camp training, and are committed to exercising "at your boundaries", how do you choose the right one? First, you want to make sure that the instructors are certified by nationally accredited institutions. They should be knowledgeable on fitness matters and should look the part of instructors. The program should have gained a good reputation and should offer you a free trial and/or satisfaction guarantee.
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