As promised, I’m bringing you guys some great posts from some amazing friends and bloggers while I’m away on vacation.  This post is brought to you by my friend Jen.  You guys may remember Jen as my instructor friend that moved away back in February.  Remember her good-bye party?  Well anyways, Jen started a blog of her own to track all her adventures in Canada, and I’m thrilled she is writing for Fitness & Feta today.  Thanks, Jen, for writing a guest blog in my absence!

Moving Your Fitness Routine

Hi guys!

My name is Jen, and I blog over at nutcaseinpoint.

I am an ACSM certified personal trainer and a former fellow YMCA Boston Instructor and CBC gym goer with Athena.  I say former because in February, I picked up and moved to Calgary, AB (CANADA!!!) to be with the love of my life.

As you may have noticed, Athena has a crazy intense gym schedule.  Mine was no different.  Before I moved, my weekly workouts looked a bit on the crazy side:

  • Mondays:  Spin
  • Tuesdays: Kix with Liz and Athena’s Circuit Class
  • Wednesdays: I taught Core, then taught Total Body Sculpt, THEN I’d take the CBC bus to Somerville for Andy’s Kix class
  • Thursdays:  Sometimes I’d take Athena’s AM Circuit class, then I’d teach Lower Body Express and Core Express after work
  • Fridays:  OFF
  • Saturdays: I taught Cardio Ball
  • Sundays: One hour of cardio of my choice

I loved that schedule.  And I was absolutely dead by the time Fridays rolled around.  Insert and and all workout mantras here.  Pain is weakness leaving the body.  No one ever regretted a workout.  Hate the exercise, love the results.  And so on…

Then February 9th came.  My last ‘normal’ day in Boston.  I had a week vacation in Florida with my parents, and was actually pretty successful at maintaining my exercise.  I ran, did circuit workouts on the porch, and spent many hours lounging at the beach (that’s a workout, right?).

But then there was the return trip to Boston, the drive across Canada, and just being in Canada in general.  What the heck was I going to do to maintain all that I had worked so hard to achieve?

Here’s how I took action:

— Prior to the big move, I scoured Living Social and Groupon for any fitness deals in Calgary (got a 20 for $20 bootcamp deal!)
— I Googled a bunch of gyms in the area and contacted them to see if there was a “free trial” period.
— I used my Boston Y membership card at the Y that’s around the corner from my house (HOW CONVENIENT DID THAT WORK OUT?!!!)
I also made sure to pimp myself at every location – instructors usually get free memberships, and since this lady wasn’t working, a free membership would be dankalicious.  Especially since the basic monthly Y membership here ranges around $70.  That’s just mental.

Gym #1:  I got a free trial week.  I went every day and attended at least one group class to get the best feel, plus to see if there was a class I’d fall in love with.  Found out it was all Step/Jazzercise/women only.  No dice.  This may sound weird, but I actually like having men around (duh) because it makes me push myself harder.  Especially if those men are pumping serious iron.  There’s no way I’m going to be a pansy on the elliptical with a People magazine if there is a beefcake getting his swell on 6 feet away.

Gym #2:  It was small and located directly above a pizza place.  I’d gain weight going to the gym there!

Gym #3:  Had everything I wanted, and it was closest to home.  But they had no instructing opportunities for me.  Plus, it was crazy crowded.

I was actually meeting a fellow American for coffee when we decided to go for a walk in downtown Calgary.  She suggested we stop in the YMCA there to see what they had to offer.  Fast forward 3 months, and I am now instructing two outdoor bootcamps downtown AND I have a free membership to use at any YMCA.  On top of that, I am now good friends with the fitness director, and she has been a HUMONGOUS help at getting all my Canadian certifications so that I can eventually train here as well.  I have a few more months of certification courses to take before I can train (and get paid) here, but that’s all in good time.

My office:

The moral of the story:

If you find yourself in a new location — don’t worry!  There are plenty of ways to keep fit.  Gyms and fitness centers and groups are everywhere, all you have to do is look!  When in doubt, hit up the internet for at home workouts!  Pinterest is a GREAT way to find workouts.  Or you can just check out the Workouts page on my blog.  Not that I’m trying to pimp my site or anything.  But I am.

In the odd turn of events, I have found that I now only get to the Y about once a week – if that.  I teach my bootcamps, I run outside, and I do at home workouts.  And you don’t need a lot of fancy shmancy equipment either.  Heck, I only have 2 sets of weights and a stability ball, and I feel stronger and more defined than I did with my crazy Boston workout schedule!

In the writing of this post, I have consumed approx. 2 spoonfuls of Nutella, a pre-workout shake, and a liter of water… off to the gym I go!

Does anyone have any other tips they’d like to share for keeping fit during a move or adapting to a new fitness routine?

*I hope you at least enjoyed this post.  Maybe come visit my blog?  If you’re bored.  A big thanks to Athena for letting me guest post!  I miss her.  A lot.  

(I miss you too, Jen!)