A little over a year ago, I finally took the plunge and signed up for Neighborhood Barre classes. I had seen the advertisements online for a while and even signed up for three free classes in the spring but didn’t have the guts to try it. Finally, I decided that I needed to do something about my self care and I went to my first class.
It’s now been a year and three-ish months and I can tell you everything that barre has and has not done for me.
Posture– I’ve always been a sloucher and I’ve noticed a definite improvement to my posture. My back doesn’t hurt at the end of a long day anymore, either.
Stamina– Walking up that hill from the parking lot to the barre studio that first day had me huffing and puffing by the time I got to the top. I no longer even notice the hill. AND I can run up my basement stairs with no problem. I can go all day chasing the kids around and I’m keeping up with them, too!
Mood– Oh, I’m in a MUCH happier mood now. There’s just something about taking that time for yourself that adjusts my attitude. And I can tell the difference on the days I slack off, too. It helps me get my head in the game so I can kick my day right in the teeth.
Flexibility– You guys, I can just about do the straddle splits. I haven’t been this flexible since I was a cheerleader in high school.
Tone– I’ve got muscles! I can see muscle definition in my arms and legs, and my booty has gotten a lift, too!
Strength– I know my strength has increased because I can now open the heavy front door at the barre studio without any help.
Encouragement– The people at my studio have been so encouraging. The owner is always ready with a smile, and I’ve made friends there who know me for me, not just “so-and-so’s mom” and “so-and-so’s wife”
Pride– I’m super proud of myself for sticking this out. The day I reached 50 classes I about went through the roof. There’s definitely a bounce in my step now.
Camaraderie– The ladies are just good people. We’re all working through this hard workout together, and there are no judgements. I’ve literally been there in my pajamas before, and so have some of the others. We all just nod in a “girl, I feel you” way and get on with the workout.
Fun Exercising…wait, what? Yes! I can’t believe it, either. There’s fun music, and the movements keep my interest. Never thought I’d say exercising was fun, but I guess everyone just needs to find that thing that finally clicks with them.
What it’s not:
A lose weight fast plan– At first, I lost 25 pounds. It took a looooonnnnggg time though as my stamina increased and my core muscles woke up. I’ve actually gained some back even though I went down two sizes in clothes, but I think it’s that I’ve actually got muscles for the first time in forever.
High powered aerobic (unless you take HIIT classes)- It gets your heart rate up for sure. But this is nothing like those 80’s jazzercise classes. These are precise movements that build strength.
High Impact– I have wonky knees that like to act up every now and then and this doesn’t bother them at all. My hips still click in and out of joint from having all those babies. This doesn’t bother them either. I’ve even had a sore tailbone a few times and I’m still able to do these classes.
In summary, find that thing that motivates you and speaks to you. Don’t take barre classes because you think it will be an easy fix (oh naw girl, it’s not easy!). Don’t join any weight loss or exercise program because somebody else is doing it or because you need a get slim quick solution. Take the time to figure out what YOU need and then do that thing. I promise, you won’t regret it.