shoes on a yoga mat besides laptop

Get Moving: Yogilates with Hart House

Here’s what it was like to join a Yogilates session with Hart House.

If you're like me, getting out to exercise and go for walks is always quite difficult in the winter. There's something about the chilly weather and snow that makes me want to curl up in bed with tea and a good book. Most of the time, adding a workout to my daily routine feels impossible, to say the least.

However, this past year I've noticed myself feeling sluggish, slow and unmotivated. After speaking with my doctor, we came to an agreement that incorporating more exercise and movement in my day may help me feel a little bit better.

At first, I turned to YouTube. I flipped back-and-forth between yoga videos and intense HIIT workouts, perusing through the available exercise videos. Discouragingly, I often found myself attempting to work out, quickly running out of willpower and quitting the video one-fourth of the way through. Then, I'd spend the rest of my afternoon (or evening) miserably chowing down on ice cream.

Hart house fitness that describes the virtual fitness classes from Hart House, UTM Recreation and mentions virtual personal training

Once I decided to check out the opportunities for fitness offered by U of T, I discovered that there was a virtual fitness studio at the Hart House. While I was still skeptical about how helpful it would be (considering my hate for exercise), I decided to sign up for the full Winter session (January - April), which is available to students for free. The next day, I attended a Yogilates session, which is described as a mixture of the "movements and postures of yoga with the core-focused exercises of Pilates".

register for Virtual Classes or Virtual personal training

The Honest Truth

Having never heard about Yogilates, I figured it would be a slightly more intense version of Yoga. Nothing too difficult. Boy was I wrong.

a list of the events available at the Hart House on Thursday, January 28. Includes "HIIT", "Flexibility Fusion", Cardio Core, Yogilates, Mindful Moments, Strong Nation, Afro-Caribbean Dance

The workout was intense, burn-inducing and...kind of fun? Granted, I will never be a workout junkie. I may never get the "high" that other people get during or after exercise. However, it helped to know that I was helping my body get fit, run more efficiently and overall boosting my health.

Admittedly, the Hart House fitness videos were much more intimate than just watching a YouTube video. Because it's a zoom session, you have the option of turning on your camera. Turning on my camera made me feel more motivated to actually keep up with the workout, and make a solid attempt to follow the instructor throughout the full routine.

That said, even with the added pressure that comes from turning on your camera, I still found myself struggling to keep up with the routine. By the end, I'd turned off my camera, content to watch the instructor pull off her crazy moves for the last ten minutes of the session. This is definitely proof that I need to sign up for more activities, events and workouts hosted by Hart House.

Eventually, I hope to reach a place where I can complete a workout from start to finish without taking breaks in between. While I'm not there yet, I know that attending more Hart House virtual fitness events is going to be one step in that direction.

pink shoes on a yoga mat besides laptop

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