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You’re already part of a military family, so you probably have some understanding of what boot camp is all about. That could be reason enough for why you’d want to take on a boot camp workout. It’s tough, it’s relentless, and in the end, you’re a better person for it and you wind up making friends.
The boot camp workouts springing up everywhere are designed to build strength, endurance and agility. The activities in each session can vary, but you can generally look forward to an intense mix of strength training and aerobics in intense spurts mixed with lighter activities. You’ll endure military-style drills and calisthenics, martial arts, distance running, sprints, lunges, pull-ups, crunches, and more. Clearly it’s a workout that’s not for the faint of heart, especially since some boot camp leaders channel their inner drill instructor to make it a more authentic military-like experience.
Join up with these tips in mind:
If you’re out of shape, have health problems, are pregnant or older than 40, tell your doctor that you plan to join a boot camp class. Once you get the green light, talk to the instructor and let him or her know about your conditions. Good instructors will help you adapt the exercises so you don’t get hurt.
- Arrive motivated: A positive attitude will keep you motivated. Try to laugh at yourself, take note of your strengths and weaknesses and don’t compare your performance to others in the class – good or bad.
- Hydrate: Drink water an hour or two before class begins and bring water or a sports drink with you to class. You’ll need it.
- Listen up: Focus on what the instructor is saying so you don’t miss the details of the next routine. Listening and anticipating also keeps your mind off of the pain.
- Breathe: Tough times require better breathing – especially when your abs are engaged in an exercise. Breathing and contracting your abs will also protect your back.
- Be “that person”: You know, the one who wants to be in the front of the class and front of the line? Be that person and you’ll do better. It’s just one of those things. Lagging behind will just de-motivate you.
- Keep it moving: If you usually get sore after a workout, trying moving more during your workout. That will send fresh blood to your muscles as you work them and reduce, even perhaps prevent, delayed onset muscle soreness.
- Hydrate: After an hour or so of sweating and hard work, restore your body’s fluids with pure water or an electrolyte-filled sports drink (but be careful to avoid drinks filled with sugar!).
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