Making fitness fun

By Lisa Cipriano

Just because summer is winding down, doesn’t mean the summer body that you worked so hard for should fade away along with it. Or, perhaps like many, you never quite got going on getting fit for summer because you absolutely de­spise the mere mention of the word `exercise’.

Finding ways to make your fitness routine fun in the fall and winter months will make keeping fit less of a chore and you won’t have to worry about scrambling to get your body in shape for that summer swimsuit. You’ll have it all year long and battle the fall and winter blues to boot.

Johnny Kenaya is the athletic di­rector at Shenandoah Golf Club in West Bloomfield as well as a person­al trainer. He says it’s all about our mindset and using the negative per­ception that some of us have about exercise to our benefit.

“If you expect your daily workout to be easy and fun, you’re always go­ing to be let down. If you expect it to be grueling and sacrificial and you end up having a good time, it will beat your expectations and you’ll be more likely to do it again,” Kenaya explained.

In fact, there are ways that you can have a good time while exercis­ing any time of year and even thor­oughly enjoy it!

Making a fitness routine out of what you actually like to do is key and adding some music and friends to the mix is an excellent way to make it more fun and fly by fast.

Maye Kattula is a group fit­ness instructor at Lifetime Fitness in Shelby Township and the new Area45 Fitness in Troy. She’s also an integrated dance teacher at War­ren Consolidated Schools.


“A lot of people think that you need to be at the gym every morn­ing on a treadmill and that’s not the case,” said Kattula.

She blends both of her joys and areas of expertise by teaching dance related group exercise classes such as Dance Jam and Zumba. Her classes get in their cardio in a fun way and keep coming back for more.

“They’re dancing, having a good time and moving. You’re actually forgetting that you’re working out! Next thing you know, the hour went by,” explained Kattula.

Although, Dance Jam and Zum­ba classes consist of mostly women, it’s a great way for men to enjoy a cardio workout and even learn some hot moves for the dance floor.

If that’s just not your thing, Ke­naya says that both men and women can use their love of sports to make their exercise routine more enjoy­able.

Many gyms, country clubs and community centers have indoor basketball courts and swimming pools. Shooting hoops alone or with a friend is a fun way to get in some daily cardio without necessarily feel­ing like you’re tied to a grueling ex­ercise routine. Swimming a few laps is an excellent, low impact and fun way to exercise and forget, just for a little while, that it’s cold outside. Many of these facilities also offer fall and winter yoga and kickboxing classes which offer the added benefit of learning a bit of self-defense.

For those who enjoy walking, stepping it up into speed walking can make it an enjoyable fitness routine even in the fall and winter months. It’s a great way to keep ac­tive in the more sedentary months and get some much-needed fresh air.

“Bundle up and take a brisk walk to get your heart rate up and you’ll quickly warm up and not even feel the cold. Make a short-term goal to reach a certain point and challenge yourself to go farther each time to keep it motivational,” said Kenaya.

Asking some friends to go along can make it a more enjoyable social experience which most of us get less of in the fall and winter months and it will seem to go by quicker.

Finding a fun fall and winter ex­ercise routine great way to increase endorphins, feel like you’ve accom­plished something for yourself and fight those fall and winter blahs. You’ll also be one step farther in at­taining that summer body for next year.