Even if you're done with your school days, enrolling in a community college class can be a great resource to learn a new skill or develop yourself professionally. Plus, they are usually relatively cheap, and can be a great way to meet like-minded people. Check out my list of seven classes that are a great way to spend your after-work time.
Though boot-camp-style fitness was a trend to watch back in 2009, the craze isn't going away. In fact, boot camps are bigger than ever. We've got tons of these outdoor group workout programs in SF — CrossFit, VyAyr, BodyFi, and more — and their popularity is spreading nationwide.
Boot camps are a great way to get outside and get motivated, plus they're a great switchup if you're a Pilates practitioner. Have you ever enrolled in a boot camp?
A couple weeks ago I attended a very special class hosted by Williams-Sonoma. The workshop was a two-hour sausage making course led by the one of the Fatted Calf's owners, Taylor Boetticher. The Fatted Calf is a famed Napa Valley Charcuterie known for its old world methods, small batch products, and organic, locally grown meats. Boetticher taught the small group how to make three pork products: rosso sausage, pork crepinettes, and my personal favorite, Mexican-style chorizo. The amazing thing about his chorizo is that you don't need a meat grinder to make it at home — it's a hand-cut sausage. Here is Boetticher's technique.
I just read an article in the LA Times that struck a nerve with me, and I have a feeling you will all agree. This Fall, the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will be offering a class on how to be a better housewife — a class only open to women, of course! This academic program will offer lectures on laundering stubborn stains and how to bake chocolate-chip cookies.
While some women feel it's their duty to be a homemaker, such classes went out of style at most secular colleges a half century ago, which could be why only eight out of the 300 students in the undergraduate program have enrolled in this class. On the flip side, it's comforting to know that some men out there are speaking up, suggesting that it's actually the men that need these classes. As Andy Cecrle stated, "What if my wife is sick and my kids need clean clothes? It may not hurt to have some basic tips." Amen Andy!
I am sure you ladies have a mouthful to say in response to all of this, so what's your take on housewife classes? If you were offered these classes in school, would you take them or would you be offended? And if you could make a class such as this mandatory for men, do you think they would benefit from it?
I am always looking for a way to do something new, fitness wise. At one point, step aerobics was the latest thing, but that time has since come and gone. You'll still find step classes in almost every gym, but they are not nearly as popular as they once were.
Enter Ramping. I know it sounds a little odd but ramping is very similar to step aerobics (in fact it was created by the very same person that created step aerobics) but it is requires a lot less impact on your joints because instead of stepping up onto a flat step or bench, you lunge on and off an adjustable-incline ramp (half-moon looking contraption pictured above) specifically designed for ramping. Ramping is great for really working your butt and hamstrings. Great for getting those legs short shorts ready this summer. Check out the ramping site online for more information as well as to find a class near you.
I am always looking for ways to keep exercising interesting and it's not always been too easy but with the explosion of group classes, there are so many options.
My latest favorite is Punk Rope, a cross between third grade recess (double dutch y'all) and boot camp. Punk Rope combines conditioning drills, rope jumping and core and flexibility training for a very creative, effective, edgy workout. Been years since you picked up a jump rope? No worries, since rope jumping experience is not necessary for this class. Jump ropes are provided so that means one less thing to carry in your gym bag. Pig tails optional.
Right now Punk Rope is available at Healthworks, Boston's own group of women-only fitness centers. Don't live in the Boston area? Check your local gym for similar jump rope combo classes.