By Carleigh Saberton
If your circus is like mine, there is a time where there are no classes or camps to attend! Circus is my main way of staying active throughout the year so what should I do when I can’t do circus? With the American Youth Circus Festival coming up, we need to make sure we are keeping up with our strength and skills. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to stay in shape when circus isn’t an option.
First, you could go to a gym to get a good workout. Fitness centers like Planet Fitness, YMCA, LA Fitness, and Crunch Fitness all have locations all over the U.S. that you could attend. Some gyms, like Planet Fitness, even offer FREE summer memberships for teens! Fitness centers have so many different machines and equipment that you can use during your workouts. If you don’t want to go alone, find a gym buddy! They could be a family member or even a circus friend. Gym buddies help you stay motivated and can help make you more comfortable going to a gym.
Sometimes going to a gym can get expensive so you can always find ways to workout at home. You can start by turning everyday things into exercises. For example, choose to take the stairs or if you don’t have weights use everyday things such as books, heavy boxes, or even your dog!
Workouts don’t always include pushups, squats, and sit ups. It’s good to have diverse workouts to work all different parts of your body. You can switch between things like yoga, stretching and regular workouts. Also, you don’t have to set a specific time that you must work out, you can just workout or stretch while watching tv, listening to music, or even while scrolling through social media.
A good thing to remember is you need to rest between workouts. Working out breaks down your muscles so they can grow back stronger but if you constantly have tough workouts, your muscles don’t have time to grow back stronger which can lead to injuries if you aren’t careful.
Other good ways to stay in shape are to take up other activities or sports. Running and swimming are great easy ways to get a good cardio workout in. But if other activities haven’t interested you, you can find other circus things to do at home. One thing to do would be to get your own props so you can practice whenever you want. Unicycle, juggling, hooping, diablo, poi and so many others are all circus activities that you can do at a local park or even in your backyard.
Although, some things such as aerials or German wheel can’t always be done whenever or where ever you want. By doing some research, you can easily find other gyms nearby where you can go to practice those things or even take more classes. For example, there is a gym that focuses on aerial arts near me and I occasionally go to open gym there to practice what I have already learned at my circus, My Nose Turns Red.
Eating healthy is also a very important aspect of staying in shape. Starting a diet can be rough sometimes so it is best to ease into it. Start avoiding foods high in sugar or calories and don’t snack on things too much. Cheating is also a must when on a diet because if you don’t cheat you are more likely to stop dieting. Don’t forget to stay hydrated especially before, during and after working out! Getting enough sleep is also very important because your body needs rest. Not getting enough sleep can be bad for you and will affect your performance when working out or doing circus.
The very most important thing when trying to stay fit is to have fun! If you are miserable then you will lose motivation to keep going. Also, don’t compare yourself to others. Yes, there will always be people better than you but there will also always be people who look up to you. Its very easy to get jealous but with hard work you can become even more amazing than you are now.