Q&A with Meaghan Stakelin, the fitness fanatic behind The Fit Crasher, a blog that gives readers an inside guide to the wild and wonderful world of wellness. From boutique fitness and workout gear to health trends and super foods, she's determined to try it all and document the experience along the way.
If your exercise routine always involves the same activity—going for a 30-minute run, doing the elliptical, pushing play on the same video—you may be in a rut. If you're not looking forward to your workout because it's boring, you're probably in a rut.
Or maybe you haven't exercised in a long time, but aren't excited about getting back into a routine with an activity you've already tried.
If this sounds like you, it might be time to try Fit Crashing, a term coined by Meaghan Stakelin, an avid athlete and creator of the The Fit Crasher website.
We sat down with this former Division I swimmer, professional triathlete and Boston Marathon finisher to learn how she stays in shape by attempting every fitness trend (like a trampoline workout!) and boutique fitness class out there—and never gets into a rut.
What exactly is "Fit Crashing"?
Fit crashing is a term I created to describe the act of visiting multiple different fitness studios each week in an effort to constantly vary your workout routine. For example, you might do yoga at one gym on Monday, spin classes at a different spot on Wednesday and barre at a boutique studio on Friday.
How did you come up with this innovative idea?
I injured my knee after the Boston Marathon in 2010 and was unable to run for about two years as I recuperated. At that point in my life, running was my workout of choice five to six days a week, and the idea of not being able to lace up and enjoy my miles really took a mental and physical toll. Determined to find something that might substitute for my beloved running, I set out on a mission to try different forms of exercise. And so, The Fit Crasher was born, and I continue to use that platform to share my fitness studio and class reviews to this day.
How often do you Fit Crash and is it always something completely different?
I am lucky enough to be running again and am currently training for a half-marathon in May. So I am incorporating different fit crashes into my routine about three times per week. At the moment, I'm sticking to a rotation of yoga and strength classes at various studios around town. I don't always visit a totally new place and do have a few favorites I visit regularly, but you'll have to read the blog to find out what they are!
Have you seen benefits to your fitness/overall health by working out this way?
Absolutely—both mentally and physically. Trying new things constantly challenges your body to move in new ways and your mind to expand and process different experiences. Plus it's a lot of fun to put yourself out there, meet new people and see different aspects of the fitness world. You never know, you may stumble upon something new you love or meet a friend along the way!
Some people might look at this and think, "Well, you're not really fully developing in one skill or seeing results because you're not sticking to the same program." How do you respond?
I would say, you're right! Always trying new things doesn't allow the mastery of any of them. I wouldn't advise anyone to constantly fit crash and never dive deeper. I view it as a fun way to explore all the different options out there so that you can ideally find one, two or even three that you want to dedicate your time to. In the end, it's all about finding something that fits with your lifestyle and your goals.
Is it cost-effective to do this?
You don't need to fit crash at pricey boutique studios. Depending on where you live, there are a number of ways to find free or discounted fitness classes to try. Many active wear or gym equipment stores (like Reebok, Athleta, Lululemon and Nike) have complementary in-house workouts throughout the week. Almost every running store has a fun-run group to join. Many boutique studios offer a "first class free" to new visitors. And don't forget the online options or the workout apps out there. There are lots of ways to fit crash on a budget!
What recommendations would you give to someone just starting out "Fit Crashing"?
Assess your options, pick three that look fun and plan to visit one per week. It never hurts to bring a friend along as well—in fitness as in life, there is always strength in numbers!
Getting active is a key component to achieving better health, and finding an activity you actually enjoy is important to sticking to a healthy lifestyle. So, happy "Fit Crashing"!