The first month of 2012 is almost at its end. How many of you made resolutions or set goals related to getting active and in shape? How many of you are keeping those goals? I hope a lot of you raised hands!
Staying active and working out have thankfully been part of my lifestyle since I was young. I enjoy exercise, the gym and most activities that keep me moving and feeling healthy. In fact I start to feel icky when I sit idle for too many days. Since my knee/femur replacement I’ve had to change some activities but I’ve always found some way to work my body. I even look at chores such as gardening and weeding or shoveling snow as exercise (which makes them more appealing to me!).
I hear many people say they have a difficult time committing to exercise because they find the gym or “working out” to be boring. Excuses, excuses! Granted, the gym isn’t for everyone. It takes discipline and commitment to get to the gym regularly. I personally love people watching when I’m on the elliptical so that gets me through 30-60 minutes. 🙂 Or I bring a really good book to read while on the recumbent bike. But boring? Nah. That just means you haven’t found the activity for you. And there is at least one for you. I’m guessing you can find more than one though.
I thought I would share some activities I enjoy that don’t have to be done at the gym. In fact a few can be done in the comfort (and privacy) of your home. Try these out:
Zumba – My younger sister has been itching to get in shape after her third child so I volunteered to try this Latin-inspired dance class with her. I love to dance so I was game to at least give it a shot. We first attended a class at LA Fitness to ensure we both liked it. Kelli isn’t a gym member so we found a weekly class at the local community center. Our instructor, Ivy, is one of the most energetic people I’ve met. The woman doesn’t stop during the class and somehow motivates all of us to keep moving too. Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance fitness program but not all of the dances nor music relates to this theme. We get to try a variety of dance moves, including hip-hop, salsa and pop. While I have discovered my hips don’t move quite as fluidly as they once did (titanium rod tends to stiffen you up!), I have a lot of fun, sweat from the workout and always leave feeling like I burned many calories.
Wii Fit Plus – I’m by no means a video gamer and in fact think people spend way too much in front of televisions. However, when you can’t get outside or to the gym, playing one of the many “active” video games can help keep you fit and your body moving. The Wii Fit comes with a balance board that interacts with many different activities on the disc. You can take a body test that measures BMI, balance and body control. Many different activities focus on cardio, balance and core, or choose yoga and strength training exercises. My favorites include the hula hoop sessions, skiing, step aerobics and mountain biking (you “bike” around an island capturing flags). These activities keep you moving.
Weight training – So many people focus on cardio for weight loss and forget about weight training. Women in particular need to remember to weight train as it helps keep your bones and muscles strong. You don’t need heavy weights but use enough weight to tone your muscles.
Wii Dance Party – Find me a dance floor and I’m usually one of the first on it. I love music and I love to move. And the Wii Dance Party game definitely keeps you moving. There are many versions to this – Dance Party 1, 2 or 3, Michael Jackson Dance and others. We have Dance Party 3, which includes a wide variety of new and old songs. This is also a fun game to play at family gatherings, holidays or an evening hanging out at home. Make sure you give yourself plenty of room to move (ie, look out for ceiling fans or your fiancé’s face).
Yoga – I love yoga for many reasons (not just because I met my fiancé at a yoga class!). While I don’t practice as often as I should and want to, I’ve found yoga helps me relax, quiet my brain (which frankly takes a lot of effort), and build flexibility and stretching abilities. I usually like to take a yoga class after hard weight training sessions as these moves help my body stretch.
Biking – What I love most about biking is the opportunity to get outdoors and explore your neighborhood, park or local trails. There should be nothing boring about biking, especially with all the awesome bike trails around us (no matter where you live). Justin and I also will jump on the bikes when we have an errand, like picking up a book from my sister’s or getting a Starbuck’s.
As with anything, you must be committed to be successful. Make an active lifestyle a priority for you. Schedule being active into your weekly schedule. I will add Zumba or yoga to my daily calendar at work so I not only remember it, but commit to working my schedule around these activities. Be excited about working out! Some people find it more motivating to work out with a friend or significant other because then you have someone depending on you to show up. Whatever it takes to commit to taking care of you. Now stop reading and get moving!