Fun or Fear? Why do you Exercise? Or do you?

 

Going for the Gain

Going for the Gain

Organic Stretching

Aerial Silks

 

 

Who do you think is having more FUN?

 

 

 

 

 

What is your exercise motivation…health or your appearance?

An in-depth study by the US CDC in 2011 found that just 20.6% of the US population 18 years of age or over met the Physical Activity Guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening physical activity, and, on the other end, 30% got no exercise at all. Sixty-eight percent were either obese or overweight. Those figures should scare anybody into doing something like exercise, but what if it were also fun?

In the 1980s, when I was a fairly avid runner (3 – 5 miles per day) the drive that pushed me out the door everyday, in part, may have been the addiction to the endorphins running in my blood, but I was also aware that I did not want to start all over again. I could say the same for doing weights and machines. And once the body started lookin’ good, why would I want to go back to undefined and soft? So I stuck to my routine.

Mine was a fairly mild case of “fear” over not keeping to my program, but other than the great views of the ocean along West Cliff Drive and the admiring glances, I’m not sure that I would use the word “fun.” I could say the same for churning out lengths in the pool every time I got on a new swimming program.

But there are many people who are nearly manic about getting in their exercise routine on schedule. It is as if, in one day it would all go away.

  So what about improv dancing, hiking or scuba?

I’ve only done those for pure fun, but they also delivered benefits all over my body. Today, I am seeking more beneficial pleasure from my free time than routine patterns that are not really fun and do not bring me joy.

12 Fun Ways to Stay Fit

 

One of my first classes at the University of Illinois, in 1966, was a PE course in general fitness. They tested us for strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance…the four basic areas of fitness they considered critical.

Here are my 12 top choices to stay fit today, cover the basics, and have a blast doing it…

Strength…

  • Aerial Silks…those Cirque du Solei things!
  • Argentine Tango…great for core
  • Rock climbing
  • Pole dancing

Balance…

  • Organic Stretching®
  • Dance…Improv and Argentine Tango
  • Stand-up Paddle Board
  • Tai Chi

Flexibility/Agility…

  • Organic Stretching®
  • Improv dance
  • Aerial Silks

Endurance…

  • Mountain biking
  • Stand-up Paddle Board
  • Mountain trail hiking
  • Rowing
  • Swimming

Beyond being fun, what do these activities have in common?

Each of these forms offers variation in movement. They are not built with repetitive patterns, but offer improvisational responses to changing conditions, with the exception of Tai Chi. But in Tai Chi the movements draw the body through a wide range of movement and tend to be curvilinear, as in Organic Stretching.

Our lives, today, are reduced to such a limited range of motion, that a high percentage of our muscles are never called on to do anything, and are gradually less able to move. It is not just a loss of tone; some of them are totally bound in flexion from constant stress. The surrounding connective tissue is no longer fluid, but dense in character. The motor nerves even stop sending messages after while!

We have such a beautiful gift of potential in our amazing bodies, and all we need to do to begin enjoying that gift is to move…up, down, around, diagonally, in every direction we can imagine. Can you hear it now from every little cellHalleluiah!! They are waiting for you!

What are your top choices for exercises without repetitive patterns? Leave a comment with your suggestions!

 

 

 

 

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