As the title may give away, I work out…as often as I possibly can. And so should YOU!
There are countless articles, books, studies, and blogs about the benefits of working out. There are as many articles on what the best workouts are as well, along with a million (and counting) trends. And some of these contradict one another. If I hadn’t been exercising basically most of my adult life and I was just starting out now, I probably would have no idea where to begin.
Luckily, for me, I have been exercising (in a somewhat disciplined fashion) for many years now and I have experienced with many different types of routines, even tried some of the trendy practices and I know what I like and what works best for my body, depending on what results I am looking for.
My best advice for anyone starting to exercise or that have put it off for a while and is trying to get back to it, is to start with something you enjoy. Doing this will help you keep at it. Once you have a rhythm and have a certain fitness goal in mind, adjust your exercise routine accordingly. The more drastic the goal, the more drastic the workout. Whatever you do, you must develop a bit (or a lot) of discipline for yourself and ensure that your health and fitness becomes a priority. After all, you are investing in your mental and physical health.
I have been active since childhood (as most children are – or at least were); played soccer, tennis, volleyball, hopscotch. Joined the dance and step team in high school. I even tried out for the basketball team when I came to the US, without ever having played it before. I was obviously out of my mind, and I bet the coaches were either laughing their butts off or were just perplexed at the strange ambition of a young foreign girl to make it on the team when I didn’t even know how to hold a basketball. Of course, I never made it. I would have been a sensation if I did…or everyone else would have to have been atrociously terrible.
So here are some practices that I currently engage in to keep me active and keep it interesting:
I actually really enjoy jogging. I know most people find it a bit boring. The beginning, I find to be the most challenging for me, but once I get my rhythm and I can see the results in my head, I feel like I can conquer the world. l think: “what if there was a zombie apocalypse and I have to run like no other?…and do so while carrying my children? I better be ready!“. It may sound weird but life threatening situations drive me when I work out.
I LOVE, LOVE, yoga, I was first introduced to yoga when I was 19 (10 years ago – wink, wink!). I found the mental peace, flexibility and balancing yoga offered absolutely unique and empowering. It has since kept a special place in my heart and my consistent practices.
- CALISTHENICS (or otherwise called body-weight)
This type of work out offers me the flexibility of exercising virtually any and everywhere, as well as any and every time I chose to do so. A quick set of squats, push-ups, and sit-ups can be done quickly. Increase the number of sets and/or reps, add some yoga poses and you will feel your muscles throbbing with pain the next day.
Most of my life I have been taller than average and fairly thin. I first started lifting in high school and I really enjoyed the feeling of getting stronger. It also helped me shape up muscles I wanted to focus so much more rapidly. I decided to join a gym as soon as I got a job. My love affair with lifting has continued since.
The stationary bike is an alternative to when I find it difficult to get on the treadmill or get out and run. It can be as challenging as one makes it. Have you tried a cycling class? Ouch! It is intense! I do love outdoor biking and whenever we go out of town, weather permitting, we rent bikes and explore the available trails.
We can’t all go hiking every day due to our busy schedules, locations, and diverse climate, but whenever possible there is no match to getting out in nature and exercising while enjoying the lushes fields, woods, hills and breathing clean fresh air…And if you have a small child put him or her on your back and run from those zombies!
I don’t go out to dance much lately. If I go 1-2 times a year is too much. I don’t need to go out to dance either because I absolutely love dancing and I will dance anywhere. I think I must have come out of my momma dancing. In my young adult days (only a couple of years ago), I did go dancing at least 3 times a week. Now, however, I prefer putting on my favorite music and dance until I can dance no more…at home, alone, or with my energy and joy-filled children, that have inherited the love for dance from their mother.
I wanted to box since I was 17. One of my close friends was training at a boxing gym and asked me if I wanted to join. I was ecstatic. Little did I know that I would need my mother’s permission to join. I went and watched my friend train, but that is all I could do then. Years past, and somehow the art of Muay Thai found its way in my life. Muay Thai is Thai boxing – the art of 8 limbs. It is punching, kicking, kneeing, elbowing and much more. I only wished Muay Thai and I had met earlier. It is a beautiful art and it is not only an amazing overall work out but a great way to learn self-defense. AND this is a must in a supposed zombie apocalypse. Push kick and run!
Get a punching bag, some hand wraps, and gloves and punch the dickens out of that bag. Take a boxing class, a Muay Thai class. You will absolutely love it! Talk about releasing some steam! You will get out of those classes feeling like bad mamma jamma…or Chuck Norris. Or BOTH!
There are so many forms of exercising. These are just some that I have done and still do to keep me in a healthy state. One would assume that I am only speaking of my body, yet, exercising is much more than that. It offers me an outlet to release stress and build confidence. Now get up, pick something and get moving! It is worth all the effort it requires!
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