The Hemp Connection + trip

Why exercise when you can mixercise?

I'm pretty good at regular exercising. But I have to admit, I can get into ruts. I run because it's easy and convenient and efficient on a busy day. I use the elliptical if I'm near the gym while I'm out. And I love, love, love to swim! But even that is a little routine, focusing on the same muscle groups while ignoring others.

I was reminded the other day of why I might benefit from mixing it up a little bit. inCYSTer Ivonne Ward invited me to join her at a NIA dancing class. (More on NIA in a future post.) I remembered how much I loved dance when I studied it way back in high school, and how much I love to move to music. I also came home well aware of muscles I haven't been using despite my strenuous workouts, and muscles that were tight from being overly focused on. I felt sore, but wonderfully so!

I'm trying something new this year, trying to mix up my exercise so that no two sessions involve the same activity. Trying to mix it up a little bit more so that my fitness is more well-rounded.

Today, the weather is so beautiful, I'm going to get out the Rollerblades and spin around my neighborhood. I love the rhythm of skating, I find it calming and meditative. And I love how the blades use my legs in different ways than does running. And those boots are heavy enough that it's like a ton of weight lifting for the butt muscles--never a bad thing!

I've been communicating with a very nice woman in Santa Monica who is helping me to figure out how I can add tennis lessons to my work trips over there. I've always wanted to learn tennis, so why not this summer when I will surely have time in a place with great weather?

inCYSTer Dr. Gretchen has been talking about her surfing lessons with such enthusiasm that I am going to make time for some of those as well. I will definitely have to get over my shark phobia for this one, but it looks like so much fun!

Both of these activities will challenge my upper body more, which as I get older is definitely something I need to encourage a strong, healthy spine. Plus, I love having new things to learn. My tennis contact shared with me that something she loves about tennis is that every time you play, you're with a different person who challenges you differently, so it's never the same game. I think I'll like that. Sometimes the runs do get a little tedious.

I was also thinking during NIA yesterday that my dance training may come in handy in a sport requiring coordinated footwork, and vice versa. I will be more motivated to swim if I know it will help me to better enjoy my surfing time.

Tennis and surfing require mindfulness as well. Unlike running, and the other activities I do, where you can kind of zone out and be in another world, you have to be mentally PRESENT, aware of your place in space as well as your surroundings, in order to effectively participate.

It's why I hate the question about what the ultimate exercise is. There isn't really ONE, it's what you'll do most regularly. And I think you'll exercise most regularly if you're interested in what you're doing.

Maybe if you're bored with what you're doing, or only exercise for a few weeks before it drops off again, it's because you're not mixing it up enough. Exercise because it gets you away from the computer, stretches your back, allows you to be social, gets you in touch with nature, helps you sleep…and you are guaranteed to strengthen muscles and bones, and maybe lose weight.

Exercise just to lose weight and well…if that's what you've been doing, maybe that's why you've read this blog post all the way to the end.: )

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Why exercise when you can mixercise? + trip