Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Get Fit and Creative

While surfing the news for the latest in health and fitness, one thing I noticed today is there is an awful lot of stories about ways to make fitness more interesting. It seems like the newest and best thing is something that can promise us a little change from the daily fitness grind.

I don't know what it is about exercise, but doing it day after day can get boring. Especially if you don't vary the routine. Every now and then it also comes up in fitness news that if you don't vary your fitness regimen, not only do you get bored, but your body gets bored, and starts burning calories more efficiently. In other words, you're working your butt off, but it's not going anywhere.

So a couple of thoughts on this:

Skip an exercise routine. Just try to move for 30 minutes every day in whatever way strikes your fancy. If you're in the mood to take a walk, don't deny yourself the pleasure because it's your strength-training day.

If you can, work out with a friend. Even if the routine is the same, the conversation will be different. Just be wary of this. When a friend of mine had a baby a few years ago, we tried doing an exercise tape together every day. At one point we spent the entire morning in our sweat pants, eating Oreos, playing with the baby and watching Jerry Springer. So maybe it's better to work out with an acquaintance.

Join a gym. Many of them offer free classes to members. Then you have built in variety -- and access to the latest trends. There's an article in phillyburbs.com about Zoomba, a mixture of aerobics and Latin dance that's making an appearance in gyms. There's also belly-dancing, Pilates, yoga, boxing and even pole dancing.

Use a medicine ball. These can add a new challenge to your strength training. And, if you happen to be a bit of a klutz (yes, my boyfriend calls me Donzilla), just trying not to fall off the ball can bring a whole new challenge to your workout.

And finally, for those who can, try a personal trainer a few times a week. They can tailor a workout especially for you, including functional fitness. What's more motivating than someone who's sole purpose that day is to get you out of bed and working out?

Please note, these are just my thoughts on fitness, and I'm certainly not a doctor.

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