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Celebrating Our Bodies–It’s Play Time

Celebrating Our Bodies–It’s Play Time

Moving our bodies is one of the best things we can do for our health and to achieve and maintain weight loss. But, contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary to slave at the gym for hours (like on The Biggest Loser.) It is much more important to make small changes that you can keep up for the rest of your lives. One of the best ways to do that is to enjoy what we are doing. Instead of looking at it as exercise, let’s shift our thinking to recess…to make it fun…consider it playtime instead of torture time.

So if moving your body has been torture in the past it is time to try something new. Let’s look at moving our body like picking a major in college. Now is the time to experiment, to learn, to try different things. You may discover something that you really enjoy and that becomes part of your daily routine. Or perhaps you hit on an activity that gets your body moving and provides a social outlet once or twice a week.

Where I live there are hiking clubs that have a variety of hikes so no matter your fitness level you can enjoy the outdoors with some other folks. There are also lots of different dance classes offered around town. Recently I went to a “stretch and tone” class with my 80 year old mother. It was fun and the instructor helped us to each tailor the class to our individual fitness levels.

It is summer time here in the Northern Hemisphere and it gets hot—water exercise may be the ticket for you! Water exercises are great for people with joint problems or for anyone who is obese. This is because the buoyancy of the water helps lift our bodies and so we don’t have as much impact on our bodies. The water also increases resistance, so just walking through water works your muscles more (and differently) than walking on dry land.

Go to the library or a used bookstore and check out a variety of exercise DVDs or tape. Try a little T’ai Chi and do some “sweating to the oldies” with Richard Simmons.

The important thing isn’t WHAT you are doing, it is just doing something more than what you have been doing. Try a lot of different things. If you don’t like it, try something else. You may find that like Ruby you like boxing, or you may prefer riding a bike or yoga, or a walking group…keep experimenting and you will find some things that really click for you.

Once you find something, or several things, you enjoy doing, don’t stop trying new things. Just like graduation, your learning and living are just beginning. Whether through formal classes, independent study or word of mouth—be willing to try different ways to move your body. You will work different muscles, gain physical confidence and shed excess fat—all at the same time.

Now, substitute 1 sedentary activity with 1 active one. Instead of watching television after dinner, go for a walk. Game night can move from the table to playing hide and seek at the park.

Remember to use one 30 minute block a day to achieve a new “weigh” of life. And if 30 minutes all at once is too much, start with 15 or 10 or 5…it isn’t important how much…it is important to just do it! Start where you are and then go just a little bit further.

Moving our body is one of the best things we can do for our health and to achieve and maintain weight loss. But, contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary to slave at the gym for hours (like on The Biggest Loser.) It is much more important to make small changes that you can keep up for the rest of your lives.

Let’s look at moving our body like picking a major in college. Now is the time to experiment, to learn, to try different things. You may discover something that you really enjoy and that becomes part of your daily routine. Or perhaps you hit on an activity that gets your body moving and provides a social outlet once or twice a week.

Where I live there are hiking clubs that have a variety of hikes so no matter your fitness level you can enjoy the outdoors with some other folks. There are also lots of different dance classes offered around town. Recently I went to a “stretch and tone” class with my 80 year old mother. It was fun and the instructor helped us to each tailor the class to our individual fitness levels.

It is summer time here in the Northern Hemisphere and it gets hot—water exercise may be the ticket for you! Water exercises are great for people with joint problems or for anyone who is obese. This is because the buoyancy of the water helps lift our bodies and so we don’t have as much impact on our bodies. The water also increases resistance, so just walking through water works your muscles more (and differently) than walking on dry land.

Go to the library or a used bookstore and check out a variety of exercise DVDs or tape. Try a little T’ai Chi and do some “sweating to the oldies” with Richard Simmons.

The important thing isn’t WHAT you are doing, it is just doing something more than what you have been doing. Try a lot of different things. If you don’t like it, try something else. You may find that like Ruby you like boxing, or you may prefer riding a bike or yoga, or a walking group…keep experimenting and you will find some things that really click for you.

Once you find something, or several things, you enjoy doing, don’t stop trying new things. Just like graduation, your learning and living are just beginning. Whether through formal classes, independent study or word of mouth—be willing to try different ways to move your body. You will work different muscles, gain physical confidence and shed excess fat—all at the same time.

Now, substitute 1 sedentary activity with 1 active one. Instead of watching television after dinner, go for a walk. Game night can move from the table to playing hide and seek at the park.

Remember to use one 30 minute block a day to achieve a new “weigh” of life. And if 30 minutes all at once is too much, start with 15 or 10 or 5…it isn’t important how much…it is important to just do it! Start where you are and then go just a little bit further.

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