Years ago, I thought that people who went to the gym on a regular basis were crazy freaks of nature.
I thought my daily active lifestyle of walking around the office all day, eating small meals and shopping till I dropped at the grocery store or mall kept me healthy enough. Plus, back then, taking time out for myself during the day simply meant reading a book chapter, or planting something in my flower garden, or cleaning the house. This is likely because for nearly 20 years, I studied multiple forms of dance for many hours a week. Somehow, even after I stopped dancing, the momentum of that time I spent *in near-constant motion* took pretty good care of me during my 20s.
These days, it’s not that easy… but I’ve come to realize that exercise is one of the most important things I can do for myself. And it isn’t the total drudgery I once envisioned. For instance, I don’t actually have to run on a treadmill (although it is very helpful aerobically) or lift weights (although they are quite beneficial for muscle-toning) just to stay in shape.
Instead, I now take a variety of classes, which amount to about five hours a week of planned physical exercise:
• Yoga — yes, it can be relaxing, but it’s also hard work to hold all those positions — trust me!
• Pilates — this is actually a more low-key workout than yoga, but it sneakily strengthens the core of your body.
• Zumba — I usually pretend I’m at a dance club instead of in a crowded classroom. BONUS: it works everything at once, and it’s sooo much fun.
• Ballet — This seemed much easier when I was younger and didn’t consider it actual exercise. Now, I see it not only as an art form but an all-over body workout that I highly recommend.
Not into any of the above? There are, of course, a multitude of other body-shaping and strengthening classes you can take. Whatever you do, be sure to go find the one that works best for YOU. It will make life much more fun — not just during the class itself, but out there in your everyday activities.