Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Me & My Hips Hit The Gym

Okay, in my quest for a better BMI, I figure I have to do two important things besides eating right. First, I have to come up with an exercise plan that I will make a regular part of my week. And second, I have to figure out a way to make it fun.

The whole problem with all this Slim Down! Get In Shape! culture of ours is that it seems so punishing. Weight rooms look like the back parlor of the Marquis de Sade to me. And I just can't handle fitness classes where the teacher hollers number counts over loud 80s disco music. Seems like a suburban version of Marine bootcamp to me. I'm all for discipline and commitment to a thing, but --let's face it -- at 47, do I really need anymore experience with deprivation, denial, and hardship? That's what my 20s were for! And the whole "you must comply with the the approved weight" thing just dredges up all my contrarian, anti-establishment history. Yes, we can say anti-establishment with a straight face again after the latest 60s reprise.

So, I figure I my previous exercise history based on enforcement and muscle pain needs to make way for a better energy. And I also figure that I need to set aside three lunchtime exercise sessions each week for this experiment.

Yesterday, I started off the search for exercise fun by going to the pool at my gym. Instead of getting in the pool determined to thrash my way through a set number of laps, I thought I might do a revolutionary thing -- enjoy the nice, calming water. Sure, I swam up and back and all that, but I decided not to give a darn about my stroke or how fast I was going or (yes, I am a competitive jerk) beating the gal in the next lane. I just swam. Then, I stopped when I felt tired.

And, darned if I didn't swim about half a mile. Instead of feeling like a beached whale for the rest of the day, I had this bouncy energy going into the evening. (Rather than my usual state of exhaustion by 6.) And, I slept like a baby last night, naturally drugged by a lovely tiredness.

So far, so good. Next up: A Pilates mat class. (Gym has one for free!)


painter girl said...

I was thinking about trying that new weighted hoola hooping class. I think there is video that you can buy if your gym doesn't offer it. What fun to hoola hoop again and get a workout at the same time!

Anne Lindenfeld said...

Hoola hooping? That sounds great. Have not seen that up here in DC, but then we are notoriously buttoned up about, well, having fun.

I will be on the look out, though. I would love to hoola hoop with a bunch of folks in a big room.