It’s apparent, I have a love/ hate relationship with maintaining a healthy weight. I’d love to have less stress on my joints, heart and lungs – who wouldn’t! But I hate the time it takes and the refocus on my eating habits that it requires. Weight management is not rocket science – I need to eat less and move more. Why is that so hard to figure out? I am more than capable of solving this dilemma, yet you might as well put a complex physics problem in front of me and ask me to figure it out.
So my latest attempt at an exercise program was Zumba. I love to dance to upbeat music, so I thought it would be a natural fit. Well, the truth is, I love to dance to upbeat music for one song, and not in front of a wall of mirrors that only stress exactly how uncoordinated I’ve become. I’m either all arms or all legs, but I’ll be dammed, I can’t be both.
I was even on the cusp of buying a special pair of shoes just for the class – “ask for the cheerleading shoe,” the teacher suggested. Nope, that wasn’t going to happen. I got by without those when I was a cheerleader back in high school; a cheerleading shoe was not joining the special walking shoe, the hiking shoe, the water shoe and let’s not forget, the tap shoe, all lined up in my closet. I even had a pair of shoes once for curling – I’m not kidding you, along with golf shoes – both pairs long gone.
So now, I’ve become a Zumba dropout. And what really convinced me to look for another program? Well, I did a highly scientific poll of Facebook friends over 50 to find out how they keep in shape. Responses included walking (lots of this!), biking in various forms and at various levels, weights, yoga, pilates, golf, swimming and water workouts. One friend added cross fit, but I know she’s not 50, so that doesn’t count. I hope you’ll notice what’s not on the list – Zumba! That was all the confirmation I needed. No more Zumba for me.
I might add, my sister added gardening and dancing in addition to her walking – she is probably the best example of any person I know who has really developed her daily routines around very healthy practices. Only two people added “eating better”.
Now, I’ve always had walking in my workout routine, but I’ve decided it’s time to walk longer, and vary my route a bit. So the other morning when I woke up and it was gray and rainy, I decided to go mall walking, or as a friend calls it, “retirement walking”. Yep, I have resisted this – it’s more for the chair exercise group, right, and I’m not there… yet. But let me tell you, I could not believe the number of people and the variety of ages, all taking advantage of this quiet, subdued time to go window shopping, well before any store opened. The lights were low enough so no one would notice the wings in my morning hair, but bright enough so I see my way around the one mile loop (which I did three times). Of course, next time, I won’t use the Panera entrance.
Seriously, I love to walk and prefer to walk outside as much as I can, and I will continue to do this – the sights, smells and sounds of the fresh air can’t be beat. But when the weather is crummy, I will move inside, and ogle over the store fronts and wonder “who actually buys some of this stuff?”
Zumba, no more. I’m floating back into water aerobics tomorrow and will add some work with weights. And I’ll still occasionally dance around at home, but fortunately, there are no walls of mirrors in my house.
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