I love, love, love step aerobics. It is a great cardio workout and it also works your mental capacity through choreography. I go to a step class at least once a week at the YMCA, my favorite is on Tuesday afternoons. I much prefer going two or three times a week. Step can be very intimidating for first-timers, but I promise I looked just as goofy my first time and it definitely gets better with practice, so keep at it and you will be doing the most complex choreography soon. So, if you have access to step aerobics group classes, give it a try you might surprise yourself.
Now, I am by no means a distance runner. I can run about 2 miles and that's about as far as I go. I just love the feeling and the challenge of running. It is such a mental exercise because your body can always do more than you believe it can, so you have to train your mind to be in accord with the body's capabilities. There is definitely a lot of self-encouragement going on when I go running. I try to run outside at least once a week. I either drag Brandon along or I bring my trusty Ipod. I'm hoping to get Piper to be my running buddy as soon as she is big enough. I usually pair running with some toning exercises like an ab workout or muscle toning and of course a nice stretching episode. My goal (which is a lofty one for me) is to run the Cooper River Bridge 10K in Charleston next year and possibly the Warrior Dash in August. I really should begin training, haha.
This one is waaaay out of my comfort zone, but I love it. In case you aren't familiar with Zumba, it is a high-energy dance workout that features Latin (i.e. salsa, meringue, bachata, etc.), reggaeton (my favorite), hip-hop, belly dancing, and any other kind of dancing you can imagine. The goal of Zumba is to have a fun experience while burning calories. I used to go to Zumba on a weekly basis, but then stopped going because I got busy. I went to my first class in a while today and it was amazing. There were about 100 people there and the energy was off the chart. It doesn't matter if you can shake it like Shakira or you move like a white girl (like me). All that matters is that you let loose, have fun, and get a great workout. It is freeing as a woman to be able to embrace your sexy side and power as a woman. I challenge you to try a Zumba class at least once, you might find you have moves you never knew you had.
Finally, my favorite activity is softball. I have played softball since I was 8 years old. I played throughout school and continued with intramurals in college. Now, I play on a rec league team with some people that I grew up in church with. We play a game once a week and I absolutely adore it. Even though it isn't fast-pitch it keeps me in the sport. There is something about being on the field that makes me feel at home, fulfilled. It indulges all of my senses. I love the ping of the bat from a solid hit, the feel of the dirt between my cleats, the smell of the dirt and leather on my palms, the sweat on my brow, the breeze and sun on my cheeks. It is a feeling I can't explain. For that hour once a week I am free, I am at home. Do you have an activity or hobby that gives you this feeling? I hope you do.
I love being active and try to make a part of my weekly routine. Sometimes, working out can become a burden or something that is easily given up. I try to schedule it into my daily routine as if it is an appointment that I have to go to. It is one of my self-care activities and I not only benefit physically from it, but mentally, emotionally, and psychologically. Also, having someone support you and hold you accountable is important as well. I encourage you to find the workout routine that works for you. It might be yoga, cardio, lifting weights, dancing, whatever gets you moving. So, what are some of your favorite fitness activities?