Friday, 24 January 2014

Fitness should be fun

I'm guessing many people will have eagerly joined the gym, or taken up some form of exercise recently. We've all done it, start the new year with good intentions that this will be the year you'll get fit, no more excuses...2014 WILL be the year. Nearly the end of January now...have you stuck with it, or is your gym pass gathering dust somewhere, unloved and no longer in use?
Personally, I spend more time running 4 kids about to their various sporting activities, than actually partaking in any myself. However, I'm pretty sure walking up and down to the school and nursery 3 times a day must count for something. I do enjoy a class called Combat. Punching an invisible assailant to manic music I've not heard since I was 15 ("Like a shooting star..."), is surprisingly therapeutic. I find it a great release for stress. I am very fussy about instructors though. In my view, if I wanted a sergeant major yelling at me, I'd have joined the army. I want someone who is fun, realizes that yes, people need encouragement, but not through being ordered about by some scary instructor trying to make you almost kill yourself in an effort to keep fit. Not surprisingly, I do not book in for another class after such an experience.

My husband has started a Spin class. For those of you who don't know, it's an evil torturous hour spent on an exercise bike. In theory, the idea is good, but personally I'd never be cycling up a mountain, so why insist on setting the resistance on your bike to such a difficult level that you feel like you've gone halfway up Mount Everest by the end of the class? I tried Spin once...never again. Here's a picture of some people enjoying a Spin class...entirely unrealistic as I imagine it's physically impossible to smile.

I do like the name of the energy drink my husband uses to help him get through Spin:

Another way I try to tone up is with a vibration plate. You may know I am a Groupon addict, and this was one of our crazier purchases. I can't think of an easier way to stay in shape than watching TV whilst standing on "the shaky machine", as the kids call it. I set it pretty moderately, when Florin uses it, our living room starts to resemble an earthquake...I have to dive to catch cups and glasses as they start moving towards the edge of coffee tables, vases make a narrow escape, and the noise is like a helicopter about to take off. My husband arrived home the other night and entered the room singing "I see you baby, shaking that ass!" Clearly, the venetian blinds do not afford me as much privacy as I thought! I'll be more careful next time.

I think there's a lot to be said for novelty fitness ideas. A class that is fun, can even make you laugh, and isn't taken too seriously is definitely something I would be happy to keep up. My sister and I used to do a hip-hop dance class. Trust me, if you met me, you'd never associate Carolyn Mandache with hip-hop. However, it was great fun and made me feel like Beyonce (at least till I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror). Sadly, the class was cancelled, as there weren't enough customers, and I guess not as challenging as most of the other classes. I've heard a lot about Sh'Bam, another dance class. Has anyone tried it? Would you recommend it?

So, my views are that fitness should be fun. If I had the nerve, I would do Prancercise around Broadwood Loch, which is near my house (ok, not really). I cannot watch this fitness craze from the late 80's/early 90's without laughing. I sometimes wind the kids up by saying we're going to walk to school this way...the idea fills them with horror. Watch the clip, I'm sure it will put a smile on your face:

Just Dance is a great way to keep fit as a family. The wii game is even a hit with my youngest, and it's very cute watching him try to copy the complicated moves on the screen. Just Dance 2014 has the Psy song "Gentleman". I challenge you to try copying that dance with a straight face. I find it so much fun, and in the privacy of my own home, who cares how stupid I look?

I'll leave you with one final thought. Why should skipping just be for kids? If it's good enough for Michael McIntyre....


  1. I loved Zumba and Pilates, I did both classes each week. Mon,Wed,Fri, Zumba and Tues/Thurs Pilates. Luckily in college you get a certain amount of phys ed credits.

    As for the Instructors, I am like you. Someone yelling and mean would not suit me. Thank goodness both instructors were very down to earth women. It was actually soothing for me. I would suggest it if you find an instructor you like. Zumba is actually really fun, and not really embarrassing like it would seem. No one is good, it's just about having fun. I agree Just Dance is really fun. :)

  2. I liked Zumba too Crystal, but the one near me was cancelled. I think I'll try to find another one.