Tuesday, December 3, 2013

{Revolutionizing} My Approach to Working Out

As most of you are aware, over the summer, I started a personal mini-journey to getting in shape.  I had simple goals in running and I had a routine every week as I wanted to train for a 10K.  Right before school started, I started feeling some discouragement because of an unnamed source which was followed by minor shin splints and the start of school.  Because of these three reasons, I decided to put my journey on hold.

In the past few months since school has been in, I have been thinking about Christmas break, next summer, break, and the next few years in general as far as where I want to be fit-wise.  I've mentioned before (at least a few times) I was a runner in high school.  Because of the different activities I did, for a few years in high school it wasn't uncommon for me to run between 5 and 20 miles a week.  I was pretty active.  Since coming to college, it has been hard to keep myself in any shape to run or do anything, but I want to stay fit enough to not have any physical problems.  As I've been thinking through the running option, I've been feeling more so led in a slightly different direction.

I know I'm not "old" but I am still aging, and I am already starting to feel the achy joints that run in both sides of my family.  I have been eating good foods and taking care of my health that way, but sometimes when I run, my joints and/or back start to ache.  Also, being a "well-endowed" woman it's also a bit uncomfortable to run sometimes.  When you pair that with an achy back from past injury, and achy joints, running isn't as fun for me as it used to be.  I still find a bit of satisfaction from lengthening my distances when I run, but overall, running hurts me more than I feel it helping me.

So does this mean I'm going to be giving up on working out altogether? Of course not!  Running is not the only way to stay in shape.  So what am I going to do instead?  I've been feeling more and more encouraged to try some new things that are fun, active, and don't make me pound the pavement with every step like running does.  I have started mentally revolutionizing my approach to working out.  I have yet to put it into action, but I know where I will be going from here.

I have tried pilates and did not like it.  I have tried "real yoga" twice and it was okay (it killed my poor wrists!) and I tried "work-out yoga" which was also alright.  I want to try something new, something that I think I will like: I want to try Tai Chi!  Tia Chi, Yoga, and Pilates are just a few of the many ways you can work on flexibility, agility, and toning and strengthening.  Since I've given the other two a try, I want to try something that I don't think anyone else around me seems to know how to do - which means I'm going to have to rely on my own trial and error.  But I am up for it!

Before high school, among the many sports I was involved in, I was {kind of} a dancer.  I did ballet for a few years, and I also did jazz and hiphop for a brief time.  I haven't taken up anything dance-wise since then, but now that I'm older and not in the awkward ages anymore, I want to take on some dance classes!  There's a place somewhere in Columbia that offers adult dance classes every school year and every summer.  Next summer (since I know I could do that) I am going to be signing up for that class and spend the whole summer learning how to dance, and meeting new people from around the Columbia area.  Also, I want to either a) find a Zumba class somewhere around here, or b) get a good Zumba DVD and do it on my own.  I am so excited to take on both of these things!

Something I would like to start looking around for would be a kickboxing class.  Yes, I would love to do some kickboxing!  That would be a good way to get out stress and get stronger while doing so.  I'm trying to see if there's somewhere around the Columbia area that offers a kickboxing class, particularly for women.

Another thing I would like to start doing together with Frank is biking.  Biking can help strengthen my back and I don't have to pound my joints to do it.  Frank and I are hoping to save (at least before next summer) for a couple of starter bikes so that he and I can stay active together in that way.  I've been a bit discouraged in trying to find someone to workout with, like a workout buddy, and even though I'm pretty much done trying to find an 'accountabilibuddy' I still want to be partners with my hubby ;)  Everything I want to take on alone (unless of course someone reads this and wants to be workout buddies!)

Although this is not necessarily a "workout" sport, Frank and I also want to take up fishing.  You can draw good physical benefits from doing this low-activity sport.  We are getting fishing poles after Christmas, so hopefully we can start soon!

So as other ideas come up, I will update!  But the way I am looking at my working out strategy is changing quite a bit.  In the next year, I want to take up Tai Chi, dancing and zumba, biking and fishing.  Everything is extra.  Of course, I will not be completely canceling out running altogether, but I will be doing less running overall.  If anyone has any good advice, let me know!  I am excited for this new segment of my getting in shape journey and, as I begin, I will let you guys know how I'm doing :)  I've already started walking regularly, so I'm already on a head start!

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