It’s been a tough spring. My oldest daughter was all set to go to Italy with her art class and the younger to DC with her social studies class. They’d both received these trips as gifts for Christmas since they weren’t exactly cheap. Our older daughter was working part time and paid for half of her trip. I was secretly jealous. I’d never traveled to either place!
Once the pandemic hit in January, we were pretty skeptical about the trip to Italy. By February, Europe was making headline news that the corona virus was getting worse. We weren’t surprised when the trip was cancelled by late February.
So, we did what we could. We stayed inside, We wore and continue to wear masks wherever we go. My girls got through online/virtual school and were on social media more than usual. They called, texted and zoomed friends. And somewhere in the midst of all of that, my older daughter discovered roller skates.
She told me she wanted skates for her birthday (in June) because, “people looked so happy roller skating”. She didn’t want them because they would help her get in shape or lose weight. She didn’t want them because friends had them (none of them do). She simply wanted them for fun. How cool is that?
If you’re looking for ways to exercise, consider what is FUN. I look at exercise like I do food. If it’s not enjoyable, why are you spending time on it? There are a million ways to get moving. What appeals to you? Below are tips to consider:
- Do you prefer to be inside or outside? If outside, do you like to bike, hike,swim, run or walk? Do you need any special equipment (a bike or hiking shoes) or can you just walk outside your door and go? Pools are opening slowly in Cincinnati, but there are some open and available to take a dip.
- Are you social or prefer solo exercise? While some gyms are opening up, you may not feel comfortable going just yet. You may be able to find classes online. http://glo.com offers a free trial of yoga or pilates classes. YMCA also offers free classes https://ymca360.org/
- Multi-task if the exercise seems boring. Read a book or listen to a podcast while you’re on the elliptical. Watch your favorite sit com while you’re on your bike.
- Use a few free weights or stretch bands at home. Strength training builds muscle, strength and reduces your fall risk. It also tones you up, helps manage blood sugar and increases metabolism.
- Start S L O W L Y. No need to run a marathon two weeks after you start running. Start with 5 minutes walking every other day. Increase to 10 minutes after a week or two and build from there. Be consistent.
- Try something new! While rollerskating may be a bit much (it isn’t for a teenager), try an online class, new racket sport or other activity. I’ve discovered pickle ball this spring and love it!
- Check out a used sports goods store. You may get some bargains on used equipment in addition to ideas of new activities you hadn’t considered.
- Don’t quit. Our bodies crave movement every day. Without it, we lose muscle mass and strength. Exercise feeds your brain oxygen and nutrients. Studies show that regular exercise reduces your chances of dementia and depression. Get off the couch. Skate if you like.