Growing up I dreaded gym class. I disliked being told how to exercise or feeling sweaty when I walked to my next class and I really disliked how competitive and repetitive the sports were that we played.
In the sixth grade I had a particularly troubling series of physical education experiences. Between Christmas and the end of the school year I sprained a finger at gym class once or twice each month. No sooner had one finger more or less healed than another would be sprained which meant that I spent four or five months living with at least one swollen, bruised, and resistant-to-being-bent finger almost all of the time. The memories of those months made me less interested in organized athletics than ever before. As an adult, though, I realize that exercising is part of staying healthy.
Some people genuinely enjoy the camaraderie of team sports and the thrill of competition. Unfortunately I’m not one of them. If I try to keep up with activities that I dread doing I’m not going to have the motivation to continue with them. One of my challenges in 2010 and looking forward to 2011, then, is to find a variety of activities that I enjoy enough to come back to tomorrow, next month, and next year.
Here is my brainstormed list of activities so far. I’ve divided them into two categories: indoor and outdoor.
- Take the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator
- Walk up or down the escalator
- Heavy duty cleaning around the house
- Knead bread, mash potatoes, mix dough, etc. by hand
- Assist neighbours with heavy lifting or awkward household chores
- Swim (can be an outdoor activity in the summer)
- Borrow fitness books from the library
- Search internet for free workout video clips
- Free activities: pushups, sit-ups, jumping rope, jumping jacks and squats
- Cheap(ish) activities: bowling, roller skating
- Gardening (I hope to have the space for this soon!)
- Brisk walks
- Snow creativity – building snowmen, snow forts, snow monsters.
- Going on a hike or camping trip (although not during the winter)
- Bicycling, canoeing, ice skating
How do you stay active? What non-traditional forms of exercise do you participate in? Can you recommend any other inexpensive, indoor forms of exercise for the winter months? (It’s so much easier to stay active when it’s nice outside!)