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Monday, May 2, 2016

Trying new things is good for you

Friday, June 10, 2011

Sometimes the reason that it is so hard to overcome the hurdles that keep the weight from coming off is because we get stuck in the same old routine.

I am a creature of habit. I love routines. When I jog, I have a playlist set on my iPod and I use the songs to gauge my pace. When I get to Kelly Clarkson's song "Walk Away," I know it is time to walking a little to begin my cool-down period.

This week, I broke out of my comfort zone at bit and took a spinning class. I'm not talking about yarn, I'm talking about hardcore cycling. To give you an idea what spinning is, imagine riding a stationary bike, now don't sit down, keep your back parallel to the floor, don't move your shoulders, and don't move your hips. Now do that, and various other positions, all while pedaling, for about an hour and 15 minutes. It sort of resembled yoga on a bike, which you can image is quite difficult for a 300-plus- pound man.

I knew I was in for a shock when I took the class. I had seen spinning on TV before and I thought, it's just like riding a bike, how can it be that hard ... WRONG. It was quite possibly the most physically demanding activity I have ever participated in.

Including the instructor, a friend of mine who invited me to the class, there were four women and myself. Not only was I the largest participant by far, but I was the only man and the youngest. I felt a little embarrassed when I had to stop about 45 minutes into the class. I simply couldn't make my legs pedal anymore.

One of the things about spinning is that although you are in a class, you control your pace and your resistance. If it gets too difficult, you can slow down, decrease the resistance, or sit down. I ended up sitting down most of the time because I quickly realized that my core strength (hips, abs, and back) was not strong enough. Although I spent most of the class sitting down, I didn't quit trying. Since I wasn't standing, I increased my resistance and tried to increase my pace.

I would recommend that people try to take an exercise class, whether it be aerobics, kickboxing, spinning, or something else. Getting out there and trying new things is what will keep the variety and prevent you from getting complacent with your routine. Coincidentally, this also applies to food choices. The more healthy options you try, the more you can have to choose from.

Get out there, get moving, and try something new.

Weekly Walking Challenge -- My spinning class experience left me so sore that I was struggling just to walk. I wore a pedometer this week while walking and mowing. I did not wear it during the day, although I tend to do quite a bit of walking at work. I went for three walks and mowed this week for a total of 8.3 miles. Not quite as much as I thought I did, but the numbers don't lie. Knowing how difficult it was to get that much, I think I am going to lower my goal to a slightly more realistic goal of 10 miles per week. I may bump that up soon after I get my running legs back under me.

Michael Pommier
The Shrinking Man