I've never really been a horribly unhealthy person - I like good food and feeling energetic a little bit too much for that. I've never in my life been overweight, or even flabby, nor have I ever succumbed to smoking or eating fast food too much. Having this back injury though, has given me months of reflective solitude to think about the changes I wanted to make in order to live more healthily on several levels, not just a physical one. I've always been incredibly body-fit, and all because of dance. I really do think dance is one of the most complete exercise/fitness programs you can commit to, as long as you're training with the right technique and are using your entire body. Because of dance, I've been lucky enough to have a toned body which I love, and hold good stamina, strength and flexibility.
Lately, because of my injury, I've been interested in building different healthy habits for my future self. I spent my twenties dancing almost every other day, if not daily, so exercise for me was an incidental of my daily life and work. It's really easy to stay fit and healthy when you're young, but I really wanted to master some life changing habits to take with me through later years. Ironically, without this injury, I would never have taken the time to think about this, and implement them.
One of the things I truly admire in people is their ability and drive to go to the gym, or get their daily dose of exercise. Dance has been my only exercise, and I hate gyms (actually, I'm rather scared of them because all those crazy machines! They look... scary!) Dancing makes me feel alive in a way no other exercise/sport does. But I've now realised that I really need to cultivate a healthy passion for daily exercise because dancing may be limited to me as an activity from here on out. And I certainly want to remain active in older years! Things I've done so far:
- tried Bikram yoga (eager to get back into it once I'm better)
- started swimming (for as long as I don't have a day job, I want to try and stick to swimming every other day)
- contemplated walking around neighbourhood (I really hate walking)
- pilates (love it, but it's expensive because I need one-on-one at the moment)
- tennis lesson (so bad at it, but enjoyable - want to try again once I'm better)
The biggest thing is swimming, of course. So far I've managed to stick it out the most, and this last week I've been every single day. I still dislike it, and find it really difficult. Lots of people say I should feel so much pain relief floating around in the water. No, all I feel is STUPID POOL VIBES. :)
My goal is to find some activities I really enjoy, and then stick to trying to do them every other day at least. It's really awful, trying everything and just not liking them, especially how much I LOVE dancing, but I know that I have to keep at it until my body starts enjoying the endorphin rush rather than the activity itself. One of the things I can't do is put on weight because Mr Spine will just hate it, and since I've greatly reduced the amount of dance I'm doing (by about 80%), I really have to keep on top of it.
What are your exercise options, and how did you get into a routine of it? Do you enjoy your activity of choice, or do you do it because you adore it? Do you have any ideas for someone who can't do a great deal of movement at the moment?