Finding Fitness That’s Fun (forgive the alliteration)

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There’s a lot that I like about running — no need for planning around a class schedule, no driving, low-cost supplies, and, of course, the solitude that prevents other from seeing how slowly I run. But it does get old. If you’re in a rut and looking for a new fitness option, here are some ideas I read about in The Los Angeles Times by Jeannine Stein…

“Plenty of pleasurable activities deliver a legitimate workout without the hamster-on-a-wheel feeling. Surfing, kayaking, ballroom dancing, trail running and self-defense classes are just a few ways to avoid a fitness rut or supplement a regular gym workout. Some offer other benefits, too, such as being outside, expanding one’s social network and building confidence by mastering a new skill.

“Workouts with mental components can be great stress-relievers. While concentrating on paddling a kayak through a current or staying upright on a snowboard, there simply isn’t room to think about your irrational boss or that lingering to-do list.” I’d note that if you’re far enough away from work to be snowboarding or kayaking, you’ve done the hard part, but you get the idea.

One expert recommended childhood pursuits (like ice skating). “Classes are a great way for beginners to learn skills and build up strength and endurance.”

TEN MINUTE TEST: Could this be the year to combine that nagging wish (“I wish I’d learned to dance…do yoga…ice skate,” for example) with fitness? If this interests you, take 10 minutes to do a Google search: “[sport] [class or club] [your city]“. I just randomly tried this for hiking in Detroit (Googled: Hiking Club Detroit) and spent ten minutes perusing. In that time, I found a bunch of sites that were no longer active, some for college groups (no one would want me on their college hike unless they need a den mother). But I also found four legitimate sites with up-to-date calendars and hikes within the next two weeks. So the info’s out there, it’s just takes a little hunting…

One other benefit of classes or clubs — as someone who doesn’t part easily with cash, if I’ve paid for a class, by golly I’m showing up!

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