I don’t play sport, watch sport or really understand the point of sport. I’ve only been to watch three live sports games ever and I’m an expert at finding something else ‘important’ to do when there is sport on TV.
My aversion to sport is partially a result of history. Being the smallest and most uncoordinated in every Physical Education class didn’t help with the confidence. I also didn’t enjoy the rough and tumble of sports, particularly team sports.
Despite being exposed to numerous sports as a child – gymnastics, soccer, netball swimming and tennis – I never took to any of them.
As an adult though I have come to understand my own exercise style. I love to walk (not hike, you understand, which sounds hard) and I love, love, love to dance. And the unifying factor in both of these activities for me? Music!
Being diagnosed with dyspraxia in adulthood confirmed what I already knew – I’m horribly clumsy. Usually by the time I’ve figured out how to get my body to do what it needs to do on a field or court, the moment has passed. But when there is a musical rhythm to help me and/or a partner to lead me, I’m sweet.
That’s not to say there are not still some exercise forms I need to stick with for my own health i.e. weight training, but for the sheer pleasure of moving my body, with getting some exercise as a bonus, give me music and/or dance any time.
Not surprisingly there is plenty of evidence to support the idea that even at midlife finding and doing an activity you like can have a huge impact on our longevity.
So in line with The Ripenists Manifesto, that a big part of our second half is recognising and honouring the wisdom already within, this year I’m returning to Salsa and trying out dancing in the dark with No Lights, No Lycra, as well as continuing to walk my neighbourhood with my music on and meet my personal goal of 10,000 steps every day.
What’s your exercise style? Here are some questions that might help you excavate your own wisdom within:
- Do you like exercising with a group, a buddy, a trainer or on your own?
- What kind of exercise goals work for you e.g. training for an event, winning a game, or a season with a team or achieving a personal goal?
- What kind of movement works for you e.g. fast, varied, slow or rhythmic?
- What motivates you to work out e.g. finding calm, feeling like you’ve pushed yourself, learning something new, getting away from it all?
- Where do you like to exercise e.g. at home, outside, on a field or court or in a gym?
- What kind of environment works for you e.g. high-energy, calm and relaxing or whatever suits your mood?
- How hard do you like to push yourself e.g. not very, in spurts or till you’ve nothing left?
- What is the most important characteristic of exercise for you e.g. fun, competitive, contemplative, social, challenging or being present?
- What is the personal exercise challenge you’d like to overcome e.g. being curious and trying a new activity, being present with an existing activity and actively learning how to improve, exercising consistently, mixing it up so there is more variety, upping the ante so you get different results or taking the lead and setting up an exercise initiative for yourself and others?
- What one exercise goal would you like to accomplish in 2016?
We’d love to know what you figure out! Do share your insights in the comments below