OK, I’m about to date myself again (but the column is called Boomer Talk). I used to teach dance aerobics back in the day. I had to choreograph and teach a dancing-type exercise program to upbeat music. I chose old rock and roll because it makes you wanna move.
The person who taught me was a world-class champion Highland dancer. So, we did a lot of leaping about in our classes (that’s probably where I got my bad hips from).
It really was too much fun and almost seemed wrong that I was paid to teach. Remember Jane Fonda? If you are asking, “Jane who?” — go ask your grandma.
Anyway, Jane and I taught the same kind of exercise, wearing the same kind of goofy leg warmers and head bands — all matching in the bright colours of the ‘70s. That may even have been the beginning of the wearing of trendy outfits to exercise in.
It was hugely effective at helping the body to burn fat, tone the muscles and produce endorphins all at the same time, helping that feel-good feeling to wash over the entire mind-body.
Oxygen levels increased as did flexibility and the mind was also stimulated as participants grooved to the music, followed the instructor’ directions and counted as they moved.
It involved both sides of the brain and the entire body was smiling and laughing together.
The mind-body was being cleansed from head to toe — quite literally.
I believe that motion helps to lessen negative emotion.
Emotions in our minds are constantly moving as information is being conveyed from a peptide to a receptor (in our brains………never mind). You don’t need to know the nitty gritty to know that it is good for you to move your body.
Recently, I’ve started a Saturday morning walking group, with the intention of helping others to find the joy in moving their body (don’t worry, no leaping required).
You don’t need to join a gym. You can choose to take advantage of the beautiful parks around Vernon and commune with nature as you walk for free.
Actually, the more you exercise, the less likely you are to suffer from Alzheimer’s and many other diseases that may occur as you age.
“There are a host of preventive measures to stop or slow the onset of dementia. A recent study by the Karolinska Institute (based in Stockholm, Sweden), published in the online edition of Lancet Neurology, states that exercise may be the most important of those measures.” (canadianliving.com)
We can keep the bears away using group laughter exercises as we walk.
So if you feel you’ve been putting off exercising, just can’t find the energy after work, or have nobody to walk with, join me Saturday mornings at 9 a.m.
I’m in love with Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park, so that’s where we are at the moment. Bring water, wear sunscreen and comfy shoes.
If you need some motivation, download Olivia Newton-John’s Let’s Get Physical and groove to that before you head out the door.
Get physical, meet some new like-minded people and have fun at the same time.
P.S. You are actually helping to keep me motivated to exercise because if I know there are others there waiting for me, then I’ll get my own you-know-what out the door.
Carole Fawcett is a counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist, humourist and freelance writer. www.amindfulconnection.com