Happy & Healthy
FIVE FUN WAYS TO STAY FIT AT ANY AGE
BY CHRISTI BLEVINS
"FIT" is an old acronym used to talk about fitness. It stands for frequency, intensity, and time. What if we rethink fitness and have FIT stand for fun and interesting transformation? If you enjoy an activity, you’re more likely to do it on a regular basis, so here are five fun ways to approach “FITness” at any age:
TAKE IT TO THE MAT
Yoga may bring to mind pictures of people twisted into positions you’re pretty sure you could only accomplish if you were boneless. Don’t get hung up on what you think yoga is supposed to look like and embrace the fact that there’s a reason it’s called a yoga practice. Yoga is ideal for any age and fitness level.
You don’t need fancy equipment, though you might want to invest in a yoga mat. Even the mat is fun because it’s sort of like the nap mat you used in kindergarten, back when people encouraged you to sleep during the day.
Yoga is easily modified for children, seniors, and people with physical limitations.
In China, it’s commonplace for older people to gather in public parks to dance. Participants have been dubbed the “dancing grannies,” but you don’t have to be a granny (or even female) to enjoy a dance party. You can sign up for classes in swing dancing, ballroom, line dancing, hip-hop, tap, or any of the other varieties of dance. If you would rather get your feet moving in the privacy of your own home, crank up some tunes and start moving. This is real life, not reality television. No one will be scoring your efforts.
The young and the young at heart can get in on the fun by mimicking the dance moves of Charlie Brown and his bouncy cohorts. There are even online videos and tutorials to help you get your groove on, like the Peanuts Gang.
GO TO THE DOGS If you have difficulty committing to regular exercise, grab a canine companion, and the motivation will take care of itself. Take long walks through yourneighborhood, or head to a dog park for a rousing game of “throw the slobbery ball.”
BOOT CAMP, ANYONE? Fitness boot camps are all the rage. They can help provide the catalyst to get you moving. The exercises are often loosely based on military fitness training. For a large portion of the population, this interval training is both fun and effective.
START A FITNESS CO-OP If organized classes aren’t your thing, start an exercise co-op with friends and neighbors. Each participant or household is responsible for a group activity on a rotating basis. Six members or households would mean that you plan the event once every six weeks. Keep it fun and flexible enough to accommodate all ages and fitness levels. Some ideas for events include:
Kickball Frisbee golf Badminton Hopscotch and hula-hooping (though probably not at the same time) Outdoor scavenger hunt Tag
The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.