High on my list of “49 before 50” life improvements is fitness: 49 Deliberate Acts of Exercise before I am 50.
Every year I say I am going to exercise regularly, and every year I manage a few days here and there before it all fizzles out. This year it has got to be different, because I know that it is all starting to go downhill.
I am not overweight; my mother says I am far too thin. But I have no stamina or basic core strength.
Recently I have been challenging myself to run up or down the hill when I go out with the dog. On several occasions, my knees just gave way and I slid off the path into the muddy ditch. Some days, for no apparent reason, I just can’t make my legs go up and down quickly, however hard I concentrate. That’s really scary!
And of course there is the pelvic floor issue… oh come on ladies, you know what I mean, do I really have to spell it out?
So my fitness regime is necessarily a private one. I dare not join a gym or a running group because I risk humiliating myself in a puddle of… tears.
I own several fitness dvds: Darcy Bussell’s Pilates (too slow and painful), various scary aerobic / dance routines featuring busty ladies in gold hotpants (fun, fast, and dangerously high-impact in places), and my old friend the New York City Ballet Workout.
This last one is my favourite. I remember it made a real difference when last I used it regularly. It is gentle but challenging. And there is enough space in my son’s old room to exercise in peace and privacy, with sufficient warmth and ventilation.
So my initial target is to “do ballet” once a week. In itself, that would be 52 exercise events.
But I know I need to bribe myself with incentives and I need a variety of activities if this is going to become a habit for life.
When I can manage it, I do actually enjoy running. But I do not own a pair of trainers, or indeed anything you might call “exercise clothes”. So I might make a small investment in those. Running in wellies and a heavy coat is hard work!
Other things I plan to do to get fitter are: walk faster (especially when out with the dog – he will benefit too!); bounce on the trampoline (gently!); and go to the beach.
“Walk on the beach” is another of my 49 before 50 goals. I’ll talk about that another day.
meanwhile, if you are interested in fitness, I do recommend this blog piece I saw last week.