I recently re-introduced myself to going back to the gym. I thought it might be one way of getting healthier.
Energy is a gift of youth and one that as an adult I am missing lately. I’m 28 years old so there is still hope. Energy bars or drinks do not give me an added boost. They actually have the opposite effect. I tried a Red Bull once and it made my heart race for hours. That was the last I saw of the bull.
During a recent visit to the gym, I had no clue where to begin to get acquainted with the setup. I knew I couldn’t run because I’m not a runner, don’t claim to be and don’t wish to be. I didn’t want to lift weights out of fear of pulling a muscle.
I wasn’t going to swim because I didn’t want to get my hair wet–it takes too long to straighten afterward.
Since there’s no real road map to navigating the gym, I tried to blend in like I had been there before. I went to the locker room and changed into my workout gear. I pulled my hair up like I’ve seen others do and headed for the track.
I walked three miles and one of them was with 3-pound weights. I didn’t know if I should be lifting while I walked, so I just held them as I paced myself. After my walk, I ventured into the nautilus room–an area that harbors the machines for leg extensions and arm extensions and crunches and more.
I did 40 leg extensions and 30 arm extensions. I was so proud of my efforts, but I felt it the next day in my arms and legs. Gym-goers must have thought I was odd as I wrote down everything I did. What can I say? It’s a habit. I also wanted to make sure if I visited again, I knew how much I could do. I was defeated by a machine, whose name escapes me. You put your arms in sockets and are supposed to be able to pull them together as if clapping in front of yourself. Let’s just say I have to work my way up to that contraption.
One piece of advice one often hears when going to the gym is “just try.” Another tip is “don’t overdo it.” I didn’t. Well, at least I tried not to. I rode a bike for six minutes as my cool-down event. Not too bad. Legs were a little heavy afterward.
The second time I went to the gym I had a goal: to share in the group-exercise experience. It always looks so fun on television and movies so I thought, “Why not?”
I took the leap and discovered the phenomenon that is Zumba, the lastest dance craze workouts set to Latin music. There were about 10 women in the class. I arrived late but had I been there for the full hour, who knows if I would have been able to walk the next day. Thirty minutes was plenty of time to show me it’s a great workout all by itself. hat is all I did on that visit.
I might have waited awhile to re-introduce myself to exercise but I’m glad I did. I have always had an excuse. They include, “Work is my exercise.” When I was in college, it was “Walking this campus is exercise enough.” It was, but one can always do a little more. I’m learning that now and trying to do something about it.
I often wonder how working professionals make time to work out with crazy schedules. I guess it’s important enough to them to make time for it. My current plan is to make time for Zumba.
Wish me luck.