From Abby: Ohm ...
While I've been trying my hand (my feet?) at running, Abby is tackling a new exercise endeavor: yoga. And for her, it's been an experience in teaching her where her comfort zone is. Today, she's writing about finding a fitness routine that fits your life and doesn't cause you to break bones. ;)
It's hippie, it smells weird, and the people who do it are always skinny and eating kale.
Except - not.
This fall I ran a 5k. And I hated it. I mean, the free beer afterward was cool but the running part? Miserable. I set a goal, I worked hard, I didn't die, and I finished. That's really the point of life right? We find things we do/don't like by setting goals and reaching them, and re-assessing. That's how I like to live life anyway. Give it my best shot and then if I don't like it then whatever, I tried. I'm not competitive, I have more muscles than I actually need (thanks seven years of cheerleading) and I hate to do repetitive exercise.
I also love to whine.
This fall, my best friend and I decided to try yoga. We'd wanted to for a while, but couldn't find a beginner class that didn't cost a bazillion dollars. So finally while I was buying new sneakers (for the aforementioned running) we saw a "Grand Opening!" flyer for a new yoga place. One of their programs was a "Brand New Beginners," so we signed up right away. I realized after a few injuries that I can't just go at these things willy-nilly [Editor's note: Willy-nilly? And you have the balls to call me old, Abby?] without knowing what I'm doing, and this program was going to teach us the right way to do yoga without getting hurt.
For me, running had the following negative effects: (YDMV)
- I gained 8 lbs;
- My A1c went up 0.4% in 2 months;
- I had the lowest lows I've had in years;
- I broke my ankle.
Yoga has the following positive effects:
- I haven't lost lbs, but my fat is turning into, less jiggly fat;
- My A1c is back to where I want it;
- My blood sugars are practically a plank during yoga (see what I did there? Plank? :) ), and I only go a little low (like I need an 80% temp for a few hours) about 6-7 hours later;
- I haven't broken anything yet.
I love yoga right now. Each class is different and challenging and I'm reminded over and over to just listen to my body and do the best I can. I can't do the "bird of paradise" but today I stretched backward in my side plank without falling over. I make my own goals and nobody gives a hoot what I look like. It's making me stronger, more patient, and healthier. I'm not saying yoga is for everyone, but I'm saying that if you're like me I suggest you try new things and keep searching outside your comfort zone until you find something you enjoy ... even just for a little while.
What's outside of your exercise comfort zone that you're looking to check out? For me, it was running. You?