I go through phases where I’m very much into one activity or another. With a few exceptions, most things capture my interest for at least a little while. From a summer of Zumba classes to five months of boxing lessons to two years of swimming lessons, usually my interest in an activity also wanes when the schedule becomes inconvenient or the friend that I was going to classes with isn’t able to attend consistently.
Though Zumba was fun, I realized that it wasn’t a complete substitute for the dance classes I missed from my college days. So I signed up for traditional classes such as ballet and jazz and spent a few years enjoying the experience in the evenings…until work got in the way.
Boxing has lasted a little longer than my Zumba phase, though I don’t see myself as a physical fighter and that perception is holding me back. I love the changes in my body as a result of the movement patterns, but I’m not sure I care about the aesthetics enough to stick with the challenging parts of the sport. And I don’t like the idea of punching someone hard in the jaw. (A bag, sure. A person, not my style.)
Swimming is something that I cycle back to when I need a change from other activities. It’s great in the winter, and, though I thought it would be fun in the summer, I’m wavering about it right now. I’m confident that I have room to improve my skills, and yet I’m also finding reasons not to get to the pool…
Dancing, boxing, and swimming are just three of many activities I’ve tried and discarded, potentially coming back to them months or years later…or not at all.
Roller, inline, and ice skating. Pilates and yoga. Soccer. Strength training and running…
For someone who flirts with different activities, keeping things like lifting weights and running on the list for more than three or fours years is a record.
Running is my joy-inducing, stress-relieving activity of choice, and strength training is my injury-preventing, body-healing go-to activity. Note that the latter statement doesn’t preclude delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from occurring. (If only!)
These are my two fitness staples, and it took a lot of time and experimentation to find them. I will do each activity alone – or, happily, with others. Even when I’m not feeling up to it, I can usually make the effort to show up and start, for I know I will feel better afterwards.
Though I love running and lifting weights independent of their effects on the rest of my life, each has enhanced my life. Bonus!
I’d also like to think that my fondness for each activity, as well as my professional training, has improved my ability to coach others in these two endeavors.
Have you found your core fitness activities? Given that there are so many ways to add regular movement to your life, have you found what works for you?
Are you still searching? What are you curious about that you haven’t tried yet?
Have you found part of your equation? Maybe some things are working, but you are still tweaking your routine.
If an activity doesn’t speak to you, perhaps you would find more enjoyment and be able to maintain more consistency by finding another activity more suited to your preferences, needs, and lifestyle.
Maybe you’ve got an equation that is working. How long did it take you to figure out your ideal fitness approach?
Even if you’ve got a rhythm and things are working for you, sometimes other factors require an adjustment to the usual schedule.
Has anything sidelined you or caused you to rework your routine?
Do you keep coming back to the same activities or do you change things up periodically, whether by choice or by necessity?
Taking time to answer these questions for yourself and determine what works for you will give you more clarity and insight into your own fitness habits and points of resistance.
I’d venture that you will be happiest and most consistent with your fitness approach if it’s truly your approach…and whether you go through fitness phases or you’ve generally got things figured out, your ownership of your chosen path will improve your experience.