Monday, March 17, 2014

Climbing the Wall...Literally

Is winter getting you down? Are you longing to get a pedicure and show it off in sandals? Do you wish you could sit outside in the evening, sip a cocktail and not get frostbite? If winter has you climbing the walls, why not give in and climb? Literally. 

The Mother/Son Climbing Team
That’s what I did over the weekend. I took the climbing wall class at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Campus Recreation Center. When I signed up for the class with my son Bryan, I figured it would be a fun bonding experience for the two of us and a nice goal for me. 

When we arrived at class, I looked up at the wall and questioned my sanity. First of all, you have to wear a safety harness that, quite frankly, does absolutely nothing for your posterior region. (It sort of grips your rear end and squeezes. Not a good look.) And secondly, that is one tall wall. Yikes.

I pushed gamely ahead with the class, learning the knots needed to tie onto the rope and the technique of belaying that involves the person on the ground maneuvering with the rope so the climber doesn’t go crashing to the ground. 
I even learned the correct climbing terms.

Me: On belay?

Bryan: Belay on.

Me: Climbing.

Bryan: Climb on.

(Me: OMG. What was I thinking?!)

What was I thinking?

Well, when it comes to exercise, change is good.

If you’re a creature of habit, you might do the same thing every day. Run on the treadmill. Go to the same class. Lift the same weights over and over. Not only is it boring, it doesn’t do much for your fitness level.

Research suggests if you add variety to your routine, you’re more likely to stick with it. Varying your workout can also help you avoid a fitness plateau, where you stop seeing improvements. When you do the same thing day after day, your body tends to adapt to the demands. By mixing it up a little, you keep your body guessing and you start to see results again.

That’s why I’m so excited about new formats introduced at Jazzercise. In addition to the regular class, I’m going to work in a Fusion class and a Strength 60 class. Fusion combines intervals of cardio and strength training and Strength60 is a full hour dedicated to building muscle. During the summer, I’ll be able to get outside more for a run or a bike ride. And I may even climb the wall again.

It was a little scary but I had fun and I was proud of myself for climbing way outside my comfort zone. Did I make it to the top? Yes, I did.

But I didn’t look down!

What do you do to change things up with your exercise routine?

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