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Dancing in the Rain for Exercise

Dancing in the rain

When it is raining, play in the puddles

I live in northern California. After years of drought, no one dares to complain about the rain. However, it is interfering with my daily walks, which is my primary exercise. Fortunately, I also do Jazzercise, where a 30-day challenge is motivating me to lace up and drive through wind, rain, mud slides, and mild flooding. I’ll do anything for a free t-shirt.

Actually, the t-shirt is only part of the motivation. It feels good. I am also exercising for my heart, brain, liver, cancer prevention, diabetes prevention, and so on. The benefits of staying fit are endless.  In short, I move to feel good and to stay alive.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the minimum amount of daily exercise that adults need is:

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR

  • 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR

  • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

If you want more health benefits, strive for:

  • 5 hours each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity and strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR

  • 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of vigrous-intensity aerobic activity and strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

OR

  • An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

Be sensible. If you are new to exercise, check with your healthcare provider before starting a new fitness routine. Remember to drink water, apply sunscreen and avoid injuries. Pain is NOT gain. However, sore muscles may occur. Heat, cold packs, and stretching may be beneficial. Remember to consult a doctor for injuries and discuss a back-up fitness plan for common injuries. Avoid exercise when ill.

Start small. A physical fitness plan should be safe and fit your needs. A reasonable beginning regimen might be to walk a few minutes, stretch, and stop for the day. Always allow a day of rest between weight training workouts.

Set a goal. Gradually work up to a goal. If the long-term goal is to walk 30 minutes five days a week, then start with 5 minute walks 3 days a week until you can do this effortlessly. Do not overdo it as this may sabotage your chances of reaching your goal.

Find your passion. If you find something you enjoy, you are more likely to be successful at it. Fortunately, there are many types of activities from which to choose. Walking, hiking, swimming, dancing, bicycling and weightlifting are some common recreational activities. Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, gardening and playing with children are forms of exercise.

Develop an excuse-proof plan. Physical fitness is more likely to be successful if it is portable, and not dependent on the weather, and fits any budget. Put the radio on your favorite oldies station and dance to your heart’s content. Take a walk in a park, even if it is drizzling.  Jump in some puddles like you did when you were a kid.

Exercise can be fun. The benefits are unquestionable. I am living proof. It was hard at first, but now I can’t imagine my life without it.

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