Everyone has a 'risk muscle.' You keep it in shape by trying new things. If you don't, it atrophies. Make a point of using it at least once a day. - Roger Von Oech
This week I shook things up by trying a different type of work out for the very first time. My heart will always belong to running but boy did I enjoy the Zumba class I tried this week! What is Zumba? It's a high-energy workout that incorporates Latin dance to make exercising FUN!! I am a total sucker for Latin dance rhythms so how how could I possibly say no?? The fun upbeat atmosphere was just the kick in the pants that I needed. I had such a great time and Craig, the instructor, was a blast! It is a very intense work out (I was sweating like a farm animal by the end of class) but if you have the chance to take a Zumba class, by all means go for it!!!
It felt great to do something different. When I recounted the goings-on of the workout to my BFF, she commented on my through-the-roof energy level and asked me if I preferred it over running. The answer was "no" but I had to think about it for a minute! I never thought I would enjoy another form of work out as much as I did that Zumba class. I know that it's best to change up the work out routine but that has never been something I have been good at doing. Sure I will do yoga here or there and swim every so often but I have never really added a different activity to my program. This may be "the one" that I stick with on my non-running/wogging days. There were so many different movements that were involved that I normally don't use but they could still help improve my running. Lots of lateral movements and hip movements that require flexibility. Different muscle groups are needed for many of the dance movements and it felt great to stretch and work those out. Running works mainly the lower body but Zumba works everything including arms and core. It also helps with coordination and stability which are key to running well. I especially liked that the level of impact can be tailored to what your specific needs are - adding more bounce to your steps increases the impact; keeping your feet closer to the ground lessens the level of impact. If you have knee or ankle issues, it is best to keep it low impact. I think that for my next Zumba session, I will KT Tape my formerly sprained ankle to give it some added stability (I'm still paranoid about reinjuring it).
So this week, I will enthusiastically return to my Zumba class to shake what my momma gave me! If you haven't tried a new new form of exercise lately, I highly recommend doing so. It can be fun and enjoyable and full of laughter. And who doesn't need a little bit more of that in their lives?