Thursday, October 8, 2015

Working Out with Grandma

Over the last month or so I’ve been trying various forms of activities – different intensities of walks and hikes outside, group weight training, group cardio activities, even Zumba.  And one thing I've realized is that you don’t need to be as fit as you might think to start some of these things. 

Think of them all as a progression.  Going straight into a regular Zumba class may be a little difficult.  While it will get you moving, the pace may be pretty fast or you may not be able to do all the moves.  But there’s an alternative to everything! Once you get winded or reach a point in the routine where your feet can’t move as fast as everyone else's - just move side to side to the beat until you can keep up again.  Even in group workouts, there may be some exercises your body isn’t quite ready for yet – so some squats can be done instead (believe me, those add up too, ouch).

Other surprisingly good alternatives are activities geared toward older adults.  Many community education programs have them, even some gyms.   Key words to look for would be "low-impact" or "low-intensity." For example, instead of Zumba, there is a Zumba Gold.  Zumba Gold basically recreates the moves of the regular class at a lower intensity. There’s also a version that is done in a pool called Aqua Zumba.  Again, low-impact. Even if you are a “younger” adult, they may be perfect for your current abilities until you are ready for more.

And if you are now picturing yourself in a room with a whole bunch of people like your mom or grandma…that’s most likely exactly what it will be.  But let me tell you – they are probably the least intimidating group members you’ll ever work out with…welcoming, fun and inspiring at the same time.  If they are moving like that at their age, they have the same goal as you – to keep moving.