Finding fun ways to move.

It’s difficult for me to find fun ways to move. I enjoy walking, because I find it a very mindful and meditative experience, but I often struggle with other types of exercise — I find them tedious and difficult, and I’ve never had much inclination to “push” myself further or to be really competitive with myself when it comes to strength or speed. When I was a child, I think I was fairly active — I hiked around the mountains, ran around the yard, climbed trees — but I never liked sports, and I never had an athletic bone in my body. I like to be active, but only if it involves playing, meditating, or exploring. I don’t do well at instruction or form — I’ve always felt my body is this clumsy, flailing thing, and I’ve never had any coordination to speak of. Instead of building confidence, I often lose confidence whenever I try to implement a new exercise program.

So, I have to be creative.

About a month or so ago, my mother-in-law got a wii for her birthday, and also received the game Just Dance 3. While we were visiting, I watched my daughter try out the game, and realized that not only was she having fun, but she was also getting exercise, too! I decided to make the investment in the game for our own wii — mostly because my daughter struggles with exercise the same way I do, and I wanted her to have a fun way to get more movement into her life.

Now that we have the game, we’ve developed a pretty fun fitness routine that we do most days after getting home from work and school. We take turns doing dances with Just Dance 3, and while A. has a turn, I take out the wii balance board and do some step aerobics while I wait for my own turn. We’ve started out with 20 minutes a day, but we’ll be building that up slowly over time. My daughter tires easily, so I have to get her acclimated to the concept of more effort and exercise. Not only is this a creative, fun way for me to move and sweat and get in a short little workout, but it’s also a way I can interact and play with my daughter, as well. We get to spend time together doing something active, we get our much-needed exercise in, and *hopefully* I’m being a good role model for my daughter, helping her see through my example that taking some time to move every day is not only healthy, but also can be fun.

I don’t really pay too much attention to how high I score in the game. The measurements seem pretty arbitrary and questionably inaccurate anyway, since they only focus on the placement of one wii remote in your right hand as you move around the room. The most important thing is just to get into it — just moving my body to the music, attempting the moves, and having fun with it. I really do *love* dancing, and this just gives me a very specific way I can share this activity with my daughter and make it more focused on overall fitness & health. So far, my favorite dance to do is the one for Boom by Reggaeton Explosion, but my daughter always makes me dance to Land of 1000 Dances by Wilson Pickett — probably because I have to dance like a chicken in it, and she always laughs.

Do you have any creative ideas or alternatives for exercise and movement?

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