Friday's 5 Fitness Tips: Exercise for all the Wrong Reasons!

Climb, Deanna Lynn Wulff, Exercise, Fitness, Stonewear Designs, Surf -

Stonewear Designs Grassroots Team Member Deanna Lynn Wulff

I can’t be called a fitness guru. I don’t count calories. I don’t know what my VO2 max is, and I don’t run races. But if you get to dress up as a chicken or trudge through mud, I’ll consider entering. Why? That sounds like fun to me, and I might make a few friends, which is a benefit that goes well beyond toned muscles and athletic prowess.

And it turns out, if you want to stay fit that’s the exact formula.

Studies indicate that long-term exercisers highly value the non-tangible benefits of exercise, such as the mood lift and the chance to see old pals and meet new people. Depending on what’s happening in your life, you can adjust your exercise routine to suit your physical and emotional needs, and you’ll feel better. You’ll probably look better too, but that’s not the point. I’ve honed this down to five key principles for staying motivated, but, to me, it’s more about staying happy.

 1. Be Social. Plato says, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” I agree. People are the same off the field and on, so if you want to know their character, play a team sport. That’s one of the reasons I like soccer; not only do I get to run around like a maniac, but I make friends over time.
Deanna stays social by climbing with friends like climber Lila Sarjakoski
2. Be Silent. Meditate. It took me awhile to say “Namaste” with sincerity, but I’ve learned to respect yoginis. There is something golden about being quiet and silently stretching for 90 minutes. It generates inner calm. And if I’m problem-solving at work, yoga helps me sort it out.

3. Stay Strong. I couldn’t do a pull-up for most of my adult life, but when I started climbing I belted one out in a month. Climbing is a puzzle that I get to solve with my body, which is why I push harder than I would at a regular gym. It’s an intellectual and a physical challenge. Find a strength-training routine that appeals to your mind, and your body will follow along.

4. Switch It Up. Once a year, try a new sport, either one you’ve discovered yourself or one introduced by a friend. That’s how I started yoga and snowboarding, which led to a deep appreciation of Colorado winter weekends.  When I learn, I am entertained–it’s as simple as that. Speaking of which…

5. Be Seasonal. When the sun shifts, change your routine. In the fall, the Pacific Ocean starts to get a bigger swell. So this August, I started taking surf lessons to get comfortable in the water, and I now have a used foam 9-foot surfboard, which I call Pink Fluffy Bunny. I look ridiculous out there, but I am smiling big.

In general, exercising should lift you up physically and psychologically. If it doesn’t, maybe you’re doing the wrong sport. Try a different one. Consider that high achievers push themselves, because they enjoy the hard work and aren’t afraid of failure. So find an activity that you truly love, and you’ll stick with it.

By Deanna Lynn Wulff, Stonewear Designs Grassroots Team Member, Minerva’s Moxie

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