Exercise CAN be fun

Don’t worry, I’m not going to write a treatise on the benefits of having an exercise buddy or how exercise is good for you. I think we’ve all probably heard that plenty of times. No, I’m going to share something most of you may already know but just hadn’t thought of in a while.

As a kid, I spent as much time playing outdoors as possible. In the summer, that meant I was outside for most of the hours between the time I woke up and the time I had to go to bed. As I got older, I did what most kids do: I left a lot of that childhood playtime behind and moved on to more “mature” things.

For the last couple of years, I’ve read a lot about the necessity of exercise for writers and anyone else who spends a lot of time at the computer. Because I don’t like most exercise machines (an exercise bike is about the only thing I’d use) and gym memberships are expensive, I’ve had to look for other forms of staying in shape.

In the last several months, I’ve spent a lot of time with my preschool-aged niece and toddler nephew. Obviously, playing with them keeps me moving, but it’s also reminded me of all those childhood activities I left behind WAY too long ago. In particular, jump ropes and hula hoops.

My Facebook friends may remember a few jump rope related status updates a few months ago. Well, I still love jumping rope just as much as I did then. I even discovered it’s possible to jump rope in the snow. It’s a little cold, but when you don’t have your own personal gymnasium (or other large indoor area with a high ceiling) you make do. Besides, it’s fun to watch the reactions of people driving by when they see an adult jumping rope with a few inches of snow on the ground and more drifting down.

Ever since I reacquainted myself with a jump rope, I’ve been longing for my other favorite apparatus from childhood: a hula hoop. I finally bought one today and I love it. Every time I set it down, I want to pick it up and get it spinning again. I can already tell my abdominal muscles are going to hate me, but no pain no gain, right?

So, even though my forms of exercise aren’t what most adults think of as exercise, they really do have health benefits. There are several articles online about how good jumping rope is for people of all ages. Even though I haven’t looked up resources on hula hoops, I can tell you from experience it can get your heart pumping. Plus, hula hooping and jumping rope are just plain fun. They also fit my personality perfect. Since I’m a big kid anyway, I can’t think of a better way to get and stay in shape than to take up the childhood activities that kept me moving.

Now, a question for you. What is your favorite form of exercise?

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