I have been trying for some time to work out what works for me in the way of exercise. I have started at the local gym and am happy to go there 2-3 days per week, depending on my work, my life and general commitments. At least 2 days should be achievable.
Tonight I decided to attend an Aquarobics class. This is a huge thing for me, because all my life I have avoided any kind of group fitness. I am just so uncoordinated that I end up feeling like a bit of a twit, because I mess up and can’t keep up with the rest of the group. I get embarrassed and just want to leave. I have always been more inclined to go to the gym and work out and not speak to anyone and just do my own thing. I once went to the gym with my daughter when she was a teenager and an aerobics class was about to start. She wanted to go and join in and for me to come with her. I told her I didn’t want to do it, for the reasons already listed. However, she begged me to come with her and I finally said I would, but only if I could stand up the back! So, we went into the class where the very peppy instructor was jogging at the front of the class. As agreed, my daughter and I stood at the back. Next thing, the instructor started to run around the class until she was right behind me at the other end of the room. The next thing I knew, she said, ‘Everyone turn around’. So there I was at the front of the class! I was not impressed! I lasted about a minute and left the room. I was not a happy bunny! That was the last time I went to any kind of group fitness.
So, attending an Aquarobics class was completely out of my comfort zone or experience. I was nervous and worried I might make a complete dick of myself, but was willing to give it a go. Turns out it was kind of fun! It is also more strenuous than you think. I had seen people doing some kind of Aquarobics class previously and they made it look easy. But, it certainly got the heart rate up! The leader of the class was good and gave easier versions of exercises for the newbies in the group and I think I did OK. The good thing about exercising in water – I found out – is that no-one can really see what you are doing, so I found I was much less self-conscious than I thought. The leader of the group was welcoming and the other women (and one man) friendly and were all different ages and sizes. So, at the end of it all I felt like I had had some good exercise and some fun. I definitely intend to go back again.
I also chatted to one of the ladies in the changing room. I made a special effort to be friendly, because I want to start to get to know some people in Kaiapoi, so that hopefully when I retire I can have some connections in the community. I have always been a bit anti-social I guess, not really putting myself out there to make friends. However, with this condition I figure the more people we can connect with in our new community, the better our natural supports will be. Not that I am expecting anyone to necessarily do anything for me or us, but just so that I have some friendly people I can chat to at the gym, or the pool, so I don’t feel too alone when I am no longer working.
Exercise is medicine, but unlike medicine, doesn’t have to taste (or feel) bad to be good for you. I know that if I want to continue to do exercise to ward off Parkinson’s it will have to be something I enjoy. Hopefully, I have found another exercise option that I will continue to do and to get the benefits from that exercise.
If I make some friends along the way, that will be a bonus!