Thursday, May 01, 2008

Family Activity Day

Yesterday was "Family Activity Day" at DD's school. They had several classes available to try - from Taibo to jump rope, Zumba dance, Yoga, aerobics, and more. We were allowed to sign up for two things, so DD chose Yoga and Zumba. We kind of forced DH to not only come along, but actually participate in the activities. The point was not to do anything perfect, just to see what they were all about, get active, and have fun. To add to the joy, we rode our bikes to the school. Reducing the carbon footprint and all. Yoga was very interesting and very enjoyable. We did some relaxing breathing, and learned the basics of the "sun salutation" series of movements. I think we went through the process three or four times, and I was pretty warmed up! Breaking a sweat, as in. I liked how you could modify the moves to your own abilities, and it wasn't about putting your leg around your neck or being the most limber. DD had trouble following along - it is hard to see what the instructor is doing when your butt is up in the air and your head is down in "downward dog" pose. When you do try to look up, you find you have a better view of another person's patoot than of the instructor! DH had trouble sitting cross legged. The other stuff he was fine. They both liked it, but weren't sure they wanted to do it again as they found it hard. I LOVED it. In fact, I printed off an instruction sheet and did two rotations this morning. I would have done more but I ran out of time. I chose to do each position and hold it for a few breaths rather than try for a fluid motion between the poses, more to help aquaint me with them and give me a chance to learn what works well for me. I have also printed off something called a "moon salutation" that does other poses and is supposed to be good for the evening. Already I can feel a difference in my neck and shoulder, which are always stiff and at least once a month get "wrenched" and I end up with a stiff neck and can't turn my head. I was in "wrenched" mode before I started and while there is still some stiffness, definitely an improvement. Zumba is basically dancing. Think salsa moves, the meringe, cha cha, and a lot of hip swinging and butt wiggling LOL. Don't let anybody tell you it isn't real exercise. We did TWO songs (no warm up since we already did yoga) and I was sweating through my clothes. Breathing hard but not out of breath, and you could feel the burn for sure. Nothing overly strenuous but you could tell your legs and arms and torso were working. Quite fun, but the instruction was quick and the instructors were wearing black against a black background so it was hard to see what they were doing all the time. I am sure the classes would be better as they would have more time to go over the basic steps. The music is certainly peppy. DD and DH liked it but were frustrated because they often had no idea what to do. DH found it hard to keep up even when he knew a step, and DD got confused and upset every time we changed from one step sequence to another. I did okay. I did like it, but I find it frustrating that my body does not move when I want it to. A simple step, step, leg kick nearly killed me when it was side to side. Front to back? Fine. Side to side? No go, baby. Plus I think the hip swinging and butt wiggling may bother my back. I would like to try it again some time. At one point, the girl stood still, raised her arms above her head, and shook her butt so fast I thought the men might get whiplash ;). I said "I CANNOT do that!". DH said "Sure you can. You do that all the time". I told him that the girl is doing it on PURPOSE. When my derriere does that, it's after-jiggle! DD's teacher was in the class nearby and laughed so hard she lost her footing and almost tripped. Tee hee! After we were done, there were several booths set up with information and free stuff. We each got an orange and DD got a toothbrush. I got some information on diabetic classes and the yoga, and picked up a card for the Zumba. They had city walking and bike trail maps, reflexology demonstrations and a physiotherapy booth complete with massage table (who wants a massage when you are all sweaty LOL?). I thought I would be too tired for the bike ride home, but it was actually nice to feel the breeze on my face. I swear I didn't stop sweating for an hour though LOL. DD has been taking good, healthy lunches all week. We have been observing snack limits and learning about "serving sizes". A lot of bike riding, and DD has been bringing her basketball to school almost every day. It has taken some cajoling but we are walking or riding when we can, and when we can't we try to park farther, use stairs instead of elevators - things like that. We have been eating less junk, and when we do we try to make better choices. I hope this all continues!

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