How do I find an exercise I love?

For anyone who has struggled with couch potato disorder, that’s a ridiculous question. Exercise hurts. It takes time. You look particularly unattractive while doing it. Anything that doesn’t make you go red in the face, vomit and get a headache seems to be completely ineffectual.

And no, dancing on tables for 30 seconds at a time after 2am and fifteen tequila shots does not constitute effective exercise, so you can give up on nightclub fitness.

Despite my sedentary leanings (and complete lack of athletic ability), I have however managed to find an exercise that I happily tolerate. In fact, I’d even go so far as to say that sometimes I love it. It’s Tang soo do, a Korean martial art practiced by none other than Chuck Norris, and obscurely, available in family classes, just around the corner.

I’d like to venture a couple of suggestions as to why this class is what has finally broken through all my barriers:

  • It’s cool (Martial arts are fierce and I can now leg sweep bullies).
  • I’m learning a new skill (or should I say, a series of them, including self defence and forms).
  • I could start at a very low level of expertise and physical fitness (without feeling like a fat, uncoordinated numbskull).
  • My achievements are easily measured (coloured belts, and stripes that can be achieved between belts)
  • I’m doing it with my family (can’t skive, because then I’m setting a bad example)
  • I feel like I’ve joined a club (I always see the same people and there’s a sense of camaraderie, we chat before and after, congratulate each other, and there’s a whatsapp group for communal information)
  • I have a very encouraging and caring grand master (He helped with health advice and tailors techniques for each of us, meaning we get the most out of our lessons)
  • The other staff are also quite good looking (for some reason, I’ve found eye candy always makes me want to achieve).

There are of course, other benefits that other forms of exercise also provide, including a noticeable improvement in fitness over time, a clearing of brain fog and that immediate boost of energy after the session. But it’s the points above that have kept me at it for the last 6 months.

I’d suggest a couple of other pastimes that might fit a few of the above parameters and therefore encourage even the least likely fitness fanatic.

  • sailing (new skill, no prior knowledge required, measured grading, family activity, joining a club, cute yachties)
  • surfing (cool, new skill, no prior knowledge required, family activity, camaraderie, eye candy to the extreme)
  • Pole dancing and burlesque (cool, new skill, no prior knowledge required)
  • Roller derby (no prior knowledge required, family activity, camaraderie, joining a club, and probably a whole lot of laughs)

Do you have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them


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