Last week one of my friends, Miss K. who really enjoys rock climbing, asked me to join her for a climbing session. That was truly out of my comfort zone as I have a "thing" about heights. Well, to tell you the truth, I do not do well above a first floor.
I said yes.
I arrived at the climbing gym, signed my life away (waiver to fill out before you start), and watched a video describing safety rules (including how to roll if you fall). Then, my friend helped me find the right shoes. Yup, just like Cinderella. The shoes had to be quite tight to be right for climbing and to ensure a safe foothold. Miss K. gave me a very good lesson on bouldering, She showed me how the color coded routes worked and how to hold on safely. I covered my hands with chalk and went for it. Making me feel safer were the big thick mats covering all the floor surface. I observed other climbers trying out way more difficult routes. Their grace and strength actually reminded me of Spider Man! Climbing feels like you are playing a human-type Tetris game, your body being part of the puzzle.
We climbed the boulders for a while, trying different levels of difficulty. Then, Miss K. said: "Let's go get you a harness!"
After a review of how to behave when someone is belaying you (you have to have your certification to belay people), I was ready to go. I climbed the easy route ok. I tried not to look down. It worked pretty well. I did not go touch the top of the wall. I was high enough for me for now! I hinged from the hips, like sitting down, in the harness and let the belayer take me down. That was quite fun actually. You sit in the air and you slowly get down with your feet against the wall to guide you. Felt almost like having a super power!
Then I tried a more difficult route. This time I did touch the top of the wall, and felt really proud of this accomplishment! That was HIGH for me!!!
I did not know how my body would react to an activity that it was not used to. The next day, my forearms were a little sore but that was about it. (They were sore from gripping for dear life!!!) It was nice that my body served me well. I'm in pretty good shape. And that fits well with my fitness philosophy: keep yourself in shape so you can do the activities your heart desires. I want skiers to ski with strong legs and core and fabulous coordination. I want hikers to hike and come down the mountains with sturdy knees and with ankles that can take the burden. Just like I want to keep grandparents in shape so they are able to play Legos on the floor with their grandkids. When the phone rings, they also can spring up to go answer before it goes to voicemail.
You never know it might be your friend calling to ask to go do something a little out of the box. Let's say horseback riding!
You had a baby? Congrats! You are getting confident in your parenting skills and are finding your own rhythm. Good! Being a parent can be challenging. It can also be the best “growing” experience of your life!
For Moms: When your health care provider gives you the green light to start exercising, you have to take time for YOURSELF to get in shape so you can have the stamina your new role requires. It is important to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. You cannot give if you do not make time for your own needs. Let go of the guilt!
Here are my 7 tips to shape up successfully. Exercising will help you keep your sanity, and be the patient, loving, and fun parent you want to be.
1- Start at your fitness level - You will quit exercising if you are overwhelmed, especially at this busy time in your life. Find exercises that you can adapt for your body.
2- Perform strength and cardio exercises - Burn calories and build muscles. Those toned muscles will allow you to burn more calories as you move through your day.
3- Diversify - Surprise your body with new moves to keep your muscles guessing. You will not get bored and your brain will also stay challenged, helping you relax and think with more clarity during this stressful time. Yes, having a new family member is stressful!
4- Add intensity - To incinerate calories, really push yourself. This will kick your metabolism into high gear and you will like the results. Meaning your pants will fit better.
5- Simplify - No need for complicated and expensive equipment, you can work out in the comfort of your home. People tend to quit when it is difficult to make time to work out or to access the gym.
6- Work your whole body - Make sure you work all your muscle groups. Maximize your workout time by working multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
7- Use good form - Always use good technique to get an efficient and safe workout.
If you need ideas:
With their customizable intervals and exercises, our fitness apps will help you apply these tips with ease. Even better, when short on time you can shorten the intervals or perform only one circuit. Remember that a little bit of fitness in your day is better than no fitness at all. Be ready to build endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility for a great new life!
Below is a picture of myself when I was a new mom in 1989.