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Love to Exercise… at Last!

Love to Exercise… at Last!

It was my 30th birthday. Since I was born on August 30th, turning 30 had always been a big deal for me, and I was very much looking forward to it. To make sure the event lived up to expectations, my husband took me on a surprise vacation to Aruba. Not a bad pick, I’d say. He had organized all the details behind my back. All he told me was to pack my bathing suit, some sandals, and a pretty dress. Imagine!

Table at the Flying Fishbone in Aruba

On the specific day of my 30th, he made reservations at a very special restaurant. This was an evening to remember. Our table was not on the beach by the ocean; it was IN the ocean! There was a little rack by the table to hold our shoes while we dined so that we could fully enjoy the water between our toes as we admired the sunset. Luckily, I wore a strapless dress that night, which allowed me to take full advantage of the breeze caressing my shoulders. The sweet fresh air was just delicious. (Sorry, ladies. Robert is already married, and he’s not going anywhere.)

I’m pretty sure that dinner was equally yummy, but in all honesty I have no idea what we ordered. And frankly, the meal was accessory. What was so seductive and memorable about this evening was the physicality of the whole experience.

Our bodies can give us many different joyful and pleasurable sensations that can help us enjoy working out. There’s a lot to focus on other than shortness of breath and muscle weariness. Yogis enjoy the smooth movement of their breaths in and out. Dancers find flow in the physical expression of emotions. Lifters learn to love the burn. Martial artists feel an exciting release of adrenaline when they face opponents. Swimmers love to shatter the water. Joggers often enjoy the rhythm of their shoes hitting the gravel.

What physical sensations can stimulate you to exercise? I’m sure you’ll find something if you try. Maybe you can enjoy the soothing sound of the wind in the trees while you hike. Maybe the funny rhythm of a Zumba class would get you giggling. How about the sexy undulations of belly dancing? A friend of mine who is not particularly athletic recently picked up trapeze classes. She enjoys the altitude so much, she doesn’t realize that she’s building body strength. Inspired, I tried aerial yoga, which is not as hard as it sounds. I was excited like a kid in a candy store as I hung upside down.

So give it a shot. What physical sensations can you enjoy? Use your ideas to augment your exercise routine.

  • Alice

    Hi MJ – sounds awesome. Hope all is well and love to see your acro performance – Are you at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts? My kids did their program for a while.

    Be well,
    Alice Dommert

  • Hi Alice!

    Good to hear from you! I took the aerial yoga at Moyo-Yoga – it’s the studio in Skippack where I’ve been a regular for 3 years now. If you click on the words aerial yoga in my article, there’s a link, so you’ll be able to see the site. The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts sounds good too – I think I’d love it, actually! I’ll have to look it up. 😉

    Namaste, Alice!
    MJ

  • Really good to see this focus on how we feel when being active, and using that experience to help us keep on being active! I do outdoor bootcamp because I love to exercise outdoors (cute rabbits to watch, cooling breezes, clouds)…, by the sea, and zumba because I get caught uo in the music and, just for that hour, am a slinky latin dancer (I careully chose a class without mirrors to help, with the illusion :-))

  • Lol! Love it, Sally!

  • Pingback: Ready for 2014 Resolutions?()

MJ Shaar – in 20 seconds


MJ is one of the most sought-after experts blending positive psychology and health promotion. She spent over 15 years coaching, teaching, speaking, researching and testing smart health habits. Marie-Josée Shaar received her undergrad at McGill University in Organizational Behavior, followed by a Master of Applied Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania. She's certified as a Wellness Culture Coach, a Personal Trainer, and a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant.

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