Thursday, June 14, 2018

Twisting and Planking: Core Fitness X 2

While I will continue blogging about dawgwalking adventures, I am going to write regularly also about my core fitness classes because they have become an important part of my senior-years journey.    Please note, this is not required reading. Some of my friends would rather joke about fitness than read fitness-freak stuff, and that's okay. I like humor, and will read and probably laugh at their jokes; however, they have no reciprocal obligation to read my breathless prose in praise of the eternal fitness quest. Fair enough?

Yesterday at the Core-Fit club, a substitute teacher, Susan, introduced us to drumming as exercise. (See the June 13 blogpost.) It was great fun, and I wouldn't mind rocking it out again. However, my amateur opinion is that the stability ball better serves as a base for crunches, weight-lifting, push-ups, and such.

Today, I took a class at a county Recreation Center, which of course meant back-to-back core workout days. I don't know if that is necessarily recommended for seniors; ideally, a day of rest and recovery in between may be the usual advice, especially for someone like me who hardly ever manages 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep "knits the ravelled sleave of care," you know. (Shakespeare: Macbeth) But the Rec Center class is Tuesday/Thursday, which left me with a four-day gap and feeling in dire need of a third class of the week. So I also joined the Core Fitness Club, to have availability of the same class on Monday and Wednesday, as well as access to a whole lot of exercise equipment and other classes. For starters, now, my class days are on Monday/Wednesday/Thursday, but I can mix and match in different ways when I have conflicting appointments. Back-to-back days are taxing, but I like the challenge! Eventually, I might reach the point of doing a Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday regimen. Of course, someone might need to scrap me up off the floor afterwards. We'll see.

Today, our regular teacher, Sarah, was back and put us to work with those stability balls, with crunches and weights, including one synchronizing a heavy weight in one hand and a light one in the other. Plenty of balance work, too -- which is not my forte, given my balance issues, but I try. Finally for the planking finale, we did something entirely new -- planking from a floor mat, and going from full plank position to knees to original plank position -- repeated 20 times. It was pretty tough, but made me think I may be ready to do my planks straight off the floor instead of using a chair as a prop. Planks are great core exercise!

Finally, music is something else I enjoy about these classes. Sarah has a great playlist with many tunes that strike chords with we golden-agers. When "Old-Time Rock and Roll" comes on, I feel like singing some of the lyrics aloud  ("Today's music ain't got the same soul/I like that old time rock and roll" -- Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band).  However, for the benefit of my classmates, I just replay the lyric silently in my noggin). Then there's "The Twist" by Chubby Checker, the one song to which I could dance well in my frat-boy days long, long ago. It's all I can do to keep myself from twisting when it comes on. Since I hide in the back of the class, maybe I can get away with a few quick gyrations without anyone noticing. Ha!

                                                   © Robert Gray Holland   (2018)

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