Friday, November 6, 2009

Waking Up Muscles I Didn't Know I Had

I just got back from a visit with my was her 80th birthday. It was a nice visit and the weather was gorgeous...which since we had just received a foot of snow at home was really relished!

While I was there I joined her for a "stretch and tone" exercise class that she goes to on Mondays. It was great to see my mom with her workout buddies...and they all welcomed me to the class...socializing was strictly before and after the class though...during it they were all business. I was anticipating that this class would be a breeze...after all, I'm only 51 and the class is filled with seniors.

Well, did I learn a thing or two! First it reinforced that I am not a dancer...never have been, probably never will be. I laughed at myself, as I tried to coordinate my hands and legs...and that was the warm up! Fortunately for me, the rest of the class was much easier for the dance-challenged!

Shirley, the instructor, warned the "new members" of the class to take it easy...that she would be waking up muscles that we didn't know we had...and that if we tried to keep up with her we would feel it either the next day or day after.

She worked our shoulders and hips in gentle ways--but for an hour--I kept up with her no problem...but she was Tuesday evening my hips were aching. Turns out I found a couple muscles that I had not been using.

Does this mean that I've been exercising wrong? No. It just means that I may not have been mixing it up as much as I thought I had. The big advantage to changing up your routine is that you move different muscles.

So, take a cue from me...when you try something new, take it easy...even easier than you think you need to. Then see how you feel over the next few days. If you don't hurt, then you can step it up! Get variety into your workout routine so you use and strengthen all your muscles.

Finding a sore area means that you are making it stronger, so it isn't a bad thing as long as you don't over do it is so much you quit working out altogether! If you stick with your 15-20 minute workouts every day you are much less apt to overdo it...but if you do then take it easy and really stretch the sore areas for the next couple of days.

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