Adventures in exercise

Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week is Feb. 7-14. Being a CHD’er I honestly should observe this in some fashion, but admittedly I don’t. One way is to share a few facts, so here’s some.

According to the website www.mendedhearts.org, congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects and occur in almost 1 percent of births, nearly 40,000 infants in the U.S. are born each year with a CHD (congenital heart defect) and about 100 to 200 deaths are due to unrecognized heart disease in newborns each year. I’m not sure what caused my defect, but I’m always amazed that I made it to over 30 without knowing anything was wrong with my heart.

In the last couple or so years, I’ve changed my eating habits a little bit. I try to move a little more. My adventures in exercise have been interesting to say the least. This past Friday and Saturday, I hit up Fitness on Demand at the Marshall Area YMCA. I like looking through the choices. You can select the difficulty level, the kind of exercise and how long you want to go for (I’ve done a couple of 10 or less minute-long classes). The 9- or 11-minute classes may be short, but you can get somewhat of a workout in that amount of time.

Last Friday I was torn between doing a Bodycombat class and maybe something dance-related. I’m scanning through my choices and settled on a 30-minute FitSteps class. According to its website, it’s an energetic, upbeat dance fitness class featuring all of your favorite strictly dances. It’s a British program created by Natalie Lowe and Ian Waite of “Strictly Come Dancing.” It mixes ballroom and Latin dances into one workout. The class I chose had Lowe and a couple of other women going through different kinds of dances. The first one was the Charleston. Here’s a dance that’s been around for ages, and I was having a heckuva time trying to get my brain to send the message to my feet what steps were involved with the Charleston. I’m a visual learner, especially when it comes to exercise. But when it came to the Charleston, I was failing hardcore. Lowe had me and the other two women on screen doing different dances from the samba to the cha-cha, and for some reason, one of those dances was to “The Final Countdown” by Europe. I did my best to replicate their moves. Some were not as graceful, but as long as I kept moving, I was doing all right.

I admit that I can be a little self-conscious as I’m attempting to dance like the women on the screen in the darkened aerobics studio. So I may have reacted when people were peeking in or such. And after a half-hour of awkward dancing, I was done and sweaty. I think I burned a calorie or 200.

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