My Taikwondo class was packed as usual filled with people with high energy levels exuding happy hormones.
An exercise class helps in that you get to feed of the energy of people around you. Even if you come in feeling a little low, its easy to feel uplifted if the group is happy.
Taikwondo is a good HIIT workout, which requires you to have a good mix of flexibility and strength in order to perform. A strong core is of essence, and so are flexible and strong legs.
We normally start of by a warmup that includes tons of push ups and crunches, stretches and partner stretches. Then we do some kicks that help as warm ups plus stretches. We better some techniques and learn how to better basic moves.
Sometimes the tempo is extremely upbeat in that we hop at the balls of our feet for over half an hour interspersed with various kicks. Sometimes the warmup resembles my morning bootcamp in that we do various hops and crawls for the first half an hour of the session. Whatever we do, the energy leaps around the studio and makes for a great workout.
There are those in the class - those fit and exuberant folk - who are there because they love it. They love the post workout high they get, and the love it that their kicks today were higher than last month and so on.
Then there are those who are there just because they’ve heard its good for you. Slumping posture and minimal effort are trademarks of this group.
There are also those who are there purely for the exercise. They push the limit in class and barely move once they get out and go home. These are the ones who think of fitness and exercise as a small tick mark activity in their day.
The latter half hour of 1 1/2 hour class consists of us getting into a line with the teacher with Taikwondo pads up front and us having to execute various kicks with speed and strength (not to mention perfect aim) onto the pads. Once we have finished we go back to he back of the line. Some of us run, some of us bound. One girl - slightly overweight and not surprisingly so - waited every time she finished her turn towards the front of the lin so that she did not have to walk to the back.
For her, I have this to say or The advantages of moving:
- You are making a huge mistake by not thinking of health and fitness holistically. By restricting it to certain points in a day, you are not thinking like a healthy and fit person. A healthy energetic person is always on the move and has a spring in their step. A couch potato who exercises cannot call himself or herself fit.
- Moving is everything : Can’t get a workout in? go for a small walk. Walk to your nearby store, walk to your gym. Walk and move even when not exercising.
- Movement and exercise are interrelated - Consciously make an effort to be on the move no matter what you’re doing and you will feel better about yourself.
- Have no energy for that run or the really high intensity class? Take a small step, just go for a little walk around the block, but don’t not move.
- Just moving and walking helps fight inflammation.
For those who feel walking is for old ladies, think again. Exercise is holistic and starts with your mind. Gym rats with huge forearms are not my idea of fit; my grandfather on the other hand, who at 81 never misses his morning walk, is sprightly, slim and a bundle of energy. He on the other hand, is fit as a fiddle and exemplifies what fit, happy and healthy should be.