By Rachel Hoeing

Happy New Year! Our TMoM team wishes all of you a wonderful 2016. We hope it is filled with love and laughter!

By the looks of my Facebook feed, a large majority of moms have resolved to be more active and healthier in 2016. That is pretty much my standard resolution, and although I don’t always lose weight and stick to a good diet, I have definitely upped my ante over the years in the physical fitness department.

What I have quickly discovered in the area of exercise is that if I don’t love something, it probably isn’t going to last. You may be in the same boat, so my post today is to inspire you to find something you do love that you might be more likely to stick to.

In the past, when I thought of exercise, I thought of countless hours on an elliptical machine or a treadmill. I might also have thought of running or lifting weights. Unfortunately, none of those are things that I enjoy.  I am also not a fan of exercising at home in my basement or bedroom. I just feel cooped up. I have tried all of these and they simply just don’t last!

Growing up, I was a swimmer. I was never great, but I enjoyed it. In my adult life I never really considered swimming, but last year my friend and I committed to swim once a week at our local Y. We have stuck with it for two reasons: 1) We have an accountability partner, 2) It is fun! To some of you, it may boring to swim lap after lap looking at the bottom of a pool, but since this is something I enjoy, I have stuck with it. I like the time to be alone with my thoughts, to disconnect, and to also fit in friend time as we chat in between sets or while we use the kickboards. (Is it bad to admit that we often hit Waffle House or IHOP for breakfast afterward?)

Another thing I have always loved is dancing. Get me in a dance club, at a wedding, or on a girls weekend and you will quickly discover that this “old mom” knows every word to every cheesy song on the radio and will be the first one leading a line dance or volunteering to dance on a table! Now I never said I was a good dancer … I have never taken dance classes and my ability is somewhere between Elaine on Seinfeld and Carlton on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But I did say that I loved it. So, I was intrigued when I saw a class being offered at the Y called Dance Trance.  The description said, “It incorporates dance choreography and aerobics into a fitness class that is stylish, exhilarating and fun. Dance experience is not necessary and all levels are welcome.”  That was all I knew about the class, so I showed up one day, chatted with the instructor about my “old lady knees” and how I have had a hard time with previous classes, and gave it a whirl. Ladies, I was lost! I looked like a duck with two left feet trying to follow along. But the music was awesome, the women in the class were so fun, and by God – I was determined to learn these dances! So I kept going back and before I knew it, I had actually learned a few dances and wasn’t tripping over my own feet anymore. I was having so much fun! This month will mark one full year that I have been attending these classes, and I am not planning on slowing down any time soon.

Let’s see what else …

I love being outdoors, so we take the kids and go hiking.

I love bike-riding, so we load up the bikes and head to Salem Lake or a nearby parkway.

I love socialization, so I walk through neighborhoods with friends.

I love a challenge, so I signed up for a few mini triathlons. (I walked the majority of the “run” leg!)

Exercise doesn’t have to be miserable. I have finally found activities that I enjoy. Due the fact that I still haven’t adjusted my eating habits, it doesn’t mean my figure is exactly what I would like it to be, but it does mean that I am taking care of myself and my heart while I am having fun. Think about what makes you smile and see if you can find a physical activity to match!