Exercise – it doesn’t have to be a chore.

We all know exercise is good for us, right. We have been told myriads of times how much benefit it is to us.

It is good for our physical health, keeps us feeling younger as we all get older and we have become much too sedentary in our lifestyles. It is good for our emotional and mental health. Much as you hate to agree with someone who suggests this to you – you do always feel better after you’ve managed to get outside for a walk with the dog or attended a yoga class.

Living with depression and anxiety is not fun and you really don’t need to add any further pressure on yourself. I think we sometimes set ourselves up to fail, exercise is something we have to do and therefore is also no fun.

We find ourselves reluctantly turning up at the gym simply because we paid a membership fee and then might just find we only end up using the sauna and pool because they make us feel better.

We try out the little tips and techniques that the experts suggest – you might get off the bus a stop earlier, take the stairs instead of the lift. So you do that for a while and then think ‘this is not working, I don’t seem to be losing any weight or toning up’.

The thing is to mix it up, change things around as your body does adapt to what you are doing. And of course the other thing to do is to find something that is fun to do and that will hold your interest.

If you are living in Dublin I would like to introduce you to a few ideas to think about perhaps trying out. I’ve done most of them myself at one time or another over the years and I’ve included a few links for you to get more information and hopefully get started.

Did you ever dream of being a ballet dancer when you were a child, perhaps had dreams of dancing in Swan Lake – there’s an exercise class for that – try www.coisceim.com or www.abdstudio.ie. What about whittling your waist with some hula hooping, having fun and learning some cool tricks at the same time?  Well www.irishhoopers.com can help you with that.

Can you see yourself soaring high above the crowds doing acrobatics on silk ropes – there’s an exercise class for that too at the www.dublincircusproject.com, you can literally tell family and friends that you are running off to join the circus.

Maybe you would like to try belly dancing, www.dublinbellydance.com, – great for flexibility, or pole dancing, www.irishpoledanceacademy.com – a great way to tone up the arms and legs as you use them to move around and hold your own weight on the pole.

Roller skating, just make sure to wear the protective pads and you should be good to go, www.spinactivitycentre.ie. Or you’d like some to do training in something that as well as getting fit also teaches you some safety skills maybe martial arts would be your thing, www.tbi.ie.

Nab a friend to join with you or go by yourself and make some new ones. In my own case I actually prefer going alone, then I won’t let anyone down if I can’s stick at it.  I hope you might give one of these a try and who knows maybe we’ll even bump into each other at one of them!

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