Alternative Exercises

Adult & Community Education –

Alternative ExercisesHave you tried an exercise program but just can’t stick with it because it isn’t interesting enough and you get bored after just a few weeks, maybe months? Are you looking for an alternative, more interesting form of exercise? There are many exercise activities aside from the ones that generally come to mind: walking, running, biking, or swimming. Examples of alternative exercise activities include: Dancing, Golf, Pilates, and Tai Chi. Let’s explore these examples and learn why they are great forms of alternative exercise.

Dancing can give you a great mind-body workout. Researchers are learning that regular physical activity in general can help keep your body, including your brain, healthy as you age. Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals that encourage nerve cells to grow. And dancing that requires you to remember dance steps and sequences boosts brain power by improving memory skills.

Like other moderate, low-impact, weight bearing activities, such as brisk walking, cycling or aerobics, dancing can help:

  • strengthen bones and muscles without hurting your joints
  • tone your entire body
  • improve your posture and balance, which can prevent falls
  • increase your stamina and flexibility
  • reduce stress and tension
  • build confidence
  • provide opportunities to meet people, and
  • ward off illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression

So if you’re tired of the treadmill and looking for a fun way to stay fit and healthy, it might be time to kick up your heels!

Golfing is often thought of as a passive sport that does not require any real degree of fitness. In reality, golf incorporates cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and even balance and coordination. With all of these benefits, it’s hard to say no to a game of golf.

One of the best parts of golf, from a fitness standpoint, is the high amount of cardiovascular activity that is involved in the sport. Walking across a golf course is a great way to improve your cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular exercise is thought of as biking, swimming or jogging. However, when you walk (and not ride in a golf cart) during your golf game, you are sure to get the same kinds of cardiovascular benefits.

Golf is a great way to exercise your body. However, as recent research has found, this is not the only type of exercise that your body needs. Exercising your brain is also very important not only for long life, but also for the prevention of brain degradation, which can result in memory loss. Golfing forces you to remember numbers, images, and even specific tips and techniques. Therefore, it is a great all-around way to exercise both body and mind.

Pilates is an innovative and safe system of mind-body exercise using a floor mat or a variety of equipment. It is a safe, sensible exercise system that will help you look and feel your very best. It teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. Pilates also improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion. It can even help alleviate back pain.

Mind-body exercise like Pilates is activity that keys on the mental focus of the physical movements being performed. With this type of exercise quality of movement is stressed over quantity of movement. Simply put mind-body exercise contributes to overall fitness and assists with engagement of the mind.

Tai Chi
Tai Chi, as it is practiced in the west today, can perhaps best be thought of as a moving form of yoga and meditation combined. There are a number of so-called forms, which consist of a sequence of movements. Many of these movements are originally derived from the martial arts (and perhaps even more ancestrally than that, from the natural movements of animals and birds) although the way they are performed in Tai Chi is slowly, softly and gracefully with smooth and even transitions between them.

One of the avowed aims of Tai Chi is to foster the circulation of this ‘chi’ within the body, the belief being that by doing so the health and vitality of the person are enhanced. This ‘chi’ circulates in patterns that are close related to the nervous and vascular system and thus the notion is closely connected with that of the practice of acupuncture and other oriental healing arts.

The following classes are offered through the Adult & Community Education Office beginning the week of January 7th. Call (239) 377-1234 for more information or to register today.

DANCE BALLROOM, BEGINNING OR ADVANCED: Whether beginner or advanced this class is where partners look and dance like they belong together on a dance floor. You will find your own dance style in Foxtrot, Rumba, Swing, Chacha, Waltz, and Tango. Starts Wednesday, January 9th, 6:00-8:00pm

DANCE, INTERNATIONAL BALLROOM STYLE: Learn the international style of holding and dancing with your partner correctly. Learn with two professional teachers, Joseph and Kalie; Foxtrot, Rumba, Waltz, Cha-cha, Tango, and East Coast Swing. Starts Tuesday, January 8th, 6:00-8:00pm

DANCE, RHYTHM BALLROOM, BEGINNING: A fun, introductory class on the basics of rhythm ballroom dancing, including: Rhumba, Cha Cha, Merengue, Mamba, and Salsa. Designed to get you up on the dance floor in a short period of time, or to re-establish the basics you forgot from long ago. Starts Thursday, January 10th, 6:30-8:30pm

DANCE, BALLROOM, NON-BEGINNING: Develop the social aspects of ballroom dancing, as well as style, finesse, and confidence. Variations of Merengue, Rumba, Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, and Tango will be reviewed and polished for your enjoyment in a social setting. Starts Monday, January 7th, 6:30-8:30pm

GOLF, BEGINNING: This course utilizes the program “Starting New at Golf,” a fun, positive golfing experience that is an ideal way to develop a golf swing or fine tune your present swing. Learn about equipment, proper fundamentals, golf etiquette, and rules. This course will prepare you to take your game to the golf course. Equipment provided for the class. Starts Thursday, January 10th, 6:30-8:30pm

PILATES, LITE: Easy exercises to lose weight and tone up. For those who have done little or no exercising or are recovering from an injury. All exercises will be modified to meet your fitness level, body type, etc. Benefits of Pilates include: develops flexibility and endurance; improves balance and circulation; enhances mobility and agility; and increases range of motion. All ages welcome. Two Separate classes, one starting Tuesday, January 8th, and another on Wednesday, January 9th, 6:30-8:00pm

TAI CHI: Practice “Meditation in Motion” with gentle, graceful, flowing movements that will reduce stress and improve your health by improving muscle strength and definition and by increasing flexibility, energy, stamina, agility and feelings of well being. Learn basic techniques that are applicable for all levels. Starts Wednesday, January 9th, 7:00-8:30pm

YOGA: All levels and ages welcome. Yoga combines gentle stretches with strengthening and breathing exercises. A yoga practice brings more strength, vitality, concentration, relaxation and awareness. Many people find yoga props (blocks, straps, etc.) helpful to achieve more effective movement and better balance. Bring a towel and mat to the first class. Starts Monday, January 7th, 6:30-8:00pm

ZUMBA GOLD FOR BABY BOOMERS: It takes the Zumba formula and modifies the moves and pacing to suit the needs of the active older participant, as well as those just starting their journey to a fit and healthy lifestyle. What stays the same are all the elements the Zumba Fitness-Party is known for: the zesty Latin music, like salsa, merengue, cumbia and reggaeton; the exhilarating, easy-to-follow moves; and the invigorating, party-like atmosphere. It’s a dance-fitness class that feels friendly, and most of all, FUN. Starts Monday, January 7th, 4:30-5:30pm

There are two easy ways to register for classes: ON-LINE and ON-SITE. ON-LINE: Pre-register before the session starts simply visit ON-SITE: register and pay, by check or cash, in the classroom with the teacher at the beginning of the first class. For more information, contact the Adult & Community Education Office at (239) 377-1234.

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