Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Fitness

Latin Dancing for BeginnersWith the shorter days, unpredictable weather and frenetic schedules of December, it's hard to find the time or motivation to either get in shape or stay in shape. But with all the feasts, sweets, parties and illnesses of the season, it's more important than ever to get that ole body moving once in a while. Fortunately, housework, cooking, or brisk walking during your holiday shopping count as exercise. But if you need something a little more challenging, this winter might be a good time to try out some new exercise plans with books and videos.

Yoga for Strength
Yoga is a great activity for this time of year. In addition to physical benefits, a regular yoga practice decreases stress, increases strength and flexibility, and helps you have a better outlook on some of those trickier family gatherings. As a beginner you don't need a lot of special equipment: just some loose, comfortable clothing and a towel or mat. Fortunately the Library has a great selection of books and videos, so you can keep trying different styles until you find one that works for you.

Martial Arts for WomenIf the holidays are so stressful that stretching and deep breathing won't cut it, now might be a great time to study martial arts. Whether you are interested in Karate, Kung Fu, Aikido, or Tae Kwon Do, or Tai Chi, you can find guidance from a philosophical or physiological perspective.

Yoga for ArthritisAnd finally, if the winter holidays fill you with an abundance of exuberance and energy, you can learn to dance! Ballet, ballroom, Latin, bellydancing, tango - learn some new steps in the privacy of your home, only to knock 'em dead on New Year's Eve!

But if the couch or the kitchen is just too appealing, you can head over to the Genoveva Chavez Community Center, Fort Marcy, or Salvador Perez for swimming, weight training, and classes for all types of fitness. You can even buy Holiday Gift Certificates there for the athletic folks on your list.

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