Hallelujah – I exercised FOUR times last week – unheard of for me. It doesn’t matter that I could barely walk or bend down after day 2, the important thing is that I did it and even enjoyed it!

Photo credit: Fit Approach via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: Fit Approach via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

My relationship with exercising has been rocky to say the least. I’ve tried the Gym membership thing, only to realise that £200 for one session in the gym & a couple of swims really isn’t good value. The pilates DVDs I’ve bought over the years sit languishing on my shelves and however much I like the idea of running, I have to admit to myself that my body just isn’t made to run.

While doing some research on exercise (in a desperate bid to motivate myself), I stumbled on a class that was described as perfect for Highly Sensitive People. The class was ‘Nia’. Now, I’d certainly never come across Nia before and I was intrigued.

After reading a little about it, my heart sank as I realised it originated in the USA and I was based in a tiny village in the South of England – the nearest class will probably be in London if there’s one in the UK at all I thought to myself. Lo and behold, I was wrong – there was a class 10 minutes down the road from me – thank you Universe! I signed up and have been going just about every week since.

Nia is a cardio-dance workout that combines 52 simple moves with dance arts, martial arts, and the healing arts to get you fit in 60 minutes. It works on the body, mind, emotion, and spirit and you do it in bare feet to great music. Now I’m not saying you’ll find this in every Nia class, but our teacher wears the most fantastic colourful flared trousers that always make me smile. Exercise doesn’t get better than that!

Interspersed with my Nia classes, I’ve also started an online exercise program.The difference with these work-outs and the ones that I quickly tire of, are the affirmations that go with each new move. For some reason, saying affirmations while jumping around helps me keep going rather than collapse in a sweaty heap of boredom.

Photo credit: kentclark333 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: kentclark333 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Perhaps it’s part of being Highly Sensitive that makes me highly resistant to repetitive work-outs that exhort me to ‘go for the burn’- no thank you. I prefer something that works my mind as well as my body. Give me a holistic work-out over a spin class any time.

If, like me, you know how important regular exercise is, but have struggled to stay motivated with an exercise program, I’d urge you to keep looking until you find a form of exercise that suits you. Try signing up for a charity event and use the altruistic element to keep you motivated, or find something that keeps you going back – maybe it’s the people, or the fact that the exercise is outdoors or makes you laugh.

Amazingly, it’s not feeling more energetic or virtuous that make me want to keep exercising. It’s not even the possibility – one day – of having a flat stomach. The thing that keeps me going is the joy the classes bring. After all, who can resist a colourful pair of flares?

Happy exercising! Let me know how you get on..

If you’re interested in trying out some Nia classes yourself, take a look at the official website: www.nianow.com to find a class local to you. Better still, if you’re into flares and are in the vicinity of Hampshire, UK, try one of Elisa’s classes – www.nianow.com/elisa-risquez – so much fun!

And if you think saying positive affirmations while working out will keep you doing star jumps (works for me!) take a look at www.shrinksessionworkout.com







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