Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wellness Activity: Badminton

While I've already written about my new sport, badminton, I have to tell you it's truly great. This morning I was really tired because I'm still not sleeping very well due to my Ativan withdrawal. Yet, I was truly excited about my badminton class, which meets at 11:00 a.m.

For years I have sought an aerobic activity that I would enjoy. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, an aerobic exercise is "'any activity that uses large muscle groups, can be maintained continuously, and is rhythmic in nature.' It is a type of exercise that overloads the heart and lungs and causes them to work harder than at rest. The important idea behind aerobic exercise is to get up and get moving."

I have tried swimming, but I have to force myself to do it. I hate gyms, and in years past I've spent a fortune joining and then going for a total of one month during the entire year. I like tennis, but I've always enjoyed doubles more than singles and it's a pain to try and get four people together on a regular basis. Besides, when you do, they want to play for more than an hour and socialize to boot. It takes too much time in my day.

While I regularly walk around the block, that's not an aerobic activity nor is gardening, which is healing but doesn't make my heart pump more quickly.

But badminton is terrific. We spend the first fifteen minutes of class doing warm-up exercises. We spend the next half hour learning new skills. And we spend the rest of class playing each other. While I'm the oldest person in the class, one of my best skills has always been my athleticism, which I had let lapse years ago.

You can't imagine how much fun it is for me to beat 18-20-year-old students. And from the moment class starts, I don't think about anything but playing hard. There's a sort of Zen in that. While I still don't have the stamina I used to, I'm getting better every session. And since my teacher is just a little younger than I am, she's couldn't be nicer about letting me rest when I'm so tired that the only thing that would truly help is oxygen.

It remains to be seen whether badminton will chase my winter blues away. But, I must tell you that while I was tired when I came home--it was the best kind of tired. It was being tired because of physical activity, which has always made me feel good. I just forgot about how much I enjoy physical competition!

11 comments:

Catatonic Kid said...

That's fantastic you've found a sport you love, Susan! It sure sounds like fun. And it helps so much when exercise isn't just a chore but something you can really get into. I find it helps keep you motivated for other things as well, which is a nice perk.

Nancie said...

Susan, glad you are enjoying your badminton! Sounds like you are having a lot of fun and especially being able to beat 18-20-year-old students :) I am hopeless where ball games are concerned. Somehow I can't coordinate my hands, eyes and legs :) But I found much enjoyment in going to the gym and I joined a trial membership for 3 months around end of last year. It really helped me in my recovery from the relapse of depression I was going through then. Hope your badminton will help to chase your winter blues away. I am remembering you in prayers. Take care!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear CK,
Yes, it truly is great. I think the only true wellness activities are fun rather than a chore. And I also believe that exercise is critical to chase away depression so I'm really pleased.

Susan

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Nancie,
Yes, it's as much fun "beating the 18-20-year-old students" as it is playing! Actually, I lose some matches as well and even enjoy those! Glad the gym has helped you out. It's nice when you find something that works, isn't it?

Susan

discoverandrecover said...

How fun!

Duane

discoverandrecover said...

Susan,

The reason I said "fun", was my experience from college....

One semester - There were lots of phys ed classes to choose from, but the only one that fit into my schedule was badminton.

I thought it was going to be boring....not -

It was great fun!
(so was folk dance, believe it or not...)

Duane

Wellness Writer said...

Duane,
Badminton today...folk dancing next. What do you think? It's making me smile at the very thought of it!

Susan

discoverandrecover said...

Susan,

We were a bunch of young people in our 20's....

"Folk dancing?" we thought....give us a break....

But, hey it was really fun....

We laughed and had a great time - learning all kinds of dances from different cultures -

Go for it!

So excited for you with this badminton class of yours - sounds like good "therapy" to me!

Stay well Susan!

Duane

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Duane,
Actually folk dancing was a big thing in my twenties too. While I didn't do it, I knew people who did and they loved it. I'm not sure if they offer it at my local community college, but I truly wasn't kidding about finding out!

Susan

Pasifik said...

Hi Susan,

First, welcome to badminton world! The world that you really enjoy today. I'm also a badminton player. I love badminton very much. I played since I was a child. It's great exercise for all ages. You can check this LINK or HERE to get more exposures about badminton.

Badminton lover,

BADMINTON SHOTS

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Pasifik,
Thanks for welcome and thanks for the links. I really appreciate it!

Susan