Sure beats P90X

Every time my extended family starts getting into something, I start taking interest in it, too. For example, a couple years ago my brother started a blog, and before long, we all jumped on the bandwagon. Singing was the same way. My dad started taking singing lessons years ago, and we all started singing around the house. Soon we were all singing in talent shows and anywhere we could.

Now it’s exercise. Everyone’s got a different kind, but we’re all exercising.

But I’m not sure most people understand mine.

Of course, if I wasn’t doing it, I’m sure I wouldn’t take it seriously either. Come to think of it, I don’t take it very serious now – one things for sure, it’s a good work out.

So what’s my exercise?

Line dancing! That’s right – the Boot Scootin’ Boogie, Electric Slide, Macarena – you name it! Remember the good old days when it was actually kind of cool, say in jr. high, for example, to know all the moves when Cotton-Eyed Joe comes on? And remember how there were always those dorky kids that could never seem to get the moves down before the song was over? Yeah, see that was me.

No longer.

Now, I’m like king of the… well… living room floor. I can flawlessly bust out the Tush Push, Macarena (we found a Spanish only version of the song), Achy-Breaky Heart, Celtic Slide, Electric Slide, Boot Scoot, Charleston, Cotton-Eyed Joe, Slappin’ Leather, and the newest addition, the Heian Shodan – which, I should add, is not actually a line dance, but a martial art exercise that works great with “Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting.” (I saw a random video of some guys doing it at a wedding dance, and knew I had to learn it for that very purpose) And those don’t include our original choreographed line dance for Foot Loose, and the improvised dances we do with The River Sings (Enya) and Fireflies. Actually, Jenni and I have been doing it together, and learning and coming up with dances together. With Fireflies, we tear up grocery bags into big long streamers and dance around swinging them everywhere trying to keep them from touching the ground. With the Enya one, we do a simple running around dance that’s simple enough for the kids to do with us.

My favorite, and the one that’s a horribly painful workout is the Charleston – though I’m not sure our Charleston is the real Charleston, since it doesn’t look like the one in the Youtube videos. Someone suggested it might be the Lindy Hop, but those videos looked as different as the Charleston, so I don’t know what our dance really is.

Anyway, I never realized how incredibly FUN line dances are! I always enjoyed them as a teenager, but I didn’t know how to do them. Of course, they didn’t have Youtube to teach you back then. Now you can learn aaaaannnnyyything on Youtube. Plus you can find all the tunes on Playlist.com.

So if you ever drive by our place on a random evening, and the lights are on, listen carefully, you might hear, “Heeeey, Macarena!”

The Incrediblenet

The Incrediblenet

Isn’t the Internet amazing? From genealogy to gardening, from movies to email – the Internet has so many resources that it has made a great impact on our day to day living. While we must make necessary precautions to avoid the evil influences that can be found on this almost unlimited source of information, the good influences are more prevalent than ever before.

At least once a month, I discover a new website that absolutely impresses me. I’m sure many of you have the same experience. So let’s share what we’re finding. What are some websites or Internet resources that have really impressed you that other readers may not yet know about?

Here are two of mine:

Pandora.com
I don’t think I’ll ever go back to ordinary radio, so long as sites like Pandora exist. Pandora is an online radio station where you create your own stations (as many different stations as you want) from your favorite songs or artists. Once you type in a band or song, it will create a station based on that style, and then find other bands of the same style. As it plays songs, you can thumb up or thumb down the song to tell Pandora if you like it or not.
No matter what kind of music you listen to, it’s there. I have an LDS station, a contemporary rock station, a Celtic station, a piano solo station, an African traditional station, a country station, a soundtrack station, an oldies station, a native American station, an a cappella station, and about half a dozen other stations. I have friends with hip-hop stations, goth stations, and oh, I almost forgot, I even created a funny station. It’s really amazing. I can listen to it all day.

http://pandora.com/

Podcasting
I’ve known about the idea of the podcast for over a year now, but only in the past few months have I discovered that podcasting is its own entire realm of social media. You can find a podcast on any subject, and thanks to feed readers (such as Google Reader – which is built into every Gmail account), you can have a collection of dozens, even hundreds of regularly updated podcasts on your favorite subjects.
So why is this such a cool thing? Consider that you are interested in pottery. A rather obscure interest in terms of the Internet, don’t you think? Well there are a number of pottery podcasts. If you have a computer in your home, you can listen to your favorite pottery podcasts and hear interviews with some of the worlds greatest potters while you are doing the dishes or exercising.
If you have any kind of Internet handheld device, you can listen to your favorite podcasts while you drive, walk, or work. I listen to podcasts often at my job, because I sit at a computer for the majority of the time. My Google reader is automatically collecting podcasts on dozens of topics that I have chosen, such as the music business, gardening, humor, fiction stories, genealogy, writing, news, photography, science, and as of today, dogs. That’s probably only half of the topics I do, and in each topic, I have numerous podcasts.
If you don’t know where to start, either Google search “podcast directories” or simply “pottery podcast” or whatever topic interests you. Google is pretty good at finding stuff like that. While your at it, start your own podcast. How? Google the words “how to make your own podcast.” It’s really easy.

So how about you? Any sites or Internet resources that have really impressed you?

Get in the Game!

get-in-the-game

The rise of professional sports has led many to the misconception that the best way to get exercise while having fun is to play an organized sport. But there are literally hundreds of outdoor games that are so active and exciting that players don’t realize what an incredible workout they are getting. And don’t assume that these games are only for kids – they can be much more fun for teens and adults.

Many have heard of dodge-ball, where players try to pummel each other with a firm Nerf ball (or a rolled up pair of socks) across two sides of a yard, but there are many variations of this game that can make for many hours of activity. For example, play freeze-tag, where one person is it, and tries to touch the other players. Instead of having to touch them, however, have the person who is “it” throw a ball at the other players. This can be less frustrating for the person who is it, and gives the other players more challenge. When a player is hit, they are stuck until another player touches them free. This variation works best with 4 to 6 players. With larger numbers, consider having more than one person be “it” at a time.

Another dodge-ball variation: line up two players at a time and give each player a ball. At the shout of “Go!” have the two duel. Any limb that gets hit becomes useless. If a player gets hit anywhere in the torso, that player loses the duel, and the next in line challenges the champion. Players end up hopping and rolling around the yard, sometimes throwing with their non-dominant hand. A dueler may only touch their own ball during the game. If there are more than a few players waiting in line, you may want to have players go up in teams of two or three at a time.

In all dodge-ball games, make sure all players know that hitting the head or face never qualifies as a hit. That rule tends to protect eyes, ears, and noses.

If you want some chaos, try three-way tag. This is played with only three players. Player 1 chases player 2, player 2 chases player 3, and player 3 chases player 1. To make it a little more interesting, try 4 players. With 4 players, player 1 and 3 can stick together while player 2 and 4 team up to protect each other. Once everyone has established in their minds who is after who, this game is a riot. It works well, and only occasionally leads to a big train of people running in circles around the house.

The secret to all outdoor games is to really get into them while you are playing. Play as if your life depends on it, and by the time the game is through, you’ll have run miles without even realizing it.