My Favorite Ways of Staying Active

It’s still pretty hot here. On Saturday, I paid the price for having said that hot weather is good for practically everything, as I spent the day mostly in bed feeling pretty rubbish. Today, I’m doing better. I am starting on yet another great-seeming Kindle book while still having to review the last one I finished. However, I don’t feel up to this. In fact, I wish the weather was slightly cooler so that I could’ve been more active physically. Instead, I’m going to share in this blog post about my favorite ways of staying active. This post was inspired by Emilia of My Inner MishMash, who asked a week or two ago which sport we’d choose if we had to pick one.

1. Swimming. Oh, how I love this. In the Netherlands, most children get swimming classes at school at least in the early elementary school years. I did too, but at my school for the visually impaired, I wasn’t progressing because my teacher was over-protective. My parens enrolled me in swimming classes at the local pool and I got my first diploma when I was nine and my second about eight months later, when I’d just turned ten. These two dplomas are the ones most people in the Netherlands have. Since we got swimming classes throughout elementary school at the school for the blind, I was able to stay in classes for another two years. I never earned another diploma though.

Back in the day, I still had some vision, so was able to swim in a relatively straight line. Now I can’t to save my life. My left side is weaker than my right, so I often swim in circles and sometimes, when I think I catch myself doing this, I overcompensate. My husband finds it pretty challenging to keep an eye on me while swimming. I still really hope I can find a way to go swimming regularly.

2. Horseback riding. I went horseback riding a handful of times when on holiday as a child. We just did steps on a pony with my parents each walking beside my sister and me. At one point, I asked my mother whether I could get riding lessons, but she said it was too expensive as I’d have to get a private instructor.

I forgot about the whole thing until 2012, when I was in the process of finding suitable day activities while in the mental institution. I had heard of an adaptive riding school and wanted to know more. Unfortunately, they catered mostly to those who are just autistic or learning disabled, so they didn’t feel they could safely get me riding classes. Instead, I was allowed to brush the horses under supervision.

Fast forward another several years and I heard of my current riding school through my mother-in-law. I love it. Usually, we step around for about twenty minutes and then trot for a few rounds. I can’t say this is truly active exercise, though my Fitbit does recognize it as such.

3. Walking. I just love going for walks, although I prefer staying on the pavement rather than walking in nature. With my blindness and mild mobility impairment, walking on uneven ground is just too hard. I like to go on at least one walk a day, usually at day activities.

4. Cycling. I own a tandem bike that I got through disability services back in 1999. It’s in terrible condition though, so we’ll either have to throw it out (as it takes up a lot of space) or get it repaired. I didn’t usually like tandem bike rides and am still not too sure. Last year at day activities though, I discovered the side-by-side bike. I love that one!

5. Going to the gym. I don’t currently have a gym membership, as I won’t be able to afford transportation to the nearest gym. However, I love most gym equipment. I specifically like the treadmill, rowing machine and elliptical. At home, we have an elliptical in my office, which I go on a few times a week.

What are your favorite ways of staying active?

8 thoughts on “My Favorite Ways of Staying Active

  1. I’m happy my post inspired you. 🙂 As for me, as you know, my most favourite activity is horseback riding. I can’t agree with you about horseback riding not being a truly active thing though, in my experience it greatly depends on in what form do you actually ride. I mean, if you have for example classic hipotherapy, it’s indeed not that much of a worthy activity, usually. I can remember when I was riding at the school for the blind, where it was called hipotherapy, and it was more meant to be a sort of relax than a sport activity, you were just sitting on the horseback and the hipotherapist was leading the horse back and forth in the forest or something, then I also had another instructor at a stable nearby who seemed overprotective and overfocusing on my blindness, which meant I also was only allowed to sit on the horseback and she was doing all the rest. But now I no longer have formal hipotherapy. My instructor does have some degree in hipotherapy, but she’s first and foremost specialised and passionate about dressage. Now I don’t ride regularly since a few months due to various reasons but when I did, I had an hour a week, I was training different techniques which I don’t even know how most of them are called in English, I was also taking part in various horse riding competitions and after each training I was literally wiped out and sore allover, overflowed with endorphines, well the last at least for a while. 😀 All your muscles work while you’re riding, if you’re really riding, so that just has to be a valid and overall very quality activity. It just depends on your instructor and the place you do it at. 🙂

    As for other activities, I also like walking, when I have someone to assist me. Since late May, I am also doing five Tibetan rites regularly each morning with my Mum if I can, that’s a sort of Tibetan yoga, very briefly speaking. That’s not overly exciting, but my Mum is constantly in awe about its effects on her overall wellbeing so I wanted to try. I also used to regularly exercise on a stepper, to strengthen my legs for horseback riding, but that can be very boring on a longer basis so I stopped. I had swimming lessons at the school for the blind for years but had never liked it truly, despite it I like being in the sea, sometimes trying to swim with my Dad’s assistance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well my riding instructor is pretty protective. I wouldn’t call it overprotective as I’ve only been riding for about ten months and still find it hard to maneuver. When trotting, we do get taught to sit and then stand in the rhythm of the horse, which has me pretty active. I probably am somewhat active when stepping too, but it’s not like I’m wiped out after a riding lesson.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am totally with you on swimming. In Germany, we usually learn to swim at an early age, too, which I think is super important! I used to do synchronised swimming until I was 18. Now I try to go just stroking lines as often as I can. Water is absolutely my element! Never really tried horse riding, I was always too afraid of the horses 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I wish I had a treadmill. They’re definitely my favorite gym equipment, but they take up a lot of space and are quite expensive. We got the elliptical from my in-laws, who weren’t using it. Otherwise we’d likely have bought a stationary bike.

      Liked by 1 person

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