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Guest blogger: Getting moving and keeping going

Written by Fiona February 15 2011

Ellen is a good friend and fellow freelance journalist. She plans to take part in the 26.2 Edinburgh Moonwalk this year. Earlier this month she blogged about how a cow got in the way of her first training walk. This week she’s Zumba dancing and walking ‘n’ talking…

Ellen writes: The interests of Moonwalk training were served this week with a double delight. Firstly I went to my maiden Zumba class. I’ve been doing exercise classes of one kind or another for, ahem, 22 years. And over the time I’ve tried ’em all. Going for the burn Fonda style, step before it became an exercise in limb origami, the Body Pump and Attack franchise, dance-ercise, jazz-ercise and old-fashioned ex-ercise.

I’ve leaped around in dusty gym halls to all manner of noise. More lately I’ve noticed the music has been of the excrable variety I’d hang up on if it was “hold” musak and often it has been accompanied by shouting and unseemly yelping.

I’ve never been a yelper and I’m certainly not going to pay money to yelp in front of other people with equally matronly bosoms who are are leaping up and down stoically beside me.

I also tend to take against things for no reason when they’re popular and everyone else is doing it. Consequently, I hadn’t done Zumba and didn’t fancy it a little bit.

But when I cancelled our private gym membership on economic grounds I was back to our local authority sports centre to see what’s on offer. As no one could offer an explanation for what Cycle Vibe is, Body whatsit classes are too shouty and “thump boxing” is just frightening, I was off to Zumba.

I’d also seen my colleagues at STV raving about it during the New Year New You campaign. You can see them doing a class.

So by elimination there I was in Linwood Sports Centre on a wet Wednesday evening for the Zumba. I have to admit I loved it. It was like going back to the early (for me) days of Fame-inspired aerobics when the music was fun only without need for pain to gain.

A refreshing lack of technical instruction or dire warnings was replaced by simple encouragement and a jolly teacher to follow. I know there has been some criticism of the fact that the instructors don’t get more than a session or two of training and there’s no stretch afterwards, but, let’s face it, it’s no riskier than what one might do on a dance floor while wearing heels.

The music was infectious the moves simple enough to follow and fun. That’s the thing, everyone was grinning by the end, grinning and sweating. I will certainly be back.

A gorgeous pre-Moonwalk training walk in Bearsden with Ellen

The other exercise training thing this week was my old friend “walking and talking”. This time with Fionaoutdoors herself, mistress of this blog. There can be few better ways to pass a sunny afternoon than exercising whilst catching up on the news – all good, since you ask.

So this week I reminded myself that exercise can – and indeed should – be fun. So if anyone fancies joining me for Zumba or a chatty walk, just say the word and I’ll have my trainers on in a flash.

* You can find out more about Ellen’s Moonwalk training and read her fab blog at InABunDance.

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