How Trying a New Workout Can Change Your Life

New Workout, New Life

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Everyone knows the basic benefits of exercise - reduced risk of heart disease, improved body composition, and increased self-confidence, just to name a few. But you don't have to spend hours dreading the treadmill to reap the benefits of fitness. Check out how trying a new fitness activity - any fitness activity - helped change the lives of these inspiring individuals.


Tara Chklovski, the founder and CEO of Indescent and the mom of two little girls, enrolled in Taekwondo with her daughters in order to learn something new together.

The experience "has been amazing!" In addition to citing a fitter, stronger, healthier body, she emphasizes that Taekwondo teaches proper goal setting and offers a "safe sandbox" where it's okay to fail. In an article she wrote on the Huffington Post regarding her experience, she said "For me as a grownup, it is an awesome experience to be a learner alongside little children and have them outperform me. It is humbling and very good for my soul!"

Ballroom Dancing

Three years ago Jennifer Erickson, MS, NCC, started working on improving her health. After dropping 50 pounds the old fashioned way, she got tired of hitting the gym and joined a hiking group, instead. The change of pace was literally a breath of fresh air, but when cold winter weather hit, she wanted an activity she could do while staying inside. A friend mentioned ballroom dancing, and everything changed. "Let me tell you, it's the hardest and most rewarding type of dancing there is.

The best part is that I think of nothing during my hour lesson because I'm too busy focusing on my feet, arm position, head position, the music and the count. My stress completely goes away during the time I'm ballroom dancing."

Because it's a social activity, participants can laugh and have fun together, and for those who have a competitive drive, there are opportunities to participate in competitions.

"I love it. I will probably always ballroom dance now. I'm a counselor and I recommend it to a lot of people because of the great exercise, especially the Swing and Hustle, and the great way it helps block out the rest of the world for just a little while."


Skipping... as in the kind done by kids without a rope... completely turned Kim Corbin's world upside down. It's such a simple workout, requiring no equipment at all, but the experience of leaping into the air as you travel down the street is a joyous undertaking. "The first time I skipped as an adult, I was so inspired I created a website to invite others to join me. My life has never been the same since!"

In addition to the fact that skipping is great exercise - burning more calories per hour than a standard jog - Corbin asserts, "One of the biggest ways skipping has changed me is that I no longer worry as much about what other people think. To skip down the street, you have to let go of all of that and let your joy lead. The practice is like an inner muscle that gets stronger the more you use it, allowing you to live life on your own terms rather than buying into worn out ideas...

like that adults aren't 'supposed' to skip."

You can read more about Kim's journey and how to join her skipping revolution by heading to her website, iSkip.


Gary Snyder, the founder of the martial arts studio, Warrior Bridge, came by Aikido in a somewhat unexpected way. After his sophomore year at Kenyon College, Snyder wanted to take a year off to be a ski bum in Sun Valley. Unfortunately, his timing was off - 1976 proved to be a year with a record-setting lack of snow, dashing his hopes for hitting the slopes. With a lot of time on his hands, he took up martial arts, instead.

The practice stuck, and ultimately became Snyder's passion and vocation. He is now a Seventh Degree Aikido Black Belt who also practices Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Tai Chi, yoga, and meditation.

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