Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nothing to do with Dance - OK, Maybe a Little

As fascinating as the world of dance is to me, I am fresh back from vacation, and all I really want to talk about is my trip!  So, to compromise, I thought I'd share how I like to credit my hours per week of dance and Zumba Fitness with giving me the cardiovascular strength to do exactly what I wanted to do out west.

I like living in Florida, but if you're looking for challenging hiking terrain, Go West, Any-Age Person!  Cool weather, crisp air, and clean skies - lovely hiking weather, right?  Now add elevation of a mile or more (at the trailhead), uphill climbs at steep grades, plus scrambling over rocks, and we Floridians end up with some challenged lungs!  (Oh, and did I mention that my husband isn't one to just saunter his way along the trail?  It's like he sees a checkered flag waving in the distance...)

I was mentally prepared to be hurtin' for certain, loving the experience, but paying the physical price nonetheless.  But you know what?  For a flat-terrain native, I did pretty well!  Which is not to say that I never got out of breath.  Trust me, there was heavy breathing involved, and I know my happy little core, glutes, and leg muscles were w-o-r-k-i-n-g.  Conversations on the uphill climbs were short, choppy, and winded.

But what struck me, quite noticeably, and what I'm using to gauge my success overall, was how rapidly I was able to recover (cardiovascular-ly) from the more strenuous climbing sections (usually within a minute), and how long it took me to fatigue (one day, we were hours on trails requiring climbing and a lot of uphill before I started to feel it).

I'm sure that adrenalin (exposure to heights = survival instinct kicks in) and euphoria (soooooooo excited to be out there, in such beautiful country) had a hand in my little personal success.  Still, I can compare this experience to past trips with activities requiring more than just a leisurely stroll, and I feel certain that my years of consistent weekly cardio - I probably average 2 hours of cardio, at least 5 days per week (a bit over and above the ACSM's daily recommendations, but that's my career for ya'...) - gave me the capacity and endurance to enjoy my vacation the way I wanted to.

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it until someone proves me wrong...     ;) 

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