Mix it up – exercise with a twist!

Sometimes you just have to spice up your exercise to keep it interesting. We are seeing some exciting new trends and fads across the country, and I hope they inspire you to get moving in fun, new ways. 
A while back, I saw a news report on a jogger who runs backwards, spins and sings as he works out. He has created quite a sensation, running the streets of Washington, D.C. Just last week, I saw a report on “joggling” – juggling while you jog. Talk about an exercise that requires total mind and body involvement! With safety in mind, if you decide to try this, make sure you're on a flat surface away from hazards such as uneven sidewalks, curbs and signs as well as people you might injure. 
Bike Polo
Did you know the League of Bike Polo has tournaments all over the world and clubs in more than 300 cities, including Fort Wayne?
This summer, at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne RiverFest, our Parkview LiVe staff got a charge out of watching kids of all ages – including folks in their 60s and 70s – try slack-lining. We had a slack-line pro who was
 in his 70s, and our all-time winner was a young adult with amazing balance. He attributed this to his Judo and Karate training, and told us the key is finding your “center of balance.” In the photo at right, Joshua Kline, MD, PPG – Family Medicine, and his son, Paul, tested their balance skills on the Parkview LiVe slackline. We'll be at other locations this summer, too, so you can safely test your balance on our close-to-the-ground slackline. Some competitions have taken slacklining to the extreme sport realm, which I'm not endorsing. You have to be smart and safe. Know your limits in the activities you choose. 
Hoopersize and Hula-ing
Watch a Hoopersize® demo. Hoopersize is a core workout extraordinaire! Get hula-ing after watching this video. It’s like hula-hooping, hip hop dancing and aerobics all rolled into one! Did you know that 10 minutes of vigorous hula-hooping burns the equivalent calories of running an eight-minute mile?  
Large-scale group exercise 
Mixing up your exercise, stretching your wings and challenging yourself to get better at something can be fun and rewarding. Consider signing up for an event that takes you out of your comfort zone and helps you reach higher with your fitness.
One popular local option is to sign up for the Fort4Fitness Fall Festival Sept. 27 - 28 to participate in the half marathon, 10K, four-mile run/walk or the kids' or seniors' marathon. Register before July 15 and take advantage of discounted entry fees.
If you're looking for cycling options, why not take part in the citizen's race – one of nine USA Cycling-sanctioned races included in the Parkview Cycling Festival July 14? You'll travel a one-mile closed course on Fort Wayne streets surrounding Parkview Field. Learn more at FWCyclingFestival.com.
If you're a cyclist but not into racing, you can participate in the Three Rivers Velo Sport bike club's 42nd Annual Three Rivers Festival Tour, also July 14. The ride begins and ends at Hickory Center Elementary School on the northwest side of Fort Wayne. Riders have their choice of 14-, 25-, 52-, 63- or 100-mile routes through gently rolling to moderate hills on routes through Allen, Whitley and Noble counties. 
I'm excited that my son, Drew, has signed up for RAGBRAI, The Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. RAGBRAI takes place the week of July 21 and is the longest and oldest bicycle touring event in the world, entering its 41st year. 
Drew tells me with great anticipation that he will ceremoniously dip his back bike tire in the Missouri River, then ride across Iowa and finish by dipping his front tire in the Mississippi, that is, if he can still walk to the river bank. He is so psyched: Lance Armstrong is joining in for part of the 468-mile, seven-day ride. I’m sure the other 8,500 riders are psyched as well. Up to 1,500 additional riders can buy one-day passes – you could be pedaling with 10,000 other riders on any given day. That’s electrifying group physical activity!
What are you doing to be creative with your fitness and go for maximum fun? 
Learn about more ways to get your family moving in my July online 4YourHealth article.   
Hoopersize® is a registered trademark of KidTribe, Inc.

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