I AM a Maniac!

I have to say, dragging my butt along to the gym is not always easy after a full day of phone calls, emails, people, emails, meetings, and did I mention emails? I have a common tactic of getting caught up in a conversation at work just long enough to miss the class I was going to (apparently there are no options other than classes at my gym). The simple fact I forget time and time again is how bloody fantastic I feel after going. I feel like I could conquer the world one treadmill at a time. Move over Jane Fonda, check out my hot cross buns!!

Jane Fonda (Image from flowtv.org)

Today my constitutional of choice was Spin, which in essence is forty-five minutes of  cycling that leaves you quivering in a pool of your own sweat, and a little of the person’s beside you. There happens to be a track in this class that I am particularly fond of: Maniac. In my fuzzy-minded exhaustion, I’ve often contemplated shoving the instructor off the stage and ripping out that classic Flashdance scene. Don’t worry, the instructor would be fine. Not only is he very fit and agile, his padded shorts provide a soft landing platform for his bum.

The aforementioned song has a knack for making me spin my legs off in a way that Barbie simply could not manage. Flying like the speed of light, yet technically going no where, I felt I could have overtaken every row ahead of me in a blaze of over-sized jumper and leotard bottoms. I feel I should mention that I was only the living embodiment of Jennifer Beals in my head, but that is entirely beside the point.

Jennifer Beals is a maniac too! (Image from sowhateverhappenedto.com)

But seriously, if we are talking about getting happy, exercise would have to be one of the best ways of improving your mood. If you have ever pushed yourself past that initial burn and reached the euphoria that only comes with this kind of exercise, you will know what I mean. Today, I could have gone on and on until I fell off my spin bike a la Bridget Jones.

Bridget Jones (Image from culture.com)

I think there is an important point to consider here, however. You do need to enjoy what you are doing just a little bit. That doesn’t necessarily mean enjoying the hours of debate with yourself. Or other people’s stinky feet. Or the eye-full of someone else boob you accidentally got in the change room. Those things no one can enjoy unless of course you are a male lawyer with a foot fetish. The point is that I’m not sure I would get quite the same feeling if I were jogging or rock climbing. I just don’t enjoy those things. But give me an aerobics room or something to punch and I’m a jumping, kicking maniac!

Be warned: what follows is the red, puffy, sweaty phlegm monster, but it’s all part of the magic my friend. If only modern society would still accept the wearing of leg warmers and leotards, I would be as happy as a pig on a spin bike.

Mood Music

Music makes you feel good. I know, duh, right? How many times have you found yourself bopping around to the radio and singing at the top of your lungs like you just don’t care. Or more to the point, how many times has someone else walked in on you doing this. Now there’s a fun experience.

It’s something that we all know, but the fact is it is a fact. Well, at least many a clever person has studied the impact of music on our health and the benefits we can derive from it. Music has been said to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure, and even improve recovery times following surgery. A friend of mine who suffers from extreme anxiety at the dentist (who doesn’t, I hear you say) was advised by the dentist to listen to music on her earphones while he chipped and prodded and drilled…quick, where’s my iPod!

I have personally tested the theory that music makes you feel better and have taken to wearing earphones when cleaning the house. My study indicates that there was a significant decrease in chipped skirting boards, noise pollution (caused by things slamming into other things) and instances of “toilet face”: a condition caused by toilet water splashing in the subject’s face.

So that proves it: music really does work! Breakthrough accomplished now pass me my Nobel Prize please sir! Who hasn’t felt one hundred times better doing a bit of butt slapping along with Sir Mix-a-Lot. Personally I like to mix-a-lot of Riverdance a la Michael Flatley. Just his legs along would improve anyone’s mood.

At the top of this post you will notice a link to a video which would have to be my ultimate feel good song. I had to pass on my favourite lyrics because they’re just so, well, you make up your own mind:

So what we have to do is move on up and keep on wishing
Remember your dream is your only scheme so keep on pushing

Seriously, try listening to this without busting a groove on your dance floor a.k.a. your living room. In fact, if you’re not inclined to do some toe tapping, I’ll set you a challenge. Try listening to this song, frowning. Honestly, you won’t be able to. Certainly another friend of mine wouldn’t be able to as I recently found out he can’t frown, but that’s another story which was also one hilarious discovery I must say. Perhaps I’ll have to make him the poster boy for my blog…

Enjoy and I hope it leaves you feeling chipper!