I always preferred forms of exercise that had an alternate goal. Growing up my bicycle took me everywhere. After High School, there was college. The local community college offered fencing.
Sword fighting. I liked the idea of that. What 18 YO D&D player could possibly think otherwise? Turns out it's also incredible exercise. Partially because the mind is focused on the battle and tells the body to do what is needed to attack/defend. The only pain felt in the moment is your opponent's touch on you. The effects on the body are only made aware afterwards. (As in we'll see if the SCSon can walk tomorrow. He feels ok tonight. But will he be ambulatory tomorrow;-)
It's a little odd in that the lunge makes one leg stronger than the other and that makes you walk with a weak-side lean for a couple weeks. About three weeks later the body compensates and it feels normal again.
The SandCastle Son found my old foil in the garage and started asking questions. A google search later turned up a local club. A visit reveals a phenomenal facility. In my day we only talked about electronic scoring systems as something you might see at tournaments, never at the local level. Here they get all electrical for friendly sparring. The facility has 12 lanes, eight of which are scoring equipped. This was inconceivable 30 years ago.
|Here are the 8 electrically scored lanes. There are four more un-scored lanes around to the right.|
One thing that surprised me was a somewhat lackadaisical attitude towards eye protection. In my day the rule was never raise a foil unless your intended had a mask on. This class had a full 30 minutes exercises with sabers up and no eye protection anywhere. I talked to the instructor afterwards and asked "mind if he wears safety glasses for that part?" I don't care if everyone else is OK with the status quo. We each only have one pair of eyes and a careless accident can forfeit one in a heartbeat.
Now I need to get myself involved as well... A friend got me into "boot camp" class with a local personal trainer a while back. I was in pain the entire duration of the class plus about 6 weeks after I quit. (nothing against the personal trainer. I recommend her and will happily pass along contact info it if that's what works for you and are local). It solved my immediate problem but I couldn't stick with it. Fencing may be my ticket to better health.