When you give yourself an assignment, and think: "Oh, I can do that, that's easy," there's a side benefit: not only do you achieve it, you typically exceed it.
This is just what happened with Shauna Ahern last week. Last week, Shauna's assignment was to exercise 3 times, for 20 minutes each time. She ended up exercising 5 times, and once she went for an hour. How did that happen?
1. She found a partner: Shauna's friend Alejandra has two small children and she rarely has the time to exercise. Shauna asked Alejandra to come out for a 20 minute walk. Once they were walking and talking, 20 minutes turned into an hour.
2. She got competitive: Shauna and her husband collaborate all the time. Writing, blogging, cooking, raising their daughter, and enjoying one another. They rarely compete, but they're both intensely competitive. Enter Just Dance 2: The Wii game that is fast becoming Shauna's exercise addiction. Shauna and Danny hold the remote, dance, and earn points based on how close their position is to the animated outlines that demonstrate the dance moves on TV. Points = competition. Shauna and Danny love this new outlet for healthy competition.
3. She models for her daughter: While Shauna and Danny are dance-peting, Lu, their toddler gets into the rhythm and dances around them. In the past, exercise was something that Shauna did alone, running in the woods. "When I exercise with Lucy, she's sees her parents exercising. It's good for her. Exercising with other people feels more like play," says Shauna.
4. It makes her feel good: At one point last week, Lu was napping and Danny was at work, and Shauna needed a bit of a break (Lu's been up all night most nights with a growth spurt). The couch was calling, and instead of heeding the siren, Shauna threw a Zumba disc into the Wii, and channelled her inner Latina.
"Nobody feels bad after exercising. Afterwards you feel fantastic, and everything else during the day feels easier," says Shauna.
After listening to Shauna talk about Just Dance 2, I went online and bought a disk. It seemed like the perfect gift to give myself and my family for Valentine's Day: something that gets the heart rate up, and will have us all dancing around the living room together.