For many people making physical activity a habit is made more difficult because it simply is not enjoyable. Exercise can be painful, hot, messy, repetitive, and just not interesting. Some people can overcomes this hurdle by finding the right activity, finding a buddy, cranking up music, or even watching television. Some people simply need more challenge or more excitement. A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to try Go Ape!, “a treetop adventure,” with other Indianapolis bloggers and our loved ones, and I think this kind of activity could be a great way to find fun in a physical challenge and perhaps a kick start for more regular exercise.
Go Ape! is a high ropes, zip line, and Tarzan swing course with three locations across the United States (Indiana, Maryland, and Virginia). The exercise you will experience includes climbing, balancing, and engaging muscles by hanging on for your life. Let me be clear that as long as we followed the instructions to stay clipped in we were at least mostly safe. Intellectually I knew this, but simply being so high the adrenaline response kicked in. (Although my former-gymnast mom recalled her days on the balance beam and held on a lot less frequently than I did.)
This is not an activity that requires speed. It can take 2-3 hours to complete the entire course. You set your own pace at Go Ape!, but no one is encouraging hurrying through anything. Balance activities can work many smaller muscles throughout your body and your core. The actions included in this “treetop adventure” are not activities you do on a daily basis, so it works new muscles or at least works the same muscles in a new way. Most of my cohorts talked about sore muscles. Most importantly everyone left feeling stronger, braver, and more accomplished. When you feel like that, you are much more likely to try new things and keep doing things that will help you feel strong, brave, and accomplished – even daily exercise.
I definitely recommend Go Ape! The exercise, pride, and motivation you get – not to mention the adventure – are certainly worth the admission price ($55 for adults, $35 for kids). If Go Ape! is not in your area, hopefully you can find a similar treetop adventure near you. I suggest pants, sneakers, gloves, and avoiding loose-fitting clothing. For a better idea of the adventure you might have, check out this video of our adventure by Indianapolis With Kids
Disclosure: I was given free tickets to Go Ape! for myself and my mother, along with other Indianapolis bloggers. All opinions and experiences are entirely my own.
photo 1 via zen-lifestyles.com
August 8th, 2012