By Heidi Lauckhardt-Rhoades For the next two blog entries, I’m going to focus on being mindful of our progress, in this case, our wellness progress. Take for a moment your exercise routine - you run five miles a day, watch an hour long DVD, maybe jump rope twenty minutes followed up by fifty pushups. Without a doubt you are breaking a sweat and feel great; a release of endorphins has bathed your being and your aura is ablaze with spirit. Now, I don’t mean to be a wet blanket or anything but while it’s terrific to feel this sting of prowess, meditate on whether progress is being made in terms of your being able to jump twenty-five minutes, try another DVD with different props, or try a new route of five miles but with hills or off of the sidewalk. Our bodies are remarkably and incredibly adaptable. We will do anything to survive and meet challenges. To keep ourselves strong then, keep the body guessing, play games with yourself by trying new activities, new time frames, making your movements bigger, smaller, heaving, lighter, more reps; faster or slower. Yesterday, after almost a year after taking on my beloved Monday and Wednesday aqua class, I took my “girls” (and one gentleman) into the deep water for their warm up and for the body of our workout. Typically my class, as well as all of the other aqua classes, spend the majority of the class in the shallow area with slower, warm-down exercises done in the deep water along with abdominal and core work. It was refreshing to listen to the genuine joy in everyone’s voice when they told me how much they enjoyed the class. I’ve done the same thing with my JumpSport Fitness Trampoline class. As a group we have progressed cardiovascularly and I have had to up the ante, so to speak, to ensure that we continue to grow and make gains. Simple tweaks to our game plan, including longer periods of time on the trampoline and fewer circuits off the trampoline, are facilitating that goal. Because a lot of us engage in activities that are physically strenuous - Zumba, Bootcamp, JumpSport, skiing - we forget or remain ignorant of the fact that in order to make gains, we should attempt to challenge ourselves. It’s not that we necessarily need to work harder, although that is certainly a method, but we can try new ways of moving our body or increase the days or time that we put into our activity. After all, your activity should bring you joy and satisfaction, and what’s wrong with adding more joy and satisfaction to your life?