Effortless Effort (Human Lily Pad Workout)

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I was surprised at how many calories this workout burned.  The Human Lily Pad Workout.  (For the record, I barely care at all how many calories any workout burns.)

It had been a while since I’d traveled and had the opportunity to a random Funtensity workout in my surroundings.

I found this great little park near my hotel while on a recent trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.

I had a blast, as you’ll see in the videos.  I did more exercises than shown in the video with other aspects of the park, but I shot these few to hopefully inspire you to use whatever you find available in the world to get out and play.

The most interesting part of the park was these large, round platforms that were unstable – kind of like oversized balance/wobble boards.  There exercises you can see in the video are as follows:

  • Side Lunge
  • Lateral Jumps (some with rotation)
  • Walking Lunge
  • “Lily pad” Hop
  • Opposite Arm & Leg Lift
  • Under Switch (a movement from the Animal Flow exercise program)

On the jog back to the hotel, my spirit was soaring and I felt a lightness of being and openness that only comes from being in a state of playfulness. 

Including the short job from the hotel to the park and back and the other exercises not shown, it was about 35 minutes long and burned 471 calories – a number I was surprised shocked to see.

It didn’t feel like it.  It just felt like I was running around playing.  I wasn’t consciously aware of the level of effort required or how hard I was breathing or how fatigued muscles were getting. 

I was outside in the morning sun at play in the world. 

The effort felt almost effortless. 

When we create a joyful, open, expansive emotional state during challenging physical activity, it doesn’t feel as challenging.

Time flies – and calories burn – when you’re having fun. 

Of course, not every single workout we do will feel like this. But my hope for you is that you can take this message and be inspired to see the world around in new ways. In ways that make your surroundings and environment look like the world’s largest free gym and playground for adults. 

Lasting physical change comes from consistency. And when that consistency feels not like drudgery but like fun, it’s easier. Easier to motivate yourself to do it because fun things take very little “motivation” to do. 

And easier to do because when the perceived effort is lower, you can work harder without feeling like you did. 

(And if you visit downtown Charlotte, NC, and want to try some of these exercises, the park shown is called First Ward Park.) 

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