musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Righting My Exercise

I know - a little late this morning.  I'm trying to make exercising my top priority in the mornings.  Operative word here is TRYING.

Why is exercise so freaking hard?  I mean, most of us run around getting to work, and to the store, and back and forth to the washing machine, and cleaning and whatever.  Yet- it's just not enough.

We don't think about 'getting our exercise' when we're little kids - and look how fit our little bodies we were!  Then we start school and the gym teacher tells us how it's good to run around and work our heart and make our muscles strong.  And what happens?  Yeah. . . fun has become exercise and somehow the two just don't get along very well.  At least they don't get along in our heads - it turns into work.


Oh, I'm not saying that some of us will get into a jag about a sport -tennis, swimming, racquetball, golf, volleyball, whatever - but how long does that jag typically last for most of us?  That's what I'm talking about.

I enjoyed volleyball in high school, didn't get to play much, but still enjoyed it when I did get off the bench and play.  But practice?  Ugh!  Who wants to run around the gym and up and down the bleachers a million times.  But it's exercise.

Then came college. . . well, exercise was a 'required elective' (I love that, don't you?) and truly, much of a college student's exercise comes from working their bicep.  You know - moving that beer mug from the table to the mouth and back again.  Seriously.  But, honestly, many college students (depending upon their campus) do a heckuva lot of walking.  That's good exercise, right?  Apparently - yeah, it is.  But would they do it if they didn't have to?

A person is supposed to get on a treadmill, or eliptical, bow-flex, or whatever and focus on working our muscles and our heart.  One's supposed to be lean and mean to be healthy.  No flab!  Bad for the cholesterol - bad for the heart.  Get fit! Well, crap.

I used to have an exercise bike and I used it.  A lot.  When daughter was first born it was the only thing that would get her to sleep.  I rode miles and miles everyday.  Yeah, it helped get the 'babyfat' off this Mama, but without the reward of getting my little girl to sleep - would I have ridden it?  Probably not.  Sooo. . . . we must be rewarded for our exercising efforts.  After all, if you're not praised for the work you're doing - do you want to keep working?

I bet you've heard this one:  "Well, I just walked an extra mile - now I can have that (insert food or drink choice here)".  Really?  That's pretty funny of us, isn't it?  I mean, we're torturing ourselves, sweating and straining and doing this. . this. . thing to better our health.  To get leaner, to get stronger, to make our hearts and arteries healthier.  And what do we do when we actually do a pretty good job and do 'go that extra mile'?  Negate it.  Totally.  Let's have nachos for supper!  And what good are nachos without a Corona?

Once my little sweetie was able to get off to sleep herself, how ofter do you think I rode that bike?  Yeah, not so often.  Oh, I rode it watching television.  Sort of.  I had the best of intentions - but sometimes you've just got to stop pedaling to see if it was Pam who shot J.R.  Right?

Later, I got into yoga.  Was pretty serious about a series of exercises found in Richard Hittleman's book.  In fact, I still have the book and I still do some of the exercises.  Sometimes.  Never could get that standing on your head thing.  But it wasn't for lack of trying.  I'm also not entirely sure that I ever burned enough calories to warrant the yoga as exercise.  I did have pretty good muscle tone. . . I was also in my 20's.  Don't most people look pretty good in their 20's.  My point exactly.

I started walking again when pregnant with baby #2.  I was up to walking a mile, two to three times a day.  I was one healthy Mama, let me tell you!  Had little son and stopped walking.  But with two young ones now, I didn't need to walk.  I ran!  Granted, never ran outside the house - but it was a constant back and forth - up and down, who has time to sit still kind of thing  There wasn't time and there wasn't a need.  That was my logic.

Sometimes I'd get back on that exercise bike and pedal. . . . or I'd go through a yoga phase.  But life just got in the way of staying with anything.  Besides, do you make time for those things that are classified as more exercise than fun?  That's work.

Later, I used some of Leslie Sansone's walking videos.  Couldn't use weather as an excuse.  Couldn't even say 'can't fit it into my schedule today' (at least not truthfully).  I could pop in that tape in any time of any day and spend 15 to 30 minutes to an hour 'power walking.'  I even stayed with it in the beginning to the point I was easily doing four miles a day.  Wow.  Tone and easy-breathing girl, I was.  For about four months.

I would do a spell of free weights. . . even went to a gym and pedaled (the exercise bike has been gone for a long time now) and did light weight training.  I started doing some yoga again.  I would walk a mile or two most days during the summers.  But I didn't really stick to anything.  Though my dogs tried to hold me to those walks.  Glad my dogs still love me even though I don't take them for regular walks. . .

And now, the doctor and scales are telling me I need to do something radical - like exercise.  Sigh. . . Which brings us back to this morning.  I've been working on this 'getting fit' thing since the start of 2010, and I am doing better with my food choices and snacking - the scales show it.  But I just can't seem to get off my butt.
My intention is to start using those walking DVD's again - they really offer the least amount of excuses.  I'd been planning on doing that 'right after I write the blog' each morning for awhile.  I actually made it happen a couple times. . . but not this week.  "So," I say to myself. "If I walk FIRST, and blog a little later, then there is no excuse. . .   sounds like a good plan doesn't it?

How does exercise fit in your life?

Please don't ask if I walked this morning.  I didn't.  Sigh.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe this summer when I can walk where there's a view and take the dogs.  Maybe.

Have a jumping-jack kind of day!

Robin Z

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