Thursday, April 7, 2011

Exercise…I think I can, I think I can…

I thought I would pick a few goals that people have in common to talk about. I’m starting with exercise. Why? There are 2 main reasons I’m picking exercise. A) It really is important for our health, and 2) It can be a real struggle for a lot of people.

I’ll share a little bit about my personal experience with exercise. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a list person. With exercise, I have a list in the form of a daily record that I keep to monitor my progress. When I say I can empathize with anyone who struggles with exercise, I am not exaggerating. When I first started using my elliptical machine, it was everything I could do to stay on it for 3 minutes. Yes, you read that correctly, three minutes. I was pretty embarrassed that that was all I could do and not very eager to write that number on my daily record.

But I’m here to tell you that there is hope. Before I knew it, 3 minutes became 5, then 6, 7, 8…until I was amazed to see the number 20 appear. I have a rowing machine and stationary bike as well. I now like to break my workout up and do 20 minutes on each machine for a total of an hour. (I’m good like that with math.) It didn’t happen all at once. I found I really needed to be realistic with myself and take small steps so I would stick with it.

If anyone had told me I would be exercising for an hour at a time, I would have thought they were crazy. No matter how good I felt after exercising, I still had the hardest time convincing myself to exercise again the next day. But then some stressful things happened in my life and I found exercise was a great stress reducer for me. That became my motivator. Now that I have reached my time goal, I am still keeping my daily log. Now I track mileage and calories burned. It is a way I can continue to see my progress and challenge myself.

Now that the weather is getting better (well, the snow is mostly gone anyway) I am going to mix in outdoor activities like hiking and bike riding. I find variety is good so your exercise doesn’t get boring.

What do you do for exercise, or what do you wish you were doing? What is your motivator? I’d love to hear your stories.