Exercise has always been a huge part of my life.
My parents always exercised so to me it’s not at all odd to get up at 5am to run 10 miles or to spend two hours in the gym on a Saturday afternoon. I think when you grow up in that kind of environment it just becomes ingrained in you.
But there have been times in my life when I’ve struggled with maintaining an exercise routine.
So I’ve had glimpses of what it’s like to NOT have lots of movement in my life.
And I can say without hesitation that for me it is oh-so-much better to HAVE some kind of regular ongoing exercise.
I feel more energetic.
I can maintain a healthy weight.
I feel better about myself.
I am more productive in other areas of my life.
Even with the huge advantage I have of growing up with parents who exercise, I’ve learned that:
- I have to stay disciplined and make exercise a priority.
- The exercise that I do has to be something that I really enjoy. Currently I really enjoy running, but in the past I’ve experimented with gym classes, power yoga, swimming, racquetball, rock climbing, and weight lifting. So my favorite form of exercise has changed over the years and will probably continue to evolve.
- Having a routine keeps me on track. I prefer to work out in the morning and I will get up early if I have to. If there is just no time in the morning then I will plan ahead to work it in later in the day.
- Having a “just do it” mentality is key. Sometimes I have to make myself put on my running shoes. I have to talk myself into it. I’m always glad later on that I did.
- I can usually do more than I think I can. My brain likes to make stuff up, like telling myself that I can’t possibly run more than X number of miles. I find that if I JUST TRY I can usually go just a bit further. My body can do more than my brain thinks it can.
- Have a big goals is great, but it’s important to set small goals along the way. It’s unrealistic to think you are going to run 10 miles on your first day out. But 1 mile might be possible, and from there you can work your way up to 10.
- Never ever ever give up. Some days are off – they just are. But the next day you get up again, put on your running shoes, and try again. You just do. Because what is the alternative?