A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise. ~A.A. Milne
Is it just me or does everyone seem to be running these days? I tried running too, and after a mere 4 weeks, I realized "Gee - I really do not like running". (Actually it was very apparent after week 1, but I thought that my distaste for it might pass)
That realization, coupled with the one I had this evening "Gee - I really do like cake....and steak..and pasta" (all food really), puts me and the extra weight that I am carrying in a very difficult position.
So, while I am probably the right person to come to if want me to taste test your mother's devil's food cake recipe, I am probably not the best person to tell you to get out and exercise. My own attempts at sticking to a routine have been rife with inconsistency and do-overs. I am not perfect....I am working at this self care thing too!
I have done some thinking and a little bit of research on the subject to help us both out. This is my unofficial exercise guide for those of us who would just rather have our cake and then take a nap, but who know that we must take good care of our bodies.
- You will not be successful if you give up everything you love and make yourself do everything you don't love. If you love red velvet cake, eat red velvet cake. Just don't eat a whole red velvet cake every day (no matter how tempting that may be). If you don't like to run, do not start training for a half marathon just because everyone else is. (the latter is more of a note to myself)
- Do something active every day. I don't like to run, but I do like to walk. I have found that a little stroll at lunch time is a nice break. It helps me to clear my mind and sort out my thoughts and make plans. It doesn't feel like exercise. Find an activity that invigorates you.
- Work out with a friend. Find a friend who likes to walk in the morning or hike on the weekend, join a dance class, an indoor soccer league or another active activity that involves others. Accountability and social interaction can make exercising more fun and not so easy to avoid. Playing with your kids is also a good way to make exercise enjoyable.
- Purchase a stability ball and use it as a chair. This is my favorite, because it involves just sitting. A stability ball is a really big rubber ball. When you sit on a stability ball, instead of a chair, you engage muscles in your core (mid-section). Strengthening muscles in this area help your posture and can help you alleviate back problems. It is also difficult to sit still when you sit on a ball...go ahead see if you can use a stability ball without bouncing around. Good fun!
- Define a Compelling Reason for exercising regularly. For some of my runner friends, a marathon or 5 K on the horizon compels them to hit the pavement each day. For my non-running, cake eating friends, a different compelling reason may be in order. Your compelling reason may be as simple and a short term as the rejuvination that a lunch time walk provides each day. Or it may be a long term goal to lower your blood pressure, to increase your flexibility so you can keep up with the grandkids, or to ensure that you and your hubby have a long and healthy life together.