Ab crunches, 5 mile runs, kettlebells, zumba……I have never been very interested in exercise. I’ve enjoyed taking walks during nice weather, and I feel great after a long session of yoga; but I’ve never been one to get excited about going to the gym. As a kid with asthma, I was discouraged from exercising and got used to the idea that it just wasn’t for me; luckily, these days they encourage asthmatic kids to exercise within limits. At 45, I can no longer blame those pediatricians that wrote me notes to get out of gym. I’m getting too old to be disinterested; and, in fact, since I’ve made the transition to veganism, I’m more concerned about my health now than I’ve ever been in my life.
So, with encouragement from my family, I’ve recently started an exercise regimen. Right now, it’s going to the gym 4-5 times a week for 30-40 minutes. I’ve tried out 5 or 6 different machines and prefer the elliptical. James has been joining me most days and sometimes our daughter comes along. I’m trying on finding a schedule that allows me to get everything done at home and get to the gym. Thursdays are yoga nights, and probably my favorite exercise time. I’ve been practicing yoga for about 13 years on and off, and not only does it clear my head but it makes my arms stronger (thanks to my teacher loving sun salutations).
I haven’t found this to be an easy process. It helps that I have a partner who is also involved in exercise and will encourage me to keep going to the gym. My main obstacle is in my mind—I know I have so much I could be doing at home. Then I remind myself that my grandmother had heart disease and my father had a heart attack in his 50’s. My blood pressure has been borderline high for a while, and both my GP and my allergist have been talking to me about the benefit of regular exercise. Even though I’ve known I should do it, I only recently took action.
The biggest change I’ve seen so far is my motivation. As I talk to more people about their exercise routine, I get encouraged to continue mine. I’m also noticing that in the past 7 weeks I’m feeling more energetic and sleeping better. When I feel like giving up, I try to remember that I’m doing this for my health. It helps that my asthma has been under control for a while now and I don’t feel like I have to run for my inhaler the second I get off a machine; in fact, I haven’t been using my rescue inhaler at all. It’s for all of these reasons that I’m determined to continue this journey.
Do you enjoy exercising regularly? Or are you like me and need some motivation? Let me know what keeps you going and what holds you back.