by Greta Heddy
September 3, 2014
I do not like exercise. I don't like to sweat either. "Exercise" is a four-letter word in my vocabulary. And, yet, exercise is good for us. Even if you don't buy into the weight loss benefits of exercise (which I don't), exercise is still good for building muscle, gaining strength, and pouring those wonderful endorphins into our brains. Exercise helps us sleep better at night, be more emotionally stable, and all around helps us be a better us.
Most exercise articles give lists upon lists of ways to exercise, places to exercise, and with whom to exercise.
This is not that kind of article. I'm going to list some ways for you to get your unique self in your unique situation to exercise for your unique reasons.
1. Know Who You Really Are
Ask yourself what worked in the past. Think back to your childhood. Kids never "exercise,” they play. Whether it’s a sport or game like tag or hide and seek they have fun. Biking around the neighborhood, climbing trees and fences, building tree houses and forts, hiking in the wood, running everywhere, they have fun at it.
Ask your inner child (that little girl who still resides in your psyche) what might be fun to do! Are you a morning or night person? Do you like to exercise outside, or inside at a gym or at home? Do you swim and are near a pool with hours that fit your schedule? Would you prefer to sneak exercise into your routine, like having an exercise ball instead of a chair at your desk, or walking up stairs instead of the elevator, or would you like the camaraderie of a martial arts class after your day in the office? Do you like to exercise with your children or prefer exercise to be alone time? Do you like a personal trainer that bosses you like a drill sergeant or would you prefer a kinder, gentler instructor? Only you know for sure. Choose exercise(s) that fit into your current situation three to five times a week.
I’m a hermit exerciser. I loathe working out with others with the exception of dance classes which don't feel like exercise to me - they feel like fun! I get easily bored with routine activities. I have a flexible work schedule, which makes planning exercise time a challenge.
My favorite exercises are reading, knitting and watching movies, but recently, I decided I needed to really exercise. Though I've successfully gone to a gym in the past, this time I chose some aerobic/strength-building exercise videos by Teresa Tapp, plus a yoga video for "inflexible people." I have the benefit of an instructor but on my own time schedule and in my own living room. After I memorize the routines, I plan to mute the videos and listen to audio books, music, or movies while I work out so I don't get bored.