(Don't forget to enter in my CD giveaway!)
For the longest time I felt like exercise had to be tied to a bigger goal. Run a 5K. Run a 10K. Do 200 push ups. Hike the tallest mountain. Do 500 sit-ups. But during this last week, due to a few good friends, I've discovered something: Exercise can be a goal, just in and of itself. There doesn't need to be some big, all-encompassing goal to achieve. Don't get me wrong, goals aren't bad! They just aren't necessary to get out the door.
I started running/walking with a friend on Tuesday night. She's a spry, young, dance major, but running --as she said --uses different muscles. It works great because we go after the kids are in bed. She runs to my house (about 1.5 miles) and then we run back to her house, and then I run back alone. Or vice versa. (It's perfect because Brandon exercises in the early mornings.)
We're not that great. I'm even worse! But I've discovered a few things:
1. I'm stronger and better at it then I thought I was
2. Walking fast interspersed with running makes me sweat like crazy!
3. I love how I feel afterwards
Nobody likes to START exercising (who does?), but everybody loves to FINISH. It's the endorphins and oxytocin, man. They are awesome!
A few things my good friends told me about exercise:
1. Just do something. You don't have to run for 4 miles every day in order to get in exercise. Do cardio for 15 minutes and then later that night, do some push ups.
2. Who cares if you're walking! At least you are off the couch!
3. "I don't run so I can eat whatever I want, I eat this way so I can run."
My cardiologist (yes, I had a cardiologist --long story) once told me that if people would simply walk briskly for 45 minutes, 4 times a week, he would be out of a job. Years of nutritional study has shown me that when one exercises, their desire to eat healthier increases drastically. It all goes hand in hand, this exercise and healthy eating. I've also learned that the better you eat, the more desire you have to exercise --you have energy that needs to be fulfilled!
Which brings me to! Green smoothies. I've been drinking them again. Raw food --I'm eating more. I've lost almost 3 pounds this month, which doesn't feel like a lot, but I'm okay with it. Because at least I know I'm moving forward, I'm exercising, I'm eating healthy... I'm perpetually moving forward (I hope!) and I feel really great!
(Side note: I stopped taking my asthma medication months ago. I still occasionally have to use my inhaler, but it's rare. For the first time in a decade, I'm feeling some freedom from medicine my body doesn't need, because I'm finally feeding it what it DOES need!)
Weight loss is always a hard thing for me, but for the first time in my life, I'm not worried about hitting a certain number or running a certain race. I'm not obsessed with a certain way of eating or a certain size on my jeans. I'm excited to just be healthy again, and I'm happy to be me. I'm content with right now, and that, dear reader, is what is giving me the power to change into who I'm supposed to be.
Great quotes about health:
The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990
The longer I live the less confidence I have in drugs and the greater is my confidence in the regulation and administration of diet and regimen. ~John Redman Coxe, 1800
When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow is disease. ~Terri Guillemets
My own prescription for health is less paperwork and more running barefoot through the grass. ~Terri Guillemets
Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;... and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man. ~James H. West
And, of course, the best source of health is found here. Hands down!
What do you do to maintain your health? What has worked for you when it comes to exercise?