Reluctant Exercise

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I remember moving a lot as a kid. My siblings and I climbed trees, built forts, played tag, and rode bikes.  As a teenager, farm work filled my days, and I stayed strong by feeding cattle, making hay, and gardening. As a young adult, I was careful to keep adding ways to be active: running, skiing, and even occasional spurts of actual workouts.  Now, as a busy young mom, physical exercise takes serious discipline. I don’t have the time and freedom I had when I was single, and I certainly don’t have the energy! It seems I get better and better at making excuses for not exercising, even as my need continues to grow.

Exercise is so important for health, not only physical, but emotional and mental, as well.  Moving your body produces endorphins, those “feel-good” hormones that brighten your outlook and give you more energy. It improves your physical condition, so you feel better and have more stamina. It burns calories so you can fit in all those cute clothes in your closet!

I am not the world’s most disciplined person when it comes to exercise. But I’ve learned a few things in the past years that have helped me. Perhaps one of these ideas will resonate with you.

Every movement counts. If you are prone to sitting on the couch (or in front of a computer screen), just taking a walk is a good start!  You don’t have to be extreme.

X Cross-training  is wise. If you focus exclusively on one type of exercise, you’ll neglect other parts of your body. For example, running is great for cardio and legs, but doesn’t do much for your arms. Mix up your routine!

Expect setbacks. It’s easy to get excited about exercising and getting in shape. It’s much harder to keep going when you’re tired, to start up again after vacation, or to find something new when the seasons change. Having a friend hold you accountable can be motivating. Or try MyFitnessPal.

Resources are available. If you need help learning how to do certain types of exercise, try YouTube! Also, check with your health insurance provider, as many plans offer reduced rates for completing fitness challenges, and some even cover gym memberships (or offer discounts).

Crunches and sit-ups do not equal a flatter tummy, especially if you’ve had children.  If you missed it last week, be sure to read the post on Stewardship of the Body from Bethany Learn of Fit2B Studios!

Interval training is not cheating! I used to feel bad for not being able to run for 30 minutes straight. Then I read a number of articles that said it was okay, and even beneficial, to alternate short bursts of intense exercise with “rest” periods. Now that I can do!

Sports are a great way to get exercise and have fun doing it! I don’t love “working out.” I do love hiking, biking, volleyball, tennis, dancing, rock climbing…which are all excellent forms of exercise.

Enjoy the body God has given you. Exercise should be part of a healthy lifestyle, not a means to an end like a certain number on the scale. It’s so easy to either ignore our need for exercise or turn it into an idol. Rejoice in God’s design for you.

It's so easy to either ignore our need for exercise or turn it into an idol.

I’m learning to be realistic and willing to change my routine. Different things work at different times, and it’s not quitting to try something else. I used to run, but since having a baby my knees just can’t take it. For awhile I had a gym membership that was wonderful, but it doesn’t fit my schedule anymore. Now I’m a member of Fit2B Studios and at the moment, its’s working well for me, but I’m prepared to do something else if needed.

Let’s keep it real: don’t waste your time pinning workout routines on Pinterest that you will never be able to sustain. I could do this one – but I would probably only do it about two and a half times and get discouraged!

Now, go get moving! Then feel free to leave a comment with what you did.

Photo credit: Qute via stock.xchng

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