Monday, August 6, 2012

Someday is Today: Exercise

It seems as though everyone and their brother wants to exercise more. We know that we should move around much more than we do, but it can be so hard to find the time and to motivate ourselves to actually do it.

I was hesitant to make my second Someday is Today goal about exercise since life is pretty crazy and unpredictable right now, but there's no way around it: no matter what's going on, I should at least try to be a little bit more active.

I'm a pretty thin person; some may even call me skinny. My BMI is 19.9. I still weigh the same I did in high school and I even wear some of the same clothing I've had since middle school. Some of you may feel like tossing something blunt or even sharp my way, but I assure you: just because I'm not overweight does not mean that I am in shape. I am pretty weak, can barely run a block, and I've never once played on a sports team. Since many people are motivated to work out because they want to lose weight, much of the fitness literature out there revolves around weight loss success. Because I don't need to lose weight and instead just need to gain physical strength and increase my endurance, this literature is usually not helpful to me and I find it harder to motivate myself to be active.

When I was in therapy and before I started grad school, I was able to talk myself into going swimming three or four times a week and to go to yoga class once or twice a week. For someone who never worked out regularly in their life, I was making really good headway. Then classes started and I had no time or energy for anything extra in my life. Before a few weeks ago, I hadn't gone near the gym with any kind of regularity in close to two years.

A month ago, I was frustrated with my commuting schedule and how it didn't allow me time to do things like exercise. Then I had the brilliant idea of going for a swim during my lunch break from work on Saturdays. Saturdays are much slower than weekdays, so I can usually manage to sneak out to the gym for a little while. For the last four weeks, I've been doing just that.

Prior to moving in with my dad, I never thought of exercising on my days off because, well, they're my days off. My gym is offering yoga classes on Mondays, one of my days off, over the summer and the time worked out for my best friend, Lynn, and me to go together. For the last three weeks, we've tried to meet up for yoga regularly on Mondays, but only today did it finally work out. The first two times the instructor couldn't make it and the class was moved to another location without our knowing. Third time's a charm, right?

I want to stick with this schedule, swimming on Saturdays and yoga on Mondays, for the time being. If I can manage to swim an extra time or take an extra yoga class during the week, then that'd be even better. I don't want to put too much pressure on this goal right now since, like I said, life is unpredictable right now. I bought new sneakers and would like to start the Couch to 5k program, but I can't count on being able to follow it regularly, so I don't want to set myself up for failure. I figure, if I can manage to find the time to squeeze in a work out with my life the way it is right now, then it should be a piece of cake when I'm finally settled in a new job and home.

As far as motivation goes, I asked my boyfriend, who runs regularly and is in good shape, what he does to motivate himself when he doesn't feel like working out. His response? He just does it. He acknowledges the fact that he doesn't want to, but he just does it anyway. Moral of the story: I need to stop over thinking it so much. Just go and do it, Sarah.

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