adapted and reposted from July 4, 2012
I like to move it…move it!
You need to exercise. I need to exercise. I moved ahead to write this chapter because I struggle with myself when I am working on too many exciting things to leave time for exercise and fitness. The problem is, once we quit moving, so do our endorphins, which gets a little depressing.
#1 Make time. No matter how busy we are, make the time!
We think we don’t have time, but we do. I have found, in my experience, the more time I make to move my body…the more time I have in the day. I think it is because I have more energy, and I am sure that endorphins also have something to do with it. The truth is, the more you move, the more active you become!
#2 Find something you love to do!
You need to do something you love. It doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as you do it. I love to strength train. I love to ride my bike. I know it sounds funny, but I get a thrill being able to lift those weights, and I love how it makes me look.
You may love yoga…I have not learned to love it…though it looks very romantic, I know it isn’t that easy…I don’t enjoy it. It is very good for you. Walking may be your thing! There is nothing like getting out and getting a little fresh air, and moving your limbs. I like walking in my neighborhood where I can wave at the mailman and the neighbors and feel connected…that is like getting a double whammy of healthy!
#3 Pair it with something you love!
You can even do things you don’t love to do. These are the hardest. That is why you need to pair it up with something you do love to do. In 2009, having never run a block in my whole life…and with bad knees…I started running. I didn’t do it because I loved running. Running definitely didn’t love me. I did it because I wanted to raise a lot of money for a good cause and run with many of my friends. I started out running for a minute, then walking for a minute…that didn’t work, my calves hurt, and I couldn’t breathe. I went back to 10 seconds of running…and then walking for a minute. I built it up until I could run/walk a 1/2 marathon. Boy, was that 1/2 marathon something. I felt like I was being carried by angels part of the way…lol…the other part of the way, I felt like I was carrying the mountains with me. I did 2 more 1/2 marathons…one with my son in London…..well, he ran ahead…way ahead. I have a love/hate relationship with running now. It is more like I love to hate it. I let it go, and I either need to get it back and keep it back or give it up for good. I know some of you who are reading this know what I mean. I am trying to say that if you choose something you don’t like to do and have a higher purpose, you reach new heights of satisfaction you would never have known otherwise.
Experiment and find what is right for you. Some people like to play. If that is you, join a basketball or a volleyball team. Sometimes if you pair it with being social…it doesn’t feel like exercise. Dance is exercise…pair it with romance!
#4 Clarify what you want to achieve.
Do you want to lose weight, de-stress, build strength, improve your golf game, or rebuild your knees? If you need to get to the grocery store, you have 3 choices, walk, ride your bike, or drive. If you want to rebuild your knees, you are not going to pick lunges …that doesn’t make sense. If you can’t figure it out, don’t be afraid to hire a professional trainer. They have been taught to know the things that you do not. They know what you can do that will best achieve your goals. You can hire them for one visit to make a plan, or you can hire them for a few to show you how…or long term to build on your success.
#5 Make an appointment with yourself for exercise.
Schedule it into your day. I say this because if you show up…you will do it.
#6 Get more out of a shorter amount of time.
That is the principle of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The idea is that you start out slowly and build up to intense bursts of effort. You do this about 10 times and have a really good workout. I do a 5/25 that I learned from Bill Phillips. I go 2 minutes walking, 2 minutes jogging and then run as fast and hard as possible for 1 minute. I repeat this 5 times. When I get bored with that…I do 1-minute pedaling slowly, 1 minute pedaling my heart out…about 15 times. You can vary it any way you want. Tests have shown that this works for reducing body fat levels. If you have no fat to spare…this workout is not for you. You should stay with more endurance-type exercises. I do the same with my weight-training workouts. I start out the lower weight and build up. I vary the muscle movement, so I don’t have to take one-minute breaks. I learned this at a women’s fitness facility right after I gave birth to my son (40 years ago)…it got me back in shape by combining cardio with weight training.
#7 Do your homework and know why you are moving it and shaking it!
It helps to know that if you don’t work out on a regular basis, you are going to be sick. Exercise prevents heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, osteoporosis, and arthritis (to name a few). Exercise makes you more intelligent (proven), leaner and healthier. Exercise gives you energy!
#8 Make sure your children are shaking their booty!
Studies show that children perform better academically if they get regular exercise. Not just a little bit, but significantly! (read Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” by John Ratey, M.D.) The kids stay fit and intelligent!
#9 Look for a mentor!
There are tons of people out there who have done it. Those are the people you want to find. They are also very willing to show you how to do it. At IIN, we were treated to the most fun workouts at the Mega Conferences. There was one in particular, the Masala Bhangra dance! I came straight home and ordered her DVD. It felt so good to do it at the conference! She knew how to do it, and she shared it with us. Brendan Brazier has a book out (read Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program); he knows his stuff. There are a lot of people who have done well with it (Body for Life, Bill Phillips). He had a 3-day training camp going on in Denver that showed significant results in muscle building and weight loss. The secret is to find someone who is doing what you want to do and learn from them. You don’t have to do the same thing repeatedly…you can learn new things and add them to your old routines. You can diversify.
#10 Exercise …like food, changes everything.
GREAT post and reminder! You share some really good points. We all need to do get moving…especially in the computer age where we sit in front of screens almost all day.
You mentioned Brendan Brazier and his Thrive books. What he teaches is AWESOME! He is one of my fitness/nutrition mentors. A couple months ago I began to practice some of what he teaches (blogged about it of course…smiles)…my plan is to go 100% plant-based.
Thx for sharing Cathy!
I can attest to value of moving it. When I do get into a routine with workouts my body wants to exercise. When I get out of the habit (like now) it is so difficult to do anything. Great reminder and definitely a post I will print out.
I loved your idea: “the more time I make to move my body…the more time I have in the day” – it’s a huge incentive to exercise everyday, I find myself making up excuses and thinking I don’t have enough time so this will definitely help!
Great post Cathy! Really encouraging, and true! We definitely need to move, our bodies were built for it. Unfortunately we rely more on “within reach” solutions and exercise seem to just “take too much time”. #6 tip is really good, you can achieve a lot without spending lots of time!
I have also found that finding exercise that matches how you run your energy makes a huge difference. Great post!
Thanks for the reminder and motivation. It spurred me to go for a walk this morning.
This is a great post and gave me some good ideas. I have been “talking” about exercising more but this helped me move myself to action. (Pun intended)
I agree! We have to make time for exercise. I find that the most effective time is when I get up first thing in the morning.
Otherwise, I find excuses throughout the day not to do it. Plus I just don’t feel like it!
Thanks for sharing. I found you through the Ultimate Blog Challenge and I’ll be back!
Very timely! I have my personal trainer certification. However, that is not enough to keep me in shape. I actually have to eat right and exercise regularly, two things I like to do but just don’t make a priority. I’ve begun to turn that around. Thanks for the encouragement and wise words to keep me moving in the right direction.