Saturday, November 12, 2011

Exercise: that lovely, dreaded, impossible needed thing...

Exercise.  I enjoy certain forms of it, especially the kind where I'm having so much fun I barely notice the exercise at all.  Like any form of dance, yoga, volleyball, swimming...  I like walking, but walking the same route repetitively is no help in the motivation department, (BORING).  I really love hiking and being out in nature, but driving somewhere for exercise seems to take it out of the regular category.

I have lots of reasons to exercise, over age 40 and still possessive as I am of most of the weight I gained growing my four babies, the youngest of whom will turn 5 in the winter.  I was at my most fit at the time I got pregnant with my firstborn.  I've periodically worked on fitness in the 15 intervening years, when I wasn't breastfeeding (which represents more than 5 out of those 15 years) or just too tired to find the energy for it.  It's a vicious cycle, since I'm fully aware that a regular fitness regimen gives energy back.  But a lot of good that does a person when they feel too exhausted even to do the dishes.

My last baby particularly, born when I was 37, really seemed to do me in energy-wise.  I felt depleted for far longer and have really had trouble even caring about exercise.  Getting the family to go on an evening walk has been a huge accomplishment.  I've enjoyed a little yoga, a bike ride annually or so, dancing when I get the chance, and hikes on the occasional beautiful weekend.  But, except for brief and unsatisfactory attempt at Curves membership about 6 months after Emmett was born, I haven't built a regular, enjoyable habit of it.  And have been of the attitude that it might be impossible for me to do such a thing.

Now, it is time!  I've been building momentum to make myself a priority in this way.  Some could observe this as procrastination, but at this point I will just accept it as what I needed to get myself going.  A few weeks ago I saw an article on the web somewhere (maybe this one?), that told me for a total body workout that will give me great results and aid in weight loss you need to do only two exercises:  the kettlebell swing and burpees.  (Elli does the latter in gym class, and she was pretty sure they were called "herpes", but we disabused her of that notion pretty quickly, once we could stop laughing.) I don't have a kettlebell, so of course I couldn't start.  But I found a video on how to make your own here.  So yesterday I bought the parts at Lowes.  But I didn't realize that you are supposed to already own weighted plates.  So today I will go and get those!

In November, I've created space and done yoga followed by meditation twice now, and it feels great.  I've danced with my son, done a few Pilates moves, and enjoyed several gentle walks.  I'm going to pick up the pace and put a personal emphasis on fitness and activity.  It's time to nurture myself in this way.  Watch this space for a report on how I do with the kettebell swing/burpee personal challenge.  I'll be ripped in no time, right dear reader? :)  That's OK, don't answer, I'll be very happy with a little more energy and less of me altogether.

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