Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Key to Exercise, For Me

Have you noticed that running is very "in" right now? Maybe it's especially so among bloggers, or Mormons, or Mormon bloggers! Regardless it seems as if everyone I know is talking online (and in real life) about their love of running and latest race.


Confession: I never fell in love with running. I tried. I failed.

Want to read about my past attempts at running you can do that here and here.

I kept trying to like running because so many of the skinny people I know stay skinny by passionately loving running. Here's what I learned from my attempts at running:
  1. I can run: for a while I thought I just didn't have the endurance. Then I discovered that if I worked slow and built up I could indeed run, without breaks, no walking. The day I jogged 20 minutes straight for the first time was a shock to me. A total shock.
  2. Achieving goals in running IS rewarding: There is an aspect to running that can be really rewarding: upping your per mile time, running a further distance/time without walking than ever before, etc...
  3. Running is boring: Okay, okay, so some people find it therapeutic, like meditation. I do not find it that way. My mind races a million miles an hour and when I'm out running all I can think is "I hate this, are we almost done with our intervals for today!??" or "how is it possible we've only being doing this for 2.5 minutes?!"
Which brings me to my point about the key to exercise:
Find an exercise you WANT to do.

Stop trying what works for other people. I don't care what your skinny friend does, or what they do on the biggest loser, or what your husband does. I care what you WANT to do. What you won't dread doing. What you'll wake up in the morning thinking "hey today is ______ at the gym, let's go!" or "bummer, my daughter is sick and I'll miss _____ class today".

For me it has taken some time to figure out what I want to do. What will get me motivated to go to the gym.
Here's what I like:
  • Going to the gym. There are great workout videos at home (and treadmills and such) but I like to get away, be at the gym, and have someone watch my daughter. 
  • Going to a class. The teachers in class push me harder than I would push myself just doing cardio/weight machines. And there's variety in classes.
  • Going in the morning. I'll go anytime, but I love that feeling of getting it done right away. I feel better all day.
So that's what I've found. I like the gym. I like classes. I like someone else telling me what to do. I like the social pressure of being in a class and not wanting to look like the out of shape quitter.

So here's a sample of what we might do one week:
Monday: Step/Sculpt: Step aerobics and weight training, intense teacher.
Tuesday: Kickboxing class, amazing teacher, so much energy.
Wednesday: Zumba, I like to stand where I can't see myself in the mirror because I'm an awkward dancer but it is great cardio and flies by.
Thursday: Powersculpt: hard core weight lifting class, and it makes you sweat more than you'd think
Friday: Kickboxing class, different teacher, also awesome, also intense.
Saturday: Powersculpt: just like Thursday, this teacher is hard core and I envy her lean muscle mass. Though sometimes I'd rather sleep on Saturday while Joe takes Evie with him to the gym.

That's right some weeks I'm going to the gym 5-6 days and I LOVING IT. I've never loved exercising so much. And I don't think that my triceps have ever had this much muscle. Give me a few more months and all that jiggly underarm will be gone. 

Exercise. It is good. Find what you love and make it happen. You'll be happier. And more toned. And if you watch what you eat, thinner too. Some weeks I've fallen off the wagon, or Evie's been sick, and we have made it to the gym less. But the more I make it there the better I feel. And I'm so so happy about it.

I just wish you all could live close by and be my gym buddies. That's pretty much the only thing that could make it better.

7 little remarks:

Jessie said...

I totally agree with you on the running thing. It is SO popular right now, but it's just not my thing. I wish it was--we have a nice treadmill sitting right in my bedroom--but I just don't like it.

Good for you finding what works, though--I need to be more diligent about it. I did buy a prenatal yoga dvd that I'm pretty excited about, but it's not going to be burning tons of calories or anything... we'll see how it goes. I just need something to make me get off the couch and move my body. Ugh.

Angie said...

Amen! Exercise is about finding what works for you and what you will continue doing! There are a lot of lifetime runners and there are a lot of trendy runners (train for this or that and then take a couple years off). I'm glad you've found what works for you and what makes YOU happy! and PS, there are a lot more people that feel the same way you do about running.

Brooke said...

It's true, find what you love. And I LOVE being able to exercise on my treadmill and watching shows while I run, or doing a Jillian workout, because I can do it from my house quickly whenever I want. But it's true you need to find what you love, and running and Jillian is definitely not for everyone! I'm so happy you're finding your exercise groove, I bet you'll be more toned than me on your arms when I come visit in May. Keep up the awesome work!

Julie said...

Dear Anna,

Amen. Amen. AMEN.

Tannie Datwyler said...

I do love running. :) BUT - I like to think I love it not because it's trendy. Hehehe.

Mostly though I LOVE LOVE LOVE classes. I miss Boot Camp VERY much. But I am super cheap - so I haven't found anything here yet. I love classes more than running. Running used to be just my supplement to my other workouts.

You are so smart Anna - this makes me want to get a membership to a gym. I love fitness instructors and classes.

Emily S said...

I don't like running very much. I love running occasionally when I need to blow off steam, or every day when I have someone to talk to. Someone to talk to is key! Other than that, I need variety . . . wish I could go to the gym every day, I love classes, too!

BTW, I came here to comment on a post I saw on Reader - here's to April 18th helping . . . sorry, girl.

Suzie Thomas said...

Core workout works the muscles that hold you upright. These include all of the muscles about your torso. Although experts disagree as to which specific muscles make up the core, quite a few include everything from your tummy to your back, hips, and rear-end. These muscles are your body’s powerhouse of strength.

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