Exercise is really not something I enjoy. I understand it is good for me. It makes me healthier and I do feel better. But I don’t enjoy it. The one exercise that I have managed to do and stick with it, is walking.
Most people who start an exercise program and then quit fall into one of these categories.
- They get bored and quit.
- They get injured and quit.
- They stop seeing any improvement and quit.
Last year when I trained for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, I was able to really commit to it and I lost 20 lbs. Woo hoo! But I also had more time last year, so I was able to walk for 2 or 3 or 4 hours a day most days of the week. This year I have less time available. One hour or maybe an hour and a half is about all I can do. Needless to say, I haven’t lost any more weight. I have reached my plateau and that’s how it is.
The only way to continue to lose weight (if that is one of your goals) is to ramp up the program you are doing by increasing the intensity or adding more time to your program. This is difficult to do, so this is when most people quit.
I don’t want to quit, but I do want to see improvement. So a couple of weeks ago I decided to add some intensity to my walking program by adding little spurts of running. Let me just say I don’t run! I’m not graceful, I don’t have a good rhythm, and I look like I have never done it in my life. Ha Ha. I started by just running every time I came to a street. I would run across the street and then resume my walking. Not much I know, but I needed to ease into it.
After a few days I was able to extend those little bursts of running. I would run across the street and then target a spot some distance past the street where I would run to and then go back to walking. Perhaps a street sign, or a rock or a tree, or a driveway. Just something I could easily spot and aim towards. I admit it was pretty hard at first. But it really didn’t take much time at all before I could run for longer distances. Of course, my knees aren’t sure they like the running part of my new routine. And I noticed that you have to be sure to wear the proper bra if you are going to run. But I can tell already that I feel my walking/running routine is better for me.
So this Monday challenge is about adding something new to your exercise routine or increasing the intensity. Those of you who love to work out and do it regularly, you probably don’t need a push to do more. But for many of us, exercise is a chore and we need all the incentive and help we can get. If you walk, add some bursts of running. Or add a couple of days of bike-riding to your routine. Even just add 20 situps a day or some Yoga stretches or some small weights to lift while you are watching TV. It doesn’t take much to mix up your routine enough that it starts working for you again. You will hopefully beat the boredom aspect of your exercise by changing some of your routines, and your body will respond to new stimuli. As for me, I am going to continue adding the bursts of running to my walks, and continue my once a week Yoga class, and maybe I’ll throw in some squats or weights too. Happy Exercising!