Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A fresh start for forming healthier habits (Part 2)

Exercise is my nemesis.

I think the last time I enjoyed exercise was when it came under the disguise of "tag" when I was 8 years old. Well, I guess I somewhat enjoyed it to a certain extent in high school when I was a member of the swim team. I attempted to force myself to enjoy running in college. Running was very popular among my roommates. Sophomore year I even got myself running 3 miles about 5-6 days a week for a couple months. Senior year I went to the fabulous brand new gym on campus here and there, but never on a steady basis. Since then, I've done close to nothing in the way of physical activity beyond walking 2 blocks to where I park my car. So in essence, you can expect this next habit change to be a tremendously difficult one.

Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of value in exercise. It releases endorphins, it leads to better body image, it strengthens your heart and lungs, it improves your overall health, and so on. I'm not a fool, I'm just lazy. Apart from play time as a kid, I never developed a routine of exercise as being a part of my everyday life. And let's face it, exercise should be a part of everyone's life for their entire lives. As much as we pretend we don't need to be active, we are animals and we need physical activity to be at our best.

First thing to do is realize that this needs to be a permanent change. Some sort of physical activity needs to enter my life for the long haul. With that, I need to start with the basics. I know if I go out and pretend to run for the first time in 3 years it's just not going to happen. I won't be able to do it, I'll send myself into an asthma episode, and that will be the end of that. Two months ago I finally built up the motivation to stop thinking about exercise and to start doing some. That abruptly ended when I was hit with the most severe upper respiratory infection I've ever had: inhaler every 3 hours, prednisone, nebulizer treatments, unending cough suppressants, and so on. Since then this recent lull really set in. So it's time to start getting my act together.

Going off of my philosophy with diet, I've decided to start slow. What is manageable? What is something small I can add to my daily routine without feeling overwhelmed? 10 minutes sounds like a reasonable amount of time to start... what can I do in 10 minutes? How about 4 sets of 15 tri's and bi's? So that's where I started. I also told Howie to whisper in my ear every now and then about doing some activity since he was already in the routine of working out every day. After I decided working my arms was very manageable and not enough, I added 4 sets of 10 lunges. Then I added some ab ripper X (from Howie's p90x). See where I am going with this?

I went for my first run this weekend and to my delight I didn't die! I guess all those core things really do work! Unfortunately this week with the down turn of the weather and me not quite figuring out mentally how to make myself go do cardio after being at work all day, I haven't run again in 4 days.  Good news: I'm still doing my core.... The real improvement is that I haven't given up and I haven't completely reverted to my old ways. This is the first start to forming a habit - sticking with it. 

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