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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Exercise: Friend or Enemy?

Do you have that daily battle with yourself about whether you want to exercise or just relax on the couch with a good magazine or book, or better yet, take a nap?
I know I sometimes do, but those moments are much more rare than they used to be. I used to have to practically drag myself into my bedroom to change into fitness clothes and then drag myself out the door to the gym or for a jog. And trust me, I was giving myself excuse after excuse in my head about how much I had to do, or how tired I was or how I didn't really need to exercise.
So, what has changed in me that I now crave exercise and get a high from teaching fitness classes? Do I take some crazy energy pill? Am I on a mission to become the buffest chic in the nation? No, I am still just a regular mother, wife and woman who wants to be healthy and happy.
I would say the biggest change was a shift in my attitude and a few little strategies to keep me going. Let me share those with you.
I now view my body as a gift. It is a precious gift that I don't want to take for granted because I only get one body. Without a healthy body, I cannot do all I want to do. I am thankful for my strong legs that DO have flaws, but always get me from point A to B and also still get whistles from my husband. I am thankful for my strong arms, that allow me to hold my son and cuddle him close. They also allow me to bring in five bags of groceries from the car all in one trip. I am thankful for my abs and core muscles, even though they changed after having a baby. Yes, they stretched and grew as I carried my son for 10 months, but they also helped me have my baby and then miraculously tightened back up.
My attitude is one of thankfulness and of living my best life. With a strong body, I feel empowered. I can accomplish all I have dreamed of and I can get through the everyday stress and monotony that we face in our lives. Exercise is a release for me, that "me" time that I have to strengthen my body and let go of all the worries, to do lists, and stesses of the day. After I have worked out, showered, and had my protein shake, I feel renewed and rejuvenated. I have the energy to not only get through the rest of the day, but to love each moment of it!
Here are a few more strategies for loving exercise and the strengthening of your body:
1. Have hard days and easy days. Some days you will feel more empowered to push yourself to your max and some days you will feel like treating your body gently. Listen to your body and respect it.
2. Variety! Mix up your exercise routine. Try exercising outside where you can also enjoy nature. Try a group fitness class where you can sweat it out with other people who can also help keep you motivated. Or buy/rent a few fitness DVDs that appeal to you.
3. Break up your exercise into a little 15 minute segment here and 15 minutes there. That may help you feel less overwhelmed.
4. Get an exercise pal and use each other for support. If they are having a rough day staying motivated, help them out. They will also be there for you when you need it.
Of course, let me know if there is anything I can do to help too!
There are so many benefits of exercise, that it is hard to fathom, so get energized and get healthy! You CAN do it!


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