Exercise Ideas

It is so hot outside today! I guess I am spoiled, being in an air-conditioned house during most of the hottest hours of the day. I am so thankful for a cool house! It's so much easier to think about doing dishes or cleaning when the house is a comfortable temperature. :)

Today we were blessed with a visit from my friend Sheri and her two boys, ages 6 and 2. Sheri is a dear "older sister" friend to me. Several of the recipes on this website are ones she passed down to me, like her cream cheese brownies, baked beans, and even this week's recipe of the week, Oriental Chicken Salad. I owe a number of our favorites to her. ;)

We had a good visit, as always, and perhaps there will be some good photos to share when time permits.

Anyway, Sheri and I were talking about exercise, and it reminded me that I wanted to post about exercise on here sometime, and hadn't done it yet. :)

So, here are some thoughts and ideas for those of you who either want to exercise more, or already do and enjoy reading about exercising. :)

Yehoshua and Eliyahu, waiting for our walk

Here are Yehoshua and Eliyahu, waiting in the stroller for our morning walk. We've been walking at 7 am every day for several months now, and it's really the only way I could bear to take walks all summer long! I'm not sure what we'll do when winter comes... but maybe by then Eliyahu will be big enough that I can bundle him up and we can still walk. :)

My exercise routine is (if at all possible) done every day. I found that when I took "a day off" for whatever reason, that day turned into several days or even a whole week. Making sure I get out every day (even if it's only for 5 or 10 minutes!) helps me keep going.

Right now my exercise is walking. I walk at least 2 miles every morning, but usually 2.5-3 miles. This takes about 40-60 minutes, depending on how quickly I walk.

This is, admittedly, a large chunk of precious morning time. It is, however, the only way I can "make time" for exercising. Later in the day, it's hotter, or I have ten things going on all at once...

It's actually never "convenient" for me to exercise; I'm always sacrificing sleep or work-time. I have found it to be worth it, though. Besides the benefits from exercising, I enjoy getting out in the mornings (even though sometimes I feel half-asleep while I'm pushing the stroller!) and thinking about the day ahead of me. It's a quiet and relaxing start to the day. I plan what needs to be done when I get home, and talk with Yehoshua and Eliyahu. (I have even repeated simple addition and subtraction problems to Yehoshua on our walks, hoping to help him memorize them.)

I always had the mentality that exercising was one of those "extra" things, like computer-time, talking on the phone, letter-writing, that sort of thing. I couldn't pull myself away from the housework, meal preparation, and hustle of the household to go for a walk. There were (and are) constantly dishes to be done, laundry to be hung or folded, or meals to be made. I finally realised that the work would never be caught up to my satisfaction, and that it was all right to leave the kitchen a mess and get out for a walk and clean up later.

There was also the "weather" excuse. Too hot. Too cold. And with children, I can't just go walking when it's raining outside, now can I? ;) When I made a commitment to walking, I realised that I was using the weather as an excuse far too often. There have been days when it rained off and on all day, but I managed to get out during a 20-minute dry spell. We've gotten poured on a couple times, but we arrived home and dried off. :) I was amazed at how good it felt to know that I had gotten out 10 days in a row, and then 20...

I originally started exercising for the first time in my life when we had been married about a year. I had gained over 20 pounds in that year, and my clothes were getting tight. I successfully lost all 20 pounds by doing a lot of walking and not eating too much.

Then, I got pregnant and had Yehoshua. I walked a lot during pregnancy, but after having Yehoshua, had difficulty getting back to walking. I had Eliyahu and pretty much didn't exercise at all during my pregnancy with him. :|

I determined that after I had Eliyahu I would start walking again. Joshua's mom gave us a double stroller (seen in photo above) which helped a LOT. :) So, with 20 pounds to lose again, I started walking this spring.

I haven't lost much weight (yet; maybe I won't, I don't know) but I feel so much better. My clothes fits me again, even though the scales says -2 lbs for the whole past 3 months of exercise. I feel healthy, my arms actually have some muscle (that stroller is heavy to push!), and I can walk 2 miles briskly without getting out of breath.

So, a quick overview of what has helped me:

Get out every day, even if only for 5 minutes. Skipping days makes me lose my resolve.

Don't wait for "everything" to be done before you exercise.

Have a support system: someone (a spouse or friend), or some people who know you're trying to exercise consistently, who can help you monitor your progress, give encouragement, etc.

If possible, have an exercise partner. This is really motivating to me when the alarm goes at 6:30 am and I feel like rolling back over and going to sleep. ;)

Don't over-use the scales. Weighing (or measuring, if you're doing that) once a week is plenty. And don't put too much emphasis on what the scales says. If you're exercising and eating fairly well, it's okay if you don't lose 5 pounds all in one week, or even one month. Exercise isn't a quick-ticket to weightloss, but a consistent exercise routine will improve your overall health!

And for some fun, map out your walking (or running!) path using this free online pedometer! :)

Comments

Good for you, Tammy! I haven't been out walking for a long time, I should go, I don't need to loose weight, but it would be good for me to get out and walk. Just to have a few minutes to think. :)

~Tanya

I know how easy it is to just keep on working around the house... there's always something to be done. I can't imagine having 4 little ones like you do! Just my 2 keep me hopping! :)

Great post, Tammy. It reminds me of the phrase "You do what you want to do." Now I know there still are limitations but it is still a good mindset to have. We can get caught up with making excuse after excuse and probably have support and agreement from friends, family, etc. but the root of the problem can still be because we really don't want to do a particular thing.

My only problem is that I don't make time for everything :). It seems like there is always something that's falling behind or through the cracks. I just need to be sure it's the less-important things, like dusting the furniture. :) But yes... when someone is determined enough, there is often a way. :)

Dear Sisters,
I love to exercise and it is sooo good for your body! I personally am a runner. Just to walk is plenty good enough, since it would be difficult running with babies in your arms! :P Just to stay flexable, fit and energetic. Staying in bed can let the day get away from you.
Not only do I enjoy running but it's sort of a way to show how grateful I am for the health God's gave me. Some people can't run,walk, or even get out of bed. We become too comfortable!
Keep it up! I'll be praying for you, it gets especially hard in the heat! You'll be thankful for the time you spent staying in shape as well as this special time with your boys.

Smile lots!Laugh often!

I would like to work up to running... maybe when I wear out my double stroller I will find a jogging stroller. :) Right now I can't run for very long, anyway, because I get too out of breath :| :D

Thanks for the good reminder about appreciating our health. I feel so blessed to be able to get out, and it's only through God's strength that I am motivated enough to keep exercising. :) And, He provided a walking partner (and answer to prayer!)! :)

Don't wait for "everything" to be done before you exercise.

My husband has encouraged me so much in this area; every morning around nine he calls to make sure I've been out. His concern is not for my weight, but just that I get out of the house and enjoy some time alone even if the house needs attention. :) And it's true that I feel refreshed, physically and mentally, after a nice long walk.

Good post. :)

...what do you get out and do? Walking? Joshua is very sweet about my weight (I think most all women who have babies go through those times of having some extra weight left!) and, like your husband, just wants me to be healthy. :) If I'm walking every day but still weigh a little more, that's better than being at an "ideal" weight and never exercising! :)

I always start with pilates, which I started doing years ago to help my back; it has worked very well in that regard. Then I usually jog down to the park and reward myself with a little rest on a bench to soak up the morning. Some days, though, I can only walk. :) If I feel very motivated, I ride my bike. I have to be motivated because part of the bike trail is on the road, and I do not like riding my bike next to cars. Scary! On rainy days, I do a more extensive pilates session, maybe make sure I go up and down the stairs a few times. I'm a bit more free with my routine since we do not have children.

...because parts of my walking route don't have sidewalks... and last year someone hit my brother (he was on a bicycle) and drove off. He wasn't seriously injured, thankfully, but his bike was ruined and he doesn't ride on the road anymore. :| He has a car now (he's 18) so he uses that to get to and from work. :)

Oh how awful! So glad he was alright.

This is great advice! I think women tend to not get enough leg exercise, and with our leg muscles being what I think is the largest muscle in our bodies, it looks like we're really losing out on a great way to keep us in shape if we fail to get enough walking in our daily lives.

I've been walking/jogging almost every day now for the past two months and have reached an ideal weight. I feel better than I have ever felt in my whole life!

How far do you go every day? Do you have a partner, or just go by yourself?

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