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. :)
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! :)