Yes, I'm coming at you with all the advice you would expect, because the topic of exercise is actually one with very little controversy surrounding it. So I'll share some of my own story to hopefully make it a little more interesting…
NOTE: If you're just here looking for the Bowflex info, this includes FREE shipping: Bowflex Home Gym– I cannot believe how cheap these are now, ours was $2000! But we also got the 310# rod upgrade, scroll down at this site and you can get that for extra.
Everyone agrees exercise is necessary for good health. In years past it wasn't something that had to be encouraged so much because it was all part of the lifestyle. (Need a quick example? Just think of laundry before washers and dryers.) Now, as we all know, we've become increasingly sedentary…sickeningly so. Just getting this site up and ready almost drove me crazy because of how much I had to SIT on my …butt… to do it. (Trying to keep it clean…)
I'll tell you a little about my own exercise history and maybe some part of it will be helpful to you. But eventually you'll have to do the hard part: get up and go.
Keep trying to figure it out!
Most of my life I've gone through “streaks” in my exercising. I'll do great for a few weeks, then stop completely for a few weeks, then get back at it, and so on. I don't recommend that, I'm just being honest with you. Each time I didn't beat myself up over it, though, I knew I'd get back to it, but some streaks lasted longer than others. Then over the past few years I finally figured out what works for me, and that has made ALL the difference. (I'm sure this isn't the first you've heard that tip, either, but keep reading…)
Do kids make us fat?!
They can! As we've had more kids and my life has gotten crazier, I had to make a bigger effort at fitting things in. I began making the time to walk on the treadmill each morning. Most days that means getting up at 5:30 a.m., and it isn't the walking itself that gets me out of bed, it's that I can READ while I'm walking. I love to read and rarely make enough time for it. SO, since my twisted mind gets such kicks from multi-tasking, this works out great. Many ask how I can read on the treadmill and walk at the same time – it takes practice but can be done. My goal is to walk on the treadmill every week-day morning, that way if I want to be lazy now and then, I'll still get 3-4 days in.
Lose weight while you sleep…?
Later I began adding weights on the Bowflex to my morning routine. This takes maybe 10 minutes (I probably should have someone show me how to do a more well-rounded weight-lifting routine), but I try to stick with it because when I read years ago how muscle burns more fat (even while you're sleeping) than fat does, that's all I needed to hear.
Working out at home
A note on the Bowflex: I love that thing! (See link below to purchase it with free shipping – they're much less expensive than when we got ours.) It was an investment we made about 9 years ago, but it has paid off over and over again. I'd much rather go through my “streaks” of on and off exercising on a piece of equipment that we paid cash for years ago and is sitting out of the way downstairs (it folds up nicely), than to keep paying monthly health club fees all these years thinking I'll go back “one of these days.” I'm glad we got one that has the various accessories so we can do many types of exercises on it. Also we purchased the extra weight so Kent could get a good work out – as you may have guessed, it doesn't take much for me at all. The other reason I love having it right here at home (and the treadmill) is because I can work out in as few clothes as I need to, and have the fan blowing right on me, all while the kids are upstairs sleeping. No dealing with day care, driving in the snow to get there, wondering what time they open or how many machines will be available, etc.
Me, a runner? NO WAY!
This past summer a whole new chapter began for me, I started running. I never EVER thought I could do it – in the past my endurance levels were in the toilet, and I could run maybe a block before I was very winded, and I'm not exaggerating! But my husband, Kent, began running again a year or two ago and got me wondering if I could pull it off. Since I was approaching my 40th birthday I decided to try it. As I built up to go further and further, it felt unbelievable – when I ran my first half mile, then my first mile, then my first 3 miles, each time was exhilarating! Now I have to admit that I wouldn't say I love running like I do rollerblading, but what I do love is the feeling of accomplishment (and shock) when I'm done. I also love that it is FREE, that I'm outside (I can't run on the treadmill), and that I can turn my music up as loud as I want and no one can hear it. (I even make a pretty good effort at remembering not to sing along, lest I look even more foolish than I already do in my attempt to be “a runner”.)
What will really work for you?
My point is, it really is true that you need to keep trying different things until you find what works:
- Keep switching things up so you can figure out what time of day or day of the week works best for you?
- Do you like going with a friend or on your own?
- Do you need the accountability of going to a club or are you like me and able to keep yourself motivated (for the most part)?
- Try all different types of exercise – which ones do you detest, and which might you be able to learn to love, even if you don't love it now? (Note: watch your “self-talk” – my friend, Nancy, hated the stepper until she started telling herself with every step, “I love this, I love this…” and it worked, she really began to love it. The story sounded far-fetched to me, but when she lost 100# in one year, I believed her!)
Video games for weight loss?
There are so many options for you to try. My friend, Sonia, loves Pilates; Meg loves (and teaches) Body Pump at the gym (this one happens to sound torturous to me); Susan plays tennis; others like to do a variety of exercises to keep from getting bored; and one guy I heard about lost 15# the first month after he had his new Wii game system! I can vouch for that one, it really can be a work out. My arms were killing me the day after boxing with my son – what a blast though! And so much better for the kids. (More: 4 Reasons I Love Exercising with the Wii.)
No matter what you do, think of it as a way to be thankful for the body you've been given, thankful if you are ABLE to exercise, and begin to thank God by using it and keeping it healthy (or getting it healthy)! (And I'll try to remember that myself, next time I'm pigging out on sweets…)
A dark, dark secret…
Now, let me conclude all this with a terrible confession: since late fall when I began working on this site, I'm in one of those nasty streaks I told you about and I've been rotten about exercising! I've been up until crazy hours trying to get everything figured out on here (and doing so while sitting on my butt the whole time), so then I'll need to sleep right until I have to get up. Every free waking moment (with 4 kids there aren't many) I wanted to get this site going. But very soon I plan to get back to it (so I can enter my first run later this year!) and I'm happy to say that I truly can't wait!
(Note added later: read here about my first 5K race – it wasn't pretty…)
Scroll down to the “comments” tab and let us know what YOU do for exercise and how you fit it into your life?