A Love-Hate Relationship
I have a love-hate relationship with exercise. I love the way exercise makes me feel. Exercise makes me feel good. I feel strong and energized. I feel accomplished and empowered. I love to sweat it out and push myself to be stronger, go harder and go one step further than my body says I can. The thing I hate about exercise is the part where I actually have to get up and do it. I hate that I have to exercise! I know that sounds strange because I don't mind exercising. But the thing I find most difficult is motivating myself to actually get started. There was a time in my life that I didn't have to worry about exercising. (I miss those days!) I was young, had a fast metabolism and a very physical job. I was moving, lifting, walking, running and on my feet all day long. And my days were very long! I was in the best shape of my life and all I had to do was go to work! No early mornings at the gym or exercise class after work. But eventually I had my first child, my job changed and so did my metabolism. Gone were the days of going to work to get my workout. Now I had to actually find time in my very busy day to get physically active. At first I didn't worry about it too much, but after I had my second child, I knew it was time to incorporate physical activity into my day. That's when I had to work at getting back into shape and it was then that I made a conscious effort to make exercise a part of my weekly routine.
When I first started my new exercise regimen, I knew that a gym membership wasn't for me. I live in the country, so driving anywhere to get exercise was going to take too much time. I found a few videos at the library to try out and I was hooked. It was a beginner video by Jillian Michaels. She's not my most favourite personality in the world, but I like her videos. I find them motivating and many of them have a good mix of cardio, stength and core workout which was exactly what I was looking for. The videos were short (approx. 30 min.) and I was able to fit them into my day without too much difficulty. I began to see results and that motivated me to keep active.
Now fast forward a couple years (and one more child) later. I still try to make exercise part of my weekly routine. When I first started working out, I was hard-core. I chose from one of my many videos or went for a run 6 days a week. That was an intense goal, but intially I needed that to boost my metabolism and get back into shape. Now that I've been active for the last several years, not to mention that I'm much busier now with three kids in the house, I've toned it down to 4-5 times a week. I find I get bored of the videos so I try to mix it up. Sometimes I'll go for a run or ride my bike. Sometimes I take my kids with me to increase my workout. It's much harder to run pushing a jogging stroller with a little one strapped in than running without! In the winter I love to snowshoe! It's a great workout, especially if you're breaking the trail for the first time after a snowfall. I think the most important thing to stay motivated is to find something you like, but remember to mix it up so it stays interesting. And although it is often hard to set time aside, all you really need is 30 minutes. Thirty minutes is more than enough time to get a good workout done in order to stay active and healthy.