I hate exercise. I hate forcing myself to get up out of my comfy chair to go do exercise, especially in this Florida heat. Just let me sleep and bring me my meals and books to read, and I will be completely happy…but what good does that do me in the long run as I am trying to be a healthier me?
Of course we can wish that we could eat bonbons all day, lounge around, and stay slender, but the reality is that the more inactive we are, the less healthy we tend to be and the heavier we tend to become. And, the heavier we become, the less active we typically are. Yes, there are those few who are very large and very active, but they are fewer and farther between than what we really would like to admit to ourselves.
So how do we become more active? Well, we put one foot in front of the other and just do it. We have to force ourselves into doing it. We have to schedule it into our lives. We have to start by walking to the end of the block and back, and then we walk to each end of the block and back, and then around the block, and then around two blocks, and then, well, you get the idea.
After my surgery, this is exactly how I began my journey, little steps, just to the end of the block and back. It has been quite the journey and I have been fortunate to have a husband that has been my support system here at home. He gently reminds me to get out and exercise.
Last night, at 10 pm, we had eaten a very late dinner (late breakfast makes for late lunch which makes for a late dinner…shouldn’t do that, but I did) and I had gotten food stuck and I could not get it to move along, so we decided to take a walk around the block. It was amazing seeing my town at night. We had a great time playing with the ducks down by Lake Morton. They all thought we had food, which sadly we did not, but they nibbled at our hands nonetheless. Those wood storks with their prehistoric beaks, sleep in the tree tops and they make loud noises. We saw the homes and businesses through a different lens. We noted things that we never bother to note in our daily rush of life. For instance, the nursing home around the corner has actual gas lanterns on the outside of the building, and they have these tulip waterfalls hanging from their gutters, and the architect’s building has a huge oak tree in front and a beautiful lit arch going to the parking lot, and Chester the dog (who looks like Petey) is friendly and so is his owner. While enjoying ourselves, we walked 8 blocks and the food had moved along as it should and we came home, watched Archer on Netflix and crawled into bed just after midnight, wishing each other a Happy 13th anniversary.
So, what do you do when you are just starting out? What do you do when you are physically incapable of exercise yet? There are always things that we can do. Stand up behind a chair and lift up on your toes, ten times, and repeat. When sitting in your easy chair, lift your legs ten times, do arm circles, both directions. You can do it. Get to ten. Get to twenty. Can you do thirty?
I love doing my leg lifts in bed while reading a good book. That way I do not have to think about them. I told you I hate exercise! The reality though is that by starting out small, I will gain the ability to do more. I will gain strength and be able to look forward to a day where I am jogging around the block instead of just walking. If I can hate exercise as much as I do, and yet still do it, so can you.
So, what did you do for exercise today?
(Photo is of Lake Mirror, a block from my house, another popular lake to walk around in Lakeland, FL.)