I am a reluctant exerciser. It’s worse now that I’m in pain because exercising wrong or too much can cause problems. Not exercising at all, is also bad for pain. Motion is lotion! It’s important to keep the body moving so joints don’t get stiffer, plus all the other well-known physical, emotional and mental benefits of fitness. Exercising makes the brain smarter. I don’t know why but the old commercial for chia pets sticks in my head as a visual of what exercise does to the brain. I want to grow a better brain! Ch-ch-ch-chia!

So here are some questions I ask before deciding what I’m willing to do. Maybe this will help other reluctant exercisers.

  1. Can I read? This makes the recumbent exercise bike my top choice, but I don’t own one or a gym membership. When I’m reading, I barely know I’m doing anything else.
  2. Can I listen to music? Walking alone outside or on a track, with music it is much less boring.
  3. Do I have to talk to people I don’t know? I am not a social exerciser, but walking with a friend is much better than alone, and then I am accountable to someone. Extroverted classes, like zumba, not my style! I did try it for a session, it was very challenging. I also tried Egyptian belly dancing when it first got popular, that almost killed me, it was way outside my social comfort zone of don’t look at me.
  4. Can I close my eyes? Don’t laugh, pilates and yoga combine hard work and lying down. That’s just wonderful.
  5. Dogs? Dogs are almost always better than no dogs. Depending on the dog. My dog Lily is very business-like on her walk; straight ahead full speed let’s get it over with style. Perfect!
  6. Nature? Lakes, forests, fields, parks, streams, etc. Eye candy helps.

All of this really boils down to one main concern: Can I forget than I’m exercising? It’s really just cardio that I don’t like. Yoga is enjoyable, and I love strength training although I can’t really do it anymore outside of planks.

I’ll do it, as long as I don’t have to be aware I’m doing it. And I don’t have to like it!

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