Growing up, it was inconceivable to me that I would ever be anything beyond a 98 lb weakling. As a self-described artist, every spare moment of my life was dedicated to creating things. It wasn't until I hit 30 I realized that it was important to have a well-rounded life...that your physical body needs as much stimulation as your mind does.
I resisted physical fitness in any form most of my life; in truth, I hated "moving" and much preferred staying in one place...if not at the desk where I was conjuring up some new artistic project then...in front of the TV! I never dreamed there would one day come a time when not only would I not be skipping my regular fitness routines...I wouldn't WANT to skip them, and would prefer them to watching TV!
17 years after I began working out I find it is a part of my life I would not want to live without. How can this possibly have happened?
If you're interested in starting a physical fitness regime or have had trouble staying on track in the past, I offer these tips that helped me when I was first starting out.
Yeah, I agree totally--it doesn't have to be the gym, and it should be fun! I don't understand when people say they don't like "cardio," to me cardio is just like dancing and most people I know love dancing and can do it all night! Same with biking...nice to know you've found your niche :)
I think you give a lot of good advice here. I also used to think of myself as a nerdy weakling, more focused on books and computers and intellectual knowledge than on anything physical. But this wasn't entirely true. I think I had been conditioned by our culture to ignore my strengths, which included things like balance, flexibility, and spontaneous energy level.
I also think your advice about making exercise fun is important--I'd take it even farther. I love getting exercise but I don't ever really go to the gym. For me, I make exercise about other activities...like...I bike a lot, sometimes very vigorously, and I often make it as a way of running errands. For example, where I live it's very convenient for me to bike to the bank, a little too far to walk, so it's my preferred mode of getting there.
I also have gotten really into social dance, which is a very physical activity (with uptempo swing dance like fast lindy and charleston, it can also be very aerobic, with slower tempos like blues, it can be an incredible workout that especially works things like your core and quads, and does a great deal to refine balance). I also find that when I am dancing to music that I love, and dancing with people that I love being around, it's a really awesome experience, something I look forward to every week!
Oh, that's a great idea, thanks for the tip!
Have you thought of posting another article with routines that work for you? You could include YouTube videos, etc. I looked at doing one myself, but unfortunately I don't know the English names for all the different exercises. But looking into it, I realized it would be fun to put together such a page.
That sounds wonderful...walking is such a wonderful thing to do, isn't it? And *apparently* is uses all sorts of muscle groups and keeps your joints going and stuff...hooray! :) Yeah, someone once said to me, "Somehow you can make time for work...and you can't make time to take care of your physical body a little while each day?" Made me think, ha ha... Thanks for commenting!
Great advice. My favorite exercise is walking in the open air :). Not much cardio, I know, but I love walking, and each place brings so many elements of surprise during my walks. Also, I enjoy reading newspapers while I use my exercise bike. So yes, there are easy ways to incorporate exercise into our daily routine. Unfortunately, it's one more thing on our list and we think we can actually bypass it without suffering any consequences -- how wrong, ain't it?:)