Exercising means wine right?
I’ve learned a lot about myself in the past 35 years and from what I gather, my body abhors having to work out. Blergh.
Based on the numerous things I have tried, it appears my body hates running and the gym the most. If it could, my body would come up with some sort of universal rule that bans both. But since this is virtually impossible, it has found another way: break down as much as possible via ankle pain and muscle soreness (read: it hurts to friggin’ walk).
Oh but I am a persistent one. I keep dragging it to the gym about three times a week and aim for yoga once a week.
Of all the things I have tried, I have learned the following:
1. every person (if able to) should be exercising from childhood and well into adulthood, and
2. you have to mix cardio with weight training
It just all doesn’t work otherwise. If you want to lose weight, tone up, reduce your blood pressure, get that cholesterol down, or just simply stay healthy, you have to mix cardio with weight training.
I wasn’t convinced of this for a good 35 years and 3 months until I started going to the gym and doing just that. Running on it’s own will get you somewhat fit, but it’s not the whole package. Swimming is the same, as is yoga and biking. Building strength in your body from your core to your arms and to your legs requires working muscles that you just don’t exercise in certain work out classes or sports.
Yoga is wonderful for the mind and great for stretching out those muscles, but it will only get you so far and does not build full body strength.
Running and biking are fantastic for getting the blood pumping through your heart and getting those legs moving, but they can wear out parts of your lower body and they don’t work out other parts.
Swimming is a perfect low impact, cardio sport, but again, it doesn’t work certain muscles.
Granted, I’m not a fitness instructor nor a trainer, and I’m going on what I know from my own personal experiences (running, swimming, and yoga). But I’ve noticed a shift in myself. I’m nowhere near as stressed as I used to be. I sleep better (except for Sunday nights because Monday), parts of my body are not sagging as much and muscles are starting to tone, and I don’t get physically tired as easily.
The real test will be when I go back to my doctor early next year for a blood test to see if I’ve lowered that pesky cholesterol (as I’ve mentioned, I’m also watching what I eat).
This is all to say, take it from someone who HATES exercising: it’s good for you mentally and physically, and to get the best results, mix that cardio with weight training.
Oh and p.s. “weight training” does not necessarily mean you need machines and dumbbells, but you can use your own body weight and other household props. Plus there are lots of online resources (for free!)
Anything specific you are doing for yourself to feel better physically and mentally?