Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Thoughts on Exercise (for me)

I have a confession.  I haven't exercised in quite a while.  Oh, I know that's no big deal to you.  Perhaps you can top me.  Maybe you never exercise, or haven't in a year.  But, part of my job is to inspire people to be healthy, and part of healthy is exercising.

But this is good, you see, because I FEEL it.  I definitely feel worse for depriving my body of regular activity.  I won't go into details, but let's just say I'm feeling closer to my 40 years than ever, and I pride myself in feeling 28 usually.

So, this morning as I turned the page of the calendar to organize my March, I noticed that it starts on Monday.  How appropriate.  And since it's a Monday, which begins the work and school week, and since March is when the earth moves into spring, I thought, let's get back to exercising.

I don't believe (for me) that exercising means working out every day, making sure to get every muscle in my body stretched and worked.  I don't believe (for me) that exercising means I have to sweat and make my heart feel like it's going to leap out of my chest.  I don't believe (for me) that exercise means I need to do it five days a week for at least 45 minutes.  What I do believe (for me) is that I need to get my heart rate up a bit every day, that I need to stretch and breathe, and, most importantly,  that I need to enjoy myself.

I often tell my clients that our exercise should mimic what our activity was like 10,000 years ago.  That 10,000 year thing comes up a lot in my discussions.  And though I'm no scientist, I've read enough on the topic to say confidently that our bodies have evolved little if any since then.  We have prehistoric bodies doing very modern activities or not doing any activity at all.  So, what was it like 10,000 years ago?  I don't  really know, but I can guess that humans didn't work out vigorously and continuously every single day, exercising every single muscle.  They hunted and gathered.  They carried things, pulled things, pushed things, reached for things, ran, walked (a lot) and jumped.  Some days more than others.

I just read yesterday in the newspaper that "Short intense exercise gains experts' support."  That only justified my assumption of our hunter gatherer type exercise being what our bodies are designed to do.

So, Monday will start my spring exercise plan.  I will start by going for a brisk walk and then I'll do some cleaning around the house.  I'll probably throw in some jumping jacks, pushups and stretching just for fun.  I'm actually looking forward to it!  And having written this will give me that extra bit of motivation, just knowing  people have read about my plan.  If you did, be sure to ask me how it's going.

No comments:

Post a Comment