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According to the National Heart Association, only about 31 percent of American adults report regular leisure-time physical activity.

I am not in that 31 percent.

In some ways, I feel like a poser posting on Fitness Monday. Though a large part of my lack of regular activity is because of some health issues, a bigger chunk is because I have developed a serious lack of self-discipline.

Between the internet, a lack of structure in the summer, and the inherent difficulties of regaining strength and stamina, my plans have gone awry.

Returning to fitness is difficult. At one time, I was an avid biker and tennis player, often biking a few miles round trip to play a set. But now, after years of alternating between an oppressive workload during the academic year to oppressive weather during the summer, that level of activity is currently an impossibility.

Walking is still good; I'm not a complete couch potato. Leisurely biking for a couple of miles is okay. But cranking it up tells me that things are not going well. It doesn't take long before muscles protest and heart pounds. My brain tells me that things will get better over time, but it's not enough right now to regularly get me past the pain and nausea of pushing my body to do more.

I still remember how incredible it felt to bike for thirty miles in the spring, to play tennis for hours. Though those memories are an incentive to get back to that level of fitness, it's also profoundly difficult to remember how easy it once was, and how it doesn't feel at all like that now. The contrast is disheartening.

Why am I posting this in Fitness Monday? Because I am in the majority. Many of us struggle with reconciling the desire to feel better with the hard reality of what it takes to get there. We already know the simple truth: The way to do this is to do it. But getting past those first tiny steps when there's a lot of effort for only incremental payoff is a major hurdle. After that, success builds on success more easily. But at the beginning? Agh.

Why do I read Fitness Monday? Because there's so much great advice here. Because you are sharing the ways in which you've made your lives better.

But mostly because you are inspiring. It can be done. Change can happen.

Originally posted to fiddler crabby on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 07:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I'll be here off and on this morning. (13+ / 0-)

    In a meeting today that will get my heart rate up -- but not in a good way.

  •  I'm with you. (8+ / 0-)

    I have a bad knee that keeps me from running and the other alternatives take more time. I have the time and just need to get in gear. Let's go!

  •  I hate exercising (12+ / 0-)

    (That felt good.)

    My wife and I get up every day at 5:00.  On Monday, Thursday and Friday, I go to the gym, where I put in a half-hour climbing stairs and another half-hour lifting weights.  (She goes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.)  We've been doing this for two years now.

    I would MUCH rather sleep another hour.  However...

    We both like the effect it's had on our bodies (and each other's bodies).  We feel healthier and stronger.

    You're right.  Change can happen.  It just doesn't happen overnight, so you have to stick with it.

    I haven't forgotten The Path to 9/11, Disney. You're still dead to me.

    by beemerr on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:03:46 AM PDT

    •  I'm with you (5+ / 0-)

      I go to the gym as well, but I can't wait for someone to invent a pill so I don't have to....

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:23:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hate it too. (7+ / 0-)

      Can't stand treadmills, will use the elliptical but it's not the same as really moving my body, loathe running (will do a few intervals on a walk, cursing every painful step), and have very little heat tolerance left for outdoor activities.  The only exercise I remember enjoying was dance classes in college, because I was actually accomplishing something... and back then, I really didn't need to exercise to keep my weight under control.  That's what sucks most for me, I think-- resenting that I need to do it now, after years of metabolic good fortune that kept me at about 125 lbs on a 5'6" frame.

      So I got a series of Pilates (machine, not mat = more costly) classes for my birthday and need to schedule the two required orientation classes.  I'm barely managing my 3.5-4 mile walk (bit of running) twice a week lately due to the heat & pollen.  And I own a damned expensive pair of inline skates I've never really mastered.  I need to eat meat & veggies, plus some lower-glycemic fruits, and get out there for an hour at a time at least 4-5 times per week.  I still resent it, but could at least buy new clothes as a reward.

      "Conservative principles" are marketing props used by the Conservative Movement to achieve political power, not actual beliefs. -Glenn Greenwald

      by latts on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:28:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are some great (3+ / 0-)

        dance-exercise classes.  The community centers in our area offer them.  I generally hate exercising indoors, but the exercise class is great fun.  The seniors exercise class sounds like it would be laughably easy, but our 70 year old teacher works us like we were 18.  No one cares how well you do, but you get a great work-out.  My blood pressure drops 20 points after class.  Oh, and it costs $2/class.  What's not to like?

    •  I agree... (3+ / 0-)

      We both like the effect it's had on our bodies (and each other's bodies).

      This is a powerful incentive for many. It should be. Making sure that partners are fit and healthy for each other shows a commitment to the partnership that should be encouraged.

  •  Right now I'm debating (5+ / 0-)

    whether I can get in a yoga class during lunch or whether it's more realistic timewise to just hit the treadmill and weights...

    Most of my exercise these days comes from walking, I guess.  I get to the gym a few days a week but I don't push hard enough, I know.  Last week: monday, yoga, walking maybe 4-5 miles, a leisurely game of kickball. Tuesday I don't think I managed to do anything. Wednesday 10 minutes bike, 15 minutes elliptical, some lifting. Thursday...elliptical and lifting, don't remember details, walked 3 miles. Friday nothing. Saturday walked 4-5 miles, yoga video. Sunday walked 7 miles.

  •  This diary fit my mood exactly! (8+ / 0-)

    Last week I didn't get around to exercising hardly at all, and spent much of the week beating myself up mentally.  This week I'll get back to the routine.

    Has anyone else made the connection between a rat on an exercise wheel and a human on a treadmill?  Only about 50 million times? :)

    Healthy Minds & Bodies, discussing outdoor adventures Tuesdays 5 PM PDT

    by RLMiller on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:07:07 AM PDT

    •  Fit Rats, Time, Lifestyle, and Goodness (4+ / 0-)

      Treadmills are horrible when you first start using them. I used to make fun of the people on the treadmills at my gym, how we should attach generators and power the place...

      And then I wanted to increase my running mileage and didn't have the time to get it done from home or work. I've got a busy business, family, a child who's a competitive swimmer that I have to get to the pool and back, and I run out of time to run.

      By getting up early and going to the gym I am able to get 3, 4, even 5 miles on the treadmill. I take a set of Sennheiser PMX80 headphones (IMHO the best running earphones ever made) and watch sports or news or, for a laugh, CNBC. Or I listen to music (listening to a lot of Coldplay these days.)

      Running on the treadmill has become a vital part of my life, keeping me strong and increasing my ability to run longer on weekends.

      Which is what this whole fitness thing is all about:

      We can diet and go through fitness jags and we will get nowhere except frustrated. But create a lifestyle that fully embraces fitness and we will find ourselves eating better, losing weight, gaining strength; looking and feeling better.

      This is a continuous process that ends up being a core part of our lives. Then the treadmill becomes a brilliant tool that enables us to continue to become and stay healthy.

      And those rats on the wheel? They live longer and stay healthier. True.

      Scary Liberal Internet Activist (who just happens to look like a normal guy)

      by marksb on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 10:14:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I diaried on Saturday about my Friday - (8+ / 0-)

    when I spent an hour paddling a kayak and a German Shepherd around a lake (and saying, "no.  SIT.")  (and listening to people on shore saying, "Look.  A dog in a boat.")

    Exercise can be fun.  And exciting.  And wet.

    "The joy of activity is the activity itself, not some arbitrary goal which, if not achieved, steals the joy." ~John "the Penguin" Bingham

    by sheddhead on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:07:58 AM PDT

  •  Is it the exercise or the getting up at 5 am? (7+ / 0-)

    Excercise doesn't have to be a hate thing. I love going to aerobics class, and not only because I like checking out the girls ... it really is a lot of fun, and I look forward to it daily. I think the key is to find something you like doing, whatever it is. Then it is not a burden to do it.

    Getting up at 5 am? Now I would have a problem with that ...

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:08:06 AM PDT

  •  My confession: Exercise ain't enough (10+ / 0-)

    I put in 45 minutes on the Nordictrack at the start of each working day, go to the Y 3 afternoons a week to weightlift or do the Sweat-n-Swear class, and do an immense amount of walking just to get around the city. My arms and legs are buff, but I still have a huge gut.

    Exercise is easy for me. My diet...out of control.

    "Joe The Cop Killer" for Republican Presidential Nominee. A REAL Conservative, fighting for the American Dream!

    by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:09:38 AM PDT

  •  It just doesn't seem worth it. (9+ / 0-)

    For the last month, I've totally changed my habits, and have been more disciplined than ever. My CSA shares started coming in, so my diet has been incredible and I've only eaten out probably twice in that time. I've eaten more vegetables in the past month than I probably had the previous 3 months combined.

    To go along, I decided I'd start putting in at least a 1/2 hour of exercise a day, mostly running several "miles" on the treadmill because it's been raining so damned much (at least we're not still in a drought). Haven't missed a single day.

    AND... it's all been a big f-ing waste. I haven't lost a single pound in an entire month, and I still feel tired and lacking sufficient energy every single day. I don't get it. I've followed every rule there is from proper caloric intake, to nutritional balance, to amount and type of physical activity.

    I decided I'm just going to quit the damned exercise, because I don't enjoy it, and it's not doing anything. I'm actually pretty resentful about the whole damned thing.

    Gura slán an scéalaí.

    by surfbird007 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:11:06 AM PDT

    •  It can take a while for your body to (5+ / 0-)

      adapt and for your metabolism to adjust.

      And keep in mind that as body fat decreases, muscle increases, so you may not see a big change in weight, but your body will start burning calories more efficiently.

    •  I'm so sorry that's been your experience (8+ / 0-)

      Cardio makes me feel GREAT after a few days or a week's worth.  Strength training made me feel RAVENOUS, though.  :)

      There are other measurements besides weight - how clothes fit, blood pressure or beats per minute during exercise or length of recovery - stuff like that.  

      "The joy of activity is the activity itself, not some arbitrary goal which, if not achieved, steals the joy." ~John "the Penguin" Bingham

      by sheddhead on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:16:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  give it more than a month (9+ / 0-)

      I feel for you.  First off, you might go to your doc and tell him you see no change at all and still feel tired.  That will rule out a more serious condition (like thyroid, heart) that may be sabotaging your efforts.  Assuming everything's okay, here's my advice:


      We all need to see this as a new way of living, not a temporary diet.  What you weigh in itself is sometimes deceptive, since your body is fighting to keep the fat and if you're doing any weights you're actually adding more muscle mass, hence more pounds.

      But bottom line:  doing nothing guarantees you'll be in worse shape, and the exercise is probably changing you more than you know.  

      Give it 6 months and get back to us.

      •  I would, (3+ / 0-)

        but I don't have very good insurance right now, and can't afford the co-pay for non-essential medical services.

        There's nothing wrong with me other than getting older and being a very light sleeper. I've felt like crap for years, but test normal on everything. I don't even have the high blood pressure everyone else in my family has.

        Gura slán an scéalaí.

        by surfbird007 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 09:24:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  okay, then get to it! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fiddler crabby

          I'm slowing down myself, and I sleep fitfully, but I can only tell you that those 2 problems are really helped by regular exercise.  You won't feel better till you get past the initially painful period  - then at some point you'll find yourself getting more energized, and you will feel better.  But only if you suck it up and do it regularly!

          It's pretty simple when you boil it down to basics - you have to eat less and move more to get fit.   And eating what my doctor calls 'plant food' is the way to lose pounds.  And save $$$$.

          Sounds like you may be depressed.  But even that will benefit from pumping up the seratonin.  

    •  Don't just do cardio (8+ / 0-)

      Cardio is definitely good for you, but it's not all you should be doing.  Muscle burns more energy than fat, so lifting something heavy can kick your weight loss into gear.

      I haven't forgotten The Path to 9/11, Disney. You're still dead to me.

      by beemerr on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:26:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know, (3+ / 0-)

        but I find strength training even harder to tolerate. I was certifiably ripped when I played sports in college and had mandatory workout routines, but was also the most miserable, rotten, and ill-tempered I've even been in my life. I absolutely despise the strength-training process, which makes it hard to do.

        I can't seem to shift my attitude and thinking on the matter no matter how much I try. I'd make a miserable Buddhist.

        Gura slán an scéalaí.

        by surfbird007 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 09:21:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You'll find your groove (6+ / 0-)

      An enjoyable balance of diet and activity that works for you is out there.... you just gotta find what works for you. Play around with the variables
      Eat just a little less, eat different foods, and find workouts that feel more like play.

      When I get discouraged, I read up on the medical consequences of being overweight and scare myself back on track. High blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, joint problems, shorter life span, and depression are all good reasons not to give up.

      If cats could blog.... they wouldn't.

      by crystal eyes on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:39:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe look at it this way (10+ / 0-)

    First, I was where you are now, a few years ago, 2001 to be exact.  That's when I started working out. Now, I'm not in super shape, but for an almost 45 year old mother of a teenager & 10 year old, I'm not too badly off.  I'd like to do better, but we'd all like to do better.

    I started very small.  At first I started running in the mornings and that was hard.  My son was an infant, I had to run and be home before my husband left for work at 6:30 and I do NOT like to wake up early.  At that time, I could barely make it down the street, but bit by tiny bit I improved. I started by alternating walking and running.

    Now I feel like being in shape and staying in shape and eating well and staying off medication has become political as well as personal.  Americans, it seems to me, are viewed by the people in charge as customers to the pharmaceutical and health care industry. We are fattened by the system by spending too much time working, not getting enough activity, eating the wrong foods then fed to the pharmaceuticals because we need pills now to help us feel better because we no longer have time to take care of ourselves.  And this is just what "they" want.  They've got us where they want us and we're trapped.  Oh no, I sound like a looney conspiracy theorist but between the way food is produced and sold and pharmaceuticals are marketed, it sure feels that way.

    Now this reply probably shouldn't have turned into that little rant, but I can't help it.  But maybe it would be a motivating thought, to escape that cycle, it's not just about you anymore, it's about all of us.

    This is getting long, but I replied a month or so ago to a diary about pharmaceuticals where I just recommended eating well and exercising, just walking, walking, walking.  I got a couple of flames from that, so please no more flames.  You do not have to do anything else BUT walk.  I went to Prague for a week a few years ago and we walked everywhere and the weight literally fell off.  But that was vacation and Prague is a walking city.  I know, where I live, I live off a main road where there's nothing nearby and a lot of traffic, so it's not always feasible, but what i'm just saying is try if you can to walk as much as you can.

  •  Rethinking efficiency so what once seemed dumb (8+ / 0-)

    actually becomes clever.

    I'm learning to park far away from the store entrance.
    Take lighter loads and climb more stairs.
    Now when I forget something and have to make another trip, it's a good thing.
    (Being retired helps.)

    If cats could blog.... they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:23:22 AM PDT

  •  We started with personal trainers last week. (10+ / 0-)

    That is, "Garrick" and I started with our personal trainers.  My trainer was 'Anthony', so I expected a "Toe-knee" from Little Italy, sout' side accent and all.  'Cept he was Anthony, not 'Toe-knee', a compact, robust black guy with a nose ring and shaved head.  And an awesome trainer-guy.  I got done doing what he said, and thought, ok.  I worked.  The next day, I felt great.  I thought, "Well, he didn't work me enough, I guess."  And then the day after, HOLY CRAMOLY, did I ache.

    Now, Garrick was really kind of scared about the whole thing, where I was pretty open minded.  So, he arrived at the health club and asked for "George," and was told to look for the guy with the pointy hair.

    So, this behemoth comes walking along, and Garrick thinks, "Oh, crud..." and says, "George?!"  And the guy says, "No..."  And Garrick thinks, "Whew."

    A few minutes later, Garrick sees this "old guy," "older than anyone else [he'd] ever seen at the club," and thought, "Oh, crud, that figures..."  And then he thought, "Wait.  That could be GOOD, he might go easy...  Oh, yay!"

    Then, he met the guy (that guy was George) - a retired Marine and Drug Enforcement Agent, recently returned from Afghanistan...

    "You won't be watching that TV screen, you'll keep your EYES ON ME!"  

    "Oh crud..."

    hee hee hee hee hee!

    "The joy of activity is the activity itself, not some arbitrary goal which, if not achieved, steals the joy." ~John "the Penguin" Bingham

    by sheddhead on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:24:52 AM PDT

  •  Our Story (9+ / 0-)

    Two years ago this August, my wife and I took a long weekend on the North Shore of Lake Superior here in Minnesota.  We took pictures of ourselves, and when we saw them we realized that we'd completely gone over the edge, fitness-wise.  Neither one of us had ever been serious fitness people, and we were never too careful with diet, either.  But when we saw the photos it hit us for the first time that something had to change.  The day we came home from that trip, we visited one of those 24-hour no-frills fitness centers and signed up, and we've been attending faithfully ever since.  I've lost 40 pounds through a combination of time on the elliptical cross-trainer and strength training.  My wife has lost quite a bit, too, though she didn't have as far to go as I did.  We're both wearing smaller clothes now and look and feel better than we almost ever have.  And I'm also thinking I can cut back on my blood pressure meds.  We still go to the gym on average every other day.  It helps that our HMO reimburses part of the membership fee if we do 12 visits per month--that's a great incentive!  But we're to the point where we're afraid to not go for fear we'll go right back where we were or worse.  One downside--something I'm doing makes my shoulder really sore, so I'm living with pain.  But as Fernando says, "It is better to LOOK good than to FEEL good!"  Right?

    "Paging Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow."

    by peterj911 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:25:31 AM PDT

    •  Your shoulder... (4+ / 0-)

        There are many smaller muscles in the shoulder area. Many men, myself included, think they can grab a weight and do military presses easily. It ain't going to happen. Spend some weeks/months strengthening the smaller muscles and tendons in this area with lighter weights.
        The rotator cuff can tear and cause severe pain. Most of my time in my home gym is spent with lighter weights, limited motions with good-great form and high reps. If you build up the smaller muscles around the shoulders, knees, and hips, then you can move onto more heavy weight exercises or full body exercises.

      •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)

        I've been to some PT sessions for my shoulder and have been taking it easy at the gym for a while.  Part of the pain also comes from spending all day at the computer/mouse, along with chronic neck pain (probably arthritis) that radiates into my shoulder.  But I will take your advice and try to isolate that area with smaller weights.

        "Paging Mr. Morrow. Mr. Tom Morrow."

        by peterj911 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 11:37:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  One exercise I do at the computer... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          peterj911, fiddler crabby

            every hour is to close my eyes, dream about your favorite activity (sex, ice cream, golf), and breathe deeply for about 10 breaths. Take at least 5 seconds intake and 5 seconds out. Feel your diaphragm expand and deepen. In through your nose and out through your mouth. Then begin a slow roll of the head. Think of your chin as the focal point and draw a big circle with your chin. As you approach the 12:00 position, your head should be tilted back. Feel the muscles extend and expand. Continue the deep breathing as you do this 5-10 times clockwise and then reverse and do the same amount counterclockwise.
             I also do other desk/computer exercises to keep the upper back and neck loose but this one is my fav.

  •  It took me a long to go (9+ / 0-)

    from the majority to the minority. I hated exercise for the sake of exercise and much preferred growing roots on the couch watching Law & Order reruns.

    Something finally switched in my brain and I took up running. Again. But this time, it's stuck. I'm not losing weight at a great pace, but it is coming off.

    More important to me is feeling better. I just got back from 10 days in Europe on a group trip. DH & I were both thankful for the exercise regime as we did a ton of walking and stair climbing in those 10 days and unlike some in the group, we weren't sucking wind at each tour stop. Made the trip so much more enjoyable.

    If walking and a leisurely bike ride are all you can muster the enthusiasm for, that's OK. Anything is better than nothing. You never know where it will lead. I started out walking 30 minutes at lunch just get out of the office. Now I'm either lifting weights or running six days a week.

    A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. - Robert Frost (-4.75, -3.69)

    by awnm on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:31:11 AM PDT

  •  well (6+ / 0-)

    I officially burned out this year. In my 40s now I have been at the gym 4 to 5 times a week for over 20 years, never missing or took off a week ever in those 20 years, but....I finally had enough. One day I simply sat in my car and said forget it, I hate it, life isnt about doing things I hate, at least for me it isn't.

    I was a competetive body builder in my 20s , I kept going to the gym to maintain through my 30's and early 40's , but several months ago, I just said, ENOUGH,  Actually I used much more colorful language to myself.

    I walk the dog each day and am spending the spring/summer doing all sorts of projects fixing up the house.  I still do some push ups /chin ups now and again when I get the urge, but to be truthful, not worrying about going to the gym each day is HEAVEN.

    I think I am just gonna keep my weight down and just try to live an active fun life and forget about the freakin gym for a good while.

    Will I ever go back? who knows, All I know is the site of the place makes me sick, and the feeling of not having to go there makes me feel good, so there you have it.

    Just wanted to toss in my 2 cents, it isnt all about the physical well being, the mental is tied right in as well.

    Personally, I think we all just need to listen more to our bodies, it will tell us what it needs.  Mine needed a well deserved break  :)

    (regarding the bank mess) They want to cure the patient but not deal with the disease.

    by dark daze on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:47:22 AM PDT

  •  I've restarted Yoga (6+ / 0-)

    and added a Zumra dance/exercise to latin music class.  You talk about a great cardio/leg workout.  Trying to make it to the gym at least one other time for arms/abs/cardio/leg work.  I have not lost weight but I'm gaining muscle and in a couple of weeks the pounds will come off.  I need to be in bathing suit shape by Aug 1.  I will make my goal.  Please keep telling me that.

    My Brothers Keeper

    by Reetz on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:48:03 AM PDT

  •  A lot of people are stuck in the mindset (6+ / 0-)

    that if exercise doesn't cause tremendous pain or a hugely elevated heart rate, it isn't "exercise".  The American Heart Association, American Medical Association, and every other responsible agency tells us the exact opposite.

    Regular, moderate exercise, which is not painful and aims only for a moderately elevated heart rate (you should be able to carry on a conversation while you're exercising, although you might pant a bit) is what the human body needs and what most of us can do every day for a lifetime without risk of injury.    

    The cultural norm for men especially is that if you're not pushing yourself to your limit, you've failed.  So you find excuses to stop, because nobody enjoys pain.  And what is productive about that?

    Randall Terry is an accomplice to murder.

    by dotalbon on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:51:37 AM PDT

    •  The problem now is that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1864 House, anotherdemocrat

      my biking stamina is almost non-existent. It takes no time at all on the trainer -- less than a few minutes -- before I'm out of breath and my legs are rubbery.

      It's kind of puzzling, actually. I walk at a good clip all over campus, passing all the pokey 18-year-olds, but biking seems to be something else entirely.

      It didn't used to be this hard, and I expected to be a bit out of shape, but this was a shock.

  •  Understand that, as we get older, (4+ / 0-)

    it takes more effort to reach the speed and agility of before, but it can be done.  It has helped me to use exercise (mostly cardio classes) as training for something I really enjoy (fencing, but it could as easily be biking, hiking, tennis, rowing, etc.).

  •  I wish I had a better handle (5+ / 0-)

    on how to get through the troughs of un-motivation.

    I FM-diaried all excited last week about how I've been running for over 6 months and done two 5-Ks and love what exercise has been doing for me... but suddenly I look at my running log and realize that I've only only done a couple of slow jogs these past two weeks and my bike was out of commission for 3 weeks so no bike-commute... and now I'm playing catch-up and finding myself out of the groove.

    Oh, and I am so not disciplined on the diet end of things.  Was a SparkPeople flunk-out, LOL!

    Anyway, here's to solidarity.  You're/we're obviously not alone.  It's not easy.  

    Bike-commuted today.  MUST run tomorrow.  Need these diaries for motivation!

    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 08:58:22 AM PDT

  •  I was in that 31 percent (4+ / 0-)

    until Friday afternoon when I had to be carted off from the gym in an ambulance to the fucking ER.  Whether I rejoin that 31 percent depends on further medical evaluation.  I'm in pretty stellar shape.  Or so I thought.

    Fuck it.  I just hope if I drop dead that it's out in nature.

    The Republican Sociopath Party

    by The Creator on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 09:01:56 AM PDT

  •  It really is a little at a time. (8+ / 0-)

    Thinking back to when you used to ride 30 miles on your bike or play hours of uninterrupted tennis creates a mountain to climb in your mind.

    It's about very small goals.

    Step one is quite simple: Make a regular time to exercise. Try to do it at least four days a week at the same time.

    Step two is to pick very simple things to start, whether it's walking, biking or going to the gym. But become religious about it. Start slow. Don't measure your progress (weighing yourself, timing yourself, measuring distance traveled, etc.), just do it. You can start measuring your progress later when you begin to feel the impact of regular exercise.

    Step three is keep at it. Make it so regular that you miss it when you either can't or don't do it. That's when you're over the hump and you can start measuring your progress -- when you miss it.

    But don't look too far down the road. Because then you'll create a mountain for yourself where, really, only a small hill exists.

  •  Hip hop dance (5+ / 0-)

    Is one of the hardest and most fun things I've done for exercise.  I was by far the most elderly person in the class and what I was doing couldn't exactly be called dancing, but eventually I caught on a little and found I could start counting the beat (yes, I could count to 8 before, but not the way I was supposed to).

  •  Baby steps (3+ / 0-)

    I think we set huge goals for ourselves and then get disappointed when we don't lose all the weight we gained over 20 years or get back to the same shape we were in when we were teens. Or we listen to other people who are further down the exercise road than we are and get discouraged because their suggestions are so far out of reach right now. Just do something.

    I am a 53-year-old on-and-off exerciser who signed up for my first 5k ever (July 19 in Chicago) and I have completed the first two weeks of the couch to 5k training program. I start week three today and am a little nervous because the running intervals get longer.

    But I feel so much better already. Yes, it's hard to fit it into a busy schedule, but I have told myself I can only skip one day in the training program and I don't want to use it up too early. I also told several people I am doing this so now they ask me how I'm doing - and I have to be able to say something, which is good motivation.  

    Everyone who gets up off the couch is a winner in my book.

    They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

    by 1864 House on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 09:13:43 AM PDT

    •  Week 3 probably won't be as hard as you think... (4+ / 0-)

      I didn't find it any harder than week 2, anyway, when I first started C25k.  And you can always do a second week of whichever one you're having trouble with, or even drop back a week.

      I'm still back to and stuck on week 1 however, as rushing off to another state at a moment's notice over the past several weeks has made it difficult to keep a workout schedule, let alone maintaining any running stamina as I can't work out while there.  But I have learned that I can walk though the entire week 1 program when I can't run; in the running sections I concentrate on trying to move my feet in time with the music - getting me to move my feet very fast which I've always had trouble with.  

      And I've also started doing arm exercises during the walking sections, to kill two birds with one stone.  Next trick is to remember to bring my wrist weights along to get a bit more benefit.

      •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)

        I just printed out a chart of the times to start walking and running for the rest of the program, and week 3 looks pretty mild in comparison to the upcoming weeks. I just need to have the correct perspective!

        I am much better at endurance than speed and I would never be able to do this without my mp3 player blasting away. The music keeps me moving.

        They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

        by 1864 House on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:44:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  you are correct (4+ / 0-)

      I need to learn how to do the "baby steps" thing. I've always done the "whole hog" thing -- both in exercising & in not exercising. Maybe if I could do just the half-hour a day thing, that would help more. Problem is, I'll think that is a little is good, more is better, then I get bummed out because things don't change.

      And I am sure you can do this - I want to hear all about it!

      My Netroots Nation scholarship page please vote for me

      by anotherdemocrat on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:06:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And that's what we love about you... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fiddler crabby, anotherdemocrat

        Being whole hog. But in exercise, it can work against us, can't it?

        The funniest thing - I was wondering aloud what pace I should try for during the race and Mr House suggest a 10-minute mile. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I asked him where he came up with that number and he said something about cross country in high school. I reminded him that I am not a teenage boy and this is my first time doing this. Of course, now I am worrying he will think I'm a slacker if I don't do run that pace... but then I remind myself he has never once set a foot on our treadmill in the 5 years we've owned it so he is not the expert at coaxing a middle-aged body into something like this.

        They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

        by 1864 House on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:52:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  thanks for being here. baby steps for me. nt (4+ / 0-)
  •  I think sometimes it's okay for a lull in (4+ / 0-)

    exercise or a momentary interruption in discipline
    to "just be there." Sometimes we come out of these
    lulls by relaxing about them rather than getting upset about them. It's happened to me many times.

  •  Although it's not nearly enough,... (5+ / 0-)

    ...I have my recumbent stationary bike at home.  I put on the mp3 player and do if a few times a week.  With that and cutting the lawn I manage to get some exercise.

    Oh, there you are, Perry. -Phineas -SLB-

    by boran2 on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 09:29:01 AM PDT

  •  hi, sorry I'm late (6+ / 0-)

    have been caught up in reading all the Iran stuff

    I am so totally with you on the lack of self-discipline thing. I can get really serious for a few weeks, then when nothing changes, I get discouraged & turn back into a couch potato. Also, sometimes I get very depressed about other stuff in life like my finances, and become a couch potato for that reason. Right now, I've been taking 1/2 hour walks after work, and I walked to the grocery store (twice, actually) yesterday, so I am getting some exercise.

    That's one reason I want to keep this series going, so we all have somewhere to be, once a week, to talk about this issue. Thanks fiddlercrabby, for posting this!

    My Netroots Nation scholarship page please vote for me

    by anotherdemocrat on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 10:58:22 AM PDT

  •  a lot of folks here have talked about (4+ / 0-)

    difficulty with diet -- drop by Meatless Monday this evening, put up by beachbabeinfla, early Monday evenings. Whether you're planning on becoming vegetarian or not, there are lots of yummy recipes there.

    My Netroots Nation scholarship page please vote for me

    by anotherdemocrat on Mon Jun 15, 2009 at 12:14:02 PM PDT

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