I will probably be writing about exercise a little more. I’ve been exercising regularly (anywhere between 4 and 7 days a week) since August 30. Part of me is amazed that I’ve kept it up this long. (I think it’s the fat lazy kid inside of me.)
To be honest, I think it’s not only because I think I’m really committed to being better to my body at this point, it’s because I’ve come to accept a few things … including the fact that exercise doesn’t have to be an hour on the treadmill, or an hour-long spinning class.
Granted, this is what most of my exercise consists of, but I try to balance these hardcore workouts with something that has a different goal other than completely kicking my ass. For example, my company pays for a weekly Pilates class, so I do that every Tuesday. It’s great strength training and some flexibility.
And, every Sunday morning, I go to a “BodyFlow” class at my gym. It’s a mix of Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga (but 75% Yoga). I started going to it because I worry about how inflexible I am — I know it impacts the way I feel when I exercise.
I’ll be honest, I hated Yoga at first. I’ve done it sporadically over the years, and each time, the instructor told us to stand on our heads or something like that and I wrote it off.
That’s why I like this class. It’s not super fancy. Most of the time, we do the same poses. And you know what? I prefer that to doing something new every time. It gives me a benchmark to go off of. I know I’m getting more flexible. Not just because my hip didn’t bother me at all last time I ran, but because I can see my flexibility and strength improving in each class. I’m that much closer to my knees in a forward fold every week. My palm is that much more on the ground in triangle than it was the week before.
That, my friends, is motivating.
Also, I’ve learned some new stretches for my hips and my low back which have really come in handy after running.
I used to perceive Yoga as a waste of time. Something I did because everyone else did, and talked about how much it moved them and let them “become one” with themselves.
I’m not quite there yet (I’m not sure if I’ll ever be, even the 5-minute meditation at the end is a struggle for me), but it’s definitely something I’ve come to embrace as part of my exercise routine. In fact, that’s the only intentional exercise I do on Sundays … and I’m okay with that. It resets my joints and my muscles for the hard work in the coming week.
If you haven’t tried Yoga, or aren’t sure about it, I highly recommend it. And, if you can do it in a class setting, all the better. It’s too easy to give up or cheat when you’re in your own home doing a DVD.
Nobody’s watching, I promise.
Bikram Yoga image from tiarescott’s Flickr
Class image from diamondmountain’s Flickr