These days my focus is on just one habit – but it’s a big one : Becoming a Regular Exerciser.
It’s important to define what “Regular” exercise means to you. For me, it’s about getting enough extra movement on regular basis to have good cardiovascular health and to be able to do the things I want to do in life.
I am someone who has pretty much always struggled with exercise. It’s not ingrained in me, it’s not a habit I grew up with. I don’t have any sports which are hobbies. I don’t bike to work.
For me Exercise requires Effort, and that’s been a big barrier.
I have a definition of the acceptable minimum level of Regular Exercise which is adapted to my life and my level of fitness. Each of us probably needs to define this for ourselves, and we probably need to re-evaluate it from time to time.
3 times a week during travel weeks
4 times a week during non-travel weeks
I count an exercise “session” when I get to the gym (usually for 45 minutes, but sometimes less, sometimes more), or when I walk at least 45 minutes (usually an hour), and sometimes I count a day as “exercise” if I’ve walked over 10,000 steps on my pedometer. If I swim, hike or go for a bike ride (all infrequent) I might count those as well.
I’m not super strict about what I count, and I think it’s more important to get in the habit of purposely moving my body more often than to worry about how long I’m doing it. Still, most of those times I sweat. Sometimes I just go for a long walk.
My definition is the one that works for me – it’s not coming out of some diet book, or government recommendation. I fall short of a lot of official guidelines.
But it’s achievable for me, even a stretch for me most of the time, and it’s surely better to routinely exercise at this level instead of giving up because I can’t get 60 minutes of sweat-inducing exercise into my life every day. I’m a big believer in achievable goals & baby steps, and if that’s not good enough for somebody’s recommendation I frankly don’t care – because it IS good enough for ME.
For some people, Regular Exercise might be working towards a goal like climbing a certain mountain or running a race or lifting a specific amount of weight.
For me there is no goal like that – I just want to live a healthy life and be able to do the things I enjoy. I want to be able to go on hikes with my family, I want to be able to help carry something moderately heavy, I want to be able to bend & play, but I’m signing up for running marathons or anything.
I’m now 7 weeks into this routine as a regular exerciser (started October 11th )
I’ve actually met my “regular exercise” criteria twice as many weeks as I missed this year (32 weeks met, only 16 weeks missed)
My missed periods all have excuses explanations
Last year despite a cancer diagnosis I made it past 6 months consecutive “regular exercise” (fell off at surgery…)