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Why I Want To Become A Regular Exerciser

Posted Oct 14 2010 11:53pm

Morocco / day 3
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mait Jüriado

Lately I’ve been resisting exercise and I’ve decided to dig into this resistance some.   This week I made my weekly goals all about exercise (only about exercise, in fact).

One of the writing prompts I left for myself was to explore WHY I want to become a regular exerciser.  In future posts there are some other things I want to explore more too, but most of the work about becoming a regular exerciser will actually happen by exercising, not blogging.

This is not a complete list, but some of the first things that came to mind

  • Boost immunity to all kinds of stuff
  • Immune response to kill off any errant malignant cell that might appear…
  • Anti-inflammatory effects (family history)
  • Cardiovascular health (family history)
  • Strong back (needs strong abs)
  • Muscle tone
  • Better balance (in age, reduces falls & improves cognition)
  • Everything tighter
  • Less jiggle
  • Better shape for my shape
  • Enhance the good parts (shoulders, calves, wrists, butt)
  • Improve the rest (waist, thighs, arms, belly)

I know that one of the really good ways to manage stress is exercise

  • I want more coping strategies for when things get stressful
  • I want releasing strategies that lets the tension out in a good way
  • I want ways to take me out of my inner musings (yoga has done this for me in the past, and challenging cardio classes too – when all I am thinking about for an hour is my body, it means I’m not thinking about the other stuff)
  • I want relaxing strategies that bring physical relaxation (long walks in nature, swimming, yoga all have done this for me)
  • Escaping  and distraction : as much as a lot of low-stress living advice is about mindfulness and the present moment (instead of worrying about the future or re-thinking the past), sometimes a little distraction works better than anything else.  My main distractions are silly TV shows and chick flicks, and I watch them exclusively at the gym (on my iGadgets).   Pairing the effort of exercise with the mental escapism is a pretty useful thing.

Of all the reasons I want to become a regular exerciser, reasons related to how I see a future of family life are probably the strongest.  As I was writing this I realized that a lot of my resistance to regular exercise now is probably due to the long struggle with infertility and having created this “healthy active family” vision in my mind.  Since I see this largely as a future need, I wonder how much of my current resistance to exercise is emotional self-protection from the recurrent heartbreak we’ve been through.  I left this exercise wondering if there was a way I can re-cast some of this into the present and away from the future.

  • Sit on floor and play (needs flexibility)
  • Pick up kids (needs strong back)
  • Carry kids (needs strong back, arms, endurance)
  • Play at playground
  • Go on hikes
  • Have enough energy for kids
  • Handle the Parisian metro with a stroller (carrying up and down stairs)
  • Enjoy bathtime (flexibility, back)
  • all those dropped things… (flexibility, back
  • Changing diapers, bending, etc

I have this sense of who I am deep down inside and sometimes the outside doesn’t match very well.  In my sense of who I am

  • I want to be active
  • I want to be full of energy
  • I want my body to do what I ask of it
  • I want to know that I’m doing my part for my health
  • I want my kids to model healthy behaviors
  • I want to be proud of myself for changing
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