Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Making Exercise FUN!

When I am making good food choices (meaning a diet based mostly on fresh fruits and vegetables with some lean protein and some oily fish thrown in) and I am getting regular exercise (meaning getting activity daily or at least getting a good workout 4-5 days per week), I feel awesome.

But that can sure be a challenge.

I'm a stress eater.  An emotional eater.  I confess that it is not abnormal for me to decide that the best way to rid my house of junk is to toss some of it and then "sacrifice" by eating 2 entire boxes of Girl Scout cookies (curse you Thin Mints and Tagalongs!!).  I love my fresh fruits and veggies but there are times that I just want a cheeseburger, I want a shake, I want french fries.  But I'm working on it.  And fighting my food is proving to be easier than getting back into a solid workout routine.

Exercise.  It's important.  You have to burn calories, you have to build muscle, you have to get a good sweat going.  You are not only helping your physical body, but exercise is the best possible mood enhancer.  Exercise ups your endorphins and gets your blood flowing and does all this awesome stuff for your brain, your heart, your body.

So it seems that it should be easy to pick exercise over snoozing on the couch... it should be, right?

My exercise struggles tend to be about two things.

The first is time management.  My days and evenings are often packed with work, personal commitments, church commitments, kid commitments, and so on.  Finding 30 minutes to exercise isn't terribly difficult - but adding another 20 minutes to get cleaned up and presentable again does make that more difficult.  Giving 30 minutes to my health is easy but when you start to approach that 1 hour mark, it is taking up more time than I can sometimes give.

The second is boredom.  I get bored with exercise easily.  I went through a running stage but got burnt out after I hit my major milestone (completing a half marathon).  I do love to ride my bike but it's been too cold lately and riding a stationary bike doesn't cut it.  I love to dance but don't enjoy dancing by myself so DVD's at home aren't as fulfilling as being in a group exercise class.  I'll do an at home workout a few times, maybe even for a few weeks and then... I get bored.

I'm working on the time management.  And I'm working on the boredom.

Time management.  It simply has to be a priority.  I have to plan for it.  There is a dance class at my local Y on Wednesdays and if I plan ahead, I can be flexible with my work hours and get to that class.  I've also found that exercising in the evening after putting the kids to bed is a great time for a workout - and it helps that my husband has started working out at this time, too.

Boredom.  I have to find new and fun things to do to keep it fresh.  It also helps to have friends to experience things with!  That Wednesday evening class at the local Y is a Dance Fusion class - it's like being a member of a dance team for 45 minutes as you learn a dance routine (pop, hip hop, and other styles all incorporated together).  On Saturdays, some friends at my church gather together and we do Body Gospel.  This coming weekend, I'm doing something I haven't done in years and am destined to end up sore, tired, and possibly injured.  I'm going roller skating!

My goal in the month ahead is to keep trying new things.  I want to keep physical activity fun and interesting and important.

What is your most fun workout?

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