Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Workout Wednesday

Exercise is an important part of my life.  My dad has struggled with heart problems for 12 years now.  He had his first heart attack in his 50's.  That is only a few short years from where I am and it has me constantly on guard as to how to better take care of my heart, not only through exercise, but diet as well.

Exercise has always been a fundamental part of my life since I was a kid.  I played church softball, volleyball and basketball since junior high.  I ran track, played basketball and was a cheerleader in high school.  I have always remained very active mostly because I am just not a sedentary person, there is just too much to do to spend it sitting on a couch watching t.v.

I played team sports, water skiied, repelled, did a lot of walking with friends as I got older and kept myself busy playing with the kids enough that I never felt the need to really "exercise."  That is, until that one day when I broke my ankle back in the summer of 2004 on a repelling run getting ready for girl's camp.  Yeah.  I couldn't even put weight on it in the cast for 8 weeks, then there were so many pins and screws in it, I didn't walk comfortably for another year when I finally had another surgery to have them removed.  That was with 6 kids, my youngest had just turned one year old.

The Dr. said I would never run again and I didn't care at the time, I was focused on getting off the pain meds and trying to run a household and not limp. Once the ankle healed and I felt comfortable enough to walk for exercise again, I tried running.  I didn't run very far or very often, but every once in a while, just to prove I could...I did.  Then I fell in love.  With running.  My oldest son calls it jogging, but when you are my age, you an call it whatever you want, even if you can't even do a mile in twice the amount of time it takes your oldest child.
This is me after finishing mile #16 in two days.  Ha ha.

I run only about one race each year but I am training for a marathon this year sometime, I just need to find one that isn't on a Sunday and isn't too far away.  What I absolutely love is the Ragnar series of races where you team up with 11 other runners and run a relay of about 200 miles as a team.  It is super fun, it takes two days to do it and I love it.  I'm going to California in April for that race with some friends from here.  So that is what I'm training for now.

My point is, that you don't have to be speed racer to get exercise.  Consider how much you exercise now and figure out how to do it more often.  Do you know what great exercise vacuuming and mopping are?  Not only would your house be cleaner, it burns tons of calories!  Maybe you didn't know that but you already do it, so pat yourself on the back for that one.

Gardening is another great one.  I know after working in the yard for an hour or so, I'm exhausted and my back and arms ache.  What if you did it a little bit every single day?  Imagine how toned your arms would be and how strong your back would become.

Next time you take the kids to the park, walk.  When you get there, push all the kids on the swings and see how long it takes before you get tired, it happens faster than you think.

Park your car furthest from the entrance to the grocery store.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Take the stuff upstairs to put it away instead of piling it on the bottom stair for someone else to do it.  (that was for me).  Do jumping jacks/push ups/sit ups/whatever during the commercials of the show you are watching instead of sitting there.

The point is to just do something more than you are doing now.  Ready. Get set.  Go.  What are you going to do more of?

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