Exercise is one of those things we know we should make time for – and we know we feel better when we do it regularly – but it often gets left out of our busy schedules.
I’ve always been a big fan of exercise – I love how energetic I feel when I exercise, I love the feeling of being strong, fit and slim – yet even I over the past six months got caught up and haven’t exercised as much as I once did.
Part of that was the closing down of my gym. There was a lovely little gym (above) just half a block away that had a 6am class on every morning that I went to five days a week. But the gym was part of a day spa and unfortunately the business closed down and I no longer had a 6am class to go to that was within walking distance. So instead of finding another gym close by, I was busy setting up the Embracing Life! Retreats and I ended up letting it go for a while.
I still did plenty of walking, and as it got warmer, I started swimming in the pool – but it wasn’t the hard physical exercise I was used to. And I’ve noticed the difference in how I feel – not as energetic, a couple of kilos heavier, and over that time I lost my enthusiasm for exercise.
So, knowing that I needed to get going again, I called on my discipline and checked out a few of the local gyms, and found a great one that is still within walking distance (15 minutes walk), and is an absolute dream set-up. Just walking in there I was all excited again, seeing the line-up of treadmills along the window overlooking the beach, the bikes, the steppers and all the gym equipment that I love to use!
Ok, so I get excited about strange things – but it hit home a really great point, and that is that unless you enjoy what you do for exercise, you won’t stick with it. For me, I love challenging myself on the machines at the gym – running that bit faster on the treadmill for a bit longer each time, increasing the resistance level on the bike, competing against myself each day – that fires me up and inspires me to continue. Then the results themselves inspire me as I tone up and feel the strength and energy increasing.
Whether you are a gym junkie like me from way back, or whether your thing is yoga, dancing, bike-riding, hiking in nature, martial arts, tennis, swimming, running, netball, football or other team sports – whatever it is, the important thing is that you enjoy it. Some people like me, enjoy competing against themselves, others like the camaraderie of being part of team, for some it is the long-term goal such as a black belt in martial arts, for others the peace of yoga or hiking – but understanding what appeals to you and why, can help you to make choices around what form of exercise you choose to do.
Trying something new could surprise you too. Alternating with the gym I have started Bikram Yoga which I am also loving, for different reasons than the gym
Initially it might take some will-power and discipline to get started and to make regular time in your routine for exercise – and consistency is the key – but once you do you will find that you feel so much better for it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it!