“Its going to take some time this time”–exercise, that is! I’m dating myself–that’s one of the great songs Karen Carpenter used to sing.
I know I’ve said I love exercise, and I do. But I still have a wee bit of a problem with how much time it consumes. I guess after years and years of giving NO time to exercise, that habit is going to take a while to change.
Its not just the exercise. There’s the pre-exercise stuff: Taking Noah for a morning walk (usually at least 20 minutes,) and then changing into (hopefully) fur-free clothing to go to the gym. (Okay, it doesn’t take that much time to change clothes. It just seems like it takes a lot of time.) Sometimes there is some clothes changing involved at the gym, if I am going to include swimming, or if I have chores afterwards and don’t want to wear gym clothes. No matter which way I go, it takes 20 minutes to get to the gym and 20 minutes to get home.
Then there’s all the exercise options and necessities. I really need to keep up my PT exercises for my knees. After my 6 weeks of scheduled physical therapy was done, I often forgot to do the exercises. I could immediately tell the difference. So it is really important for me to do those exercises at least 4X per week. I timed it so I wouldn’t exaggerate. It takes me 22 minutes to go through the PT exercises I do at home.
At the gym there are so many things I enjoy doing. Strength training (including a few PT exercises)–I could easily take as long as 45 minutes with this, but most days I cut it down to 20-30 minutes. I get on the exercise bike for 20-30 minutes. Right now I consider the exercise bike my most important exercise. And then if its a nice day, I can get in the pool. Another 30-40 minutes. Admittedly, this does not happen that often in the winter. It will definitely change as the weather gets warmer, because I do love it, and I love how I feel when I swim (nothing hurts!)
Then there is the after-exercise stuff. Okay, this I would have to do anyway. But I’m still counting it. Because now I’ve been gone for a while, and the dogs are all ready to go for a walk. I take all four of them, and we just stroll (Monk-speed.) So that’s not exactly exercise I guess. Its still moving and its a time-suck, so I’m counting it.
I don’t do all these things every day. I try to make it to the gym at least 4 days a week. Some sessions I am in a hurry, and I only do the bike. On the days I stay home, I take a little longer and more vigorous walk with Noah, and I do my at home PT exercises. And, of course, the evening stroll.
This weekend was Lori’s Heart Healthy Challenge. I really enjoy this. Thanks for organizing it every year, Lori! I pretty much did EVERYTHING I listed above! Pre-walk with Noah. Only 15 quick minutes of strength training. I increased my time on the bike to 40 minutes (did 9 miles) and got in the pool afterward for 25 minutes (24 lengths.) And after a little time at Starbuck’s, headed home for the after-cool down stroll with the doggies. It was a great day.
The end of my heart healthy workout!
I guess my point in even writing this is that exercise is necessary for a whole and healthy life. Changing my attitude and intention towards it makes it that much more enjoyable.
Noah, after his bath. Now THAT was a workout. For both of us.