Taking the first steps

I have said it before, and will probably say it many, many more times, but I really do need to get into shape.  I have to stop putting it off as, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger and if I don’t make a change now it could be too late. The problem with anything that is good for us, whether it be exercise, food or just the way we live our lives generally, is that it is not anywhere near exciting as the things that are unhealthy. Shall I have that piece of chocolate cake or an apple? Should I go to the gym or slob in front of the telly? Will I have one glass of wine or demolish the whole bottle as usual?

Also, I’m still unsure of what exercise to do.  I need to find something I enjoy and that I’m likely to keep up. I have been a member of a couple of gyms in the past but, like most people, the novelty wore off after time. I started out with good intentions and went three or four times a week. This quickly reduced to once or twice a week, shortly followed by once a week, and not long after that stopped altogether. This is because gyms are boring. You’re stuck indoors, cycling at bike that goes nowhere, lifting weights and doing leg lunges. There is also far too much lycra and super fit people that make you feel envious and inadequate at the same time. No wonder most of us give it up.

There are dance fitness classes, and this is more my sort of thing. I’ve always liked dancing. However, I don’t like bossy fitness instructors. l could buy a fitness DVD and prance around in the comfort of my own home, but we all know how this ends. I will use it half a dozen times at the most, and it will then become a coaster. Perhaps I’ll leave my boogieing for nightclubs (although it is many years since I’ve done this). Cycling would get me out in the fresh air, but I no longer have a bike. Running seems to be very popular at the moment, and I can see why. The great outdoors, the wind in your hair, the stitch in your side, the ‘I’m about to keel over at any moment’ feeling. Maybe not.

What I do really like is walking and, according to the information I was given at my healthy heart check, all I need to do is take a brisk walk for thirty minutes five times per week. Simple! I can easily incorporate it into the other things I need to do. I can drop the girls off at school and go for a walk. If I need to pop to the shops, I can go for a walk first. If I’m meeting a friend for coffee, no problem, I’ll just go for a walk afterwards. Marvellous!

The only drawback to doing anything outside is that it’s November. Bitterly cold, blustery, wet and wild November. But I don’t mind this. As long as I’m wrapped up properly to face the elements, I’ll be fine. I do find the cold quite invigorating. I don’t know about you but my body seems to shut down and go into hibernation when autumn arrives. Everything takes much more effort. I’m sluggish, unresponsive, and most certainly not at my best. A walk in the biting wind is actually a welcome relief from all this inertia. It seems to recharge my listless body, mind and spirit. This is just what I need; something to give me a bit of oomph and stop me fusing with the sofa. All I need to do now is peel myself off it.

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