October 07, 2015

The Habit of Daily Exercise

I must admit up front that I am not in the middle of a great exercise program but I am working on it.  So much of my lack of exercise has been due to the Lupus situation.  I have been in a discovery phase... or a rediscovery phase as it were.  

I used to run but once I was diagnosed with Lupus that had to come to a halt.  I snapped a tendon and that was that... no more running for me.  I am a walker now along with some other things that are lower impact and less harsh.

I was an aerobics instructor and a personal trainer in my 30s and I learned a lot about how to get myself going.  I also learned how to get a low cost workout without the gym membership and a lot of expensive equipment.  As an introvert personality I tend to enjoy working out solo.  I don't mind walking with another person but it is difficult to find someone that keeps the same pace to really give me a full workout.  The opposite end of that is trying to walk with my husband who wears me out!  LOL  

I enjoy the solo think time, too.  I load my ipod with music that is uplifting and podcasts that inspire and encourage.  I put my workout clothes and shoes on and head out the front door when the weather permits.  If I have to do an indoor workout I opt for Pilates DVDs that I have on hand.  We recently acquired a treadmill and a stationary bicycle that I am hoping to incorporate into the rotation for inside days.

Need help finding what works for you?  

Check out this article called What's the Best Exercise Plan for Me.

Weight Bearing Exercise is Important

Free weights are easy to find, too.  You can use your own weight to tone and strengthen.  There are tons of little graphics on Pinterest to give you a plank challenge or a strength training routine.  There are also weight lifting routines there and you can pick up some weights at a local sporting goods store or Walmart type store.  All of this is very inexpensive to get you started.

One of the most important pieces of equipment are the shoes you use.  Go to the store and try them and walk around the store in them before you buy them.  You want to find shoes that give you a great fit and plenty of support for whatever you are doing.  If you are running you want running specific shoes.  If you are walking there are walking specific shoes.  If you vary your workouts you may want a cross trainer shoe or maybe two different pairs to cover running and/or cross training.  

The Right Footwear is Key

Good shoes help to prevent injuries.  I often buy an Avia brand shoe for the room I get around my pinky toes.  I have broken both toes at some point in my life and there are bumps that need extra space in the shoes for me.  Avia gives me that extra room.  If I get blisters or have bleeding toes or toenails I lay off the workouts so I have to keep my feet a priority to keep the habit.  Maybe you are a Nike person or a Reebok person or whatever... find what works for your feet and buy it.

Here are a few articles to help you...

How do I put it all together to get me motivated in the mornings?

Prepare the night before:

*  Charge your ipod and lay out your headphones with it.

*  Lay out your workout clothing all the way to shoes so they are ready to just put on and go.

*  Have a bottle of water filled and ready to go - I drink 16 ounces before I even step foot out the door so I have a 32 ounce filled and sitting by my sink the night before.  (I use a Nalgene but use whatever works for you)

*  Check the weather forecast so you know how warmly to dress.

The morning of the workout:

*  Down the 16 ounces of water

*  Dress to shoes as soon as your feet hit the floor and you have visited the bathroom.

*  Spend some time warming up well before you hit it hard.

*  Vary your workout times and routes and cross train a few times per week to prevent injuries.

You can do it!  You can make this a habit.  I find when I take time off I let my habit slide so I am pushing to be more consistent and get out the door 5-6 days per week.  

Need some more motivation?  Check out these two articles...

This is an infographic on the benefits of walking.

(this has a printable calendar example to show you how to set one up)

Are you a woman of a certain age?

Check out these articles...

Do you have an exercise routine?

What is your favorite form of workout?

chalkboard background downloaded from here

Some images obtained through Morguefile.com

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