For as long as I remember the daily disciplines of personal prayer and exercising have been a struggle. After many years, I am finally at a place where I pray almost daily. So I decided to take what I learned to help me develop the Prayer Habit, and use it to develop the Exercise Habit.
The result? I walked every day, without missing once FOR SIX MONTHS. I did that because I had a high risk pregnancy and I was trying to have a healthy baby. After I had the baby, I still exercised, but not with the Giselle intensity as before.
Now I am six months post-partum, and I have decided that I need to make the Exercise Habit a permanent one -but this time I am doing it FOR ME. So, first things first:
Do as you CAN, not as you CAN’T
We put these expectations on ourselves that make it impossible to even start. Here are some expectations you might put on yourself as it relates to exercising:
I must exercise 60 minutes a day.
It must be in the morning. Start your day off right!
It must be high intensity, as you burn more calories that way!
I must have the expensive gym membership (or the home gym).
I must be able to exercise as I was able to 15 years ago.
60 minutes? Nada! There have literally been days when I said, “I do not want to exercise, but I will ride the bike for 2 minutes, I can do anything for 2 minutes“. So I get on and ride 2 minutes, then 2 minutes more, and then another. Start small, I started with a short walk.
I have 3 young kids (6 months, 3 and 6), and I work full-time. I do not have large chunks of time that I can devote to exercising. So I ride the bike 10 minutes in the morning. I walk 20 minutes during lunch. I do ab exercises and hand weights as I watch TV at night. I wish I could do it all in one sitting, but if I wait for that to happen, I will never exercise, so I – Do as I can, not as I can’t.
Get rid of the ideas of how intense it should be. Although in my mind I can do “Insanity” or get through an entire Jillian Michael’s without gasping for breath, in reality, last week I decided to speed walk and pulled a muscle in my left thigh (in my defense, I really was booking it). So, the next day I slowed it down – Do what I can, not what I can’t.
I don’t have the money for fancy gyms or the space for a home gym. But I have tennis shoes, a bike, weights from college, and access to YouTube videos. That gives me plenty of options for rain or shine, at no additional cost to me. Do as you can, not as you can’t.
There is something about walking that refreshes my soul. I walk without music. It’s where I get refreshed physically, but also spiritually. I have more “ah ha” moments walking than anywhere else. So here I go, on another great adventure, who knows how far I’ll go!
Here are my earlier posts of my walking adventures in pregnancy: