If you know me, you know I don't like to exercise. Running is for emergencies only.
I backed up my dislike for exercise with scripture: "For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come" (1 Tim. 4:8). I don't even use the KJV anymore, but the idea that "exercise profits little" has stuck with me.
I've exercised before. Once I even stuck with a three-times-a-week routine for around six months. For a while, I've been wanting to start working out regularly again, but in order for that to happen, there are several hurdles to overcome.
First, I have to repress memories of Body Flex. If you don't know what it is, this movie explains it all. And yes, I remember doing this exact exercise with mom. Scarred. For. Life.
Another mental barrier is my past struggles with disordered eating in high school. I wonder if exercising will bring back those painful thoughts of not being enough as a person, if I'm not skinny enough. If I started exercising regularly, would I become consumed with my body image, constantly counting calories in the back of mind and critically analyzing myself in front of the mirror?
While my sister-in-law was visiting, we talked about exercise. She's a very dedicated exerciser, and something she said turned on a light bulb for me. "You have to know why you exercise. Not just know what the health benefits are, but what your personal reasons are. What it does for you."
When reading articles that claimed exercise would keep away disease, strengthen my immune system, protect against diabetes, heart disease, and help my brain function better, I'd think to myself, Cool. I should really exercise. But I wouldn't. That wasn't enough.
However, I think exercise could be the answer for a few things.
Headache relief. Between normal computer activities such as blogging and email, my college classes are online. That means a lot of staring at the screen, and it gives me almost daily headaches. I've heard from several people that regular exercise helped their headaches, keeping them from getting them, or even helping them go away.
Sleep. Since last May, I've been getting around 12 hours of sleep a night. I don't think that's normal or healthy, but nothing I've tried so far has helped me sleep less. Regular exercise may help my body develop better rhythms, which would help it to get on track.
Childbirth. All I know is, my older sister works out a lot, and when she gave birth to my niece, she surprised the doctors by how short her labor lasted and how easily she delivered. She thinks being in good shape had something to do with it. Now, I have zero pain tolerance, so someday if and when I give birth, I want the pain part to be over ASAP, and I'm willing to start getting in shape now if it will help.
Releasing stress. School makes me stressed sometimes, as do family situations, financial situations, being busy,and to-do lists. I need a healthy way to relieve stress so that I don't get overwhelmed, and taking it out on Brian is not working out for us!
I have it so easy. We have a workout room in our apartment community with a few treadmills and a weight lifting machine. But I don't like to exercise in public. People might see me. Luckily, we have netflix, and today I found out that there are loads of work out DVDs on watch instantly!
I have a few criteria for my exercise: it needs to be fun and have lots of variety, and short. 10 Minute Solutions, Rapid Results Pilates seems to fit. I did two of the work out sections today and the stretches for a total of 30 minutes, and I am already feeling it.
My plan is to do two sections and the stretches three times a week. Hold me to that, ok?
When it comes to exercise, what works for you? Let me know in the comments!