This weekend I received guilt from my fiance for not blogging enough. So, for the 4 of you who read this, you should know he is looking out for you. Also, I was asked by a friend (who regularly rocks my world) to write about how to get into working out. So, by request, here are my ideas:
Consider EVERYTHING exercise. I've written about this in the past but walking to work, doing house work, playing with your child and anything else that involves bending and lifting or general movement is work. Even if you aren't sweating and wearing spandex at least you're not sitting on your couch eating bonbons. (This is why I try not to watch too much TV. Less TV = more effort doing other things.)
Join a gym you actually like. I have worked at 4 different gyms. They range from your average community center in the suburbs to the dirty gross churn-out-the-members to the fancy shmancy towels-that-smell-good place. Of all four I have enjoyed one, only one, and it lies somewhere in the middle. Its not the kind of place where someone is employed to wipe your brow but they have things like squash courts and Pilates reformers. Some people like a little snobbery in their work out experience. Going somewhere you actually enjoy being is totally worth the money.
Don't join a gym at all. Confused yet? Here's the thing: some people will get their money's worth at a gym they actually like. Some people will try every gym in a five mile radius and hate them all and waste money because the real problem is they hate gyms. This does not limit you from working out. Run outside. Buy a jump rope. Hell, find a jungle gym in your neighborhood. Whatever it takes, do work you like.
Don't get sucked into the hype. If you like this hype thats one thing. But don't go out and buy a Wii just so you can work out with Jillian Michaels. Your Wii will quickly become a bookend on your shelves. If Wii works for you, great, if not, don't beat yourself up.
Invent your own hype. Try a new exercise every other day or walk a different route or buy a new active game. When I create my own home workouts I make sure to write down what I want to do while I'm in the mood. So, when you're sitting at your desk/in your car/in church and you're feeling like you'd like to workout when you get home, write it down right then. Put it in your calendar, write it in your journal, put it on a post-it and put that note somewhere you'll see it. I find that if I write it down when I'm feeling like I want to workout I'm more likely to actually do that when I get home and I'd rather eat the previously mentioned bonbons. I generally write down the things I want to do in my workout but just writing down a to do list that says 'workout' works too.
To end this list, here is what it comes down to for me:
Have a heart-to-heart with yourself. Maybe you've read some of my past blog entries where I talk to myself. Yes, it makes me sound a bit nuts but you can bet your ass it makes me realize what I really want. I don't journal because its super duper fun with cherries on top. I don't spend extra pennies at the farmer's market because I hate all that money in my stupid bank account. Nope, I do it because it helps me know that while I'd love to go out and eat nachos and drink sangria every night after work that kind of thing makes me feel like death on toast. The weirdest part is that when I engaged in that kind of behavior at the ripe age of 22 I didn't realize how crappy I felt. I didn't understand how eating too much meat made me feel weird (I had a roommate who used to say it made her face smell like steak) or how preservatives make me woozy and unable to form thoughts or how eating peanuts and caffeine made my boobs hurt (TMI? Sorry, kind of. I actually think this condition is not discussed enough and am pleased to share it with you.) The point is I didn't just figure this stuff out. I actually thought critically about myself and my life and realized that while I might enjoy sitting on the couch watching 5 hours of MTV after work I'd feel better and be happier if I went to the gym or took a walk or cleaned my apartment. Ask yourself what you want, know what you want out of your day and know that you are the most important thing to yourself. MTV isn't likely to make you happier or feel better or more productive tomorrow.
Feel free to comment with your suggestions and don't forget to tip your server!