Those three little words seem to say it all when it comes to exercise.
As much as I believe this to be true, the fact is, if I am being honest with myself, I just wasn't doing it. Well at least not as much as I know I should have.
I once heard a fitness trainer say that the best piece of equipment you can buy is the one that will get used. After all, if it is going to sit and collect dust, it's about useless as far as furthering any fitness goals.
My own fitness goals have become sporadic (at best) these past few years. I religiously do the core strength exercises recommended by my chiropractor five years ago. They are easy to do while watching tv, don't require much effort and make me feel hopeful that I can keep my lower back issues in check.
If the weather conditions meet my approval, I take a walk around the neighborhood. I park far from the door when I go shopping and use the stairs when possible. I clean my own house and garden. Other than that, I know that I spend far too much time being sedentary.
In the back of my mind I know I should be doing more, but yet I seem to find a million excuses not to Just Do It.
That is until two weeks ago when the results of my recent bone density test came back as ostopenia. While I wasn't totally surprised as my mom had osteoporosis and my sister has ostopenia, I set out to educate myself on what this all meant for me. I was encouraged to learn that exercise can go a long way in helping to build bone mass. This article explains it so well.
I knew in that moment that it was time to be honest with myself.
I thought through my sorry excuses and figured out a way to get out of my own way.
It started with the treadmill.
I knew that there was no way I wanted to walk outside in our current heatwave so I put on my tennis shoes and got on that treadmill with the goal of staying on there for 30 minutes walking at a brisk pace. I lowered the thermostat, put on the ceiling fan and just did it.
Once I was done, I found an old calendar and jotted down my accomplishment. Honestly in the past I could have made the excuse that I would walk when the weather was cooler or when I had bought a journal to start keeping track of my goals in. Not any more... the treadmill and old calendar get the job done.
Leaving my tennis shoes next to the treadmill for convenience sake.
While on the treadmill I thought about other ways to exercise. The treadmill is good for cardio and also weight bearing exercise which is so necessary in trying to increase bone mass. I wanted to create an exercise program for myself that would target the areas I needed to work on while offering some variety as well. I remembered a video series I had bought several years ago after seeing the host demonstrate it on QVC. Mirabai Holland provides a thorough workout especially geared for women 50 and over. Just what this (well) over 50 woman needs. She covers all of the areas that I want to work on in a gentle, yet thorough manner.
I made the decision to do the strength training video the next day.
It uses light weights and resistance bands to work the muscles and bones. I was getting on board now and looking forward to the next day's workout.
The large screen tv my son left behind would be perfect for my DVD workouts.
The next day dawned and I headed up to the
bonus exercise room raring to go. That is until I remembered one of my other excuses for not exercising... figuring out which remote operates what and which setting the tv has to be on to make the DVD player work. Brett... help!
I don't know about you, but I have little patience for all of this technological stuff. I just want to pop the DVD in and get going.
After much trial and error Brett got that mess straightened out for me.
Until I hit play on the DVD player remote and nothing happened.
Lucky for me Brett is a patient man.
He played around with the remote and advised me to operate it manually until he could figure out the problem.
I did and discovered that these old DVDs would work just fine for my new workout routine.
I was surprised to discover that a search of closets and drawers yielded all of the various weights and resistance bands that I would need. I even pulled out the yoga mat I used in the yoga classes I occasionally took 20 or so years ago. My new workout will include at least one session of yoga per week. I am far from flexible, however my chiropractor has been recommending yoga for years. My dedication to it has been very hit or miss lately.
I do find it calming and relaxing when I do it. I guess it was just another thing that was lost in my excuses. I'm too tired, maybe tomorrow, etc...
When I stopped to think about it, I realize that everything I needed has been here all along. I'm also discovering that thrift shops are a great source for finding books and DVDs to add to my collection.
I know that in order to keep my interest level up I'll need to change things around from time to time.
The only thing that had been standing in the way was me.
So, here I stand today sans make-up and "glistening" after my morning workout. As Mirabai Holland says, it's never to late to start exercising.
I hope it doesn't sound to you like I think I'm an expert at all this in the few short weeks I've been back on board. Not.at.all. It's just that I've had every excuse in the book for not doing what I know I should be doing. For me it took finding out that I have "significant bone loss" to make me mad enough to think No More Excuses... Just Do It and Do It Now!!!
Only time will tell if my bones get stronger, but I also knew that I was getting winded too easily, my balance isn't as good as I'd like it to be and my energy is often lacking. In just this short time I'm already feeling better in each of those areas. Instead of feeling like the little old lady I am becoming, I feel slightly empowered and greatly inspired to get my workout in each day. I've set my own goals and don't compare my accomplishments to others. I look forward to jotting down the days exercise goal on the calendar. I've never been the type to go to the gym, run in a marathon or play a competitive sport. But, that's okay. The important thing is deciding what works for you and then
JUST DO IT.
Just so you know, I'm not planning to take my blog in a new direction here. I partially want to put it out there to help hold myself accountable. By the same token if you care to comment on your own fitness routines or goals I think it would be wonderful to possibly inspire one another in that manner. If not, the gardening and homemaking will continue as usual.