Tuesday, December 8, 2009

how I exercise (1) interrupted

I got out my weights this morning, and there was a cobweb on the box. Not a good sign.

It's been a month - or is it 6 weeks? - since the weights left their box. A week of flu followed by a month's writing for EQUIP book club has left my arms feeling as floppy as overcooked spaghetti. By the end of a normal day I've been teary and grumpy from (physical) exhaustion. Where's the strength, woman?

The older I get, the more I need to exercise. W-a-a-a-y down the end of my 2009 reading list was Miriam Nelson's Strong Women Stay Young. It says that as you get older, your muscles and bones weaken if you don't do an increasing proportion of weight-bearing to aerobic exercise. I know this. Walking regularly no longer keeps me either trim or terrific.

Until this year, I'd never lifted weights just for exercise. It didn't seem necessary. Like most women, I can carry a 1o kg child on my left hip, and 12 litres of milk in my right hand, on top of 20kg extra weight when I'm pregnant. But in March I tentatively unpacked the arm and leg weights my mother had given me, and tried out some of the exercises from Strong Women Stay Young. I did them erratically for a few weeks. Then the weights stayed in their box for the middle 6 months of this year.

Surprisingly, it was buying a Wii for the kids' Christmas (a few months ago, on sale) that got me exercising again. Wii Fit sucked me in with its guilt-producing weighing sessions. If you've used it, you'll know how motivating it is to see the arrow rapidly rising to measure your BMI - not to mention the chubby little Mii alter-ego shaped to your body's proportions!

So there I was, a couple of months ago, and the crazy burnout-inducing part of my year was over. The weights were looking at me from their box. God's good world was asking me to go walking in it again. And the Wii was beckoning. I came up with an exercise program which was working beautifully, until illness and busyness intervened, and the cobwebs started gathering on my box of weights.

Until today.

Next time: how I exercise (2) restarted. The how and why of how I exercise.

images are from stock.xchng and Chung's blog.


Simone R. said...

Good on you Jean. Dust off those weights!

Weight training becomes addictive if you do it 3+ times per week. Less than that and it's just hard.

I've never taken Wii fit seriously. Does it really work?

Jean said...

Hi Simone! Interesting - the book I have says to do weights twice a week, and I enjoy it and make progress. But I dare say you're more experienced than me.

Wii Fit is surprisingly good - and fun too, which helps you keep doing it! I wouldn't use it for muscle workouts. But it's great for balance training (more important as you get older) and for moderate aerobic exercise. If you can jog, knees lifted high, on the spot for 10 minutes, I take my hat off to you! I'm more puffed after 1/2 an hour's Wii than after 1/2 an hour's walk.

Valori said...

Hey Jean -- Funny you should be talking about exercise. I was just searching last night for a good at-home indoor cardio workout plan since my morning jogging has gone out the window with the arrival of the dark, cold early mornings of winter. I have some exercise videos, but I don't love them, and we even have a family gym membership, but I can't seem to get out of the house for two hours to do that (almost an hour to and from with parking, etc.). So, I am thinking of starting a cardio workout indoors by using a jump rope, etc. Wii Fit isn't in our near future, but that sounds fun. Anyway, I, too, have a pile of weights sitting beside my night stand that I need to use. (I remember reading some of the book you mentioned several years ago.) One good thing is that I have a good friend who teaches Pilates, and I am able to go to that class once a week with several friends. We have been doing that together for about a year and a half, and it has been extremely beneficial. Have you ever tried Pilates?

I feel like I am forever trying to be more consistent with eating properly and exercising. I trust that the Lord is helping me make progress a little at a time. It definitely is helpful for women as they get older, and I think 30 minutes a day is a great plan! Keep it up!

Jean said...

Dear Valori,

My battle is very, very like yours. Right down to the weights sitting there waiting!

I haven't done pilates, but my friend has, and she loved them. I do some pelvic floor and abdominal exercises to make up for it. But it's not the same, I know. Still, you can't do everything! But pilates sound great.

Love Jean.

Valori said...

Yes, I would never be going to pilates either except that my friend teaches it in her basement on the Kenneth's day off when he takes the younger boys on an outing. Plus, she charges a very reasonable rate! Oh, and yesterday, I was going to exercise at 1:30 . . . then 2:00 . . . then 3:30 . . . then in the evening, and then, "Oh well, we'll have to try tomorrow!" Between women's ministry and family, I just wasn't able to do it yesterday. Definitely have to be flexible sometimes (no pun intended)!

Jean said...