Step one foot in front of the other easily

Walking on blue carpet, yellow sneakers


Restless nights. Body aches. Sluggishness. Ms. Hobbles after sitting too long.

That's how I used to be—a hot mess.

You might argue that it’s all part and parcel of aging, but sheesh I'm only in my mid fifties. No, it’s more likely I need to move, like in exercise. You know, work those joints and glutes because I need r-e-l-i-e-f.

But when it comes to exercise, I’m l-a-z-y. I experience no thrill or satisfaction from overexertion, only a beet-red face and a longing for a comfortable sofa. I'm no gym enthusiast either. They make me feel like a fish with a bicycle.

In boot camp I found out quickly that I didn’t like running. I swear my ankles could barely keep up with all that pounding on the pavement. And I certainly never felt the runners’ high I’ve heard about. I don't get it, but if that works for you, more power to you.

At this point in my life, when I think of exercising my aim is not even to lose weight, though I could stand to drop much of my, well, surplus. But who hasn’t taken a round trip down that rabbit hole more times that they can count? How tiresome and discouraging.

No. My focus is to get a good night’s sleep, to get up without wincing or working the tightness out of my limbs so that I don’t fall out of bed or grab for the nightstand. You know, I want to spring off the mattress like I did when I was half my age.

I've learned walking helps.

But to face the early morning hours and the frosty air? *Shudder* I like my warm cozy bed too much. (Be a dear and hand me that cup of coffee, would you?) Now that aligns much more with my definition of ‘me time’ no matter what physical trainers say.

I found a happy solution years ago walking indoors. Yep, at home with a video. YouTube is overflowing with them, all different types to suit your mood, your level, your schedule. And don’t fool yourself into thinking it has to be hard to be effective, so get those Shaun T’s Three Ts outta your head. Poof!

My go-to workout is anything by Leslie Sansone, pioneer of in-home walking long before the pandemic made such things necessary and creator of the hugely popular Walk Away the Pounds series. My particular favorite these days is Walk at Home. It’s an old video but I like that it’s just me and her doing simple movements at a manageable pace. It's so easy! No jumping, no obnoxious music, no distracting backup walkers. We’ve been walking buddies on and off for twenty years now.

Let’s face it, juggling exercise, healthy eating, and weight loss simultaneously is an overwhelming endeavor even for those who just want to shed a little. For the rest of us, well, we’d rather curl up with a snack and Netflix because the merest whiff of deprivation has us scrambling for the hills. So I say tackle only one part of that trio at a time. One is better than none, right?

I sleep better now and I don’t experience half the aches I used to after walking just one mile regularly. I started small and came up with my own definition of regular. I still bake (enjoying the end results with gusto, too), and I don't do keto or any other special diet.

Sometimes I exercise barefoot and in my pajamas. A lot of space isn't needed, either. I do my 15-minute walk crammed between the foot of my bed and the closet doors. Me and my little girl are happy pals again; she gets to play while I have improved mobility and restful nights.

And I find that creative ideas are flowing again thanks to the energies moving about. Total win!

Not everyone has a love affair with exercise, and that's okay. I count myself lucky because now I don't deal with a lot of guilt for not living up to my own rigid expectations. I've found my groove by doing it my way, for my own reasons, and on my terms. With a little ingenuity on your part, you can find yours too.

Consign your inner critic to the cornfield, and find your joy instead.

I promise your body will love you right back.

2 comments

  1. Good for you that you created a plan that works especially for you! And that's the formula for living your best life. Find out what works and make it yours. I'm no fan of exercise but Leslie Sansone videos are the best. I think of her as my personal coach.

    Keep walking yourself toward a happier healthier you.

    Cheers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A soul sister! ;D Thanks for your happy words!

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