Robert and I recently took up running. We chose to start running because we already do a lot of exercise and consider ourselves fairly fit, and also because we needed a new challenge.
We spent four weeks running. For the first two weeks, we ran a mile every evening when Robert came home from work. It took us about 10 minutes, occasionally just under ten minutes.
For the next two weeks, we ran two miles every evening when Robert came home from work. It took us about 20 minutes, give or take a half second, to run two miles.
Even our eight year old daughter Gabriella started joining in. She'd run about a mile with us before it became too difficult for her, but she loved being a part of our running. And even though she dressed in crazy, bright colors and in patterns that clashed, we enjoyed having her company for the runs.
Running outdoors is very different from running on the elliptical crosstrainer. I can run 12 miles and spend an hour and ten minutes on the crosstrainer without getting overly tired and without any residual muscle pains.
When we started running those first one-mile runs, for the first week, my muscles screamed agony at me. In the second week, the muscle aches started to dissipate, but I still found it exhausting to do the running and ended my runs gasping for air every time.
And I found out something; I am not a lover of running. It's great to know that I can do it. And I even think I can handle running a 5K run without too much trouble. But I do not LIKE running. And if I don't like doing something, then it is not an exercise form I will be using for the long-term.
I didn't run last week. I'm going to start running again, only because I want to run the three miles and prove to myself that I can run a 5K and in a decent time. But then I doubt I will run much more after that.
Robert has gone on to run almost three miles now. He even runs sometimes on days when I don't. He started running because I wanted to try running, and it was something we did together. But now, he runs because, well actually, I'm not sure why. Maybe he likes it. Maybe he just thinks it's good for him. Maybe it's just a convenient and inexpensive extra form of exercise for him. And maybe he runs because he prefers it over using the elliptical crosstrainer. (He's never been a fan of that machine.)
The reason I am writing about this here is to point out that it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what form my exercise takes, as long as I am getting some exercise. It doesn't matter if I continue running, because I do a lot of other exercise each day. And it's important to do the things we love. Our daily exercise doesn't always have to be a chore. Isn't it better to look at it as something fun and invigorating? You are more likely to stick with it if you like it than if you hate it and look at it as a chore.
So what exercise do you enjoy? Swimming? Bicycling? Inline skating? Horseback riding? Running? Walking? Weight lifting? Tennis? Gardening? There are so many ways to get some exercise. What's your favorite? Ever thought of trying out something new?