It took me a while to come up with this post. I am not an expert on fitness or exercise whatsoever and some people consider me a bit weird with regards to my general exercise habits (when I have them).

I’m not very good at sticking to exercise regimes for long periods of time. But I think I have good habits outside of my regimes (other than eating… but that’s for another post), for things like maintenance.

Running

I actually love to run, though you probably wouldn’t know it by looking at me. It’s not always the run itself, but how I feel afterwards, especially after a morning run. A run can help to clear the mind, release stress and help wake you up.

It’s not just running that can do this for you. Some people can’t run, so would need to find something else. Some people bike (cycle!). Some people row, some people love canoeing. Anything that gets your heart pumping is good.

But none of this sounds weird at all, right? Well get a load of this. I run wearing a pair of these. Also, my base, untrained running distance is over 6km. Most people I know seem to think that’s challenging… I just think it’s a good morning wake-up… Even when I’m not in my regime

Walking

I walk everywhere I can, from home to town (45 minute walk) and back. Walking is excellent for maintenance, or for a lower-energy, lower impact exercise for those who may not be able to run (and those who are, of course). It’s what I think is my good habit when I’m not constantly exercising, as I think it’s what is mostly keeping be from becoming more overweight or obese. Other than…

Dancing

I started dancing Ceroc about a year ago. For two nights a week (or more - or less - if I wanted), I’ve been spending a few hours socialising and dancing, and sweating my ass off. I’m not too sure whether I’m actually doing much in the way of exercise as it’s not overly strenuous, or if I just sweat because it’s hot and there are are lots of other bodies around generating heat… Nonetheless, I find dance is a great way to get the body moving, sometimes in completely different ways than you would ever think possible. It is also a great way to be social and meet people. I’ve made a lot of friends at Ceroc, and they’re the reason I keep going back - other than the coolness of learning new moves of course.

Slumps

Of course, we all take falls at some time or other, be they metaphorical or physical. I know for a fact that I love the way that I feel after I’ve been exercising, and sometimes I even like the exercise while I’m exercising. Because I know it is healthy for me, and I know I look great after having done a bit of exercise. So why do I stop? Often times it’s due to an unexpected break in a routine, I might get sick (though I found I get sick far, far less when I’m regularly getting in intense exercise), or I might move house, or any other myriad of things to take me away from my usual routine I’ve developed.

But you know what - slumps are OK. If you ever get into a slump, you’ll probably beat yourself up about it, but don’t worry too much. The best thing I ever did was get rid of my car and started walking. As I said earlier, walking is great for maintenance, though I still consider myself to be in a slump.

Push yourself.

This is the part that I assume most people would fail at (just from observations), and that is that to get any tangible benefit from exercise, you’ve got to push yourself. If you’re not uncomfortable, if you’re not sweating profusely, and if you don’t ache afterwards, you’re probably not doing anything. So push yourself, and surprise yourself. You can probably perform a lot better than you think you can, so stop discrediting yourself. I ran a half-marathon after only doing a few 5k training runs. I then kept up a morning 10k run for a while. I felt amazing. But before I tried it, I didn’t know I could. I just thought, “my legs aren’t jelly yet… I should keep going.” And so I did.

TL;DR

  • Exercising is good for you (durr).
  • Get your heart pumping.
  • Walk for maintenance.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, try learning something new like dancing.
  • Slumps are ok, just keep up on maintenance.
  • Push yourself, find your limits.