Monday, October 16, 2006

Candace does exercise...or not

Why is that it takes like...oh, I don't know, a get out of the habit of excercising and lose all the benefits you've built up. And then it takes two months to get back in the habit and another six to get back to where you were when you stopped.

I was doing so well. Really, I was. And then I went on a series of businesses trips (I took my workout clothes along but...well...I didn't get around to exercising) and then, when I got home, I got sick and... Long story short, I fell off the exercise wagon for about a month. And now I'm trying to get back on.

I know daily exercise is important. Especially for us (we?) writers who sit on our backsides all day. But the truth is--now brace yourselves here--I hate it. The sweating. The stringy hair. The pain. The hour-and-a-half it takes out of my day (I'm counting showering after in there.)

How do you all deal with the dreaded exercise issue? Do you have a special time of day you do it? Do you have a surefire exercise plan? I need help here!


Helen Brenna said...

You asked for it, Candace.

This is a very personal issue for me. I've gone through a couple depressions and exercise is one of the ways I stay sane, so if I'm on my soapbox for too long, feel free to knock me off.

I think the key to making exercise a part of our lives is our attitude about it.

Don't think of it as an hour and a half. You have to shower anyway, right? It's an hour. And studies show that you can break your work out up into manageable pieces within a day and still get relatively the same benefit.

Do a cardio thing for 20-30 minutes and then lift some free weights for 10 minutes 2-3 times a day. Can't fit the 30 minute cardio in? Do 10 minutes of weights. Alternate cardio days with weight days. Whatever works, whatever keeps you going.

You don't have to sweat and you shouldn't experience pain. A good personal trainer can put you on a heart-rate monitor and show you the best range for you and your goals. Even a little bit of stretching can eliminate/soften next day soreness.

Don't beat yourself up by making yourself work-out seven days a week. They suggest 5 times per week, but even once a week is better than nothing, so set realistic goals.

If it helps, think of ways to multi-task while you're working out. I do stairs for my cario because then I can catch up on my reading. Phone calls, note-taking, organizing the day, brainstorming book ideas. Videotape your favorite shows.

And if you've had to break from workout's for any reasonnever, never, never think the time you've spent in the past is a waste. It's all good and it's helped to keep you healthier, if even for a little while.

I've started thinking about exercise a necessary part of my life, like eating, and stretching as a way to treat myself. I feel soooo much better in so many ways when I work out AND stretch.

Somebody, stop me!

Obviously, I could do a whole post on this and have honestly thought of doing so!!

Michele said...

I'm the worst person to ask about exercise, but after a visit to the doctor today to recheck my cholesterol, I'm signing back up for exercise big time. (See my blog if you're interested in today's adventures in near-death and lowered cholesterol numbers.)

Anyway, I enjoy walking, but the only thing that'll get me out to walk is having music on my iPod and a nice sunny day. I've been a major slacker this past month (okay, maybe more like two months). The weather has been dreary and I haven't walked a bit. Man, can I tell the difference between Walking Me and Slacker Me. I like Walking Me much better. But what to do during the winter?

I've got this elaborate weight lifting system down in the basement that has so much dust on it it would put me to fits if I attempted to clean it. But I need to do it. To start moving for my health!

I'd love to have a treadmill for winter. But it ain't gonna be easy to convince The Hubby I need to buy another expensive piece of exercise equipment when there's that dusty one downstairs.

So what was the question? :-) Surefire plan? I think now that I have some numbers in hand (my cholesterol numbers) it'll be easier to exercise because I've just issued myself an official challenge to continue lowering them. WIll it work? I'll report back in a year.

Betina said...

I LOVE yoga. Would do it twice or three times a week if I could. But I hate going alone and none of my buddies are big fans of it. When I sell my next book, I may sign up for a course and go alone.

Walking is my next favorite thing. . . except the partner and I walk at different speeds and that drives me crazy. I keep having to slow down and feel I'm not getting a proper workout. For a while I tried it with the dog, who is in desperate need of exercise, too. He stops to piddle too much and has to sniff everything in sight, so no help there. I finally got an ipod, so I guess I can tune it up and walk by myself at least part of the time.

Anybody got suggestions for great walking tunes? Most of my music is new age and generally not good walking beats.

Candace said...

Ah, Michele! You free me to reveal my dirty little secret. I, too, have a big honkin' weight machine that is gathering dust. And an elliptical trainer. And a weight bench. With weights from 3 to 25 lbs. And a yoga mat. And an exercise ball. And a heavy bag (for boxing.)

I actually really did like boxing--despite the drenching sweat, the burning arms, and the trembling legs! I took a boxing class twice a week the last time I lived out in California. It was 30 minutes of all-out effort that made me feel virtious and healthy 'til the next class. But when we moved to boxing classes.

So, anyway, despite the lack of boxing classes, I really have no excuse not to exercise!

I really like Helen's idea of breaking up the workouts. Twenty minutes here. Ten minutes there. I'm going to try that.

Susan Kay Law said...

It's taken a long time for me to find something liveable. It's not enough exercise for me to get in great shape, but it's pretty good for health, given that I'm a) lazy b) hate to sweat and c) don't like to exercise alone; I need distraction.

The first aerobic exercise I've ever been able to stick with for any length of time is walking the dog. Because SHE needs to, you see. It is VERY rare for us to miss a day (I kind of like the crappy weather ones the best, because it's so empty and dramatic out there.)

I used to lift weights regularly with a friend, splitting a trainer. That was good, because said friend is entertaining, but she gave it up.

Now I pay for a Pilates class twice a week. I love Pilates; a little strength, a lot of core, some good stretching, good breathing, all wrapped up in one. I can feel the difference in my body if I take a week off for a vacation. But I'm not as strong as when I was lifting regularly.


Debra Dixon said...

I need to exercise! It's important but I've had unbelievable opporunity/stress for the last 18 months that I simply haven't "hit a lick at a snake" as we say in the South.

My New Year's resolution for 2006 was "eat more fruits and vegetables." I knew I could do that at least.

This year I will tackle the exercise issue. I have too. ::sigh::

I like free-weight training. I did Curves for a while but mine is weird and closes 2 hours for lunch!!!! and closes early in the evenings and I always wanted to go when they were closed. I have a treadmill and a Healthrider, aerobic steps and the free weights at home. There is no reason I can't do some exercise.

My husband on the other hand has been walking 2 miles a day since Sweetie arrived.

When he's out of town, I should be walking her but I say, "Gee, do you see the almost acre we have behind the house? Pick a spot and get over yourself!" I am not getting up at 6 a.m. to take her for a walk.

Helen Brenna said...

"Hit a lick at a snake." I love it!