Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fitness philosophy (resolving not to kill myself working out)

I started to write "I hate to exercise," but that is not true, really.

What I hate is working out in a gym or my basement and using a machine and/or tools that were invented for the sole purpose of exercising.  I do not get into a "zone" from this.  I listen to music and mostly suffer through excruciating boredom.

I pay $14.99 a month for a gym membership and use it about 2-3 times a month.

It occurred to me, in the early fall when I was spending about 83% of my life up at the kids' elementary school weeding and planting flowers and laying weed-block fabric and spreading mulch, that anyone who pays for a gym membership but does NOT do their own yard work might not be hitting on all cylinders.

A few years ago I dug a trench in my backyard to put in a French drainage tile.  I basically walked less than 3 feet to dig the dirt and dump it nearby.  But I walked less than 3 feet about 4,000 times and ended up showing something like 2.5 miles walked on my Fitbit.

My yard is only .25 acre, but when I traipse back and forth across it pushing the lawnmower it adds up to quite a bit of mileage.

And housework....that is good exercise, too.

I don't understand paying someone to clean one's house and then paying for a gym membership, either.  Vacuuming all 3 levels in my house in one day, including carrying the vacuum up and down two flights of steps is a workout.  Or moving furniture and mopping the first floor???  I sweat a lot more doing this than I ever do at the gym.

My mindset has changed a lot in the past few years about fitness.  For a few years, I was trying to get a nicer body, especially after having M in 2009.....flatten my abs, mostly.  But then I used a trainer who is a female in her 50s, and she helped me recognize that fitness isn't just being able to benchpress 200 lbs.  Fitness, especially as a person ages, must involve balance and stability.  As a person ages, if she falls, it can be devastating to her overall health.

Plus, what I've realized is that I can workout like crazy to have flat abs, but my body is still going to age.  I can have the abs I want, but I'm still going to have wrinkles and not look like a 25-year-old.  My breasts are going to sag without surgical intervention.  I am going to have that weird flabby flap between my arm and armpit (right at the bra line) when my arms are at my side.

This acknowledgment has helped me rethink how much time and energy I want to spend on trying to make myself look 20 years younger. I'm at the point where I'm pretty happy if my triglycerides and cholesterol are good and my A1C is in a healthy range.  If I can get enough exercise to keep those in check, then that is good enough for me.

I look at my mother as an example of fitness.  She walks 2 miles or more every day, preferably outside since treadmills are boring (her words, not mine).   I think she has started using some small 2 lb weights in the past year.  She is 77 years old and looks really darn good, I think.  

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I agree! I have a YMCA membership but I rarely go. When I do go, I walk about 2 miles and that's about it. Sometimes I use the weight machines. I did clean and organize my house the past two days and got over 20,000 steps each day doing that, though! I hate the monotony and the pointlessness of exercising on a machine.