Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A month of exercise - complete!

A snap from one of my evening walks. 
Was anyone else surprised by the realization that it will be May tomorrow? Somehow that completely crept up on me, and it dawned on me that my month of exercising three times a week is officially over. My first reaction was "woohoo!", followed by "wait... no!" I like exercising, but I don't like the commitment of having to do it, I think. A few random thoughts to summarize the month: 
  • Although giving up treats for a month felt like a bigger accomplishment, I still feel like committing to actively doing something is harder than giving something up. It is harder to be active than it is to be passive.  For this challenge I had to think ahead and plan my week so I could fit in my workouts, and then I had to get over that threshold, and actually go out and do something, which feels like more of a commitment than just not doing something. 
  • Out of all of the exercising I did this month, I only did one workout that wasn't walking, and that was yoga with my neighbor. For better health results, I probably need to step it up a bit in this area. 
  • I really like walking. I've mentioned that before, I know. But I like being outside, breathing fresh air, letting my mind wander if I'm alone, or chatting if I have company. I like that I can just put on a pair of shoes and a jacket and go and be done in half an hour. 
  • When I started a month ago, I was averaging about a 20 minute mile. Yesterday I clocked just under 18 minutes. Measurable progress like that is encouraging! 
  • A discoveries: this and this article about the benefits of walking and how to do it from Real Simple. I just stumbled across them by chance, but thought they were helpful and encouraging. Also, I've found MapMyWalk to be pretty useful. I like that I can keep track of my walks, especially things like distance and speed so I can really see my progress. I have the app on my iPhone, and I like that I can just start a workout and then it will track where I'm going and how fast and whatnot, even if it does scare the living daylights out of me when it loudly announces I have hit the one mile mark. 
Bottom line, I'm going to keep up the walking/exercising. I'll aim for at least a couple of sessions a week, maybe more as the weather gets warmer and the infernal wind dies down (which, as we're about a mile from a lake, might be never), but I'm not going to stress or feel guilty about it if I don't make it to three sessions. I have a sneaking suspicion that the road to good health does not go via stress or guilt, y'know. One thing this month has brought me is a regular Sunday night walking buddy in the form of my lovely friend and neighbor Tanya, so you know I will be making it out at least once a week just so we can chat.

Other than that one week*, mission accomplished! And I do have a new health challenge all picked out for May, which I am planning to tell you all about tomorrow. Have a good night

*As penance for that week we talked about, I will keep going with this week until Sunday, rather than throwing in the towel as soon as the calendar changes. Sound good? Good.

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