Ever take a few days off from exercise? It feels good to get back to it, doesn’t it? Ever take a few weeks off from exercise? It sucks to get back into it, right? Ever take a few months off? Then, after your reconnaissance exercise class, you declare, “Oh my God, I am so out of shape. I should’ve never gone off my program! I’ve got to get it back.”
A body in motion remains in motion!
I realize that I am out of the ordinary because when I take time away from exercise, it is usually to do some other sort of “get into my body” activity. I’m not more virtuous, I just like to move, so I always move. When I return from my summer adventures, many of my clients will say, “I haven’t done a thing since you left.” After our first workout and/or a Nia class, I also invariably hear, “That felt so good. I need to get back into this.” Even though I love that my clients dutifully come when I am in town, I always wish that they’d keep moving even in my absence. The fact is, getting in-shape takes more than a few weeks and getting out-of-shape takes more than a few weeks, but stopping can certainly make you feel like you’ve undone all your efforts. So, if working out makes you feel better to be in your body, why not do it no matter what?
I suggest that you make exercise a habit and then, never stop exercising. I mean exercising, not just being active. Being active is good, but I am really advocating for solid exercise that works against the effects of aging. Even when life gets too busy and you get too tired, depressed, lazy, distracted, etc… don’t stop. I know that happy-hour only lasts from 3-7pm and your tv show is only on at 8pm and your bed or couch call your name whenever you go home, but it’ll always be something. Sometimes it’s going to be too nice a day to go inside and workout. Invariably, it’s going to rain, right when you have to walk from your car into the studio. Every once in a while (or often) something else will sound like a better option than getting sweaty and taking an hour out of your day to work hard… But, if you make a habit of meeting yourself at your exercise appointment every day or every week, showing up will get easier and easier, because, it’s always gonna be something.
Truly, it’s always gonna be something.
The Vivian Effect
My mother exercises every day and she is a springy 83 going on 43. Those who know my mother are always inspired by my mother’s amazing vitality. The woman has never taken a break from activity unless she was sick or rehabbing a broken shoulder. She can climb through the garage window (don’t ask), mow her own lawn, shovel her 400 foot driveway and go up and down three flights of stairs several times a day. The fact is, she is always in motion. At 83, the intensity level is different from what she used to do, but being old doesn’t stop her (I can say that. She knows she’s old – I think).
Vivian was never an athlete, but she used to ride a bike all summer for transportation, swim for hours in the ocean current and walk…walk…walk… Now-a-days, she swims in a pool, walks a shorter circuit around the lake at the park and best of all… she takes Nia (for seniors). The most important thing is that she is in constant motion. So, according to the 1st law of physics, her body will stay in motion. Voila! – The Vivian Effect! As an octogenarian, staying mobile is important. As a mom, staying mobile is important. As a homeowner, staying mobile is important. As a vibrant human being, it’s important. You too can experience The Vivian Effect.
Just My Opinion (but it’s based on research and experience)
Do something every day! A schedule is the absolute best way to get into and keep in shape. An appointment with a trainer, a workout buddy or a class will make it harder to flake-out on your body. Find the exercise that you like. Then, fill in with the stuff that is less about joy and more about longevity. Invest your time in your own mobility.
Make it your goal to stay in motion!
At some point, I don’t care if you like it or not, everybody should do some cardiovascular training, strength training, stretching and eat well.