No mystery here, I’m a control freak. I can’t control the weather or my customers’ responses to my products or my husband’s business, but I can control me.
I began my fitness program three-and-a-half months ago with specific goals in mine, the first being to lose fifty pounds in a year. I’m going to have to rethink that one, lest I get discouraged. Why? Because the combination of toning, weight training and cardio is resulting in the increase of some lovely muscle mass while I’m getting rid of some less-than-lovely fat. That’s a yea, right! Muscle takes up less space than fat (imagine the difference in volume between a pound of feathers and a pound of brick), though it weighs the same ounce-for-ounce. So, while I’m shrinking, the scales aren’t looking like it. Myeh, who needs them, anyway?
My goal is to hit the pavement at least 3-4 times per week, with a goal of walking briskly for at least 75 minutes each week. I usually get that in the first two days, so the rest is calorie-burning icing (mmmmm… icing!). To keep that muscle-building, fat-reducing thing going on, though, the toning and resistance work is vital. Yet, I need the walks (and soon rides; I’m getting a new trike!), because I get so much more out of them.
- Walking gives me private time. When I walk through the neighborhood, I’m generally free of all kids, which gives me time to think, reflect, pray, and, sometimes, listen to downloads or podcasts without distractions.
- At the same time, walking is also social for me. Being the social bug that I am, I’ll also wave and say hi to neighbors, maybe even exchange a few pleasantries. Being outside breaks the ice with people I may never usually see.
- Pavement pounding keeps the stress down. Doing arm curls and crunches is one thing, but feeling the vibration of asphalt singing through my trainers up into my legs connects me with the earth and helps relieve tension.
- Nature helps the body. Fresh coastal air revitalizes the mind. Sunshine helps my body metabolize vitamin D, which is good for the bones. Both the fresh air and the sunshine help improve mood; my annual “I hate winter” doldrums have dissipated in the face of the chemical changes in my body that exercise produces. (The atypical temperatures and greater amount of sunlight don’t hurt.)
- Exercise helps alleviate other ailments. Trouble sleeping. Knee stiffness. Menstrual aches and moodiness. The strength training and walking alleviate all these, though walking is the most effective. Those who know and love me certainly appreciate the benefits!
This far in with miles to go, and I’ve discovered I’m a happier me from all this exercise. I’m also a more comfortable me – comfortable physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Exercising is making me a better me.
As I say in my videos on my Facebook page, keep it going! Whatever your goals are for the year, keep at ’em and create the life you want.