14 April 2009

Why exercise belongs in your life

Have you had something in your life that you have done consistently over the years that you KNOW in your HEART adds goodness to your life? For me, it's exercise! Asthma and bronchitis run in my family and I have aunts who have been negatively afflicted with these illnesses to this day. I too was diagnosed with these illnesses when I was about 10 years old, and my pediatrician had the NERVE to tell me to stop exercising. I went from being a normal child who ran around everyday in the yard, yes gasping sometimes, to becoming a sedentary unhappy child. That did not last long because being still was not something I was good at. Within months, I resumed my usual activities, and those illnesses never plagued me ever again!

Very soon after that, a few summers in a row, my mother signed my sister and I up for tennis classes at the local high school. It was cheap and I still appreciate to this day that she did that for us. I became a pretty good tennis player and regretted not playing in college. Over recent years, I have not played a lot but one day I plan to take it up again.

From there, the family would go walking and running at the track together. It was my father who taught me how to become a long distance runner. I remember mornings in the early 80s, a show called the "20 minute workout" used to air around 5 a.m. Looking back it was pretty cheesy, but it at that time, it was my Aerobic exercise for the start of my day. Along with that, I bought exercise books, and eventually when I was able to buy my first car (all by myself), and I joined a gym.

After my car was stolen, I took my exercise to the basement of my parents' house, every night, aerobics, free weights. When I moved into my tiny studio apartment in Manhattan, I took to the scary streets of Manhattan to run in the early a.m. knowing I had to be showered, dressed and at work by 7 a.m. Eventually, I joined New York Road Runners and I had friends who ran, and so I would run with friends sometimes or by myself. I knew running was "my thing," but I always did other things because I felt it necessary to have a backup plan. What if 2 feet of snow fell? What to do on the short days of winter when it would be dark upon waking and dark when I got home from work? I was lucky too because halfway through my years at my company, they moved into a new building which had a gym! This is the truth about that gym: With thousands and thousands of employees, I was the FIRST person to set foot inside and work out there!

In 1993, I ran my first NYC marathon, not so great, but nonetheless, it was a great accomplishment! With many races in between, as well as various gym memberships, I ran another marathon in 2004. I redeemed myself in 2004 because I ran a very comfortable, respectable and happy race that day. I even went to the gym the day after, and 10 days straight after that, which is something I surely was NOT able to do when I ran in 1993. In 1993, I could barely walk the day after the marathon, and so I had to stay home from work. My great run in 2004 was due to sensible training. Keep in mind, I was married with my two children at the time, working full-time. It surely can be done, you just have to schedule into your life.

Now I am a well rounded person because I just enjoy the fact that there is so many different things a person can do to stay fit and actually ENJOY exercise. I have a repertoire of exercise equipment and I just mix it up sometimes. Sometimes after a 4 or 5 mile run, I come back and do bits and pieces of stuff, like an awesome 20 minute Kettlebell workout, then hula hoop for 10 mins, then toning, and some core work. Everyday is not the same routine and this is just what I do for now. Knowing me, I will switch it up again, especially since I know life will inevitably switch up stuff on me! One thing I know for sure, everyone should spend a little time everyday doing something good for their bodies!

Here are 10 good reasons why EXERCISE should be a priority in your life:

1. Exercise is for overall life conditioning. It can either be done to maintain good health, to achieve good health, or to strive for a goal.
2. You can find the time to exercise and it can be in a variety of ways. It's not about trying to lose weight, but more so about giving your body the love it needs.
3. Exercise energizes you. The more you exercise, the stronger you become. Wherever you start from, if you keep at it, you will get better at it.
4. Exercise helps with mental function. You will indeed have clearer thinking.
5. Exercise elevates your mood and lessens depression. People around you will be happier too!!
6. If you really can't do it by yourself, find someone to exercise with because it will benefit you both, and enhance your relationship. BUT, truly inspire one another to keep at it.
7. Someone who exercises consistently is less prone to health issues. Exercise can have really and truly have positive effects on various illnesses. This has been proven.
8. Probably the best reason is, it's very good for your heart.... CARDIO!
9. You can eat more, but you will exercise even better, if you make healthier choices.
10. Your clothes will fit better and you will breathe better.

Aren't these great reasons to do this for yourself???


Rosa Mora said...

Thanks for inspiring me over 10 yrs! Every day is a challenge, but it's all in our heads! That is what I've learned!! I love all your new ideas.

Denise said...

Jackie you are a wealth of information, wish you could train me. I can't run, bad shinsplints, but do work out, my only prob. I love food!

Take care,
All the way from UT Denise