It is not shocking that my mood is better when I get more exercise. I spent years hating physical exercise and even though I could stick to a routine for a few weeks, or even months, it never really stuck. Somewhere along the way though, something changed and I started needing it, craving it even. There are still days when I really don’t want to get up and move, but I know if I make myself I will feel so much better.
I got a bit lazy over the winter. Oddly enough, my favorite exercise activity now is running with my dog. Running outside. In my neighborhood. On the sidewalk or streets. Even typing the words now feels strange. I have never been a runner and even when I tried to force it, it was always on a treadmill. Running outside is a newish thing for me and it pretty much just sucks in the winter. It turns out I’m not a fan of running in ice and snow and sleet. So I got lazy. We’d still get out on nice days, but more often than not I used the cold or the cruddy weather to just stay in.
Fortunately for me, Phoenix gets a bit crazy when he doesn’t get out for a run (or walk) every day. Since the weather has been nicer, he is D.O.N.E. staying in and so am I. We’ve been walking or running every day again and it has been good. I’m trying to alternate running/walking so I can get at least one of my kids (usually my daughter) out walking with me a couple days a week as well.
The bad thing about running is that it kills my knees. There’s a lot of family history of knee problems and sadly, it seems that is one of the blessings I have received as well. In order to protect my knees, my doctor has given me exercises to do that will help to better support my knees while running. And I haven’t done them, because there is never enough time of course. Well, guess what I have now? Time. A lot of it.
So, because I like to do things all the way, not just start out easy, I’ve been researching workouts for runners. Since summer is coming up and my eating habits have gone significantly downhill over the last few weeks, I’ve now added not one, but two workout routines to my day. In addition to running or walking every day, I’m doing a squat/lunge/plank challenge and an additional 20-30 minute strength workout. I’m not going crazy, but working with what I’ve got at home.
I’m now three days into the routine and feeling really good about it. I’m also feeling really sore in pretty much every muscle in my body, but it is a good sore. It feels great to push myself in this way. I may not fit all of it in every day, but I’m ok with that too. Today I skipped the walk/run, but our riding mower is down (again) so I push mowed the entire yard and I definitely got plenty of steps in. When I was done mowing, my daughter asked if I wanted to join her for her 30 minute PE class workout and I couldn’t tell her no, so we decided to do it on the trampoline and had so much fun together. I got a second dose of lunges and squats in as well as some arm and shoulder exercises and we did some jumping in between sets. For the record, it is even harder to keep your balance while doing lunges on a trampoline.
Today was definitely a good movement day. After taking my second shower of the day, I’m now sitting on the couch and don’t even want to think about moving again…well, maybe to my bed. Hopefully, that also means I will actually be able to sleep tonight.