Friday, October 10, 2008

Exercising for the Health of It

I started exercising my junior year of high school - I'd run on the treadmill in the workout room in our apartment and swim laps in our tiny pool.

(Honestly, though - the running was just because I could watch Friends at 7:30pm while I ran. And my mom wouldn't let me watch it with my younger siblings around. Something about promiscuous values. But, anyway.)

I haven't always had the best relationship with exercise - I've often viewed it not primarily as a way to relieve stress, be healthy, or feel good - but as a way to lose weight.

Let me be clear - I am a, dare I say, thin person. I've never really had real issues with my weight (Well, okay, there was that time in college I worked at Coldstone for two months and gained 10 pounds. Mmm...milkshakes with cookie dough.) Of course, because I objectively haven't had weight issues doesn't mean I'm not a typical woman with insecurities and silly moments where I crumple into a heap on the floor over my tummy pooch.

I love to run, though. LOVE.

However, about a year ago, I began to suffer from what I think is illotial band syndrome - which causes knee pain when running. That, combined with my insane ability to somehow not gain weight despite occasionally eating cookie dough (Confession: I buy Trader Joe's cookie dough for the explicit reason of popping chunks of it for dessert. Who needs baked cookies?) and running less made me feel like a sloth.

No one likes to feel like a sloth.

Even though I was effortlessly weighing less than I did in high school - I wasn't moving. The novel idea that, "Hey! I can exercise for other reasons too!" hit me and I've started walking.

Yes. Walking. (What? It's totally exercise!)

I figure, I'm going to be a power walking mom one day, might as well get a head start.

I even got a pedometer. It's true. I have no hope of ever being a hip 20 something.

For the past few weeks, I've been getting up at 6:45 instead of 7:30 and heading outside for a 30 minute stroll. It's wonderful to spend some time outside before stuffing myself into dress pants and a cubicle. I love moving around before I sit down for 8 hours. I get some time to myself and work up a tiny sweat. Plus, walking around outside is far more relaxing than running on a treadmill next to other people while we're all rigged up to our TV screens.

Walking allows me to be able to think about the day ahead of me and pay more attention to my surroundings. I still adore running and getting all sweaty (seriously. I do.), but until I figure out how my health insurance will allow me to get physical therapy (without my knee problem becoming a "pre existing condition" when I change jobs in July. Argh!) - I'm sticking with the slower paced, more relaxing morning walks. Mmm.


  1. Dang - 6:45 is the normal time I get up to get ready for work! I wish I could wake up at 6 or earlier and do some type of exercise, but it's like impossible!!! But anyway, I just love the way getting a little exercise makes you feel...even if you don't feel good beforehand, you feel AMAZING after!

  2. That's awesome! I wish I had the foresight to wake up early to work out. It makes the day feel much better.

  3. love the post, and i agree, getting exercise is the morning is so great. definitely the best kick start to the day!

  4. Smart! I need to start waking up earlier to try that, because by the end of the day? I'm totally not in the mood to exercise.

  5. could you be anymore adorable?!

    you have incredible stamina and motivation, which I extremely lack. I'm gonna try to work on that though.

    cookie dough = LOVE.

  6. Man that's awesome. I did that while I was at uni. But haven't done it in a long time. My jobs are quite active though. But I miss the exercise when it isn't work exercise if that makes sense. Maybe I'll go for an evening stroll or jog... sounds quite blissful come to think of it.

  7. You are super motivated to wake up that early to exercise! I love going to the gym, but I am not a morning person so I don't wake up until the last possible minute. I agree though, it is great to work out just because you enjoy it. It makes it much more fun. :)

  8. Wow. I impress myself when I get up at 7:30 for yoga once a week. Let alone 6:45 for a morning walk! Gah, you are the one who is impressive.

    Before I started running, I was definitely a walker. Which always made me laugh because, dude, it was walking. I kept thinking, "I'm not doing a darn thing here, am I?" But I was. It's sneaky like that.

    And luck you for being such a petite little thing without even trying! Seriously.

  9. You are adorable! I love that you started hitting the treadmill to watch "Friends." And I hope that one day I catch the bug you got where you love running! Which reminds me, must make it back to the gym. Ah! Haven't been in so long. Anyways, kudos to you for getting up early for some morning exercising! Man - you were proud of me for making it to work by 8:15 and you're up walking at 6:45! You rock! I'm so sorry that you have illotial band syndrome - I'll cross my fingers that your health insurance gives you physical therapy! Yay for walking! I love walking around the neighborhood with John at night -- I bet morning walks are so peaceful. And yeah, would help ease the pain of 8 hours in a cube! ha.

  10. I love walking a lot more than running. I think it's because of running track in high school...I didn't love it but I did it because I was good at it.

  11. I love walking! I've never been much of a runner, and at this point I decided to stop pushing myself that hard. I walk at my lunch break. I absolutely love the peacefullness of a fast walk. I get to see things around me, notice change in seasons, say hi to people that are also walking, and it's a great break from my work day and sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours :)

  12. I definitely take walks. Dan and I walk all the time, usually before our evening tea. That totally made me sound approximately sixty years old.

    I get to see you soon. YAY!

  13. Oh I love walks. I'm going to run a 5K in spring, which is pretty big for me but I love the power walks along the lake on the weekends. Clears my head. Good for you getting out there!

  14. Ha, I did the pedometer thing for a summer and loved it.

    "I figure, I'm going to be a power walking mom one day, might as well get a head start."


  15. I'm oddly opposite of most people our age... I love to go on walks and hate running. I can't explain it.

  16. way to go!! exercise and I don't get along to well!! but i do looove to walk - I usually keep track of my steps throughtout the day also - makes me feel better!

  17. Look at how cute you are with your pedometer. I really need to kick myself in the butt and get up early to exercise before work. Unfortunately for me I was not blessed with a naturally thin body. Most of the time I'm ok with it, but I really do need to keep myself healthy.
    Have a I told you I love reading your blog? I do.

  18. first of all, your picture could totally be a commercial for the pedometer! just adorable!

    otherwise, I'm kind of the same ...I SHOULD work out more than I do because {while I do stay the same weight pretty much} I am starting to see {that with age} the ole' butt isn't as high as it used to be and things all the way around are a bit more, well, wriggly! and it's really just gonna get worse if I don't stop being so lazy! ...but walking is GREAT! :) better than running in my book . sorry for the novel! ha.

  19. Walking in the morning sounds so peaceful. I used to get up and jog, but for some reason since I started school back I'm too tired to get out of bed at the right time, let alone 45 mins early! Good for you!

  20. This post makes me love you lots and lots. And it makes me want to live where you do because it would make me be more motivated if I had a workout partner who wanted to keep it up for the sake of being healthy.

    I've never enjoyed running, but I can walk a whole heck of a lot. I wish I just did it more. :/


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