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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Exercise Is NOT a Dirty Word

Many words in the English language qualify as “dirty,” but exercise shouldn’t be one of them. The health benefits are enormous. People lose fat and gain muscle when they exercise on a regular basis. Their cholesterol lowers, their circulation improves, which decreases their risk of heart attack and stroke, and exercising can even lengthen a person’s life.

So why do many of us hate something that makes our lives better? Some people will tell you that exercise isn’t fun, that it’s hard, and that they don’t have time. Rather than spout excuses, they should find a form of exercise that is fun for them and carve the time out of their busy lives. Besides the previously mentioned health benefits, if they don’t overdo it, they’ll find that exercise leaves them happier and more well-rested. Yes, happier.

Exercise equals endorphins. Endorphins are those lovely polypeptide compounds that we release during strenuous exercise that make us feel good and are, therefore, fun. Now, I fully admit that when it’s cold outside and the wind chill makes it feel even colder, I have to convince myself that I should exercise rather than sip some hot coffee. What convinces me? If I walk my miles, I will be rewarded with a biological treat—a sense of well-being or happiness. Thank you, endorphins. It’s much like having a couple Lindt truffles without the calories.

Exercise also guarantees a better night’s sleep. Sleep is important to our overall well-being and happiness, too. When I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I am cranky and generally no fun to be around. I tend to see everything around me in a more negative light. The days I exercise, I sleep more soundly and wake up refreshed.

The key to success with making exercise a vital part of your life is to ease into it. A couple of years ago, I started my walking regimen at fifteen to twenty minutes in my neighborhood. It didn’t require equipment other than some good running shoes (better cushioning than athletic shoes made for walking). I won’t lie to you. Those fifteen minutes weren’t easy. I was forty pounds heavier and my knees and ankles hurt. Slowly, I increased my mileage and pace, and now I walk between three and four miles five days a week. It takes an hour out of my day. I view that time as an hour for me—where I know I’m being good to myself. Yup, that’s the WNP theme for this month’s blogs.

So how do you get your endorphin fix? Do you swim, run, rollerblade? Do you dance? Do you wii? It’s all good.

Barring illnesses such as the head cold currently making her miserable (thanks to her husband who will here forth be known as Typhoid Wesley), Maureen Hardegree completes her exercise quota for the day, then writes. Her story “A Tale of Two Kitties” will be included in BelleBooks’ tentatively titled Critters of Mossy Creek, which is due in bookstores in 2009. http://www.maureenhardegree.com/

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13 Comments:

At 9:46 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Sorry about your headcold, Mo! Hope you feel better quick!

I do not like going to the gym to exercise but I don't allow myself to think about it and then once I am there I am fine. And when it's over, I do feel good about what I've done. It's a great way to feel a sense of accomplisment every day! I love walking around the neighborhood. I can run on the treadamill for 30 minutes now, which I never thought I would be able to do.

Nothing worth doing is easy. Sort of like writing! :)

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Okay, Typhoid Wesley made me chuckle. Sorry you're feeling icky.

Good reminder about exercise. My preferred type is to go hiking, but unfortunately that doesn't happen much in the winter so I have to force myself onto the treadmill.

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Theresa,
Wow, you run. I'm impressed.

Trish,
Glad Typhoid Wesley made you laugh. He was telling me he was "dying" from this head cold last week. He wanted Dairy Queen as his last meal. LOL

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I go to Curves. It is the only exercise routine that I have followed with any consistency. It helps that the people at my Curves are fabulous, staff and patrons.

 
At 3:34 PM, Blogger Mo H said...

Diane,
I've heard wonderful things about Curves. Two of my critique partners have wii and do something called wii fit. They love it--especially the balance board.

 
At 4:19 PM, Blogger Terry McLaughlin said...

Hi, Mo :-)! You've inspired me to hop on my treadmill today. I don't mind walking, especially when I treat myself to watching a movie as I move ;-).

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger Ladyhawk said...

Walking has been a long time preference. After I herniated a disk, I started exercising again by walking to the house next door. Every few days, I'd add another house. When I'm most consistent, I walk 2-3 miles 4-6 days a week. I've heard my doctor recommend five 3-minute walks a day to someone really out of shape.

For a while, I did some serious cycling, as in 22 miles 2 days a week and 10 miles 3 days a week. I could do it, but I didn't really enjoy it. It was, in fact, pretty stressful, since there was hardly a day that went by without me having one close call or another. Truly scary when you see a car move, testing how close they can get, particularly knowing that some actually do try to knock you off your bike.

I've enjoyed weightlifting and my physical therapy. I've always wanted to try belly dancing, and a friend gave me a DVD this week. Trying something new. :-)
~Judy

 
At 8:19 PM, Blogger Merrillee said...

I love to walk and occasionally ride a bike. I live near the beach, so when the weather is nice, it is a true pleasure to walk there. I have to force myself to do weights. I have free weights and resistance cords, but they are not my favorite thing to do.

I think I ran into my own Typhoid Wesley on the plane ride back from Chicago. I've been dealing with a sore throat and laryngitis for nearly two weeks and can't shake it. So I the only exercise I've done in recent weeks is climbing the stairs to my office, unless you count shuffling cards as exercise. :)

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

If I have the time, I try to walk now that I can't run anymore. I miss running - it was such a great quick workout.

Good post.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Judy,
You have to let us know how the bellydancing goes! It's so important that you enjoy the exercise you're doing. If not, we tend to stop doing it.

 
At 8:54 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Yay, Terry!
Glad I inspired you to get on the treadmill. My husband and I have an elliptical trainer, recumbent bicycle, and a weight machine in the basement. I use one or several of those if I can't go outside, but since I live in a pretty mild climate I go outside as much as possible for my miles.

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Merrillee,
I so envy those walks on the beach!

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Dianna,
Did you stop running because of an injury? Just curious.

 

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