30 minutes, three times a week

IMG_2145It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, as long as you can get some activity, your heart will thank you for it. I wrote yesterday about exercising when I was obese versus being at a healthier weight, and how much easier it is for me now. With that said, one of the greatest quality of life improvements I made for myself was after I began exercising. I noticed that things just became easier physically, and I began wanting to be more active and doing more.

No, I didn’t set out to run marathons or do an Iron Man (and I still don’t!), but I did endeavor to get out and do things like go zip lining, go on trail hikes, and to go to carnivals, fairs, and museums where the main activity included a lot of walking. These were things that were difficult for me before but now, since I began with some walking and then worked up to light jogging, were easy for me. Fast forward nearly three years, and I’m running 8-ish minute miles consistently and pushing past 60-80 push ups in two minutes regularly.

I am not someone who LOVES exercise. That’s my sister. She loves working out, and I wish that I did, too. I do it because I feel it’s necessary and because of how good it makes me feel afterward. I also do it because I have to: I need to stay in shape as a soldier in the Army National Guard. However, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I derived some sort of enjoyment out of it. I’m competitive with myself, and I’m always pushing for better times and sometimes even for longer distances.

How did I get into running? Oddly enough, by doing push ups. I started by doing the most I could without straining, which as I remember it, was around 7. I then waited a day and tried again. 7. Took off another day and tried again: 10. And so on until I got to around 60 push ups. Then, something strange happened. I felt like doing push ups just wasn’t enough. After I finished doing my push ups one day, I felt like I needed to do more, so I went out for a walk. I continued walking every other day after my push ups until one day, I felt that the walking just wasn’t doing enough for me, so I tried a light jog. It felt great! It’s as if shackles were removed from my feet, and I felt free! Eventually, light jogging turned into jogging which then turned into running. Now, nearly three years later, I run regularly and I’m striving for a consistent sub-8 minute mile pace on a three mile run.

Once you’ve lost some weight, give exercise a chance. You might find you like it. It’s definitely easier when you’re lighter.

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