“I tried lifting weights once. But they were heavy, so I put them down.” – Kent Appleman (an old friend of the ours from Tulsa – not sure where he is, but if he finds this site please leave a comment!)
I’ve lifted weights for 30 years but I always loved that quote.
I make it a point not to be an exercise nanny, but I thought I would pass along a few tips.
At the risk of sounding like a dated Nike shill, my philosophy is Just do it. My advice to people who haven’t been exercising is just to do something . . . anything! Walk around the block. The next day, go around twice. Work up to walking 15-20 min. three times a week for starters. It is virtually impossible to injure yourself and you can then phase into something more strenuous if you like. Or ride a recumbent exercise bike (much more comfortable than upright bikes and easier to read while you’re pedaling).
You do not need to do extreme exercise. I think that is a barrier for many people. They think that if they don’t do something strenuous for 90 minutes, 7 days a week then they shouldn’t do anything. But you don’t have to run a marathon. Hey, I don’t even like to drive 26 miles.
Get an mp3 player and listen to something as you go (Uh, walk against traffic, please!). It makes the time go quickly. Download some sermon Podcasts. Pray. Talk with a friend. Anything!
If you change nothing else in your lifestyle and diet, walking 50 hours per year (an hour a week) will have a real impact on your energy level, weight and health. You’ll find that once you start it gets easier. Remember that it takes about a month to make or break a habit.
What is my exercise routine? I work out 4-5 times a week and do a mix of weightlifting and riding the recumbent bike. I used to jog but it was aggravating a nerve problem in my neck. Every now and then I’ll throw some swimming in but that definitely isn’t my forte’. I used to play volleyball and tennis but got tired of them. Maybe I’ll pick them up again someday.
I work out roughly 50 minutes at a time. Much more than that and I get bored and start dreading the workouts. I prefer working out at lunch – it is a great stress release and a good break in the day. I try to do a workout that is challenging but sustainable. God willing, I would like to keep this up for another 35-40 years.