As always, before beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician. When’s the last time you had a good “check up” or “physical” . . . hmmm? When’s the last time you tuned in and listened to your body’s signals? Hmmm?
Now. While flailing about with my ‘treadmill aerobics,” I listen to music on my iPod Nano to help set the tempo and distract me from anything “outward” other than Me, My Body, Movement. After an hour on the treadmill, I do resistance training for my muscles, and then yoga to stretch—three times a week without fail unless the failing cannot be helped. On the “non-treadmill days,” GMR and I walk—not leisurely walks in a la tee dah, but at least a good strong 30 – 45 minute walk, or occasionally a longer more strenuous hike.
I do this because I have come to love it and my body has come to accept and embrace it. I do this because I’ll be 55 this month and though I don’t want to look 25 or even 35, I want to be strong and supple. I do not want anyone in my family to have to care for me in my “olden age” because I did not care for myself. Do you see/understand that? You out there who are smoking and eating shit-that-ain’t-good-for-nothing-but-nasty and sitting on your butt never moving, etc etc etc? *Personal Trainer Kat gives stern look* When our bodies fail us, someone has to pick up the slack, whether financially or physically/emotionally, or all of those things. I do not want this. Yes, I do understand how sometimes things do happen that are not under our control and we need help, but you know this is not what I am talking about, right? Right. I’m talking about Choices. Choices that we make every moment of our lives that we do control.
Folks, if you really do want to stay healthy. If you really do want to age well. If you really do want to have energy and stamina and strength, then you must work for it. WHAAAAA? You may say. But . . . but . . . so and so said all I need to do is take a pill, or eat this bar, or drink this elixir, or put this contraption on my abdominals and sit on my ass, and all those things will do the work for me! Lawd y’all! All the research dollars wasted (to me it is a waste) on finding some magical pill or device so people can sit on their couches and eat crap and not be affected/effected by it. My personal trainer heart just squeezes at this. Ungh! Ungh!
I wrote some “work-out writer” posts and in one of them I asked, “How bad do you want this?” Well, it applies to life; it applies to love; it applies to work; it applies to our health—how bad do you want this? And if you do not want it, then why? Are you kidding yourself? We humans are expert at Justifications(/Excuses). Oh, yes, we are!
Sometimes we have to feel some “discomfort” to achieve our goals. Sometimes things are not easy. Sometimes life is just haaaaarrrrd *pouting whine.* Well, Personal Trainer Kat is here to tell you to Suck It UP, because nothing easy ever really lasts, or nothing easy is really appreciated to its fullest, or nothing easy makes us feel Accomplished and Proud.
Okay, maybe I never told my clients to suck it up (in those words . . . teeheehee). Because I have empathy, and because I understand how difficult making life-decisions are. How it really is hard to stop an old comfy habit and replace it with a sucky habit like working out and eating healthfully—unless you are as I am and love to work out, and if you are as I am and most times enjoy eating healthfully. When I eat crap, I feel like crap. When I don’t move, I feel like crap. When I sit on my arse and whine about how hard life is, I feel like crap. Who wants to feel like crap? Children move with such abandon: when did we lose this?
Off your ass—it’s the only way. Pay attention to what you put into your mouth and make healthier choices—it’s the only way. Or maybe I should write: It’s the only sure way to stay healthy and strong for the duration. Magical pills and quick fixes and most every “Diet” on the planet may help you in the short-term, but if it is not something you will do for Life, then you just may fail, or do things half-heartedly and only reach a tiny bit of your goals. Small changes make for later larger ones—
Do you drink soft drinks/soda/pop/Cokes? What if you replaced even one of those with a glass of water? Do you have a candy bar for your “afternoon slump” snack? What if you replaced that one snack with something healthier—a little fruit and a little low-fat cheese, or, oh, shoot, there’s so much information on healthy snacks out there that surely you can find something besides a candy bar? Save the candy bar for a “dessert treat,” or better yet, eat something really decadent that you will savor and enjoy for your “dessert treat” instead of quickly gobbling down whatever is in easy reach. Do you ever park farther out to walk to your building/shopping mall/grocery? When’s the last time you took the dog for a walk? Played outside with your kids? When’s the last time you felt really good?
How we think about ourselves and our bodies becomes our reality. I believe this. Of course, yes, as I wrote above, bad things happen to us that are not in our control—this too is life. But while we do have that control, why not use it to our advantage?
So, I’m on the treadmill, and there is a cardio song that starts off at a nice energetic tempo that I jog to, but near the end of the music, there is a deep but barely there voice that simply says: now—I can almost miss it if I’m not paying attention. Up until that point, my heart rate is pretty steady, but when I hear that deep but soft now I know the tempo/beat is about to rise, rise, rise, rise soar rise—asking me to give it all I have. I then speed up the treadmill to where I am running full out for nothing, near as fast as my legs will go; I am sprinting on that treadmill. I am near to flying on it. My heart rate soars. I am flying.
But what interests me is this: right as I know that now is coming, my heart rate picks up a little. Then when he says now and I know the music is going to ask me to Kick It Up, my heart rate picks up even more so—even though I have not yet increased my speed.
My brain asks my heart to prepare for what it knows is coming based on my expectation/anticipation. My brain hears that now and sends a “Hey! Here we go! Get ready!” to my heart, and it begins to pick up its beat even before I change my action. We control much by our thoughts. Our brains send signals based on how we anticipate what comes next. I think there must be a metaphor/analogy in there, don’t you?
How do you want to live the rest of your life?