I need your help. For some of you, this will actually be fun. I’m speaking of the nags in the crowd. You know who you are. You put on that whiny voice and say “Haven’t you finished __________, yet?” So when you’re tempted to nag your kids or spouse, consider that they really don’t what to hear your nagging, but I do! No, this isn’t license to nag me about anything and everything you want, but I am hereby giving you permission to nag me about one thing in particular. In fact, I’m asking you to.
So just what is it that you should nag me about??? Exercise, of course! My New Years Resolution is to get more exercise, and you can help by keeping me focused. If you just want the short version, skip to the last paragraph.
Before I get to the specifics, let me review a bit of history (I can’t make anything short and simple, right?). When I turned 25 (over 10 years ago, now), I decided I would try to make a minor but consistent diet change. That came after months of debate with myself over whether I should do it then or wait. I had some pretty bad eating habits which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I decided to live it up until my 25th birthday and then try to eat better. I didn’t set very specific goals, but did generally outline these ideas: 1) cut down ‘some’ on bacon and other really awful, fat, tasty stuff (sausage, other animal fats, etc.), 2) eat more veggies, and 3) when there is a choice between higher quality, fresher foods and junk / fast foods, pick the better option. I never intended that change to be radical (I knew I wasn’t ready to be a diet fanatic… and I’m still not), but I’ve done a pretty good job. It’s not uncommon to catch me eating some broccoli or green beans now, and though I probably still have way too much bacon and sausage, I bet I’ve cut my consumption in half on average (yes, it was pretty excessive before!).
While I was still 34, I began working on some additional health improvements. One of the things on the menu was exercise. After some interactions with my doctor in early 2009, I decided that my 35th Birthday might be a good time to take another step: regular exercise. I knew the day would come that I would have to put more effort into taking care of myself. While I can still fit into pants I wore 10 years ago, they’re starting to get snug. Worse, I’m just not in the physical shape I once was and there may be some serious risks involved in keeping going the way I am.
With that background, I set out to solve a rather monumental problem which has, for most of my adult life, stopped me from exercising regularly. My lifestyle makes it very difficult to do anything consistently. I spend about half of my life on the road in hotels, airplane seats, or various eating and drinking establishments. What I have available to me for exercise varies widely. I can’t count on sports partners (I used to play Racquetball a lot), or even hotel gyms (not all hotels have them). The weather sometimes prevents me from spending lots of time outside and some forms of exercise don’t suit my body, notably running (it causes knee problems).
I decided I needed to come up with a set of exercises that would provide a variety of benefits that would not punish my knees and would not require any equipment. I wanted to be able to do it in my hotel room with, at most, my laptop and anything I’d likely have with me in my room. I successfully designed a routine that I did accompanied by a powerpoint presentation (timed, to keep me honest). I was well on my way until I discovered that some of the exercises were hurting my feet. Though my knees were okay, the jumping jacks and running in place (which were an important part of the routine) just weren’t cutting it. Instead of making quick fixes and keeping with it, I slipped out of the habit of exercising.
So my New Years Resolution is to get back in the habit. In preparation for that, I spent some tome fixing up my routine. Fundamentally, it was a good idea and mostly good implementation. However, I needed to find no-impact, no-equipment-required warmup and cardio exercises. Unfortunately, that’s not easy to do. I think I’ve found some that will work, and I hope I’ve found enough that, even if what I have now isn’t perfect, I can stick with it.
My goal is to get good quality exercise no less than 3 times per week. To meet that goal, I want to at least consider exercising daily. If I aim for 4-6 times per week, I might actually make 3 and will be satisfied. As with coffee consumption, I’ll probably take time off when I’m not feeling well. Given the fact I’m out of the habit now, and am also ‘out of shape’ again, I’ll give myself some time to work back up to doing the full routine at the full frequency. For now, my goal is to start at least attempting to do it regularly effective immediately, and be in the habit of doing the full routine at least 3 times per week by the end of January.
One of the things I realize is that I’ll need some discipline that I don’t currently have. That’s where all of you come in. 🙂 I need regular encouragement to sacrifice some precious computer time (Cafe World can wait, right?) and do my workout. It might also be helpful if some of you nagged me for results. I track what I do, and could be shamed into reporting on it.
So nag me already, and help me get in shape and stay in shape!