Wow! You all really surprised me with all of your comments on my last post. Thanks! Many of your comments were about my challenge goal of 8 or more hours of exercise a week, something that seems out of reach for many of you for a variety of reasons. Well, here is the deal: I did not get to that level overnight.
When I started this journey (June 26, 2010), I hoped I would move more. It is actually part of the mantra from Marion Nestle that I follow (you know the eat less, move more thing at the top of this blog). I had not exercised regularly for years. Years. Not regularly. Not really. Sure I took a walk now and then, even hoped on my bike. But because I was so out of shape when I did those small physical activities, I was slow, winded and sluggish. Not to mention embarrassed. I can remember going on a bike ride a couple or three years ago with my hubby. I did not know the trails around Minneapolis like I do now. Not only did we drive to the trail (which is less than a mile from my house!!), but I could NOT make it up a small incline along a grove of trees that I now regularly fly up. I had to literally stop in the middle and could go no further. That is how out of shape I was. I started really cycling shortly after I started this journey. I worked at it slowly; adding in longer rides over greater distances over a long time. I still do not think of myself as a fast rider, but I am way better than I was.I found my groove.
I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to be in the biking groove. It is like a little piece of heaven to me. To be humming along on my bike on a well-maintained biking trail, with our magnificent natural world wizzing by (trees, birds, insects and yes, weather elements) is fantastic! I can feel my bike purring when I am in that groove and I am purring too (if that were possible). You see, I love being outdoors. Getting on that bike and feeling the elements of the natural world around me while I am exercising is pure pleasure. Love it. Love it.
As much as I enjoy cycling, our season is too short in Minnesota. I doubt I will be riding much past November 1. Last year, I turned to walking when the weather went south. This year I hope to include (for the first time) cross-country skiing. To me the key to moving more is finding something that I really enjoyed. I did. But, I need to do more, just like Ewa suggested. I need to include strength training in my work out regime. I plan to, although I do not know what or how right now.
But there is more that I have been ruminating about regarding those eight hours. Eight hours is less than 5% of all the hours that I am given each week (168 BTW). To me spending 5 % of my week on exercise is reasonable, sensible and a habit I hope I to continue to cultivate when I head back to my normal academic life once my sabbatical is over. Five percent is not really much when I consider the investment return I get in increased stamina, vigor and sense of accomplishment. Not much at all.
Finally, what I really want to say is that you can do it too. Maybe not cycling but something else that suits you and who you are. You can do it. You can move more. You can. So, what about you: what percentage of your weekly hours can you invest for exercise? Can you shoot for 5 percent? If not now, maybe soon???
Thanks for reading. Thanks for your support. Stay strong. Eat less and move more. TTFN, Michele