Exercise: alter the way you see things

That neighbor who likes to run a lot. Could that be you too?


I get a lot of comments from others like, “OMG, I hate running. How do you do it?”

Running is not something done everyday and not the only exercise I participate in. That running habit is balanced with other things such as yoga, light weights, resistance bands, hiking, and a daily walk with the dogs.

One of my doctors recommended to add swimming to the weekly routine. But swimming is not something I enjoy, so that’s not going to happen on a regular basis. Participating in a triathalon (swim, bike, run) was something I did with a friend about 10 years ago and that experience confirmed that swimming is hard for me.

The main reason running is my exercise of choice is because it’s simple. Plus I really do get that runner’s high during and after. There isn’t fancy equipment required other than proper running shoes. Trust me, it’s important to invest in a shoe (brand) that fits the shape of your foot and stride.  (My preference has been Saucony, which was discovered in high school when I was on the cross country team.)

Running also helped life get back to ‘normal’ after cancer treatment. The doctors know how important it is to me and it makes them happy too when their patients are able to do something they enjoy again.

Earlier this year I trained with the Atlanta Track Club for my first Peachtree Road Race. Being around others (that running group/tribe) who enjoy running was a big confidence boost and we motivated each other every week.

There are unlimited forms of exercises and we tend to limit ourselves to one or two forms. An exercise goal should be to benefit your body through four forms:

  • strength training (muscle and bones; aka anaerobic)
  • endurance or aerobic (benefits your heart and lungs)
  • flexibility (helps your muscles, joints and overall body)
  • balance exercise (helps prevent falls)

Some common exercises are biking, swimming, CrossFit, yoga, weight lifting, running, aerobics, karate, etc.

We know it’s important to move on a regular basis, but sometimes make excuses not to do it all. It’s in our nature to avoid things that can require too much effort.

Hmmm, maybe I should re-join the local YMCA and start swimming again…

What’s your go-to exercise? What can you do to alter the way you see exercise to make it a consistent habit?

P.S. Do you know your exercise capacity? The “stair test” is a simple way to determine your exercise capacity, which is the ability for high levels of physical exertion.

The goal of the “stair test” is to climb four flights of stairs at a fast pace —without stopping —in under a minute. If you can do it, that’s good. If not, you should exercise more. 


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