Saturday, March 23, 2013

Day 13: The exercise conundrum

I'm beginning to notice that I have more energy. I've always been wide awake in the morning and haven't needed caffeine to get me started since my drinking days so that hasn't changed.  But I putter around at night now, finishing up the dishes and doing a few small chores rather than debating whether I have the energy to floss or will just brush my teeth and go to bed.

I'm mostly noticing more energy at the gym. Normally I walk 20-30 minutes on the treadmill and then do weights and stretches and ab work. It's often lackluster and I kind of drag my way through it. This week I walked 60 minutes on Wednesday and opted to go again on Thursday when my buddy was suddenly free to accompany me. Today I walked 50 minutes. I have more stamina and more zip.

So why the conundrum in the title? Because I don't like exercising. I find it boring. I find it tedious. My mind is not engaged no matter how much I try to be in the moment. The best days are when I'm writing well on my current novel and I spend the treadmill thinking about the characters. But that didn't work today and I was conscious of all the minutes and many of the seconds in their passing.

I liked feeling more energetic but I didn't enjoy the time I spent doing all that walking. Walking outside is better for the entertainment value, but I don't get the same huff-and-puff workout crossing streets and skirting strollers and pedestrians. Besides, it was too cold today to be outside (deep frost on the neighborhood roofs).

So a challenge is going to be finding a way to make exercise more engaging. I know the standard advice: find a sport you love and stick with it. But I don't love any sports. I've been exercising faithfully since 1980 2-4 times a week, pretty much without fail. I do it for my health. I want to be ambulatory at 80 and 90.

However, my coach is suggesting more and longer walks. Yikes!

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