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I need to exercise more. Ugh.

Studies have show that for weight maintenance (especially for a significant amount previously lost) a person should do about 60-90 minutes of DAILY exercise.

I really hate exercising.

Actually, that's not entirely true. I don't mind exercising after I get myself going, it's just starting that's the hard part. I can be really really good at talking myself out of it. It's also about forming a habit or routine for doing it regularly.

Right now I bike to and from BART every day, that's 20 minutes. I'm thinking of using my lunch breaks to walk around our block a couple of times at a good pace (no stop lights or streets to cross, just solid walking). That would add about another 20 minutes. Jonathan also wants to get into a habit of exercising more (even though his job has him working a lot, another 30 minutes would probably help him) so a plan we have is for him to meet me downstairs right as I get home from work so we can get in a 10-20 minute walk before I even sit down and demotivate myself. Of course, because of his class schedule, we could only do that on Mondays and Fridays. However, now that we're getting close to the rainy season, I can't depend on doing that every day. Going to work soaked to the bone isn't my idea of a great way to start the day.

Another option is that on Monday nights in Oakland there's a swing dance class. It would be about an hour or more of dancing. Jonathan already knows some steps and while I can't dance to save my life, I think learning would be fun and a class setting would be great. I wouldn't be able to bike to BART that day but I would be getting in 60 minutes of exercising.

Other options include: actually USING my membership to the Y (which is only a block away) and waking up early to do it, but I hate waking up early. I could do it right when I get home from work - just run upstairs and change my clothes and go, but there's the danger that I'd just sit down and won't get up. I know a lot of people run, but because of my leg that doesn't really help. I'd love to find a tai chi studio that I could connect with much like I did with the one back in Minneapolis (oh god do I miss that studio). I've looked into Yoga but the only class that I could take would be on Saturday mornings (which might not be a bad idea). I wish I didn't get home so late. Most classes in my area start at 6 but I don't get home until 7. Sad Panda.

What I'm really trying to do is erase the idea that exercising is for WEIGHT LOSS. I want to focus my mind to view this as a HEALTHY LIVING ACTIVITY. If weight loss happens, faboo, but I should really be thinking of how exercise will improve my heart, my mind, my emotions, my longevity, and that it will help me maintain a healthy body.

So really it looks like my options are to drag my ass out of bed earlier and make it work for me, but if I resent doing that, the less likely I am to do it on a regular basis.

Do you guys have any suggestions? Once again, I'm really trying to focus my mind on the health benefits of exercise, not just the weight loss option.
 
 
 
 
 
 
It sounds like you're already doing some great things. Biking to the BART station is a great start, and the Monday night dance class would be a good idea -- lots of fun and exercise, too. And the walking during the day is a good thing; it's a great way to just clear your head and enjoy the day if the weather is good.

Do you have any podcasts you enjoy listening to, or perhaps want to listen to more audio books? You could use your gym time in order to listen to those (you can also read on some of the cardio machines, though I know some people get sick doing that), and it could become your time to enter into the world of audio entertainment.

Also, if you have money to do so, do not underestimate the power of fancy new workout gear. I'm not necessarily saying that you need to buy a fancy road bike (though depending on what you ride and your budget you could consider upgrading), I'm talking about say, a nice new technical shirt. Not just "eh, this is good to work out in," stuff, but "omg, it's so cute, I need to use it right away!" stuff. You don't always need to spend a lot of money on it, it just needs to be comfortable and fun to wear. And if you are going to be biking to BART in the rain, a good rain jacket and rain pants would be a worthwhile investment.

I love waking up early to go to the gym, but that's also kind of my thing. This isn't everyone's thing, and that's okay. However, if you go at the same time every day, it doesn't matter when, it gets to be like brushing your teeth. It's just WEIRD if you don't do it at that time. Habits are a good thing, and if you make yourself to do something repeatedly, UNLESS you dislike it (and don't go to the gym if you don't like it!), it will become habit.

I also wanted to share one last thing -- yes, I recognize the health benefits of exercise, and that's certainly a motivator, but one of the main reasons why I've maintained a routine for years is not because I recognize the health benefits, but because exercise is my time to be with just me, to forget about everything else going on in my life and to focus on something that is not related to my work or my personal relationships. It's how I deal with stress and even if I'm not stressed it still feels good. The goal of "I want to remain healthy" is a noble goal, but appealing to yourself on an even more base, primal level may keep you going.

Anyway, I've shared more than my 2 cents worth, sorry. Good luck!