My Favorite Things About Exercise

It seems like when I fall off the exercise wagon, it’s because I forget all the things I love about it. Hopefully I can refer to this post when I lose focus.

  • Instant mood booster – When I feel blah, it’s hard to start to workout, even though I know I’ll feel better. This is a reminder – You feel great for the next 24 hours. DO IT!
  • Feeling strong – Some girls/women don’t like to be “strong” for some reason. I, on the other hand, LOVE IT. I love I can throw my nephew in the air and am one of the few people who can. I love being able to lift heavy things with “the guys” and I LOVE seeing muscle definition! I live alone so it’s necessary to be able to move most things on my own. And if I don’t strength train, there’s a good chance I’ll hurt myself doing some of the stuff I try to do. I still know my limits, but they’re a lot higher than a lot of women my age or older.
  • Talking about it – This might be totally vain, but I love discussing workouts with other people. Whether it’s sharing workout tips, or just talking about what workouts you do. It’s a fun little circle to be in.
  • Sense of humor – I can be a negative person. Most of the time I feel like I’m realistic. But after I’ve worked out, things bother me less, and I don’t seem to be AS negative. Will I ever be super-positive Suzie? Nope. But I do think I’m more tolerable after working out.
  • Watching what my body can do – I’ve been strength training for about 10 years and when I first started I was in awe of what my body could do. I did have a weight lifting class I took in high school, but I didn’t take it seriously and never worried about increasing my strength. There was a girl who lifted heavy weights and she didn’t exactly have a girly figure, so I assumed if I lifted heavy, I’d get bulky. Now I assume she was probably using some type of steroids to bulk up. And I don’t look at her as negatively. If that’s her thing, all the power to her. I can see how getting stronger would be a high. I still don’t have any desire to be bulky, but I do like to see how much I can lift!
  • Muscle tone/definition – I know I already mentioned this, but it’s a big deal for me. I may not be the thinnest person, but strength training gives me pretty defined legs. Friends have told me they’re jealous I don’t have cellulite, and I try to tell them strength training, biking and running have toned my legs. They’re not perfect and I don’t wear short shorts or skirts, but I do love my strong legs. If I can get some more fat off, I’ll be excited to see my toned arms!
  • Improved running and biking speed – I swear the more I lift weights, the easier running gets. It might be a mental thing, but it makes sense that the more muscles I have, the easier it is to move my body.
  • Increased calorie burn- I know there’s some studies refuting whether more muscle really means more calorie burn. But for me, I swear it equates to more burn. I can eat more and not gain weight when I’m strength training. Add in running, and I feel like I can have mostly free reign (minus binges of that over-full feeling, or getting drunk all the time) over what I eat and drink.
  • Breaking a sweat  – I know it’s weird, but I feel great when I break a sweat. It’s probably the combination of getting my heart going and my whole body working at its peak. But it feels great to sweat during and after a workout.
  • Clear skin- After I get past the initial breakouts when I start working out, my skin looks great! I still get the occasional blemish but cut way back on makeup I wear when I’m working out. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to get away with that, but I’m sure I’ll always see skin benefits.
  • Sound sleep – I sleep so much better after a good workout. Especially after running. I sleep soundly and feel more refreshed, even if I still can’t motivate myself to get out of bed for work!
  • Healthier eating – When I’m working out, I tend to naturally want to eat healthier and not over-indulge so I can get a really good workout in. I tend to fuel my body with more natural foods and less junk. And I overeat a lot less, especially if a workout is coming later that day, or even the next morning. I know what I eat directly affects how good my workout is.
  • Progress and Accomplishments- I love the feeling when a certain set of weights is too light and remembering when they were too heavy. Or when I can get through an entire workout I one time could only do a portion of. Or when I can run a solid mile, two miles, 5K, 4 miles, etc. There’s nothing better than making a goal that seems unrealistic then meeting it. And surpassing it.

I know I can be a lot stronger and in a lot better shape than I am now. I challenge myself to get in peak shape, no matter how long it takes. At one point in my life I couldn’t do any pushups. Then somehow, with regular strength training, I could do almost twenty. My dad, Mr. Perfection, was impressed with my form. I’m back to not being able to do ANY pushups. So one of my goals is to get to 20 pushups. Here’s a list of things I’ve conquered, things I’ve conquered in the past I know I can get back, and things I want to eventually be able to do:

Running

  • Run two miles – Check! 9/5/2011
  • Run a 5K – Conquered in the past, want to again.
  • Run 4 miles – Conquered in the past, want to again.
  • Run 5 smiles

Biking

  • Bike 20 miles – CHECK 8/15/11
  • Enter duathon (biking and riding)

Strength Training

  • Full set of 30 pound dumbbell rows
  • Full set of 25 pound dumbbell squats
  • 100 pound bench press
  • 120 pound bench press 
  • 150 pound bench press
  • 1 pushup – Have conquered before, want to again! CHECK! 9/12
  • 5 pushups – Have conquered before, want to again! CHECK! 9/12
  • 10 pushups – Have conquered before, want to again!
  • 15 pushups – Have conquered before, want to again!
  • 20 pushups
  • 1 pullup – NEVER DONE BEFORE!
  • 5 pullups

Edited 9/13:

  • 35 pushups
  • 50 pushups
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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ivanna
    Sep 11, 2011 @ 11:32:17

    Hi! You should add 100 pushups to your strength training goal list because it IS possible. My older sister and I did the 100 push up challenge at hundredpushups.com. Since we couldn’t even do 3 boy push ups yet, we did the program “girl-style” (on out knees) and at the end were able to complete more than 100 GOOD FORM girl push ups! However if we struggled with a week, we would repeat it. It really helps with your strength you should check it out, it will help you reach your goals! :D

    We haven’t started the program with regular pushups yet but plan to soon. Good luck on reaching all of your goals!

    Reply

    • stumbletowardhealth
      Sep 12, 2011 @ 09:22:24

      This site is awesome! I’m going to try it!! I’m going to TRY boy push ups. I can do a decent amount of girl ones, but for some reason can’t do any boy ones. I feel like a lot of it is probably my core strength, and that my stupid wrists hurt like crazy I think from beginning stages of carpal tunnel. Couple that with the 30 pounds I need to lose and I can’t do any!

      But if I can use this program to get up to 20 pushups, I’ll be excited!! (And, hey, maybe one day 100 pushups.)

      Reply

  2. Trackback: Push Ups – Challenge Extended « Stumbling Toward Health

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