Friday, April 13, 2012

Pursue: Exercise

As I talked about before, I'm working on pursuing better health this year - which inevitably means figuring out some new exercise plans!

I am not particularly athletic - I'm actually known for being somewhat of a klutz! But there are some forms of exercise that I do enjoy:

*elliptical machine
*any kind of dance

But unfortunately, most of those can't be done easily (or cheaply) in my own home. Which is kind of a requirement of mine right now. The first time I tried to work out after my surgery, I was shocked at how little I could do. As in, I tried to do one jumping jack and couldn't get my feet off the floor. It wasn't that I wasn't trying - but having your abdominal muscles sliced and diced means a whole lot of things just don't work the way they used to! So, I feel too self conscious to go out to a gym or workout class of any kind. I need my own space and time to figure out a new way to get my body to do all the things that I took for granted a couple months ago.

So, I decided that I would buy some workout videos and also commit to doing more walking (eventually jogging hopefully). After hearing and then doing my own research, I bought some of these ugly shoes -

Yes, I'm going to be a barefoot/minimalist walker. Go ahead and laugh - my best friends did when I first told them! But I hate shoes in general and there is a lot of research out there that going barefoot is better for your joints and body overall. So, I'm giving it a whirl!

So far I've been walking about 3 times a week and gradually increasing my distance and pace. I did a full mile the other day and was pretty proud of myself!

Then I also bought some DVDs to work out to in the comfort of my living room - Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and a AM/PM Yoga workout.

I love the yoga DVD - the stretching and breathing is great for helping me relax after a long day. Plus, yoga is supposed to be great for toning the "core" muscles - which I definitely need!

The 30 Day Shred is my nemisis though - it seems like it shouldn't be THAT hard, the individual exercises themselves aren't that complicated to do. But put them all together with Jillian's "encouragement" and I want to keel right over. But I can't deny that it is a great workout and I have felt the changes in my strength and stamina change over just a few days.

Which is exactly how long I stick with it before something distracts me. So far the longest I've done it in a row is 5 days. Two other times I've only made it two days! So, the other day I decided I needed some external motivation (other than just the getting healthier and feeling stronger - silly, I know!). So, I went back to my childhood and made myself a paper chain!

First I pulled out a magazine and found colorful advertisments. I thought about getting out the scrapbook paper, but that would have just aided in my procrastination!

Then I cut them into strips - I cut the long way and got 4 per page.

Then I began linking them up - I didn't use any kind of pattern, just put them together at random.

Piper needed to check out what was going on of course...

Once I had 28 links (I was already on day 2), I hung it up in my living room so that I can't avoid seeing it.

Also, I'm pretty sure its staring at me too.

 Tearing off those links will hopefully inspire me to keep going this time! We will see!


  1. You don't know me but you've inspired me and educated me with your other blog. Check out
    and in particular the forum at

    You'll see lots of supportive online help from people who have gone through similar health challenges. The focus is on exercise for health--mental and physical.

  2. I've been using the Wii Fit for a year now. Dropped 25 lbs doing it, then gained it back in muscle with the strength training part. The thing that I like about that is it helps you focus on your center of balance and monitors your progress, and if you skip a day or two, it chews you out.

  3. Rach - Do you own a pedometer? It's a great way to encourage yourself to get extra steps every day. We've used it in a lot of studies and it is impressive to see how many people are encouraged to get extra steps when they can get immediate feedback. Omron and New Lifestyles are two brands that I recommend.

  4. Did you know that many yoga studios do work studies? Basically you volunteer for a couple of hours each week to clean or check people in, and can get free classes in exchange.

  5. P.S. When you are feeling up to leaving the house more that is :)


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