Last year around this time, I was really struggling to make a commitment to exercising on a regular basis. I would occasionally go to a yoga class or go for a run through the neighborhood, but I never had a set routine. I would average maybe one hour per week, and I knew I needed to improve. My goal was to make it a habit.
I decided to start recording any exercise I did on a calendar, and kept track of it for one year to see how much exercise I could log. There was something very rewarding about writing my workout down and how long I had spent doing it! I hung it over my desk at home and every time I looked at it, I was reminded of how much hard work I had done and this encouraged me further.
Getting to color little pink hearts under each entry somehow helped…
Every month I tried to beat the previous month’s “score”, sometimes it just wasn’t possible, but I tried my best. This past year was the most challenging and busy year of my life, and guess what, I managed to log a total of:
Total dedicated exercise hours!! This is good for me folks, coming from someone who has never been a regular exerciser.
I decided to nerd-out and create an Excel graph of my average hours of exercise per week by month. As you can see by the trending line, I improved from about two hours per week to almost four.
How I spent my 146.35 hours:
- 73 hours of yoga
- 19 hours of elliptical
- 14 hours of weights
- 12 hours of walking
- 10 hours of hiking
- 6 hours of running
- 2 hours of biking
- 3 hours of paintball
- 1 hour of Ultimate Frisbee
- 1 hour of driving range
- 0.5 hours of basketball
- 0.5 hours of soccer
Switching it up between different forms of activity was the key to not getting bored.
And now, I can feel totally comfortable calling myself a REGULAR exerciser, I have created a habit. I don’t mind going (most of the time), and when I miss a workout or two I definitely can feel the difference. I’ve had people ask me recently if I’ve lost weight, but I’ve actually gained almost 15 pounds from when I first started regularly exercising. I can tell it’s mostly muscle (hopefully ;-) ) because I still look the same size, just more muscle definition.
Being in the routine of being active is such a great stress reliever. It has helped me get through a year of school, internship, studying, job searching and to retain my sanity.
Let’s chat! What do you do to motivate yourself to exercise regularly?
Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!