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How Do You Know If It's a Habit?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Today was tough.

I REALLY didn't want to go outside to do anything in the way of exercise. And I didn't want to do my Leslie Sansone 4-mile walk dvd in my living room either. Truth is, she drives me crazy.

I've had a good week so far . . . nice long walks on Monday and Wednesday. Bike rides on Tuesday and Thursday. I've been feeling pretty good about my progress.

This morning I got up and the weather had changed from warm and sunny to cold, blustery, and snowy.

My "get up and go" got up and left.

My entire body ached all day.

I worked over at my Mom's place, packing up her belongings, so that we can sell her home. That took me a couple of hours and it's still not done. I'm sure I burned off a few calories there.

It was my day to walk and it would have been sooooooo easy to say, "Not today. I'll go tomorrow instead."

But, I didn't.

I went out and walked over 3 miles around my neighborhood, through the cold, snow, and wind.

Once I got moving, my body didn't ache as much. I had my IPod with my dance playlist going and my Runkeeper app tracking my time/distance. My mind was free to wander wherever it would and I found I was amazed that I was out there marching around in such yucky weather. I found myself wondering if today's walk meant that exercise is finally becoming a habit.

How do you know?

Is it a habit because you do it automatically or because it seems "unnatural" to not do it? In other words, is exercising now my default behavior, like brushing my teeth? I don't think so. At least, not yet. Otherwise, I wouldn't have had to talk myself into it.

I'm not at the point where exercise is enjoyable or even all that comfortable. I know that will come with time, but, for now, it's definitely a matter of pushing myself beyond comfort (which doesn't take much with my current level of fitness). That said, I can definitely tell I'm improving.

This is going to sound a little off the wall, but sometimes, when I'm exercising, I feel like my body's changing. It isn't anything I can put my finger on, like a certain spot feels different or stronger. Just a sense that I'm different.

Still, if I'm honest, I also have a little voice in the back of my head reminding me that the day will come when I don't follow through on my commitment to improving my health; that I'll find something "better" to do with my time than exercise. But, so far, that voice isn't winning.

If exercise were a habit for me, I wouldn't have to think so much about it. It wouldn't be a big deal or huge accomplishment that I was out there today (or any other day), slogging through the wet weather. Exercise would simply be what I expect of myself. It would be "the norm". That's not me. I congratulate myself for every walk or ride I complete. And, when I extend my distance or decrease my time? That is cause for major celebration! It's setting small, day-to-day, workout-to-workout goals, so that I'm in competition with myself, that keeps me going.

I don't think exercise is a habit for me yet.

BUT . . .

I think I am on my way.

Is exercise a habit for you and, if so, how did you know?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I totally understand where you are coming from. If your comment was strange, then we can be strange together.
    770 days ago
  • EDWARDS1411
    Some people just never make exercise a habit of choice, but they do it because they know it's so good for them. I used to be an exercise fanatic, but now an aging body doesn't allow me to do what I want and now there are times for numerous reasons that I have to back off, but when I get back at it it's like my body remembers and it gets back into it quickly. I don't know if that's a habit or not, but my body sure appreciates it.
    772 days ago
  • NHES220
    I think you are on your way!
    772 days ago
    I'm not a big Leslie fan, either.
    Nothing wrong with patting yourself on the back on a job well done...or even getting put there and doing something!
    I have always been a proud gym rat and loved some form of exercise (I think I am blessed with strong and consistent endorphin rushes) but since my hips went bad 6-7 year ago it has been more difficult.
    Mostly I am in the warm water pool or walking gently or doing gentle forms of yoga and tai chi.

    773 days ago
  • BETRHO48
    emoticon Looks like you had a great day.
    I don't know when something becomes a habit either.
    emoticon And I can definitely identify with your thoughts about exercise. Frankly, I hate exercise and don't know if I will ever like it. But I do make myself go out and walk 5 days a week, striving for 8,000-10,000 steps per day. Sometimes I achieve that; sometimes I do not. But I am not quitting.
    773 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/10/2017 8:16:57 PM
    You did well...Be proud..And I am so happy to hear Leslie drives someone else crazy too!!!!
    773 days ago
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