Getting Started With Exercise

We are going to switch gears a little here and dive into the realm of exercise! Here in Naples, Florida conditions are perfect for running at this time of the year – mild temperatures and flat roads, as we’re approaching the Naples Daily News Half Marathon weekend! Which by the way was just rated the number one half marathon in the United States by Runner’s World Magazine! Exercise is just as important as diet and nutrition, and running is my favorite way to burn calories. What I love about big races like this one, is getting other people involved and seeing all the hard work pay off as you cross the finish line and are cheered on by strangers and friends. Tonight, as I anticipate this race, I am a little under the weather and hope I can shake this cold before Sunday.

Last year's photo at the finish... More friends to run this year in 2013!

Last year’s photo at the finish… More friends to run this year in 2013!

If you would have asked my boyfriend last summer if he could run a half marathon, he would say “no way, not me!” and now we are 4 days away from his first big event. This running thing he calls “a recent development” hasn’t been all butterflies and daisies for him, but a lot of hard work, early mornings, and achy legs. In about 3 months he has gone from a base of 2 mile runs to training runs with milage in the double digits AND at a faster pace than his original 2 mile runs. He will tell you he is not a natural runner, nor meant to do this, but I know he has found it satisfying. He likes the challenge before him, and I didn’t even make him do it.

What I find universal to all exercise is the mental strength and self confidence it brings. When starting a new exercise routine or training program for an event, the first few weeks are always the toughest. Your body is sore, your lungs are tired and you grasp just how much effort it is going to take. Then you realize and accept the effort and hard work that it is going to take and you step up to the challenge.  A good exercise program never gets easier… you continue to challenge yourself to help maximize the positive effects of exercise.

So I am not trying to convince you all to go train for a half marathon (even though I strongly believe that anyone can be a runner, and that all runners can do a half marathon with proper training), but to find something that you love. Exercise is not meant to be easy, but some types are more fun to some than others (like zumba for my mom or chopping wood for my brother). There is no upper limit to the benefits you can reap from physical activity. Here is a quick reminder of the national guidelines for adults on physical activity:

– Adults should do 150 mins (2hrs 30 mins) of moderate-intense exercise spread throughout the week
– Exercise should be performed in at minimum 10 min bouts
– Strength training should be included 2 x per week
– Avoid inactivity!

These are just the basic guidelines and are not whatsoever the upper ceiling. To take a closer look at the federally established national guidelines, click here: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/chapter4.aspx

Make an effort to meet these recommendations this week! I am going to load up on the Vitamin C and get plenty of rest to hopefully be back in good health for Sunday. Join me this weekend to hear the results of Sunday’s race – and to see if I still have a boyfriend ;)

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4 thoughts on “Getting Started With Exercise

  1. Carrie you will do fine on Sunday. I will check the stats later that day. As you know my favorite exercise is cycling. I live for the hills. Everyone thinks I am nuts, but the hills are the challenging part and the most fun. Like you say it is a sense of accomplishment. There is nothing like a good ride on a hot day in the great outdoors!

  2. Great points to keep in mind! About 30 minutes of moving a little more than average intensity, per weekday, is not unreasonable and definitely attainable. There are always ways we can work it in. Thanks for the reminders!!

  3. Carrie,

    How important is it to vary your exercise routine? I get 2 intense hours a week with Zumba but should I also add sometthing else to my weekly routine? No – I am not going to try and keep up with Gery and try cycling hills.

    • It is important to mix cardio and strength training, especially as you age. Take a class that invokes weight lifting at the gym if you don’t like using weight machines or free weights on your own.

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