So why is exercise my focus for the month? It isn’t because I don’t exercise at all. I actually like to. I find that subtle odor of rubber and sweat that I notice in the gym exhilarating. And I consider running on the greenway trail behind my house my church, because of the health and renewal I experience. I am focusing on exercise because that lovely communion in the woods is really only happening once or twice a week lately, and I never go to the gym anymore. I also want to diversify my workouts. In the past I have gone through periods where I had a series of toning exercises I did before bed. I noticed that when I did those my runs actually became easier. I felt more like flying than running. I have also noticed, now that I am in my 40s that on occasion I start feeling a bit stiff or sore. When I even feel a tinge of those aches I immediately prescribe myself a dose of stretching, and typically that solves my immediate problem. I know, however, that as time goes by, I am going to need to make stretching part of my normal routine if I want to continue to have smooth mobility over the years.

 

For the next month my goal is to exercise in some way, maybe even a combination of ways for 30 minutes six days a week. I will use my 7th to rest. It seems like a good idea since God suggested it, and because our human bodies need to rest. I also like to try not to set myself up for failure. I am sure there is one day a week when I won’t get around to doing my exercises, so I may as well build that in to my week. I want to do a combination of the running that I love, the stretching and toning that I need, and maybe I will even experiment with some other forms of cardio.

 

Along the way I want to learn more about what science is telling us we should do for our bodies these days to keep them healthy. It seems like research in this area follows trends, goes back and forth, and sometimes even contradicts itself. I’m going to do my best to find out what really has been proven to work at this point. I want to try different kinds of exercise. When I choose a workout, if it isn’t running, I tend to jump toward some kind of toning or abs video. Then I might follow up with some stretching because it feels so good. My repertoire could use some shaking up. I haven’t done any zumba in who knows how long. Is that even still a thing? What other efficient, creative workouts are out there that I haven’t even given a shot? I might find my new favorite.

 

I will also look at some new workout clothes. A few years ago I decided to really search out a running shirt that had a little pocket for my headphones, a colorful print that was not flowers, and some support up top. When I found it at Kohl’s department store I got three and I have left well enough alone ever since. Surely there are new and impressive outfits in an affordable price range. I’ll find out. I also wonder what new gadgets there are to help whip you into shape. I remember giving the thigh master a shot back in the day. I have used stretchy bands, medicine balls, steps. Are those still the equipment of choice or are there newer alternatives? I’ll try to find out.

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