Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Confession #1: I do not consistently exercise.
Confession: I'm terrible at consistently exercising. I don't like exercise for exercise sake. I would much rather do a physical activity because it's fun. I just can't do the same activity ALL the time. I get bored way too easily. So, I go through spurts.
I'll be really into Zumba for a few months (I love dancing and Zumba feels like I'm in a NYC dance class again). Then I just won't feel like going one week. So, I stop & don't get back to it for months.
Last year I was in a musical where I was in about 7 dance numbers. So, I was active for a few months there with rehearsals, then performances (and even dropped 5 lbs.). Afterwards, I needed a break, so I didn't do anything but rest for a month.
This year, I've been dealing with an old shoulder injury flare up & a lower back flare up. I was in Physical Therapy for two months. I did exercises that kicked my butt at PT for 45 minutes, 3 times a week. Then I did exercises for 20 minutes at home every other day. 7 days a week of exercises for two months straight. Yikes!!
After PT, I was kinda done and wanted a break. I didn't want to do any kind of activity at all. So I took a few days off.
Hubby & I have now picked up Squash and joined a club near our house. It's convenient and we can get a great, totally fun workout in 30-45 minutes. I've also begun hiking again. I have a couple groups I go with when I can squeeze it in. One week I walked or hiked a total of 10.5 miles in 8 days. Yeah, it was a loooong winter and I'm enjoying getting outside whenever I can. Hubby and I plan to take a canoe or kayaks out this summer (provided I can paddle without pain). We did that a couple years ago and really enjoyed it.
Do I do my 5 days a week of PT exercises? No. While my back is doing well, I still get pain with my shoulder when I do my exercises. So, I've stopped and I'm seeing new specialists for that. My shoulder gets aggravated playing Squash & hiking, but it's just achiness and won't do any further damage. I'm having fun, so I'm willing to deal with a little achy pain.
This is how it works for me. An ebb & flow of exercise. A constant choice. Sometimes I'm gung-ho and get a lot in, other times I take a break. Most Diabetic Educators will tell you that consistent exercise is best. My numbers concur. The more consistently active I am, the better my numbers. At the same time, I am just NOT a consistent person. I accept that and I accept the higher numbers when I'm less active. (NOTE: high numbers for me are not dangerous. You may need to exercise more consistently if your numbers are dangerously high. Check with your Doctor or Educator).
I don't push myself to do something every day or even every week. I need to be able to be active for the rest of my life and that means allowing myself to find new things, take breaks and be inconsistent. This, I can keep up with long-term. If I HAD to do something every day or even 150 minutes a week, I'd always be "cheating". By giving myself permission to be inconsistent, I get to enjoy and celebrate the fun things I find to do.
This past year I've been able to keep my A1C in check by being inconsistent. If/when that changes, I'll re-evaluate and make adjustments.
Also, what I've noticed is that I want to get out of the house more. I find myself looking for reasons to have fun being active. I could get more consistent over time. Who knows. My list of choices grows every year. I feel it's more important to create long-term habits instead of pressure filled requirements that I can't keep up with. I will continue to find sustainable ways to be inconsistently active.
How do you adjust what you're "supposed to do" for sustainability?