Monday, March 23, 2009

A Question Of Habit

I'm a regular. Unless I'm ill or have an appointment that just can't be scheduled at another time, I am very faithful about working out at the gym for about 2 hours, five mornings per week. That kind of dedication gets noticed. Occasionally I'll have someone comment on how hard I work, or that they admire my dedication and determination.

I had a lady ask me today how I keep up the motivation to be there, working hard, day after day. My quick answer was, "I have to", with an explanation that if I don't remain that dedicated I gradually lose ground. Slowly the weight comes back on, my strength diminishes, my flexibility declines and my cardiovascular health suffers. I notice a difference even after an absence of only 4 or 5 days!

After thinking about her question a little more, I realize I could have served her better by telling her of the value of good habits. It takes a while to build up a good habit to the point that it is so strongly imprinted, so automatic, that you no longer give it much thought at all. But then, when you no longer think about it, no longer fight with yourself daily to do the "right" thing, you've won the battle.

There are things that I do to reinforce this habit of daily exercise. I have set it as a top priority. I do my darnedest not to let anything get in my way. I workout at the exact same time every day. First thing in the morning, when my husband heads off to work, I head for the gym. When I schedule doctor or dentist appointments I make every effort to have them at a time that won't interfere with my gym time. Friends and family also know that this is my time and it's not negotiable. Of course because I go to the gym so early it is not hard to work around the needs of others. Not too many people are clamouring for my time before 9:30 in the morning, and by that time I've exercised, showered, dressed and I'm ready for whatever the day has in store.


Dorothy said...

Well, you're certainly an inspiration to me! I still struggle to fit time into my schedule. I have to be at work at 7:30 and by the time I get home from work, there are so many other demands on my time. Perhaps those are just excuses, but there they are! I admire you for your commitment!

Ruinwen said...

What a wonderful post! It is wonderful that you have such a strong commitment to your health! :)

Knitstress Tygher said...

Definitely an inspiration. I just wish I had the extra income right now to be able to afford going to the local gym.

June said...

Consistency is the name of the game. You might enjoy this article:

Marlene said...

No, I wouldn't say that those are just excuses Dorothy, they are definitely challenges, but challenges can often be worked around if the commitment is there. For instance, is it possible for you to take a walk during your lunch break? How about an evening stroll after dinner?

I realize that I'm very fortunate to be in a position right now where I don't have to work outside my home. It makes scheduling things like daily exercise so much easier.

Are you able to take a daily walk Knitstress Tygher? Walking is free and it's not only good for the body, but for the mind as well.

AlisonH said...

I think "I have to" sums up the entire idea in a way that conveys perfectly.

PJ said...

It's an awesome thing you do. I have to say I like routines and if I have them I can't interupt them or I fall off kilter. With me it's all or none- I wish I would have a more flexible outlook and then I struggle with that! I thought with my schedule of having hours in the midday I would get 'working out' chores/errands, but getting up at 4:50 and work at the time 9-10am comes geez, I just want to SIT. I know that needs to change! Glad you shared something so personal!