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One area that I’ve neglected in my lifestyle is fitness. How much exercise I get in a day varies, usually depending on how I feel. We know that exercise is good for you, but how much exercise in one day is too much?
I thought I would find it easy to get into a routine given how well I’ve stuck to a healthy diet all these years, but this hasn’t been the case.
It’s easy to make excuses about why we can’t do something today and then push it off until tomorrow. And then tomorrow comes and we still don’t do it.
My recent experience trying to go running on a daily basis never went so great.
I ran to the park, felt good for a while and so I tried to step it up a little bit to compete with my fastest time. My muscles started to burn and I was struggling to get in enough air to carry on going. And after that, I stop and start over and over until I finish my run.
I never realized just how unfit I had become.
I’m at a very healthy weight, my heart rate is low at 50 beats per minute when resting, and my blood pressure is good. But my fitness was absolutely terrible.
I feel I need to condition myself a bit better and stick to a good routine. I used to be fit almost my entire life until now. I used to run home from school often, which was about 3 miles. I also played a lot of football which kept me at peak fitness. I could run for miles without any issues. I could run over the park all day!
Now I am struggling to do a few laps over the park. However, as I’ve continued with my training, I’m noticing a few benefits.
Things I noticed over the weeks of exercising
- I feel so alive and happy after each run!
- My sleep quality improved and I’ve been able to maintain a very good sleeping pattern.
- After each run, I noticed a nice “glow” when I look in the mirror.
- I feel that I have more energy (exercise increases the number of mitochondria in your cells).
- It helps me concentrate better and gives me better clarity or focus to take on the challenges of the day
It’s also just so nice to get out in the morning. It’s such a peaceful and beautiful time to go for the walk, it’s just me and the birds.
Although I still have some ways to go, I can see a dramatic improvement already. My pace is picking up a little and I don’t have to stop as frequently as I did when I first started to run.
I’ve realized that it’s best to not pay too much attention to the changes over a period of days because it seems like you’re not improving. However, when you look improvements you’ve made after several weeks, there is definitely a big difference in fitness.
At the moment I’m running between 10 to 12 miles per week. According to studies, this also happens to be the optimal distance for achieving optimal health and fitness. Running very long distances can damage health according to some studies.
I’ll be looking to buy a device soon so I can begin to track my running and measure my improvements.
1. James H O’Keefe1,2, Carl J Lavie3,4. Run for your life … at a comfortable speed and not too far
Article reviewed and updated: February 2019