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 giving how well I’ve stuck to a healthy diet all these years, but this hasn’t been the case.
You know how it is right?
We always 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. Getting into a habit can be difficult, and it’s really about our mindset and psychology.
My recent experience going running wasn’t great.
So, I ran to the park, so far so good, I thought. As I step it up a bit, trying to complete the run in a fast time, my muscles started to burn, I was struggling to get in enough air to carry on going… And then I stop. And then start again. And then stop. And start again. This went on the entire run until I finished.
Wow! How unfit I felt! How could I let myself become so unfit like this?
I am at a very healthy weight. I have a very healthy blood pressure and very good blood results, but my fitness sucked.
I realized that this had to change. I had been fit almost my entire life but had let it go. 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 used to drink lots of vegan protein shakes and really keep on top of my physical health.
At least 5 days each week, no matter what the weather is like, I force myself out the door to go for a run. It’s getting started that’s the hard part. When you’re in the middle of the run you feel good. When you finish, you feel amazing! Before I get out the door, I start my morning with a couple of cups of mint tea which opens up the airways and is great for your breathing. I eat a bit of licorice, and maybe eat half or a whole small banana. It only takes me about 20 minutes from the moment I wake up to get myself out of the door.
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 looked 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. Just me and the birds. 🙂 I’ve actually grown to really enjoy it and look forward to running! And what a difference 6 weeks makes! Although I still have some ways to go, I can see a dramatic improvement. My pace has picked up and I’m no longer having to stop frequently just to catch my breath. Every time I go out I push myself just a little bit further.
I’ve noticed that it’s best not to pay too much attention to the changes over a period of days because it seems like you’re getting nowhere. But when you look at week to week, there’s definitely big improvements.
I’ll definitely keep this going! 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 the best health. Running very long distances can damage health (see the video posted).
So the question I’ve been asking myself: Should I run the half marathon this year in October?
I’ll be looking to buy a device soon so I can begin to track my running and improvements in speed & time. I’ll share here in the future as I keep you updated.
1. James H O’Keefe1,2, Carl J Lavie3,4. Run for your life … at a comfortable speed and not too far