Monday, November 17, 2008

Why Don't You Exercise?

In the past few years, while visiting Madison, I noted how many fit people can easily dominate a sidewalk or pathway. That was very appealing to me. I prefer not to be the only person outside when I go for a run, and I could see that I would be respected by bikers and drivers here. You cannot take that for granted, as I have learned. This is a very healthy city. It is no wonder Madison was recently rated 3rd "Healthiest Hometowns" in AARP.

In college, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression, along with a ton of other friends of mine, and I remember one of the worst days I had. It was a Saturday, and I was on the phone with my sister, a psychologist, who told me that I absolutely needed to get outside, and go for a walk. I couldn't bring myself to leave the house. I was prescribed Zoloft, which I took for several years. I stopped taking it when I was training for the marathon, and started it again at some point (I don't remember when). When I started running regularly, I didn't need my zoloft any more. My exercise is my anti-depressant, and a lot of people will tell you the same thing.

I can't begin to tell you the wonders that running have done for me. I have to get my heart rate up, I need to sweat, and I love the feeling when I am finished.

Do you know when you are debating taking a nap in the middle of the day? That feeling of exhaustion? That is a perfect time for me to run, (although I do try to get it out of the way in the morning). Do you know if you get your heart rate up, and forgo that nap, you will be extremely grateful, and the exhaustion will have sufficed? I hate taking naps, and feel depressed when I wake up from them.

On the same note, I rarely feel extreme fatigue during the day, and I have my addiction to thank for that.

The high that I seize from this accomplishment lasts all day long - no joke. I perform better with work, I am in a better mood, I am excited about life, and feel more positive. So, why don't more people exercise? I don't get it.

Here is something else running does for me. When I am sick or hungover, and I go running, I feel like it gives me energy I didn't think I had. It cures my hangovers. It makes me feel like I have a stronger immune system. In fact, I woke up this morning feeling like I had a cold coming on, but the run made me feel refreshed. I feel fine now.

Mondays don't bother me. I don't hate my body. I feel good about myself. I can eat what I want. I sleep well. I have excellent blood pressure. I manage stress well. Again, I don't understand why more Americans don't get their heart rates up. There is no reason not to.

Studies have shown all sorts of wonderful benefits of exercising: Better sex life, stronger bones, better memory, longer life, cardiovascular health, etc. Especially if you are a parent, not exercising is selfish. In my opinion, if you have a history of health problems, and you fail to workout, you are doing a disservice not only to yourself, but to your children. Don't you want to live a long healthy life for them?

I have preached to many couch potatoes about getting into shape, without much success. When you have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, (except pounds) why aren't you sweating? I really want to know. Your comments are encouraged here.

I appreciate all of your e-mails, by the way, but this time, please post a comment. Why aren't you exercising? The time thing is no excuse, by the way.....


  1. I got out of the habit when I was about 7 months pregnant. After the baby, I was too uncomfortable and in too much pain. Then I did start up again. Now with the snow, I cannot walk outside with the baby. I guess I haven't come up with a plan yet to have some one watch the baby while I exercise. By the time Alex gets home to help with the baby, I am completely exhausted. Perhaps you have inspired me to get on that.

  2. Yo Janie!
    I agree, running is a great anti-depressant. Did you experience any setbacks when you first started running? Did you have to work up to the level you are at now?
    I do love that high you feel when you finish a big run- nothing else like it.

  3. [retransmission}


    Just saw that you're blogging on exercise.
    I think I am turning into a running freak... I even added a widget to my facebook page to show how much I run (linked to my Nike+). And even though I was on vacation in Paradise (Dominican Republic - Punta Cana) I still got up at dawn to run 2 miles (3 times) on the beach and through the resorts streets.

    But I have to agree with the idea that doing the body good is SO good. And I am glad to hear that you wanted to share that with your readers.

    Keep on keepin' on...


  4. I couldn't agree more. Sometimes laziness gets the better of me, which is probably the answer to your question why many people don't exercise regularly. But I try to run regularly and I'm always happy when I do!