I know we usually reserve that honour for laughter, but really, exercise kicks laughter right out of the field – and then invites it back in with that glorious post-workout endorphin high. However, as I’ve been reminded, there is a certain minimum “threshold dose” for exercise to be effective.
There were some months last year when I spent as much time in hospital as I did at home, and when I was finally home to stay, the black dog had its fangs locked onto my ankle. My poor little mind/brain/body matrix had been through hell last year, and I’d put on a LOT of weight. I was also carrying an ankle injury which made it painful to walk any distance. It’s only been in the last month that I’ve started exercising again.
My local YMCA offers personal training at $30 for 30 minutes, which is pretty awesome. I started going twice a week before Christmas. Then came the expected Christmas break. I was very happy that I enjoyed food during the Christmas-New Year week but still managed to lose some weight! However, the only exercise I did during that week and the next was walking.
You know what? Walking just doesn’t cut it. At least, not for me. I’m still grossly unfit – I can’t jog for 20 minutes straight! – but walking doesn’t seem to (a) be vigorous enough to improve my cardiovascular fitness, or (b) give me an endorphin rush. Unfortunately, because I was focussing on my diet, I didn’t quite realize that my fitness was slipping. Let me tell you, Monday’s session with the PT was not fun this week!!! Yesterday was much better: we did some boxing training, which I’ve never done before. Turns out I like taking a swing at things. This may interest those who theorize that depression is a symptom of unexpressed or repressed anger …
One thing I’ve learnt, journeying with the black dog, is that you just have to start where you are and go from there. I’ve been going out jog/walking this week – jog 60 paces, walk 60 paces. My husband reminds me that’s how I started, way back in the day when I began training for my first half marathon. Funny how we forget those things.
Anyway, there you have it: exercise = good; more exercise = better; but like all good medicines, don’t forget to read the warning labels and never exceed the recommended dose!