Exercise: Anything Better Than Nothing [en]

[fr] Côté sport et exercice, n'importe quoi est mieux que rien du tout. Du coup, pour reprendre ma bonne habitude de vélo, je m'y remets avec des tranches de 15 minutes (30 ça me paraît décourageant juste là). Ce n'est pas assez, mais c'est mieux que rien.

In summer 2009 I bought an exercise bike. I have heart valve prolapse (no panic, nothing really alarming, had it all my life) so my endurance is naturally bad, and some irregular judo training is absolutely not enough to compensate for my sedentary lifestyle and increasing age (I’m not 20 anymore and I’m starting to see it).

Cardiologist’s instructions: 20 minutes a day (30 seems better) at 125-135 or so (that’s for me, varies with age). I’ve exercised pretty regularly since then, but I regularly fall off the wagon, sometimes for months on end. Between Bagha’s death and India for example, I hadn’t sat on it much since mid-December before I clambered back on the wagon a few days ago.

Born-Again Flat 03

We all know that getting back on the wagon is always difficult — whatever the wagon. What helped me here? Realising that in the case of exercise, anything is always better than nothing. So instead of trying to do my whole routine immediately (which includes 150 ab crunches of various varieties, stretching, a yoga exercise, “gainage“, and 30 minutes on the bike) I decided to just start with 15 minutes on the bike and 50 abs. In the spirit of what I learned reading 6changes, I’m first getting back into the habit of exercising — nevermind if I’m not really doing as much as I should be doing. That’ll come later.

So, if you’re not exercising and feeling guilty about it, start with something easy. Get into a routine of doing some exercise every day. Whatever you do will be better than nothing.

I think a big mistake people make when they decide that they need to start exercising is that they try to do too much too quickly, hence falling victim to New Year Resolution Syndrome.

You’re going to fall off the wagon. The most important question to answer is: when you do, how will you climb back on? Take it easy.

And remember: just walking ten minutes a day is better than not moving at all — even if in an ideal world you should be doing 30 minutes of exercise a day.