Friday, January 29, 2010

DCMM: Beneath This Doughy Exterior is a Lean Running Machine

Way back in high school physics, I learned that a body at rest will remain at rest. Over the past several years as I've tried to return to a regular exercise regimen, I have been reminded of that over and over.

Until my mid to late 20s, I didn't exercise much at all, and certainly not on purpose. But then came several years of rigorous, regular exercise. I would run or work out at the gym nearly every day. When pregnant with my first and second kids, I exercised to within a week of giving birth.

But then, somehow, somewhere, somewhen between my second and third child, I lost my way. I stopped exercising and I started gaining weight.

My New Year's Resolution—and I don't always make these, so this one is kind of a big deal—is to exercise more. Bottom line, I want to lose weight this year, but I want to do it by becoming a healthy, active person.

And, yes, I'm cutting down on my brownie consumption as well.

All of this is to say that I recently started an exercise regimen. I am now on week three of the Couch to 5K program and I've been alternating my running workouts with fun exercise using the Wii.

(Side note: It just took me five tries to correctly spell "exercise." I think that is a bad omen.)

This is the longest I've kept at exercise since I lost my fitness mojo four-plus years ago, and I think it's because I rediscovered an exercise that I love. Strength training is fine, and the elliptical is not so hard on your joints, but my body just really likes to run.

Whereas when I was on the elliptical, I felt like I was suffering through a workout, when I run, I feel like my body is doing what it wants to do. It feels like it is stretching and and feeding on the energy of the run. When I'm running, I feel good not just when I'm done, but while I'm doing it.

I used to run miles and miles every week. I would run laps around Lake Merritt back when I lived in Oakland, California. As there is no similarly scenic, round-trip route near me where I now live, I run on the treadmill.

The treadmill is not quite as awesome, but I can feel the running feeding my body. Which is preferable to feeding my body with M&Ms.

Still, there are days that I don't want to run, days that I am just not motivated. But I've been pushing through and trying to get those workouts in. Because I also learned in high school physics that a body in motion stays in motion.

Jean blogs at Stimeyland and runs an autism-events website serving Montgomery County, Maryland, at AutMont. She runs at home.

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