I have been a consistent athlete since 1971, when I discovered Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s seminal book, “Aerobics.” However, not simply satisfied with cardio training, I have also incorporated yoga, bodyweight exercises, weight training, and other physical activities into my personal exercise plan (s) over the years.
I said “plans” because despite a basic core that I worked on, as I worked, as life went by, circumstances changed, I learned more and grew, sometimes I had to change my exercise routines and methods. .
Still, a central fact was that exercise was part of my life. Even as I turned 60 and 70, I continued to exercise regularly. My body changed, and then sometimes my exercise changed, but I stood my ground and was rewarded with pretty good health, beyond what my genetics (my mother’s 100 years) provided me with.
However, time and events catch up with us at times, and a new “normal” lifestyle can become the customary lifestyle without us noticing that we have made a change, perhaps in a downward direction. As we get older, things commonly get more difficult, and sometimes it is very simple to do a little less or expect a little less of ourselves.
This happened to me a few years ago. My disabled wife and I moved in with our daughter and settled into a small suite of rooms on the second floor of their house.
The ultimate challenge for an arthritic “old gentleman”, as our other daughter calls me.
Once we settled in, the stairs became my enemy, my nemesis, and eventually I would stay upstairs to avoid going up and down them.
Unsurprisingly, they not only became a barrier psychologically, but they also became a physical barrier as it became increasingly difficult to climb up and down them.
I did not like this turn of events. I, the active old man, was being turned into a recluse, trapped in my attic, overlooking a small patch of street.
I decided to exercise my mind …
Reflecting on things, I realized that I was approaching the stairs with the wrong mindset. I assumed the stairs were difficult to do, so I did not do them.
That was not the person I have been all my life.
Changing my mind, I decided that the trick was to make the stairs easier.
How do you make something easier?
I decided to go up the stairs at least three times a day, whether I needed to go up or down or not.
The first days were difficult, I admitted. I separated the trips so that he would do a series in the morning, one at noon and another in the afternoon or evening.
Difficult at first, I stood my ground and after a few days it got easier.
Then I expanded to four trips, five trips, and finally six trips a day.
Then I started walking four days a week. First for 10 minutes, then for 15 … and to make a long story short, I stuck with that and now I walk 45 minutes a day, five days a week.
I’ve also lost 35 pounds in the last nine months, and stairs?
All because I stuck with it.
Those are the 4 words that include MY motivational exercise mantra. My exercise program worked because “I kept it …”
While what you choose to do, how you do it, how often you do it, and other factors are all important, nothing works unless you stick with it.
Hope this little story helps you.