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Exercise and Stress

In my previous post I mentioned how I'm no longer signing up for events as it was becoming a stressor for me to train for these events. I'm writing this post in the hopes of helping people figure out what is a good stress vs. a bad stress when it comes to exercise.

A picture taken at a FitAthalon
I participated in. And LOVED!

Lets face it everyone (or most everyone by human nature) likes to take the easy way. Case in point if you could be healthy by either sitting on the couch eating a bowl of ice cream or sweating during a run outside most people would probably pick the bowl of ice cream vs the run as it's more pleasurable. Unfortunately that's not a reality. If being healthy meant eating a bowl of ice cream we all would be fit and trim in this country. That is something the diet/food industry knows or prays upon so we have the latest fad diets along with weight loss pills and fat free, low fat, processed foods in the grocery store. These are illusions that are the answers to our weight loss prayers.

Unfortunately there is no easy way out when it comes to losing weight and being fit. But fortunately we can control what we eat and how much we move. That is something we can't buy on a shelf or in a weight loss plan.

When it comes to moving our bodies there are many benefits to exercise.

Here are just a few:
Lowers blood pressure.
Releases endorphins that help lift your mood.
Conditions your cardiovascular system.
Builds muscle and burns fat.
Helps prevent bone loss.
Stress reliever.
Sleep better.
Decreases appetite.
Helps maintain a healthy weight.
Helps in weight loss and therefore lowering risk for certain diseases like diabetes.

Before every workout there's a part of me that's not looking forward to it but I do it anyways because I know how I will feel during and after my workout. Once I start running for example the endorphins start flowing and I feel 'normal' when it comes to my depression symptoms and even great in most cases. After my run I feel a sense of accomplishment that lasts me for a good part of the day if not all day.

When a particular routine or workout isn't working for me I hate it from the moment I start to the moment I finish. I have no joyful sense of accomplishment afterwords and some anxiety is in the midst of the experience. That's what happened to me a week ago when training for an event (the event is a duathlon that takes place in one week) and I of course decided to drop out of the event. It's something I initially signed up for enthusiastically but since then things have changed. I'll be collecting my T-shirt and rooting my friend on from the sidelines.

Typically a bad workout doesn't happen. Most of my workouts (the Jillian workouts are fantastic by the way!) I enjoy and find challenging in a good stressor kind of way. While I initally may not feel particularly excited to sweat or exert myself I feel great during and after my workouts (there's no bad stress).

If you find yourself being stressed in a bad way about a particular type of exercise change it up. There are so many activities and workout routines to chose from. Keep working at it until you find one that works for you. Life is too short to be doing something you hate!


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This morning was 35 degrees, rainy, hilly, and I couldn't have done it without the great group of women I ran with today. 
As I was running I received a few comments on how cut my calves looked.  The first thing that came to mind and I said out loud was: "yes I have big calves".  The response I received was: "I wish I had your cut calves".  It's funny how what we have others want and vice verse (I would prefer smaller less cut calves however they do come in handy on the hills).  It's funny how perceptions can very greatly from one person to the next.
The picture in this post was taken after the run.  I tried to flex for the camera to see what my running partners were talking about.  If I can get a better picture I'll post one later.
Today I am wearing running tights for the first time btw - and I love them!  I don't look as bad as I thought and they feel great on.
Ladies you keep me going.

Keep moving no matter what!