When I graduated high school, after 4 excruciating years of PE, I swore I would never exercise again. I remember taking that vow, which I remember VERY seriously.
I was always a clumsy child -- didn't walk until I was 18 months old (VERY late), couldn't figure out how to pedal a tricycle when I was 3, and ALWAYS got hit by the ball when we were forced to play dodgeball in elementary school -- they always made sure I got in the center, so they would have an easy target, and to this day, I'm terrified of balls.
I could never do the suspended ladder (brachiating), nor climb the rope in the gym at high school, and, of course, I was always last chosen for the team sports that we were forced to play.
PE was the terror of my day.
I'm also a person who does NOT gain fitness very much. Years ago, I tried an aerobics class, and did fine in the beginning, but as the course went on, it got harder and harder, and I finally had to drop out because I just couldn't keep up with the routine. Even if the folk dancing I'm doing, there are some dances I sit out of, because I just can't move that fast.
So the reason I'm writing this post is to hear from those who AREN'T super-athletes (I mean YOU, AR!) about how they manage exercise without emotional problems. I've already heard all the advice about finding the exercise you enjoy, and keeping at it and increasing the load or distance gradually. What I'm talking about is that I DO have limits, some of which are physical -- not pain, at all, just I cain't move no faster, and some of which are emotional, which is that exercise has been a dirty word all my life.
I do go folk dancing at least once a week, and my cardiac APN sneered at me that it wasn't cardio (too bad!), and a friend gave me a pair of 3 lb. barbells, and I won't let myself open the computer unless I do some work with the barbells first, but I'm really looking for some help with motivation.
Can you help?
Well, exercise doesn't have to be "just" exercise. Gardening, sweeping the path, fetching firewood, scrubbing the sink, carrying laundry about, all these count. Walking is OK, but it's much nicer with a camera or a dog. Or a sketchbook. I don't walk, hate the stuff, but I love my bicycle and it has the advantage that you can get somewhere quite fast, too. Exercises for their own sake get old really fast...
Otherwise, if you want exercise that doesn't "ramp up" you might look for a good Tai Chi or Qigong class..
I'm not a super athlete, I'm a moderate athlete! The best I ever finished was 7/53 in my age group, in the first 5K I ran. Then I moved to Chicago and I guess there's more faster old guys than me on the trail so I haven't come close since then. I'm racing myself (and the grim reaper?) more than other people.
For me, a big motivation is to have "flow" time to listen to music. I have been through the (16K...) songs on my ipod several times and have several different playlists ("ShortRace", "ExerFloat", "OOrah", etc. for different moods) and sometimes will listen to an album. When we moved, despite the negative effect on my finishing, we ended up in a house that has 3 great trails within a mile of my house so I can loop them together and find a way to find a comfortable distance. I've always read that to "get" cardio benefits you have to go 20 minutes and that walking counts but I think you can't stop to smell the roses when doing so?
When I was 275 lbs,running was not in the cards so I'd walk around the neighborhood. I agree with Helen that bicycling is a good way to go too, a bit faster and very low impact, particularly if you splurge for some padded shorts and gloves!! I did quite a bit of that too and still work nice rides in because they are fun. I still use the Garmin and obsess over how many calories I've burnt off because I think that's fun too but riding at a moderate clip is ok too. It may be counterindicated to ride w/ headphones to get the music but that's pretty much fun too?
its funny,im the exact opposite. If i dont get my exercise in, i become mental.I border on addiction i swear. Things like getting sick do more than annoy me, because they slow me down and often force me to stop. I never have more than 1 day off in a row when i dont exercise.
The beauty of it all, is that diabetes has no predjudice i suppose!
now im off to bed i have a triathlon tomorrow hahaha