Yes, you read that correctly. I'm giving up! Some of you might remember that I joined my local gym back in December in hopes of regaining the youthful body I recently lost. However, it did not work. Not one bit. I did try too. I went as often as I could and pushed myself hard while I was there. But now after three months, lost interest and nothing to show for it I'm giving up (I think I actually gained weight to tell you the truth). I can now totally understand why some people give up on gym memberships so easily. Being inside sweating on a machine under artificial lights is not human nature.
Andrew Weil, MD wrote in his book, Spontaneous Happiness, that most people abandon workout regimes based on treadmills, weight lifting, and other gym-based exercise because deep in our primitive psyches we feel that such activity is a waste of energy. I completely agree. Our bodies were made for hunting, harvesting, traveling and living, not running in place and going nowhere. I would much rather spend my time working hard in my garden to burn calories and have delicious healthy food to show for it. Or what about a dance based house cleaning session? Now there is something I could get into! I need to have something to show at the end of my workout to keep me interested and find goals based entirely on weight loss to be discouraging.
I have also found that the artificial light of the gym does nothing to re-energize me. I need real light, like from the sun. Studies show that being outside in the daylight increases Vitamin D levels in your body which in turn give you more energy and can help you combat depression and other health issues. I do understand that in many areas of the world the sun is almost non-existent for several months out of the year. I experience the loss of the sunshine here in Michigan. During the winter months I can feel a difference in my mood, weight and overall health.
So while I am feeling bad about my body right now, during the winter, I know that spring is just around the corner. As soon as I can get back to being outside and active, these extra "hibernation" pounds should come off as easily as then went on. I believe there are many people who thrive on the "gym experience", I am just not one of them. I would much rather be active in a natural way and spend more time playing with my kids. So I'm giving up on going to the gym and making it a point to be more active in my everyday life. For me and maybe many others, this type of active lifestyle may work better than a gym routine. Remember though, a healthy lifestyle takes a balance of eating right and being active. What ways can we be active in everyday life that will burn calories but not feel like a routine? Here are a few that I came up with that I can easily work into my everyday life.
- Have a dance inspired house cleaning session
- Take the kids or dog for a vigorous walk
- Plant and tend to a garden
- Mow the yard (with a walk behind, riders don't count)
- Play with your kids outside
- Go for a bike ride
- Go shopping
- Hike through the woods
Have any ideas to add? Leave a comment below.
Hopefully this will inspire those of you who are just not interested in a gym style workout, but still want to be healthy. You do not have to "go work out" to get exercise. Just remember to stay active in your everyday life. After all, isn't any motion better than no motion?
Going outside to play now
<3 Dick and Jane