Friday, February 06, 2009

Benefits of daily exercise


I only have six days left in the 30 days from my original 30-day challenge; my first day of exercise to start my streak was January 13th. (I remember because a good friend had a baby the same day.) Assuming I work out every day for the next six--and I see no reason at the moment why this can't happen--I will have worked out 28 of the 30 days.

A 93%. Not 100%, but not too shabby. Actually, just having worked out 22 of the past 24 days works out to slightly more than six days a week of exercise. Excellent! For the past 3+ weeks, I have FINALLY been doing MORE exercise than my doctor recommended.

I have to say, I have seen LOADS of benefits from this daily exercise thing. I am sleeping better and snoring less. (Yes, I sometimes snore. Poor MM.) My energy level is higher--and more constant--throughout the day. Because my energy level is higher, I am able to concentrate better at work. (Well, I *would* be able to concentrate better if I wasn't preoccupied with non-work stuff.) I am finally, FINALLY having fewer headaches: I've only had one (mild) migraine since the 30-day challenge started and fewer tension headaches. When I do have to take medication for a headache, I can take less and the headaches don't last as long.

I perceive a significant difference in my exercise endurance, too. I can jog longer, go faster, and generally feel better while working out than I did before. It's no longer a struggle to get through a 30-minute workout. In fact, most days I quite enjoy it. For example, I had a kick-ass 30-minute workout on the elliptical trainer last night at the gym. . . . so good, in fact, that when the 30-minute program ended, I hopped on the treadmill and jogged for five more minutes! I certainly didn't do that prior to this challenge.

Because I have also quit caffeine, started acupuncture, and gone for an hour-long massage every other week since starting this 30-day challenge, I cannot say with absolute certainty that all the things I mentioned above are attributable to (almost) daily exercise.

The scale hasn't really changed much with increasing my exercise, but I do notice I am slightly firmer in places, and MM says I look a little smaller to him. And honestly, I didn't start this challenge to lose weight (though it would've been nice!), so I'm fine with this.

I am on board with doing another 30-day challenge, and my next one will be to actually eat the RDA-recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day. I've been reading up on ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Assuming I can get to the grocery store on the 16th and get prepared, I will probably start on the 17th because I want to complete my exercise challenge first and want to start at the beginning of a week. (Our office is closed the 16th for Presidents' Day.)

I think that this next challenge will be tougher for me than the exercise challenge. We shall see!


Valerie said...

You have done amazingly! You inspire me. :)