Sunday, November 8, 2009

Respect Your Body

Those who are on a weight loss journey or simply a journey towards better health usually find themselves discovering the wonders of exercise. Over a period of time, they go from huffing and puffing from the car to the sofa to the fridge and back to the sofa to walking a half a mile, five miles, treadmilling, elliptical training, running marathons, ...

It's beautiful, isn't it?

Absolutely! However...

As someone whose body forces her to make difficult decisions regarding what she can and can't do without doing herself serious harm, I would like to make a plea to you lucky people: exercise but listen to your body's signals.

When your ankle starts throbbing on your daily run, when your back suddenly seizes up while weight lifting, don't work through it. You could be setting yourself up for permanent damage down the road.

If you can, find a competent personal trainer and invest in a few private sessions. Look for someone who preferably doesn't use a whip as a training accessory, someone who recognizes that most of us are not training for the Olympics, someone who wants you to do your best, not their best. Exercise for the long run. You want your body to be working with you in twenty years, not against you.

If you are in your thirties, now's the time to learn to exercise for the long haul. You're still young but you're not invincible--much as you think you are. Exercise smart, not macho. Your body will thank you for it now and in the future.


  1. You're right about finding exercise that will work for the long haul. I've tried plenty but always come back to walking. It clears my head, gets me out of the house, and I can picture myself doing it forever. It's not wildly strenuous but I'm far more likely to actually do it.

  2. I had back surgery for a slipped disc about 15 years. I am carefull about listening to my back - and my knees!

    But I have got into the habit of takig regular exercise - including some cardio - and have seen my back and knees improve a lot.

    The key to good health isn't punishing gym routines or treadmill sessions - its building exercise into yoru life in a way that you can keep up long term - at least thats what I think

  3. Wise words indeed! I am not in this to hurt myself...