I’ve reduced the stress in my life, I get a good amount of sleep almost every night, I take supplements tailored to my healing needs, and I eat what is slowly becoming an immaculate diet. It’s quite obvious to me where I now need to turn my attention: exercise.
Oh, exercise, why dost thou elude me?
I’m not that lazy. In fact, I’m fairly active around the house. I’m on my feet in the kitchen quite a bit, I do chores, and I work in the garden when the weather is good. I go up and down the stairs all day long. These days, I’m doing far more physically than I could have handled a year ago. I still get tired, though. I have to take a lot of breaks. I can’t help but feel this is because I don’t “work out.” I’m not a fan of “working out” and it seems sort of unnatural to me anyway. I mean, people didn’t used to “work out” did they? They just did work, and their work gave them exercise. Okay, so I guess I would probably walk quite a bit more if I didn’t have a car. I’m sure my arms would be majorly buff if I had to scrub all our laundry by hand. So, yeah, okay, chores and gardening aren’t enough, I guess.
What motivates me to exercise?
Perhaps the number one reason I want to exercise is that the body simply functions better when it is exercised. This means I will feel better, I will digest food better, I will get more oxygen and nutrients to my cells, and I will heal quicker. Healing is major motivator for me, especially since I have only a few more months before I would like to get pregnant, and I need my kidneys in the best condition possible. This is the reason I am sort of annoyed with myself for not having started long ago.
Pregnancy itself is another reason. When I was pregnant with my son, I had major nausea problems my whole pregnancy. I felt bad for my developing baby because I knew that not exercising meant less oxygen and nutrients for him. After reading this post by the Primal Parent, I’m motivated even more to exercise while pregnant. Apparently exercise reduces nausea and helps balance hormones. And I know myself–if I don’t get started right now, I will not exercise when I am pregnant. And then I will be miserable for another nine months, and set myself up for a less-than-ideal delivery and I will be giving my baby less health. Pretty heavy, right?
That bit about balancing hormones really hit me, too. Boy, do I need that. I have a strong suspicion that I have PCOS, although I believe I’ve been healing from it over the last year. Sadly, PCOS tends to increase androgen hormones (male hormones), causing unwanted hair growth, including facial hair. I’ve had to deal with this embarrassing problem for years, and it’s getting worse. I’m terrified I will have a full beard one day if I don’t get my hormones balanced!!! If exercise will help balance my hormones, I am ALL for it.
And then there are my feet. My icy cold feet. According to my ND and nephrologist, I have cold feet (and feel colder in general) because of my kidneys. That’s probably true, although it could be related to hormone imbalance as well, especially if I have low thyroid (I don’t think I have low thyroid, but that’s one common symptom). But I also remember something Michael Sandler, author of Barefoot Running said when I went to see him give a presentation last year: running barefoot in the cold increases foot circulation so the feet stay warmer the rest of the day. I don’t know if it has to be in the cold necessarily, or even barefoot, but it seems quite reasonable to expect my foot circulation to increase if I exercise enough to get my heart rate up. I don’t just want my feet to be warmer, but I also want them to be healthy. If I have poor circulation to my feet, I fear they will actually get sick one day. I’d really, really like to keep my feet.
And then there are my hips and other aching joints. I hurt all the time. I know this is because I don’t exercise. A while back I earned about $500 worth of treatment credit at my chiropractor for doing some photography for their website. Well, today that credit ran out. I cannot afford to go all the time. I need make my muscles and joints stronger and healthier by exercising them so I don’t have to constantly get them “fixed.”
Lastly, (probably not the last but the last big reason) is the desire for more ENERGY. I need more energy. I just do. I want to function at a higher level. I’m also hoping that I’ll need less sleep if I exercise. I currently need 9-10 hours a night to feel decent. It’d be nice if that was more like 8-9 hours to feel good. I’m a little jealous of people who get two more hours of precious time than I do every day. I promise I’ll use the extra time to clean my house!!! (Haha, just kidding, I don’t promise that, but I’d like to.)