Saturday, July 28, 2007

Exercise Rollercoaster

The first 36 years of my life, I used (and abused) my body as I saw fit. I thought that exercise was only for losing weight. Since I didn’t need that (I know, but don’t dislike me just ‘cause I’m skinny.) and because exercise was troublesome, and I wasn’t any good at it, I happily spent my time on other pursuits.

I’ve sure learned some things since my body gave me the “exercise or fall apart” ultimatum seven years ago. It can be a rollercoaster. Strength comes and goes; flexibility comes and goes, even with regular exercise. I can exercise for two weeks straight and, while I certainly feel better than if I didn’t, it’s still possible that the activities won’t be any easier on day 14 than they were on day one.

Then there are the quantum leaps, when I can suddenly stretch farther, lift more, and run faster. It goes to show that the body is not a machine, so I might as well stop expecting it to act like one. It’s healthier to recognize the body as the multidimensional, multifunctional organism that it is: something too complex to respond to simplistic formulas and prescriptions; something that requires constant—and varied—care for optimal health.

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