Thoughts About Exercising

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Maya is ill and has therefore enjoyed a longer nap today, and since I have a cold as well and trying to take it easy I’ve given myself permission to just watch TV during her sleep. I love food and health-related TV shows, so first I watched an episode of the Finnish “You Are What You Eat” and then an episode of “Fitness Diaries” – a show where five Finnish fitness-women vlog about their lives. And after I watched these shows I felt that I have to write about something that has been on my mind for a while. 

Let’s just cut to the chase. I believe I am surrounded by quite health-conscious people, including myself. Still, I am astounded by (and worried about) how many don’t exercise regularly. By regularly I mean something you do twice or three times every week in order to keep your fitness levels up. I just turned 35, and in leading up to this rather scary age (I am now closer to 40 than to 30 eeek!) I’ve had some sort of a realisation of the fact that you can’t keep postponing getting active anymore. That you need to start that healthier lifestyle now – not next month or next year. This is aimed at myself but also at anyone who’s not exercising enough – maybe that’s you??

If you want to improve your chances of a long and healthy life you need to start moving and eat well. Simple. But obviously it’s not easy when you’re in the midst of having babies and raising young kids and not sleeping enough. And moving and building houses and getting married. And working a stressful job. Etc. Etc. Somehow exercising tends to be that thing you give up first when life gets busy – when really it is something that can help with managing the stress and improve other areas of your life too. I can’t go for a run until Matthew gets home around 6pm and then we can’t start dinner before I get back – and sometimes Matthew wants to go for a run after me, which makes our evenings pretty hectic. I always end up doing everything in my sweaty running gear and showering hours later after the kids are in bed and the kitchen is cleaned. But it’s worth it because it makes me feel so good. The running bit – not the cleaning!

I feel like it’s easy to get stuck in the past, in a time when perhaps you used to be active and sporty, and somehow not even realise that it was 10 years ago. And I notice myself that those images I had of certain people when they were 15 or 20 years old remain – which somehow makes it easy to understand how it is easy to “trick” yourself into thinking you’re not in that bad a shape. Because you’re that sporty person from school or uni, right?

And you know what? Even though 35 is still young, it can also be old. You will start having all sorts of health-related issues if you haven’t been looking after yourself. This is pretty harsh but true. Unfortunately. And I want to avoid as many health problems as possible – for myself and for my kids. I owe it to them.

Speaking of excuses – something I hear a lot is “I don’t like running, so it’s difficult to get going” (or keep going). If you don’t like it then find something you do. Running isn’t for everyone, some people are naturally built for it and others just don’t find it enjoyable at all. There will be something you like! Or several things.

I exercise because of the health benefits and because I enjoy it, but my main motivator is probably how it makes me feel mentally. It makes me feel great and want to eat healthy and just gives me tons of energy. I did my first trail run back in July and it was love at first step. It is something I want to start doing more – and my excuses for not doing it more often need to stop! And although at the moment I am able to run half a marathon quite easily I do need to work on my strength and especially my abs and posture after having two kids. Cardio and strength training should go hand in hand, and at the moment I’m mainly doing cardio.

I haven’t stated anything new or unheard of here, I just hope I can inspire at least one person to start living a healthier life. To give someone who needs it a kick in the butt (including myself!)! You’ve got nothing to lose but so much to gain.

x Nina x

PS. I hope this post isn’t too annoying and doesn’t feel like a lecture!