8.26.2008

Exercise and the Art of Upper Body Maintenance

Exercise is a tricky topic for me. I'm not the type to go to the gym everyday for two hours. I prefer to spread my movement throughout the day- like the French do! When I lived in France in 2001 I became the ultimate lifestyle detective. I noticed that French women preferred to walk to the market or work- or up 9 flights of stairs in lieu of hitting the gym. And I never saw a French woman in sneakers. Quelle Horreur! I took what inspiration I could from them and ran.

Here is what a typical day for me is like- exercise wise:

When I first wake up, I do yoga for a minimum of 10 minutes. This is more for my peace of mind than anything else. I love stretching and breathing deeply. This really starts me off on the right foot. This is usually followed by 5 - 10 minutes of meditation- which is more exercise for my brain in how to quiet down! Then later in the day I usually take my dog, Gatsby for a 40 minute power walk. Good for me, good for the dog! Lastly, my husband and I live in a three story town house so usually late at night, right before I go to bed, if it strikes my fancy, I usually walk up and down all three flights of stairs 10- 15 times. You get the idea.

This was all great but I became concerned that I wasn't toning my upper body and using weights. Well, as you can imagine, all of these mini exercises that I fit into my day leave room for little else, so I've developed a plan. On weeknights my husband and I watch between one and two hours of TV- a girl's got to keep up with her shows! So I now do reps while watching our favorite shows or during commercials (if I'm not watching our dvr). I'm starting out small- 20 reps of each arm move with 5lb weights. I am loving the results and don't feel guilty just collapsing on the couch!

We'll see how long this goes. I do tend to get bored doing the same thing all the time. I would be interested to find other ways to incorporate exercise into my day...

Spiritual Practice- Incorporate movement and exercise into as many parts of your day as you can. It will help you stay present and remind you to breathe!

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