This Week

I’m doing this a day early, because I already have the answer from this week’s experiment: exercising every day is not a good idea.

Of course there are degrees. I may have simply overdone it: I went through pretty serious workouts every day this week, and that may be the main reason why it seemed like too much. I’ve also had some stress and some trouble sleeping because of moving and such, and so I haven’t been as healthy in general as I should be; maybe that’s why.

But for me, this week, it was too much. So I’m resting today. I may work out tomorrow, but more likely my exercise this week will just be moving.

That’s part of the issue. My wife, who knows more about exercise than me (Like she knows more than me about pretty much everything) pointed out that working out when one is sore and tired is asking for an injury. And since we are moving this week, I couldn’t risk that — and wouldn’t want to risk it anyway. So let’s be clear: good exercise includes rest. It needs rest. Part of me thinks that if I work out more, faster and longer, that it will work even better, will make me lose more weight (Or more fat, really — one of the things I have to keep in mind is that, since I do weight training, I’m not going to lose a lot of pounds. Muscle weighs more than fat, so as I build up muscle, even if I lose a lot of fat, I won’t lose “weight.”), will make me stronger. But it isn’t true. I’m sure there are professional athlete types and body builder types who work out every day, but first, they are younger than me and so they recover faster and easier; and also, that’s what steroids are for. Most performance enhancers don’t actually make your muscles bigger or stronger: they shorten recovery time so you can work out again sooner.

So when people are turning to illegal and dangerous substances in order to achieve a faster pace of exercise, maybe I should calm the hell down, is my point.

I will say that I still had fun exercising this week. I like working out. I like riding my bike more than I like going to the gym, which tells me I may want to focus more on that; because I think the key to long term exercise — which is absolutely the best kind, you want to build habits that last a lifetime, so that even if you never hit some pinnacle of buffitude, you stay active and always have a way to work in some physical exertion, which will never be unimportant to overall health and well-being — is fun. Making it enjoyable is entirely necessary to exercise. I listen to music (Also necessary because my gym tends to play the most awful music imaginable — I can’t imagine who sets the music system to EDM, since the majority of the clientele are retirees, but whoever it is, I hate them.) and I give myself breaks and stay away from the specific exercises I really don’t like; things like that. I go at a time of day that is convenient for me, and because I am an introvert, I go by myself and don’t interact with anybody, or I go with my wife who is equally introverted and together we don’t interact with anybody but each other.

But still, I prefer riding my bike. I like the feeling of the wind, I like the forward progress of it, I like the changing views, I like seeing other people passing by. I’m lucky because Tucson has a wonderful bike path that goes around the whole city in a 100+ mile loop (I’m also lucky because it was recently named for a long-time county supervisor who had a lot to do with creating the path, and that man’s name is Chuck Huckleberry, which is one of my favorite names of all time — so now it is the Chuck Huckleberry Loop) and so there is an excellent place to ride, but I’ve pretty much always liked riding my bike and usually been able to find a place to do it. I am happy that I have put in the money for a good bike; it’s been worth it.

That’s it, really. Exercise is hard and you shouldn’t overdo it, but if you find a way to enjoy it, you should do so, for only so long and only so often as you feel comfortable doing it: because exercise is a good habit, and it is best in moderation.

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