I saw this quote last week about our bodies + exercise:
“Your entire life happens inside your body. It’s the one home you will always occupy and can never sell.
But you can renovate it.
If you can only pick one habit to build, exercise might be the one. Everything is downstream from how your body is functioning.”
It’s a good point*. I’ve struggled over the years, especially as a busy parent, to always “justify” taking time for exercise.
Sometimes even my own family, despite being generally very supportive of me taking “me time”, has made me feel like I’m being selfish or wasteful with my time if I prioritize exercise over doing other more “productive” household things, spending time with family, etc. There are times I’ve felt really, really guilty about this. Or in especially busy seasons, I’ve found myself trying to carefully fit in my exercise at a time that it won’t “bother” anyone else.
But I feel like this quote hits the nail on the head. Everything is downstream from how your body is functioning. If your body isn’t well/ healthy/ strong, not much else really matters. Physically or mentally! Exercise affects both.
It actually annoys me when I read parenting articles/advice that imply that a mom taking time out to exercise is her taking her “free time”. Yes, exercise can be fun and enjoyable for many people, but I’d argue it should NOT be the only “free time” a mom gets. Nor should it be commonplace to imply that “this just might not be the season” for a busy mom to exercise (if she desires to).
Exercise should be considered an essential, daily activity. No one would ever say, “What were you doing in there? Brushing and flossing your teeth? How selfish of you.” Or, “Well, you had your free time- you slept 7 hours last night, didn’t you?” Eating, sleeping, personal care…those are all activities our bodies need to function. And I think exercise should fit right in there on that list too, equally as important. At the very least, exercise certainly shouldn’t be something that a mom has to feel guilty about making time for. Not ever. It should be considered an important, crucial component of that mother’s HEALTH.
Okay, sorry, not sure where that little rant came from!!! lol! I had bookmarked that quote and meant to just comment briefly on it, but I guess it got me a little fired up. 🤣 Apparently this is something I feel strongly about.
Speaking of exercise, pic from my midday walk yesterday:
Hadn’t walked outside in way too long!! I’ve been feeling sluggish lately- too much sitting! I mean, I exercise, but besides that, these last couple months have involved way too much sedentary activity for my liking. Felt really good to go on a walk and enjoy the sunshine.
I am grateful for being able to renew my library book for the full duration of our trip!! I thought I was going to have to return it (and I’m not done….), so I was panicking. haha. (Thought it was one of those “hot” books that they don’t let you renew, but I was able to. 🙂 )
*Laughing right now, because when I re-read this to check for errors, I heard Cal Newport’s voice and tone in my head when I read my sentence, “It’s a good point”. He says that a lot! Or, more often, “It’s a good question,” when he starts his responses. Anyone listen to him and notice that?? Haha. Sorry, random observation…
8 thoughts on “Random exercise rant”
I read that James Clear quote too and it really hit home! After renovating our house over the last few years, his example gave me a perspective on what exercise can not only for my body but my overall state of being (just like renovating an entryway to make it more functional or renovating a bedroom to make it more aesthetically pleasing).
Exercise is hard to fit in to life sometimes, and I think what I struggle with the most is feeling like I need to fit in to the modern mold. My preference is to walk with family or friends and do a bit of running. But I honestly feel REGULAR guilt (maybe it’s not guilt, but it’s not envy because I don’t enjoy this sort of this) over not have Pelaton or belonging to a yoga studio. I had a long conversation with a friend last week where I lamented that ALL I’m doing it walking. I just feel like I’m less-than in some way since I don’t belong to any “craze” or hip exercise trend. Is that weird? It shouldn’t make me feel so silly, but it does!
That said, for now, I’m still just sticking to my daily walks and when the weather finally clears some running. I’ll swim a bit in the summer, but I’m basic. And just have to learn to be content with that!
I 100% give you any permission needed to completely disregard what “anybody else” is doing for exercise!! I feel strongly that the BEST exercise routine for any given person is one that they ENJOY and will STICK TO. Doing the “best newest fad” exercise precisely…twice…because you don’t really like it/ aren’t motivated to keep going, is worthless. A long daily walk with the occasional run, but done consistently for a lifetime is going to yield a much much better overall outcome.
Obviously, I do think there are certain types of exercise that are more “effective” than others- but it depends on what the goals are! If someone wants to be on the cover of a magazine in a bikini, a simple daily walk might not cut it. In that case, they’d need to go down a different path, potentially doing exercise that isn’t their favorite, but to obtain a specific outcome. That being said, I’m pretty sure the average person reading gratefulkae.com is not trying to become the next Miss Universe or Vogue cover person. haha. If the goal is to feel good and be healthy, then do whatever suits you best to meet that goal! (I am biased and think that at least some strength training is really, really good for you! Good for your bones/ muscle tone/longevity, and it has the added benefit of providing a nice looking body, too 😉 But if you hate strength training, don’t worry about it! Or maybe add in a couple rounds of lunges and planks and pushups at the end of your walk now and then and call it good.
you know that I can’t agree more on taking care of our body, probably the one thing I will never neglect doing because it affects my mood, my productivity, my parenting skills. Being in tune with my body allows me to slow down when needed to recharge, or to push it to the next level. Thus I have two devises on me to give me objective view of how my body is doing. I don’t find it to be selfish but necessity. I also want my girls to incorporate this selfceare habit as they grow, and no better way than model it.
Oh, I agree 100% on this. A fitness instructor I’m quite fond of and attend several classes with every week frequently ends class with “thank you for taking time for you by doing this class” and it irritates me a little bit. I’m no good to ANYONE if my body starts disintegrating – I’m taking time for EVERYBODY by exercising. When I sit on the couch and read for two hours I’m taking time FOR ME, but when I exercise, it’s for everyone’s sake. Argh. I don’t have kids, but I imagine it’s way worse for parents. Your rant is spot on!
HA that’s funny about the exercise instructor! That would probably annoy me, too. And YES on the “for everybody’s sake”. I think the whole world benefits from a healthy population!
Exercise is definitely essential and something more should be doing. It is really hard to fit in and I did not do much beyond walking in the first several years of parenting (which is still exercise but different from how I used to exercise). I had to work on letting go of the guilt around training for and running a 10 mile race last summer/fall. Phil was really supportive luckily. He works out during the day at work since he has a gym in his building and runs outdoors in the summer. So I think he recognizes that I have to fit exercise in at a different time than he does. And it’s good to set an example for our kids. I try to be really positive about working out so they don’t think it’s something I don’t like doing. Like I will say, “mommy gets to go for a run with her friend.” I also use language like that around work, too. I don’t want them having a negative association with work or exercise. I am lucky that I enjoy both, though!
I couldn’t agree more with this quote… and I really think it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you pick something that you enjoy and can stick to! My friend keeps telling me that she envies me for running and wants to be a runner, but doesn’t enjoy it… so I tell her: don’t do it. Stick to cycling and yoga, if that’s what brings you joy and makes you come back for more. There really is no right or wrong to do it, as long as you move and take care of your body!