Blogging about exercise seems like an annual ritual at this point. Although I had established a habit of exercising in the months leading up to my wedding, the seismic shifts in my routine after moving and welcoming a baby made it difficult to sustain any attempt at exercising regularly. Even now, as Tony is gradually playing and reading more on his own, it’s difficult to find the time to exercise at home without being interrupted.
As my flab continues to grow and my muscles wane, I am sensing a bit more urgency now in establishing a routine. For every week I go without exercising, the image in my head of an old and chubby me sitting on the couch wearing a wifebeater becomes ever more lucid. Old habits die hard, as the song goes, and it’s up to me whether the habit that grows old is one of exercise or of laziness.
So since getting married, my exercise routine has largely consisted of basketball whenever my highschool buddy’s in town, which is about once a year. And that’s it. I’ve tried sporadically to exercise at home, but to no avail. When I try to do pushups, Tony comes and sits on my lower back; when I try to do crunches, Tony comes and its on my chest. The added weight would’ve been welcome had I not already lost so much strength in the past couple of years. On top of that, I’ve developed joint problems in my shoulders from carrying around Tony so much. With my joint pain, it’s become harder to do exercises, which in turn leads to my muscles not gaining enough strentgh, which then in turn reduces the support on my joints, leaving it prone to more pain. And the vicious cycle continues.
Well those were my excuses.
I think at some point I just have to suck it up and exericse despite my pain (which has been diagnosed as inflammation of the ligaments, and I’m supposed to rest, though I’m never gonna get any rest until Tony grows up). I’ve found that the minimal pain I’m feeling in my joints doesn’t really get worse if I don’t push too hard, so nothing like a clapping push-up. If I do slow and controlled bodyweight exercises, I can go pain free while exercising.
To establish a habit, the best way to go is to find people to exercise with. It’s easy to give up getting out of bed in the morning if I didn’t have to keep my promise to show up. Back in the day, I’d get up at 530 to go run with a buddy before work. It’s not really will power, because I’d easily let myself oversleep alrarms nowadays, or play tsum tsum until my mind goes numb, but I digress.
The second best way is to join a class. Once you start paying and you want to see some of progress, you find ways to go. So now I’m bouldering on Sundays. It does help that bouldering is a lotta fun and it’s a full-body exercise. It’s not so intense that my body can’t handle it either (I literally almost passed out while playing basketball the last couple of times). All that remains now is for me to add a couple days of bodyweight and toddlerweight exercise at home to round out my routine. Wish me luck!