The Whole Purpose of Exercise

Gracefulfitness is knowing when the benefits of squeezing in a few minutes of exercise will equal a happy body and happy mind.

Gracefulfitness is knowing when to call it a rest day even if you have a workout scheduled and the time to do it.

 Often the mental and physical resistance to exercise dissolve once you get started but sometimes it doesn’t.   Like last night.  I finished work around 4:30 so there was plenty of time to go to the gym or on a walk or lay out the mat for a little yoga or Pilates.  I had an active weekend but it had been days since I had a full workout, normally I would be chomping at the bit to get sweating.  But not last night.  So I proceeded to watch too many hours of t.v., even dozing off a little between 6-7pm.

I had the opposite experience on Sunday.  I was running late and I had just finished an hour of hiking with family but I needed a little more.  Mentally and physically I needed to sweat, get my heart pumping, and warm up my muscles and joints completely.  So I ran.  I took off down the gravel road for 12 minutes then turned around.  The run did little for my overall strength or cardiovascular condition or calorie equation but it made me feel a million times better.  Rejuvenated.  Strong.  Alive.  Determined. Clear headed.

I’ve always loved the way exercise makes me feel but in the past I saw it primarily as a way to burn calories and build muscle.  My decision to exercise had more to do with what I’d eaten that day and less to do with tuning into my body and mind and seeing what it needed.  In the past I may have dragged myself to the gym last night, slothed it out on the elliptical for a little while (resenting that I “had” to do it the whole time), then dragged my ass home, not getting the rest or the exercise that I needed.

Gracefulfitness is exercise equaling more than the sum of its parts.

P.S The moral of the story is Remember Your Orange While Walking in West Virginia During Hunting Season. 🙂