Not exercising is not an option

My doctor gently reminded me at my last visit that he recommends regular exercise to all his patients. I nodded in acceptance and understanding -- Yes, Yes, of course, exercise is good.

I have intellectual knowledge that exercise is good for what ails me. I have experiential knowledge that exercise can make me feel positively better (if not all better), and not just less bad. Still, when reminded of this, I mostly nod politely and go on about my life as usual. After all, if you haven't noticed, it's been d*** hot outside for a couple of weeks. (And of course in winter, even a mild non-winter, it's too cold to go out and get moving). The radio keeps telling me to avoid strenuous activity on these code orange o-zone days -- what more excuse does a non-exerciser need?

But then the other day I was flipping through The Food & Mood Cookbook, because I was also aware that my recent bout of the doldrums was exacerbated by poor nutrition. And just about every chapter included a reminder of the importance of exercise. To which I responded with the same mediocre degree of assent as when my doctor mentioned it.

Then I came across the admonition in chapter seven:

This [daily movement] is not an option -- you must [emp. original] exercise if you want to control or even prevent symptoms of PMS, SAD, and depression. (p. 176)

I needed to have it stated that bluntly for it to sink in: exercise is NOT AN OPTION, it is a NECESSITY. Not a recommendation; it is an assignment.

I noticed that I hadn't really wanted much of anything in weeks -- another symptom of the depression. This is not a satisfactory way of living. In this state, I realized, the only thing I wanted was not to go on like this. And apparently, exercise is a sine qua non for reaching that goal.

Since then, I've only missed one day of exercise. It helps. I can tell. This is a better incentive than the various junk my health insurance company offers to bribe us to exercise (or at least to lie about exercising).

2 comments:

Dot Com Mom said...

It's very tough to exercise in this heat. Good luck keeping it up.

Nice blog!

toweringajax said...

I should be at the Wilson Center daily at 3:45 if you want a gym partner (new username, but it's obvious who I am).

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