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).


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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