I’ve heard that it takes three weeks to break or form a habit. If you think about it, it makes sense. Once you’re motivated a bit, it’s somewhat easy to make a change for a few days or maybe a week, but it’s harder to stick it out for a few weeks. But once you’ve made it that far, you feel like you’ve really changed something, and you’re accustomed to the change to the point where it doesn’t even feel like a change.
Three weeks ago I posted about how I wanted to exercise four times a week. And you know what? I have exercised four or even five times a week since then.
I think a part of my success so far has been due to the fact that I’ve mixed up the exercise; I’ve been including a mix of run/walk intervals, elliptical trainer time, and my Walk Away the Pounds DVDs. It also helps that I’ve come up with a mix of things that don’t always involve going to the gym. There’s just something about adding 15 minutes of driving on each end of the workout that makes it seem harder to fit in. I have also done well with working out in the mornings on days when I know I’ll be working late (so it’s okay if I go in to work later than usual).
I haven’t fit in swimming yet. It’s such good exercise, and it’s something I can actually do with some confidence since I swam competitively for years (although, boy am I slow these days!), but it seems like such a project since I would have to take stuff for showering, a change of clothes, etc. Hmm, that sound like an excuse, doesn’t it? And I haven’t mixed in any real strength training yet – although some of the DVDs include some pretty good intervals of squats, lunges, and upper body moves – because my back is really not ready yet. It gets so sore and tired. So I’m sticking with the cardio, and right now, that’s just fine for me.
I actually find myself wanting to exercise. This is such a huge thing for me. I find myself planning out when I’ll have time – or really, when I’ll make time – and I really want to get it in. I do feel like I’ve set up a (great) new habit.
But here’s my big news of the day: This morning I ran a mile and a half. Without stopping. Or walking. Really.
Remember, I have never tried running outside of school gym class. I’m fairly certain that even in gym class we never ran more than a mile. So I am very proud of myself. As I walked to cool down after my jog, I turned on “I Gotta Feeling” (there is something about that song that just makes me feel good!) and felt the endorphins kick in. It is entirely possible that I may have actually been singing and dancing around the track.
It was awesome.