Ever since K started primary school, if I am not wrong, I stopped doing exercise.
Not that I don’t like exercise but due to change of routine, it had been conveniently dropped off the radar.
Before that I used to jog around the neighborhood. That was my morning ritual for many years until K went to school.
After that, I stopped running except for some occasional stretching, push-ups, crunches, pull-ups or fighting for monkey bars with other kids when I take K to playground.
Nothing serious as I took exercise lightly. Naturally I put on weight (10kg more than my ideal weight) after I lost some kilos after our diet change.
Until end of last year (2016), some fateful events that made me sick and tired of being sick and tired.
My year end medical check up showed that I have high cholesterol (obviously the bad one). A neighbor of mine asked me how many months I was into my pregnancy. It clearly meant that, in a sarcastic way, I was fat.
I didn’t take the comment personally and was not offended though. On the contrary, I took it as a motivational factor for me to change my sedentary lifestyle.
To top it all, I met a friend whom I had not seen for some time recently. He looked fit and slim. His secret? The insanely popular 7-minute fitness. He told me he followed it diligently and his looks were the result of that.
My friend’s envious looks really tipped things over and gave me a much needed boost to motivate me further to resume my exercise regime which I had abandoned and forgotten.
I told myself it’s time to buck up and stay fit. Enough is enough. I was sick and tired of being overweight and feeling lethargic.
I always, almost everyday, take K to playground and he will play either basketball or mix with other kids from our neighborhood. I planned to make this session a more fruitful one for myself.
Taking advantage of what’s there
So beginning this year, I made a commitment (it’s nothing to do with new year’s resolution but the timing was just purely coincidental) that I had to schedule some exercise into my day and make it a priority instead of putting it on the backburner.
So while I take K to the playground in the evening, instead of sitting there and chatting with other parents, I take the opportunity to jog and do some bodyweight training. I do my best to do it everyday.
It’s nothing complicated here. If you want change, just make up your mind and follow it through. Cut out all the excuses. Try to make it fun and the chances of dropping out will be low.
I like it as I feel really good after exercise. I feel lighter and healthier. I can’t be more energised ever since.
That’s only half of the story. Let me explain.
Bringing good to the next level
My wife too wanted to do the same and she tried in vain to squeeze exercise into her daily life. It was more difficult for her as she has a full time job. She goes to work while the sky still dark and only comes home in time for dinner. This leaves her no time for exercise.
After giving it some thought I came up with the idea of night walking for her. To make it more fun and more lasting, I offered to join her for the walk even if I has done my exercise in the playground. She, without hesitation, agreed to my suggestion.
Not only do we lead a healthier lifestyle, my wife and I have more private time to share what happened on that day – minus the kids. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
I am happy where I am heading as far as exercise is concerned.
I am not into any fancy gadgets or the latest fitness fad. I try to do it in the simplest way possible. Unlike other sports which require a ball or a racket, all you need for walking or running is a pair of good running shoes. Best of all, you can do it even when you’re alone. No partners needed.
I know this is not the holy grail of exercise but I tell you my story with the hope that you will be inspired to take exercise more seriously.
If you think you have no time for exercise, think creatively and slot in some time to keep yourself active. It doesn’t matter if you only have 15 minutes. That’s better than nothing.
Remove all excuses and make a commitment to put exercise on top of your priority list, not bottom. Not necessarily that you have to run or walk but do something you enjoy. A game or something you can stick to as long as you can.
Now if you’d excuse me, I am late for my exercise.
Note: I would like to take this opportunity to wish my Chinese readers a Happy and Prosperous Year of the Rooster. May you be healthy and wealthy.
While you’re at it, check out my The Nonconformist’s Guide to Parenting that can turn you into a happy and great parent.