Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Exercise and Motivation

I get a lot more exercise since I've retired. That is largely due to the fact that I can get out for a brisk walk during the daylight hours. When I was working, there were long winter stretches when I left for work in the dark and returned home in the dark. Some times I would stop off at the gym, but mostly the Big Dark just made me want to get home, put on warm pajamas, wrap up in a fuzzy blanket, sit by the fire and sip some wine. I'd pretend at being a weekend warrior, but the truth is that most of that time was taken up with shopping and other errands, cleaning, laundry, and other household necessities.

This morning I was reading about a young local woman who stays motivated to do her daily running when she gets home from work in the dark. She mentioned similar obstacles--allure of the fireside, household demands, the hibernation reflex that comes with Vermont winter--but has stayed motivated to get out for a run because of a device in her running shoes that somehow communicates through her ipod. This gadget gives her feedback on speed, heart rate, distance, all that kind of stuff. It even gives verbal pats on the back like, "Congratulations! You've just made a personal best time for the mile..."

I don't think this would be nearly enough to get me out for a run after dark, at least around here.
Narrow roads, no street lights, traffic, things that go bump in the woods...nope...I'' stick to the window of daylight.

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