Friday, October 16, 2009

What kind of exercise do you do?

First, an EEG update: Max continues to be his usual sunny, sweet self, despite the apparatus hooked up to him. Sabrina continues to be blase, although she did ask tonight if Max's hair would be the same once the "hat" was removed.

Today at work, I took a brisk walk during lunchtime, and it felt great. It made me realize, sadly, that I barely get any exercise. Every day, I walk about 15 minutes from the train station to the office, then 15 minutes back at night. Some days, those train walks are the only exercise I get (and I'm not counting my mad dashes to actually make the train as aerobic activity).

This is so not healthy. I so have some pounds to lose. And I am soooo full of excuses. After work? No way, I want to be with the kids. Early morning? Ick. Weekends? I'd rather be with the kids. I'd rather be with Dave. I'd rather be having fun. I'd rather be having a cavity filled. I'd rather be locked in an isolation cell with Rush Limbaugh. Basically, I'd rather be doing ANYTHING else than exercising.

This kind of attitude, I realize, isn't doing much for my thighs, or the belly I got after having children (it was never flat to start with, but it is the opposite of flat now, which is to say, I have flab and there, I've said it). I also want to set a good example for the kids.

I think running is my best hope; I can just do it in my neighborhood, and 30 minutes isn't that long but I'd get a good workout.

Please, inspire me: What kind of exercise are you doing these days? And if you are not really doing anything, either, I will find that immensely reassuring. But then I will make you start an exercise program with me.

istock photo


  1. I've been doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I talk about it on my blog here It takes just 20 minutes. It's great and you can see a post about how much my kiddo likes it here at my other blog Sometimes I start with the thought, "Hey it's only 20 minutes." and sometimes I make it through it with the thought "I'm practically done!" even if I'm only on the first push up. :) Really it is great and until I got sidelined by the not flu but feverish and achy anyway I was doing it daily except for Sundays. Because it's only 20 minutes I feel like it doesn't rob too much time from my kiddo or hubby and I always feel good afterward. You can pick it up for $10 at Wal-Mart. Look over in the exercise section. All you need is either carpeted floor (or an exercise mat) and a set of hand weights. I actually use different weights for different exercises but I already had the hand weights. Okay...end of commercial. I am enjoying your blog and hope you get a chance to stop by mine.

  2. Nothing. Unless you count chasing a 2 year old and a 3 year old around all evening and morning. I would say that getting all three kids ready to get out the door by 8am is a workout, if you ask me.

  3. My arm gets exercise as I lift the chocolate to my mouth...does that count? I do lots of repetitions...

  4. I used to do tae-bo dvd's at home which was fun, these days I can hardly raise the energy to get to the supermarket:-)

    My husband recently bought a bike (2wks ago), I think this is a good idea, would love to get an adapted tricycle for Dimitri and head out on family bike trips. There are a few problems though, 1. I'm not safe on a bike, 2. bike company unwillinging to deliver trike to Greece, 3. roads and pavements in Greece totally unsafe. Well, it was a nice thought:-)

  5. Start exercising and do it for me, as well. Or come out here and make me do it. I have always despised exercise and while most of my life remained effortlessly thin, it all came crashing in, or ON, when I had children. And then there's the constant stress of being a caregiver of a child with special needs. All excuses, yes, but I do know, at least, that exercise is essential. I love yoga and try to do that twice a week, at least. The other days I walk hard but there are weeks that go by without anything. Good luck with your exercise program and teach me any tricks you might learn...

  6. Start to run is the best decision you can make in your life.
    Good for body and soul!
    I am now 66 years old and I still run every other day, I started to run 28 years ago.
    My advice is: go for it!
    You will never regret it.

  7. I hate exercise but I know I need to start doing it. I do take Skyler to the pool twice a week. I love swimming, does that count?

  8. Running is the greatest - I started about 5 months ago and love it. I also have lost over 40 pounds too and I attribute much of that to running. I just started a job this week (after 4 years of staying home) and I am having trouble finding time to exercise too, but will definitely find time. I will not gain back that weight! I also do Jillian Michaels' stuff too - she is amazing! and gives you an incredible workout in about 30 minutes. i have seen the difference. If you have ONDEMAND with Comcast, she is on the Exercise/Fitness part. See if you like it. Good luck!

  9. I still can't get over the part where you're in a cell with Rush Limbaugh....

  10. OH. MY. GOD. Now I will have not ONE SINGLE EXCUSE not to exercise, given that it is this early in the morning and there are already so many great suggestions here, and inspiration. Sigh. THANKS A LOT. :)

  11. My only exercise lately has been Madden 2010 on the X-Box. Gives my fingers and thumbs a GREAT workout. :)

  12. My fingers get a workout daily as I fart around on the computer. Other than that, sex is the only exercise I get...

  13. I just found your blog last night and read backwards a few months-great blog!!! I checked back in this morning after reading that you usually post late at night! After I got my son on the bus I just had to comment and let you know that I really enjoy your writing and your attitude! Love the pictures you post of your kids--they are both adorable!

    As far as exercising--RUN. You really will not regret it. The only other thing that I found that does as much is swimming laps but do not have access to a pool. So I run. Now that the weather is getting cool and rainy I've started watching The Office or 30 Rock episodes from netflix and running on my treadmill. If you haven't ever run before start slow run/walk and build up from there. You will be SORE but don't give up! After awhile you will amaze yourself at the distance you can go and you will feel so great!

  14. Come on Ellen excercise! Woman need to do it so we have healthy hearts and strong bones. Ok, when my sons left 5th grade for middle school I was heavy and decided to loose 50 pounds. I started walking. First around the block and now I have two routes. Yes I do get up early and do it. 18 months ago I brought out my 25 dollar garage sale 1980's bike. I now ride 10 miles almost every day. I love it. Its good for your physical health as well as you have to be so alert when you walk or ride on the rode I really believe it helps your brain as you have to really use it! I use a pedometer. They motivate you to get so many steps every day! Next week I turn 50 and it was my goal to be "fit for fifty". Oh and I also must add I love my Ipod as a music lover I make great playlists that keep me going too! Plus its a great time to sort out all your thoughts in your head! I say WOMAN KEEP MOVING!

  15. Ha - I was going to say the 30-Day Shred too, but Marie beat me to it! Seriously, 20 min. a day and if you do it right, it WORKS. I do 1st thing in a.m. or if I miss that chance, do it later in the day and force the kids to stop watching whatever show they are watching, and watch Jillian with me instead!

  16. I'm in the same boat, Ellen-almost no motivation to exercise-don't want to take time from my kids/family; I'm exhausted at the end of the day after working f/t and running round after kids and keeping everyone afloat. That said, if I don't start doing more than walking in from the parking lot and taking the stairs at work, I'm going to be in trouble soon. So-I started these DVD workouts (I think they're called 10 min work-outs and there are several options you can combine or not). I've done them 3 times so far, now it's just making it part of a habit. The other issue is that I enjoy good food, thus, I must find some way to get the exercise in...choices like running don't work for me as I get injured easily, and I hate joining a gym, paying and then stop going-I've done that at least twice. I'm trying to make this my new habit... good luck! Leah

  17. If you have a YMCA anywhere near you I'd suggest getting a family membership, they usually (at least where I live anyway) have lots of programs for the kids, and even some for special needs kids too! (Our Y has a special swim class for blind people. And they do one on one lessons with special needs children/adults)

    So you can work out while the kids do an art class or music or swimming lessons or something. I don't know what kind of programs the Y offers where you live, but there are lots at ours and they're all included in the membership fee so it's well worth it. Plus they usually have babysitting or daycare if you need it too. (Oh and I'm not just suggesting it because I work for the Y either. I really do love their gyms)

  18. Oh, I am SO SORRY! I have no inspiration for you whatsoever (though being locked up with Rush Limbaugh might give ME incentive to become a decathalete--anything to get away from that obnoxious loudmouth!).

    I am big and fat--there, I said it! Yes, indeed, I am a thick girl (girl, in my dreams--more like a menopausal old gal!) who is reasonably fit, but that's due to my job--when you spend four to eight hours hustling heavy trays at breakneck speed all over a restaurant, you get a reasonable amount of aerobic activity!

    I also walk the boys to school some days (that's not real far--maybe the equivalent of six city blocks) and we do all play in the yard at times. But no, I am not a real "exerciser," and I am NOT svelte, I will never BE svelte, and that's OK with me.

    I was a runner (and never skinny, but "regular weight") when I was young, but my knees just don't like that anymore, so on the rare occasions when I do "exercise" in a deliberate way, as opposed to just "go to work," it's walking or cycling or swimming at the community center for me! And that does not happen often enough!

    I know it's normal to put on a few pounds as you go through the change of life, but I don't help matters much--the exercise I probably need to do is the one where you grasp the edge of the table firmly, and push yourself away from your plate! There's also that one where you push against the refrigerator door, ensuring it is closed tightly!

    Hell, Ellen, I like to eat! I try to eat reasonably "healthy" but if it tastes good, I'm ON it! And there's no way I'm thinking about diets with Thanksgiving (our family eating marathon--oh, the FOOOOOD!) coming up, followed by Christmas, with all the turkey, ham, pies, more pies....YUM!

    I truly am sorry that I have no tips, tricks or schemes for fitness--I'm not much help at all, now, am I?

  19. Running is great exercise. The key is to start slow - I alternated between walking and running from one telephone post to the next. Then as I got stronger, I decrease the walking and increase the running time.

    I did this both times I started running. First time was 16 years ago, after giving birth to 3 boys in 4 years to keep from going insane.

    Second time was 1 year ago after recovery from major injuries in an accident (5 yrs ago) and being told I might never walk again. Now I walk, bike and run again!

    You can do it!

  20. We bought an elliptical in February. I haven't used it in months. I found a spider web on it the other day.
    I bought The Shred. Did it for a few days over the summer and felt great, then promptly quit for some reason.
    I'm so full of excuses and after ___. After surgery. After recovery. After this cold exits. When I can breathe without coughing for an hour.
    By the time I get home, I'm so exhausted. I'm thinking after school, before getting kids would work a few days a week, but I have to MAKE myself do it and that's the hard part. I would never take up running. Too many jiggly bits and my knees are too creeky from years of cheerleading.
    Good luck. If you find motivation, send me some!

  21. I started power lifting again at 44 years old... and it's amazing! I am lifing as much if not more than I did as a college athlete. Besides, it's great for the muscle mass and boosting metabolism, and melting away the pounds!!! I do it with my trainer once a week and then supplement 3 other days a week with abs, cycling outdoors and walking everywhere. I say go for the weights... it's a cardio workout with many pluses!

  22. I use the wii fit. It is way to hard for me to get out of the house with out a kid in tow, so gyms have never worked. Having the wii fit I have been able to get it in with the kids at home and I can change it up by doing different routines with the wii fit, or the active...and am looking at getting some more games to change it up even more. I love it and have lost 40lbs this year withh it.

  23. Wow - I'm impressed with all the responses. I'll have to try Jillian on demand.

    My knees have been bothering me lately, so I've started working on the stationary bike and it's awesome. They have the one at the Y where you have a TV attached to it with different virtual routes and you compete against others on the course so it keeps it motivating. Plus, it has hills and all. Very good workout and I feel like I'll be able to take it to the road by the Spring - I'm thinking of getting a pull behind for my bike so Emma can sit in it and it can be "our thing" in the spring and summer. That's motivating me!

    My husband took up running about 3 months ago. He dropped 25lbs. in no time flat and is now up to 6 miles at a time. He's working up to a half-marathon. I think that's a great way to lose weight and get in shape, but my knees just don't cooperate.

    Hope you find something fun that keeps you exercising!

  24. I wanted to let you know that I have chosen your website to receive the "One Lovely Blog Award." I enjoyed reading your warm and open story about Max. I think other families would enjoy reading about him too.

    The rules, upon receiving this award, state that you must:
    1. Accept the award;
    2. Post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link;
    3. Pass the award on to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered; and
    4. Contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

  25. Ah, exercise: hate it, but love what it does....and that is my mantra while I power walk 30 mins daily. Hate it, but love the benefits.

    We can hate the process, but love the fruit. Mind over matter.

  26. Sigggggggh, my husband and I were both the kind of people that had an avid work out routine, then came Jude! Seriously my husbands biceps would make my mouth water!! ha! Not to mention his six pack. Now we both have no packs, and probably heart issues. I just never seem to have the time with working, a special needs child, and more. I try, I am lucky if I make it to the gym once or twice a week to walk for 30 mins.

  27. I swim. I love it even though I know it's not everyone's cup of tea.

    As I go up and down the pool, I work through problems and stresses. I always feel so much less stressed and have resolved ways to solve problems by the time I get out.

    I also feel much stronger, physically - I have a weak lower back and with all the lifting of a 16kg 5 year old that I need to do, I consider the exercise to be pretty important or this body might not last the distance ;-).

  28. Aaack! People, YOU ARE LEAVING ME WITH NO EXCUSES, DO YOU HEAR ME? OK, seriously, I know I have to do this, it'll be good for me (duh) and I need to be around for a long, long time to take care of Max. Sabrina too, of course, but at the rate she's going to be the boss of all of us by the time she's 5.

  29. Try the stair master and just start with 10 minutes a day. It really gets your heart going - and it's good for people who are short on time!

    Plus, maybe one day, Max could enjoy it. It's great for people with CP because it doesn't cause you to stomp down too much (the way a treadmill would), it pushes you more than an elliptical, AND it has handles on each side, so you can't lose your balance. Pretty awesome, if you ask me!

    I used to be lax on the working out, but find I feel better and have a lot less pain when I do it.

  30. You should run! I just finished my first marathon and never thought I could do it between the time commitment and the injuries I have had in the past. I ended up getting up early on Saturday mornings to do the long runs & did most of the other runs during lunch or later in the evening. Here is my marathon story -

    If your office has a workout room, you could take a slightly longer lunch & get in a couple of miles over lunch. Changing jobs to a place that had a shower & little gym has made all the difference for me.

    I also find that running is my best time to process & sort through everything that is going on in my life. Very therapeutic.

    I am so excited to hear what you decide!

  31. I love Jillian Michaels and I love my Wii Fit. The Yoga is fantastic! I'm not an exercise enthusiast by any means. When I was younger I loved it but 3 kids later----ugh. I would love to shed about 60 pounds! If I can do it, so can you!

  32. Laughing so hard here! Just as I was clicking over to your blog I was commenting to my husband that I never get ANY exercise because I am driving kids around town all the time picking up kids, going to appointments, etc. He saw through all that and said that if I was on the computer less at night I could exercise then. (ugh) Truth is I hate to exercise. I want to feel good, I want to be stronger and shed a few pounds. But I still can't get into a good routine. Instead I beat myself up daily about how I'm not doing anything. I was thinking I'd start the couch to 5k program...Thing is I'd rather exercise WITH someone. Let us know what you decide!

  33. Wow Kiera Beth, a marathon! Congrats!
    I ran half marathons but I was already 38 years when I started to run. The years before I played volleyball and tennis.

    I read that there are people with knee problems.
    Six years ago I had an operation on my knee and the first thing the nurse said after the operation was that I had to quit running.
    I ignored this advice and started to run again, I listened to my body and forced nothing.
    Now I still run without problems as long as I run on an even flat surface and were good shoes.
    Good shoes are very important.

    I am also excited to hear what Ellen decides!
    With so much support she must start to run!:):)

    PS: Excuse me if my English is poor but my native language is Dutch.

  34. I'm 62 years old; do Yoga two times a week; walk 20 min each day; weight training two days; now my husband bought a wii fit...I don't like games, but there are workout routines on there that really work.
    The entire family can do it!! just a thought...but I do agree that running is probably the best!!

  35. Wow, this made me feel better. and lots of new people's blogs to look at!

    Ellen, every now and then (once a week) I make it to the gym and walk for 20 minutes because that is all I have time for. I need to drop fifty pounds and I need to keep it off not just so I can care for my kids but so I set a good example for them, because my CP baby also has a metabolic disorder that will make it very hard for her to ever lose weight, so I need to inspire her never to look like I do.

    If you take the lead on this I will try to follow, I need to !

  36. I actually enjoy jogging. Even tho I'm already out of breath after the fist 10 steps I take, I still try to do it. It gives me some time just to think, and to get away for a little 20 minute "break". It actually did wonders for me the first 2 weeks I started. I lost about 3 inches and about 10 pounds! I think it jump started things for me. Good luck!

  37. My exercise rountine is a bit of an isolating one but I do think I am getting a bit more of my old shape back. When Elizabeth goes to bed I either do 30 minutes of my pilates (from my DVD collection) or I run around the coffee table for 30 minutes with the Wii Fit. With the Wii fit I can switch over to the tv while I run so I get to at least occupy my time with HGTV or TLC. Occassionaly my hubby joins me and we both run around the coffee table, I do make sure the blinds are closed as it is a bit disturbing to see him chasing me around in his boxers.
    I really should join a gym and exercise without my tv but right now my isolating rountine is helping my fluffy areas.

  38. I was walking with a bunch of other moms for a while but then my (small) child's nap schedule changed. So the last month my exercise program has consisted of going up and down the stairs from bedroom to kitchen. My waistline is showing it too.

    My big problem is locating child-free time to actually start exercizing, but maybe that's not the right idea.

    @Other Mary - my husband thinks I'd get more exercise if I spent less time on the computer too...

  39. I'm late to respond but here are my exercise words of wisdom...(keep in mind- no kids0. 1)If oyu can squeeze out the disposable income, a personal trainer once a week has changed my life. Find someone (probably a woman- amybe even a mom) whom you can relate to, because it's like therapy, nutritionist and trainer all in one. As much as you would rather be with the kids and dave, you deserve a little Ellen time too- and think of it this way- an few hours a week now means lots more time (much) later...
    2) I started boxing before the wedding and I LOVe it. Its a cardio boxing class and you only hit pads, no one hits you in the face. I can't do kickboxing because it hurts my knees and I find it a little cheesy-- but boxing is such a great way to take out aggression and it is an amazing and fun workout.

  40. I do Karate with a friend, it is great exercise and you get to learn how to defend yourself! Plus most places have classes that kids can join too, so you can all have fun together!

  41. Swimming is also great too if you have access to a pool, I find it a great way to relax and de-stress too.

    A couple of yoga or pilates DVDs might be a good investment too! You can even get the kids involved I know we had fun doing it occasionally with dad when we were younger, and now I do it occasionally myself

  42. I love Bikram yoga. I get to sweat it all out in 90 minutes and it helps so much with by back which is often hurting because I lift and carry Grace so much. I haven't gone in about 3 weeks and I need it bad!!


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