Learning to Love What’s Good for Us

health and fitness

I have a confession to make. I don’t like to exercise. I’ve never liked it, honestly. Even way back in my high school-soccer playing days, I loved the sport, but not necessarily the work that went into it. I hated running, unless it happened to have a ball involved. And I tried to become a runner, I really did. One summer break in college, I dutifully attempted to get into a running routine, but more often than not stopped for a Coke float on the way home.

I’ve tried step classes — are they still a thing? Yoga, Zumba, pilates, water aerobics … I’ve tried them all. In my 20s, I even took an Irish dancing class — it’s in my blood, but apparently not my feet. Then there was boot camp on the beach and stroller walking. But most of the time, I either lost motivation, or something came along that made me put my own health on the back burner. Sometimes it was my career getting in the way. Sometimes it was my kids. And sometimes it was that I just didn’t want to.

Sooner or later, not liking exercise catches up to you. Especially in your mid-40s.

At the Health Journal, I spend my time reading and writing about health and fitness and living your best life. And to be honest, dear readers, I don’t think I am. Living my best life, that is. When I read stories about 87-year-old Coralie Raunig (featured in this month’s magazine), who still ice skates twice a week, or when I hear about seniors exercising in their chairs, I can’t help but wonder how they so gracefully summon the motivation — let alone the energy — to stay fit. One Hampton gentleman lost 80 pounds in the year he’s been in the Silver Sneakers fitness program at the YMCA! How do I bring some of that into my life?

In this month’s magazine, contributor LJ Kunkel writes about the top exercise excuses. I’ve most likely used them all. What stuck out and scares me the most is the consequences of inactivity. Heart disease. Stroke. Diabetes. There’s a whole laundry list of conditions associated with inactivity. I have two children. I need to be around for them. I want to be around for them. And I want them to be healthy, too.

So, you know what I did after reading the exercise excuses story? While my son was at swim practice at the Y, I went into the gym and walked on the treadmill. I confess, I did watch a baking show on TV while walking, but there are no calories in watching — thank goodness! A few days later, I went again. If a 100-year-old can get herself to a chair fitness class (true story!), I think I can learn to love exercise. I owe it to myself.

See you at the gym!

About the author

Kim O'Brien Root

Kim O'Brien Root was a newspaper reporter — writing for papers in Virginia and Connecticut — for 15 years before she took a break to be a stay-at-home mom. When the lure of writing became too strong, she began freelancing and then took on the role of the Health Journal’s editor in Dec. 2017. She juggles work with being a chronic volunteer for two PTAs
and the Girl Scouts. She lives in Hampton, Virginia with her husband, a fellow journalist, their two children and a dog.

Health JournalSubscribe to our Thursday “Healthy Reads!”