It’s 7:00 in the morning and Alexa starts playing music by Barbara Streisand. My eyes slowly open and I think, “Oh no — I have to exercise.” After a while I start moving, slowly put on my exercise clothes, and take the equipment out of the closet.

I set the timer on my watch, read over the planned exercise program, and begin. After the second exercise I can’t say I am enjoying myself, but my mind stops complaining. The best part is that I have more energy, can get down and up from the floor, and have strength in my upper body. I must admit, my body is looking better!

In 1995, I hired my first exercise trainer and became obsessed with exercising. Each morning before work for an hour, I would go on the treadmill and lift weights. After work I followed the same routine. Eventually, my left knee said “no more,” and started hurting. After going to the doctor for shots and physical therapy, it was suggested to only do exercises that would strengthen the knee until my knee healed.  

This gave me permission to stop exercising for years. Every so often I would start exercising again, but within a brief time stopped again.

Not exercising took a toll on my body. I had trouble getting out of a chair, sometimes my balance was failing, and I just felt like a couch potato. I hired a trainer who was also a physical therapist. She created an exercise program focusing on my balance, strength, and flexibility. We have been working together for the past twenty years.

I would work with her every five weeks. For years I kept to this schedule. Then as the years passed, my exercise commitment started to evaporate. I would cancel appointments and not reschedule. Every so often I would feel guilty and schedule an appointment. I’d exercise for two weeks and then decide to rest my body. This pattern went on for years.

A month ago, I was talking to my daughter about the trouble I was having with my balance and strength. Getting out of a chair was harder, and sometimes I would lose my balance and have to grab on to something. She suggested I start working with my trainer twice a week. No way was that going to happen!

But I called my trainer, scheduled an appointment, and told her about the conversation I had with my daughter. She suggested we start working together once a week for thirty minutes. I agreed, and every Monday morning we work together and she creates a new exercise plan for me. What a miracle! My exercise commitment has returned and I feel 100% better. I exercise five times a week for 30 minutes.

Now we are adding a walking routine to the strength training. After walking for 10 minutes three times a day either around my house or outside, my energy is returning.

I am sure everyone has an exercise story. Has it helped or created problems? Our community is here to help one another. Please let us know what tactics you use for motivation and any other tips to get us started.

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