Why To Exercise Today: Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask First

Writer Anna Rubin demonstrates proper technique
Writer Anna Rubin demonstrates proper technique

I highly recommend it for two reasons:
1) It captures beautifully the relentless busyness of the lives of working parents.
2) It also captures how, for many of us, a key element of taking care of ourselves in the face of all that busyness is exercise — often to our own surprise.
Anna writes:

For me, going to the gym is a great way to recharge.

Not only did it help me take off the 20 pounds I’d put on when my kids were young—those half-eaten chicken nuggets, goldfish crackers and other scraps I’d mindlessly shoveled into my mouth had caught up to me—but it became a fantastic social outlet as well. I found a whole new community of people, including lots of other mothers, along with many different ways to burn off some serious calories and recharge.

I’ve tried lots of things—walking, tap-dance (it looked so fun when my then five-year-old was learning it. Turns out it wasn’t my thing), running (hated it), belly dance (yes, I took an eight-week course just for fun. I was terrible at it), boot camp, pilates, yoga, boxing. You name it, I’ve probably tried it.

What I’ve settled into for these past two to three years is a nice balance of cardio and strength training, almost exclusively through group exercise classes at several area Y’s. I regularly spin and take boot camp, sports drill and strength conditioning classes. I look forward to my time at the Y and the friends I will see there. It is a great community of people. We celebrate babies and birthdays. We try to help when someone is going through a rough patch. We look out for one another.

Although I often leave the Y dripping with sweat and exhausted, I find exercise provides a real boost for my sense of well-being. Now, if a day or two goes by without exercising, I get grumpy as all get go. I need it like I need my coffee in the morning.

I’ve become someone who loves to exercise. I would have laughed myself silly if you’d suggested such a thing could be true 6-10 years ago when I was out of shape and loathed exerting myself.

This program aired on August 9, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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