In addition to my regular workouts of biking and lifting weights and sanchin-ryu karate, I've recently added running... again. You see, for the last two years or so I've added running only to end up with strained calf muscles--or whatever it is. Then I give up.
In fact, it was my frustration with this that led to biking, which I absolutely love. So in that respect, I'm grateful. I often wish I lived in the south so I could bike year-round.
This time (again) I'm determined to build up slowly, treat any strains, coddle my calf muscles, stretch a lot before I run, and hope for the best.
I went running with my wife, Leanne, at the beginning of the week. She's been running pretty regularly for years and her biggest problem is finding the time. Although she lifts weights and studies sanchin-ryu, I think she defines herself as a "runner."
That may be a key to finding some activity that you can stick with. If asked, I'm pretty sure I'd say "biker." I might say weight lifter, but I wouldn't say bodybuilder, because my goals have more to do with fitness than bulk. I've got more bulk than I want as it is.
I was in to the doctor recently discussing my test results (cholesterol was 143, thank you very much) and I commented that I'd added running, and threw in my caveats about injuries, etc. She said, "Why do you want to run?"
I hesitated. It's not an unreasonable question, particularly for someone who's already involved in a dozen hours of activity a week. And no, I'm NOT interested in triathlons. (I can swim and used to a lot, but my sinuses are too finicky to enjoy it much any more). I'm not interested in running a full marathon, though I have somewhat half-assed thoughts of the Disney World Half-Marathon at some point.
I said, "It's the best way to keep the weight down."
That's true. In terms of calories burned per time invested, running is just about the best way to lose weight. Part of the problem though, is that if you're overweight, running puts a lot of strain on joints and tendons and ligaments. The risk of injury is pretty high. Something of a Catch-22.
Anyway, while we were running, me huffing and puffing and, okay, let's call it lumbering rather than running (or perhaps "waddling" if you're a John Bingham fan) and my wife was pacing me, light on her feet, I grumbled something about what a slow-ass I was and how I couldn't go longer than a half mile or three quarters of a mile before I had to stop. She said, "Baby steps, honey. Take baby steps."
Which is true. If I push too hard, I'll just end up lame again and that'll affect my biking, where there's no issue of only being able to go a half mile or three quarters of a mile.
It's good advice for anyone starting an exercise program--take baby steps. What's your hurry? The point is a lifelong exercise program, not instant physical fitness (which isn't likely past the age of 16 anyway).