45 Things I’ve Learned About Exercise

By Janey Womeldorf

1. The hardest thing about exercise is getting out the door.

2. The first time I ran, I thought my knees would explode, my lungs would collapse, and I wanted to throw up. I lasted one lap of the high-school track. The next day, I went back and ran two. That was 25 years, 40 pounds and hundreds of miles ago. Nobody enjoys their first run.

3. I love my husband’s smell—unless he’s just come back from a run.

4. Exercise clears the cobwebs and helps me think straight.

5. When you least want to exercise is probably when you most need to.

6. Just when you think it’s getting easier, you get older.

7. Our gym membership still costs less than our cable bill.

8. Taking weight off and keeping it off are two different animals. After years of yo-yo dieting, the key to me keeping off 40 pounds was exercise. It is the single, greatest weight-gain buffer out there.

9. Don’t do the wine if you can’t do the time.

10. I have never regretted a single workout I have ever done.

11. Procrastination is more exhausting than the exercise itself.

12. Age fairy strike one: The youth fairy’s ugly sister flicks a switch once you turn 50. Suddenly, weight goes on easier and comes off harder. Exercise is her only antidote.

13. I once told some good couple friends that after three days of no exercise, my brain becomes scattered. I get mental constipation; I feel antsy, and I can barely concentrate. The husband told me he feels the same way about sex. It was the first time I understood the male sex drive. Personally, I’d rather run.

14. If I could keep the cork in, I’d keep the pounds off.

15. A good workout will always make me feel better about myself.

16. A former teacher of mine revealed she didn’t start running until her forties. She was out one day and it started raining so she ran home. Starting an exercise routine is as complicated as you make it.

17. Walking is free; pedometers are cheap.

18. At 50, I joined a weight-training, strength class. I am stronger, more toned, and I love it. Exercise has no age limit.

19. I have been doing the same stomach and abdominal routine for over a decade yet I’ve loosened more pant buttons in the last year than in the last ten. What’s all that about?

20. I pinned a sign on my motivational cork board showing the number of calories in wine: 125 in a glass; 600 in the bottle. It isn’t helping. (Thankfully # 9 is.)

21. I exercise best in the morning. It gets it out the way, starts my day off, I don’t have to shower twice, and there’s less reason to cancel.

22. I sweat more as I get older.

23. I do a push up for every year of my age. You can do them against the wall, on your knees or the conventional way. I don’t care how I achieve mine—as long as I do.

24. If you’re out there exercising, pat yourself on the back. Nobody really cares what you look like.

25. Guilt is a great motivator. There is nothing like that naughty-food wrapper reminder in the trash to shame you out the door.

26. I cheese, therefore I run.

27. Age fairy strike two: One day, I woke up, and literally overnight, two pouches of ugly skin grew under my armpits which now bulge out from the sides of my t-shirt. One, where did they come from and two, is
there an exercise for these?

28. Deadlines are a great motivator—until they pass.

29. You don’t need scales; your jeans will let you know.

30. I hate trying on running shoes. The only things I loathe more are swimsuits.

31. Exercise looks different as you age. At first, I called it running, then jogging; now, it’s more of a shuffle.

32. I once ran a half marathon. I was 33, and it was my New Year’s Resolution. By December 28th, I couldn’t stand myself. I went to the gym, got on the treadmill, and started running. The leg-energy stars were aligned and 13.1 miles later, I got off. I never ran another but I’m still proud I did it. (See # 2.)

33. I plan my gym treadmill workouts around what’s on TV.

34. My workout clothes have gotten looser as I get older; so has my skin.

35. At what age does play become exercise?

36. My husband and I saw a cartoon once of an older couple out power walking in leisure suits and sweatbands. In between their huffing and puffing, the wife gripes, “Five more years and we’re letting ourselves go.” Hilarious that we can relate. Scary that we can relate.

37. The cruel irony about exercise is the more you work a certain body part, the sooner it wears out. I had my first knee X-ray after 15 years of pounding the pavement.

38. Blue compression knee bands with the hole in the middle make weird suntan lines.

39. I have a GPS watch that tells me how far I am walking. I still can’t decide whether it’s motivating or not: The second I hit 5 miles, I’m done.

40. I have a love/hate relationship with exercise: I love that my husband and I power walk together. I hate that he burns twice the calories I do.

41. I rarely use escalators. Every step is a calorie. (See # 12.)

42. There is a famous saying that reads, “There is no such thing as bad weather — just wrong clothing.” Rain is not an excuse.

43. Anything is better than nothing.

44. I’m happier when I have exercise in my life.

45. Exercise will shape your body, improve your health, increase your self-esteem and change your life. It did mine.

As long as I can get out the door.

About this writer

  • Janey Womeldorf Janey Womeldorf once went to work wearing different shoes. She now freelance writes and scribbles away in Orlando, Florida. It’s probably best.

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3 Responses to “45 Things I’ve Learned About Exercise”

  1. Janey, #12 and #14 jumped off the page at me. This was great!

  2. Rose Ann says:

    Love the list!. 28 and 36 are my favorites.

  3. Janey W. says:

    Thank you for reading and sharing!

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