This year, as I faced another school year focused on the college crisis, I finally accepted the fact that I would not have time for long hikes or yoga classes (these are what I pine for when I wish that had more time). But I also accepted the fact that I'm at a "use or lose it" age when it comes to bone density and muscle mass. So, I asked myself: How I can fit in exercise in less time? How can I get in shape in 15 minutes per day?
The answer, of course, was running.
There was just no way around it. Please note, I have never been a runner. Once, about a decade ago, I tried to become a runner. It lasted two months, and my knees were killing me. But now there really is no other way. I don't have time to spend an hour at the gym, and, also, I don't like gyms. I think they are stinky and claustrophobic. I do like yoga classes, but I don't have time to attend them. So . . . I'm left with running.
And it turns out that running is kind of awesome. Here are some reasons:
I don't have to get in the car.
Even if I can only do 15 minutes, it makes a differences.
If I'm only gone 15-30 minutes, the kids hardly notice my absence.
I can take the dog (although sometimes he drives me crazy).
After seven weeks, I'm already stronger.
It's outside, so I get fresh air.
This last point is amplified by the fact that I live in an absolutely beautiful place. It almost never gets too hot or too cold, and I live close to a body of water. This means that taking a quick run down to the bay is a great way to start a morning, and instead of dreaded it, I actually kind of like it.
So I'm running three time a week:Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Four times would be better, but as in all things, the perfect (or the ideal) can be the enemy of the good (or good enough). So three days a week it is. When I don't feel like going, I tell myself, "You only have to do 15 minutes. You can walk if you want to." And usually, I end up going for 30 minutes, running most of the time. And since I'm not overdoing it (and since I'm not running on concrete), my knees feel fine.
So there it is. Running. And I think it might be sustainable. Who knew? Sometimes solutions really are fairly simple.