A few months ago I blogged about how I learned to enjoy exercise after a lifetime of not-so-great experiences with it.
Today I thought I’d talk about weightlifting in particular.
My first brush with this type of exercise happened many years ago when someone I know was diagnosed with a disease that seriously affected her everyday life. She eventually recovered, but there was a time when she was too weak to do normal things like carry a bag of groceries. One of the many treatments her doctor recommended to her was lifting very small weights to build her strength up again. She started at one pound per weight and worked her way up from there.
I played around with the idea of weightlifting myself for years before I settled into a routine with it.
What made me start doing it regularly was a cardio routine I was using a few years ago that incorporated a few incredibly easy weightlifting moves in with it. I loved every other part of the video, so I started lifting cans of beans when I got to that part of the routine. At the time, I didn’t have a proper pair of hand weights. I figured something was better than nothing.
Once I had a pair of actual weights, that workout grew harder. My muscles would ache for a day or so afterwards, but I kept going. When that workout became too easy for me, I found new ones that were more challenging.
What surprised me the most about this process was how other things in my life changed. Soon I could carry heavier bags and boxes around without needing to take breaks on the way to my destination. The laundry basket started feeling lighter. Once I’d moved up to the next size of weights, even things like opening a stubborn jar of pickles was easier.
Originally I’d started exercising more to lose a little weight, tone up, improve my health, and gain some energy. Those things happened, but they didn’t turn out to be my motivation to keep going.
I like the feeling of accomplished I get when I graduate to a heavy set of weights. The ones I recently moved up to are making my muscles ache now, but I know that at some point in the future they will begin to feel as light as the set that I just outgrew.
I also like the satisfaction of learning a new workout. What used to be tricky is now something I can do in my sleep in many cases.
Some of the exercises I do involve balancing on one leg while lifting weights, so my balance has improved as well. The muscles in my legs and core are stronger and more used to keeping me upright than they used to be.
There is something incredibly cool about slowly seeing all of the results of your hard work like this.
If any of you are weightlifters, I’d love to know what your experiences with it have been!