Work out harder today than yesterday, and tomorrow your muscles will be a little sore. You will want to stretch them. You will warm up a little before you stretch of course. Then as long as you’re moving, you keep moving. Before long you’ve exercised again. Tomorrow you will need to do the same thing, but perhaps more so.
Keep that up — exercising and then more exercise to recover from exercising — and some day soon your muscles will wake you up, fully refreshed each morning, demanding that you take them out for a sweat. In a few months, you will wonder out loud how strong you can be. You test your limits. That’s the additive, and some would say addictive, nature of exercise. The more you do, the more you want to do. And desire is a powerful tool for developing a new habit.
A few years ago I changed my body from a profoundly sedentary one to an exercise-dependant one. My old sedentary body was always a little sore, a little achey, easily strained and sprained. My exercise-dependant body is also always a little sore, a little achey, but full of energy, relaxed, calm, capable, not prone to illness or injury. This new body moves through space, walks and runs through my neighborhood, seeing the land and the people. This new body is fully aware of changing seasons. It gets out. It supports my life.
My new muscles have taken over. They make decisions my mind is only vaguely aware of. They pull me out of my chair when I can’t bear to sit still for one more minute. They force my legs to move when I start to feel stiff. They push and pull me into full-body stretches that look remarkably like those of my cats, my dogs. They make me move without any conscious decision at all.
It’s hard to lose and maintain a significant amount of weight, but it’s such a boon to know that if you build muscle along the way, keeping the weight off, maintaining your new body, will be much easier to do. With muscle muscling you along, your new body will insist on perpetuating itself. Muscles, once developed, will insist on being heard, will fight for their lives.
So, any diet or exercise program you’re on, any attempt to manage or maintain your health, please add strength training and adequate protein to the mix. You’ll be giving yourself the chance to get better faster and stay better longer.
I will if you will.