One positive of being on a sabbatical is that my primary excuse to not exercise, “lack of time”, was obviously not a challenge anymore. If I removed 50+ hours of activity every week between work and commute, I should have been able to squeeze some exercise in. And as a bonus, I decided to start my sabbatical skiing in Park City, Utah.
Skiing has been my favorite physical activity as an adult. What was previously vacation based became more regular when I moved to Sacramento and could get to the Lake Tahoe area in around 2 hours. Park City was next level as I was skiing 5 days per week. If you have never tried skiing by yourself for a couple hours in the middle of the week, I would recommend. It is almost a peaceful experience.
I considered skiing my cardio, added a few sun salutations (yoga), and started some body weight strength training. At some point, my body reminded me that I was 35 and stretching was important. I sustained all this activity after the move to the family farm and on to Chicago. The cardio did have to switch to running, biking, and calisthenics.
Presently, it is a daily habit, and one that I am addicted to. My day seems incomplete without something, even if it is only the stretching, yoga, and a few pushups. As I learned in the book, Discipline Equals Freedom (which is also where I got my body weight exercises from), do something every day. Even if you cannot get your full routine in, do something.
And that would be my advice for anyone looking to start an exercise routine. Start small. Make it daily. And even if you “don’t have time”, do something. A few pushups and lunges count. Eventually, you will be on the other side of the coin where it takes more effort to NOT exercise than it does to get started.