frankTwo years ago we adopted a dog named Frank from a family that had too many dogs.  Frank is a bulldog/boxer mix and is about 4 years old.  When Frank first came to us, he walked really slow and could barely make it up and down steps.  His favorite thing to do was sleep.  I’m not sure what kind of life he had with his previous family, but he was scared of everything and everyone.  As he got used to our family he started to learn how to play.  We started to take him to the park for walks and get him used to being around other people.

We also have a big fenced in yard with plenty of room to play.  One day when my eleven year old was playing in the yard with Frank, Frank starting running around.  We didn’t even know he could run.  We also have steps outside that lead to a sun porch and have a landing that overlooks the yard.  Frank loves to sit at the top of the steps on the landing.  Since he goes up and down those steps every day he can now run up and down them.

By gradually getting used to moving and walking, Frank was able to get around easier and have more energy.  I’ve experienced this myself.  I didn’t used to exercise and I had no energy.  When I did do any type of physical activity, I had sore muscles for days.  I used to be short of breath when I walked up a flight of stairs.  My back hurt when I would sit for long periods of time.

I’m not sure when or why I started exercising on a regular basis.  It may have been because I started gaining some weight.  It may have been when my Mom was diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease and started experiencing pain.  I started researching her disease and read that exercise can help alleviate the pain and slow the progression of the disease.

When I did start exercising it took a lot to find the motivation to exercise.  It was easier to sit and watch T.V. I had no energy to get up and exercise.  I wasn’t overweight, but I was out of shape.  I know it takes effort to start exercising, but once you start exercising on a regular basis, you will gain more energy and it will be easier to get up and exercise.  In fact, you may even enjoy it.

Plus, once you start exercising you will feel better, you will be able to do more physical activities without getting tired or sore, and you will feel younger than ever.  Sometimes it’s better to focus on how exercise makes you feel instead of focusing on how much weight you lose.

I recently read an article about a fitness organization that doesn’t focus on weight loss, but they focus on having fun through exercising.  The people that attend the classes have reduced their cholesterol, improved their blood pressure, and reversed their diabetes.  Many have also lost weight, but it’s not the primary focus, so they just enjoy themselves.