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When Exercise Is Hard

Mar 06, 2023

This post is by Tami Rodriguez.

We all know how important exercise is. Everyday there’s a new article telling us why we should lift weights for stronger bones, get some cardio for a healthy heart and lungs, get NEAT time (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis) because even if you do ALL that exercise, if you sit the rest of the day that’s bad too. It seems the internet is full of advice and… it all contradicts itself. But, even though one place may say to exercise x amount and another y, the one thing they all agree on is we have to move our bodies regularly. The problem? As moms, wives and just as women in general, there are so many things that get in the way and make it hard to find the time, energy and willpower to “just do it”.

Even though I know all the reasons to move daily and I go to bed every night determined to seize the coming day, I am a master at morning excuses! The question is, are they all excuses or is there some truth in there? “I deserve a rest today.” “Cardio is killing me lately.” “I’m so stressed, even thinking about working out is making it worse. Maybe today should be a rest day.” Does it sound familiar? While yes, they are excuses, I also DO need a rest some days! Cardio HAS been hard lately when my body is already exhausted and run down, and friends… Decision fatigue is REAL!

A few things I’ve found really helpful when excuses are winning more often than movement has been to slow down, find something new and focus on rest. Intense cardio has not been my friend lately. While I enjoy the workout I feel worse after because I am just overdone right now. My solution for the time being is walking. Yup. Just plain ol’ walking. Some days I’ll get my heart rate up and still feel like I got a good workout in but one challenge I’ve given myself lately is to make a hot cup of tea, take it with me and see how slowly I can walk the loop of my neighborhood. It’s HARD!! Slowing my body and mind down does so much more for me than forcing an intense workout some days. 

Another thing I’ve done is find something that challenges me in new ways.  I recently discovered a form of exercise I had never heard of before when I was flipping through PBS. Classical Stretch (also called Essentrics) draws from ballet, Tai-Chi and physiotherapy. You can watch it on PBS, stream it with a subscription or buy DVD’s. To be honest I don’t always love it because it is often SLOW- but I’m working on slow right now. I’ve seemed to forget how to be slow! 

Last, focus on rest. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling really worn out and frazzled after holidays and for us, the now sunless days of February. A few weeks ago I looked at my schedule and realized I didn’t have a single day of the week to get extra sleep or not wake up running. I didn’t have a single evening open and available to “just be”. No wonder I have been so stressed and tired lately. I took a hard look at things, talked to my kids and husband and rearranged my schedule to have some intentional built in rest. I think giving my body the rest it needs will in turn help it perform well when asked to move. It will actually have something to give.

What about you? Are you out of balance when it comes to your body? Asking it to give more than it can? Do you need to slow down, find something new or build in some intentional rest? Give one of these a try. Hey, give ALL of them a try! I think you’ll find your body will thank you.  


Tami Rodriguez has been married to her high school sweetheart for 29 years and has 5 children plus a lovely daughter in law! She has homeschooled for 18 years and still has 5 more to go...send coffee! Tami is a lifelong learner who loves to study God’s Word and share with others whenever given the opportunity.  You can find her living life as “just a mom who likes to write” over on Instagram @rodfamily007.

Photo by Christian Chen on Unsplash


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