I just bought an obnoxiously expensive pair of exercise pants. You see, over the past few years I've stopped doing almost any formal exercise and I've finally decided that it can't go on any longer. By now everybody with a pulse knows that regular exercise is essential to health, happiness and longevity. As we've written about, it prevents Alzheimer's, eases insomnia, and generally allows you to live longer. Plus as a health writer who researches and reports on these subjects every day, it's plain embarrassing that I don't exercise. My excuses are ones that you're no doubt familiar with: Work, kids, homemaking, a workaholic husband—all these things make finding time to exercise a struggle. But the biggest barrier is that I've fallen out of the habit, and once you've lost a healthy habit it can be oh so hard to pick it up again.
So about a week ago I joined a gym (okay, maybe it was ten days ago?) and still haven't crossed its threshold. I decided that maybe my reluctance was in part due to the fact that my workout pants are close to ten years old, practically threadbare and too shapeless to hide or hold in any of the bulges I'm hoping that workouts will rid me of. And let's not even discuss the state of my sports bras. So I headed to the local outpost of Lululemon, which has something like 20 styles of workout pants and seemlingly twice as many tops, and twenty minutes later exited poorer but much more inspired to finally get back on that elliptical machine. The miraculous thing about my news pants is they've got so much support in all the right places that they make it look like I never stopped working out in the first place. And I could never live with the guilt of spending so much on workout pants and not actually using them, so if nothing else that is sure to get my butt into the gym.
What do you do to make sure that you exercise? Do you reward yourself somehow? Arrange your schedule so that you have no excuse not to do it? Make an exercise appointment with friends or a trainer, so you're accountable?