These days, my preferred form of exercise is swimming. I came back to it after at least ten years of exercise machines, running, or - in the main - little exercise beyond a reasonable amount of walking.
I determined to do a form of exercise where the bar to making an excuse is so high that it is easier to just do it. Based on past inhibitors, this has to be:
- close to home;
- not too strenuous as to make me tired all the time;
- not take up too much of my time;
- no significant financial hurdle;
- not too tedious;
- easy to keep it very regular.
After about a year of this, I noted that it didn't seem to be doing me any good. Yet a short time later, I realised I did have somewhat better well-being, and in fact my muscles were now getting restless for exercise - a sure sign of success.
In fact, recently I've found my swimming is surprisingly vigorous - to the extent that my muscles are demanding to be tested pretty much all the way through.
Not long ago, I decided I should be doing more realistic stretching exercises beforehand. This might have made some difference to the benefit I was getting - but I'm still not stretching all that much. Maybe the helpful minimum is small.
And now I find that my muscles are restless only a couple of hours after the swim. I'm not convinced that I'm the sort of person that experiences a noticeable endorphin rush with a good dose of exercise. But I'm now at the point where I do need the exercise to feel good - at least, for my muscles to feel better. And the walking I do is dead easy now - feels good even.
I hope this is a salient lesson. 650 metres is not really all that much - I feel apologetic to mention it - but it has become effective.