Here at a couple of months old I am already showing my preference for reclining in a hammock. As I near the end of my month of posts on diet and exercise, I have been pondering my resistance to exercise. Clearly as a child I was very active. In high school and college I did a great deal of walking in the course of my daily life. As a young mother I certainly was very active most of the time. Then middle age set in and I began to seek out opportunities to move as I have shown in my jogging, jumping, vaulting, swimming and Curve workouts. Today I go twice a week for a rigorous workout of weights and resistance exercises with a personal trainer.
But it has all seemed like work from that first necessity to “seek out opportunities to move.” Why has that been the case? I finally remembered Newton’s first law of physics. “A body at rest stays at rest.” It needs to be acted upon to move. As long as I had the need to move–to get somewhere for example–I got that body moving. But as soon as it was optional, as soon as I had to “make” myself move, the inertia proved stronger than the impetus to move.
All of this is very ironic since Newton’s also says that a body in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by an opposing force. My translation of this points out that once I start moving in the gym I find that I am actually enjoying myself and stop simply because I am exhausted. Somehow though I never hold onto that joy. The next time I imagine moving, I find that I prefer that my body “stays at rest.” It’s a paradox shared by many a non exerciser. Maybe we need a new law to explain it.