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How I spent my summer workout sabbatical

Lesa Lorenzen-Huber is a professor of Applied Health Science at IUB's school of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

In my last blog I wrote that I was in a workout rut and was going to go on a sabbatical from the gym. There are lots of ways to exercise besides the gym; some of them are even productive! Summer seemed a perfect time to try out some of the promising research findings about short bouts of physical activity and maybe even mow my own lawn.

I was also really pumped up to NOT work out because I was preparing a talk for the Annual Conference of Recreational Therapists on "Physical Activity Every Day." This program, based on research out of the Cooper Institute and confirmed by recent research at Indiana University is a great day-by-day approach to becoming active, especially for folks who can't quite get started on an exercise routine. Take the stairs here, walk a block there, and before you know it, you've accumulated enough physical activity to achieve health benefits for the day!

The recreational therapists were a fit group. Almost all were regular runners, gym rats, tri-athletes, etc. They were a great audience for my presentation and agreed the program could be useful for de-conditioned clients. But afterwards a few came up to me and said things like, "I just wouldn't feel like I'd worked out if I didn't break a sweat."

I'll bet you regular exercisers out there can relate to that. I sure did. Honestly, I never did take much of a sabbatical from working out this summer. I would miss the "feeling" that I'd worked out. I did take a break from working out while I was in Europe, except for a brief jog in Paris and you can read about that in next blog, "How to feel like a fool in Paris." In the meantime, I'm thinking about what it means to feel like I've worked out. What are the physical, cognitive, and psychological aspects of that feeling? Let me know your thoughts at lehuber@indiana.