I was supposed to go in for my annual 40k mile oil change and checkup (also known as my annual physical) the week after Gafilk, but they called me the day before my appointment and asked me to reschedule, as their office was closed due to a completely impassable parking lot. So I ended up going in on Tuesday to be poked and prodded and have my subscription renewed for another year.

I love Leslie, my RN. She never scolds, she takes everything I say seriously, and she really makes me feel like she’s a agent of support with regards to my health. I got the usual reminder about diet and exercise, and I said that I was making an effort to both eat better and exercise more, so I’ve started to think about the various ways I could do that.

One of the things I’ve done is take short breaks throughout the workday, go downstairs, and just take a short walk around the building. It gets me a bit of fresh air, and subtracts slightly from the general amount of sedentary sloth that my deskbound job typically entails. This is a good thing, but it’s a drop of water in the ocean.

Problem is — I hate exercise for the sake of exercise. I always start with good intentions, and never really make any progress. I’m reminded of the old joke about quitting smoking: “Starting a new exercise program is the easiest thing in the world. Why, I’ve done it myself thousands of times.”

Many years ago, I first read about the Couch to 5k Program, which was designed to take people from couch potato status and ease them into a training program with the goal of being able to run a 5k race — not to run it in a decent time, necessarily, but to complete it.

Unfortunately, at the time I first read about it, some ten years ago, the instructions all assumed that you had access to a quarter-mile track. It had instructions like “Walk for one lap, then run for 1 lap.” Not having access to a track, I filed it away as intriguing but not useful to me.

A few months ago, aiela said that she was starting to try this program, using an app on her Android phone to regulate her progress. I looked and found that there was an iPhone app as well, which i downloaded, glanced over, and promptly forgot about.

Tonight, feeling a bit restless and bored (not playing WoW turns out to be harder than I thought *grin*), I went down to Lifetime Fitness with my iPhone, a new pair of sneakers, and the determination to get through Week 1, Day 1 of the program. The C25k program lets you set up a playlist to listen to, so I queued up a podcast and kicked off the program. I settled on 2.5mph for the walking sections, and a modest 4.0mph for the running section, and set off. It wasn’t that bad; honestly, I think I had more difficulty changing the treadmill speed than I did actually carrying out the routine, but I definitely felt like I had done something at the end.

My hope is that the structured progression of the program will help me stick to it and actually get into the gym and stick to the schedule. My plan is to try and go Monday/Wednesday/Friday, and “Level up” every Monday. We’ll see how it goes. But so far, I’m happy with it.