I don't really have anything profound or life altering to say about exercise, except - DO IT.
I get so sick of people complaining about how disappointed they are with the way they look or feel, etc., it just really angers me. My rule in our house (about anything in general) is that you are not allowed to complain about something -unless you're truly sick, it's broken, bleeding, falling off, etc. - unless you are actively doing something to try to remedy the situation.
I think that should be a rule for all people to follow. You are not allowed to complain about how you look unless you are trying to do something about it. It seems so simple to me.
I spent several years unhappy with how I looked and how little energy I always had and how I had this or that complaint about whatever happened to be ailing me at that point in time.
It took being diagnosed with a very serious illness - Ulcerative colitis, think Crohn's disease, it's very similar - to get a clue that my diet was definitely in need of repair. We drastically changed our diets/lifestyle to a much more healthy option. We eat much more natural, whole foods than we did before and almost immediately I started feeling much better and even lost a little weight. But I still didn't feel great about how I looked, and though I felt much better, I still had pretty low energy.
It took me a while, a couple of years to be exact, to finally get a clue. I started going to the gym 3 days a week about 9 months ago and it has made such a tremendous difference in how I feel! I love working out now! I don't have trouble sleeping anymore and can get up fairly easily when my alarm goes off in the morning. I have much more energy and don't get as worn out with the boys during the day. I have muscles that I didn't know existed!
Here's my secret to finding time to go to the gym: Michael and I decided that since it was definitely worth it, we would rearrange our budget a little and pay for a gym membership at a gym that also has a childcare center. I am a member at the local YMCA that has "child watch." The family membership provides for both parents and any number of biological/adopted children. The membership inclues unlimited entrance for me to all of the services of the gym and it includes 2 hours of child care EVERY DAY (Mon. - Sat.) and unlimited pool use for the children! This membership has been wonderful for all of us. I get to work out in peace and at the same time don't have to worry about the kids, and the kids get to play, do crafts and just have fun.
In my opinion, I use this gym membership more since I know I'm paying for it and with our budget (since I'm a stay home mom and have very little income) every penny is accounted for.
If you already have a gym membership and aren't using it for whatever reason, then shame on you (unless you have a really good reason, why waste the money??). If you don't have a gym membership and can work it in to your budget, by all means, please get one AND USE IT! You won't be disappointed. If that really doesn't work for you, please do what you can at home. Get some yoga or pilates or aerobics tapes, or if you can swing it, invest in an eliptical machine or something to help you with your cardio. Just try it, once you get into a good routine and make it part of your life, you won't regret working out.
I guess that's enough of my soapbox for today......