Are You Kidding Me?
Exercise never popped into her mind. She was struggling enough to manage her blood sugar levels with new eating habits and more pills.
This women was smart, but she had no idea that the medications “needed” to control her blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels were a mask for a sick body. In another words, the pills were a substitute for her poor lifestyle.
“NO, I’m too busy, she exclaimed! My drive to work takes more than an hour, my job is demanding, I work nine or more hours a day; then eat lunch at my desk and spend almost two hours driving home in bumper-to-bumper traffic. And, I’m cooking more at home.” Ugh, she thought.
That woman pushing back at her heath coach was me! My health coach, Shannon, asked me to walk for 10 minutes a day. Didn’t she understand how busy I am? Seriously, how much more can I handle? I’m exhausted after dinner. All I want to do is plop my overweight and tired butt on the recliner to veg and watch TV.
At that time, in 2011, Shannon and I had worked together for six months. I was down 20 pounds, however, weight loss and exercise were not my main concerns. Shannon was supposed to help me with my food choices to avoid insulin. What did exercise have to do with it?
But, Shannon challenged me to make the time to walk during my workday. After I hung up the phone, I came to grips with the fact that my boss never directed me to skip my legally required breaks. I had chosen to prioritize my work “demands” over my health.
It’s Your Choice to Make Exercise Fit
No doubt about it, I needed to destress. But, I viewed exercise as a new stressor; something else to fit into my day. Boy, was I wrong!
According to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, “Stress, hard work, and lots of thinking create tension in the body; which can lead to:
- chronic aches
- tightness, and
When I started walking, I had difficulty breathing while walking a short distance, but I kept at it. The mildly warm, spring weather felt soothing upon my skin, and the refreshing air and rhythmic beat of music lifted my spirit.
Then, when the heat of the summer and chill of the winter kicked in, I walked the hallways and stairs of the building for 10-15 minutes; three times a day.
My first lesson: I became more productive at work because I was stronger, energized, and more confident!
But before I give you more tips, let’s be straight. You may not enjoy walking and that’s ok.
Is Walking the Best Exercise for You?
Perhaps, your body craves a different form of movement, or ailments impair your ability to walk. That’s why it’s important to determine what type of exercise is right for you.
Take into consideration the following:
- What did you love to do as a child? (dance, bike, hike)
- When do you feel most energetic? (morning or evening)
- Listen to your body. If you’re feeling tight or tense, try swimming or yoga. If your feeling frail or unfocused, try exercises to make you feel stable and powerful, like running or kickboxing
- Think about convenience and comfort level. Is there are gym or yoga studio where you work or on the way home from the office? Is the atmosphere pleasant, comfortable, and welcoming?
- What’s your personality type? Do you like alone time? If so, consider at home exercise like hand weights, resistance bands, or kettle and medicine balls. If you enjoy being around people, find a walking or fitness partner or join a team sport
- If you enjoy a blend of activities, consider karate, dance, or pilates
Finding the right exercise for your body type and lifestyle has many benefits, including the release of build up physical tension.
Why Exercise Maybe Low on Your Priority List?
Working women; especially moms, frequently neglect their own needs, health, and happiness to meet the needs, demands, and satisfaction of their bosses, co-workers, clients, patients, friends, and family. And sometimes, volunteer organizations.
Serving others is honorable. However, you should never let your choices place you on a path to stress, pills, surgery, and unhappiness with your weight, body image, energy level, job, and overall well-being. I know because that’s what I did!
What’s Exercise Got to do With It!
When I began my health journey, I didn’t know that I could reverse my type 2 diabetes or lower my high blood pressure and cholesterol levels without taking money-robbing pills; with harmful side-effects. But, I did. I shifted my destiny by adding in healthier foods and physical activity.
Yes, ditching processed junk food substantially improves health, but the combination of enjoying nourishing foods and an exercise program changes everything!
I’ll remind you that stress, hard work, and a lot of thinking can result in physical tension, aches, and constipation. When you destress with exercise it can improve blood sugar and energy levels, digestion, mood, aches, body shape, strength, stamina, endurance, and more….
Now you know What Exercise Has to Do With It!
Consistency of Exercise Matters
Six months after that painful conversation with my health coach, I could easily walk five miles – five times a week.
I become addicted to walking in my serene neighborhood park, and the gym’s treadmill. Within a year, I added strength training into my routine so I could realize more benefits.
News Flash: I’m no where near perfect. But, I’m intelligent enough to know that you own the right to change your destiny with empowering thoughts and choices. Every day, I have to shift my thoughts to believe I can do anything; then clear my path. My set setbacks have taught me valuable lessons.
In 2015, an injury landed me in a boot, surgery, a knee walker, and physical therapy for a total of six months. My activity level was mostly couch potato. I didn’t try to exercise my upper-body. As a result, it took me two-years to rebuild the strength I gained over the prior four years! It was a painful lesson.
When you’re not consistent with exercise, you will lose what you’ve gained. Even worse, you may lose your desire to exercise. I lost my addiction because I had forgotten how wonderful it made me feel. But, my “good” addiction is back. “Yeah.” I’m sharing my joy because I want you to feel like this too!
In two years, I plan to be competent in yoga. (If you could see my beginners yoga routine you’d have a good laugh at my expense.)
Get Moving. You’re Worth Your Time!
Now that you know how exercise can change your life, I challenge you to own your power and set a goal
- Change your mindset: Do not limit yourself by your current thoughts and beliefs
- Consult with your doctor: Before making any drastic change in physical activity
- Choose an exercise that’s best for you: Refer to the resources above
- Take a small step forward: Then, never, ever, stop!
For your reference, I’ve included a link to the… Top 25 Home Exercises from ACE
Peace, Love, Courage, and Strength, Michele
(The Jazzy Health Coach)