R.E.S.I.L.I.E.N.C.Y. = “E”
Reality check: As a kid growing up, I hated P.E. class as much as I did math class. In college, I was praying to survive the basic mile and a half within the time allowed so as to “Pass” the class – a freshman course that I waited to take until my senior year – to meet graduation requirements.
Thankfully, being athletic and being fit are not synonymous.
My lifestyle change came while my husband was in graduate school. I needed something to do while he studied, so I found time on my hands for Jane Fonda’s workout routine (Don’t do the math!).
Why is exercise so important?
Recent neurobiology has discovered that a 10-20 minute brisk walk reduces stress. How is it possible to know this? Measuring cortisol and performing brain scans. What is cortisol? It’s an essential hormone in our body, but when we are under stress, our bodies produce too much.
Exercise is a MUST if you are in a season of crisis (acute) or daily (chronic) stress (e.g. caregiving, etc.). Why? Because your body is a “trap” for the extra load you are carrying.
Don’t know how to start? Set a realistic goal for yourself. Just start! If you’re used to no exercise, just get active. Go for a walk. Gradually increase your pace. Just start where you are with what you CAN do, not what you can’t. For instance, if you’re not used to any activity, set a goal to do something for 3 days in the first week. At the end of the week, reward yourself (this positively reinforces a new habit which you are cultivating). Don’t reward yourself with food, but something like purchasing a book, getting a manicure, time with friends, etc.
It takes a good solid 21 days or so to begin a new habit or lifestyle change. So here are some pointers to get you started:
Use this formula to begin: “BFF”
- B = no more “buts” (“But I don’t have time….”).
- F = enlist a friend.
- F = do something fun as a reward.
When you think about it, exercise really is your Best. Friend. Forever.
You will be well on your way to incorporating activity into your life that will only benefit you physically and emotionally (exercise increases the production of serotonin which combats depression).
Just start. Don’t wait for a better time. Today is the BEST time.
This is Hope Unveiled!