Whether you’re challenged with a chronic condition or not, it’s important for all of us to find more ways to be active throughout our day; not only for our physical health but perhaps even more importantly, our mental health. When the mind is “stuck,” depressed or anxious, the body, in an automatic response, usually doesn’t move.
Lately, I have realized just how out of shape I am. Over the past ten years, I have completely released my fitness habits that included Tae Bo at least three days a week, at the corporate gym Mon-Fri, and walking during my lunch break. Working from home doesn’t lend itself to automatic physical movement.
Yesterday my husband convinced me to get out of the house and go for a “walk” in Palos Verdes just up the hill from us. It was a beautiful day, and I was in the mood for an endorphin rush. We got to the trailhead, and I started to worry a bit. This was a hiking trail, not a walking path. I asked Anthony (the hubby) if this was designated an “easy” trail on his hiking app and he said, “yep.” No problem, I thought, I can do this. We proceeded up the trail, and it didn’t take long to realize that it went straight up. Now I was really worried. I can barely get up the stairs at our house without huffing and puffing, how was I going to make it up the hill without passing out?
Anthony was a trooper and kept a slow pace with me, but there were times when I had to go faster on the inclines, or my knees were going to give out. Soon I was out of breath. It was in that moment, stopping on the side of the trail, looking up and see more “up,” and then looking out over the ocean and seeing Catalina Island in the distance, that I declared it was time to get my ass back in shape. Do you want to do it with me?
By keeping active, even in small ways, we keep our mind engaged and moving forward in a more balanced and peaceful way, and it becomes easier to stay motivated to stay active.
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Here are a few simple, but effective, steps you can add to your day. While each one alone may not seem like a lot, even minutes a day can quickly (and easily) add up to more physical activity without having to give up large blocks of time in your day.
No matter what steps you decide to take in your quest to be more active, make sure you enjoy what you’re doing because you’re more apt to keep doing it!
Also, with additional activity, you’re also be releasing more endorphins (the natural “feel good” chemicals of the body) which effectively counteract the adverse effects of depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and stress; common challenges faced by many of us (including those with PCOS like me).
I commit to at least 30-45 minutes of cycling while I watch the Ellen Degeneres show (she makes me laugh!). Tell me in the comments what you will do to fit more physical movement in your day.
Corrie Ann Gray is a writer, researcher, coach, and cookie enthusiast who lives in Los Angeles, CA. She started the Clean Body Project to share all of her knowledge and resources with others who are interested in running their own experiment into clean holistic living. She is also known as The Renaissance Soul Writer at www.corrieanngray.com.