exercise

Keys to a Better Life: Get Some Exercise!

The editor of a local magazine reached out to me recently, to ask if I would share in an upcoming issue how I find balance in my life or stay centered. It was pretty easy for me to identify the major components of what I think keeps me from going entirely off the rails, but in the weeks since that article was submitted, I’ve really been thinking more about the nitty gritty of what’s important to me in the effort to live a better life. Have I achieved success in all these areas? Hell, no! I’m just a regular person with the same struggles as everyone else. But I think if you don’t strive for “better”, then you’re destined to be worse off in some way. So, I’m calling this the first of how many ever I can think of blog posts about what I’m striving for. If you can identify with any or all of these as the weeks go on, I’d love to hear from you!

I’m starting with exercise, because movement is at the root of what makes me feel better in general. Even on the days when I really don’t wanna. In fact, especially on those days. Do you need to join a gym? No. Do you need to run races? No. Do you need any special equipment? Again, no. All you need to do is start. Somewhere. From wherever you are. Just move.

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If exercise is new to you, start slow. Don’t have access to weights? Grab a couple cans of beans off your pantry shelf for tricep extensions, lateral raises, bicep curls, or raise them overhead. Use your washer, dryer, or kitchen countertop for balance and do some modified pushups, lunges, squats or leg raises out to the side. Park a little further from the store. Take the steps. You get the idea.

Or maybe you’re already exercising, but you’ve fallen into a rut where the same old thing just seems old. I have to keep changing things up to stay consistent. Personally I’ve done that with a fitness app that I really enjoy, and I like it because it encompasses a variety of activities with different coaches. I use it on my own for outdoor running/walking/yoga and when I go to the gym for strength training, treadmill or elliptical. What I know is that I have to move every day. Have to—for mental health as well as physical. It might be yoga, a meditative walk by myself or a walk with the dogs; or it might be an all-out sweat fest with a rowing session and a cycle class, or a run. But I’m moving purposefully every day for at least 30 minutes.

One day maybe I’ll share more of the “why” behind my commitment to moving every day. No need for me to try and get into the physical and mental benefits of exercise—I’m no doctor, and your doctor has probably told you why it’s important. I just want to tell you that it makes my life better every day, in so many ways.

So what are your exercise habits? Victories? Or hurdles? Maybe I can learn new tips from you, maybe you can learn from some of my struggles. I’d love to hear from you! Let’s keep moving together!