Have you ever noticed that some days you hit your stride in your exercise session and breeze through your routine and other days you are struggling to get going and keep going? I think it is that way for everyone to some extent, but for those of us with body challenges, that pendulum may swing out just a little bit farther, making the variance between one day and the next that much greater.
I guess all I can say is you have to go with the punches. How do you manage your difficult days? Do you taper off your exercise and give yourself a break, or do you slog through it and do everything you planned, before you received the memo that you weren’t hitting all eight cylinders today? More than likely, you do a combination. Some days you are gentler with yourself and other days more demanding.
It’s just important to be aware of what is going on with your body, from day to day, as you put yourself through your exercising paces. If your body is screaming, it just might behoove you to listen and make some adjustments. It is always harder to make adjustments after an injury than before. When your body is screaming out to you, you are likely ripe for an injury, and you need to pay special attention, or you just might pay the price. Easy does it.
I like to think of my walking routine as a long term marathon and not a sprint. Life happens to all of us and it will intrude on our schedules, like when both of my twins had fevers back to back last month and I couldn’t walk for a week. But this is really irrelevant. If the plan is to walk regularly, then be specific about how many times you plan to walk and how far or how long you intend to walk each time. Then more or less stick to it. The actual act of doing it regularly is what will make it a habit. Then if other obligations, an injury or a surgery get temporarily in the way, you will manage it and get back to your plan, as soon as possible.
Let’s take a moment right now to do a little visualization exercise. Go ahead get comfy and close your eyes. Do you need something to prop up your head? Grab it and get into position! Take a few cleansing breaths and remember when you were at your best and what it felt like to exercise. Luxuriate in it. Notice everything around you. Exactly where are you and who is with you? Use all of your senses. What is your breathing like? How does your back feel? How do your legs feel? What are you thinking about? Any parts of your body that you need to talk to to work through pain or stress or are you all good? Go ahead and talk to those body parts, if necessary. Imagine what you’ll be doing for the next 45 minutes. What is your route or routine? How does it feel in the beginning? In the middle? Toward the end?
Now advance to the current years. Repeat the exercise and imagine what things might be like today or last week with the shape you are in now, be it good, bad or somewhere in between. We are all advancing in age and things that were a sinch when you were young may now pose difficulties. Some things may simply be out of the question. Nonetheless, most people can still move and exercise in some modified form. Countless references have proved that if you keep on exercising it is easier than if you give up entirely and try to get back at it later. It is still better to start moving with what you have and build upon what remains, than to give up and remain sedentary.
A sedentary life style is one replete with illness and disease. So if you don’t want to move, you will likely spend a great deal of time dealing with myriad health problems. What I am trying to say is if you don’t spend time trying to improve your life with health and wellness activities, you will surely spend time engaged in activities that focus on the opposite! It’s your choice, health and wellness or disease and ever limited functioning. Choose carefully because you life depends on it!
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC, BCC
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
The Wellness Coach At Building Better Bodies Rocks
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, OH
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