This blog is in response to an email that I received from one of our Boot Campers. She was concerned about how to make time to exercise, with a busy schedule, two little ones and a husband that works late…
I motivate myself to do my workouts everyday by setting an intention that my health is one of my biggest priorities. I look at exercise like brushing my teeth – I would never go a day without brushing my teeth. When I was younger, I wasn’t educated on how to take proper care of my teeth. So, I have had to put a lot of time and effort to bring them back to health. Because I know the negative effects of neglecting them, I’m very motivated to take good care of them every day. I am committed for a lifetime of good care. I want to keep my own healthy teeth as long as I live. I have to brush my teeth every day because I hate that rotten taste in my mouth when I don’t. When my breath is nasty, I don’t want to go near anybody and I am so self-conscious instead of confident. I love the feeling of being able to approach anyone with a huge smile and be able to talk and laugh, let my personality out and get to know others without any worry of my breath or if I have distracting food in my teeth. I also learned that it doesn’t just look and smell better, but that a clean mouth aids in a strong immune system. This means a neglected mouth works against our entire body. Exercise is like brushing your teeth. You do it every day. Period. You make time for it, because it is just as important to our health and appearance, if not more. Although, let’s just agree we’ll do both!
I’m not saying you have to kill yourself or run a marathon or lift heavy weights or buy expensive equipment or clothes. I’m just saying MOVE! My anatomy instructor used to say “movement is everything.” The longer I live, the more I see the depths of truth in that saying, especially pertaining to our bodies. Just think of a pool of stagnant water. Because there is no movement, it starts to accumulate nasty residue and growths, and putrefies. Imagine a beautiful stream of running water. The flow allows it to remain fresh, clean and pure. Our bodies are a lot like that, they are designed to move. Movement keeps are bodies healthy and pure! Our bodies are meant to push, pull, walk, run, stretch in all kinds of cool movements – climb, swim, bike…on and on the list can go. Our muscles need to contract and lengthen. The fascia and tissue inside your body need to have movement and stretch in order to not adhere to other connective tissue. The joints need to move in all kinds of ranges of motions to create lubrication and fluidity. Our bones need weight-bearing exercise to maintain density and stability. Our internal organs stay in shape by bending and twisting. The spine needs to bend forward and backward and side to side to stay young. The body accumulates a lot of toxins that need to be released. Our body efficiently detoxes through sweat. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and exercising enough to make you sweat cleans out our body’s plaque! The hormones and metabolism are regulated by physical activity. This means, you think clearer, your mood is enhanced, you are releasing negative mental energy when you move. Exercise is the bodies answer to depression. We accumulate a lot of mental stress and drama in life. When you exert physical activity, it is nature’s way of managing stress. If you observe nature, you will see this all the time. If you watch two swans on a lake that are in a squabble with each other, they soon just flap their wings and then float along on their merry way. That intense burst of energy releases them of that negative emotion.
I’m on a little soap box because I think a little education goes a long way to motivate us. I don’t think pressure, guilt, “shoulds,” and feeling bad about yourself inspire anybody. When you make exercise a CHOICE every day, because you understand the benefits, and discover how wonderful it feels to be strong and healthy, NO excuse will get in your way. You will get creative with your time and actually FIND way to make it happen instead of finding reasons why you can’t. If your plate is too full, you will take less important things off your plate. You will see the value in being a good example for your children and husband of how to be accountable for your own health and well-being, instead of thinking you always need to be accommodating and therefore always blaming others for your personal neglect. My children knew that exercise was a part of our every day. No matter what fits or objections they had to going to daycare at the gym, or riding in a runner stroller, or me being gone to a yoga class, it wasn’t going to work. My companions, wherever I go, know that I am going to make time to move my body. I am not obsessed, I just assume that everyone would wait and allow me to brush my teeth, because that benefits them. So does my exercise!
Take your life back and take care of your very deserving self. Let go of your excuses and just do it, because you’re worth the time and effort! It doesn’t take more time to take care of yourself than poor health doe – in fact, a lot less. It just has to be a no-excuse attitude. You can have the body and health you want! You just have to make YOUR life as important as all the other lives you feel in charge of. I know this is hard to do because you have been taught that to sacrifice yourself for others is good. You bought into the belief that your relationship, kids and job come first, and that makes you a good person. I know you agree to feel guilty when you put your needs before what others want of you. That’s okay, you’ll get over it! It takes practice to change a behavior. People around you are going to become uncomfortable and want you to stay the same because they don’t like change. If you change, that changes their lives. But I am ALL about change! If you role model this way of thinking to your baby girls, or friends or sisters, they will do the same! What kind of life do you want for the people you love? Now love yourself that same way, and get the life you love!!