As the second position in M.E.D.S., EXERCISE may seem the most attainable, but can be one of the most difficult to sustain. Exercise must challenge you in order to make an impact. A workout is just that: WORK. This doesn't have to mean forking over hundreds of dollars for a crazy-intense program. It simply means adding physical activity to your daily/weekly routine that was not previously there. And, that can be difficult. You must work past your comfort zone, and here is where many of us fall short. Our own Shey P. describes how she still needs that beginning push to get her through her new program:
“I recently began incorporating a workout of at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week into my routine. The first week was an extreme adjustment but now that I have gotten used to it, I look forward to it! My initial motivation was weight loss but I find that working out has also been a great form of stress relief! The hardest part for me is getting started, once you get through the first five minutes, the rest is a breeze.”
Like Shey, many of us create exercise goals to lose weight, feel better about how we look or just to get that spring back in our step we have not felt since our early twenties. But, the additional non-physical benefits of exercise include stress reduction. Shey went into her program with one goal and is experiencing others, including stress relief.
After discussing how Meditation is important for mental health and stress-stability, exercise provides an avenue of an almost sub-conscious two birds – one stone phenomenon. Exercise produces that lovely endorphin relief which makes us feel better, sleep sounder and clears the mind. All which aid in stress reduction. While your goal may be to get a physically healthier self, you feel better ‘without even trying.’ Now, it’s all about making time for the all-important self-care
Magaly S. shares how she makes time for her program:
“Adopting to Self-Care has not been easy, but I decided to focus on the positive and set time aside for myself and my kiddos. Being a mom of three and working full time makes it hard to work out, but I have decided to make it fun by including my children when I work out. For instance, when doing squats instead of weights, I use my two-year-old as my weights, and he thinks we are playing a game.”
Whatever your exercise goals are, its important to just make time to be active. Make a commercial-break challenge for yourself. Go on walks with your family. Lunge your way around your home. Push yourself to do something different. Get up and move!