Later this week I will be celebrating my birthday. As this is not a “big” birthday I’m not overly focused on it however it has caused me to reflect on all of those “big” birthdays I have had. I recall turning 21 and it being a school day and I had no time to test out my valid id at the local bar until the weekend. And then there was turning 30. Between 21 and 30 I had gained a lot of weight and lost a substantial amount of weight just in time for the surprise birthday party that my now husband, organized. After a quick 10 years, I was turning 40. This was the year I decided to get into shape. Not just lose a bunch of weight, but eat better, lower my stress, prepare for my future, whatever that was to be. This was the beginning of me developing my personal wellness strategy. I was acknowledging the health risks in my life, dreaming of how I wanted to live my life, shedding a bunch of things that no longer had a place while doing more of the things that did have a place. My life and my health have become very intertwined over the past 10+ years. Frankly the only way that I’ve found to maintain health is to actively intertwine it with my life. Exercise, which falls just after nutrition for me, is one of those ways.
I recall once attending an outdoor exercise class that was terribly hard for me. It included a lot of uphill running which is simply not my thing. Couple that with the fact that I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep the night before, and I ended the class physically wiped out. I also ended the class being completely demoralized. I hadn’t done as well as I would have liked which left me feeling more “out of shape” than “ in shape.” I felt old and fat and all of those things that come with feeling out of shape. Needless to say, I never went back to that class.
I’m now conscious to avoid putting myself in those situations where I’m destined to fail. Instead I choose exercise that is creative, fun and physically challenging. They match with my life and lifestyle, are motivating, and above all, are things that I am happy to do consistently. For me, this includes spin, light running, hiking and yoga. What is it for you? Hiking, running with your dog, gardening, cutting the grass, or maybe even rowing?. How about trying something you haven’t done before like boxing? The more connected we stay to our exercise, the longer we’ll maintain that connection and the connection we have with our long-term wellness strategy.