Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Putting My Body First

The older I get, the more I appreciate my body. My body is my most valuable resource. I have sometimes taken her for granted. My friends and I are noticing changes. Some of us are slowing down. Tiredness, aches,and pains are common concerns. I’m not ready for this.

I expect to live a long time, and I’m not ready for the rocking chair. There are things I want to do. I need to feel good. Now, more than ever before I need to take care of my body.

My body is my first stewardship, my first priority. If I don’t take care of her, my body will have a hard time supporting me. This is the only body I am ever going to get, at least in this life. What could be more important than nourishing and strengthening my body?

Health is a controversial subject, but most experts agree that our bodies need exercise. Staying active is important. I have health issues that respond to exercise, so it is a high priority for me. Still, it is easy to let other activities take priority. If I do not exercise early in the day, chances are good that it won’t happen. I have good intentions, but am easily distracted.

I don’t mind exercise, but I don’t love it. There are lots of things I’d rather do. However, I love what exercise does for me. The health benefits are huge, and my body gives me immediate feedback. Exercise is a mood enhancer, and makes me feel amazing.

For years a daily walk was my favorite exercise. It’s free and I can do it any time, any place. Fresh air and sunshine have extra benefits. Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D. Sunshine helps our vitamin D levels. If you can find someone to walk with you, it gets better. Walking is more fun with a friend, and a daily commitment to meet at a certain time and place will develop consistency.

I find it much more difficult to maintain consistency when I don’t have a walking partner. Other exercise routines that have worked for me have been a daily bike ride, bouncing to music on our trampoline, working out with a yoga video, and dancing to music in my living room. (No spectators allowed.)

Our bodies are meant to move and the type of exercise we choose probably doesn’t matter as much as daily consistency. I found some helpful websites: and A few weeks ago, I couldn’t imagine doing ten pushups, let alone one hundred. I didn’t do pushups as a teenager, so how could I do them now? Despite my insecurity, I wanted to strengthen my core which has grown rather weak and flabby.

The hundred pushups site gave me a plan that was totally doable, and I can do more pushups than I ever thought possible. I do pushups three days a week, and decided to add a sit up routine to the other three days. I do pushups Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and sit ups Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. I am getting stronger.

In addition to this, I walk, bike, jump, dance, or do yoga every day. I aim for an hour of exercise each day. That’s a big time drain, but I view it as an investment in my health. I could use a walking partner, though. Any takers?

I gave up walking for a while because of Plantar Fasciitis. That’s when we bought our bikes and it was a great help. I stayed off my feet as much as possible and got one of those little foot rollers that my chiropractor sells. It was heaven.

I didn’t see any significant improvement in my feet until I started taking magnesium. I had read about magnesium’s benefits and decided I needed some. What a difference it made in my feet. I had to take a lot at first, but now I just need a little. I thought I’d share this information in case any of my readers have Plantar Fasciitis. If you don’t have it be grateful. It’s no fun.

Putting my body first is not always easy, but I am really trying. My body has been good to me and I owe her something in return. If I am good to her, I think she’ll make it worth my time.

Come back next week for some tips on healthy eating.

Linda Garner

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