So far, we’ve talked a lot about the emotional aspects to pursuing healing, hope and wholeness for our lives. As much as I love talking about our unpredictable feelings (I really do) there’s more! There’s more to us humans, and there’s more to sharpen and edify on our journey. Today I want to talk about the physical aspect to self-care. Some call it fitness, working out, or staying in shape. For some it looks like running, yoga, climbing, biking, or swimming. It comes in all shapes and sizes but for me, and for this post I want to talk about it as an aspect of self-care.
My mom set an amazing example for me by her committed work routine. She had her walking days, and her strength days. Occasionally she’d throw in a Richard Simmons workout VHS, no joke. I was young and knew nothing about style but I did know that the short shorts, big hair, and spandex that filled the work out video were absolutely hilarious. If we didn’t have normal work out weights, we’d use a can of veggies.
The two things I remember most though were her 1) Consistency….No matter what was on the schedule that felts so important, there was always time made for working out. 2) Her thankfulness for health….I don’t think I ever heard her say or express that her purpose for working out, walking, crunches or lifting weights was to look beautiful or shed some pounds. It was because she wanted to take care of her body the best she could. She wanted to keep her strength, and build her endurance. She was thankful.
By no means was she an intense “worker outer”, she didn’t’ run marathons or do hot yoga classes on a regular basis, or ever. She did what fit her style, and life.
Because of those many fast paced walks at the park with my mom, taking care of my body is drilled into my mind. At times it’s been challenging. I definitely gained the freshman 30 when I moved out of the house at 17 years old. At times I have to ask myself my purpose and reason for working out and make sure it is a healthy decision. Because I have learned that you can make healthy decisions but not actually be a healthy person, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. But in the midst of life changing events, ups and downs there is something you can take charge of (for the most part)…your health. You can encourage your body or hurt your body.
If you want to add wholeness to your life, I encourage you not to overlook fitness as an aspect of self-care. Whatever activity you choose, let it be an outlet and time to turn off the never ending to do list, shake off the stress, and clear your mind.
Benefits of working out that I’ve experienced:
- Mentally sharper
- Unleashes stress
- More energy
- Improved sleep
- Consistent mood
A couple things that have kept me from my routine:
- We’re all busy people, and by the end of the day you just don’t feel like going for a run, spin class, or lifting weights. I get it, and sometimes I say yes to sleep or baking and no to my jog.
- I get bored with predictability. Therefore I have to switch it up and not burn out on yoga, or biking but mix both into my routine. Boredom needs a challenge.
Tips to remind myself:
- What’s my motive?
- Healthy choices are hard choices
- The benefits are worth it
- Don’t take health for granted