With more than three million cases of obesity diagnosed each year in the United States alone, more Americans need to make fitness a regular part of their daily routine. . This will reduce the risk of over-scheduling and help you visualize and mentally prepare for the workouts.” You can make the time for exercise by:
- Starting with small changes. Add 10-15-minute workouts to your morning or afternoon routine. You can even look up free workout videos on YouTube to get started.
- Doing something you like. Schedule a call with a long-distance friend during a 20-minute walk. Try out Zumba if you enjoy dancing. Want to make new fitness-minded friends? Join a league sport like coed softball, volleyball, or even kickball.
- Taking the stairs. Park at the back of the parking lot. Ride your bike to work. Don’t become sedated by the conveniences of our modern world. When you can turn your regular routine into exercise, you’ll start creating a lifestyle.
Along with other kinds of self-care, regular exercise can make you more productive, boost your immune system, and heighten your ability to let go of stress and feel more compassionate—to yourself and to others.
Exercise is a natural energy booster. True, you might feel a bit tired after a hard workout or even achy after working new muscles, but overall, your energy will improve. With more energy, you’ll not only be able to tackle your daily tasks with more enthusiasm, but you might even find yourself opening up to new challenges and adventures.
Setting a fitness goal for yourself—like going to a yoga class three days a week—helps you stay in the present moment. When you slow down and enjoy the moment, you learn how to prioritize other self-care activities that are important in your life.
Studies show that even just moderate exercise can make a huge impact on your overall immune system health. When you exercise, you are one step closer to sustaining a healthy weight, which is one of the effective preventative measures against heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Recent research with marathon runners and professional soccer players has hinted that intensive cardio exercise might actually suppress immune efficiency, while those who participated in only moderate exercise avoided the flu and saw a nice boost in their immunoglobulins. Self-care is hard enough when you are busy, but it can seem nearly impossible when you add illness on top of that. Adding exercise into your daily routine can keep you healthy enough to stay motivated to care for yourself.
Stress impacts both the mind and body in substantial ways. Not only does exercise boost your endorphins, brain chemicals that help regulate stress and pain, but it can also be a meditative experience. Meditation, even as little as ten minutes a day, has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression.
When we are stressed, we tend to let self-care slip. We eat foods that comfort our emotions instead of nourishing our bodies. We isolate from friends and family, have trouble focusing at work, and sleep too little or too much. Stress can critically limit our ability to keep up with our self-care routines, which is why exercise can make such a difference in letting go.
Don’t let a busy schedule get in the way of your physical health. It’s never too late and no amount of exercise is too brief to improve your quality of life. When you allow exercise to support and sustain your self-care practices, you can feel confident in managing the priorities in your life.
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