Back To The Usual Routine
It’s that time of year again – the holidays are over, the decorating project is finished and it’s time to settle back into the routine of work and school.
Just as January is a good time to start New Year’s resolutions, September is a natural time to take stock and be intentional about getting back on track to achieve your goals for this year.
If you hoped to try a new hobby or skill, now’s a great time to take up evening classes. Whether it’s an Italian cookery course or language lessons inspired by your recent holiday, imagine how much progress you can make by the end of the year. This will certainly keep the grey matter alive and well. But what about your body? Is it time to spend a little more effort into looking after your health? Let a burst of post-holiday productivity inspire you to look after your body and mind.
We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to be the best we can be: emotionally, physically and intellectually. Diet and fitness obviously play important roles in our health and wellbeing. We can make this an opportunity to re-evaluate our daily lives and see whether anything needs fine tuning.
Research has proven that fitness can impact hugely on our mental health. It’s a well established fact that the endorphins that your body releases after exercise make you feel good. Exercise first thing in the morning sets us up for a productive, positive start to the day. It also ensures that we do something for ourselves before anybody else makes demands on us. But exercise is also a great stress buster. Working out after a hard day’s work will help to relieve tension and put the pressures and strains of work and family back into perspective.
If we can build our fitness easily into our day then we are more likely to continue with it. A habit needs to be repeated at least 21 times for it to become programmed in our brains. So taking up boxing classes, for example, needs to be repeated for 2 months before it’s going to feel like we need and want to do it on a daily basis.
It is also really important to have rest days in between our high impact exercise sessions so that our muscles have time to recover and rebuild themselves.
Stretching is also vital for our muscles and general good health. Remembering to stretch after exercise keeps our muscles lengthened after they have contracted, making us less likely to suffer injuries. Taking up yoga or pilates as an antidote to more strenuous fitness can be very rewarding. Not only will it make us more flexible, it also improves our core, breathing and overall sense of calm.
A holistic approach to fitness is by far the healthiest approach. A manageable and enjoyable fitness routine which encompasses working with the body, mind and soul should be our ultimate aim.
“The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a ‘sound mind in a sound body’.”
Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World
My next post will be on eating and our relationships with food.