Here’s a snapshot of my life that I don’t normally talk about.
- I do CrossFit workouts four to six times a week. The herd mentality gets me through the tough workouts that I would never finish on my own. After all, everyone else is doing it…
- Most Sundays in the fall and spring I play soccer on a recreational women’s team.
- I take a lot of walks, usually with my husband. We’ll go around the block, to a park, or just head out wandering for an hour or two.
- Every other day (except for stretches when I forget) I work on push-ups. I have a little sticky note with a set of rep schemes that I’m working on and a hand held stop watch that I use to track my intervals. I have terrible upper body strength, so the push-ups are always hard, but I’m getting better, slowly.
I clearly have an enthusiasm for athletics, which is a gift I got from my parents. They had me on swim and soccer teams for as long as I can remember. It’s second nature to me to have some sort of physical activity in my day.
I like athletics because you can see your progress. For example, I can do more pushups today than when I first started. Sports are engaging in the moment. I’m not thinking about anything else other than blocking an opponent’s shot when I play soccer. Plus, I always feel better when I move around. My mood lifts. My energy increases.
My intent in sharing all of this is to have some of my enthusiasm for movement rub off on you, so that you feel encouraged to find or re-commit to a physical endeavor that works for you. There are tons of sports and ways to be active, like recreational sports, dancing, workout classes, workout DVDs, running clubs, swim teams, rock climbing, hiking, yoga, pilates, zumba, or just walking around your neighborhood. Find something you enjoy. Doing so will benefit your physical health and your mental health.
For example, an active lifestyle can:
- be a preventative measure or treatment for anxiety and depression,
- improve your cognitive abilities,
- predict successful aging and retention of mental faculties,
- increase blood flow to your brain, and
- stimulate your brain’s growth.
A lot of modern life makes it common for us to be stationary. Driving, sitting at a computer, and watching tv can all keep us from being active, so I think it’s important to remember that including physicality in our lives is a big factor in our well-being.
What physical activities do you enjoy? How do you fit movement into your life? I’d love to hear what works for you in the comments!