Self-care vital for a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle
By Deb Dittner
We all know we need to move — every day.
But trends on fitness and physical movement are changing. It used to be the phrase “no pain, no gain,” while others felt the need to spend hours a day working up a sweat at the gym. The “couch potato” was overwhelmed by these efforts and sadly continued to sit on the couch.
You can’t just expect to go to the gym day one and, voila! It simply doesn’t work that way. Time and patience are extremely important, as is persistence.
It basically takes three months to develop a habit. So let’s get up and get moving.
The most important thing is to begin a movement regimen and stick with it. If you find you don’t like the particular exercise you choose, try another.
Just keep trying until you find one that suits you and, most importantly, that you will do.
So, is it the gym or home? That’s entirely up to you.
There are many apps for both iPhones and Androids that you can pick from if you’re looking to stay home, and a number of them are free. Many also require little to no equipment.
This is a great place to start if you feel uncomfortable going to a gym for whatever the reason may be. Either choice, I would highly recommend engaging with a partner, a buddy that will enjoy the camaraderie and help push you along.
Plus, it’s more fun with someone else around to laugh with and get fit together.
At the gym (and there are many types to choose from), you have the camaraderie of many. Find a place that is nonjudgmental and a coach who is knowledgeable and that you enjoy.
Again, you can bring a buddy along and you both can make new friends while looking to get more fit and healthy.
Self-care can be an important part of your physical movement. This can consist of a slowing down and softening movement, adding calm and heartfelt intention from yoga, Pilates, tai chi, and more as compared to a speedy, more aggressive approach.
Choosing the community and building the human connection you wish to “work out” with may also aid in your mental fitness as well. Both physical and mental fitness need to be addressed in order to be sustainable.
After your workout, you can even share a cup of coffee.
In today’s world, you need that human connection more than ever. Too many suffer from loneliness.
Too many have family members in other states and countries. Too many have lost loved ones. By being involved in the community, you tap into certain needs that your digital lives cannot fulfill.
Activity while traveling is easier than you may think.
Streaming videos on-demand and apps allow you to take a workout wherever you go. Many hotels offer in-room fitness videos with equipment already in the closet and most have small gyms if you’re looking for larger equipment such as a treadmill.
If you need to find a place to eat, instead of taking an Uber, walk to your destination. Airlines are starting to get in on streaming videos to ease stress and anxiety while in the air along with movement while in-flight.
Include “play” into daily activity by heading outdoors, joining a team — there are many over 30 leagues and more — and simply becoming a kid again. Grab a friend and go on a walk, hike or run. Fly a kite.
You used to play basketball? Take one to an outdoor court and shoot. Remember hopscotch? Draw in the dirt or with chalk on the sidewalk a hopscotch board and enjoy the company of a child.
What will you do for fitness in the New Year?
• Deborah Dittner is a family nurse practitioner and health consultant. Her mission is to transform as many individuals as possible through nutrition and lifestyle changes. For more information, check out her website at www.debdittner.com or contact her at 518-596-8565.