Get Moving! – Self Care Matters

I was on a long road trip this past weekend and delved into a few podcasts, all but one related to fitness as it pertains to the health, development, and symptomatology (physical manifestations, presentations in the academic setting, social interactions, problem behaviors etc.) of various disabilities (including autism, down syndrome, and ADHD.) What I heard, however, was relevant to all human beings as a species – much of it covered material I have always taken as “common sense” (likely a product of an athletic upbringing), but some of it was also a little bit alarming.

According to studies, a wholly sedentary life can be more detrimental to our health long-term than smoking. Uh…YIKES. As I am neither a clinician nor a doctor, I’ll leave the research review of studies and articles (such as this one) to you. One way or the other, though, inactivity is bad news.

While I know some people who’d argue a few minutes out of a lifetime isn’t a big deal, I’m willing to bet there have been moments in all of our lives during which we’d have done anything to gain more time. It can be a frightening prospect when put into that kind of perspective – we are (like it or not) a fragile and fleeting species.

The discussions in the podcasts revolved around how we can engage those that have deficits in joint attention, physical challenges, and slower cognitive processes, as well as those who aren’t particularly interested in the activities to begin with. Again, the concepts were ones we all would do well to live by, particularly that last one.

We have one body this go around and it’s important that we take care of it as if it was as sacred to us as whatever else in our lives we cherish (YES, you DO deserve that kind of love and care from yourself.)

This photo crossed my path the other day and I found it, too, to be both jarring and sad.

I was recently chatting with a 93 year-old friend about aging well – meaning mind, body, and spirit. We were out on the ice – both of us skating – and were nodding our heads that many people resign themselves to a false fate. What do I mean by that? I mean that some people think “active” and “healthy” are reserved for 20-somethings or younger.

B U L L S H I T ! Here’s my buddy George proving everyone wrong by zooming around the ice with me…

As we get older, some change is inevitable – we might need longer recovery, we might need an extra rest day, we might need to tweak our nutrition to suit what our body and minds need with each passing year…but that doesn’t mean we can’t stay healthy overall. 

I always believed in maintenance because a spiral that has delved into the depths is harder to come back from – that goes for every aspect of our being (emotional, spiritual, physical, you name it!)

Goals don’t have to be unrealistic (nor should they be!) – we DON’T have to compete with anyone, let alone a professional athlete, a model, a celebrity, a Roman statue, a meme…! 

There’s also no need to set ourselves up for failure by trying to attain what doesn’t make sense. Not everyone wants to be overly muscular, or necessarily “thin”… It’s about striving for a healthy, fit, and / or active life, which is – YES – more than achievable. Remember, our “healthy” may look differently than our neighbor…but we always know, deep down, if we have attained that. Or not.

When we try to take steps each day to love the one vessel we have been given, we are able to stay in control of what we CAN do…rather than deal with what we can’t because we decided we were too much effort. 

You ARE worth the effort, 1,000%. 

And…you can do anything you put your mind to. Beyond that, treating ourselves with the respect we deserve in order to live and enjoy a healthy life means we may buy ourselves some precious moments that one day we will thank the stars we have to spend.

 

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Weekend Meals

Weekends are my wind-down time – I do have two activities on Saturday (Ninjutsu Combat Simulation, and Aerial Yoga), but they aren’t as rigorous as my weekly workout routines (Brazilian JiuJitsu four times a week, cardio three times a week, lifting at least four times a week, Ninjutsu classes four times a week…, and some teaching with Martial Arts kids classes.)  I’m incredibly thankful I can schedule so many activities, as I’m energetic by nature and need to move around.

But for me, Saturday afternoon and Sunday I can give myself a little bit of a break physically, and sometimes as far as eating out.  During the week we usually eat at home, and my meals don’t vary hugely in terms of content… On the weekend, I’m still really clean, but I might have more yolks than I typically do in the mornings, or I might have more servings of fruit, or almonds.  None of it is unhealthy, but I’m less concerned with portions and timing – I sort of just have the clean foods I like with less stringency.  

I’m asked a lot whether or not I have “cheat meals” – I don’t really.  But again, the weekends, or when I travel, I loosen the reigns a bit, going with whatever the flow might be.  That’s enough “cheat” for me – I stick to healthy options, so I never get totally out of hand, or go so overboard that I’m beating myself up.  Just what works for me personally!

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This weekend we went to brunch and my fiancé – who’s always looking out for me! – ordered the eggs that came with HIS meal exactly the way I ordered my three.  😀  Normally I have a whole egg and egg whites in the morning, with a ton of vegetables – but when I’m out, I’m eating three whole eggs in a sitting…and in this case, a few more!  It isn’t something I do every day, so I’m not overly worried about having a few – I could definitely use the aminos, and the healthy fat…plus…PROTEIN! ❤ I always order fruit salad too, for some sweetness…AND extra vitamins!  

We had dinner at home – my favorite ground chicken recipe, and tons of roasted broccoli (he’s always makes it perfectly.) Filling, wonderful nutrients and solid macros…good stuff!

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What’s your weekend plan?

For more of what I munch…!

 

SUNday

Being outside is incredibly important for our well-being, and I feel like with the fast-paced Life many people have nowadays, it happens less and less.  When I worked in Fashion, that was my fate also – I LIVED in my office, airplanes, and other people’s’ offices, basically.  I rarely had the opportunity to get outside and I definitely felt the effects of the lack of Vitamin D – lethargy, moodiness, less patience…it was just bad news.

Growing up, I watched my father do the same thing…except his days were even LONGER.  So what do you do..?  

If you can manage even five minutes – which may well be walking to and from the food place downstairs for lunch – it’s worth it.  

Or maybe it is a step-outside-to-have-a-quick-sip-of-coffee kind of breather.  I’m not saying it lightly either – I literally ate at my desk as if chained to it!  My only breaks were to run to the ladies room, or to the kitchen to get a second coffee.  The way that I worked was straight through, head down, nose to the grindstone – the concept of “hour lunches”…even “HALF hour lunches” didn’t register on my radar.

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But even just a few minutes of blue skies is a help – it’s a quick reset – and with the stress of jobs these days, it’s vital.  Some deep breaths of fresh air can make a world of difference when everything else is 24/7 realtime.  

And, since you probably fall short during the week…it is important to make time on the weekend!  Sitting indoors on a beautiful day is (for me personally) a crime!  Even if I’m exhausted, the air has a rejuvenating effect, and the sun beams have a lifting one.

My hunnie has an incredibly busy schedule and definitely doesn’t have two seconds to breathe during the work week… So two weekends ago we went to the park and just people watched – it was wonderfully relaxing (not to mention entertaining!), and absolutely uplifting.  He then had the awesome idea to buy a frisbee so the next time we could be out there playing too…

IT’S ON!!!!

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Sundays are my REST day.  I’m not great about taking time out for R&R – I train six days a week – so Sundays are the one day I force myself to relax.  Still, zero movement is hard for me – my body needs something, and being cooped up is a surefire way to make me nuts.  An hour or two in the park throwing a frisbee is THE perfect active rest I need…and it gave us that time to get some sunny, full breaths of fresh air.

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To add to the fun and healthy activity, we went to a now-favorite local haunt for a healthy lunch.  I’ve already decided I love their tuna, and so I got my “usual” – plain grilled fish on top of baby spinach (TONS of it!)  It was a massive boost of calcium, vitamin k, vitamin A, folate, B vitamins, potassium and protein.

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