Self-care is all about looking after yourhealth so you can meet your daily obligations to family, friends and employers. Part of that is the stuff you read about in the women’s magazines: bubblebaths, spas and aromatherapy. But one of the most important parts of self-careis caring for your body with a good exercise routine.
Why It Matters
Exercise isn’t just about losing weight; it’s about getting healthy and staying that way. It helps you retain your body’s flexibility and dexterity, preserving ease of motion throughout your whole life. But it also helps you relax and deal with stress. Exercise helps you overcome anxiety and depression. It makes you stronger and more resilient against the effects of illness, aging
Make It Fun
If you dread your workout, you’re doing it wrong. Exercise should be enjoyable. Try new experiences and sports, do something you’ve never done before. You need at least 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise each day, but it doesn’t all have to be the same thing. Shake things up a little! Play racquetball one day, go surfing the next. Strap on skates and take your kids to the roller rink.
Change your attitude to movement: it’s not just how many reps you can do at the gym, but about how well your body moves and how much better you feel. Remember when you were a kid, and your mom put a chart on the fridge and gave you stars for good work? Give yourself an incentive to workout. Set goals, chart your progress and treat yourself when you achieve a milestone.
Many people enjoy using a Fitbit to track their steps in a day and compare mileage with their friends. Or, they take up marathons, or geocaching, and tote up their successes while they improve their health. Just a few years ago, Pokemon Go had everyone outside collecting imaginary animals. If it’s fun, you’ll do more of it. Get your friends and family involved. Make ita game and compete for prizes.
It’s Not All Sweating
Consider taking up yoga. This is a great way to incorporate exercise into a broader self-care routine. Yoga is an ancient discipline that usespostures, stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation for health andrelaxation. Technically, it’s exercise, but it’s so much more than that. Enrolling in a yoga class can help you get more flexible, but it will alsoteach you valuable ways to control your body’s response to stress and anxiety. It helps you learn to connect your mind and body, and listen to what they’retelling you about how you are feeling.
There is ample research demonstrating that it lowers blood pressure and heart rate, as well as improving immune function to help ward off infection and illness. People who are trained in yoga report having a more positive image of themselves. Yoga In America cites stress relief, strength, overall physical fitness and mental health as reasons they practice. According to the 2016 report, 86 percent of practitioners feel it even gives them greater mental clarity.
A Relaxation Regimen
Beyond diet and exercise, you need rest and relaxation to be at your best. Look at your sleep schedule and ask if you’re getting the rest you need. Going without can lead to depression, weight gainand other illnesses. Invest in room-darkening curtains and bedding that beckons you in at night. You may
Cutting out caffeine and sugar in the afternoon or evening can make getting sleepier easy when dusk falls. It
Address the source of the problem. If you’re tired, get better rest. If you’re feeling bad, figure out why. Are you anxious, or feeling stressed? There are more productive ways to handle it.
Go for a walk, journal, or meditate. You can set up a meditation space in your home with little money, in an afternoon.
Hobbies are a great way to relax and refresh your mind. Knitting and crochet are time-honored ways to fill spare minutes with beautiful and productive work. Adult coloring books are in fashion, allowing you to clear your mind and keep your hands busy. (And who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of artistic expression in their day?) Gardening is a relaxing hobby that you can use to improve your healthy diet, and lift your spirits.
Everyone loves fresh produce and beautiful flowers.
A good self-care regimen builds you up, helping you to make good choices that promote your health and your self-esteem. With a proper diet and exercise program, plenty of rest and the ability to moderate your stress levels, you will ensure you have the energy and