January is the perfect month to get moving, even with cold, rainy (or snowy) weather. Although many of us resolved to get into better shape in 2019, those ideas are fading fast. Here’s a few new reasons to inspire you to jumpstart those good intentions you made on January 1st.
At lunch with friends last week, the conversation turned to some of the challenging health issues we and those we love, are facing. We’re at that age. Some are the result of back luck (hit by a bicyclist while out walking), some are bad genes (cancer), but most were directly related to years of a lifestyle not focused enough on movement and good nutrition. One woman fell after losing her balance due to inflexibility and lack of muscle strength. Another friend had heart surgery–in part to genetics, but also years of poor diet, stress and not enough healthy movement.
One of the women diagnosed with pre-diabetes got serious and lost 40 pounds, started walking, then running, and within a year was off all blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetic meds. It can be done. Focusing on your physical well-being through the lens of an Athlete will help. (Of course, talk and really listen to your doctor and health provider.)
If not now, when?
Make your best health a top priority now while you still have time to dodge some serious health problems.
The first step is the hardest. If you have 10 minutes, you can start today. If you have a pair of comfortable shoes, lace them up, head out for a short walk. Decide to move, then move. It’s not rocket-science!
The Athlete Facet—Action Word: Moving
The Athlete is one of my Nine Facets. These are the strategies I’ve discovered to help women live a more brilliant rest of your life. It’s about you discovering and a living the full spectrum of your life!
The Athlete is about moving and having fun with your physical energy. It’s not competitive sports or hard-core, extreme activities. Although if that’s what you want to do, great. For the rest of us, it should feel like playful and enjoyable movement either alone or with others.
This creates more joy and better health in life through movement.
3 Reasons to Get Moving Now
Play. Bring More Fun into Your Life
Find and do something you enjoy. Maybe an activity you did when you were younger (think biking, hiking, jump rope, swimming, etc.) or something you’d love to try now. Hula-hoops have become a new fitness trend. They’re fun, inexpensive, and the health benefits are outstanding.
Like to dance? There’s ballroom, tango, country western, salsa, ballet, tap, Zumba–you get the idea.
Sports of all types–golf, tennis, skiing, pickleball, ping pong, swimming, walking or running.
Strength, focus, flexibility. Consider tai chi, yoga, Pilates, karate, martial arts or a variation of these.
Low Impact: Seems anything you can do on land is now available in water classes for low impact movement.
Make New Friends
Our circle of friends shrinks later in life. People move out of our lives, retire and relocate which makes it more difficult to make new friends. If you move to a new area, this is a great easy way to meet new people, especially for introverts and those who are reluctant to enter a room by yourself.
One easy way is find and participate in activities. Consider a hiking group, water class, women’s golf or tennis club, or classes offered through adult ed or your local Y.
Most groups encourage beginners as well as those with prior experience in these activities.
Brain Health and a Better Mood
Crossword puzzles are ok, but if you’re really concerned about dementia, memory loss and mental clarity, movement is far more effective. Exercise, nature, and being part of a community improve brain health and emotional well-being. Research has proven exercise and sustained movement has a positive effect on the brain and may help prevent dementia. Also, exercise increases endorphins which uplifts our mood.
Let me know what you are doing this year, especially if it’s one of the new and trending activities. I may try a local hula-hooping class!