Put a Pep in Your Step – A Body in Motion Stays in Motion

Newton’s Law of Motion states, “…a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it, and a body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.”

Why You Should Get Up

You are sitting at home thinking about getting up and doing something. Maybe a walk. Oh man, but that takes work. That might be a little tough. You start to click through channels on TV and find something slightly entertaining. Maybe you are scrolling through your social media. What is Becky up to? Oh, she’s out hiking again. You wish you had time for that, right? You decide you will make time.  But, you never get up. Another article, story or funny cat video catches your interest.

I mean, getting up and moving is the hard part. Exercise for the body or mind is not always fun. It takes effort. You live a busy life and are exhausted. I get it. Exercising is not glamorous. There are so many things you can be doing instead of getting up and moving.

On the other hand, you want to live a happier and healthier life, right? Good thing getting up and moving will increase your quality of life. Taking a walk is known to help with the following; blood pressure, weight management, mental health, creativity, fatigue and even strengthen muscles and bones. Just walking can make you live longer.

According to the Mayo Clinic Fitness, Department of Health and Human Services take at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. The guidelines suggest that you spread out this exercise over a week.

That is only 22 minutes a day 7 days a week. Maybe you want to work less but with the same results. That is 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. This is a little bit of change for major results.

How to Get in Motion

It’s easy to sit around and do nothing. Just do nothing. What is hard is to actually get up. Some recommend ‘baby steps’ to get started. Baby steps help you to start off slow and, with time, increase the length or intensity.

One way to start walking regularly at longer intervals is to start slow. Start with a steady walk around the block every day. Do this for a week or two. Then, switch it up and add an extra block to your current routine. Make sure to keep this going. By adding extra blocks you will help increase your ability to get moving even more.

If you start to feel bored or uninterested with your walks, change it up. You will see things from the reverse perspective you had seen in your previous walks.

This method is true with any workouts. You could apply this to weight lifting. Start with lighter weights. Keep with the same weight until they feel too light. Once this happens, you can increase the weight by small increments until it is easier to lift. Over time you will be able to lift heavier and heavier. Find what makes you happy so you enjoy your exercise.

Ideas for Sedentary Jobs

Maybe you work at a job where you sit all day. Sitting at a desk all day is very bad for your health and circulation. You must make sure you make to for yourself and your health. Some may find it hard to get even a little exercise at their jobs.

Breaks are a good time to get a little exercise in. What some people have been known to do is during your breaks, you can go for a walk for 5-15 minutes. If this is the most you can do, it is still a great start.

If you are looking for something to do from your desk, there are many different ideas available online; chair dips, desk lunges, squats, standing, stretching, desk dancing, walking in place and more.

Forming Good Habits

According to James Clear, a Behavioral Psychologist, it takes about 66 days to form a habit. A good technique in building a habit to keep moving is to create goals. Just like anything else, baby steps. Start with a small goal. Maybe you want to finish your walk in less than 30 minutes but not cut it short. Try picking up the pace and beating your previous time.

Understand that you are not perfect. Nor is anyone else. Everyone has their own struggles. The trick is to not let your troubles weigh you down and force you to quit. Keep that pep in your step. Keep your body in motion.

Getting off Course

Remember what newton said? “A body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force.” You can be that force. You can affect the motion in a positive way by causing it to accelerate and work harder. Making positive changes to increase the motion you are making. Then again, you can also be the wall that completely stops your movement.

Sometimes we find ourselves straying off course. We find that we have something taking away our time from our self-care. So, we put it off until tomorrow. Well, this might lead to putting it off the next day. Next thing you know, it has been a week or a month and you have completely broken your habit.

We all lose track sometimes. This happens a lot. We start doubting ourselves. We begin giving into temptations. All of a sudden, we are back at point A. Do not beat yourself up. Keep a positive attitude and hop right back in. Remember, you are not the only person struggling. But, you can only control yourself and your own mindset.

You have the ability to affect your movement in a positive or negative way. Don’t be the brick wall standing in your own way. Be the force to keeps the body moving in a straight line, or better yet, an upward path!

If it has been a while since you ‘fell off’, start at a comfortable pace. You do not want to start at the walk around the block, but you also do not want to become overwhelmed. Find a comfortable new starting point. This can seem difficult but it will help your body get back in motion.

Try to pinpoint what knocked you off track. Work on fixing the problem. Try and set new realistic goals with realistic timelines. Small goals equal success. It is okay to have an ending goal or big goals. But, it is important to also have small goals to help add to your positive mindset. Keep that pep in your step!


The Thin Line Between Self-care and Overindulgence

Ever thought to yourself, “I’ve worked hard today, I deserve that piece of a cake?” Maybe you thought that the cake was a reward for a good day at work and would boost your mood. Whatever the case, if the slice of cake you ate would have sufficed to feed 4 people you may be overindulging and not really practicing self-care.

Most of us don’t do enough self-care, and when we do, we tend to go overboard. Finding balance in life can be difficult, especially in this material society where most of us work full time. Stress, sedentary lifestyle, and unhealthy habits all contribute to a growing need for self-care.

However, self-care may be as foreign as most other languages and all that is known is that there is an entire section dedicated to it at the bookstore. Despite this, many continue to struggle with self-care and finding that delicate balance between over-doing it and healing oneself.

What is Self-Care?

There are different types of self-care. Medical self-care pertains to your health and often requires health insurance. There are some great online resources for medical self-care information. Staying active, getting regular check-ups with your doctor and avoiding things like nicotine are all a part of medical self-care. Though never fun, preventative tests, procedures, and regular check-ups are all necessary if you are going to live a long, happy, healthy life.

Mental health self-care is another animal altogether, though there may be some cross-over with the medical realm. Coping with stress is a difficult and life-long endeavor, which even the experts at the CDC may have trouble with from time to time. Areas of trouble in mental health may call for medication such as antidepressants.

More often, however, mental health self-care means taking a day off from work once a month to recover and take care of what you need. Day in and day out, things are demanded of us and unless we take the time for ourselves, we run the risk of breaking.

One day out of the month take time to catch up on errands and get a massage, pedicure, or whatever you need. You are taking care of you.

Allowing yourself time to recover from stress and giving yourself a break every now and then is what self-care is all about.


Self-Care Obstacles and Needs

The job, the significant other, the friends who just won’t take no for an answer – these are all common reasons why we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves. Maybe you are prone to watching too much TV and staying sedentary. Whatever the case, these kinds of obstacles block you from living your best life and can absolutely be remedied.

Many people work all week and scramble to catch up on errands and with friends on the weekend. By Monday morning they often feel just as tired as they were on Friday with the whole week ahead of them. This may feel like a situation with no way out, however, you can find ways to balance your life.

Get enough sleep and schedule time with friends on your lunch breaks so that you get that quality time with loved ones. Sleep and connecting with those who matter to us is critical for living a fulfilling existence. We are more than just workers slaving away for a paycheck.

Take a good look at what you eat – are you eating a balanced, nutritious diet full of veggies and unprocessed foods? If your idea of meals centers around a fast-food drive through the answer is no. Our bodies are amazing machines that require the right kind of fuel to function properly. If you need more information on eating better, go to nutrition.gov for more on eating right.


Overindulgence vs. Self-Care

Is eating a piece of cake overindulging? It depends. Are you in a healthy weight range and decently active? If yes, then go for it. However, if every day after work you decide to eat a large piece of cake for a job well done, you are on the side of overindulgence. The same situation is true if you decide to go shopping instead of eating cake to reward yourself.

Too much of any good thing becomes something else that does not positively affect our health or lives. Phrases like work hard, play hard are so ingrained in our minds that we may not really be aware of what we need. Far too many of us also feel ashamed or guilty if we say “no” to our employers or friends when something is asked of us. As a consequence, we often put self-care at the bottom of the list or remove it altogether.

In an attempt to compensate for lack of self-care we then overindulge. For instance, some of us chose to work ourselves to the bone and then eat an unhealthy meal, this cycle only further taxes our already fatigued body.

Overspending is another common attempt at compensating. Instead of reading a good book after a nice bath, we overstimulate ourselves and create financial stress by turning our anxiety towards the shopping mall and stressing our limited resources.

Eating and shopping are certainly not the only areas commonly over or underutilized. Exercise is another big one, as are prescription pills, drinking, and watching Netflix.

Healthy Middle

The healthy middle looks differently for everyone. Everyone has that friend whose energy seems limitless no matter how much they take on. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Assess your own strengths and weaknesses and find where you need to focus your self-care time and energy.

Maybe you need a spa day with a friend or just and nice relaxing bath. If you have not exercised in living memory, maybe you could go on a hike with a friend or join a local exercise studio. Finding friends and support when exercising has been proven to improve the all-around experience.

Whatever you need in life, take it. Don’t apologize and don’t stress or feel guilty for taking care of you. You are important and deserve to live a healthy, fulfilling life. Get started living your best life today.