Tuesday, January 26, 2016

It's All About Baby Steps

Baby footprints icon. Child feet sign.
Hi Everyone,

Did you notice that I didn’t write a blog post about New Year’s Resolutions this year?  I chose not to because I realized that not everyone is as eager as I am about making goals. As much as I want to motivate others to move more, and eat a healthy diet, we all know that a person has to WANT to make changes.  Motivation must come from within, and on a person’s own time schedule.

Hence, the title to this post – It’s All About Baby Steps.  My sister told me recently about a wellness journey her friend was taking.  This gal, (around my age), had suffered a stroke.  Since that time, she’d made significant changes to her diet and exercise habits.  One day she decided she’d like to check out the local gym.  Her first step was simply to drive to the gym and sit in her car, in the parking lot. That action alone was her first baby step in moving towards her goal. This was a big reality check for me.  What might seem like a baby step to me, (going to the local gym, and asking about membership), might be the culmination of several baby steps for someone else, someone who is coming from their own frame of mind, their own set of experiences.

So, can I still try to motivate others, even though we think so very differently?  I hope so. I’m going to list some of the benefits of regular exercise below, and if you are only at the thinking stage, that’s OK, maybe it will spark something in your thought process. I gleaned this information from a Mayo Clinic article:

Being active can:
  • Stimulate brain chemicals that could leave you feeling more relaxed and happier.
  • Help boost confidence and self-esteem, and prevent depression.
  • Help maintain weight loss.
  • Help prevent high blood pressure.
  • Increase your level of the "good" cholesterol, (the HDLs).
  • Decrease your level of unhealthy triglycerides.
  • Help prevent stroke.
  • Help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.
  • Help prevent or manage certain types of cancer.
  • Help prevent or manage arthritis.
  • Help prevent falls.
  • Help prevent or manage metabolic syndrome.
  • Improve muscle strength.
  • Boost your endurance.
  • Deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, helping your cardiovascular system work more efficiently.
  • Give you more energy to go about your day.
  • Help you fall asleep faster, and deepen your sleep. (But not if you exercise just before bed.)
  • Have a positive effect on your sex life.  Women can have enhanced arousal.  Men are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than men who do not exercise.
  • Bring on a natural high, especially when you exercise outside.
  • Help you connect with family or friends, if you exercise with others.
And I didn't even go into the benefits of eating a healthy diet! There's always something we can do to move more towards the positive side of the Wellness Continuum.  I hope this finds you happily working on self-improvement.  I shall close for now, so I can go work out!