|Posted on May 9, 2014 at 12:25 AM|
The title of this post might say it all, but allow me to expand a bit.
I have always been an athlete. From kindergarten through grad school and beyond. But last year after my wedding, I finally took a break from high intensity sports and fitness, due in large part to a spinal injury from which I was uncertain I would ever fully recover.
With luck (and some excellent rehab) on my side, I'm almost as mobile today as I was a decade ago in college, and I'm back on my game. My co-ed soccer team is thrilled to have me back, my newfound love of mud runs has kept me on track with training, and my husband LOVES watching me practice my ZUMBA moves in the basement every night! Even HE is off the couch a little more, taking long walks with me and occasionally coming out to kick the soccer ball around our backyard. I've lost 20 pounds in the past couple months, and I feel like myself again after almost a year of feeling lethargic, lazy, and immobile.
"For every up, there is a down," as they say in Disney's Sword in the Stone! I may have jumped back into full time athleticism a little too suddenly. Days after my zombie run, I'm still feeling the strain on my muscles and joints. I suppose part of it is simply age - it is unreasonable to expect my worn down adult body from recovering as quickly as it did in high school - but I do want to offer these words of wisdom to anyone who is just starting out with a workout plan or fitness regimen: LOVE YOUR BODY!
Loving your body is sooooooo important. You need to listen to it and treat it well. I'm sure you don't need to hear it from me, but what you eat can make or break your fitness plan. I've cut out all sodas and drink only water and homemade smoothies - that has been a HUGE part of my weight loss, and had definitely impacted my mood! It's harder for me to cut down on carbs or sugary foods, and I accept that, but there's no need to drink all those extra calories on top of it. Even the little changes can make a big difference.
Take ample rest! This is both during a workout, and afterwards. Give yourself more than a few seconds in between sets at the gym. The day after a particularly hard or long run, spend time with a foam roller and some gentle yoga to help stretch and repair the muscles you used. Plan for a full night's sleep, every day - and make it GOOD sleep! Your bed should be a temple, not just another activity surface. Try to avoid eating in bed, watching TV, or hanging out there when you're not trying to fall asleep; just save the space for dreaming. Trust me, you'll notice the quality of your sleep getting better and better when you reserve the mattress for its normal purpose!
Small changes go a LONG way in your day to day health. I made the commitment only a few short months ago, and I've seen incredible improvements. You can too. Fitness is a commitment! Take the plunge, and good luck!
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