Working Out & Mental Health

IMG_2929I’ve had an up and down battle with exercise. I love to workout – but have no time for the gym (or really know what to do at the gym!). A friend of mine started doing in-home workouts and I was at a place where I felt the need to tone up…and the need for my family to get into some healthier habits.

Confession: I’d do it until life got so busy that I’d put it off…and instead catch a show on TV…but all the while, thinking, “I should be working out right now”.

I let a few months go by and each night I’d sit down on the couch and justify not working out.

I’m too tired. ..

I’m going to get up later…

One day off won’t kill me…

And on and on…we’ve all been there, right?

The CDC website suggest: “Regular physical activity can help keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age. It can also reduce your risk of depression and may help you sleep better. Research has shown that doing aerobic or a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities 3 to 5 times a week for 30 to 60 minutes can give you these mental health benefits. Some scientific evidence has also shown that even lower levels of physical activity can be beneficial.”

I believe it. I got into a funk. I was eating okay…but no superfoods were in my diet (at least not as many as were in my shake which equals a crazy amount of salads in one sitting) and the working out lapsed. I felt awful – lethargic and exhausted.

All. The. Time.

I made a decision and I vocalized that decision to my husband. Saying out loud what needed to be done began the accountability process. And then I made the commitment to some friends too.

It was almost comical. I started feeling better right away – I think it was because I was proud of myself. In a “I’m getting it done” way…and then one day I listened to a podcast that I had been listening to weekly until I’d quit working out and the peace that came over me as I listened was so bizarre…but it just reaffirmed that I was making the  right decision. Incorporating some positive, encouraging, motivating words in the morning was not a bad decision.

Mental health is just as important as physical health and the two are intertwined together in a magnificent way. It’s no surprise that the good feelings have been a welcome adjustment to everyday life.

And for the busyness? Well – I just had a whirlwind wedding weekend where Tim and I drove up to Cincinnati on Friday and came back home on Sunday…a crazy quick weekend…About a 7 hour drive each way. I figured out a way to get in my 30 minute workout in my hotel room. One night at 2am (don’t be too shocked – I do most of my workouts in PJs) and then then next day in the afternoon. I incorporated my superfood shake into an iced latte (a tip I picked up from my friend).

I conquered my fitness this weekend…and still had time to fit in 2 weddings (one is tonight!) and TONS of fun with my family!!

I’m looking forward to the challenge of figuring out ways to stay on track…it doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming…and the reward is so worth it!

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