And it’s not what you’re thinking.
Few question the emotional, physical and holistic benefits of exercise.
Every day there are reminders of how to take care of our mind and body.
Self-care is a billion-dollar industry fuelled by our incessant search for youth-enhancing products, toned bodies, and healthy insides.
I aim to exercise most days, time permitting, from yoga, running, gym conditioning, spin and walking.
Exercise, whether trying to contort my body while practising yoga to enjoying a long brisk walk in the countryside.
I hope it helps me maintain a good balance both physically and mentally.
You might say I have a compulsive need because I am irritable if I miss a scheduled exercise session.
Our recent holiday in Spain forced me to revaluate my approach to exercise.
I managed to pull a major muscle on the right side of my back, and it was
I could not stand up straight, or walk along the beach.
I did my best to keep mobile with yoga and tried to keep moving, but the pain lessened only when I lay down.
It was ironic as this was the first holiday where I did practically no exercise other than walking and yoga.
My Mum chastised me for being angry at myself for not exercising.
A holiday means exactly that HOLIDAY – rest, sleep and relaxation.
Her words resonated with me, and I knew she was right.
When my injury was finally treated, I was advised that my back had gone into spasm. It was so tight, causing pain.
In fact, the local physio who had kindly treated my knee two years ago asked if I had been lifting heavyweights?
I overlooked the one valuable thing that my body needed, rest.
Sometimes exercise is a struggle, making time to fit in a power hour when the wash basket is calling out to be sorted or work transfixes you to your office chair.
It’s all too easy to make excuses and duck out of exercise. Our busy lives result in tiredness and lethargy, which are all too commonplace.
Our bodies are overburdened with stress, poor diets and lack of sleep, and while rest gives the body time to repair and strengthen, it also provides the mind with space to reset and reconnect with the body.
Have you noticed how much more relaxed and less stressed you are when you take a moment away from the daily toil?
When I take a day out and don’t exercise, I feel calmer and less fraught.
So much for exercise!
Too much exercise suppresses the immune system weakening our defences against seasonal colds and flu.
Why exercise is good for you.
Too little exercise and the body feels the effects of stress, sleep patterns go out of kilter, and the body feels fatigued and lethargic.
It feels like a no-win situation. Finding the balance is vital, and for each individual, that will be different depending on age and commitments.
I have learned to be easier on myself and aim to fit more rest or recovery days into my schedule.
If I miss a day of scheduled exercise, I enjoy letting go and feeling unencumbered by an exercise regime.
And since the holiday, I have become a better person yoga is my ‘new thang’, and with practice, my lost flexibility is slowly returning.
My breathing is calm and centred, and I feel so much less stressed than I did three months ago.
I love this quote by Jom Rohn;
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live”.
All in all, less is more.