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Health on Hold?

So you aren’t sure you are ready to get back to the gym.

If you are like most people I’ve talked with, your lack of knowing “what to do” goes well beyond your health and fitness experience in or out of the gym.

Nobody knows who to trust right now, so give yourself a break for being a thoughtful citizen in modern times.

But, when you are bombarded with mixed messages and mixed emotions, it can help to check in with your gut.  I’m going to offer some advice I’ve garnered from Tim Ferris:

Ask yourself, “How am I feeling about this in my gut?”

Then ask yourself, “How am I feeling about this in my head?”

And finally, “How am I feeling about this in my heart?”

If you’ve ever done a guided meditation, this is the equivalent of doing a body scan.  Only we are tying an emotional and intellectual feeling in your head to those sensational feelings in your body.

If you have a full on “yes” from all 3 areas in your body, you can consider yourself to be in alignment with your decision.

If any of the 3 areas is a “no”, consider yourself out of alignment and start focusing on a new path.

Maybe that path is continuing to exercise at home.  Maybe it’s focusing on making better nutrition choices.  Maybe it’s focusing on journaling or meditation so that you can wrap your head around these stressors that have suddenly been thrust upon us.

The point is, your health and fitness can’t be put on hold, simply because your gym membership is!

Our bodies are built on the constant pendulum swing of stress and recovery.  Stress builds the body and mind by pushing us beyond our previous “limits”.  Recovery allows us to repair those microtears and build back stronger than before.

It goes without saying that the more you push one aspect the more you need the other.  But there is also a necessary minimum that we all need.

There’s something to that old saying “Use it or Lose it!”

Exercise, Nutrition, and Mental Health are the cornerstones of our lives.  If we don’t nourish them, they will erode along with our buffer of immunity and increase our susceptibility to chronic diseases like…

  • Alzheimer disease and dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Crohn disease
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Mood disorders (bipolar, anxiety, and depression)
  • etc…

Whether you swing towards the end of high stress (anxiety), the end of low stress (depression), or somewhere in between, exercise can simultaneously be a cure by de-stressing you mentally and stressing you physically.  And we need this more than ever now.

My advice:

Move your body!  Move your body consistantly for 3-5 days per week, and you will start making better nutrition choices.  Take a 2-4 days off every week to let your body recover.  Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.  Spend 5 mins everyday journaling or thinking or meditating and generally checking in with yourself.  Spend 5 mins a day focusing on your breathing. If you can’t or won’t do this on your own, hire a coach who will hold you accountable!

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