Aversion to Fitness Isn’t Funny
Our society’s aversion to fitness isn’t funny anymore. Too many people are riding those “jokes” straight into to a nursing home.
Recently, I joined area vendors at a local municipality’s health fair. The governing entity which sponsored the event gave employees time off to attend. Vendors displayed nutritional items, fitness products and services, essential oils, and all kinds of goodies designed help people become healthier. A handful of the attendees were interested in improving their health. They asked questions and were open to trying something new. Many more of the attendees, however, seemed to have an aversion to fitness. They looked at the displays about healthy lifestyles (including my display about yoga) and were pleased to offer their opinions. Below is a sampling of light-hearted statements made to the nutritionist next to me:
- Seriously, you drink water all day long?
- If I ate that many vegetables, my body would go into shock.
- I live on Diet Coke.
Here are a few of the comments laughingly made to me:
- My idea of exercise is going from the recliner to the couch.
- OMG – that’s you doing that (crow pose)?! That’s freaky.
- If I did that (a seated twist), you’d have to pull me up with a crane.
- Yeah, I don’t exercise.
The comments were made with humorous intent. But our society’s aversion to fitness isn’t funny anymore. Too many people are riding those “jokes” straight into to a nursing home. And that’s no laughing matter.
Every day, we choose how to feed ourselves (body, mind, and soul), and we choose to move in ways that build strength or to sit still. Those decisions directly affect our health. In the end, to a large degree, we will reap what we have sown.
So laugh – often and loudly. And take care of yourself. Because belly laughs are way better when your abs work.
It seems our To-Do list takes care of everything and everybody but ourselves, and that’s not healthy.
Have you done something nice for yourself today? How about yesterday? During the past week? Too many of us could answer those questions with a resounding, “No.” It seems our To-Do list takes care of everything and everybody but ourselves, and that’s not healthy.
We Americans love The Busy. We are Busy with our Job Work and Busy with our Home Work and Busy with our Family Work. “It must be done,” we tell ourselves. “It’s what responsible people do.” True. It is what responsible people do. But responsible people also make sure they are taking care of themselves so they can keep doing what matters for the people matter.
So how do we responsible people keep it all in balance? Too much on the To-Do list – tasks that aren’t truly necessary – can keep us from caring for ourselves as well as we care for others. It can keep us from taking a few moments to unwind, to practice yoga, to read, to visit with a friend, to enjoy a bit of quiet meditation, to treat ourselves to a much-needed massage… We’re tempted to think we can endlessly continue to put pedal to metal and our wheels will keep turning even when the tank is on Empty. But a car won’t run that way. And neither will our bodies, minds, or spirits.
So if you have fallen out of the habit of caring for yourself and making sure you get the mental, spiritual, and physical food you need, I’ve snooped around and found some suggestions on how to start filling your own tank. You know, so you don’t accidentally drive everyone off the cliff.
1. Make a daily To-Do List, and put yourself on it. Schedule time with a friend, book a yoga class, block out some time to read or meditate…
2. Scrutinize your To-Do List to see if any tasks can be removed without a truly negative outcome.
3. Delegate. Where possible, think less hand holding and more responsibility and accountability for those in your care. A 12-month-old can’t change his own diaper, but a 15-year-old can certainly pack his own lunch. You need not do everything for everyone.
4. Lower your standards here and there. If you winced at that one, chances are you could benefit from practicing it. The floor doesn’t have to sparkle like Waterford crystal. The kids can load the dishwasher differently than you do. Your spouse can tackle the grocery aisles.
5. See rote tasks as an opportunity to meditate. Allow yourself to become completely absorbed in folding that stack of towels. Instead of letting your mind wander (or complain), see the colors, feel the textures, notice the patterns.
6. Learn to say NO to offers that don’t fit into your schedule or into what you value. Practice saying no: stand in front of the mirror, smile, shake your head softly, and say, “No, I’m sorry – I already have plans.” It’s a true statement. You’ve made plans that include caring for yourself!
After a couple of weeks of including you on the To-Do list, notice of how you feel. Happier? More at peace? More patient? More rested? Awesome! You just might inspire your family, friends, and co-workers to be nicer to themselves.
If taking a yoga class is on your To-Do List (and we certainly hope it is), join us on the mat soon!