Burpees, deadlifts, hill walks, squats… oh, the words that light up one’s heart and mind. KIDDING!!!!

Those words make me cringe as well, and the idea of lacing up my exercise shoes on the daily isn’t always at the top of my list. In saying that, I have come to love the feeling of rejuvenation and glow experienced post workout. So, as we start the year fresh a few right questions to ask ourselves are;

1) How much time do you spend on your physical self and more specifically, how much time do you spend exerting yourself through exercise?
2) How do you create strength in your own body?
3) How often do you get or even consider getting your heart rate up?
4) How much time do you spend in front of a screen? The time that could be spent building on your physical being?

I know that it’s (often) hard to answer these seemingly simple questions.
There are some factors to consider:

–  Age of family.
Time restraints and constraints.
Medical challenges.
– Guilt – time away from family, the overwhelming feeling of guilt and selfishness. These are just a few factors that can and do contribute to what can be referred to is a sedentary life. What defines a sedentary life? You’ll be interested to know that by definition I think it’s safe to say many today are living in such a way.

A sedentary lifestyle is a type of lifestyle with little or no physical activity.  A person living a sedentary lifestyle is often sitting or lying down while engaged in an activity like reading, socialising, watching television, playing video games, or using a mobile phone/computer for much of the day.’

Frankly, I think the above describes much of today’s lifestyle for most people. It just seems to be the way it is, and I believe it’s something we all need to be attentive towards. I know that within offices, sit-stand desks are becoming more of a norm as well as treadmill desks and workstations. All of this is geared to offer employees a higher health standard within their place of work. 24-hour gyms are very popular as are mobile meditation studios/trucks. It’s true, a company called Calm City in New York City has started a mobile service offering people 10-minute meditation sessions all designed to help body, soul & spirit.

At my age, I understand the need to find an exercise that suits you, and it can be difficult at first, but trust me, once you find your comfortable space, exercise becomes enjoyable and not a struggle or a chore. Perhaps it’s the gym, your headphones and a treadmill. Maybe it’s a personal trainer or group classes on offer. For others, it’s out in nature, in the waves surfing or walking on the sand across many of our beaches. Whatever it is that fills your tank and gets you moving, make it your time and allow the endorphins that are released through physical activity to do what they are meant to do.

Parents who are reading this, may I encourage you to nurture participation from your children and the earlier you do this – the easier it is that it will become a habit for them to enjoy. By being involved in group sports like soccer, gymnastics, dancing, basketball and tennis, your little ones learn to combine having fun and be physically healthy from a young age. Plus, as I’ve said before, never forget the old saying, “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” If your children see you living an active life, they will be more prone to adopting this way of being as children and will carry it into their adult lives. So, make an effort to do things as a family. Healthy eating habits are also something to consider, making wise choices in the kitchen and when dining out will be carried throughout their lifetime and yours.

For myself, I find it necessary to maintain physical health. Now, in my 60’s I appreciate the need to strengthen my body with the help of a trainer every week. It just works for me. My beautiful trainers keep me on track which allows me to stay on track and up with my lovely kids and grandkids and their fast-paced lives plus all the other activities we get up to including work. You may remember both Rob and I walked the Milford Track in New Zealand last year and what a milestone in our life that was. Just over 50km of walking, in a truly serene place on Earth, there indeed is no limit to the strength that you can possess. We surprised ourselves!

Here are a few simple tips and strategies to help:

1) Choose: an activity you enjoy. Exercising should be fun and not a chore, although it will be hard as you are building up your strength and cardio you should still have fun.

2) Plan: I’ve said it on multiple occasions if you fail to plan then plan to fail. Set your alarm, put your exercise clothes at the foot of your bed, have your bottle of water at the ready in the fridge. Create a routine that works for you. Put it on your calendar and protect the time.

I have one younger friend who has discovered that her workout time is 5:15 am which means she gets up at 4:45 am every morning and heads to her workout class. She shared with me that she hangs all of her clothes on her closet door which is right beside her bed. She has her shoes bedside and ready. She dresses, hits the bathroom and brushes her teeth, then hits the Nespresso button and fills her keep cup for the drive to the gym and even listens to the same radio station on the way to the gym. She has created a routine that works and one that provides her with the freedom to get out of bed, into her clothes and to the gym almost before she even has time to argue in her mind. Smart moves on her part 🙂

3) Variety: Mix it up a little. If you are a gym junkie add a weekend walk on the beach. If you are a beach dweller find a mountain or hill to hike or jump onto a paddle board for an hour. If your kids have a trampoline, add that into the mix and show the kids your moves.

4) Protect your wallet: We’ve all seen it during council clean up. Countless exercise bikes, boxing gloves and thigh masters on the side of the road. These are just the visible signs of good ideas and intentions. What about the hundreds of dollars spent yearly on gym memberships that are unused. Imagine saving that money and putting that money towards a family holiday. Think before you sign a gym contract! Are you going to use it…. Really?

5) STICK WITH IT: You will see the benefits and maybe they will be felt before any apparent signs of your waist losing centimetres. Don’t be disheartened. It’s all worth it. Your mental health will improve, and your overall state of well-being will be significantly enhanced. Go for it; you deserve the best of you as do those in your world.

Much love,

Susanna Bateman. #littlemiraclescommunity