I wish everyone had good fitness habits. I wish everyone exercised. I wish everyone could experience the joy of exercise they love and look forward to, and then that delicious feeling that it gives you that you are your shining best the rest of the day. It’s like having a secret. It’s like a little armor shield of protection.
The Positive Impact of Fitness Habits
Taking a shower on an ordinary day ending in “y” is a different experience when you’ve exercised. Going from sweaty and accomplished, from done-something-good-for-myself before the day even begins, to dressed in ordinary clothes just feels better.
This world would be a better place. We would all have more resilience. Bad things would still happen to good people; the best people; your people and mine; you and me. But we would handle the storms better.
We’d have less disease: less need for medications with side effects. We would live better longer with a quality of life that we choose.
As women over 50, we’re more at risk to these than we’ve ever been before.
We all have richer lives filled with more possibility and potential and we’d be more filled with optimism to take risks and reach it.
As women over 50, we want “more” and have experience and wisdom that prime us to have it, if we have the health to have it.
We’d each be more creative and solve problems better. We’d love our jobs more and have the confidence to find a new one when we were doing something that was wrong for us.
As women over 50, a negative influence of hormone changes can result in brain fog and lack of clarity that something as simple as daily fitness habits can offset.
These are all proven to be side effects of exercise: the kind of regular exercise that is adequate enough to create fitness without injury and is possible for each of us. Regardless of limitations you have, there IS something you can do.
That said- I don’t always get what I want. I’m still trying to get over that. I know there are still those who think of exercise as an optional hobby that some choose. I was visiting my hometown recently and someone introduced me to her relatives. She said, “She’s into fitness.” Smile. It sounded too similar to “She quilts.”
I’d love for everyone to understand that though you didn’t come with a user’s manual exercise is a part of your regular self/health care responsibility. We buy costly insurance, for goodness sake. But we won’t invest in weights for our home or a $67 set of videos, or a gym membership? What on earth are we doing?
Exercise is GUARANTEED to get results and give you rewards now. Insurance MIGHT be beneficial and MIGHT pay a part of your bill when you get sick.
Exercise should not be something you wait to do until the doctor hands you the ultimatum that you will be going on medication, or having the surgery, or shortening your life if you don’t start now. Yet, too many of us treat it as such. It isn’t something you should be waiting to after you’re retired and “have more time.” Because, honey, disease has not been waiting for you to have time. Disease has been having a hey-day while you’ve turned your back on exercise because of your busy and important life and pretended to surf Facebook for groups to join and then take no action. While you’re skipping the real work and sharing recipes of gooey-brownies, perhaps you might have been walking?
Fitness Habits of Health Care Workers
One of the worst crimes of our time? Our health care workers who work 12 or more hour shifts. Getting up at o-dark hundred to do their jobs, coming home exhausted, rewarding each other with break room donuts and brownies without connecting the dots between that and the obesity epidemic that exists among health care workers. How do we expect to be a healthy nation if our health care providers themselves are not able to handle stress, long hours of physical labor, and exist without adequate sleep… the #1 thing you can do – without changing a thing in your diet or exercise plan to optimize your health.
Even if you’re exercising, without adequate (for you) sleep, you won’t be reaching your full potential. Research studies prove again and again that increasing sleep from deprivation to adequate rest:
- Improves physical performance
- Increases weight loss
- Increases weight loss that is fat (vs. muscle that decreases metabolism)
- Improves energy
- Decreases brain fog
- Improves reaction skills (less injury which is important when you’re trying to improve balance and reactions skills so you don’t fall now or later)
If you’re not exercising (insert: gasp on my part), sweet dreams can still help you:
- Decrease cravings for sugary and high “carbage” foods
- Improve hormone release that helps maintain muscle
- Decrease hormone release that causes inflammation
- Increase your energy
- Enhance your mood
- Increasing the chance you’ll feel like exercising
I’d be negligent if I teased all the benefits without sharing HOW to get more sleep. [Psst: you can get my free Sleep Yourself Skinny book for more] So here are a few good habits that will help you improve sleep:
- Turn off the screens 90 minutes before bedtime (LED light disrupts sleep)
- Try a warm/hot shower or bath 90 minutes before bed
- Keep the temperature in your room on the cooler side (65-68 degrees F)
- Control the noise (say bye bye to snoring bed partners or pets)
- Keep it dark, or wear an eye mask
- Unplug electronics around your head
Those are in addition to the ones you’re most familiar with like avoiding alcohol and caffeine consumption. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach or exercise vigorously late in the day. For women in midlife, the importance of these is greater since hormone fluctuations can make sleep a challenge even for the best of us sleepers!
Truth is, I’d love you to call, text, or email and say, “I’m ready to start exercise! I want a coach. Tell me what to do!” I’d love for you to say, “Yes! I’m yours for 90 days!” but I’ll compromise and help you take small steps forward. Focus on sleep, it’s one of eight non-exercise things you can do to improve your fitness, without getting breathless, sweaty, or a huge time investment.
You can get my list of the 8 life-changing habits for women who are either too busy or who haven’t yet bonded with exercise yet right here! A healthier you is only a few choices away. If you’re already exercising, these will reward your efforts even more.