As the year reaches its end, it’s an opportunity to reflect on the themes of my 2017 blogs and the ups and downs of keeping our bodies more healthy, strong, fit and flexible. If you are immediately thinking that you’ve made some positive changes, however small and you’re sticking to them, even if other intended changes haven’t been as positive, I would consider that a win.
It’s all too easy to be critical of one’s self instead of taking pride in the achievements.
Staying motivated to be active, over coming stiffness and weakness in light of low energy, pain and or busy lives, are common factors many of us face. It would be easy to consider giving up on the idea that your body could be stronger, healthier, more flexible AND feel more energised, more of the time. For those of you who have made a difference or are thinking about how you could achieve those wins, that is all the more reason to celebrate.
When humans first evolved their fight was to survive. Humans today fight to stay healthy against the back drop of busy but sedentary lifestyles, row upon row of unhealthy food options in our supermarkets and escalating stress levels. All of which contribute to low mood, lower energy levels and poor motivation. And a Merry Christmas to you all….
STOP! HOLD YOUR HORSES BEFORE YOU CLICK THE LITTLE X AND MAKE ME DISAPPEAR. Those of you who have followed my blogs or worked with me, will know there will be one whopping tsunami spring-board of hope and encouragement about to explode onto this page. And you’d be right…
Whopping tsunami spring-board of hope and encouragement
Yes life’s tough, but the one nugget of pure gold is CHOICE.
Choice of what you eat.
Choice to look at your day your week your month and plan how you are going to invest in your health with festive sprinklings of posture corrections, maintenance exercises and strengthening activities. They only take a matter of seconds after all (February blog).
Choice to take repeated mind rests and energy top ups (October’s blog).
Choice whether you add an extra much needed stretch before you clean your teeth or sit down to eat or read or watch TV (Pick ANY blog).
It doesn’t matter how ill you maybe or how much pain your are in, you still have choices to choose but I appreciate you may have to dig deeper to motivate yourself to find them. But they are still there.
Even a single positive change builds momentum. One of my positive changes this year involved leaving my exercise mat rolled out right in front of the TV. For me extraordinarily effective. The effort is in the choosing to get on the ruddy thing. Once I’m there and stretching and lengthening and toning and breathing I feel positively smug and all the healthier in mind and body, even if I only stay on it for a few moments.
You too can feel smug! Pick an exercise, any exercise from my 2017 blogs or anywhere else for that matter, that is new to you and work through it. If you are not sure where to start these these are my favourites from this year’s blog selection.
Bend one knee and look along the arm raised over this knee. Gently turn your hips away from the bent knee. Lengthen the back of your head away from your tailbone, drop your shoulders and breathe
Repeat on the other side
Loosen up by performing a few gentle squats
Slowly squat down as far as you feel comfortable
Place either hand (or forearm) on one thigh and bend body to that side and reach opposite arm upwards
Feel the stretch in your sides
Hold and breathe
Draw the back of your head away from your tailbone
Drop your shoulders away from your ears, feel your tum tighten
Place your weight over your bum bones, lengthen the back of your head away from your tail bone. Feel strong around your middle but ‘lighter’ around your head and neck.
Place your arms across your chest and turn your body to the left then right, keeping your head in line with your elbows.
So my friends, hard though it can be at times to keep your spirits high to work towards, let alone maintaining greater health, it is possible. It doesn’t matter how small the effort it’s the improvement however small, that counts. It’s the teaspoon filling the water-butt scenario (March blog). It seems pointless and pathetic but if you just keep going, the but will fill.
My advice is to ride the whopping tsunami spring-board of hope and encouragement. Make one choice, be it an additional exercise, or stretch or activity that is new to you and think through how to work it into your day and how you will remember to do it and, well to not beat about the bush, DO IT!
Celebrate making a start, while celebrating this December. Wishing you all a more flexible, active and poised Christmas and a tsunami of hope filled 2018.