making time for you

Making Time For Exercise Means Making Time For You

It is the time of year where we all seem to be fighting for time.  We just finished the squeezing time out for the holiday season.  Time to get shopping done. Time to bake thousands of cookies.  Time to get presents wrapped.  Time to prep Christmas Dinner. Now you should be making time for you.

Now we’re in January. Would you think we’d have more time since the holidays are over right? But we don’t. And now we have to make time for exercise too?  Making time for exercise simply means making time for YOU. If you struggle with making yourself a priority, I recommend you stop and read this now: My health is important because…

These days if we don’t make the time to take care of ourselves, no one is going to do it for us. I particularly like the cartoon where the doctor says to the patient, “What fits your schedule better?  Exercising an hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day.”

It is so important that we make the time to exercise and eat right that I have it scheduled into my daily agenda and I find myself looking forward to the fitness classes I teach. Folks in my class are as important to me as I am to them.  I am healthier and more fit because of them plus it helps me in keeping my stress level down.

Even the worst of days aren’t so bad after I’ve exercised for an hour but I tell you what – even living in a small town before exercise my road rage can be at it’s peak!  For example, why do people insist on pulling out in front of you on a 60 mph road then proceed to drive 25 mph?  Always a major source of upset for me.

After class?  Lalalalala. Singing to the music on the way home.  A whole different attitude.  If I don’t have class that day, I may kayak, take a hike, get on my bike, grab a leash and walk my dog or simply do a few minutes of yoga.  I really love the ease and affordability of the Yoga Works online programs. You can check them out and get started for free here: Yoga Works

So what should you do if you are not currently taking the time for yourself to exercise?  Starting right now, grab the calendar and see what’s on your schedule for next week.

What do you absolutely HAVE to do (work, doctor’s appointments, etc.). Those are the type of things than you cannot move or delete from your schedule so highlight them so you know those times are not available.

Now look at what’s rest.  Grocery shopping? Can you move it to another day or maybe later in the day?  Nail appointment? No offense but your health is more important than your nails so if it were me, I would definitely move that appointment to make time for exercise if that was the best time. Making dinner? How about after you exercise?

Often the stringent schedules we have day to day are those that we place on ourselves.  I get it.  I really do because I’m a creature of habit.  I do the same thing at the same time every day.  But now I also make sure that I am exercising every single day – sometimes at the same time – sometimes not but it’s definitely a part of my schedule that I won’t delete.  How about you?

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Laughter is the best medicine.

Eating healthy? Check! Exercise? Check! So why aren’t we sleeping well?  Did you know that stress is the leading cause of six illnesses including heart disease and also affects how we sleep?  Since diet and exercise alone is not enough to combat the stress that we deal with on a daily basis, what else is there?

Laughter.  Not pills. Not alcohol. Simply laughing can help you get a better night’s rest.  According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter is one of the best ways to relieve stress and a great reason to include people that have a good sense of humor in your circle of friends.  It doesn’t matter how stressed I am some days.  As soon as my husband says something stupidly funny, I crack up and feel better. Well let me rephrase that. First I look at him like what did you say THEN I crack up.   Thank goodness he does it often too 😉

One study shows that kids on average laugh 400 times per day.  Want to know what the number of times an adult laughs per day based on information in the same study? 15 times per day. We laugh ONLY 15 times a day on average. Explains why so many of us are stressed.

Laughter has both short term and long term health benefits.  Short term, a good laugh not only puts you in a better mood, it increases your intake of oxygen, lowers your blood pressure, stimulates your heart and signals your body to release endorphins in your brain.  Know what else releases those feel good chemicals in your brain? Exercise.

Long term like exercise, laughter boosts your immune system, relieves pain and improves your mood.  You don’t have to look very far either for something to make you laugh. Something as simple as keeping a cartoon, picture,  or anything else that makes you laugh nearby will do the trick if you don’t have time to watch a funny movie.

Enough reasons to make laughter a priority in your day? No? Then how about this one.  Laughing gives your abs a good workout so you get double the benefit when you laugh – you’ll feel better and work on your core at the same time.

This week instead of complaining, find humor in things that happen throughout the day.  And remember – laugh and the world laughs with you (poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox).  So go ahead.  Get out there and laugh. While you’re at it, make your family and friends laugh with you. Have a great week!

To your health,


Don’t say that ugly “C” word.

So many times when talking to young kids and teens, there is a word that always seems to come up.  Can’t.  What do you want to be when you grow up. Response? I want to be xxx but I CAN’T because.  Do you want to go to college?  I want to but I CAN’T because.  It really makes me sad because I’ve always told my daughters they can do or be anything they set their minds to do.  Keep moving forward every day toward your goal and you will get there. After all if you quit, you won’t. Simple as that.

Last week I was talking to one of the owners, Scott,  of Country Strong Gym in Live Oak about CrossFit.  The gym recently added CrossFit For Life Patriot classes to their schedule and we were chatting about the times and classes.  My sister does CrossFit in Maryland and loves it.  She talks about the competitions they compete in right from the gym and it’s something I’ve tossed around doing myself.

Imagine my surprise when talking to Scott and what comes out of my mouth? I CAN’T.  If you have been reading this column for anytime you know my tag line is YES YOU CAN.  Well talk about feeling like a hypocrite.  I did not even give it a try.  How could I know whether or not I could do the class?

The thing about CrossFit is it’s designed for all fitness levels.  You will see kids to seniors taking a CrossFit class.  Men, women, and even those with disabilities can do CrossFit.  There are modifications for any level and the setting is designed as a community that supports each other.

So what was the topic du jour that made me say that ugly “c” word?  Pull-ups and hand-stands. IMMEDIATELY out of my mouth were the words I can’t do either a pull-up or a hand-stand. I don’t have the upper body strength.   Honest confession, I’m shuddering thinking about a pull-up.

Scott (retired Special Forces) explained  there are levels designed to help you move from beginner to being able to do a pull-up or a hand-stand.  I may not have the upper strength to do it TODAY but if I make the commitment to learn what I need to do from my beginner level, I will be able to do one.

Wondering what’s going to happen next? Well this 57 year old woman made the commitment to take a CrossFit class either on a Tuesday or Thursday morning as those are the days I don’t teach morning classes at the gym. Fingers crossed that the day after I take the class, I’ll be able to teach my own morning classes.  After all, morning folks are my favorite folks of all! Who wants to join me?

I’ll keep you posted but always remember, YES YOU CAN!  Have a wonderful week.

To your health,