How Does Your Health Motivate You to Exercise?
Are You waiting for the next foot to drop, or are you actively participating in your own health and wellness? Health does not mean being completely free of injury or dys-ease. It is an active engagement in the process of healing; a balancing act to right your Health. An active lifestyle that includes exercise, activities that engage physical abilities and movement are key to your well-being and optimal aging.
Read the remaining post and discover what it takes to commit yourself to face the challenges of this process we all experience-AGE. You will read a short example of my Brother Ron’s example of turning purpose into a motivation to challenge himself in hopes of giving something back to those experiencing Parkinson’s Disease.
Injury, Disease and Aging as a Motivator to Health
What will it take to motivate you to take action, and restore your health before disease and disability ensue?
We come up with all kinds of excuses that keep us short of maintaining a healthy dose of exercise. Work and time constraints get in the way. Before you know it you are experiencing physical and mental decline. The impact of aging is felt in painful joints and sore muscles. You are diagnosed with a degenerative diseases, prescribed medicines and are making regular visits to your medical provider.
There are many reasons why you may be motivated to exercise.
A recent injury to surgical procedure that is a result of a sports injury.
A Chronic history of low back pain or neck pain.
A recent recommendation by your health practitioner to lose weight.
A health concern spawned by a medical diagnosis(heart disease, arthritis, diabetes).
A kick in the ass by your spouse(don’t be offended they are just trying to motivate you).
Or the fear of age causing a mental decline.
There are also growing concerns of not being able to perform specific tasks at home, work or at play.
You may notice yourself losing balance, or recent falls.
The ability to perform home chores without feeling out of breath, or just unable to do.
Fatigue with sustained work demands related to sustained sitting or standing.
Unable to play a round of golf, or game of tennis, as frequently or at the same level that you once were capable.
There are many reasons that physical abilities become a challenge. The question is,
Are You Going to let these Challenges Get the Best of You, or Are You Going to Get Movin’?
The Most Frequent Cause of Physical Challenge is Age.
— Mayo Clinic (@MayoClinic) March 21, 2016
Age has the ability to change and detour your lifestyle.
Social events become less frequent.
Travel plans must be modified to include bus tours instead of walking tours.
There becomes a growing demand on your significant other, family and friends.
The ability to complete chores in the community become challenge to lack of energy, pain or feeling out of breath.
The ability to carry your share in a double game of tennis due to joint pain or weakness make physical exertion next to impossible.
You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old. -George Burns
Align Your Purpose(Values) with Exercise
There is a picture above of My Brother Ron. A few years back he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease.
Ron is a great example of aligning his purpose with efforts to achieve a physical feat. Those efforts involved his completing a Backpack Trek of the John Muir Trail that took him 212 miles from Mt. Whitney to the Yosemite Valley in 23 days.
Yes, he had help. We all need help, support and encouragement to reach our goals.
The only help he needed was to make sure his food supplies were renewed every 4 days. And the companionship of a few buds, brothers and family on the trail.
He traveled light. Imagine carrying an extra 10 pounds on your back over 212 miles. That adds to physical stress of exertional fatigue, increased nutritional demands in the way of calories, and joint loads that may add to pain and discomfort.
Ron went minimal.
This minimal backpacking method lightened his load to an average of 30-pounds on his back.
He skimped on clothing, cooking ware and fuel.
He cut his toothbrush in half, and brought only the bare essentials.
Food selection was based on providing the necessary fuel for the journey.
Readily available sources from dried fruits, carbs and consumable fats(nut and oil) for energy on the trail, and protein to maintain lean body mass.
He also prepared…
Bike workouts to build his endurance.
Careful planning to to ensure he had all the tools and resources he would need on his journey.
There was meaning that drove him along the trail.
Personal meaning and purpose motivate.
He also raised money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research(Rons Trek for Parkinsons).
We all should not have to wait for a life threatening diagnosis, or age to catch up and tap on the shoulder to remind us of the benefits of physical activity.
There are many ways you can work some exercise into your routine that can benefit a deeper purpose to your inner motives or external cause.
Start walking, riding or running.
Sign-up for a 5K or 10K.
Often these events support a greater cause or organization that aligns with your values.
Establishing a routine that you can commit to, however short, long or frequent you desire, is necessary for the long-term satisfaction you will gain for being able achieve what you set out to do.
If you are just committing yourself to such a task make these steps small and steady.
Set a realistic goal that is easy to accomplish at first.
This will build your confidence.
Challenge yourself after you achieve a few short-term goals by stretching beyond your comfort zone.
Do this by setting a goal that challenges your ability. Even if you come up short you will have pushed yourself physically and mentally in your journey.
Do not look at this as having failed, instead, look at this as self-discovery; a “gut-check”.
Your Activity Outcome, or the why of your well-being, has all to do about what is important to you, and what drives you physically, emotionally and spiritually.
If you have the desire to venture into the mountains and hike ten miles, developing adequate strength, endurance and balance will be important assets to make this a successful trip.
Ensuring that you have adequate nutrition will be important to providing the necessary energy supply required for the expedition.
Having proper equipment will also add to the successful completion of your endeavor.
Being able to rely on recovery measures to ease muscle soreness, and provide relaxation to enjoy the natural surroundings will add to the spiritual and emotional fulfillment of the trip.
So Choose a Venture.
What can you set yourself to do that makes planning and preparing an essential part of the journey.
It may be:
A short weekend trip to an outdoor destination.
A Day Hike somewhere in your own community.
A 10K walk for a Special Cause.
Change and transformation will be yours.
It may come in the accomplishment of setting your sites on a goal and achieving.
It may have the deeper meaning of connecting with a larger community or benefit to a special cause.
It might be as simple as maintaining your memory and cognition as you age, and being surrounded by loved ones.