Fitness: A Path Toward Healing and Recovery
by Darlene Barriere
(Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)
Darlene kickboxing for fitness at the lake
Most of us know that fitness is essential for a healthy body, but what most don't know is that fitness can help a person along the road to healing and recovery. Regardless of our background, regardless of what we have endured as children, the benefits of fitness are just too far-reaching to ignore. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.
Fitness has long been a part of my life. I credit physical fitness with helping me to maintain a healthy frame of mind, as well as a healthy body weight. Fitness is something I do every day, something I do every day for
myself. I look at fitness as a way to treat myself well. Treat yourself
well by following my basic fitness tips below. You too could find yourself on a path towards healing and recovery. Darlene's 10 Basic Fitness Tips
- Do something fitness-oriented each and every day.
A 30 – 60 minute brisk walk every day is an excellent, low impact fitness activity. Walking can help clear the mind of daily stresses and it gets you outside. And an added bonus is that you can check out landscaping ideas!
- Do not compare your fitness level with that of others.
Be reasonable in your expectations. If you can only manage a walk around the block to start with, then walk a block. As you develop more endurance, increase the distance. As you get stronger, pick up your pace. You'll be movin' and groovin' before you know it!
- Forget the "no pain, no gain" approach.
Fitness goals are important, and so is challenging yourself, but not at the expense of a painful injury. Muscle stiffness is to be expected, especially when you first start with your exercise program. But "if you strain, there is no gain!"
- Invest in a quality pair of runners.
Find a pair designed for your particular fitness activity. When should you replace your runners? Don't bother checking the tread; it's time to replace your runners when the inside no longer provides the necessary support. But for
goodness sake, don't wait for that to happen!
Rules of Thumb: A pair of runners designed for jogging or running will last approximately 500 kilometres (350 miles) of that activity before the inside support material completely breaks down. Runners designed for aerobics will last approximately 100 hours of sweaty activity.
- Schedule fitness as a "date" with yourself.
Write your "date" in your daytimer or PDA. You are more likely to keep that "date" if you do. But whatever you do, don't stand yourself up!
- Train your brain for fitness.
Slot the fitness activity in at the same time every day. It takes the average person about 3 weeks to change a habit. Just think, in 3 short weeks, exercise can be your happy healthy habit!
- Walk with a friend.
Walking and talking has the added benefit of making the time fly by. Just make sure you BOTH keep up a brisk pace; the social tea will have to wait!
- Exercise to motivating music.
Invest in an MP3 player so that you can download music you love. Music and exercise are a fantastic combination, especially if you're walking alone. Besides, who doesn't like to listen to great music!
- Gently stretch after exercise.
Stretch all muscle groups that you have incorporated in your activity: calves, thighs, biceps, triceps, abdominals, etc. Consider stretching the "cherry on top of the sundae." Did I really just use the words "sundae" and "exercise" in the same paragraph?
- Maintain a sense of humour and stick to the plan.
Whatever you chose to do—walking, jogging, running, kickboxing, cycling—consider it something you do to treat yourself well. As long as you do, you'll get stronger and fitter, and the benefits will spill into other aspects of your life. Fitness and a sense of humour will help you keep your mind in a healthy place, which in turn aides in the journey toward healing and recovery. You are definitely worth it!
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