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Ester Marsh column: Getting back into your routine

It has been a couple of weeks since I have written my last column. Because of Hurricane Florence, we had a power outage for about 15 hours and we were without cable and internet for 4½ days. I did have flooding on my land and barn where Grants Creek became a big part of my property, but my horses, goats, chickens, dogs and the barn cat are all fine. When I see the mess the flooding left for us, I keep thinking of all the people on the coast who are dealing with this in their homes. I know the Y has taken donations to go to the affected areas, as many other churches and businesses have done the same. We need to continue this because it will be a long time before things are back to normal for them.

My sister and her husband planned a trip for their 25th anniversary to arrive in Charlotte on the Saturday of the storm. Many people in the Netherlands told them not to go because of the hurricane, but fortunately for me, they did come! It was a rough ride and their plane was one of the last to arrive that evening due to the storm. They experienced the flooding and saw how quickly the water went down, thank goodness.

This past weekend after two awesome weeks here in Rowan County, they have flown back to my home country — the Netherlands. I don’t know about you, but I really love and miss my family and when you get used to them, it’s hard to adjust. On top of everything, this time last year I was home to help with my dying mother so lots of different emotions to deal with. I am very fortunate to work for the Rowan County YMCA where we have some wonderful vacation time (like being back in the Netherlands where everyone has at least five weeks) and I definitely ate and drank like I was on vacation myself these past two weeks.

This happens to many people after vacation or a change in work or life schedule and for many it is hard to get back into their workout routine again. Some even feel, because they “messed up,” it’s too late to start again. Wrong! It is never too late and you are never too old to get back into a healthy lifestyle/routine again. I taught some of my classes towards the end of last week and not doing the physical workouts I am used to made a difference. How quickly it can go away! On the second day, it was already better and I know getting back into a full schedule this week I will be into my “fighting shape” soon.

So if you have had changes in your life, whether it’s vacation, an injury, a loss, change in work, etc., the best thing is to at least try. Plan your exercise schedule for the week. If you have been out of it for a while, don’t go crazy! Start with two or three times a week. Three times a week for the rest of your life is a whole lot better and effective than 5-7 days a week for a month or a couple of months to quit again. Don’t beat yourself up if you missed one, just regroup and try again.

Not exercising/moving is not a choice for me. I am fortunate that I love to exercise but my body feels so much better when I do. I feel better and I definitely sleep better. So whatever your challenge is or has been, get back on the exercise wagon. I know you can do it!

Ester H. Marsh is health and fitness director of the JF Hurley family YMCA.

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