Ester Marsh: Exercise because you want to be healthy

Published 10:16 pm Saturday, November 26, 2022

Thanksgiving is past; now the rest of the holiday season is at our door. New Year’s not too far away, followed by the famous, or infamous new year’s resolutions! Many people are figuring out it takes more than one month to change your eating and exercise habits. But I know it’s doable, and that you can do it!

• Start by believing in yourself. You are worth it!

• Health awareness. Don’t exercise because you need to lose 50 pounds. Exercise because you want to be healthy. Start with 10 minutes a day. Work up to 30 minutes per day, most days of the week. Then increase 2 to 3 days up to 90 minutes per day. All those minutes can be broken into smaller sessions per day.

• Start slowly, the weight gain and/or inactivity did not happen overnight. Give your body a chance to get used to movement.

• Exercise does not have to hurt, especially in the beginning. If it hurts more than a muscle working, don’t do it!

• Find something that you can handle and do not despise. If you truly hate the activity you are doing, you will eventually quit. For example, dancing is exercise. Yard work is exercise. Walking your dog is exercise. Actively playing with your children/ grandchildren is exercise.

• Live life. What do you get out of moaning and talking about how bad you feel, how heavy you are, how little energy you have? Doesn’t it sound wonderful that your energy will increase, your stress level reduces, and you will feel better overall? Exercise improves your brain health; it helps you manage your weight, especially through the Holidays. It strengthens your bones and muscles. It reduces the risk of disease and improves your ability to do your daily activities. Independence is what we all want to keep, or get back right?

Well, it doesn’t just “happen”; you have to work at it. A huge part of leading a healthy lifestyle is to be able to look at life in a positive way. Everyone has a choice. You have the choice to lie down when life challenges you, or you grab these challenges with both hands and stand up to them. Try it; it will make you feel so much better. Even when it did not “go your way,” you went down with a fight. You never gave up….and eventually come to the realization that sometimes it is a blessing in disguise…

Surround yourself with positive people and influences. You are still the only one who can do something about your choices and lifestyle. You must choose your own path. Faith has helped me through some really tough times, especially when things make no sense at all. Never give up!

Start that exercise program again. Try to eat better again. Build back broken relationships or do something you always wanted to do.

Start today because tomorrow is always one day away.

And I believe in you!

Ester H Marsh is Health and Fitness director of JF Hurley YMCA.