Ester Marsh: Patience is a virtue

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 18, 2023

Patience is a virtue, and I am learning patience. It’s a tough lesson. — Elon Musk

We are challenged each day with the need for patience. Waiting in line for checkout at the grocery store. Waiting in line to get gas, food, etc. Patience for our tax return, patience when people are not using their turn signal. Patience when signing up for anything, or just patience with the world we live in. There are so many times and places we need to practice patience that one of them needs to be, patience with yourself.

I love having people return to their regular schedules of working out. We all are still recovering from the pandemic and slowly people are getting back into their workout routine. What many do not understand is that it’s been a “minute.” If you haven’t worked out for a while, it is going to take some time to get back where you were. Coming back too hard, too much and too soon will set you up for disappointment. Whether it’s an overuse injury, too much time involved or maybe not having a plan, slow and steady wins the race. As I mentioned before, start slowly and easy and increase your workout time/distance/weight by about 10 percent per week. On to the next one!

You cannot out-exercise a bad diet! I know, it might have worked when you were younger, but it was not healthy for you. You are on a regular exercise plan and feeling good, but things might not move as fast as you think it should. Remember, you need to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound! See how long it took to put the weight on, years right? Give it some time to adjust to your healthy lifestyle. You are going to see changes throughout your journey but typically it takes a year to make a total body transition.

And finally, you cannot spot reduce. We also have talked about it before but too many people think they can shape their body by working the “problem” areas only. Here is a full-body workout for a week including the following fitness components recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine:

• Cardiovascular exercise: a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity on five days per week. Or vigorous intensity aerobics for a minimum of 20 minutes on three days per week.

• Strength training: a minimum of 2 nonconsecutive days per week. At least 1 set of 8-12 reps, for older population 10-15 reps.

• Strength endurance: a minimum of two days per week. Typically, 15 reps plus. You can also time the exercise. Example: plank, push up, pull up, squats, lunges.

• Flexibility: So important! At least two to three days per week each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds. Stretch to point of tightness or slight discomfort (not pain) accumulating a total of one minute per stretch.

• Body composition: the way your body is composed with muscles and fat. You are what you eat! is an excellent solid and free resource to help you make the right choices when it comes to food. Especially learning to balance out the calories. Even when you are eating healthy, if you eat too much, it still turns into fat!

So have patience with all things but first, with yourself.

Ester H. Marsh is Health and Fitness Director of the J.F. Hurley YMCA.