The importance of exercise

It was Christmas time and there was no sound in the house
Nothing to hear, not even a mouse.
But wait!
What’s this?
I think I hear something
Yes, it sounds like someone munching
Ahh, of course, it’s Charlie eating and getting fat.
He’s using Christmas as an excuse to be a right lazy twat.

My exercise routine took a backseat over the festive period. I like to run a few times a week. Nothing major. No marathons. Just enough to keep me active. I found that it helps with my physical and mental health. It keeps me thinking and feeling right. Slowly over the past month, I was slipping into a sedentary lifestyle. I could feel it. Not just physically but mentally as well. I felt tired all the time. Like I had no energy. I mean how could I have no energy I was relaxing whilst watching the waves crash down on the beach? I should have been bouncing with energy.

Thankfully, I know the cure… get moving!

Years ago I would have thought that my low energy levels needed some more coffee or more sugar to lift them up but now I realise that I have to get moving. Energy creates energy. Sugar comes with a crash that requires more sugar to escape from. And over time addiction is formed. Don’t think it’s addictive? Try quitting. I did and experienced withdrawal symptoms. I now limit my sugar intake for this reason.

I didn’t want to exercise. I wanted to lay in bed and then lay on the beach but I had to break the routine. So I got up and went for a run. It hurt. I was struggling and didn’t even make a mile before I stopped. I could have given myself a hard time for being lazy but what would that achieve? Making myself feel bad. I noted that my stamina had decreased over the month of inactivity but praised myself for getting off my arse. Even though it wasn’t a great run I felt better. Lighter. The cobwebs of inactivity had been dusted. I sat down for breakfast feeling like I’d earned it. I couldn’t help but think how quickly I had slipped into the sedentary lifestyle and how my energy levels had decreased. I was reminded of a sign I saw in the natural history museum;

When I was hugely overweight it was because I ate too much shite food and moved to little. I felt tired and sluggish all the time. My weight was the excuse not to exercise. Inactivity became my lifestyle. Gradually, as I started moving more, I started to feel better. Eating and exercise are just habits. They can be bad or good habits. Humans are creatures of habit. Changing habits can be hard but it can be done. A bit at a time.

I started running because, two years ago, I stopped smoking after twenty-three years. I hated running, to begin with. My lungs would burn as I coughed up all sorts of shit. I would be doubled over in a park coughing and wheezing whilst thinking, this is your own fault. It was my own fault. I chose to smoke and knacker my lungs. Just like I chose to eat shit and do nothing for a month over Christmas. But thankfully I put the work in previously so that now I can see the signs and take the correct action.

It doesn’t have to be a run. It can be a walk. Just SOMETHING to break the routine. To shake me out of the idle thinking.

“All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.”

James Allen, As a man thinketh

In my experience, I have found that my physical and mental health is directly related to my own actions. I used to come up with all manner of bullshit excuses why I couldn’t exercise or eat healthy. In the end, I had to take responsibility for myself and found that when I did not only did my physical health improve, so did my mental health.

For example, if I had read what I have written here I would have said: “that’s fine for you but I can’t do that because of these reasons.” Or I would have thought that it was too hard. It hasn’t been as hard as it has rewarding. A small amount of exercise goes a long way. Our lymphatic system has no pump. The movement of our muscles pumps the lymphatic system. We have to move to remove toxins from our body. It is quite clear that for a number of reasons we are meant to move.

The hardest part is getting of my arse but a few steps go a long way.


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