Health and Fitness 2

Back to School Means Back to You!

After surviving the blistering heat this past summer, the 24/7 life when kids are out of school, vacations and whatever else the summer brought your way, it is time to “fall back” into a routine—and take time to take care of yourself! It’s easy to get so involved in activities and taking care of your family that you forget to take the time to take care of yourself!

Often, we think of taking care of ourselves as selfish. Well, in this case, being selfish is actually quite selfless. Think about this—you cannot take care of others unless you take care of yourself. There are a few things that you can do that don’t take up that much time that can make you happier, healthier and give you enough energy to help everyone else. If you are tired, sick, stressed out or worn out, you will not be the best you can be for your family and friends.

Think about what the flight attendant says on an airplane, “in the event of an emergency, the oxygen mask will drop down. If you are traveling with small children, put your mask on first before assisting others.” This seems to go against our instincts. But, this is important because you have to be conscious to assist anyone else. So putting your oxygen mask on first is not selfish, but necessary and smart!

Stress reduction and rest are crucial to good health. Amazingly, exercise has a profound effect on both of these. It has been shown continuously that exercise is as, if not more, effective in treating depression than drugs or therapy. The feel-good hormones that are released with exercise create a euphoria that cannot be created any other way. So, not only does exercise help burn calories, build muscles and keep your body strong, it keeps it happy and stress-free! Then you can get a good night’s sleep.

The trick is fitting it in. We are all busy, but it is important to set priorities. When I asked a busy mom and the student herself, Rachel Crane Smith, how she manages to get it all in she told me this: “Lots of planning ahead. For me, my workout is my.sanity saver.’ When you are getting pulled in so many different directions as a mom and student yourself, you need to make time for yourself. My workout is that hour that I can forget everything that is going on around me. Also, it keeps me healthy and able to keep up and play with my children.”

One thing that I tell my clients that seems to help is that exercise actually gives you energy. Even though you are expending energy while exercising, the result is more energy. So instead of going home, being exhausted, ordering fast food and laying down watching TV until you fall asleep, you will have the energy to make a healthy meal, enjoy it with your family, do some fun activity and get a great deep sleep and be ready to roll the next day!

Take care of you so you can take care of them!