EXERCISE

Personally I aim to exercise twice a day, every day. I wake up earlier than I need to and I do a half hour video with you tube on my tablet. There are lots of these available. They are brilliant. The only trouble is – when you get in the required position you often can’t see the screen, so lots of guessing goes on. I’m sure if anyone saw me I would be the subject of much amusement.  I figure it adds to the fun.

The second time I exercise is later in the day. I either walk home from work, or I go to the gym for a workout and swim. I aim to do one or the other every day. Not three or four times a week, EVERY day. That’s been my goal for the last couple of years, and it is easier than you think. As with all good ideas, you just have to get into the habit.

To release those magic feel good chemicals, endorphins, you need to do something cardio vascular. You need to get your breathing up. I find going on the treadmill and walking briskly is enough. I highly recommend this. And because I’ve been pushing it on the treadmill, my normal road walking has improved.  I used to slog along, now I am pump, pump, and pump. We all know how good exercise is for us. We all know that people who are happy exercise. And people who exercise are happy. If you already exercise, let me applaud you and be your vindication. If you are leading a sedentary life, let me encourage you to get up off your butt and get moving; Now.

It’s easier than you think. Often the obstacle or excuse is time. You just haven’t got enough of it. This is why I now rise earlier. I’ve added an hour to my day. By starting my day with exercise I get a great feeling of accomplishment. You might call itself righteousness. It really sets me up for the whole day.

I highly recommend starting your exercise regime with walking. Walking is easy. Anyone can do it. And it gets all the blood flow and stretch that you want. Aim to stride out, take the biggest step you can. Walk as quickly as you can. You’ll improve before you know it. The aim is to get your breathing up; just enough that you could still carry on a conversation. Still can’t find the time? Why not take the stairs rather than the elevator. Why not park the car farther away than need be. Every little helps.

Once you have integrated walking into your life, you can start to set aside time for exercise. At home – there are plenty of videos. You can always do a stretch and a twist in your living room. Or join a team sport, or join the gym. It is cheaper than you think – think of it as an investment. Generally a gym membership is a little more than a pound a day. Excellent economy for what you get out of it.

Jogging is another one that is easy, and economical. All you need are running shoes, a reflective vest and a determination. You set your mind to it and before you know it you will be running farther than you ever dreamed possible. I’ve taken running up several times, and it really doesn’t take long to build up distance. I highly recommend the NHS course available on line, call Couch to 5 K.

You’ve read this. You must be interested in exercise. So why not start today. Just set aside a few minutes. Take baby steps. All you have to do is put one foot in front of the other. As with all recovery, it’s just one step at a time.

Have a great day.

About the Author – Kate Hull Rodgers is an expert by experience. She has been mentally ill since 1986, more than 30 years. She is diagnosed as bi polar and GAD (generalized anxiety disorder) Every day she battles to be in recovery, many days she wins. She speaks in corporate workplaces with her company www.humourus.co.uk. She has spoken in 29 countries. Also she runs Stepping Stone Theatre for Mental Health www.steppingstonetheatre.co.uk with her husband, Bill- and she is still happily married. Mustn’t forget, she is the proud mother of Harvey and Dominic – and the dog, Zebbie.