Exercise as Self-Care

So one of the self-care topics that is really important to me is exercise. I feel like it’s an under used and under rated resource.

 

One of the reasons that January posts have been a little scattered is because I took time to take a vacation. My first one in years! I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon and took a week to enjoy Walt Disney World with my friends. It was wonderful. It was my first marathon and I finished (not very fast)!! I wore a princess costume and took a ton of pictures. It was such an amazing feeling to accomplish such a big goal and wear a nice big medal to match!

 

I started running over a year ago. I ran a couple of half marathons, a 5k, and a 10k. I really enjoyed it and my dog really really enjoyed the training. I plan on doing a couple more half marathons, 5ks, and 10ks this year and haven’t really ruled out doing a marathon again.

 

I view my running as a self-care project from start to finish. I’m not trying to set any speed records (which is good because I’m slow) or beat anyone or even really to lose weight. I run to clear my head and get into my body. I run because it makes my dog happy and that makes me happy. I run because I live right by one of the most beautiful parks in the US. I run Disney races so I can dress up and see the parks with other happy people. I run to feel accomplished. I run for an excuse to travel. I run to leave stress in the dust.

 

I grew up dancing and doing gymnastics and I’ve practiced yoga most of my adult life. I got into running because the races came up and it was something I could do pretty easily. Exercise is one of the easiest and fastest self-care activities. You can sweat out your problems so easily. I understand it gets hard to get started when you’re feeling down or stressed or just lazy but I’ve seen for myself the benefits.

 

I went to see Temple Grandin speak at the LA Library. She took a question from the audience and a teenage girl with autism asked her for advice. “Exercise, everyday even if you don’t want to.” Exercise heals our brain as much as it improves our body. I’ve seen it working at the Special Olympics World Games. Sport can have such a positive impact no matter what level you are.

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What is your exercise routine? Do you have a physical resolution? Do you feel the same way about exercise as self care?

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