I think it is a well known fact that exercise can make you happy - and not just because you love the activity you are doing... like riding a bike! :D From experience, it is pretty clear to me that exercise changes my mindset. I can be grumpy, angry, sad... whatever.. and once I have gone for a run, or gotten out on the bike, or hit the gym, I feel a million times better. I think the best when I exercise - my mind seems to operate on a different level coming up with new ideas and understanding problems better. It is no surprise to me that exercise has been linked to alleviating depression. And of course exercise is great for your health from all angles.. but you all know that, so lets carry right along.
So what are my exercise guidelines for the month?
1) Start everyday with exercise - every day that I have done this, I have been in such a better mood throughout the day, and have not had to rely on coffee for a pick me up. I always think to myself that I should start everyday by working out, but I haven't accomplished this yet. It is time.
2) Strength train 3 times per week - this means either lifting weight or performing body weight exercises to build muscle. There is a joy that comes from knowing your body can do whatever you want it to do (such as opening tricky jars!), and this for me, comes through being strong. It is also essential for a healthy life to actively build muscles, especially for women, who are prone to things like osteoporosis. As you age, you lose muscle, so it is necessary to work to keep it up.
3) Stretch or practice yoga everyday - every time I start to exercise a lot, I also start to notice all the irregularities in my body that cause overuse injuries.... I would love to be able to stay healthy as I increase my exercise level. I want to do extreme activities... marathons, ultras, cycling races, etc... and in order to do that, I need to learn to balance strength and flexibility.
4) Set goals for the future to stay motivated and continue to push my limits and comfort zone. For me this involves running the Seawheeze half marathon in under 2:00 and completing an Olympic Triathlon this September. I also would love to become a better salsa dancer and learn to rock climb... I have loads of things I want to do, so I may need to put some thought into which ones I want to pursue at the moment.
That's all for now! :D