Staying active to stay healthy and just feel good is a core value instilled in me by my mom. She’s an inspiration for using physical activity in a functional way just because it feels good! That being said, over the past decade or so my level of physical activity has gone down. One reason is life has gotten busier and busier - all kinds of projects have kept me hopping and being a mom to four young kids is no small task. From there, it’s easy to slip out of the habit.
Another reason is injury. Just when I start getting going on something I love to do, those past injuries from having kids or the intense active lifestyle in my teens and early 20’s will come back. A third reason is my physical activity time in dance that when I retired from that it was tricky to find another activity that spoke to my heart and kept me moving in a satisfyingly challenging way.
Most of us have some version of the barriers I’ve described - we slip out of the habit, have setbacks or can’t find the right fit for the time of our lives. When I’m feeling unmotivated to get moving or do the rehab work I need to in order to keep being active for life I like to draw a picture in my mind of how I want to be 10, 20 and 40 years from now. I want to be mobile, active and independent. Being active clears my mind, increasing my creativity and productivity too. That’s why I need to keep at the boring stuff - so I can do more of the activities I really love and be better at everything else too.
I also remind myself it’s ok not to be as tough or fast or flexible or competitive as my past. I can accept where I’m at and grow from there. AND, here’s the tough one - that a social media post or email can wait. Getting outside while the sun is shining is definitely an investment worth making. It’s also modelling healthy choices for my kids.
These days my go-to fun activity is walking. I love it. It’s gentle, you can walk slow or fast, you can do it anywhere and you don’t need any equipment. It’s also free and safe in a pandemic. I live in a very walkable neighbourhood, so choosing to walk to the grocery store or library is a great way to feel like I’m getting stuff done while also taking time out to be active and feel good. My husband and I also enjoy spending any opportunities we get for a date on an outdoor rec activity. Here's a photo from our last date at Elk Island National Park. It was just an hour and a half easy hike, but such a great way to connect, refreshing both ourselves and our relationship.