Living Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be A Bore!
Becoming the Best You doesn’t have to be boring or even monotonous. In fact, it can be great fun and a fabulous way to become a healthier you through self-care.
While working out recently at a local fitness center, I couldn’t help but notice another feature on television about health and wellness. The segment was appealing and seemed to highlight the importance of health, exercise and what I term “self-care.” I state often that if you desire to have a ramped up mood and an immune system boost, exercise!
As you may know, I hike weekly in the spectacular Wasatch Mountains. I began hiking religiously 5 years ago in preparation for a backpacking trip to the Uintas. I’ve always loved the outdoors and found this little push all that was necessary to make this a healthy habit. I also workout twice a week at the gym. Initially to become a stronger hiker. Now I do it for all the known health benefits.
The benefits of exercise in relation to mood are well established. People who experience depression can almost assuredly lower their depression through appropriate exercise. This is particularly true of getting back into nature such as hiking, biking or trail running. There seems to be something about the outdoors that just boosts our mood and energy level. I certainly experience this. For example, I recently hiked to Twin Peaks…the highest mountain peak in Salt Lake County. At over 11,300 feet, the view of the valley is spectacular! Following the hike, I felt re-energized, very connected and motivated.
In my approach to counseling, I speak regularly to my many clients about self-care. I believe that we need to take care of ourselves emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically on consistent basis. It stands to reason that if we take care of our physical needs by eating healthy, getting appropriate sleep and avoiding caffeine, etc., we will benefit emotionally, mentally and spiritually. For people that do this on a consistent basis, the benefits become evident as their energy level increases as potentially does their happiness and zest for life.
One key challenge is assisting people that are depressed or that live a sedentary lifestyle is to develop the interest in self-care and exercise. I suggest to my clients that they find what their form or idea of “hiking” is. If hiking isn’t their thing, try the fitness center. If not there, go running or for a walk. Yoga or aerobics are amazing for some people. The key point is, just do it! Lastly, summer is much easier motivation and mood-wise to start an exercise program. Getting out now just makes more sense. It’s mid-summer with fall’s wonderful weather and temperatures fast approaching. Get off the couch!
Additionally, my clinical staff and I are accepting new clients. We’d also love to present this self-care approach to you or to your staff, ward/church group or community function. Please let me know if you have questions. Contact us soon!
Michael Boman, LCSW is a relationship and marriage expert. As clinical director for England Counseling Services and LifeSTAR Oquirrh he speaks and blogs often on issues critical to families, couples and the community at large. Michael welcomes your comments at [email protected]