Consider this blog to be a "pep talk" of sorts to those of you who are working so hard on a regular basis to support and help those living with cancer. All great coaches and teachers lead by example. You owe it to your patients, family, and most importantly yourself to exercise and eat right.
We work in a busy environment where time often moves at the speed of light. Therefore, one may make the argument that there isn't enough time to dedicate to your health and well-being. I am here today to challenge you on that notion. There are 24 hours in a day and you CAN find 30 to 60 minutes to move. I know, because I do it. I am not going to mislead you, "making the time" can be difficult and the list of excuses are plenty. But, the benefits far exceed the excuses .
I work full-time at an often very stressful job, have a family and have all of the many distractions that each day brings. But, I treat exercise like it is a scheduled meeting that is set in stone, on the calendar and non-negotiable. The 30-60 minutes that is spent sweating and moving reduces stress, improves work performance, and allows me to be more "present" to those who need my full attention.
There certainly are days when it is difficult to get a full work out in but never underestimate the benefits that can be achieved by simply taking the steps versus the elevator, parking farther away from your building, doing some stretching /leg squats at your desk , and try to drink a lot of water throughout the day.
I can assure you of a few wonderful things that will happen if you stick with your commitment:
- You will be in a better mood after your endorphins kick in
- You will be more relaxed
- You reduce and/or prevent high blood pressure
- You will reduce your waist size
- You will have more energy
- You will be more confident
- You will sleep better
- You will smile more
Getting started is the most difficult part of the journey. On the days when you don't want to move, try to visualize how your mood will be when you are finished. Visualization is a powerful tool that enables people to reach for things that they believe are attainable. Imagine yourself in the new clothes that you want to buy or the bathing suit that you want to sport in the summer. Imagine yourself: Happy.
There have been workouts that I dread and I have found myself dedicating those days to someone in the cancer building who is struggling to survive. In other words, I pushed myself as hard as I expect and hope that one of my patients is willing to push using sheer will and heart. Isn't that what leaders are made of? This is your time to be a leader and set the example for your children, your co-workers, and your patients.
Today, I encourage you to start taking care of yourself so that you are well equipped to take care of those who need you. We as healthcare professionals focus on ensuring a good quality of life for the patients that we treat. What about your quality of life? If I can do it, so can you. Now go move!
"My message to fellow health care professionals: Make the time ...",