By: Dr. Janet Perkins
Health and fitness can mean different things to different people. There are a few no-brainers when it comes to health, including eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of sleep, and logging enough exercise.
All of this sounds so simple when you read it, right? But we all know how complicated it can get. Our lives are busy and we’re constantly pulled in six different directions.
So, on this National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, I encourage you to prioritize your mental health. Ask yourself, “How much stress do I have? Can I decrease my stress levels by making small changes? Can I switch out some bad habits for good ones?”
Sometimes taking a look at your stress will help you recognize detrimental patterns. You might notice a vicious cycle where a poor diet leaves you feeling weak or lacking energy, which in turn makes energized exercise and restful sleep more difficult. So, spend today thinking now about the changes you want to make to improve your health.
Now that you’re mentally ready, try to come up with a personal fitness plan that works for you instead of relying on a one-size-fits-all recipe for success.
Because what works for one celebrity (who can afford a personal chef and two trainers) may not work for you. Be creative. Think about social opportunities (you’re less likely to skip a workout if you have already committed to a friend!) and pick an activity you enjoy. Do NOT add another burden to your day.
I’m a big believer in outside exercise—fresh air is good for you! Often you can improve both your mental AND physical health by taking a brisk walk outside. Don’t let the elements stop you either; a walk on dewy grass or in freshly fallen snow can be magical.
So, get thinking about what it is YOU will do on this National Women’s Health and Fitness Day to improve your mental and physical health. And remember, your health care provider is always there to answer questions you may have. See you on the trail!