For years I have been promising myself that I would take better care of my body and since today is 6 months away from my 55th birthday, and I have no intention of checking out till a ripe old age, I decided that I would just have a 30-minute walk at lunchtime.
That’s it. No gym, no branded gear, no water bottle, Fitbit or phone. Just me, my walking boots and far too much puffing as I ascended the hillier bits of Dinas Powys.
Not surprisingly I feel much better if a little rained on and wind-swept. There is something about the repetitive plod of foot after foot that soothes and helps you focus.
I found myself thinking about my excuses for not taking better care of myself – and there are plenty.
- not enough time
- the wrong gear
- having to do it alone
- too many other important things to do
You get the picture. I supposed what also triggered this was watching Mariella Frostrup’s programme on the BBC this week – The Truth About The Menopause – which demonstrated quite convincingly that exercise can really help our bodies to cope with the onslaught of symptoms.
Not all exercise is equal it seems. Running or dancing were recommended as the impact upon bones seems to stimulate them to regenerate, or at least remain strong – if I understood it correctly.
No matter. Today I managed a brisk walk. I’m no longer naive enough to promise that I will do it every day but at least I now tell myself if I write it down in my diary it will get done.
And I finally realised that these things we do to improve our health are not chores, drudgery or a penance for too much food and drink – no – these teeny tiny steps are acts of self love, of acknowledgement and saying “actually I quite like my body so I’m going to take better care of it”.
It comes from a place of deserving more not a place of punishment.
It is about valuing yourself enough to decide that your health matters.
I’m not about to run a marathon. But you know what? I’ve made a start.