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Thank you for being a friend....

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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thank you for being a friend....

So, not only did I title this post using the theme song from 'The Golden Girls' because it is my favorite show of all time, but also because I think that part of a healthy balanced lifestyle is having friends to keep you in check. Your friends are the ones that questions what you are doing with your life, support you, and are there for you whether you succeed or fail. That is why, during your journey to obtain a balanced healthy lifestyle, picking one friend or a group of friends to join you is the best way to achieve your goal!

Along with eating healthy, and trying to stay healthy, exercise is the next key to having a balanced healthy life. I try to find exercise in everything I do; especially f I have a day where I am so busy that I can't get to the gym or don't have time to go out for a run. Park far away in a parking lot so that you have to walk, use stairs instead of elevators/escalators, walk instead of driving (when possible), etc. It might not seem like a lot, but it takes a few minutes more, and gives you that bit of exercise that you might not have done otherwise!

Why is exercise so good for you? Your heart is a muscle, and just like your abs, biceps, etc. it needs to be exercised too. As it gets stronger from aerobic exercise, it works more efficiently, which is one of the reasons that you are sucking wind when you first start running/walking/exercising, then you get to a point where you are going farther and farther before feeling that way, and everyday events (i.e. walking up stairs in your house/work, carrying groceries, etc.) is SO much's because you have been working your heart and the muscle is becoming stronger, and more efficient. Your heart is quite literally the plumbing to your body, and helping that pump work optimally only helps you keeps your plumbing in tip top shape for longer! People who are really in shape have lower heart rates because their heart is so efficient that it takes less effort for their hearts to pump blood out to the rest of their bodies. It decreases our risks for heart disease, helps decrease cholesterol levels, reduces inflammation in arteries, and helps to keep blood vessels flexible (they can get hard and smaller in size due to build up of fat plaques), decreases risk of stroke, and can help to lower blood pressure. These are the effects of moderate exercise for only 30 minutes daily on your heart (and the rest of the plumbing) alone :)

Exercise also has effects of decrease risk of Diabetes Mellitus Type II (also known as adult onset Diabetes Mellutis or Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus), helps to strengthen bones and muscles, and despite feeling soreness after working out really hard, it can help to decrease chronic pain, strengthens the lung muscles, can help improve oxygen absorption, and helps your body use calories more efficiently.

Now, we all know it is so good for us, so instead of watching an hour-long episode of 'The Biggest Loser' and cheering people on, why aren't we getting our own 30 minutes of exercise? For the same reason that we don't always eat really healthy....we're busy!! This is where your friends come into play!!!

This winter, despite my gym being all of 200 ft from where I live, I was going less frequently than really I should have, and I noticed the same of one of my best friends. We are both pretty athletic and love to workout but really got stuck in a rut this winter, so we made a pact that weather be damned, we were going running or doing some for of exercise at least 5 days a week. There are days when I just don't want to slap on my shoes and run. Why? I have no idea, I just don't feel like it, but when I know that someone is coming knocking at my door at a certain time and I am doing it, I get myself revved up for it and I always feel amazing afterwards, and most of the time run further/faster than I expected. We are not super competitive with each other, which is so against my nature, but just yesterday we were at mile 1.5 and I had such a horrible cramp that we walked for a few, let my cramp dissipate and kept on going. There is no shame between us if we need to take a break, or when we do sprints and I am so far behind ( I need to work on my sprinting!) But, despite that we are not training for a marathon, or anything specific, we just go for our leisurely runs, and chat about anything and everything. It feels so much better to me that when I used to go to the gym daily and have to take Advil before running because I knew that I was going to have so much leg pain because I was pushing my body do hard to run harder and faster each really wasn't healthy, it stressed me out, and it got to the point that it wasn't fun so that's why I was doing it less and less frequently, then getting frustrated that I couldn't run as hard. Not good.

Our daily runs not only make me feel better because I am getting out in the fresh air, but it is like daily therapy for me. I get an endorphin rush from the run, but I have such stress relief from just talking about silly things that are bothering me, or discussing my stressful week ahead. We help each other thinks things through, plan, and talk about the latest episode of 'Wife Swap'. It's not a big deal, but I am held accountable to go and get my exercise, and so is my friend because I do for them what they do for me. And, let me be clear, we are in no way on the same level of running; he can sprint for miles and feel great, me? Not so much, but we find a pace, run with it and challenge each other at times. It's fun, I'm spending time with a friend, and we are both getting health benefits out of it, and de-stress, which is so important in our lives.

We are all so busy and jam so much into our daily lives; we need to take time for ourselves to be healthy and spend time with friends, that is how you have a balanced healthy life. So find a friend that likes to run/bike/walk/dance/do whatever exercise you want and do it together, make time in your schedules for each other and for your own health, I promise you that you will feel better for dong it, and you will be more inclined to do the exercise than only being accountable to yourself!

So get out there in this beautiful weather and start getting healthy and exercise!!

Yours in good health!


PS- I enjoy running, but ANY form of exercise is cool: walking, yoga, biking, rock climbing, hiking, etc. I don't want people to think that I am a running "pusher" that is just my personal preference!


At April 20, 2010 at 1:37 PM , Blogger Dominic said...

as I read this...sitting on the couch...looking at my bike...I have made the mature decision to get off my lazy ass and go for a bike ride (I'll let you know how the endorphin rush goes!!!)

At April 27, 2010 at 11:07 AM , Blogger Nurse Bridgid said...

I am so proud Dom! Your fit, beautiful ass is all the better for it ;)


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