Everybody knows on some level how important it is to keep active. The primary reason being that being physically fit reduces your chance of developing a raft of illnesses. It's also credited with helping maintain a healthy weight. Which is somewhat related given obesity presents similar health challenges.
Personally I love being fit. But it's not for the reasons above. It's because it makes me feel good. Different depending on the type of work out but always good. For me I have found that the combination of running and yoga are the ultimate in feeling not just good but happy. Running gives me an endorphin rush and I love doing it in the morning because it sets me up for a positive mood day. Yoga on the other hand is more about the release of stress and opportunity to center myself and my thoughts. I always leave thinking, I am so glad I made the effort, I feel better than when I walked into the room.
Last year I ran the NYC marathon and raised money for Freds Team ($12,000 very proudly toward cancer research at MSKCC). It was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. And I didn't just love race day but rather the whole journey. The training was challenging but also incredibly rewarding. Finishing the race ahead of my goal time and beyond my fundraising target added to the absolute pride I felt.
But I got injured....a stress fracture in my left foot. I was so running fit it was devestating to have to hang up my trainers for a good long while. Which ended up being near on 8 months of very irregular attempt & fails at making a return. On the bright side I increased the amount of yoga I had been doing. I've talked about that here before, I definitely went from a runner who did yoga on the side to both a runner and a yogi. Only a runner who wasn't running. Until now.
It's been about six weeks now and I can finally say I am back running again. I've been out there at least 3 times a week since then and have built up to 6 miles again. It's no marathon but it's a start. Now I'm thinking about entering a half marathon later in the year so I have a specific goal to focus on. I always find that ups the motivation factor and the fun too (as well as the pain!).
I love yoga, but adding running back into the mix has reminded me just how much it lifts my mood. I particularly love longer runs where I pump the tunes and sing along as I go. When I get home I'm singing and smiling - guaranteed.
Moving your body is absolutely the kind of good stuff this blog is all about. Everyone is different and the gains vary wildly based on the individual. What is undeniable is the overwhelming fact that getting into shape, feeling fitter and making exercise a priority will help both your physical and emotional wellbeing.
As I've said I'm all about running and yoga (ok I swim sometimes too). But there are so many other great options out there. I'd love to hear what you do to get moving and why. Not just the surface stuff but the feelings evoked. Please comment away and I promise to respond. I know you're reading, I see the stats, I would LOVE for you to start engaging in dialogue too, it's sure to make things far more interesting than what one woman can do on her own ;)