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The Power of Exercise: Prioritizing Wellness for a Healthier Tomorrow

Written by Victoria Nunez


In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s all too easy to let self-care fall by the wayside. Yet, neglecting our wellness can have profound consequences, as the quote goes, “If you do not make time for your wellness, you will be forced to make time for your illness.” These words serve as a poignant reminder of the critical importance of placing our health and well-being at the forefront of our priorities.

The CDC’s recommendation for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, blending strength training and aerobic activity, serves as a cornerstone for maintaining good physical health.  Let’s delve deeper into why this recommendation is so important, and explore practical ways individuals can incorporate it into their lives.

The beauty of exercise is that it’s not just about burning calories or building muscle—it’s about enhancing your overall well-being. Physically, regular exercise yields a multitude of benefits, from pain reduction, to lowered risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers, to better bone health, weight management, and enhanced cardiovascular fitness. Moreover, it plays a pivotal role in mitigating fall risks, particularly among older adults, by improving balance and coordination.

The rewards of exercise also extend far beyond the physical realm.  Engaging in regular physical activity has numerous mental health benefits as well. As we engage in physical activity, our bodies release endorphins and serotonin—neurotransmitters that fuel feelings of joy and contentment. This can lead to an improved mood, decreased risk of depression and anxiety, and reduced stress levels. Exercise also provides a sense of accomplishment and productivity, as you work towards your fitness goals and witness your progress over time. Additionally, it boosts self-confidence and self-esteem, as you develop a stronger, healthier body and mind.

Exercising doesn’t have to be redundant, in fact, the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s biking along trails, dancing to your favorite tunes in your living room, chasing your grandchildren at the park, lifting weights at the gym, attending a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) class, taking walks in your neighborhood, practicing yoga or pilates, swimming laps in the pool, or participating in team sports (our Pivoteers are big pickle ball people), there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

While you’re incorporating some movement into your days, it’s important to keep in mind that exercise isn’t just a task on your daily agenda, it’s an opportunity—a privilege, even. Adopting the perspective of “I get to workout,” rather than, “I HAVE to work out,” reframes exercise as a gift—a chance to move our bodies, nurture our health, and honor our well-being.

As we embark on our fitness journeys, it’s crucial to acknowledge that every path is unique. You may have heard the expression, “Choose your hard,” which underscores the reality that both committing to exercise and forgoing it pose challenges. It’s hard to push yourself out of your comfort zone and commit to regular physical activity. Yet, it’s also hard to live with the consequences of inactivity—to face chronic disease, diminished quality of life, and missed opportunities for growth and vitality. By embracing the challenges of exercise, you’re choosing to invest in your health and well-being, and that’s a decision worth celebrating.

Moreover, it’s important to remember that every fitness journey is unique. Rather than comparing yourself to others, focus on comparing yesterday’s you to today’s you. Are you making progress? Are you 1% better than you were yesterday? Are you staying consistent and committed to your goals? Embracing our own unique journey gives us the courage and motivation to stay on track.

So, by incorporating enjoyable activities into your routine, adopting a mindset of gratitude and empowerment, staying focused on your own journey, and remembering the importance of prioritizing your wellness, you can reap the countless benefits of exercise.  Lace up your sneakers, choose your hard, and make time for your wellness—your body and mind will thank you for it, both now and in the years to come.

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