Thursday, 10 October 2013

The importance of exercise

Whilst employed, I walked at least half an hour to an hour a day. In addition, I'd get up a little bit earlier to work out (exercising in the morning sets off a chemical reaction which warms up the brain and allows a person to be more responsive and productive during the day. As someone who can have concentration/memory issues, I embrace this!). I use Wii Active 2 which uses arm and leg bands to moderate your pulse and match your movement up to the television screen. After a week or so of this regime, getting up in the mornings is a lot easier as the body adjusts your chemical levels to prepare you for a work out it knows will be beneficial in the long run.

Then anxiety/overwhelming stress/a need not to feel tired hit after I got a cold and it all stopped. I tried to reignite the regime a couple of times, but then the battery in the arm band died along with my motivation. I generally felt an epic case of 'oh just sod it'.
I can come across as a very positive person as I prefer to laugh than feel like crap, but during this time I was aware that I was missing an important element in my routine.

As time passed, I've felt what lack of exercise has done to me. I've been at home for approximately 1 month and a half now(?) and I'm tired, stressed, fidgety. I even paused working on a new creative project I'd just started because my motivation just plummeted. That and my appetite hit a new low. I'd finish a plate, really slowly, but for the sake of keeping energy levels up rather than enjoyment.

So, due to this week's horrifyingly high stress level, I decided enough was enough. Finally remembering to buy some new batteries whilst out shopping, on Tuesday I got up at 7.15am(ish) and decided to start slowly: 10 - 15 minutes, full body exercise on the easiest setting. I used to manage short bursts on the hardest setting and feel great afterwards. Yeah. It just goes to show how my stamina has plummeted since I've been going through mental (which can turn to physical) stress.
Of course, as it's been a while, I'm in the early stages, so having to work past the 'gack I'm tired' part of exercising and muscle ache, but I know it's a good ache and I'm happy to ignore it over the fact that my appetite has finally gone up again meaning I'm eating better and sleep's improved. Also, (despite having my moments of feeling tired) Tom seems to know when I've exercise as I bounce around the house with more energy.

As well as being a known way to help combat depression, another reason I've started exercising once again is as prep for my body and mind.
In the future, I'm going to undergo one of the biggest operations I've ever faced. To me, exercise is like warming my body for a marathon: preparing every muscle and joint and making sure my heart, genetically connected to a history of cardiac issues, is fully prepared for a procedure that holds potential trauma. This might not be the case at all and exercise will just make a little bit healthier, but that's where the mind comes in: I need to be positive throughout. I need to be able to mentally pull through the hardest obstructions because I get the feeling saying 'yes' to the transplant and then saying 'yes' to someone else's kidney aren't going to be the hardest things I go through so far (they've felt it, but there'll be more hurdles....I'm thinking possible rejection, facing dialysis, potential illness, and so on). I want to be mentally ready. So I'm pushing those endorphins to my brain so I can be. That's how it works, right? Well, works for me anyway.

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