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Aging and Everything But the Kitchen Sink

As I was going into my 44th birthday this year, I set a lofty goal to be in my best shape possible, both physically and mentally.

Can you remember a time when you wanted to give up on a goal you set for yourself? Perhaps you were close to your goals around work, fitness or finances?

As I was going into my 44th birthday this year, I set a lofty goal to be in my best shape possible, both physically and mentally. One of the principles in my Culture Infusion program is to Prioritize Personal Wellness. I know from experience that I am at my best when I am healthy and moving. I feel better physically and mentally at work as most of my creative ideas come to me when I am active, not sitting in front of my computer.

My lofty goal needed an end game so I signed up to walk the Camino in May, which will entail 12-mile-long daily hikes. With aging, I have realized to effectively push myself physically, I must take everything but the kitchen sink into consideration to keep my body, mind, and spirit functioning properly. Gone are the days that I recover from an intense work-out quickly or that I can eat that pint of ice cream without weight gain.

I wanted to share some of the tips that have helped me to maintain a more strenuous work-out regimen and still stay motivated to keep going.

1.)   Green Shakes. In my article Add, Don’t Subtract, I mentioned how I was adding green shakes with wheat grass. I do not have as much energy nor does my body feel as good on the days, I do not have a green shake. My favorite is wheat grass, protein powder, a few pieces of frozen fruit (pineapple is my favorite), handful of spinach, and then I rotate with flax seed and chia seeds.

2.)   Massage. I invested in PUREWAVE which is a hand massager that allows for self-deep tissue massage. I also use a foam roller as well for hard to reach places like back and shoulder blades. This extra attention to sore muscles allows me to keep up with high intensity work-outs.

3.)   Dri-Fit Clothes. My mom used to say cotton kills. As I typically must work-out in multiple sessions, having the right clothes makes a huge difference. 

4.)   Shoes. Don’t skimp here, be sure to test out your shoes. For the upcoming long trail walk, I tested over 5 pairs of shoes before landing on trail running shoes versus heavy boots.

5.)   Balms/Salt Baths. With my PUREWAVE massager, I use muscle balms such as Solavedi and Arnica gel. In water Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. The theory is that when you soak in an Epsom salt bath, these get into your body through your skin and help relax muscles and loosen stiff joints.

6.)   Diversity. Each day, I do something different and at 44, I have not been in such good shape since I was in high school playing organized sports. To train for 12 miles, I am doing high mileage with a combination of walking and running. I will walk/run one day, run the next and walk the following to keep a mix. Additionally, I practice yoga at least two days. And I am a huge fan of Jillian Michael’s fitness appas she has a diverse range of work-outs that I can easily access on my phone for $99 a year. It even has meal plans and recipes.

7.)   Stretching and More Stretching. As I mentioned above, I practice yoga regularly, yet stretching after each work-out and before bed has enabled my body to keep up with the extra work.

8.)   Quiet Time. Taking time to simply be quiet, in a calm environment, is an important daily practice. This is a way to give yourself a break from the outside world. You can choose to do this while sitting or even while moving and not listening to music or a podcast, just in silence.

As you consider your own personal well-being, it is important to remember that you create your life and how you feel. Change starts at the individual level. Where can you add something to your routine to start making your personal wellness a priority?

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