There is a phenomenon in fitness called the cumulative injury cycle. Basically, if you continue to exercise without correcting any postural distortions that lead to muscle imbalances, the compensations your body makes to allow you to follow through with the exercise will eventually lead to an injury. I am also a firm believer our mental fitness can take a serious hit if we don’t take time to rest and regroup.
As I sit here looking at the ocean in Montauk, I realize what a different person I am today than just two days ago. I attribute this mind-altered state to two factors: I am on vacation and I am doing things for myself I simply do not do enough of at home. That includes:
- Letting the sound of the ocean drown out my anxieties about work
- Not rushing through my workouts
- Sitting in the steam room after my workouts
- Getting a massage
- Eating dessert
- Not worrying about having less-than-optimal cell or WiFi service
To expand on that last point, I haven’t been able to upload any pictures taken on my iPhone to my Facebook page and I have only been able to update my status once. I have been able to open my work and personal email accounts, but I haven’t been able to send a reply. Forget about Twitter or LinkedIn. I finally decided to stop trying to open my apps and simply said: “You are on vacation!” If someone really needs to get a hold of me, I can still retrieve voice messages from a few spots in the parking lot.
Whether you run the household, run a business or have a job where you answer to a boss, everyone works hard. No doubt the state of the economy has shattered whatever our definition of financial security was in the past. Many of us still struggle from the aftershock of losing a job or may be trying to keep a business afloat. This makes it all the more important to take some time to be good to ourselves when we can.
Realistically, a vacation or trip to the spa may not be attainable at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shut out the world for an hour or two a week. Some escape plans include:
- Replace that Bluetooth in your ear with ear buds for 30 minutes a night and plug them into a sound machine tuned to the ocean surf or frogs in the forest.
- Add 10 minutes to your workout routine and stretch.
- For once, try yoga instead of that heart- and muscle-pounding cardio kickboxing class.
- Take a bath instead of a shower before going to bed.
- While summer is still here, take your dinner outside and have a picnic in your backyard, roof deck or nearby park.
While it’s important to focus on work, we owe it to ourselves to find our own unique ways to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!