Eat with less worry—I enjoy food. A lot. People will often make a comment I must not enjoy food as much as they do because I seem to maintain my weight. The reality is they’ve never seen me eat. I don’t think you can totally ignore your diet regardless of how much you exercise. I try to be healthier in most of my choices, and I do discipline what I eat (wish I was better at how much), but I pretty much eat what I want. I’m certainly never hungry long. Running—or exercise—affords me less guilt in my diet and the occasional splurges I enjoy.
Stress reduction—I find if I’m especially stressed, a good sweat gives me a calmer perspective. It’s an excellent way to decompress. It was crazy how much not running—before I found exercise which could substitute—added to me being more tense. My family noticed it. I’m certain the people who work with me did also. I know I did. I’m a nicer person to be around when I’m running regularly. It took me a while to associate the cause of additional stress on the lack of exercise, but the return to healthy routines made it clear.
I’m back to running, thankfully. In fact, I just completed a 10K with my fastest time in several years. I’m usually training for something—even if I never run another race—because it keeps me disciplined in a routine. And I know the value. It’s been proven to me.
Do you have a regular routine of exercise? It doesn’t have to be running, but it should be something. Of course, you should always check with your doctor before you start something extreme, but I’ve never had a doctor who didn’t value some form of exercise.
If you are not regularly exercising—especially if you’re a leader—answer this question:
Considering the stress in your life, and how productive you hope to be with your life, could beginning the discipline of exercise be one of the missing ingredients?
Let me be a voice of encouragement to you. Find the exercise routine which works best for you, discipline yourself for 30-40 days, then enjoy the lifetime of benefits.