Part 2 of 4…
The first step I encourage you to consider is to get moving, preferably outside. When we move our bodies the blood flows, the heart works a little harder, those happy-causing endorphins are released and it feels good. Now, for some, getting moving can be a challenge; maybe we have injuries that prevent us from doing certain activities, maybe years of not moving have left us unable to move much at all, maybe we work two jobs or have some other very legitimate challenge. Sorry, no excuses allowed!! If you want to be happy, you have to get moving. It really is that simple.
Some suggestions for you to consider are walking – start slow, on a flat trail and add as you go. Walking is free and most people can do some manner of walking. It is fair to say that walking helped me through my darkest depressions; I went out in all weather because some part of me understood that if I did not get outside and move my body I would not make it. Swimming or movement in a pool is a great way for a rusty body to relearn without risking injury. It does require more than walking – a suit, a pool, perhaps swim shoes if you are going to pool-walk but it is well worth the effort and cost. Another great option is biking – unless you have balance concerns or don’t own a helmet and a good bike (and a good bike can make all the difference in the world). What about hiking or dancing, stair climbing or tennis? Going to the gym is the last choice simply because we all could use a little more fresh air and the air at most gyms is anything but fresh.
Adding physical movement is simple but it is not necessarily easy; consider finding a movement partner or group; remember to take it slowly and not to push yourself to the point of pain; aim to increase your physical movement to sixty minutes a day over the course of six to eight weeks. And celebrate the baby steps you are taking; when you are able to walk the full mile without stopping or swim the length of the pool, share your achievement with others, write yourself a note on the mirror and then set the next level of achievement!!