Whether we are still dreaming, actively creating or already out there cruising, we have choices to make concerning our health; otherwise our dreams may be cut short.
If you are laid back in your lazy boy with a coldy in one hand and what’s left of a pizza next to you as you read this, thinking to yourself, “I really need to start exercising again. Yea, I will… right after (fill in the blank).” Then, maybe it is time to start looking at the choices you make concerning how you take care of your body. If on the other hand you already do take care of yourself and are wondering how that is going to look once you get ‘out-there’, all it will take is commitment.
Everyday we make choices that most of the time, are based on short-term immediate gratification rather than considering the big picture. The choice we make to stop for a fast food meal made from… (What are the ingredients in those foods?), rather than make a meal from whole, natural foods. The choice we make to start exercising tomorrow. Of course, tomorrow is ALWAYS tomorrow, because we will have more time or energy tomorrow, I know I will, I am sure of it!
They say that people who get out there and move and maintain a healthy weight are physiologically 10-20 years younger than sedentary people of the same age. Their systems function better, they feel better and I must add, generally look better. So what stops us? For many it is being overwhelmed by all of the information out there, sometimes contradictory information at that.
The most important thing to remember is that your body is different from every other body on this planet. What is good for one body may or may not be good for another. It is up to you to research, experiment, explore, have fun and listen to your body to decide what works for you. If you have not been physically active for a while it is always a good idea to have the good ole Doc listen to your heart, take some blood and put you on the treadmill for a stress test. This will give you an idea of what level of intensity will be safe for you to begin with.
EXERCISE & NUTRITION: the basics
Let’s first look at exercise. If you are cruising, you may have limited options, but you still have options. To keep the ticker ticking (cardio), there will always be times when you can get ashore to walk, run or bike. The only time this may not be an option is while underway or if weather stops you. Swimming is also a great option as is rowing your dinghy around the anchorage. Hiking and exploring new areas is a fun way to get in an hour or two of exercise. You can also turn your errands (provisioning, laundry, etc). into a conscious part of your exercise routine. There are also many things you can do onboard. Yoga of course is a great option that adds strengthening and flexibility to your routine. You can create weight-bearing alternatives by using water bags or jerry jugs. Really, once you open the doors to creativity, the options are endless!
- Begin slowly by adding 20-30 minutes a day of conscious exercise 4-7 times a week. This can gradually increase as time goes on and your body becomes accustomed to the new activities.
- Variety is the spice of life. Choose activities that you enjoy and vary your activities when you can.
- Make this time a social event. If having a buddy motivates you, find someone with similar goals and physical conditioning.
- Bring your music or audio book with you on a long walk.
- If you miss a session, be okay with it. Don’t let that be an excuse to stop.
Nutrition is equally important to consider when making the choice to take care of our bodies. What fuel we give our bodies is directly reflected in our energy levels and how good we feel overall. You wouldn’t consider putting gasoline in a diesel engine would you? Eating to live versus living to eat can make a huge difference in our lives. Our mental clarity is also affected by our eating habits, as is our emotional responses to events.
- Begin by noticing when you feel the most energetic and clear minded, and look back to what you have eaten that day.
- Pay attention to the quantities of foods you eat.
- Focus on whole, natural foods and, as Mama says, “Eat your fruits and vegetables.”, preferably organic if available. Why would you consciously put poison into your body?
- Drink water. Drink water. Drink water. Hydration keeps us from getting headaches, keeps our joints lubricated and the toxins from settling into our systems. Drinking water throughout the day also keeps us from overeating.
- Stay away from sodas and energy drinks.
- Limit your intake of ANYTHING processed. If there are more than 3-4 ingredients on a label, you shouldn’t be eating it; especially if they are ingredients that you cannot pronounce or don’t know what it is. Read your labels carefully and educate yourself.
WE ARE DESIGNED TO BE HEALTHY
Our bodies are miracles. Every joint, ligament, tendon, and muscle was designed to move in a healthy and unrestricted way. When you exercise regularly and eat the right foods, you will become aware not only of the physical but also the psychological benefits of an active lifestyle! It’s your choice, and it’s never too late.
The real challenge in beginning any new program is in your mind, not your body. Change your mind and go for it!
Peace, Love, Laughter & Pirate Yogis!
SV Ave de Paso, Florida Keys
PS… Thank y’all for your well wishes and congratulatory comments on Eric and my wedding. You all were with us in spirit!