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Breathe. Smile. Move.

Posted Oct 29th, 2013 in General, Fitness, Nutrition, Wellness

Breathe. Smile. Move.

Standing in line at Home Depot waiting for our paint to be mixed, a woman peered at my very pregnant belly and asked, “Painting the nursery?” 

I couldn’t help but smile when I responded, “No, that’s been done for a while. I’m turning the garage into a temporary fitness studio.” I think this friendly, mid-50’s woman could relate when she laughed and sarcastically stated, “Right. OF COURSE YOU ARE!”

“No, that’s been done for a while. I’m turning the garage into a temporary fitness studio.”

What she could relate to was the term “Nesting”. Who would have thought that all this time there was actually a word that described my obsession with keeping things neat, tidy, organized, and clean! You mean to tell me this is a real thing, and because I’m pregnant I have a valid excuse? Purging the entire house over the last three months, having a garage sale, calling a contractor to finish our laundry room in the basement, and now transforming our once filled to the ceiling garage into a sleek, clean fitness studio is actually a valid thing when you state, “Oh. Don’t worry. I’m just nesting.”

Concerned friends often state to me, “Lisa, slow down. A pregnant mamma-to-be needs rest,” but I’ve always been a hard-worker. When I get my mind set on a goal, I can’t rest until I finish it. My husband calls that term “Now Syndrome,” but somehow I don’t believe that particular irrational behavior has been validated or widely accepted just yet!

We’ve become a society that wants things NOW; therefore driving through a fast food window makes complete sense for dinner.

Even though I wasn’t going to listen, I couldn’t help but agree that a lot of energy goes into the day-to-day “work” of our jobs, children, housework, meal preparation and exercise. Being a nurse, owning a house, playing mamma to 5 furry-four-legged babies, cooking healthy meals, preparing for a baby, and teaching fitness classes has me on my feet all day long. By the time I sit down around nine-o’clock at night, I’ve earned it. I will admit that some days keeping this schedule is tough as I know how important it is to rest and relax, but too many of us are taking the terms rest and relaxation to a whole new level. We’ve gotten into this mindset that we are too busy to exercise, too busy to walk the dog, too busy to play with our kids at the park, too busy to clean our house, too busy to garden, too busy to cook. We’ve become a society that wants things NOW; therefore driving through a fast food window makes complete sense for dinner. Why clean our house and weed our garden when we can just pay someone? Why not work at our desk until seven o’ clock at night, the bills aren’t going to pay themselves? The reason is because we are missing a golden opportunity to get up and get moving and do something about our health and fitness.

The reason is because we are missing a golden opportunity to get up and get moving and do something about our health and fitness.

In June of this past year, obesity has become known as a medical diagnosis. I’d like to try to sell that diagnosis to my husband’s ninety-five year old grandma who still lives at home and is as sharp as a tack. How did she stay healthy all these years? She washed her laundry by hand, she cooked from scratch, and she scrubbed the floors on her hands and knees. I’m not saying that we have to go old school, can’t embrace technology, or take advantage of wonderful services that are out there to make our lives easier, but I am saying as a society we have to move more! I’d love to say that all of my friends and family actively take fitness classes or engage in some form of physical activity daily, but sadly that’s not the case. What I do know; however, is that all of my friends and family have a roof over their head and mouths to feed.

I’d like to try to sell that diagnosis to my husband’s ninety-five year old grandma who still lives at home and is as sharp as a tack.

What I’m talking about this concept of the NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) Principle. Research states that engaging in these principles daily can burn up to an extra 350-700 calories. You may not have time to do my twenty-five minute, functional Quick Combo Class on the busiest of days, but you do have time to fit small, short bouts of energy in throughout your day. You may even burn the same amount of calories!

NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis) Principle

What are some examples of NEAT? Take the stairs, have a walk and talk meeting, organize your closet, clean out the garage, chop your vegetables instead of buying pre-cut, pace the sidelines at your child’s sporting event, park in the farthest spot away from your destination; all of these small bouts of activity add up to more and more calories burned by simply engaging in everyday life. Who doesn’t feel a sense of accomplishment when the house is sparkling clean, the laundry is done, and dinner is cooking in the crock pot all by noon? Be an active participant in the life you created!

Perhaps it is a little bit of give and take. You may pay someone to clean your house so you have the time to take your kids to the park and play. You may take your clothing to get dry-cleaned so you have time at the grocery store to read labels. You may pay someone to cut your grass so you have time to walk the dog. Make a list of your priorities and instead of thinking of everything as work, take these golden opportunities to move!

Ultimately, perspective is a beautiful thing. Enjoy cleaning your house as it means you have a roof over your head. Enjoy weeding your garden as you are sustaining life, cleaning the air, and making the world a more beautiful place. Enjoy the time with your children, pets, family, friends, as they give you purpose in knowing you are needed. 

Simply enjoy the process; Breathe, Smile, and Move!

- Lisa. P

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