Last Wednesday, I twisted my knee something fierce at my contemporary dance class. At the time, it seemed like nothing, but when I woke up in the night screaming in a fit of pain because I’d moved my leg, I realized it was more serious than I’d originally thought. The next morning my sweet husband drove me to a walk-in clinic and we got some x-rays done on my knee. No broken bones (yay!) which means it’s either a torn or sprained ligament (boo!).
Guest starring: jorts!
I have to go in on Friday to have my knee re-evaluated, and if it hasn’t gotten any better, I’ll get an MRI to see what’s wrong and if (God forbid) I need surgery. But here’s the deal: I’m rocking that stylish knee immobilizer and some sexy crutches for an indefinite amount of time.
This makes me sad because that means that for GOD KNOWS how long, I can’t practice this week’s self-love tip. So, for all you able-bodied folks who can, here’s today’s tip!
TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: MOVE!
If by now you haven’t been told by at least a hundred people that exercise is good for you, I’d like to get the address of the rock you’re living under so I can personally come by and take you on a bike ride.
Here are all the reasons that exercise is great, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Exercise improves your mood. When you move your body, your brain releases “feel-good” chemicals that actually make you happier. No joke! And, because exercise keeps your body in tip-top shape, your confidence level rises, too. Basically, you can walk around like the sun shines out your ass. (I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR A REASON TO USE THAT PHRASE FOREVER. Points to whoever names that movie!)
- Exercise fights chronic illness. Heart disease? Diabetes? Osteoporosis? HA! Not for the physically active! Exercise keeps your cholesterol and heart pressure at healthy levels.
- Exercise helps you manage your weight. OKAY HEAR ME OUT HERE. When I say “manage your weight” I don’t mean “make you super-skinny.” Exercise keeps your body at the weight that suits your UNIQUE frame best. Even at my healthiest, when I was dancing 20 hours a week and eating super healthy things, I was still about 5 lbs overweight according to the BMI charts. (This, by the way, is where I am now.) Exercising builds muscle (which weighs more than fat) and burns fat. As long as you’re staying active, you’re healthy, no matter what a scale or a BMI chart says. It “manages your weight” healthily. I cannot say that enough. (Oh, I also can’t say enough that your “weight” is just a number. Just like your GPA is just a number. No one can tell what you weigh by looking at you any more than they can guess the GPA you scored in college. Mine was a 3.6, in case you care.)
- Exercise boosts energy. The experts say the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning. It gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing and your metabolism kicking in the morning when you need it most. And then, your body continues to burn more calories throughout the day. Win! I, however, can’t seem to forfeit extra cuddle time with my hubs in the morning in order to go running, so I do it in the evening. But still, when I come home from a nice long run in the evening, I have lots of energy to spend making dinner with Dan or chatting with friends or whatever tickles my fancy! (Another phrase I’ve been meaning to use. SCORE!)
- Exercise helps you sleep. This makes sense, right? The more energy you exert throughout the day, the more rest your body will crave and ultimately get. As a former insomniac, I can totally attest to this.
- Exercise can make your sex life better. After celebrity blogger Perez Hilton lost 90ish pounds, he looked at himself in the mirror and said, “I’d do me.” That was a huge turning point for him, and frankly, I know what he means. I never feel more sexy than I do when I’ve been consistently running or exercising regularly. But honestly, do I really need to explain this one? Or have you all already shut off your computers to go for a jog? (Dan my love, are you still reading this? Why?)
- Exercise can be fun. This is the main point I want to drive home to you. Please don’t join a gym after reading this because you feel like you have to because I said so (have you been reading closely? I never said join a gym. Where did you get that from?) Exercise because you “want” to. Find an activity that you love and do it! Is it walking? Dancing? Swimming? Biking? Hiking? Wii Fit? Playing soccer? Football? Tennis? Whatever it is, do it! If you do something you love, you’re more likely to stick with it. If you hate running and you sign up to run a half-marathon, you’re going to hate your life for the months leading up to it because, hello, you have to run. You’ll either be miserable when you exercise which will make you want to plant yourself on a couch indefinitely or you’ll quit. Don’t set yourself up for failure.
Okay so! Hopefully I’ve been able to sell the idea of exercising to you. If you aren’t already active, I challenge you to try incorporating just 20 minutes of physical activity into your life each day. Journal about it. See if it doesn’t lighten your mood a bit and make you feel better. And, if I can’t convince you, just look at First Lady Michelle Obama. She’s working the “Let’s Move!” campaign to fight childhood obesity and, in case you don’t already know, she’s freaking hot.